Category Archives: Melanie Nilles

[REVIEW] Starfire Angels – Melanie Nilles

Melanie Nilles
Starfire Angels
Prairie Star Publishing (US: 4th August 2009)
Buy (US)

Raea Dahlrich’s dreams are actually memories of when she had wings, aged three. Now, aged eighteen, her wings have re-emerged. She – or her crystal – is being targeted, and it’s time to remember and embrace what she is.

The world-building is interesting and unique: how often do you come across aliens mistaken for angels? And TV documenter Nina Russet is beyond awesome. The other characters? Nowhere near as much. The main characters in particular quite grate on the nerves when they start realising they like each other. Raea loses a lot of independence; she even has to be rescued! And after a traumatic event (during which she was unconscious), she clearly should be medically examined. But she refuses, claiming humans may discover her alien physiology, but that feels like a cop-out – she just didn’t want to face the possibility. But I fear the unknown, and Raea must not. Knowledge equals power, kids.

There are some decent ideas here – the aforementioned world-building, and the super-awesome Nina – but the execution is not strong enough, the characters not likeable enough, to make this novel a true winner.

Starfire Angels – Melanie Nilles

Now available to purchase, in both paperback and Kindle:

Melanie Nilles
Starfire Angels (Starfire, Book 1)
Prairie Star Publishing (US: 31st July 2009)
Buy (US) Buy (Kindle)

They’ve been coming here for thousands of years, using Earth as a sanctuary to escape threats from their own kind. Mankind knows them as angels, and one of them left a child upon her death to be raised as a human. Raea is now a high school senior and her life as a human is about to end. The crystal shard she bears is not a pretty pendant; it’s a collective of powerful entities who chose her as their Keeper, a protector of one of the four shards that power a machine capable of destroying whole worlds. Those who desire the Starfire’s power have sent an agent to find her, but she’s too busy evading a nosy reporter ready to exploit her secret and dating a hot new foreign student to notice. Never mind learning what she really is. Only one person on Earth can help her, the last person she ever expected. But he’s not from Earth. Life as a human would be so much easier.

August 2009 Releases

Done buying July Releases? Now onto August – here are my choice picks from the US, UK, Canada and Australia. As always, I don’t list EVERYTHING in the UF or futuristic genres – I’ll leave that to other bloggers. Instead, I just choose the ones I think are worthy. And yes, I play favourites 😉 Keep an eye on Reading Wishlist for release dates further into the future.

No purchase links as yet for Melanie Nilles’s Starfire Angels or Lexxie Couper’s Death, the Vamp and His Brother, but keep an eye on the authors’ websites and blogs.

NOTE: I own Kat Richardson’s Underground, and Rachel Vincent’s Pride, but haven’t read them yet.

NOTE: I have reviewed Rachel Vincent’s My Soul to Take, and Tracey O’hara’s Night’s Cold Kiss.

All other books listed here I’d be happy to read and review. If you’re willing to post a hard copy out to me in Australia, send me an email.

Continue reading

[COVER ART] Starfire Angels – Melanie Nilles

From here:

They’ve been coming here for thousands of years, using Earth as a sanctuary to escape threats from their own kind. Mankind knows them as angels, and one of them left a child upon her death to be raised as a human. Now a high school senior, Raea’s life as a human is about to end. The crystal shard she bears is not a pretty pendant; it’s a collective of powerful entities who chose her as their Keeper, a protector of one of the four shards that power a machine capable of destroying whole worlds. Those who desire the Starfire’s power have sent an agent to find her, but she’s too busy evading a nosy reporter ready to exploit her secret and dating a hot new foreign student to notice. Nevermind learning what she really is. Only one person on Earth can help her, the last person she ever expected. But he’s not from Earth. Life as a human would be so much easier.

Purchase information to be released soon.

Remember the Name: Melanie Nilles

I found Melanie Nilles (and many other authors) via Fangs, Fur & Fey a handful of years ago. I began following her LiveJournal, and we’ve kept in contact since. Her fantasy stories didn’t seem like my thing, but when she spoke of a young adult sci-fi romance, I was intrigued. This was when I was discovering futuristics, so it was very much a case of the right tale at the right time.

But before I read the novel, Mel shared her world-building, to test its readability. Not only did I understand it, but it was FREAKING AWESOME, and that’s not a compliment I hand out willy-nilly. Basically Mel had taken something paranormal/mythological…and made it sound somewhat realistic. This is a trait I very much admire, but can be hard to find. For example, I don’t connect with immortal vampires, but I do connect with those who must replenish their blood intake or die.

The Starfireverse is fascinating, but it can’t all be revealed in the first novel – we learn along with our protag. But Starfire Angels is a great introduction to the history and characters. Set in North Dakota, teen Raea learns about who she is, who she can and can’t trust, and faces danger – but doesn’t escape unscathed. There’s some romance, but it’s not too angst-ridden or over-the-top. And Raea doesn’t abandon her friends for a love interest, so she has a decent head on her shoulders.

The world-building is inspired by manga and anime, rather than the usual suspects, and it’s a ‘verse I definitely want to re-visit. Melanie’s currently working on Book 3, but in the meantime we can start off with Book 1. I beta-read/critiqued it some months ago and it’ll be fun to see how it’s been enhanced since.

Starfire Angels will shortly be published, but in the meantime you can try out free eBooks (and an ongoing serial) on Mel’s website, and/or purchase a paperback edition of A Turn of Curses. I haven’t read any of these, so be sure to tell me what you think of them. Also, I believe Starfire Angels might be up the alley of Galaxy Express mastermind Heather, so if you’re good acquaintances with her please pass on the news that the novel’s launch isn’t far away. And by all means start blogging about it – this is a story that grabbed me, and hopefully you’ll love it too.

Stay tuned, and I’ll share specific information as it comes to hand.

You can learn more about, and contact, Melanie Nilles here:
Website
LiveJournal
WordPress
Twitter
Facebook
MySpace

Free Online Serial Coming in January 2009

Melanie Nilles, author of Dragon Prophecy, will be posting further adventures set in the same world as a free online serial. I think it’s YA fantasy, but correct me if I’m wrong.

But before the serial begins, it might be wise to purchase Dragon Prophecy first, here. It’s also available as an eBook, I think – check Melanie’s website for details.

The serial will begin in January. Keep up to date with Melanie Nilles and her writing at her blog.

P.S. Though the serial will be free, I’m sure she’ll be open to accepting donations 🙂

LOLcat

Photo of Melanie Nilles‘s cat Harlee. LOL by me. You may recognise Harlee as the same cat on the background of my Twitter page.

LOL – ur doin it rite

NowPublic have done another article on LOLcats, and requested to use some of mine. Including ‘s Kippy, ‘s Suzy and ‘s Harlee. And one of Manny with Kat Richardson’s Poltergeist. (“CAT – ur spellin it rong.”) These are just some of the hundreds of LOLcats on the article’s slideshow. See here.

What someone typed into Google to get to my WordPress: writing with a russian accent
Nup, I don’t write with a Russian accent, so I can’t help you there. But Russian accents are nifty, though.

Since I was tagged:

1. Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.

I think that means to post the fifth, sixth and seventh sentences on the page.

“I swear.”

It took long enough that I got worried, but finally he opened the door and called me over. He hadn’t rolled down the window because I had the keys and the windows were electric.

–Patricia Briggs’s Moon Called

Happy Birthday, Melanie Nilles & [COVER ART] Pride – Rachel Vincent

Today is 24th July – Melanie Nilles’s birthday. The author of Dragon Prophecy, she’s got 20 free PDFs to give away, or you can buy it yourself. Contact her via her website.

Rachel Vincent has shared this cover of Pride. With that attention on the tummy, it makes you wonder if Faythe is knocked up…or just had a weird meal that’s moving around inside. Or an alien! Or a baby werecat! The possibilities… And why does she look so calm about it?

I Can Has LOLcode

I Can Has LOLcode: Check out the slideshow that accompanies this article – they asked (and received) permission to use four of my LOLcats. Thanks to Nikki, Mel and Jodi for the use of their cat photos, and thanks to Suzy, Padme and Kippy for deigning to be photographed.

I’ve added some new titles (including ones by Rachel Caine and Jocelynn Drake) to my Reading Wishlist.

Now, to await the cat’s homecoming for photography, and resisting the urge to buy crisps…