Chronicles: Library of Illumination by CA Pack – Review Pending
Within the walls of a centuries-old building lies the magical Library of Illumination, a place where books literally come to life. 17-year-old Johanna Charette is the youngest curator ever chosen to oversee the day-to-day operation of the library and she knows, in case of trouble, having an assistant can be invaluable, so she hires 16-year-old Jackson Roth to give her a hand. Jackson gets off to a rocky start, but manages to prove his mettle. Besides, he’s kind of cute and a lot of fun.
Johanna is charming and brilliant—and a natural born leader. She keeps the library operating on an even keel. Jackson is clever and intrepid. He relies on his wits to keep them out of danger when trouble arises. Unfortunately, his derring-do is one of the reasons why they sometimes find themselves in awkward situations. So it shouldn’t be any surprise when his wanton curiosity sparks a journey to a distant realm, where they end up with front row seats in a battle against an ancient foe.
- Why didn’t you become a policeman instead of a writer?
I have lousy aim. Although, if I’d joined the police force, I would probably have a lot of inside information to use writing crime fiction and police procedurals, so I may have ended up a writer anyway. I think wanting to write is an inherent trait. You just start writing at an early age and know it’s part of what makes you whole. Besides, too many innocent people would be hurt if I were a cop—involved in a shootout. The world should thank me for limiting my firearms to imaginary ones.
- If you could only tell one story in your life, what would it be?
Awww.. come on. I could never limit myself to one story. I have way too much imagination. Even Chronicles: The Library of Illumination isn’t limited to one story—which is why I love writing it so much. I’m the kid whose friends used to call and say, “tell me a story,” because they thought I could spin tales about their lives better than they could. I did their daydreaming for them. If I were limited to one theme, it would probably be “good” overcoming “evil,” but that lends itself to so many stories. However, limiting myself to telling just one story in my life – impossible.
- Apples or pears?
Wrong choice. It should be Apples or Androids and I would choose Apples every time. However, since it is apples vs. pears—I still choose apples. Now if you had asked “Apples or bananas…”
- Which of your own characters would you like to meet and why?
I’d love to meet Mal because he’s seen so much. He’s 800 years old when he hands control of the Library of Illumination over to Johanna, and considering all the literature being created during his tenure as curator of the library, he couldn’t be boring if he tried. Johanna and Jackson are young and sexy, but Mal has character, and we get to see a lot of it because he time travels, and corresponds through his diary. So we meet him when he’s 800 but doesn’t look a day over 80. And then we see him again when he’s 140 but doesn’t look a day over 25 (and if you want to know how he manages that, you’ll have to wait until the next novelette in the series, The Overseer, is released). The way I see it, if Johanna and Jackson are the “pages” of Chronicles: The Library of Illumination, Mal is the spine. He holds everything together—even though he’s a secondary character.
- How would you like the world to end?
End it! Who wants it to end it? It’s just getting to be fun. I imagine an asteroid will probably trash it some day, but I hope I’m not around because I would not like to witness the devastation. When it does happen, I hope everyone is painlessly vaporized before they even know what’s going on, because in the event of a life-ending catastrophe, knowing about and anticipating the doom would be far worse than the end itself. Imagination is powerful and would create a lot more terror than the actual end of days. I guess the short answer to your question is—suddenly.
- Which genre do you wish you could write, and why?
I love mysteries. My stories may have elements of mystery or suspense in them, but I don’t write the Agatha Christie kind of English cozy mysteries I love to read. I also enjoy thrillers, but I think I’d be exhausted from amping up the action on every page. I’ve tried my hand at writing both, but I prefer writing fantasy because I can take any genre and re-imagine it without being limited to the physical laws of life as we know them.
- You’re stuck on an island with only three things: A knife, a match and a stick. What would you do to survive?
Depends on the island. Oahu could be nice. Barring that, I’d probably set the stick on fire with the match, and if no one saw my signal and came to save me, I’d slit my wrists with the knife. I’m not the type to shinny up trees looking for coconuts, spear fish, or cut down and weave vines into a hammock. Robinson Crusoe … is not a distant relative.
- Which of the following would you rather have stalking you through the night: A vampire, a werewolf, or Stephen King?
Stephen King, of course. As a writer, I’d love to pick his brain. The man is brilliant. He once wrote, “Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” How cool is that? I could learn so much from him. Maybe I should be the one doing the stalking…
- Who is the best villain you’ve ever read, and why?
Frankenstein’s monster was such a complex character, you could relate to him while you abhorred the things he did. In Mary Shelley’s book, she devised a creature who was so upset at being rejected by his creator and then being denied a female companion to go through life with, that he goes on a rampage destroying everything Victor Frankenstein holds dear. But as you read the novel, you learn how the monster tried to better himself, and how he learned to read. He may not have been pretty, and he may have killed wantonly, but in so many aspects he was more erudite and human than the man who created him. He’s a wonderful villain—a wonderful character.
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