My Reading Journey

I don’t often read a lot of fiction anymore. I used to. Mostly mystery and fantasy from the juvenile section in the library. Once upon a time, I thought I would author a fantasy too. But the ending for my story was stolen by Disney before I began writing.

My mind doesn’t keep space for fiction much anymore. My reading and my writing is more knowledge and learning focused splattered by a few of the classics like Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, and C.S. Lewis with a few buttons sewn on by poetry.

All of this doesn’t mean I don’t love fiction. It just means I need to be in the right mood, with the right author, and the right story.

More than anything in the world, though, I love young creative minds before they become famous. Viewing their raw talent is inspiring and breathtaking. So, when I learned a respected teacher had authored and self published a work of fiction, I knew I would find myself reading his work. And I am glad I did.

My Initial Visceral Response…But really, didn’t anyone teach you not to judge a book by it’s cover – or grammar?!

I must admit to all, readers and author alike, that, when I began reading this book (Nemesis: The Diary of Jared Donavan), I had just finished editing a paper for my mother. Most of my focus when editing is in grammar: sentence structure and punctuation use, but, every so often, I will point out a flaw in idea presentation and encourage the author to reword for clarity. But, like I said…Grammar – that’s my focus.

I regret to inform all that, as I read the first few chapters of this book, my editing mind was still switched to ON, and I noticed every single semi-colon and comma on the page. These are my favorite in the punctuation gang, and they are the ones used wrong most often.

I had to force myself to set the book down for the night and shut OFF my editing brain before I was able to fully enjoy the depth of characters and story I was reading. And, I’m glad I did because, let’s be honest here for a second, who am I to judge how a Diary – real or fiction – is written? Diaries, Journals, and Poetry are the few means of creative and personal writing that have little or no rules when it comes to syntax and punctuation.

So, with that aside…let’s begin.

Diving in Head First

Set in Dystopian America, readers are greeted with all too familiar themes like economical distress, plague, and civil war. Yet, it is here that the author tells the story of Jared – a young arsonist who began his craft as a moody teenager. His talent for pyrotechnics makes him a desirable commodity in the eyes of the power-obsessed. With only the grounding love of family keeping Jared from losing all sense of what’s right and wrong, it’s only a matter of time until all who are close to him are dead, and Jared is consumed by the fiery need for Justice and Revenge.

After putting aside my first initial judgments, it was easy to become sucked into the drama as it enfolded page after page. Fast and Furious does not even begin to describe how quickly this tale unfolds. If I say nothing else about the author, I will say this: He knows how to captivate his audience with writing as swift as the best action movie or television show.

Readers ache with sorrow, gasp in horror, and sit on the edge of their seats wondering just how Jared’s story will end.

About the Author

(Just a note: I feel weird writing the authors full name here – even though I know he’s a published writer, and his name is now out in the public. I guess I learned my internet safety skills too well.)

Steve Barrington is an incredibly talented man. The phrase: “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” comes to mind when I think of him. And, I had the lucky privilege of studying under him while in Massage School. Even though I didn’t get to know him well on a personal level, what little he shared about his personal life shines throughout his writing. I feel like I glimpsed through a small crack in his soul as I read Nemesis. He is an incredible writer and wisely knows how to utilize many great literary tools to tell his story.

Though he didn’t leave an opening to continue the story of Jared Donavan, I hope he continues to write, and I look forward to reading his next grand adventure.