Here is the latest 5 star review of my book, which you can download and read for free on Smashwords. Here is the link to the free book:
Christi Massey’s Reviews > Grand Theft Life
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I am excited to have found Ottessa and I very much respect her as a contemporary. She has a unique voice and her characters are so flawed and human, all of them. I found this story to be incredibly compelling out the gate! I was happy to be inside Eileen’s head, as she has some wild imagination in her train wreck of a life. The characters around her were no less compelling, especially as she sized each one of them up. I will be reading more books by this author, the next being My Year of Rest and Relaxation. I’m currently reading this book in paperback, which is a pleasant change after so many e-books. Only problem is I have to use a headlamp after dark. Anyways, it’s the kind of thing I could see Eileen doing. Wearing a headlamp while reading in the attic, and her dad coming up there to call her names and her wishing he would get struck in the head by a falling icicle. The only major disappointment of this story to me was the ending. I don’t know exactly why I was disappointed. Something about the use of the narrator as an older woman looking back on her life didn’t work for me. And just the outcome of the story didn’t work for me. It wasn’t really credible or natural an ending. Nevertheless, I was left feeling happy I picked the book up and for sure would recommend it to some people but not my parents. They don’t like the stories I write, either. So that’s a real compliment.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: The book is character-driven, told from the perspective of a young woman who is struggling to makes sense of her life, unable to deny her shared DNA with the tribe that abducted her, and caught between those competing for her love and attention, particularly Maze and her best friend, Bless. The narrative is first person colloquial, flavored with attitude, a coming of age thread woven through it. Ame makes an honest attempt to recreate herself in the margins of society, and discovers she has inherited superpowers. I have been told (and close to 100 total reviews of my work on Goodreads and Amazon combined, which average 4 out of 5 stars, agree) that my writing style is unique, lyrical and even groundbreaking. Not everyone is into it, so be sure and read the samples beforehand or try the freebie on Smashwords.
Amazon customer: “Katya’s sui-generis style is like reading poetry with it’s own unique rhythm and cadence; like deciphering a new secret language (much like I felt first reading Frank McCourt). Once you have attuned to the pulse, you feel let in to the secret world of those seeking the Tangy Energetic; you are now on the inside, you are one of them. Katya takes you on a journey where you discover what is like to be different, from the dark origins of beginnings – to the heady days of everyday life; playing, seeking, surviving, using, living among humans, helping, energizing, questioning, and experiencing the thrill and torment of loving the one, or two, that captivate the heart.”
Amazon customer: “I’ve read her first in the Daughter of Darkness series, called Grand Theft Life and this book, Maze, like the first novella in this series proves to be about much more than an urban fantasy… to me it’s about love, fear, friendship, loyalty, learning, introspection, hope, mystery, fantasy, reality. All of this is being brought to us in the first two books of the series, Daughter Of Darkness… along with lots of juicy, fun filled, introspective, rhythmical flowing prose, expressing thoughts and perspectives on our world and life within it. Katya writes about very interesting characters and in a style so rich and poetry prose filled that it almost makes you forget the unfolding plot, fed to us slowly and teasingly as we get to know life on the street with Ame and her friends.”
Katya Mills is an Independent author, self-published with several books to her name. She hopes to become a ‘Hybrid’ author and is currently seeking representation. She’s proud to say there are now close to 100 total reviews of her work on Goodreads and Amazon combined, averaging better than 4 out of 5 stars… The link to the full interview is located here: Snowflakes Arise
A cliffhanging sequel that can be admired as a standalone., February 16, 2017
This review is from: Maze (Daughter of Darkness Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Some top-class writing is on display from Katya Mills. She picks up the story of Ame, and introduces a new character with Kell, a young woman raised on the Texas border and forced to flee to Oakland. The similarities between Ame and Kell do not end at exile to a new life. Kell acts as both a mirror and new set of eyes for Ame. Meanwhile, we also hear about Maze’s story.
Ame’s bad-boy skater dude love interest has a lot going on beneath the surface, and it’s not all good. Indeed, there’s lots of subtle interactivity in the various relationships we’ve been introduced to over the two-book series. There’s a cliffhanger in this too – but as a standalone slice-of-life involving supernatural beings, this is some great and unique stuff.
The (e)book can be purchased here: MAZE on AMAZON
Get a vivid picture of the work camp life in Siberia from a great author who was sent there and subjected to horrors most people could not survive. Solzhenitsyn’s triumph over his bitter and cruel life circumstance gave him a second lease on life, as he made he way to New England and lived out the remainder of his life in respectable fashion, known the world over and cherished for his spirit and writings. The story and history of Russia and Russian literature cannot be whole without mentioning the tragedy of the hundreds of thousands of intellectuals, activists, artists, citizens, and poets who were ‘disappeared’ by an authoritarian regime. This resounding text, The Gulag Archipelago, is a must read to round out the picture – the reality – and honor those who suffered and never made it home. Solzhenitsyn lived to tell, and became not only author but historian. Hopefully after reading this work, you will become excited (as I was) to locate the many other great works of his contemporaries. There is a treasure chest of art, poetry and literature. Brilliant lives, abbreviated and extinguished. One quality will surely be enhanced by reading Solzhenitsyn: a deeper appreciation for the great freedoms of speech and expression!
The book is overall an easy read and almost like watching tabloid television, what with all the misfit mortgage-backed security salespeople and the anecdotal narrative. I had a lot of laughs. It is helpful to hit the ground floor running as there is a lot of industry jargon. I briefly worked an institutional sales floor -in a past life- and you can tell the author was in the business; this is an inside job. I think the character Mark ‘Eggs’ Igino may be a foil for the author. He’s the new guy who seems to have both talent and a conscience, and we hang our hopes on him to maybe find a way out of an ultimately degrading profession. Everyone’s in the game for quick money and devoting a few solid years (body, mind and soul) to ‘the company’ for financial security for themselves and their families. The company gets to treat them like dogshit. They bounce you at any time for any reason with 15 minutes notice. They bark at you like a boot camp drill sergeant. They spy on you and steal your phone records, all in the name of protecting trade secrets. They use your vices and vulnerabilities against you to keep you docile in your chair for 12+ hours a day. The author tracks the lives of several company men and women and they do indeed have the elements of the horror stories we hear about a life in high finance (misogyny, greed, deception, adultery, addiction). All wrapped up in a closed system of money chasing money in an abstract, global, electronic market. One of the telling moments is when Igino demands to hold a real-live paper bond in his hands so he can see what he’s really selling – the company is horrified! Good luck getting out because your ass is owned!
Sometimes the saddest things make for great laughs. Augusten’s memoir is like that. He could have painted his childhood in brooding, sentimental brushstrokes. The abandonment. Mental illness. The manipulation. But he edited out his ego and left us with absurdity. The peculiar absurdity which comes with tragic circumstance like fast food come with fries. Neither is really good for your health. I got sick with him. And broke out in laughs.
Kay Jamison has spent most of her adult life studying mood disorders and living with bipolar illness. In this memoir, she faithfully shares her experience. She takes us inside a manic episode as she remembers it, and then the subsequent deep depression. Even breathing becomes a chore. She details the times she spun out and how the beauty of the world through fresh mania soon becomes lost in a whirlwind of racing thoughts and confusion. Anyone who has needed medication may relate to the resistance to taking it Kay describes so well, and the consequences of refusing meds when you need them. For years she started and stopped Lithium, and even when she knew she needed it, she would stop when either she fell dreamy in love with the memory of her mania, or the side effects became too much to bear. Turns out she was on a much higher dose than she needed. But the side effects of Lithium were nothing compared with the devastation which came of allowing her mania to resurface. Her marriage and friendships were poisoned. She maxed out her credit cards. Her professional life suffered. She wanted to end her life.
Miraculously, with the help of family and friends and therapy and meds, she was able to run a mood disorder clinic at UCLA, gain tenure, and today stands as a highly regarded clinician at Johns Hopkins. But most importantly she survived it all. Bipolar illness, aka manic-depression (although the latter usage has fallen out of fashion in diagnostic circles, she believes it sums up the experience), takes lives. People get attached to their mania, they dream of their mania, and some never come around to accepting they need meds. This book is a must read for anyone with bipolar illness.