Review: Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish

Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish Plot & Structure: Techniques and Exercises for Crafting a Plot That Grips Readers from Start to Finish by James Scott Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a must read for every author whether you've written 30 books or still working on your first manuscript.

Bell has packed so many great ideas into this one book that you can't sleep with everything whirling around in your head.

I can't put it away. I keep dragging it out and rereading chapters because every time I reread a few pages, new ideas pop in my head. This is one of the best books for aiming your writing in order to hit the target every time you pull the trigger. Well... that isn't a great analogy, but maybe you get the gist of what I'm saying.

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Review: Transitory

Transitory Transitory by Ian Williams
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

I just couldn't quite get into this novel. It moved a bit slow, and the characters were not well developed. After about half-way through, I realized that I just didn't care about the characters, so I quit reading.

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Review: A Tale of Two Kitties

A Tale of Two Kitties A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, I have to disagree with one of the reviews here that it was a seamless knitting of previous story into this 9th book in the series. Frankly, I got lost with all the characters that seemingly had nothing to do with moving the story along.

I love the small town relationships, it's just that there were so many of them. It took forever to get into the mystery. I finally gave up.

The writing is very good, the characters were already developed in earlier books so I missed out on that. But the kitties were a delight. I just love the premise of these books. I'll have to go back and read from the beginning so I'll know what's going on, I guess. Anyway, this is a good, clean story and the way Sofie Kelly tells the story is excellent. If you've read something of hers before, then you'll love this one just as much. If you haven't read anything of hers before, I strongly suggest that you purchase an earlier book and then come to this one just because there are so many characters to keep track of that you might get lost like I did. I said "might", not would.

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Review: The Silent Corner

The Silent Corner The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a die hard Koontz fan for decades (I won't say how many because that would date me:). This book did not disappoint me. It's a bit different, but such a great read. I read the ARC, so some of his wordiness had not been edited out. However, his descriptions have hit a new high. Reallly good, very poetic. In fact so poetic that some of them were a little distracting.

The story premise is very good and extremely frightening. Scary because technology can reach this peak, and who's to keep some corporation from doing this very thing? Koontz's mind is a scary place for sure.

Jane Hawk is a marvelous character. She's the only person who realizes what's going on, and she doesn't have anyone she can trust. I felt her frustration, her fear, her courage, and her patience-end. I cheered and I shivered. There are times when I got aggravated with Koontz's plot twists. After all, a hero needs her sidekicks!

Received the ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: prepared to die

prepared to die prepared to die by Peter Dudgeon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really like books from UK authors. This one didn't really hold my attention because there were so many different angles and points of view. I really hate this kind of jumping around, and seeming disorganized plot. Somehow the author gets to the end, but I'm bumfuzzled as to how. The language gets foul at times that doesn't add to the plot or give any kind of impact.

This is not an Agatha Christie type of mystery that is well thought out and all the characters are well developed. The, I think, protagonist is a bit introspective for me. But there are so many different characters whose heads we pop into and out of that it's hard to keep track.

The premise is good. The writing is also fairly good. It's the editing that needs a lot of improvement.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: No Easy Target

No Easy Target No Easy Target by Iris Johansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! I really like how Iris Johansen draws you into a story and gives the old brain lots of twists and quirks. How neat to have a protagonist that can talk to dogs. What an interesting beginning to have her talking to a tigress!

This is a wild ride. The story doesn't stop escalating, and the stakes keep getting higher and higher. Love this story, the premise, and the characters. I really cared what happened to all of them!

The characters are very well developed, and they do surprise you. How a person can endure what she endured and then [spoiler alert] walks right back into the horror she escaped from!

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Review: Lockdown

Lockdown Lockdown by Laurie R. King
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book has way too many points of view from way too many characters. I couldn't get interested enough in a character to actually care what happened to that character. Even trying to skip forward and focus on one character didn't help. If this is the way that publishers are going to edit and publish books -- thank goodness for indie publishing!

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Review: Sherlock Mars

Sherlock Mars Sherlock Mars by Jackie Kingon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was intrigued by the book blurb. How fun to have a sci-fi murder mystery. Well, in a way it was fun, but very complicated. You've got about 4 storylines rolling along in this book and it's difficult to keep up with each one. My favorite was the prejudice problem with androids and humans. It could have been the mystery -- but that got lost in all the puns and wedding and wondering who was who.

This would have made several good books if the storylines had been separated, but then the characters weren't developed very well so the storyline would be the only thing holding it all together. Perhaps, it would have helped if I had read the first one? But if it was just like this one, I doubt I'd spend the time just to sort it all out.

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Review: Fringe Runner

Fringe Runner Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book as one of the few sci-fi novels that was good from start to finish. A lot of them have really poor writing, character development, and other problems. This one had none of that. Oh, a few typos, but nothing seriously wrong.

It's fast paced. It has an excellent storyline and a good beginning for the series. It is not a cliffhanger ending, but you get a sneak peek at the next books so you don't feel quite so deprived. This is going to be a great series and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books.

It does have foul language, but it isn't every other word, jam-packed with them. No taking the Lord's name in vain, which is a show stopper for me. I didn't get an allergic reaction to them.

It didn't take long to like the characters. That is rather a rare characteristic in novels today. I can't read a story where I don't like the main characters. I especially like the girl pilot in the wheelchair. Her attitude is heroic. I like that a lot. So often there are stories that have characters that don't have any flaws. How boring. This book is anything but boring!

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Review: Fatal Gift

Fatal Gift Fatal Gift by Michael Frase
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Character development is top notch. You really get to know these characters, but in not in such a way that has you deeply caring about them. They have flaws; their emotions are raw; they make really bad choices; really bad things happen to them. Other than that its a rollercoaster ride for the reader.

I really really hate head jumping without transitions that ease the reader in a logical slide from one character to another so that connections can be made and distinctions between characters are drawn. Oh well... there are a lot of characters and it can get a bit confusing at times. This is more suspense than mystery.

This is a raw book, graphic, and void of much compassion. I get the feeling that the author didn't like even one of these characters. However, it is very vibrant. You can smell the grass pollen and dust and the fear.

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Review: From Ice to Ashes

From Ice to Ashes From Ice to Ashes by Rhett C. Bruno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is not exactly riveting fare. Although it is interesting. It would be nice if the author realized that readers are not dumkaufs and can actually remember from page to page that the Ringers are long, skinny humans with very slender hands and not a lot of strength. Instead, we are constantly reminded. We are constantly reminded that germs are deathtraps to Ringers, and the cleansing process one must take moving from level to level is also drilled into the noggin. These constant reminders drag the story to a snail's pace. With some really good editing, this could truly be a riveting spacer saga. The language is coarse, but I've found that to be the case in almost all sci fi I've read lately. Sigh...

The reader can easily skip over the constant reminders and find a pretty good storyline. It's probably worth the eBook price.

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Review: Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've really enjoyed other books by Turano. The other books she's written have characters whom I grew to care about quite quickly. Caring about what happens to the characters, wondering what's going to happen next are prerequisites for an enjoyable read for me. This one didn't quite hit the mark.

For no apparent reason Asher is drawn to Permilla (obviously made up name, which people just didn't do back in previous centuries unlike now, which is a drawback for me because period works should stay in the era they depict). While I can understand great passion can arise just because a person likes the way another person looks, Permilla is described as pretty--but why is she a wallflower... oh! She can't talk to men... but, then why can she voice her opinion so eloquently about Asher to Asher?

When I got to the point where the two main characters were going to let someone else find out who the potential murderer was, I completely lost interest and put it down. So sorry Turano. This one flop (in my opinion) won't keep me from reading your books because they previous ones have ALL been really good. Everyone is allowed at least one backstep once in a while :)

It wasn't meshing for me. When I consider the high quality of previous books by Turano with this one, this one falls flat.

Got it from Netgalley exchanging for an honest review.

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