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.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Power of Prayer and Consequences--Kevin Hearne's Shattered

    Wasn't going to review Kevin Hearne's Shattered this week. Was just reading it for pleasure because I'd already finished another book. Then, I got to the middle of Shattered.

   A very minor character, in one quick scene several books ago, was shown to have set up a major plot line--with one simple habit. She invoked the cooperation of gods from several major pantheons, an act which has been saving the Iron Druid's behind for several books. In Shattered, the character simply confessed to praying to several gods at once at a crucial juxtaposition. The scene stopped me dead in my tracks while I thought the process through.

   Discovered one of the best arguments I've seen for outlining a series. Quite a revelation for a seat-of-your-pants writer, like me, who has to keep going back and adding bits and pieces.

   Why do I think Hearne outlines? Because in one of his previous books, he mentioned that later in the series, Atticus, his Iron Druid, would be encountering the Vedic pantheon of India. Actually, Atticus was peripheral to those sequences in this book. Granuaile did the Vedic encounters. This made her viewpoint seem superfluous on the surface, but her absence was important to the other happenings in the story line, including the rip-roaring finale.

   There's a lot to like in Hearne's series, now in its seventh mass paperback book...with high rankings and many reviews. One reason, perhaps, why his series is bubbling along: his writing is as crisp as a fresh apple and just as tasty if you like humor.

   Yeah, humor is big in Hearne's writing. He's is even smart with it. Atticus isn't the comic relief. Oberon, the Irish wolfhound with a love of sausage, brisket, and other delectable foods, is. The set up for Oberon thinking Hay'-zus, not Gee'-zus, should pull a sausage out of his pocket had me laughing out loud. Hearne has a genius for twisting humor from almost any cliche.

   We won't talk about my liking for crusty old codgers, but in this book, Hearne has added another druid to modern history. He's good for some laughs too. But, I think he was underutilized. Sad to say, the new character grew more than Atticus did.

Kudos to Hearne for keeping his series running in top form. Shattered is a delightful read than had me not only reading one-more-chapter and smiling, if not occasionally laughing out loud. The family lending library patrons are clamoring for the book to get mailed to them.

My Writing Adventures

Is writing an "adventure"?
Perhaps, a journey of discovery?

   I've been playing on PicMonkey. Below is one of the new banners I've been working on. I plan to use them on my Twitter postings. Several gurus have encouraged bloggers and Tweeters to use pictures because people tend to read things with pictures.

   Don't ask me to verify that it works.

   Gurus also say not to tell people to "buy my book" -- which most posts seem to do, especially if you use a tweet service of some sort. Tested that premise for a month with very few postings on my stories. Sales and downloads, even of my free stuff, really dropped off. Thus the banners. I'm trying to find effective ways to mention my stories. -- Only they're getting a little stale according to other gurus.

My reaction?
You can't win for losing.

   I am progressing with the On the Run manuscript. My two chapters at the "academy" have expanded into four I think. More and more, Run is threatening to become a book. Did get a new snippet up on my website if you want to look.
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