Monday, July 2, 2012

Interview and Book Review for Children of the Gods by Author Monica Millard

Hello Muses and Fallen Friends,

Today we have the lovely author, Monica Millard, visiting along with a review of her intriguing novel Children of the Gods being spotlighted today at the Seraphine Muse. I enjoyed reading Ms. Millard's story of a lonely God King and his quest to find true love. Without further hesitation, let's get to know a bit more about Ms. Millard.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was inspired in part by my childhood in a young Alaska, before Anchorage was as settled as it is now and in part by a childhood friend who committed suicide. That is one of the things I love about writing books, you get to give happy endings to those who didn't get them in real life.  That book remains unpublished.  Some day I might re-write it, but more than likely it will always be a fond learning experience.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
 
I don't write message into my books.  I think there was a theme that I was feeling while writing.  It was more for me.  I think people get the messages they need when reading books.  I hope there are messages for people in the book, but I'll never know what those are.

What books have most influenced your life most?


Narnia and most any book by Ocvtavia Butler.  

What book are you reading now?
 
Candor by Pam Bachorz - I'm not very far into.  I'm deep in the head space of the book I'm working on now.  I find it disruptive to introduce a different world into my imagination while I'm inspired.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I LOVED Rae Carson's Girl of Fire and Thorns.  Can't wait for the next one!


What are your current projects?

Editing a paranormal romance, finishing up writing a shifter romance, and starting a several part epic fantasy.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My critique partner, Jolyn Palliata.  I couldn't have done any of this without her.

Can you share a bit of your current work with us?

“Iliana,” he says, giving a small bow.  Mother’s eyes flutter and we both dip slightly.  The courtesy of it all is unbearable.  I pull my hand free of hers and then just as quickly I kiss her cheek.  She smiles, but it is uncertain.  I kiss her other cheek and am rewarded for my efforts by a quick squeeze of my shoulders.  It doesn’t lighten my guilt, but at least she is no longer troubled.
Nicholas waits patiently at the door.  His lips turn up just slightly at the corners.  Oh yes, he knows me well, just as I know him.  I glare, now that Mother cannot see.  Those lips turn up just a little more and he offers his hand.
I bite my lip.  I don’t taste blood or anything, but it keeps me from saying the things that are waiting on my tongue.  He will hear them soon enough.  In the mean-time, I take his hand and act my part.
Nicholas squeezes my hand, and I am unsure if the gesture is one of affection or triumph.  The notion of his affection softens me a little and I no longer relish the idea of wiping the dimples from his smile.
I would be lying if I claimed not to find him handsome.  He is in fact, very attractive.  Many of the girls from town would wish me ill if it meant that his affections were up for the catching.  It isn’t his face that turns my interest away. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Editing. I hate editing.  It feels like work.  Writing is fun.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don't know that I can name a specific favorite author, but I really enjoy Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments series and the Infernal Devices series.  She has a unique way of describing things that always stands out and makes for striking mental images.
What is your favorite type of food?

I love Chinese food.  But my boyfriend makes the most amazing burgers!

Who is your favorite book boyfriend?
Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instrument series
Do you have a song that you'd consider the theme for your novel?
Never Say Never by The Fray


Children of the Gods Book Review


Summary:

Reka is a young woman who has been chosen to harbor the essence of the goddess queen Anaya. It is an event that keeps the inhabitants of King Jaxson happy as his queen is reincarnated with a new body every 20 years. The world lies in a ship on earth that harbors a kingdom of gods, the Halorans, that have the ability to use humans as their hosts. You will have to read the story to find out exactly how that was handled, but the experience will be rewarding if you do. 

**Small spoiler alert**

Things that intrigued me:

1- Jaxson and Reka's (aka Anaya) relationship. The love-hate was done well and progressed very naturally. It was different from other  girl marries boy she hates storylines that I've read. And Jaxson didn't turn out to be the douche that I expected him to be. I found myself cheering for this strange couple simply because they were...well, strange. 

2- Griff-He was mysterious enough that I wanted to know more about his story too.

3- The unique storyline. I don't think I've ever read a book where the main character was handled in the way that Reka was in this one. But that is my own opinion as I have not read many sci-fi books.

4- A few of the secondary characters, more specifically, the kitchen staff and especially Katy. I do hope to see more development with her in the next installment. 

Things that made me go hmm:

1- I had to go back and re-read a few sections in order to understand what was going on. The beginning was a bit hard to comprehend, but as the story progressed I started to understand what had happened. There were also a couple of places that I just didn't get what was going on, even with a re-read. For example, when Anaya and Jax are eating, she says something about him having his first day off in a thousand years. I kept reminding myself that Jax is a god. But what kind? And where was this world the ship they were on sailed through? Since humans were mentioned, I assumed it was earth. It wasn't until I reached the end of the book that I figured it all out.

2- The character named Duester. I didn't understand why she got away with certain things. I realize that her character was written as a source of conflict, but she did things that were completely inexcusable and execution worthy.

3- There were a few characters that I would like to have seen developed a little more: Griff, Katy, and even Duester. Also, I would like to have had more description of the ship they were on before the end of the book. For some reason, I kept thinking of the movie Waterworld when in reality I believe I should've been thinking more of Close Encounters.

4-The ending. I didn't understand why it had to happen the way it did. But that could be due to the author's fine job of tugging at heart strings a bit.

Overall, a good read once you grasp the essential elements of the storyline. Even though it was a shorter novel, I wouldn't say that it was a quick read. It's a story that should be read carefully in order to appreciate and understand the unique storyline. If you despise love triangles than you'll find a refreshing break here. There is a triangle in a sense, but it is handled in a unique way.

Although I enjoyed Children of the Gods, I felt like the story ended just when it hit its stride. Important plot points and things that I'd been wondering about throughout the story were suddenly brought to vivid life at the end. This strangely beautiful tale could be improved greatly by extending the storyline with a few additional chapters. If there is a sequel, I would read it. I would recommend this story to fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and post-apocalyptic stories with a splash of romance added to the mix.

My rating: 3.5 wings  



About the author:




Monica was born and raised in Alaska. She doesn’t own a dog sled team, but has worked in a place where there are buildings with caged exterior doors to keep employees from being eaten by polar bears.

She lives in Wasilla, Alaska with all her critters, some four legged and others that stand on two. She writes Science fiction, fantasy, and Paranormal for young adults.

Connect with Monica! 


Twitter: @MonicaEmme

2 comments:

AnAlaskanGirl said...

Hi KaSonndra!

So glad you enjoyed the book! Thanks for hosting me! :D

Monica.

KaSonndra Leigh said...

You're very welcome! Come back and visit anytime!

KaSonndra

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