Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.

In 2020

First Lines

    1. I wake up the same way I fell asleep: knife in hand, boots for a pillow, and Nameless.
    2. Nothing stinks quite like a corpse.
    3. The office is cool and sparsely decorated.
    4. The demon appears out of nowhere.
    5. I was eighteen years old, give or take a fairy-tale century, when I had my first kiss.
    6. I’m dead set on living my one life right, but I can’t say the same for my brother.
    7. Robin woke from another nightmare of trees and flame and gulped a deep breath as if she’d surfaced from the ocean.
    8. The rattling buzz of a bush plane awoke her that morning and, as it just so happened, Elisabeth had been dreaming of her sister.
    9. ‘Anna. Annacska. Wake up, my sweet.’
    10. I was in my sixth month when the girl came knocking.
    11. It’s a curious thing, to watch a town fall to the dead.
    12. This day is made for sailing.
    13. Another question mark bloomed on Celia’s forearm, bigger and bolder than the others.
    14. An east wind blew through his tangled hair, as soft and fragrant as Cersei’s fingers.
    15. The last two were a girl and her father who lived along the old eastern range on the side of a mountain they called the mountain that stands alone.
    16. The night it all ended, Vivian was alone.
    17. They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart.
    18. The prophet was drowning men on Great Wyk when they came to tell him that the king was dead.
    19. It was clearly his fault I’d punched him in the face.
    20. The frog wasn’t Tala’s fault this time.
    21. She is not mad.
    22. The day the Regalia Games truly began for me started out like any other.
    23. Two wine glasses are on the coffee table, evidence of a romantic night.
    24. The swallows skipped like flat stones across the surface of the infinity pool, their wings spread, and a lone woman in a gauzy beach coverup–what she might have called a kaftan if that word didn’t sound so matronly–watched them.
    25. In the long years of his existence, the number of times he had been summoned from Jigoku could be counted on one claw.
    26. Eight years of poison and murder and shit.
    27. My daughter didn’t have to testify against me.
    28. He drank his way across the narrow sea.
    29. Through the chilly curtain of sleet, in the intermittent wash of the great light on the jutting cliff to the south, the massive silhouette of bluff House loomed over Whiskey Beach.
    30. Preparations had taken weeks.
    31. In 1988, George H. W. Bush had just won the presidential election by inviting everyone to read his lips while Michael Dukakis lost it by riding in a tank.
    32. The Drain looked the same every time, with all the people screaming as they ran away from the giant dark cloud of chaos but never running fast enough.
    33. An evil transportation-hating monster had devoured my plane.
    34. I was dead. And then I wasn’t.
    35. Serefin Meleski inhabited the sliver of night that was rife for betrayal.
    36. I liked to think I was too emotionally evolved to get into an altercation at a one-gate airport involving a box of imported succulents and obscene gestures.
    37. I once believed that the hardest thing I would ever face would be a mountain of dirty laundry or polishing every piece of silver in my employer’s house, and then I was sent to finishing school.
    38. I got a story to tell you.
    39. The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief.
    40. I am Ana.
    41. ‘The gates are just ahead,’ said Gregor.
    42. The blood on my hands is sticky.
    43. ‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ began Professor Damian Bieleć, ‘we live among legends.
    44. It’s a good day for shark hunting.
    45. Not so many years ago, Shenya the Widow was a void-cold killer.
    46. Alexander Hamilton claimed Nevis in the British West Indies as his birthplace, although no surviving records substantiate this.
    47. Astrid Strick had never liked Barbara Baker, not for a single day of their forty-year acquaintance, but when Barbara was hit and killed by the empty, speeding school bus at the intersection of Main and Morrison streets on the eastern side of the town roundabout, Astrid knew that her life had changed, the shock of which was indistinguishable from relief.
    48. The shaking started around three in the morning, and it happened that I was already awake because I’d nursed Owen at two, and then, instead of going back to sleep, I’d lain there brooding about the fight I’d had at lunch with my sister, Vi.
    49. The first thing they did was show their tits.
    50. If you were to ask me what I liked most about being an up-and-coming criminal in the year 2056, I’d probably point you to the simple things.
    51. It was the time of year when the sunrise still had frost on it.
    52. I like to imagine there were more of us in the beginning.
    53. If it had been a normal launch, they would have made a spectacle of it all.
    54. It’s rare that a story begins at the beginning.
    55. From the moment he’d seen the results of his aptitude testing at the age of thirteen, Jalzarnin Rah-Griffolm had set his sights on one day being named the Lord High Priest of Khalpar, and he had never for a moment doubted his destiny.
    56. War has often been called a game, with good reason.
    57. “The disruptor blast hits the Betraskan right in her chest.”
    58. When Liam Sullivan died, at the age of ninety-two, in his sleep, in his own bed with his wife of sixty-five years beside him, the world mourned.
    59. The morning one of the lost twins returned to Mallard, Lou LeBon ran to the diner to break the news, and even now, many years later, everyone remembers the shock of sweaty Lou pushing through the glass doors, chest heaving, neckline darkened with his own effort.
    60. ” ‘Snoopy’s out again,’ Private Hillman said.”
    61. On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957–the very day, in fact, that Dwight David Eisenhower took the oath of office for the second time as President of the United States of America–Sarah Dewhurst waited with her father in the parking lot of the Chevron gas station for the dragon he’d hired to help on the farm.
    62. It is a time of famine, a time of hungering want that threatens to eat you from the inside out, leaving you good only to wait for the coming of death.
    63. A light chill rain but she doesn’t want to come inside just yet.
    64. I blinked open achy, swollen eyes and stared straight at the pale, translucent face of a ghost.
    65. Her name was Magda.
    66. Little Thomas didn’t have time to finish his stewed apples.
    67. ‘Hold still!’ Fleur barks. ‘I might cut you.’
    68. “Cricket was sure of only one thing.”