Joseph Evans grew up in Cardiff, South Wales, UK, where he spent his childhood playing video games and watching anime. Reluctant to read for a lot of years, it was his love of Japanese animation that got him hooked, as his mum saw the book jackets for Chris Wooding’s Broken Sky series and bought him the first one as a gift when he was fourteen. He had read the odd book now and again before, but had never been so enthralled and captivated as he was by Broken Sky. Soon he began devouring the rest of the teenage fiction shelves and was introduced to the life changing His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, and the masterpiece that is Harry Potter.
Joseph had always loved drawing and making music as a child, but with his new love of books, he began writing too, first short stories, then longer beginnings of novels. By the time he was sixteen, he had over a hundred pages written of a novel named The Unwanted Continent, but hadn’t planned the story beforehand, and became completely stuck (never mind being slightly distracted by his GCSEs).
At the end of sixth form college he began work on a second novel, Setasha, which he continued writing while at university studying Interactive Media. Ultimately his studies overshadowed the book (probably for the best, as he ended up with a 1st class!) and it suffered, once more, from a lack of planning.
On leaving university, Joseph got a job working part time in a bookshop alongside doing freelance CGI and visual effects for television shows and other projects. It was here amongst the books that he met the love of his life, Charlotte.
When the recession hit, and visual effects work dried up, Joseph grabbed an empty notebook and said to himself ‘This is it. This is the time to write my novel.’
It took him six months, between bookselling days, to plan the novel that would become City of the Falling Sky, and a further year and a half to write it.
Joseph still works as a bookseller today, and over the years he has had countless parents and teenagers approach him to ask, ‘what can you recommend?’ And although he has enjoyed books since, there are only a very small selection of books that he can truly recommend in terms of sheer reading pleasure, and the top of that selection is, unashamedly, Harry Potter.
Harry Potter was Joseph’s biggest inspiration when writing the first book in the Seckry Sequence (readers will undoubtedly see the similarities in regards to the structure of the book spanning one year of Seckry’s school life, and Friction being as important to Seckry as Quidditch is to Harry.) He wanted to write a book about characters that you would want to be friends with, a book in who’s world you would love to live.
Joseph’s love of all things electronic and the video game culture he grew up in also had a massive impact on City of the Falling Sky and writing about Seckry’s adventures in such a city felt like the most natural thing in the world. Seckry was always there, waiting for his story to be told.
Joseph loves writing The Seckry Sequence because it is the series he has always wanted to read.
He hopes you will love it too.
on Dec. 04, 2011 :
I have to sum the book up in one word "WOW!" but let me tell you why. The book grabbed me from the first page with vivid scenes, great characters and a little bit of Harry Potter in a futuristic way. I really liked Seckery, he was your typical 16-year-old boy who lived in a world where you had to fend for yourself to get by. The novel had multiple story-lines that was intermingled in a way that was not confusing.The author was able to make the characters real and believable with twists and turns that kept me engaged and interested.
Although, I did find a couple grammatical errors throughout the book, they did not hinder my enjoyment of the book. If you are a gamer, you will enjoy the book. The author has a vivid imagination and the way he described the virtual world of Friction intrigued me. I wish I could enter the world and play the game. This is a great YA novel and I look forward to book two in the series.
(review of free book)
on Nov. 10, 2011 :
I didn’t stop reading until it was over. Not to eat, not to sleep … due to the light weight of the kindle, I didn’t even have to stop to pee. Let’s all just be glad that I didn’t have to work today, or I think I would have been fired while trying to sneak glances between … you know … what it is I do.
Although the writing is simplistic at times – it is, I believe, geared for YA audiences – it is engaging, descriptive, inventive, and clever. The main character, Sekry, is whole and utterly human. I really empathized with his pain and his frustration, and I really celebrated his joy. The author has done a great job of creating a world detailed and consistent enough to allow a true suspension of disbelief, melding elements of science fiction and fantasy into a classically-styled storyline.
My qualms with the book were few and far between. I think I noticed, at some point, a total of two typos – although I was way too enthralled with the book to linger on them or even write them down for reference. I didn’t like the names assigned to various characters, finding them too Disney-Clownish (or, you know, Harry-Pottery). I think some may have issue with a few of the religious parallels drawn by the culture; I didn’t.
I loved the development of the plot. It started small, but intriguing, and quickly expanded out into something huge and enthralling, complicated and entertaining all at once. At the same time, I never found myself confused. The author has done a great job of going back and editing everything for cohesion; I didn’t notice any major plot holes, loopholes, etc.
And then ending? What a great ending. I wish I could tell you about it, but there would be spoilers bursting out of the woodwork, and as an author myself, I hate when people do that.
I looked up the current price, and it’s only 99 cents. A definite steal, if you ask me. I’ll definitely be grabbing the next book in the series as soon as it comes out.
Final Rating: 4.8 Stars
(reviewed the day of purchase)