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It has begun May 30, 2008

Posted by thejinx in books, writing.
Tags: ,

I’ve sent out my first proposal for Aurius. It wasn’t the first publisher I had intended to submit to, but it turns out I have no reasonable way of obtaining stamps from the U.S. to Canada for the self-addressed stamped envelope I need to include with my proposals. Guess I’ll be calling my mom and asking if she can mail me some stamps. The publisher to which I submitted my first proposal, however, prefers e-mail submissions, so I broke out my shiny new Gmail and sent it off. Wish me luck.

I finished off another book this week, though unfortunately, after that string of decent, enjoyable novels I had recently, it looks like my luck’s starting to even out.

Spirit Gate, Kate Elliot – This is the story of a struggling land succumbing to bandits and civil war in the wake of the disappearance of the legendary Guardians that once presided over the land and kept peace. This was actually the first ebook I received from Tor’s new website, though I was pleased to discover that the previous week’s offering, Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest, was still offered for download in the mailing list message, and I read it first mostly because it was shorter.

Despite the interesting cover image, Spirit Gate was as disappointing as 4&20bb was captivating. None of the characters was very likable, most were painfully cliche or annoying, and the writing came across as juvenile, which was the biggest deterrant to enjoyment. It got off to a bad start as the main character in the opening of the novel reeked of Mary Sue – which is odd considering that the author is about 50 – went into detail with things that had no relevance whatsoever to the story and which ultimately didn’t matter because said character was killed not three chapters in to the novel. By about halfway through, it got a little better, but not enough to redeem it, only to make it tolerable. There was far too much setting description bogging down the story, usually about setting aspects that had no relevance to the story or even the scene in which it appeared, and the use of capitalized words as names – the Barrens, the Wild, the Thread, the Cliffs, etc. – was severely overused.

In short, it was not an enjoyable read and it does not come with my recommendation. I am not interested in continuing the series this book began and I am sorely disinclined to pick up any of the author’s other books. I don’t know how it or her other books could have received the awards/nominations lauded in the about the author section at the back of the book, because even if there were slim pickings for the year, I wouldn’t nominate this for a backup book if it was on sale for $1.



1. midiguru - May 30, 2008

There’s a lot of disappointing fantasy and science fiction out there. I’ve never read any of Kate’s books, so I can’t comment on that one.

Lots of luck with your own proposal!

–Jim Aikin

2. Don - May 31, 2008

For stamps you can get international reply coupons at the post office.

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