Thursday, April 10, 2014


now I can go back to reading things I actually want to!

Glass House 51 by John Hampel.  This has quite a lot of people introduced early on, none with depth.  Who's important?  Who are we supposed to remember? to care about?  There's just too much going on.
The dialogue is meant to carry the plot forward, but mostly misses on realism.

Sutton Place by Louise Gaylord.  Too, too much going on here, too many characters.  This reads like it is the second in a series and the reader should know about characters and histories already.  It's difficult to follow.

The Trouble with Charlie by Merry Jones.  Excellent.  I enjoyed how the story was about the main character, her feelings and insecurities and friends, and there happens to be a mystery going on also.  Well done.  There were some punctuation problems (a backwards quotation mark, that sort of thing) and too many fragments for my taste.

The Black Stiletto: Stars and Stripes by Raymond Benson.  The author tries to provide several different voices/points of view for narration, but only Martin's POV chapters sound remotely natural.  In the diary chapters, the voice is far too juvenile, and in the Maggie POV chapters, far too clinical, like it's just another report (and there are so few Maggie POV chapters that it would likely have been simpler to incorporate that information in another way).  Makes me think the author just can't write strong female characters.

The Last Sewer Ball by Steven Schindler.  The main character wrote a book that has the same title as the previous book in this pseudo-series?  Isn't that a little meta?
This is technically correct, no major flaws; it just didn't grab me.  I didn't feel connected to the characters.  With so many technically-correct books, this didn't make the top-ten.

Replacement Children by Rick Maloy.  A fantastic book.  The southern vernacular as written for the main character and his family is sometimes difficult to understand, but score for likeable people reacting in realistic ways. 

The Puppetmasters by K.D. Lamb.  Poor formatting choices-- too-small text and extra line breaks between paragraphs (don't let Word auto-format your book!).
The writing style needs perfecting: sentences are either too short or phrases are poorly mashed in; actions and descriptions are predictable; dialogue lacks realism.

Saving Faith by Patrick M. Garry.  What a fantastic title.  Interesting story, likeable characters, no major flaws.  Well done.

The Wings of Dragons by Josh VanBrakle.  Fair enough writing, although stereotypically fantasy-genre.  Slightly predictable story but engaging enough.  Would have made a top-ten list in a sci-fi/fantasy only category.  Sorry, it appears I've run out of sentences.

I'm having a hard time putting my top ten selections in any kind of order.  They are all very good.
10: Replacement Children
9: Night Chill
8: Little Joe
7: Shadow Constant
6: The Trouble with Charlie
5:  The Old Man's Love Story
4: Utopia, Texas
3: Saving Faith
2: Saving Laura
1: Cradle Lake

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