Ascent of the Nebula



I bought this book the moment it came out and have been dying to read it ever since. I thought perhaps I should brush up on the events of books 1 and 2, and I got halfway through my re-read of Into the Vast and then… I think I got busy, or we had visitors, and then I may have gone to the library and picked up a bunch of other books and sort of forgotten about it. And then I kept putting of Ascent because I really wanted to re-read the first two books, but re-reading books, even books I love, is harder for me these days when my reading time is so limited.

Anyway, all that to say… I finally decided to just go ahead and read Ascent, because I couldn’t wait any longer (lots of self-control have I, when it comes to books!) Part of what brought on this decision was that I got to take a mini-vacation ALL BY MYSELF the first weekend of October to go to a friend’s wedding, and I had plenty of time during long layovers and in airplanes to get some serious, uninterrupted reading done. What bliss! So I spent much of my time reading Ascent of the Nebula by DJ Edwardson.

This Book.

Seriously, if you haven’t read this trilogy, you need to. It is so beautifully written and the story and the writing just get better and better with each book. I enjoyed Into the Vast, and I really liked Through the Viscera, but I can honestly say that I LOVED Ascent of the Nebula!

I have been waiting for a very long time to find out who Adan is, and there were definitely moments in Through the Viscera where I feared that the author might hold out on us readers with this bit of info. However, Ascent of the Nebula does not disappoint, and I got a fully satisfying wrap-up to Adan’s story… both a glimpse of his future, and a good grasp of who he was in his past. There are of course some mysteries left with answers only hinted at, but on the whole, the trilogy is very neatly completed.

The world of Nai (the name of the planet) is so well-crafted. Lots of thought and effort was obviously put into building it, and it was a true pleasure to return to that world and learn more about it and its inhabitants. There were plenty of old familiar faces, and a few new ones, as well.

How I picture Nai (the world of the Vast) Photo Cred: Cheyne Gallard @

How I picture Nai (the world of the Vast)
Photo Cred: Cheyne Gallard @

There were things in this story that made me laugh out loud (luckily, nobody could hear me on the plane). There were moments that reduced me to tears. And there were moments where I just had to pause and soak in the words because they were so true, or so poignant. One of the things I love about these books is how the author uses them to subtly point to God. Known as Numinae in the world of the Vast, there are many conversations about Him and who He is. And while they would be hard to miss, I never felt like they beat me about the head the way some can come across. Because of the nature of who Adan is and what he’s been through, much of the explanation-style conversations he has with others makes sense in a way it wouldn’t with another character.

One thing I would not recommend… I would not recommend blitzing through the first 29 chapters, and then get so busy that a week goes by before you pick up the book again in chapter 30. Because I did that, and I got a little confused. You see… some of the characters’ names change rather suddenly in chapter 30… and since they don’t really realize their names have changed, there is no fanfare about it… and I wasn’t sure at first if I was reading about new characters or not. I did start to suspect what was going on rather quickly even so… but I think it would have been less confusing if there hadn’t been a week in between those particular chapters. Unlike some readers, it doesn’t bother me too much if a character changes his or her name partway through the book… and that does happen a time or two. So be warned. But it all happens for a reason and eventually makes sense.

Truly. This is pure science fiction in its highest form. I tend to prefer my sci-fi a little bit closer to the fantasy end of the spectrum, but I cannot recommend this trilogy highly enough. If you enjoy sci-fi, if you love made-up technology that maybe, someday, could be a reality, if you love space battles and rooting for characters as they face overwhelming odds, if you enjoy the writing styles of some of the more classical sci-fi authors like Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert, but you’d like to read that style of author from somebody who holds the worldview of C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien… then you really don’t want to miss these books!

If you’d like to know more about this series, you can read my previous reviews:

Into the Vast

Through the Viscera

Five Dragon Eggs. No question.



~ jenelle

Spooky Stories Blog Challenge


Looky there! I even got a nifty little graphic made… such as it were, with my serious lack of graphic-designing skills. But this is just a fun little exercise, after all, so no need to make a big fuss and bother. Anne Elisabeth held one of these a few years ago and it was really fun. So, I thought I’d resurrect the idea for a little additional October fun.

Here’s how you can participate – it’s really very simple:

1. Write a spooky story (3,000 words or less)

2. Post the story on your blog by October 31st (UPDATE/EDIT: If you do not have a blog, but can post it on Google + or Facebook or some other place where we can go to read it, that is perfectly fine as well!)

3. Fill out the Linky List below so we can all read and enjoy your stories!

4. You are welcome to write as many stories as you want.

5. Have fun!

See? Simple! Super, simple, spooky stories.

(I like alliteration)

I will be posting  my story pretty close to October 31st, but feel free to join in whenever throughout the month of October.

Some prompt ideas:

It was under the bed/in the closet - what scared you after lights-out as a child?

Going trick-or-treating - tell a story that starts out with someone heading out to go trick or treating…

The old haunted house on your street - everyone had one, an abandoned or just creepy looking house on the street where you lived (or had to pass by on your way home from somewhere) the one where you crossed the street and walked on the opposite side of the road…

At the bottom of the lake - that “head for the shore” sensation you sometimes have while swimming in deep water that you can’t quite control…

Monsters - tell a story about a mythical monster (bigfoot, ghosts, etc)

But most of all, have fun!

~ jenelle

September Ishness

September was quite the whirlwind around here! But I, for one, am quite happy it is October. It’s fun having something to look forward to every weekend, but it’s also nice to have the schedule wide open again with room for some margin.

Ishness is a monthly blog-theme created by Deborah @Road of a Writer


Of course the big excitement of the month was the Expo. If you signed up for my newsletter, you’ve already heard about it, but let me explain… no, there is too much, let me sum up. *grins*


There’s my snazzy set-up! My awesome husband designed my beautiful banner and bookmarks (you can’t see them real well in the picture, but they’re cool), and my Daddy built the book display stand. The rest I threw together from some fun items I had.

I’ve never been to a comic-con before, so I had no idea what to expect. But it was a total blast. I even sold a few books, so that was a definite bonus! And now I’m all set up for the next one (no plans in the immediate future, I need a bit of a breather) but having things like the banner and the bookmarks and a square-up device so I can take cards are all good things I’ve been needing whether we sold anything or not.

If any of you are curious about any tips/tricks I learned, I figured I’d share the ones I put in my newsletter:

  • Bring a cooler full of food and beverages - especially if you don’t have someone with you who can run and get real food! I had a constant supply of snacks, water, and gatorade under my table so I didn’t have to worry about getting too hungry or thirsty
  • Do your research - make sure that the event you want to vend at lines up thematically with your own content
  • Host a giveaway - even if it’s just a giveaway of an e-copy of your book, this can generate interest in your product, and gives you something to offer to anyone who passes by
  • Have some free items on your table - for example, I had a bowl of chocolates and bookmarks. By the second day of the Con, I started asking anyone who passed by, “Want some chocolate? It’s free! All you have to do is take a book mark!” This generally led them to ask how much the book marks were, to which I responded, “They’re free, too!” Most of my longer conversations started with this hook.
  • Leave your introverted side at home - you might have to step out of your comfort zone a bit, but being a vendor means that you are going to have to start a lot of the conversations. For some of you, this is not hard… but for this very shy introvert, it was the hardest part of the weekend!
  • Take what wins you can - despite all the research, despite all your preparation, you may end up losing more money than you make… but if you can say at the end of the Con that more people know who you are as an author than did before… well, that’s still a win in my book!

Let’s see, what else? We celebrated Brantland’s 2nd birthday, that was super fun.

I sent out my very first-ever Newsletter! I plan to do that once per season – and it will include some fun content I won’t be posting on the blog – and will also be the first place you can hear about any upcoming new releases, so if you’re interested in getting those, make sure to sign up for it over in the side-bar.

My brother and sister-in-love came out for a visit and we enjoyed hanging out with them and watching silly tv shows and generally just laughing a lot.

The school year is chugging along, and we’re staying on track for the most part and having fun learning.

We announced the up-coming release of our FOURTH child, expected sometime in April. So that was exciting.


Didn’t have a lot of time to read in September. The only thing I read for fun was When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke, a reread, but still a good one, and a fairly easy, light, charming read…. which is pretty much what I was in the mood for, so that was good.


The Cubs mop the floor with just about every team they played. So excited about the post-season!

Watched through the entire two seasons of When Calls the Heart on Netflix. Super charming. Very little resemblance to the book, but extremely sweet and well-written.

Couple of episodes of various shows: Chronicles of Shannara – I enjoy the premise and love the books, but the MTV creation bleeds through a bit too much every now and then. Supergirl – starting out okay, but the jury’s still out. Stranger Things – not sure about this one, but I do love all the hat tips to the 80s. Heartland – pretty cute, not super deep, but charming in its own way… and horses!!!!

Rewatched Batman V Superman, and enjoyed it even more the second time through.

Watched The Secret Garden and A Little Princess with the kiddos. They enjoyed both movies, which made me happy.



Seriously. Not only did the blog suffer, but all writing attempts on my part fell into the realm of lackluster, half-hearted, and boring. I tried to write during some down-time at the Expo… and… it did not go well, to say the least. I’ve been dealing with some serious writer’s block this past month, and it is no fun at all. I’ve also been struggling with motivation and any sort of desire to write, so I kind of ended up accidentally taking the month off.

I did have a break-through recently, but it was technically already October, so it can’t count for September Ishness.


As you already noticed, I kind of went on a blogging hiatus, as well. Sorry about that. Just participated in the Small Is Beautiful blog tag, and finally wrote up my numerous and muddled thoughts on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which has been a very popular post – not my most popular by a long shot, but already in the top 50 most-viewed posts, and it’s competing with some posts that have been around for a very long time, so that’s actually more impressive than it sounds.

October Plans

I am not sure what October holds, to be honest. I have a nice big stack o’ books on my shelf to read, but I have no ability to determine how many of them will actually get read this month. I had a bit of a break-through on the author front, and am hopeful that it lasts. I am starting to feel a little bit better on the morning-sickness front, so maybe that will help. At least, I hope it does!

I definitely plan to be around the blog more frequently.

But mostly, I am hoping to just enjoy the beautiful Autumnal weather and relax after last month’s whirlwind of craziness.

I’d love to hear from you, Dear Reader. How was YOUR September? Any fun October plans? Are any of you planning to do Nanowrimo this year? How are you preparing for that?

~ jenelle