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Posts Tagged ‘Point Of View’

Book Review: Tina Connolly’s Ironskin

October 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Warning: May Contain Spoilers!

Ironskin follows the tale of twenty-one year old Jane Elliot, a survivor of the Great War with the Fey (magical, fairy-like creatures).  She was scarred by a fey bomb that left traces of their magic upon her.  Those maimed as such are cursed, making themselves and others around them feel a particular, intense emotion or sensation.  Jane’s happens to be rage.  To counteract the curse, those who are scared wear iron, for the Fey are repelled by it.  Jane’s scar is on her face, thus she wears a mask.  To say that Jane considers herself hideous to look at and suffers from self esteem issues is putting it lightly.

The story opens with Jane taking a governess position at an estate called Silver Birch.  The estate is home for a mysterious man (Edward Rochart) and his even more mysterious daughter (Dorie) who, despite not being scared, possesses Fey talents. Read more…

Book Review: Daniel O’Malley’s The Rook

September 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Myfanwy (the w is silent) Thomas has no memory of why she is surrounded by dead people wearing rubber gloves. So starts the story told by Daniel O’Malley in The Rook. The Rook is a paranormal sci-fi / fantasy about covert British (and American) operatives who have supernatural abilities and deal with supernatural phenomena.

The story follows Myfanwy as she slowly discovers who she is. Who she is is a member of said paranormal agency, holding a position known as a Rook. She has been attacked and her memories stolen. Fortunately for Myfanwy, her former self had some prewarning that she was going to lose her memory. So the prior Myfanwy Thomas left the new Myfanwy Thomas a series of letters explaining all that she knew. Read more…

Under the Darkened Moon Critiques (Both Good And Bad)

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

I encourage people to say what they really think whenever they are reading my work in progress (Under the Darkened Moon). I haven’t had it in a formal review setting since I started the live read and final draft process. But, prior to that, I got a lot of feedback from a variety of sources including: my standard review group, writer friends of mine (published and unpublished), and people who I know and who like to read fantasy.

I’m not someone who isn’t willing to let people, whether they liked the book or not, have their say. Here is a sampling of the good and the bad that I got as feedback: Read more…

Book Review: Feast of Souls by C.S. Friedman

July 23, 2012 Leave a comment

WARNING! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!

Feast of Souls is the first book in the Magister Trilogy by C.S. Friedman. The story is that of the first woman to ever master the magical arts and transcend from life depleting witchery to the immortal life of a magister. Here name is Kamala.  Well, that is how the story starts anyway. Later on we learn of the threat of beasts known as Soul Eaters returning.

Ok, bluntly, I was not thrilled with the way the book shifted away from Kamala’s point of view so often. The narrative did so at the expense of making her seem like a secondary, perhaps even tertiary, character in her own story. I think that most of what the other characters were used for could have been transmitted to the reader without going in and seeing it through their eyes. That feeling still sits with me even now. Read more…

Book Review: Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan

July 19, 2012 Leave a comment

WARNING! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!

Rise of Empire is the second book in the Riyria Revelations trilogy and, once again, we are back to follow the exploits of mismatched thieves Hadrian Blackwater and Royce Melborne. Rise of Empire is, in my opinion, a much better story than Theft of Swords, the first book in the trilogy. While Theft of Swords had its moments, and was far from a bad story, Rise of Empire is cleaner, crisper, more intriguing than the first novel. Back story out of the way, the reader gets a tale of good quality that entertains.

Read more…

Book Review: The Alchemist And The Executioness

March 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Warning! May Contain Spoilers!

The Alchemist And The Executioness is two stories by two authors which share the same world. As such, I have reviewed the two portions of this story separately.

The Alchemist by Paolo Bacigalupi

The Alchemist is a story which follows a beleaguered Alchemist who, after years of failure and financial ruin, discovers a way to destroy the menacing bramble that is plaguing the world and closing in around Khaim.  Magic, forbidden except by those approved of by the local mayor brings bramble, a dangerous plant which poisons those who become entangled by it.  Instead he learns that his invention is going to be used to discover who is violating the ban on magic use using the same principles by which it destroys the terrible plant.

This story is told from a first person perspective and normally I do not like such stories.  However The Alchemist is a delightful read and a surprisingly compelling story with good plot twists which, even though half-expected, are still well incorporated.  The Alchemist is one of those stories that shows you do not need to have action after action after yet more action to have a compelling story.  This story is mostly low key but still well told.

I give The Alchemist four out of five stars and highly recommend it.  The thing I did not like about this story is that I felt it was incomplete and when you read it you will know what I mean.

   

The Executioness By: Tobias S. Buckell

No mincing of words from me on this one. For as much as I loved The Alchemist portion of this story, I absolutely hated The Executioness.   Again, told from a first person point of view, The Executioness exemplifies everything I normally hate about the way these types of stories are told.  The text is droning, like a journal told as it is being written and never gets started while skipping and hoping through the story of Tana as she tries to avenge her boys who are kidnapped by raiders.  The story was just not believable and it was a struggle to complete.

It seemed like there was so little story to tell that the author was compelled to skip forward in leaps and bounds to simply get to the end, and that was anti-climatic to say the least.

I do not recommend The Executioness at all and give it just two out of five stars

Under The Darkened Moon – The Future

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

As I am going through my edits on my novel Under the Darkened Moon, I have been thinking about the future of the story beyond the book and if there should be one. This past weekend I sat down and flushed out what todo with the world of Arrnna beyond the completion of it and IF I could get so lucky as to have it published.

Future books:
The Tainted Son (a further story with the existing characters and some new ones about 20 years in future)
Through Elven Eyes (a parallel telling of Under the Darkened Moon from the point of view of the elven support/non POV character but in her POV and retold by her in her elderly years)
Final Days of Ice (a story about the last humans/elves on Arrnna as the ice age consumes the world and their struggle to survive)

Authors Can Be Snippy And Petty

January 20, 2012 Leave a comment

One thing all authors should do is get feedback on their work. But, I will be honest with you, other authors can be one of the worst sources for feedback. I don’t know if they do it on purpose or subliminally, but I suspect it is a little of both when they give petty and meaningless critiques.

Not all are like this. Thank God!

But when I submitted one of my recent works to a group of fellow writers for critiquing, I got to experience those that are so shallow. One fellow author offered me no real critique of my work but instead insisted, repeatedly, that I was telling the story from the wrong point of view. When another author chimed in and told him he was being ridiculous in his critique and that the POV was fine, he began insisting that I use certain other words instead of the words I had chosen in a seemingly random fashion. Another author called that “silly”, saying that there was nothing inherently wrong with my word choices which were now under criticism.

After the whole event I learned that the noisy, other author critic was someone who was getting very bitter at not having been published in nearly a decade of trying. He often tries to change other authors into himself in terms of style. His style is not bad. But it just is not me.

Thankfully though the whole experience did yield some positive things that I was able to take away from it. But one thing I definitely learned is that other authors are not always good sources of critique.

Relaying Story Outside Of The Story (Prologues, etc.)

October 21, 2011 Leave a comment

One thing I have discovered very quickly is that there are some people, be they writers of fiction or readers of the same, who hold some very illogical opinions. One such thing I find people very passionate about are the means though which an author should provide back-story.  More than a handful of people say really strange things on this topic.  Like, that they don’t read prologues because if it isn’t part of the “main” story then they are not interested, and that the author should give all information the reader requires during the course of the story.

This boggles my mind!  Because prologues always have been considered parts of the stories to which they belong.  Many famous and great works of fiction have prologues.  Are people who so ardently claim to be against prologues saying that when they read absolute classics like Romeo and Juliet that they skip the prologue?  Nonsense!  Silliness! Read more…

A Little Perspective

July 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Something I did not think about before was what perspective to use for my story.  Perspective is important.  It is how one tells a story.

I loathe 1st person narratives because they are so restrictive.  I know some people like them.  Just not me.  Seem like too many “I”s and ” me”s for my taste.

For me stories have always been told from some level of omnipotence or from a limited third person point of view.  Omnipotence can sometimes be as restrictive as 1st person.  If you don’t do it right, it makes it really hard to hide things from the reader that you do not want them to know and makes building suspense hard.

I like a more limited 3rd person PoV but depending on the story I start to write I think I will have to decide on this later.  I think the best thing to do is get a story set and then see how the story works and from which perspective.  Something organic and natural should arise.