Jake Yaniak

Biography

I honestly don't tend to think of myself as a writer. There are things I need to say, however, and stories that I want to tell. And so I write, and I try to make no pretenses.
For Christmas one year my parents bought me a Lord of the Rings computer game. I started playing it and was so inspired by the story that I put the game aside and did not touch it again until I had read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Those books sparked within me a love of reading in general and a love of fantasy literature in particular.
My favorite genre, however, is philosophy, particularly as it relates to ethics and metaphysics. This, together with my love of the fantastic, is the inspiration for my writing.
In my reading I have seen how ideas affect history. For this reason it has been important to me to not just tell a story, but to show how the characters interact with different ideologies and ethical dilemmas. I want my readers to at least understand, even if they do not sympathize with, the villains of the story.

Where to find Jake Yaniak online


Books

The Rise of the Gods
Series: The Hidden Name. Price: Free! Words: 286,470. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
In this prequel to the fantasy novel The Punishment of the Gods, the ancient elf Pelas and his brother Agonas strive with as well as against one another for possession of the northern continent of Bel Albor.
Morality Is The Problem
Price: Free! Words: 91,700. Language: English. Published: December 15, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Theology / Ethics, Nonfiction » Religion and Spirituality » Christian Theology / Apologetics
Examining the logic of ethical judgment, this book shows how our moral faculties may not be as wonderful as we think. While harshly criticizing Christianity in places, and even offering solid critiques of some of the traditional 'proofs' of God's existence, this book ultimately offers the modern reader an ancient but powerful way to understand the Christian faith.
The Punishment of the Gods
Series: The Hidden Name, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 297,090. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Fantasy » General
The god of light and the god of darkness strive to gain control over the land of Weldera. Caught in the midst of this struggle, young Daryas Galvahirne finds himself torn from his homeland by forces beyond his comprehension. Tortured by dreams, and terrified by the uncertainty of the future, he discovers, much to his horror, that a great deal of this future has come to rest upon his own shoulders.

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Smashwords book reviews by Jake Yaniak

  • A History of Blade and Light on July 05, 2013

    Darkin: A History of Blade and Light is a series of short stories from the Darkin world created by author Joseph Turkot in his two (soon to be three) Darkin novels. I believe it was designed to read more like a sacred record from Darkin's own people than a story in itself. I've read a fair amount of ancient scriptures and histories, and the way that this book was written reminded me of the way those kinds of things are recorded. It is easy to edit a story and rewrite it a hundred times to make it just right when you are typing on a computer. But the ancients wrote what they could on what they could write on, and sometimes they didn't have the resources to recopy everything or the room to flesh everything out. The result, in my experience, is that sometimes their sacred stories and legends have a sort of primitive and thrown together feel. The author has effectively mimicked this style of storytelling in The History of Blade and Light (in a good way). There is a story about the god Gaigas that particularly reads this way; it reminded me of the sort of myths one might read about in St. Irenaeus' Against Heresies where the bizarre philosophy of the ancient Gnostics is described. The other stories in The History introduce characters like Molto the Vapour, who was only mentioned in the main Darkin novels, and gives details about certain people and races that help expand the reader's understanding of the world of Darkin. This book is definitely interesting if you've read the author's other works. If not, then it might be a good way to get a sense of whether or not you would enjoy his other books. If you find the writing style of this book to be a bit antiquated (it is not nearly as old-fashioned as Shakespeare or the KJV Bible - it is not difficult in any way), rest assured that the main books are written in a more natural way, since they are not meant to be tales written by Darkin's ancient historians, but epic stories about Darkin. The author's first Darkin book (Darkin: A Journey East) is available for free (as of this writing - I believe the author intends to keep it free permanently), if you are interested in exploring the world of Darkin further.
  • The Slayer and the Sphinx on Sep. 27, 2013

    I try to keep up with what my son is reading, but since he has much more time than I have this has become an impossible task. Well, he ran out of books, so I downloaded The Slayer and the Sphinx on my Kindle for him - he read it in one night and the next morning he was saying that it was his favorite book, and that he hoped 'They' would make a movie out of it. It took me a while to find the time to finish it, but when I read it I definitely understood why my son liked it so much. It is a very unique fantasy story set in modern times in our own world rather than in ancient times in a fantastic world. The story moves fast from the very first page and never really slows down. The battle scenes are described clearly, and it is never hard to picture what is happening. The characters are well-developed and themes about trust and honesty give the story more depth than it would have as just a simple adventure story. There is one particular 'white lie' that, I am sure, will have some interesting consequences for the heroes in future books. This is definitely a great book for older kids and young teens. There is nothing offensive or smutty in it. There is some mild violence in the book, but nothing gross or graphic. Lastly, I think it is quite impressive how Bolander manages to make an interesting story using such obscure creatures as Sphinxes, Banshees and Chimeras etc. He definitely challenged himself in choosing to write about such creatures instead of focusing on the more traditional goblins, dwarves and elves
  • Basic Fiction Formatting for Smashwords in OpenOffice on March 20, 2014

    A very helpful, and best of all free, guide to formatting books for Smashwords in OpenOffice. If you're like me and you can't shell out big bucks for MS Word, this guide will help you get around some of the differences between Microsoft's program and OpenOffice. A must if you want to self-publish without having to buy a new program. I even went back and used it to format my book for other platforms.
  • Betrovia on June 12, 2014

    A wonderful character driven fantasy story! Dave King is a fantasy author who clearly has an eye for the grand as well as for the little things. Whether it is the politics of the kingdom or the politics of the kitchen, the author pays close attention to every detail. This is definitely my kind of fantasy story; it remains focused on the characters and their day to day doings without losing sight of the grander picture, and without locking you inside their heads like many modern fantasy novels seem to do. In Betrovia, Dave King approaches the fantasy genre from a unique perspective, telling the tale mostly from the perspective of an old inn keeper - the sort of man who is usually only in the background of epic stories. I liked just about everything about the book. There was very little in the way of magic, which I much prefer over magic-saturated stories like The Wheel of Time series. The author did a great job of making his characters lovable and interesting, each with their own quirks and strengths. The dialogue was especially interesting. There was a lot of humorous banter and the characters had some unique expressions that helped give you the sense that you were truly in a different land and a different time. One of the most enjoyable fantasy stories I've read in a LONG time.