Lessons from My Reading

M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

When Authors Dissappoint

Voices from Beyond  Think I mentioned I should write a 3* review a bit ago. Didn't expect to do one so soon or for the author to be Simon R. Green, one of my go-to authors for humor.

  I'm in the process of reading a complicated, dark trilogy at the moment. When I finished the second book, I decided I needed a change of pace and went searching the bookshelves. Never cared much of the other Ghost Finders stories I'd read before, but decided to give Voices from the Beyond: A Ghost Finders Novel a chance. It was good enough to keep my interest without a bunch of lay-downs, but the book still disappointed me. I expected better from Green than mysterious voices from the beyond terrorizing the workers at a radio station housed in an old British mansion.

  Why? First off the story was so padded with extra words and unnecessary chatter that drew-out scenes to no purpose that I almost got out my red pen. I could almost hear someone say: "You need a book, have a short story, make it a book."
 
  Okay, probably not, but it felt like it.

  The first third of the book is a prolonged prologue, in my opinion, that would be best used in a independent short story.  Next, a scene showing the relationship between the crew with the director of the Camarki Institute, hinting at traitors within the ranks, created a bridge to the rest of the book. The Ghost Finders had two puzzles to solve and another looming on the horizon.

  I didn't even think the story a ghost story per se. A being from another dimension must be stopped before "our" world is destroyed. An idea often used, but in this case, it didn't rise above a cliche. The book was in terrible need of a personal vendetta. The ghost finders acted and reacted pretty much the same as they had in previous books, though there were some hints of changes in their relationships. The secondary characters remained card board cut-outs filling up the pages as needed.

  My biggest complaint is a spoiler. Still, I'll say, I can't understand why at least one out of almost a dozen intelligent adults wouldn't explore the basement first or second thing. 

  The story-writing mechanics, except for the excessive verbiage, was competent enough. Still, can't give the book more than 3***.  Definitely not one of Green's better efforts.

~~#~~

And how's the pipsqueak writer doing?

Slowly writing, thank you.

  Have gotten The Ghostcrow waiting for its second paper edits before I send it on to the beta readers. Have decided not to change the title since I couldn't come up with an expanded version that added anything. One of my critique partners did say that the title was unusual enough it could stand on its own. Guess I'll leave it there.

  Hear that Damn Owl has been revised and is fermenting. It's staying a short story, thank the powers that be. It's hard to expand a story when you kill off the protagonist.  Oh oh. Guess I should have given a spoiler alert, but don't think it matters.

  Out of curiosity, have any of you blog readers read any of my stories: free or 99c.

 Then, there's the squirrelly marketing wheel. Gargoyles is slowly sinking in the Amazon rankings. Didn't expect it to stay in the top ten of its two micro free-read categories much longer, but can't seem to raise much effort to do more promotion. Don't think I want to bother with the effort. I can't see where giving away free stuff helps you sell books or novelettes, for that matter.

  To be honest, I sometimes wonder why I even bother posting a blog most weeks. Still, some writers make a blog a great sales tool. Are you inclined in that direction? Quanie Miller recently posted an insightful blog: Six Easy Ways to Grow Your Blog Readership. Her title illustrates one of her key points.

Me? I sort of follow her pointers. 
But, am satisfied that my readership's growing at its own slow pace.
 
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