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Hopefully in the next week or so the first episode of my pilot will be online (YAY!) and I’ll be updating a lot about that. The edit is almost locked, the credit animation will be done Monday, and after 10,000 other things are done that I probably forgot about, it will be online! That will be another post though.

AcaciaI’ve been under the weather this last week, feeling better thanks so much to you well wishers, and besides dealing with things with the film, I’ve basically been playing Super Paper Mario on my Wii and reading. (Running out to buy Harry Potter in the morning, of course. 🙂 ) I just finished “Acacia” by David Anthony Durham last night. It’s rare that I say go buy this book in hardback, but I’m saying it now: Go buy this book in hardback.

Cover art good: Check. Interesting world building: Check. Good characters: Check. Amazing twists you’ll never expect and genre cliche’s thrown on their head: definite check. I would say the closest similarly veined series I can think of is George RR Martin’s Fire and Ice, which is my absolute fave. “Acacia” is more violent, more unexpected and darker. Check, check, check.

I don’t want to give a synopsis because I even think the cover description gives too much away and ruins the fun of the beginning of the book. Reviews that say that the first part of the book is slow because the synopsis at the front negates reading the first 90 pages or so, which is stupid. Vaguely, it deals with assassination, slavery and drug abuse and lots of graphic disembowlings. The deliberately contrary approach to what you’d expect to happen in a “destiny” royal family saga feels very fresh. This author is a neophyte to this genre, and I think approached it with a deliberate eye not to fall into expected traps. He mostly succeeds in his quest, I think. Each character is flawed and believable as individuals and the next book is set up beautifully. The world is built as an amalgamation of many different cultures and races in our own world, and is a grand parable for something if I cared to look that deep 🙂

There are certainly things I wanted more of: I felt his pacing was a little rushed for a book of this type and a few things seemed too easy for the characters to accomplish. Also, I didn’t feel a consistency in his magical realm, it seemed vaguely defined and not wholly connected. I sensed a reluctance to deal with the magic specifically, because he was afraid of going into cliches, and this book is all about avoiding the expected. Hopefully he will explore this part of the world more in the next book because it deserves it.

Those mild critiques aside, I don’t regret picking this puppy up for full price at all. This is the author’s first foray into fantasy, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • More violent then Fire and Ice? That’s pretty hardcore. I love those books, even if the next book is taking forever to come out.

    It’s pretty hard to beat Fire and Ice for twists, though. No character is safe in that series.

    Glad you’re feeling better. I’ll cancel that fruit basket…

  • Michael

    It all sounds very intriguing! Thanks for the rec. Sometime later today, I’ll be heading to the local B&N and I’ll keep an eye open for it. 🙂

  • Felicia,

    Hello. Thanks so much for mentioning Acacia. Very glad you read it and glad you liked it. I even welcome the “things you wanted more of”, and I’m happy to say that the next volume – which is still a ways away – should give you more of all of that. I’m not sure that I’d say it’s more violent than Fire and Ice, but who am I to say? My perspective is skewed…

    Anyway, I appreciate your taking time to read it and mention it, and I’ve also enjoyed nosing around your blog.

    Oh, and I saw Ratatouille with the family last week. Loved it.

  • GASP! OMG, a celebrity on my blog! I have chills! I’m honored that you found my entry on your book! Now I’m embarrassed that my criticisms didn’t balance out with enough things that I liked about it, because there were so many things to like about it!
    I’ve been raving about your book to a lot of people, so hopefully I’ve sold enough to make up for it 😀
    Thanks for stopping by and please continue to turn the traditional fantasy novel upside down. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride!

  • Josh

    Hmm, I’m gonna be getting the old wisdom teeth pulled… sounds like I might have some reading time.

  • Ben

    Sorry to hear about the teeth Josh–reading a good book is helpful but when dealing with wisdom teeth, lots of ice cream is the real answer.

    I have nothing to add about Acacia but wanted to let our tireless hostess know about the new WoW comic book series. According to the CBG comic blog:

    The first storyline of the new ongoing series begins when a human is found unconscious on the shores of Kalimdor, with no memory of who he is or how he arrived there. Enslaved by an orc shaman, the man must fight for survival against members of both the Alliance and the Horde. He strikes uneasy relationships with other races in his quest to find the secrets of his past.

    On a related note, Felicia, are you familiar with the Buffy comics that have been taking fandom by storm? I don’t believe we’ve seen Vi yet but she’s bound to show up clad in spandex (and sporting double D-cups, no doubt). I know lots of folks that keep asking where Vi and some of the other potentials have been hiding. Hopefully we’ll get to see your comic book persona soon.

  • kehn

    Vi is supposed to be in the next issue of the BtVS season eight comics, which is supposed to be due out Wednesday. I’ll check for spandex and goofy hat.

  • I heard that my character and Rona are going to show up in the next episode! It’s pretty cool! I think, next to having an action figure, that has to be the neatest thing that could happen to an actor!
    I hope he doesn’t put that dumb hat on my head though 🙁 I wore that on the set for so many episodes I figured they were going to kill me off by taking it off and revealing a tiny demon living underneath in my scalp 🙂

  • kehn

    Felicia – thought you’d like to know that Vi does indeed represent in the BtVS comic book, and you’re not wearing the dumb hat – w00t! Vi’s actually acting in a short, humourous commercial in the comic…. art imitates life?

  • weird. I don’t know if I should be insulted or not. HA!

  • You just wait…

    BtVS’s Vi action figure! Kung-fu grip action! Comes with detachable stake and hat! Batteries sold separately.

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