Thursday, November 10, 2011

Energy by MJ Schutte

Energy by MJ Schutte.

Energy is a novel written within the fantasy genre.

Rating
I give this a book a 6/5 star rating.
How and why?
Simple.  Not only would I recommend this book to any fantasy reader. I would proudly buy it as a present for my dearest friends. Thus the 6 star rating.

Book synopsis:
Energy is the story of the boy next door.  Brighton, the hero of the story together with his one true love, Lillian. He was brought up in a secluded farming community cut of from the outside world. It takes the loss of Lillian to get Brighton to leave his childhood home to try and find her.

In her stead, he learns that what he is capable of, by means of the manipulation of energy, is not normal. In fact in a world where a select few can take energy from others by will, Brighton is truly exceptional. He need not take energy by force from other human beings. The Supremes and their offspring, the dark ones lead him back to Lillian and his first battle with evil.

But only in death comes true understanding of how to use his ability.

Review:
I loved the story of Brighton with Lily and their friends and foes. Velvet and Mischief, mother and son Panthers play such a large role in the story that it is unmistakable that MJ Schutte not only has a passion for nature and wild life, he has an uncanny ability to share this passion with his readers.

Other supporting characters such as Thomas, Adri and Brac are portrayed in such a manner that the reader can easily put titles to them such as my uncle, my sister etc.

The characterization of Brighton and Lilly is brilliant. MJ Schutte has a rare and true talent in that he can realistically age his characters. Upon first meeting Brighton and Lillian they are 16 and 13 respectively. The dialogue between them and other characters are indeed what one would expect of a 16 year old boy and a 13 year old girl. By the end of the book we leave the characters at the age of 21 and 19. After all they have been through and all they have experienced the childhood naivety is gone.

In the start of Energy I kept thinking of Brighton as being smart in a dumb kind of way. By the final battle in Energy Brighton has matured and his battle is against himself and his own sense of morality.

Any reader of Energy will soon fall in love with the world and the characters within the book. I was left with the impression that MJ Schutte truly loves this world and its inhabitants and that for him it’s not a creation or a product of his imagination but a story told of friends loved dearly.

MJ has a truly unique and fresh story line as well as writing style. He breaks with many a tradition in the fantasy genre. His defiance of tradition in this genre alone makes this a journey I would reco
mmend.
Interview:

Sorry guys, I did not realize I was this nosy.  I would have removed some of these questions but since I wanted to know the answers, I decided that you may want to know the answer to some of these questions as well.

I asked:
You break from several traditions pertaining to Fantasy. So here is my one and only question in this regard.  - Your time line in Energy is really fast paced, much more than what I as a reader is used to in Fantasy. Brighton and Lilly is put in several different scenarios and their lives play of more in "real time" than in fantasy time. Personally I found this a delightful change. What made you decide to break from tradition in this way?

MJ’s answer:
Although I love fantasy, I am also a realist. Things like time and distance have to make sense.
This is actually a small part of the "reality" of Energy. In my heart, I believe in magic but my logical mind says that it has to come from somewhere. Nothing can come from nothing.
If a wizard is going to do something magical, the power or energy to do that has to come from somewhere.

I asked:
Your love for nature and balance is clear through out Energy. What inspired this passion for nature?

MJ’s answer:
It probably comes from my parents. They love nature even more than I do! I am currently involved in a project with my sister called "Save Rhinos Today". It's a Face book page dedicated to fighting rhino poaching and raising money by means of a book auction for this noble cause.
The address is www.facebook.com/saverhinostoday

I asked:
What for you personally, is the scariest part of being an author?

MJ’s answer:
Putting my work out there and hoping the readers will like it.

I asked:
What is the single wildest thing (which you can share with us) that you have ever done?

MJ’s answer:
I went on holiday with a very good friend, Louis, when I was 18. We did not book any accommodation or have a specific plan in mind. We simply got in his Mini and drove. Some nights we slept on the beach or under an airplane wing, some nights we simply slept in the little car! We went down the Sani Pass (the Border between Lesotho and South Africa) with almost no brakes. At the top there is a sign that states "Four by Four vehicles only".

It was truly an adventure to remember!
I asked:
If you then what you know now, would you have started writing earlier in life? 

MJ’s answer:
Honestly, I don't think so. I had to live through certain things, good and bad, to be the person I am today. I learnt the hard way to follow my dreams means a lot of hard work and
sacrifice. If I had written Energy ten years ago, I may have given up before the book was finished.

I asked:
Your second book "Birth of a Wizard is already with your editors. How many books do you plan to write in this series?

MJ’s answer:
From the start, I planned to write three books in the series. As soon as Birth of a Wizard is released, I am going to start writing the final book.

I asked:
Is there more Brighton’s and Lilly's dancing around in your imagination?  Can we expect another fantasy series by the soon best selling author MJ Schutte?

MJ’s answer:
Writing is something I enjoy immensely. Although I have not thought about more books once the Energy series is done, I cannot see myself never writing again.
Yes, I will continue writing as long as readers continue to read my work.

I asked:
If you could teach your children one lesson only. What would that lesson be?

MJ’s answer
Integrity. Always follow through on promises you have made.


I asked:
Describe for us your idea of the perfect day?

MJ’s answer
Writing 5000 words, having ice cream with my children and falling asleep with my wife in my arms.

Useless information:
Anybody that knows me knows that I love what I call useless information. You know the type. That information that would cost you the $1 million dollar question type of useless information: so here is a bit of useless information pertaining to two of my favorite characters in Energy - Velvet and Mischief. In real life they are cats living in the Schutte household. Velvet is apparently the queen of the neighborhood and no dog would dare to take her on in a one on one fight. Mischief is the house cat and scared of her own shadow!!!! Imagine that. Especially if you've read Energy!
Oh and ps.  I will be terribly remiss if I dont thank Denise Jones.  She checks my spelling and grammar on all of these reviews for me.  Any mistakes is mine.  I tend to send her a review to check and then when I get it back I change this sentence or add that.......
Thanks Denise.

4 comments:

  1. Love your interview questions Wanda. They are so unique. You give real insight into MJ. And now I can't wait to read Energy. Thank you

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  2. You will not believe it, it took me almost an hour to figure out how to answer your comment!!! I am such a dufus. What is worse I dont know what I am doing differently now.... Thanks for the positive comment. I am sure MJ will appreciate it as well,

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  3. Loved your review and the interview Wanda. Very original and unique! If I haven't read "Energy" yet, I would've gone out and bought it the minute I finished reading the review.
    And to everybody else - you HAVE to read "Energy"! It is everything Wanda says it is and it sure as heck deserves its six stars!!!

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  4. True BookBay, it is an excellent read!

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