Unlocking Yesterday

Opening up the doors into my mind…

To End and Begin Anew

Hey Everyone,

Yet again, it has been too long. Things have been changing, but life is still always busy. Please read to learn about what’s to come.

I have decided, after thinking extensively, to remove Kyle Demore and the Timekeeper’s Key from Amazon. It is the only place that I have it self-published and apart from that, there’s information on it at Goodreads and a few other obscure areas of the internet. I won’t go through all the trouble of completely trying to delete its entire online presence, but I will, for better or worse, remove it where I can. This isn’t done out of a wish to eradicate something I am ashamed of or anything even close to that line of thought. In fact, if I’m completely honest, it is still one of the things I’ve done in my life that I am really quite proud of. Nevertheless, I’ve reached this decision after learning a few things about myself and the industry in which I hope to be known as a professional one day. So please read further if you’re interested in hearing out a few of my reasons:

  1. I don’t want to be a self-published author. That is not to say there is anything that is wrong with self-publishing. There isn’t. I think, and I have for a long while, that it is just not for me. I enjoy the absolute freedom that comes with it, but that is a double edge sword. There are so many things I’ve learned about writing since I self-published and I can look at my first book knowing there is an absolute certainty that I would change a great deal about it. That’s not to say that I ever thought it was the perfect book, (I most certainly have not ever thought that) but there are simple changes that I think I would have seen if I had just been more patient and gotten some more experienced eyes to look at my manuscript.
  2. I would like to “make it” in the traditional publishing world. I want the agent, the editor, the publishing house and all the good and bad that might come with that. Again, there is nothing wrong with going the self-publishing route. But with everything I’ve learned about being an author, I know that this is much more in line with what I want out of this career should I ever join the ranks of those numerous authors that I admire.
  3. And most of all, I wasn’t ready. Kyle Demore and the Timekeeper’s Key, as happy as I am with calling it my own, is rushed work. I think I might be a tad too prideful to call it amateurish in its entirety, but it is certainly an amateur’s approach to an ambitious project that should never have been rushed. Basically, when it comes down to it, I was caught up in having told people that I wrote a book. This isn’t to blame my family and friends who supported me, but I think I was enchanted by the idea of really showing them what I’d done. They kept asking me and I wanted to deliver. This was completely an amateurish mistake and I fully own it. Sigh. If only we could we turn back the wheel of time, ey?

Still, with all this said, this doesn’t mean I’m completely abandoning Kyle Demore. In fact, it has become the framework for the much larger story I am building and someday I hope to revisit it in some capacity. But not now.

So, what does that mean for those of you who’d like to know more about what happens to Kyle Demore. There aren’t exactly many of you out there, but I know there are a few. Part of why this was so hard is because I’ve had some very vocal people in my life who have pestered me (and I mean this in the best way) for the next part of this adventure. All of you were a constant motivation for me and I wish I could deliver to you in full, but some things are just not meant to be. Still, I’d like to give you something for your support which has and does mean a great deal to me. So, here’s what I’m going to do.

Over the next week, I’m going to release the first five chapters of the second book in the Kyle Demore series that I was working on. It is the “official” work I completed for the story. There is more that I handwrote, but I don’t consider anything I’ve handwritten as officially in the story until I’ve typed it out. You’ll have to forgive me for that. It’s just the way I write sometimes. So yeah, I’ll be releasing those five chapters online.  I’ll also provide a PDF link if you’d like to read it that way. I apologize for the obvious grammatical mistakes that it will most certainly have, but hopefully you can forgive me for that since it wasn’t exactly the final draft.

I will also include a small overview of where the story would have eventually gone. This might seem like more of a tease than anything, but I figure that it is at least something for those of you who care. It won’t be true conclusion to anything and everything is subject to change if ever really do get to revisit this world, but I hope that if you’re out there reading, you enjoy it for what it is.

Thank you for everyone who has supported me so far and I hope one day to bring some more adventures to life, so please don’t count me out yet.

If you have any questions for me, please feel free to contact me via email (samueljvega2@gmail.com).  Thanks!

 

 

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Dresden Files! Book 9 Review

AHHHHHHAAAAaaaa. I’m so good at this. Sigh, almost 2 months since my last update. Well, you know. Things and busy and yada yada, same old, same old. Good news, though. Second book is moving along better than ever. I think having it out this year is definitely a thing that is happening. Probably, maybe.

Anyways. Small review!

White Night by Jim Butcher  4.5 out of 5 Stars

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This one will be a really small one.

Basically, White Night gives us all the things that make the Dresden Files worth reading. A killer on the loose and it looks like it might be Harry Dresden’s half-brother, Thomas. Tommy, my boy, how could you?!!! Dresden obviously doesn’t really think Thomas is behind it, so we get to ride along as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on.

All along the way is danger, interesting characters, and internal struggles.

It, like always, is a fun ride.

So I definitely enjoy this one, but I’ll admit that this book doesn’t exactly do anything new. It does, however, continue expanding on the things that we love and it’s entertaining. And that is definitely good enough for me.

So if you’re into the last 8 installments, I’m pretty sure you’ll be liking this one.

Dresden Files! Book 8 Review

See I can do better. Sort of.

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher 4.5 out of 5 Stars

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I’ll start off with saying the same thing I mentioned on Goodreads. “I think this is the finest installment in the series so far.” That’s a Sam Vega original quote. Enlightening stuff, you’re welcome… FUNNY JOKE!

Sigh. Anyways. I stand by that.

Dresden is Warden now! Which is cool for a number or reasons, but I think it most cooliest because it sets up the inner struggle of figuring out what is right and what is wrong in a concrete easy to digest way. As we should all know by this point, (because we’ve read all the books, right?) Dresden doesn’t exactly see eye to eye with the Wardens. And his own moral compass has is good, but it has some grey spots. (Don’t we all.)

But never has struggle been more evident than in this book. I think, in general, that is the mark of good storytelling period. Butcher, I think, does a particularly good job with it here because he makes it so relevant to Dresden’s own inner struggle along with the actual outer struggle of the mess he’s dealing with in this adventure. I’m getting a little deep, but you can forget about all of that and still have a good time with this story.

Remember last time when I said the story doesn’t take itself too seriously. This one definitely starts off with that kind of vibe before taking a dive into the usual Dresden mystery to figure out who done it! But we also get a big does of Molly Carpenter, this book, which in many ways is played out to be this typical rebelling teenager. Don’t worry, she’s supposed to be.

The story then takes a cool turn into awesomeville, because Butcher then feeds us more bits about the Fae world and their place in the war against the vampires and their own war going on and man, it’s just a lot of cool stuff. I dig it and I really think anyone who appreciates ever expanding worlds of magic is really going to dig it too. So yeah, I think you gonna like this one. It’s a fun ride.

So yeah, that’s that. Sorry if my reviews aren’t too helpful, but ya know, that’s that. Give it a read, yo.

Dresden Files! Book 7 Review

Ta dah, I’m back once more. Sigh. I’m trying people. Truly, I am.

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher 4 out of 5 Stars

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Necromancy coming at you in a bundle of awesome. I really enjoyed this one. It’s better than the last. Not crazy better, just better.

Dresden is being blackmailed into doing something, he really doesn’t want to do. I’m not getting into hard details, but we again get this adventure where Dresden meets these new characters and past characters get fleshed out more. I cannot give Butcher enough credit for this. He’s really done a wonderful job of slowly giving you more, but not overwhelming you. This is true of the world, the characters, and the magic. It’s well done.

Anyways, so Dresden is again set to solving a mystery, but with the added complication of being at the mercy of his blackmailer (Among other things!). Then it all comes together for an explosive ending, where shit really does go down. I don’t want to spoil it all because I really did love it. However, I’ll give you this: A zombified Tyrannosaurus Rex comes into play. That’s not code for any kind of sexual innuendo. I mean it. A zombie T-Rex comes out to play and it’s just kind of one of those moments where you realize this whole story doesn’t take itself entirely to seriously and neither should you. And I don’t mean that in a negative way at all. I love that fact. Stories that can do that well are probably some of my favorites.

Anyways, if you enjoy bringing the dead back to life–I mean, who doesn’t. Am I right or am I right?– then you’ll probably dig this addition to the Dresden Files. And as always James Marsters, you be brilliant as always!

DRESDEN FILES! BOOK 6 REVIEW

Let us try to hop right back into it! Book 6!!!!! (FYI there be Spoilers here!!!)

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher 4 out of 5 Stars

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As the Harry Dresden Formula goes, this one gives you what you expect. A lot of crazy. We’ve got Harry figuring out how to deal with the Black Court vampires while becoming a body guard for a cursed porn movie set and having to juggle the intensity that Thomas’ White Court vampire family brings into the mess.

So yeah, there is quite a bit going on in this one. As always. Which is good. But I didn’t really like this book as much as the one before it. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of good here. There is. Some more interesting elements get added into the story as always. You have to give a nod to Jim Butcher for this. Although some might say the reveals kind of border on soap opera-ish, it really doesn’t come across that way. It is more like Harry is discovering things he was never really allowed to explore before. And it isn’t so much because he is actively searching to uncover everything. It is more like he’s chosen a path in life that was always going to bring these discoveries to the surface. So for the most part it feels natural. So yeah, Dresden learns some cool facts.

Specifically [SPOILER] Thomas the White Court vampire, is his half-brother.

DUN DUN DUNNNNHHHH!

Pretty shocking stuff yeah. I’m not going to get too into it, but that one is the big reveal. We also learn more about Kincaid,  McCoy (Dresden’s teacher), and about Dresden’s Mother. But read the book to learn about it, you lazy bastard. (I’m kidding, you’re probably not lazy.) Anyways,  another action packed addition to the Dresden Files. I liked it. PLUS Mouse, which is Dresden’s new found pup, makes his debut in this one. And as we all know puppies are the coolest.

More puppies, more power.

GAWDDAMMN…I’m still alive, I promise

Geeeeeeez, this blog has been super dead since about June. That’s my bad. My only defense is that I’ve been incredibly busy with work. Plus I’m writing….. And I’m trying to spread my talents into other areas, too.

So all of that means little time for blogging. As I often like to say, I mean to change this. And I will. Someday. Probably soon. I want to finish my little Harry Dresden Review ‘series.’ Then I’ll probably move on to doing a Wheel of Time mini review thing.

Pretty decent Epic Fantasy series if you’re into that kind of thing. Definitely a unique read, as well as an important one. (For me at least, since I want to be an author of the same strain as the talented Late Robert Jordan and the phenomenal Brandon Sanderson) I’m almost done with it. It’s a monster of a series. So lots of reading, which is good, because I like lots of reading.

Anyways, yeah. I will get better at blogging. I swear it on the old gods and the new. (Hah hah, a Game of Thrones reference! Get it?)

Till next time. Which is bound to be soon. Like in a week. Or two? Maybe sooner.. maybe later…….

DRESDEN FILES! BOOK 5 REVIEW

Review on Death Masks!!!!!!!!!!!

Death Masks by Jim Butcher 4 out of 5 Stars

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So this one almost made the climb to 4.5. Almost. It’s good. One of my favorites really, because it had a lot of story going on.

BUT I won’t be getting into much of that story because… go read it, that’s why.

Harry Dresden! What kind of mess is he getting into this time? Well turns out there’s lots of messy things he’s a part of in this book. Duel with a vampire anyone? Psh, yeah and it’s only because he’s trying end this whole war thing going on. Susan is back. She’s got shit to do and she’s half-vampire and cooler than ever. Oh and holy friggin’ knights anyone? What. What. What. Then Nicodemus! Who is he? What is he? And does he like coffee with his murder?

Yeah, seriously, kind of cool stuff there. It gets a bit crazy and I think that’s why I bring it down to a 4. Still, there is more of that sweet, sweet, world building and character building. Included free of charge. (Not really. I had to buy the book, but it’s worth it. James Marsters is a master of narration, so audio book purchase is a must!)

Oh and Ivy. She’s just a seven year old girl and known as the Archive, a living, breathing bank of all the world’s knowledge. Plus all that power she’s got which is awesome. She might be one of my favorite parts of the whole Dresden Universe. She’s such a cool idea and a great character. Seriously, how can you not like Ivy? The correct is answer is you have to like her. You. Have. To.

Anyways. This is probably the book that really started solidifying the series for me. So if you like that kind of thing, read this one. And enjoy it. I did.

Dresden Files! Book 4 Review

OK OK OK. I’ve been a bit busy and this has gotten away from me, but lo and behold, SUMMER KNIGHT, book 4 of the The Dresden Files, review is here!!!!!

And quick review is quick so this will be a quick review…

Summer Knight by Jim Butcher 4 out of 5 Stars

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And the lift off into some good reading begins. As the adventures of our hero, Harry Dresden, continue we find him… well sad at the beginning of this installment. And desperate. And justifiably so, I think. Can’t really get into why that is without giving much of the last book away and I couldn’t do that you, the reader.

Anyways. Without getting into much of anything Dresden has to keep living and not dying so he gets thrown into a mess of things that have to do with Faeries. And as we all well know by now, faeries are dangerous. So things get dangerous as Dresden is thrown into some Faerie business. The whole Faerie world thing is probably one of the best elements of the whole series so I think if you’re into that kind of thing, you really cant go wrong with this book.

Again without really getting into any details, Dresden pretty much has to save the world again with some entertaining characters at his side. It’s a solid read and I think it did a lot of things right. Characters are still growing and even in all the sadness and serious danger, we still get the bits of hope.  Plus James Marsters. Nuff’ said. Damn, he’s great as a narrator.

So yup, solid read. Solid 4 stars.

Also, anybody been listening to Hamilton the Musical at all. Like holy damn shit, it’s awesome. And I heard today, 16 Tony Award Nominations. Man, I want to go see it now.

 

 

Dresden Files! Book 3 Review

Grave Peril by Jim Butcher 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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Numero tres! All right, so here’s where the series starts to get a little better. Though I still give this a 3.5 Stars, it was almost a true 4 (It reaches toward that 4 Stars when you realize how it fits in the series as whole). There some stronger writing and the plot has more weight to it. And what I really mean by that is that there are some real consequences to take into account at the end of it all.

I’ve mentioned before that these first few books are the stepping stones to something greater. And this is the book that marks the accession to something greater to come in, what I think, is probably the clearest way.

So what do we get in Grave Peril? The story itself. Let’s see, some ghost, nightmares, killer vampires, and somewhat terrifying fairy godmothers. So cool and cool. Shit is going down! There is a lot that goes in this book, but the pacing is well done so it never gets too overwhelming.

Then there is Susan, who really makes an impression in this one. We find out what she’s really like and what she means to Dresden. There is also an introduction to Michael (A Holy Friggin’ Knight) and Thomas (Sex Vampire [incubus] of the White Court), both of whom are well thought out characters. Even Murphy becomes better in this book. But if I’m honest, her being better than she was in the last book doesn’t take much.

However, Dresden does seem to be making a habit of falling and failing and being completely spent until the last moment where he can come back and win the day. Grave Peril sort of suffers from this more than the other books in the series because some of his power  is ‘stolen’ from him. It was sort of an eye rolling moment for me, but maybe that was because I knew there was a book 4-15 following this installment, meaning Mr. Wizard Man Dresden ain’t about to be losing his powers forever. I think this book came out in like 2001, so that is my fault for not having read it 15 years ago.

(Holy crap, I’m old enough to say 15 years ago and it not mean I was some diaper wielding maniac [aka baby/toddler]. Though, in my defense, I probably was still too young to be reading the Dresden Files. Sigh…)

Anyways, yeah. This book is good. I liked it quite a bit. And I was quite looking forward to Summer Knight (Book 4) at the end of this one.

Last Note:

So I’ve read some comments and reviews regarding Butcher’s description of women throughout the series. They’re all sexy women with clothing that hugs their breast and yada yada yada yada. Basically, they’re good looking ladies who amount to sexual objects first and actual characters second. This is a fair assessment of Butcher’s portrayal of women. Practically every woman he ever meets is one suggestive wink away from making Dresden jizz his pants. I get why lady readers could be annoyed by this. And I would be lying if I, a straight male, said it didn’t annoy me sometimes. However, I also think its not entirely that far fetched that someone like Dresden would look at women this way. Yeah, it is sort of dumb, but Harry Dresden is sort of dumb too. I think when it’s looked at through that sort of lens, it is easier to accept. But I get it. Really I do. And I’d like to say it gets better as the series goes on, but it really doesn’t.

But if you can power through those small bits, the rest is still worth the read.

Till next time!

Dresden Files! Book 2 Review

Fool Moon by Jim Butcher 3 out of 5 Stars

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I’ll start off by saying that this book in the Dresden Files is probably one of my least favorites of the whole series. In fact, while writing this I changed my original rating from 3.5 down to 3 Stars. I’m probably still being a little lenient there if I’m honest. This is a shame since I happen to actually like werewolves. (Well the idea of them, anyways.) But, as with this story, most of the time they’re used in books or movies or whatever else, they end up being a disappointment.

So Fool Moon introduces us to werewolves and all their complex glory. There are a few different types and they all play some varying degree of roles in Fool Moon. With that in mind, let’s get down to the basics. Someone dies, it looks awfully like a big bad werewolf is responsible, which means we have another whodunnit handed to Harry Dresden! As I said in my previous review, this series likes to stay in its given formula and this one does just that. (Which, again, is fine. Dresden is a wizard-private investigator after all. He needs something to investigate!)

So Dresden teams up with Karen Murphy, Chicago’s most toughest tough as nails female with short man syndrome law officer of justice … If you can’t hear my annoyance, I’ll get this out of the way. My absolute least favorite thing about this book is Murphy (She actually represents something I find annoying in lots of different stories)  She basically seeks help from a Dresden to, ya know, have him help solve the case or whatever, only to start mistrusting him because he is helping in a way that seems too suspiciously suspicious. (Is that a spoiler, I’m sorry if it is. I mean I still think you need to read it to really get it in context)

Well I’m going to give you a little context anyways. It would be like Commissioner Gordon lighting up the bat signal to call Batman and ask him for help about something which only Batman had information on. Batman gives Gordon this information to, ya know, help, but then Gordon turns on him and announces, ‘You’re under arrest, Batman. Ya know, for trying to help me solve this case which you’d never would have been involved in unless I called you in the first place’…..

Basically, Murphy was stupid-annoying this book and all we get to show for it is Dresden basically feeling bad about her being really fucking annoying because reasons?  (Excuse my, language or don’t. Whatever………….)

BUT with all that said, this book isn’t all bad. Really it isn’t. It has some annoying bits. So annoying that I almost wanted to give up the series, but yet again it is saved by a great narrator who really does justice in playing Harry Dresden. (Thank you again, James Marsters!)

Dresden is by all means resilient and resourceful throughout this book. And it is kind of a joy to see him get out of the madness he is thrust in to. Not only that, we get to see some new character get into trouble with him and help him. It’s not perfect, but it is pretty cool . Plus ya know, werewolves.

So definitely give this one a read (or listen I should say cuz audio books rule!!!) and try not to get hung up on the stupid parts. Underneath that, there is still a robust lineup of interesting characters and an ever building world of magic and mischief that is a necessary stepping stone in the long run.

Really, the series does actually get better but Fool Moon is as mediocre as they come.