Dec 31, 2014

Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner - my review



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Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner
Publication date: September 18th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:
A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.
The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.
Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.
For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.

My Review
No one knows why the mermaids came to the island of Eriana Kwai or why they started to attack the sailors. For many years, the islanders have sent out ships filled with warriors to try to destroy the mermaids. The mermaids are smart, working together and using the seas resources to battle the humans, and they are relentless. Five years, is the time that it takes to train each new batch of warriors, none have returned from the journey. The people of Eriana Kwai believe these girls have a fighting chance of finally, since Meela's father's time, making a true dent in the mermaid population and returning home. No matter what they tried, even training the men to fight blind to resist the hypnotic eyes of the sirens, fails. So, Year after year the ships don't return and the mermaids continue to rule the seas, cutting them off from the bounties of the deep, forcing them into poverty and desperation. Each year many lives were lost, both mermaid and Eriana Kwai warriors. But then, what was begin as a futile suggestion was implemented and a new ship set sail, armed with twenty young girls, maiden warriors that will not fall to the sirens call of the mermaids. After five years of education in sailing, combat, and first aid, Meela and her classmates are ready to fight.

So you see! It isn't a whimsical, romantic tale of beautiful mermaids. Yes, they can be beautiful, but when they change to feed, their true nature is unmasked and they become monsters with red eyes, scaly skin, and teeth like pointed daggers. It is a tale of a Massacre that happens every year, sending out twenty armed men to slaughter as many mermaids as possible. Meela's Massacre is the first time women are sent out to sea, under the assumption that the allure of a mermaid's beauty would not work on a female. All hope rests on these maidens. Hope they will succeed. Hope the fishermen can return to the seas. Hope for freedom once again.

The main heroin - Meela Eighteen-year-old has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that's haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer. She has been trained for most of her life to hunt and kill mermaids. now it's her and her group of island maidens to set a sail to mermaids nest and to kill many mermaids as possible.

Besides dealing with flesh-eating demons such as the mermaids, the girls will deal with warring factions in their own ranks, the sanity, or insanity mind you, of one of the crew, murder, and mutiny. Certain members of the Bloodhound’s crew (including Meela’s childhood tormentor, Dani) are eager for the killing to commence, Meela’s instincts vacillate between self-preservation and compassion for others.As the girls battle the mermaids, they also battle each other. Being trapped on a ship together in the vast ocean, they are bound to clash and leaderships will be challenged. The girls become women become warriors in a bloody battle for survival. Some of the descriptions were bloody and cold-hearted on both sides, the seas red with blood. There's no room for mercy or humanity against them.

Meela herself, will have an internal battle when her secret from childhood causes her to question if what they are doing, the war they are fighting, is even right? Or can the freedom of the people of Eriana Kwai be found another way? Meela isn't heartless and she is torn between protecting her people and what she can do to change things. As a child she defied the edicts of her people, and while ventured to the beach she rescued a young mermaid. This mermaid named Lysi, and they became the best of friends, secret friends. Their friendship last until a betrayal happend and brings Meela back to earth. Now, eight years later, they must fight on opposing ends of a war that neither of them want.

Lysi's character is really amazing one - I must say that she outshine all the other charters (include Meela's) - she is more wise the smart and her integrity is strong as Meela's. If you are going to read the book you will see how wisely she combine her believes with practical solutions. In fact she is the only one that had solutions who can solve the conflict.

I enjoyed how the author lets us in to Meela's head. We could feel the betrayal, the fear, the anger, the indecision's, all those emotions that construct Meel's personality.

My only issue - I had a hard time swallowing that the island was so utterly cut off from the rest of the world in a time where there apparently would be the internet and airplanes.

But There’s more! Throughout the story, Warner drops copious hints that Meela and Lysi’s friendship is more complex – and more transgressive - than either girl realizes. It begins fairly early on, with Meela contemplating a life in the sea. Occasionally, mermaids are known to turn sailors into mermen with a kiss; at her urging, Lysi attempts to turn Meela, but of course nothing comes of it, as she hasn’t yet grown into her adult powers.

AUTHOR BIO

Tiana Warner was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. She enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and collecting tea cups.

Author links:

Tiana Warner interview

Give us the tweet-sized version of what Ice Massacre is about.
A teenage girl is sent to battle the hostile mermaids that are driving her people into poverty. A story of love, secrets, and ass-kicking.

What makes Ice Massacre unique?
First, I haven’t seen a lot out there that portrays mermaids for what they really are: flesh-eating sea demons. But I think what also sets it apart is its almost entirely female cast. This island decides to send female warriors to kill the mermaids that plague them, because women don’t fall victim to a mermaid’s supernatural allure. We end up with an all-female war on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
 
Meela, an aboriginal girl who’s never been away from the tiny island she calls home, also has a pretty unique journey of self-discovery. I don’t want to reveal too much. But I think a lot of aspects make this story unconventional.

What’s your favourite thing about the book?
I love Meela’s antagonists. Meela’s a tough chick and she has a lot coming at her from all directions. Writing those opposing forces was so much fun.

What’s next for you as a writer?
The sequel! This is the first in a trilogy, and I’m hard at work on book two: Ice Crypt.


 3 Tips for Getting that Book Done

To make a ridiculous understatement, writing a book is hard. Few people actually finish the task—whether because they can’t find the time, or they get stuck in a story rut, or they lose inspiration once they realize how difficult it is. Let me tell you, there is nothing more rewarding than a finished and published book! Here are three tips to help you get that story done.  
1. Write down your dream and look at it daily
Writing down a goal is a magical thing. When you make it tangible, it’s like you’ve transformed your dream into a prophecy.

Write “I am a bestselling author” (or whatever your goal is) on an index card. Look at it every day. Live it and believe it. Work at that dream every single day, even if only for twenty minutes.

Because I have a full-time job and hobbies, the only time I had to write Ice Massacre was between 6am and 7am. I’m not a morning person, but by putting that index card over my alarm clock, I gave myself the motivation to leap out of bed and get to work on my dream. I promise you, it’s effective.
 
2. Understand that your first draft will suck
All right, I’m going to be honest with you. The first draft of anything I write is like, the worst thing ever. It’s like someone gave a chimpanzee a dictionary and a pen and wouldn’t feed him until he scribbled out enough words to form a full-length novel.

The second draft, however, is better. The third and fourth are pretty darn good. My point is, don’t be discouraged when your novel sucks after the first go-around. You can’t possibly make a fantastic story in only one draft—you need time to get to know the characters, to identify plot holes, to fix the fact that you used the word “sighed” eighty times in one chapter. Personally, it takes me at least seven drafts to get a novel right.
 
3. Study the craft of writing
A common reason why writers get stuck is that they hit a roadblock in their story. They’ve dug themselves into a plot hole, or they don’t know where to go next. I’ve probably read a thousand blog posts about writing over the last few years. There are endless resources to help you learn the craft, and I recommend that you subscribe to a few writing blogs and read at least one post every day.

Here are a few of my favorites:

· http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/ (She also has a podcast, which makes it easy to study writing while you're doing other things!)
· http://terribleminds.com/ramble/blog/
· http://thewritepractice.com/
· http://writershelpingwriters.net/
· http://moodywriting.blogspot.com/

* * *
Finishing your book comes down to working hard and believing in yourself. You don’t need to be the best writer in the world in order to write a good book—you just need to have a story to share and the drive to write it! 
Do you ever find it hard to finish a story? What tips and inspiration can you share?

3 Creativity-Boosting Tips for Writers

Have you ever sat up in the middle of the night to write down a sudden stroke of inspiration? Or made a quick voice memo to yourself? Maybe jotted down a plot twist idea while you’re supposed to be working or studying?
For a lot of writers, creativity comes in waves. This is great if those waves are thrashing around like stormy seas, but at some point a writer is bound to hit a flat spot. And not the kind of flat spot that’s great for water skiing. This is the kind that leaves you stuck in the middle of the lake wondering how the heck you’re ever going to get back to shore.

Here are three tips to keep those creativity waves coming.
 
1. Write first thing in the morning
Writing when you’re half asleep has some pretty cool effects. You’re still partially in dreamland when you first wake up in the morning, so you end up writing stuff that you wouldn’t otherwise think of. Besides, it genuinely sucks trying to sit down and be creative after you’ve had all the day’s energy leeched from you.

The wee hours of the morning are also interruption-free—and if your attention span is anywhere near as pathetic as mine, this is vital to getting anything done.
2. Go for the third thing you think of
This applies to the big picture (overall plot turns or the outcome of a big scene) just as much as it does to small, seemingly insignificant details (a prop in your character’s bedroom, or a snarky line of dialogue). The first thing you think of is too obvious, and probably a cliché. The second thing is ok, but come on, you can do better. The third? Now we’re getting somewhere.
 
3. Step back. You’re looking at it too closely.
Seriously bro, give that story some space! Some aspects of writing can really kill your creativity jam—like spending twenty minutes trying to come up with the perfect synonym for “stumbled”. If you find your creativity IV drip running dry, you need to step back a little. Look at your outline, story notes, logline, whatever. Remind yourself of the overall goal of your story, and the original purpose you set out to achieve. Even better: get inspired by reading some books by other authors.


* * *
Summoning creativity is often just a matter of letting yourself go. Get crazy! Write down something totally weird. Don’t try and write perfectly—that comes later, in the editing stage. For now, embrace those waves of creativity.

What about you? What creativity-boosting tips can you share?

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