December 10, 2004
Thoughts on Writing

It is interesting how one notices things when one reads, once one has been learning to read critically.

I'm reading Lynn Flewelling's first trilogy (Nightrunner), and just finished the first book last night. As I was about 3/4 of the way through it, I noticed a spot where "Seregil threw his arm over Alec's shoulder" and it caught me.

[possible spoilers?]

It's not something I'd notice if I were critting it chapter by chapter probably. But having sucked the entire book down in the space of a couple of days, it really stood out to me. Because Seregil does this a lot. An awful lot. And I'm sure it's there on purpose, as a part of the way to create connection and tension between Seregil and Alec. But the way it was just suddenly stood out to me in a really noticable way.

One thing I am loving about the books is how she does work in quiet ways to create the tension between Seregil and Alec. To slowly get us to where we can see they're going, which is a point that they haven't really dealt with themselves yet. In fact, at the beginning of book two, as Seregil is being sent on a mission far from Alec, all I could think is how is she going to keep tension high with the two of them apart? I'm interested in seeing how she does it.

I think the noticability of the phrasing in the first book is probably because it *is* her first book. I didn't pick up on anything like that in the new series, despite again, wonderful tension between the characters as relationships are built, explored, understood, and confused.

Mm, yeah, I do love how Lynn does characters. She's got a good touch.

I'll do a proper review of these three books altogether when I'm done. Let's just say, for now I'm really glad I've got the whole trilogy, so I won't be stuck at the end of book two like I am in her newer series! OUCH.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 09:14 AM
December 04, 2004
Book Review: Three Books

Three books for today:

"Dog Warrior" by Wen Spencer and the two "Undead" books by Mary Janice Davidson

Dog Warrior
by Wen Spencer
paperback from Roc 2004

I've enjoyed the world Wen's built up around Ukiah Oregon, so naturally soon as this book was out, I picked it up. I was expecting a Ukiah story. What I got, was an Atticus Steele story. This wasn't a bad thing.

I adore Atticus. We see more of the world, more of the Ontongard, more of what's going on. And best of all, we meet Ukiah's brother, also one of Prime's after Prime was killed. Atticus is funny. He's both more centered than Ukiah and more confused all at once. He's the same, but different. Like twins raised in different families which have all these spooky, quirky similaraties but are fundamentally two different people on the inside.

This isn't a book you can pick up if you haven't read the rest. But if you like Wen's world and her characters, this is a definite keeper. I loved getting to meet Atticus, and look forward to getting to see more of him in the future!

Undead and Unwed
Undead and Unemployed
by Mary Janice Davidson
paperbacks from Berkley Sensation 2004

OMG these are a riot! They are billed as chick lit meets vampire fiction. At first, I had a bit of trouble getting into Betsy's head. She struck me as whining, annoying, and talked to much (as she comments herself, she has that effect on people). Once I started rolling along, I couldn't wait for more. These came out in March and August, so I was hoping there'd be another one along soon, but nothing's listed on Amazon. On the other hand, there *is* other stuff from her, all with a 2004 release date, so I'll need to investigate.

Imagine a vampire who just doesn't get it. She didn't expect to be a vampire. And worst of all, she's the long foretold Queen of the vampires who just *isn't* a normal vampire. She wears a cross. She says God without flinching. And she has a thing for designer shoes.

Betsy's an unusual vampire story heroine, and the antics as she tries to deal with undead politics, telling her family (why yes, she does) and new roommates are a riot. I had a lot of fun with these and will be handing them over to Audrey for a fun read.

Posted by Deb Atwood at 08:13 AM