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Continuation July 2, 2008

Posted by thejinx in books, eyes of a dragon, writing.
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Wrote another 1,700 words for Eyes of a Dragon today. I think I’m starting to find my stride again. Dedication, of course, is the key, and it does sort of snowball once I start forcing myself to write. It’s taking rather a bit longer to get where I’m going this time around than last time I wrote it, but that’s hardly a bad thing. The scene I wrote today came out just as well as I was hoping. That’s the great thing about bringing in several major characters right from the beginning, which is unlike most of the stories I’ve written: it allows for a lot more playing around with character development and discovering characters.

Despite that, I had time to finish reading another ebook from Tor.com today.

A Shadow in Summer, Daniel Abraham – This is a debut novel from a colleague of George R. R. Martin, author of the Song of Ice and Fire series, which is one of the book’s primary selling points. It’s an eastern style fantasy about a city that thrives in the cotton trade with the help of the earthbound spirit Seedless, which keeps the city safe from invasion, and a conspiracy that would spell its downfall.

This ended up being an okay read, but it was hardly enthralling. It got off to a bad start with the typical cliche and melodramatic lonely, abused child at boarding school scenario, and before the prologue was even half over, the lead character was given an opportunity and instantly became completely unlikable. None of the characters through the book was especially interesting or likable. The andat Seedless almost hit on a good archetype with the mysterious, playful, cunning, treacherous not-antagonist, but didn’t quite make it enough to be really interesting. The plot wasn’t exciting, which isn’t necessarily a problem as in George R. R. Martin’s works, but this world didn’t have the depth and complexity to back it up.

One problem a number of reviews I read online had with this book was the way people posed as part of dialogue. I don’t have a problem with the idea of posing being a formal method of communication, but I felt that the way it was written was something of a cop-out. What exactly entails a pose of regret or greeting or question? The author touched on the elaborate nature of the poses occasionally, as in the cant of a character’s wrists portraying sarcasm, but at least ninety percent, if not ninety five percent of the time, the character simply, “took a pose.” I understand it’s a lot to ask from an author, let alone a reader, to explain the dozens of different poses mentioned in the book, but when one is going to introduce a wholly unique and fundamental part of a culture in a book, one should expect to put the effort in to make the reader understand.

I like the idea of an eastern style fantasy, and there were some interesting original concepts in this book. But it wasn’t gripping and the writing, world, and characters weren’t enough to make up for it. It’s not a bad read, but I’m not enticed to seek out the following books in the series.

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Comments»

1. misterbooks - July 3, 2008

Keep on plugging away at the writing. I myself am having a heck of a time getting into the swing of writing. I usually can pound out 1000-2000 words when I have time, it’s just getting that time that’s a struggle.
Peace,


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