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Here it is!!! The book came out last week and somehow we didn't notice. John has already started reading it. I shall next week, I hope. I'm SOOO excited. *squeals*
I am now reading this book, that I got for Christmas from Christine Harley, Linda's mom. I was delighted to learn that her daughter had written a book, and has a Ph.D. in applied physiology and works at Emory! :D That gives me hope that perhaps one day I can get something written and made me really excited.
As I'm reading it, I'm sifting and analyzing very keenly the style, trying to see if I think I could do as well.
So far, I've read through chapter three. It's good - and it's quite interesting so far. The premise is a little odd to me, and not one I would chose, but that's just personal opinion.
There's been one space battle. She writes it like I would write, not knowing military things well. It's very star trek like. The people on the bridge are addressed by their first names. There are no seat belts. "Warp" and "quantum torpedoes" are mentioned. There's a "replicator" in the captain's quarters, though it's called a "fobium" instead. There are also "hyposprays" being used in medical. That's not inherently bad. The story still carries well. However, this is something I definitely want to veer away from in my own writing. I know I don't know military things AT ALL, and I really want to do a crap ton of research on the stuff, so that the military scenes I do write feel at least closer to real than star trek.
The story still works fine, and in fantasy, one doesn't necessarily have to worry about that kind of thing. However, I really really want mine to have an atmosphere of reality. I also wouldn't have given a perspective from Lord Kyle so soon, because I would have wanted him to be more mysterious, but again, that's personal preference. I'm looking forward to good things here and I can't wait to read the rest of this book.
I have never been more happy to finish a book (ok, not strictly true... some I've been even happier, a.k.a. Frankenstein). FINALLY! I don't know why I found this book so hard to read. Well... it was incredibly strange, confusing and much of time I didn't know what was going on or why (that was likely by design).
Many would agree that this is good book, even profound - it just wasn't a good fit for me. It was recommended on Writing Excuses, and I've heard that many people consider it one of their favorites and absolutely love it, so don't let me discourage anyone who wants to read it. I might have enjoyed it more if I knew my Greek/Roman history better. I'm sure that there is a lot more meaning here than I am getting. It reminded me somewhat of Nietszche, mostly for the idea that human belief creates realities. There was a lot of metaphorical and interesting word plays and the portrayal of the various gods was as amusing as I'd heard it described.
A few things that made it difficult for me to read: There were at least three sex scenes and lots of language. Lots. Of. Language. Language I can understand, in military books, for example. But this was just a lot of language in ordinary scenarios, sometimes taking up a whole line with the f word repeated 3-4 times, or 40% of certain paragraphs of dialogue being obscenities. That's more frustrating. I'm pretty sure it beat Snow Crash. *ponders* And, except for one, the sex scenes didn't seem to be important to the plot at all. However, I could have borne with that better, if I had found the plot more engaging. What really made it rough to finish was that the premise of the book wasn't compelling to me: that of the old gods fighting the new ones. It was amusing though.
It was definitely one of the strangest books I've ever read, and I rather enjoyed wondering what else completely weird would happen. You never knew what to expect. I'm a fan of the strange, and Gaiman does that REALLY well. Although it was interesting and even suspenseful, I couldn't get into it and I felt a resistance to reading it. I enjoyed Gaiman's Neverwhere a lot more. By the end, the reader did eventually get to figure out most of what had been going on. It just took about 80% of the book to start answering questions. And, it was kind of sad, but I didn't mind that so much.
I have to say this for Gaiman - his use of metaphors is without parallel, and his descriptions are as unique as they are excellent. I love that about him. No one else writes like him. The ways he describes things are bizarre, but also apt, and gives a crystal clear picture of a thing, sound, smell, or sight in one's mind. I would like to take some of that quality, for improving my own writing. I have a LOT of trouble with descriptions - it's probably my weakest area.