Review of “Kraften” by Siri Pettersen

Title: Kraften (~The Power)
Author: Siri Pettersen
Translator (Swedish): Ylva Kempe
Series: Korpringarna #3
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 535
Published: 2016 (translated 2016), B. Wahlströms
My Grade: 5 out of 5 ravens

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

Everyone in Ginnungad knew who she was, because she was the very symbol of everything they hated. She was Dreyris’ big hope. The proof that they would always rule.

Dreysil, the first land, is a cold world where weakness is despised. It is also a part of Hirka’s heritage, her father’s homeland, to where she has gone to save Ymslanden and RIme. But the corpseborn’s thirst after the Power is enormous and Hirka realizes that the wars that she wants to stop is inevitable.

Kraften is the third and finishing part in the series The Raven Rings, an epic fantasy story about power, hate, arrogance – and burning love.

MY REVIEW

Finishing a series is always a horrible experience. You read and read and read because you so desperate want to get to the end and find out what happens, but once you get there, you realize that there is no more. No more of this amazing journey you were a part of for a whole series. I always have this feeling, and it gets exponentially worse when the series is a good one.

Korpringarna is honestly one of the best series I have ever read. Siri writes in an excellent way, she continues to make the characters feel real. Everything feels real and realisticly written. There is a lot of thought behind every sentence and it is all connected in such an awesome way.

Like with the previous two books, she is flawless when she is drawing up the descriptions of both the world and emotions. I really hope that I will be able to create something similar with my book.

There is one thing that bothers me though. Like I said, there are no loose ends, everything makes sense at one point or another. But why didn’t Skerri call Hirka a traitor when she was there when all the fallen went through the rings? I might have misunderstood when reading, but if anyone have the answer to that question, please feel free to answer in the comments.

No question about it, a strong five out of five!

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First day at my first job

Today was the beginning of my new life. I have worked the first day at my first real office job! As of today, I am an assisting project manager at WSP here in Gothenburg and I still find that kind of hard to believe. I have spent the whole day setting up my desk with computer and phone and done e-courses on the company. Today was basically just about getting comfortable in a easy way. We had a department meeting where I got to introduce myself to everyone and everyone was so welcome and warm and friendly! Some people I knew from school, one even was my parents’ old friend whom I hadn’t seen in probably more than 15 years. The world is a small place.

I had a great first day. Many new expressions, everything completely new. And of course, I couldn’t fall asleep yesterday and might have gotten a little bit too little sleep. Now I have a full weekend to absorb all of this, gather more energy and work a full 40-hour week next week.

I can’t express how excited I am about this, this is the dream job. And I got it right after graduation! I couldn’t be more happy. I am actually hoping that this weekend will go fast so I can go back to my desk and doing important stuff. SOO EXCITED!

 

I also have to write quickly about the weather today. When I got out of the office building this afternoon, it was almost summer. It was hot! Then I voted in the Church Election and bought dinner and by the time I came out, the sky was a very very dark grey. The raindrops were so heavy and big that I felt them on my skin, THROUGH MY JACKET! And then of course, to make it even nastier, there was hail mixed in it. And of course some lightning and thunder. Fun times. What’s really sweet though is that a girl on the bus stop offered to share her umbrella with me. So super sweet! It was just for a couple of minutes until the bus arrived, but still, that probably saved me a lot more soaked clothes.

And one last thing. Yesterday, Jesper and I went to the gym. The first time for me since April. Last year! It hurts today and beach volleyball will be painful tomorrow morning. I really look forward to getting some routine to my life again with this 40 hour per week job and no uncomfortable hours. Once again, I can’t express how happy I am about this!

And here comes a picture of Ramses, the ever so photogenic floof!

Pieces are falling into place

I have some very great news that I want to share with you, my very few readers.

I have had a very bad luck with job applications since I graduated in June. I am not going to go into details about it, it is kind of a long story. I am glad to announce that my bad luck streak has ended, and I finally got a job! I sent in my application on a Friday two weeks ago. On the next Monday they called me and wanted to see me the next Tuesday (five days ago). The interview went well and they told me they would call me again on Wednesday. But in the afternoon, that same day, they called me and told me: why would they wait a full day when they had already made up their minds?! Two days ago, Friday, I was back at the office, signed the contract, ordered a phone, took a picture for my keycard and I said hello to my new coworkers.

So everyone, on September 15th, I will start my first real job as an Assisting Project Manager at the management department at WSP. I have honestly been jumping around the apartment the past five days, almost not believing it to be true, but the signed contract on my desk tells me otherwise. I couldn’t be more thrilled for this opportunity. But I am of course also very nervous. But I think something would be wrong with me if I weren’t :).

Here‘s a link to a funny video my mom sent me the other day. Today I was at stage 2. I need an upgrade of my wardrobe and spent almost 4000 sek today on new clothes! I haven’t bought clothes in probably two years, and it is definitely needed, so it is okay! I am going to need more shopping soon though…

The day after I got this very happy piece of news, Jesper and I got an almost equally happy phone call, telling us that we could choose from two brand (so new that we couldn’t even see them because they are not done yet) new apartments in Mölndal’s city center. Mölndal is the city closest to Gothenburg to the south, only about 20-25 minutes to downtown Gothenburg. Mölndal downtown is expanding like crazy and the location of this new apartment couldn’t be more central. Next year sometime, the new mall will be ready, a stone’s throw away from our building with a gym inside and an Ica Maxi (huge grocery store), and of course all the other normal stores Sweden has in its malls. The only downside is the public transit cost, it will be more since we are going over two zones whenever we go into downtown Gothenburg. But I heard that the taxes are lower there. Or maybe I will get a bicycle? My new office is only 17 minutes away with the tram. More time to read during the commutes, at least during winter.

The apartment is unfortunately only a one bedroom apartment (like we have now), but it is 11 sq. m bigger, has a much better layout AND BEST OF ALL: A rooftop balcony of 15.5 sq. m!!! It is also pretty awesome that it has a full-size freezer and fridge. But seriously! A rooftop balcony of that size with afternoon sun? And a walk-in closet? And a real kitchen? Much nicer neighborhood and we can reach 3 Pokéstops from our apartment! The bedroom is also much bigger than what we have now (8.2 sq. m). This will be awesome, I can’t wait to move on January 21st next year!

Everything is starting to fall into place, now I will just cross my fingers that Jesper will get his dream job soon! ❤

Starstruck

A lot of people are telling me to read books that they loved. Most of the times, it takes me a long time to actually get to read them. One of my biggest regrets is Throne of Glass, it took me way too long before I read it from when someone told me about it. One exception to this behavior of mine is Lars Wilderäng’s Stjärnklart series. I read it almost instantly and I loved it! One of the best series I have ever read. I know a lot of people who think the ending is too spaced out, but I loved it, it was the perfect ending to that story.

Anyway, to my starstruck-story. Yesterday I had a friend from Cal Poly here for a day and I just had to show him my favorite store (and probably his new favorite store): Science Fiction Bokhandeln. When I was there I saw a sign that tomorrow (=today) Lars Wilderäng woud be there to sign his new book, Höstsol.

I have a really bad cold right now, but that didn’t stop me from going. I usually don’t get starstruck around celebrities, and wasn’t at first today either. I was a loss at words first, but then told him that I loved Stjärnklart, and told him, somehow (I honestly don’t know in what order I said stuff or how I got to it, but we talked for a little while) that he had already sent me signed copies of the whole series because I wrote reviews last Christmas. Want to know something funny? He remembered me! And this is where I got starstruck! He told me that my blog post, written in English, was used to promote the book abroad!!! Somehow, I also got it in there that I am writing my own book in English (because he remembered my review specifically since they were in English). I told him that I currently have 17k words and he told me that I should aim for 100k words. He also asked me what it was about and it looked like he slightly nodded approvingly when I briefly told him the story in two sentences. Or at least that’s what I will remember to keep myself motivated to keep writing.

This is definitely on my list of cool stuff that I have been through!

Review of “Röta” by Siri Pettersen

Title: Röta (~Rot)
Author: Siri Pettersen
Translator (Swedish): Ylva Kempe
Series: Korpringarna #2
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 524
Published: 2014 (translated 2015), B. Wahlströms
My Grade: 5 out of 5 worlds

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

She had left Rime. He had kissed her and she had rejected him. Without reason. She was not the rot. Had never been. And now it was too late.

Hirka the tailless is not in Ymslanden anymore. Instead, she is stuck in a dying world, which is lacking the Power and rotting from within. In our urban environment, Hirka is paperless and a free prey. Her only ally is a feared manhunter and a corpseborn and Hirka is torn between them. Meanwhile, the longing is gnawing inside her, the longing after Rime and the world she calls home. But all of this fades when she slowly realize who she is and learns of her importance. The source to the rot has been thirsting after freedom for a thousand years. A freedom that only Hirka can give him.

MY REVIEW

I had read no reviews of this, no back cover description. So page 1, was the first time that I realized that Hirka comes to our world, with technology and subways and everything. I did not see that coming and was very very surprised.

When I pictured Hirka running around in Modern Europe, I could only picture her as a cartoon though. The story was good, and got better with every page. But in the beginning, I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. Siri Pettersen painted a fantasy world with roots in Norse Mythology, and when it in this book took place in our modern society, it felt a bit more like an urban fantasy, which is a genre I have outgrown a little. It got better when the focus shifted from everything being new, to her calm acceptance.

Röta was more predictable than Odinsbarn and she was a little bit naive. The part where Graal explained himself and Hirka decided if she wanted to trust him or not, should have been longer. It felt rushed. It was unrealistic that she was so trusting right away.

My overall reaction to the second book in this trilogy is great though, the story is solid and it was exciting seeing her in our world, even in Sweden. The end result is a five, like with Odinsbarn.

My sources of inspiration

I read a lot and even if I have carefully made sure that my own book is original, I have of course taken inspiration from my favorites, among others.

I have taken bits of inspiration from many books and series, these are some of them.

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses
  • Graceling
  • I am Number Four
  • Maze Runner
  • Divergent
  • Carve the Mark
  • Harry Potter

The same goes the other way too. I have read some books and told myself to stay away from certain things that I didn’t like. For example, A Court of Thorns and Roses included both sides to that inspiration actually. As well as Carve the Mark.

For example, my heroine is not going to be a stubborn pain in the ass who pushes away everyone in her surroundings just because she thinks that she can do everything by herself, she will be a stubborn realist and ask for help when she needs it.

She is also not going to be perfect and master any potential gifts and skills she may or may not be given.

Neither will there be any romantic relationships involved. I don’t understand why that always have to be a part of every story. Forbidden love and all of that. It can get tiresome.

I am not going to write very complex, it removes the focus from the actual story. I think I actually also might write both Swedish and English simultaneously to make sure that I capture everything I want the reader to feel from both languages. Since the beginning of 2013, I have only written in English (through school and this blog and living in California for two years), so writing in English is natural for me right now. But Swedish is my native language so there might be some word combinations that come easier in Swedish.

More help

Being an aspiring author is fun but challenging. You have the story very clear in your head, you are confident in writing, but the two has to go together. I think blindness to your own text applies to both amateurs and professionals alike. And that is why I am so grateful for the help that Helena provides. She asks me questions about the text that I haven’t thought about, stuff that might be clear for me but are not written down. But those details matter, those details are what makes the story real.

Now when I have reached 16k words (30 pages in Word), I actually have a hard time finding the right place to add or change things. I know exactly what every chapter is about, but it is starting to become such a long text now that it is actually a tough job to find the right place to add and/or change. I am really glad that I am getting help from the beginning, otherwise it would be a pain in the butt to answer all of the unanswered questions.

Helena gave me tips for chapter 3 and 6 (we haven’t had time to meet yet, but I get an idea from what she has commented and can think about it until we meet). She agrees with me that chapter four and on is “better”. The first three are at this point written in a different way than the rest, and when I have figured out how to change it so it matches the rest, I will most likely rewrite all of those three chapters, probably lots of chapter four too. She gave me compliments, that is is very well-written but also told me that my descriptions are very good. “Your descriptions of the island and the reef are very good and beautiful. It is definitely one of your strenghts to paint a picture that is very clear for the reader.” After reading that on my break at work yesterday, I was so happy and eager to get home to read her comments in the document and improve my script. That is what I am currently doing, and will spend most of the day thinking about, how to answer her questions so I don’t leave any loose ends.