Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday & a Review of Hollowland...*Edit

Well, let's see... since Sunday, I'm up to 6,300 words, but I expect to get another thousand or so, into Aeris today.  My biggest setbacks this week: being totally burned out after formatting on Friday, having a kid that's been waking up at 6 instead of 7, which greatly invades my writing time, and finally... creating a BIG plot problem for myself yesterday.
So I was writing along yesterday, getting to one of the points in the story I've been DYING to get to, where Nikka and Zyander see each other again after a long separation, when I realized, Nikka's timeline and Zyan's timelines are about a day apart.  And yes, it is OBVIOUS to any intelligent reader that this is the case.  How can Nikka be seeing Zyan when it is the point in time when he is still under a magically induced sleep?  Uh, I have no idea.  I stopped and mapped out my timeline, and yes, it is true, Nikka and Zyan were really about a day and a half apart in time when I was going to meet them up, so this morning I had to do some major editing.  Oopsy.
Thank GOODNESS I caught it so quickly, because this would have been a pain to fix later on.  Now I can just cut out the end of a chapter, add in another day to Nikka's timeline, and then their story goes on smoothly from there.  As for Luka, his storyline has yet to be written in yet, even though I know what I want to put for him.
I just realized how much more complicated this book is going to be than Compis, because for the second half of the last book, the characters have all been apart.  This time around, though, their characters are interacting again, and all these important timelines are intertwining.  It's becoming quite the headache to keep track of, so I think, along with writing this week, I'll have to mark out the ENTIRE timeline of the next 5 chapters, while all this stuff is going on.

Anyway, that is all the writing stuff.  Compis is doing well out of the gate.  I've gotten a few reviews and some of my Six Keys readers (you know who you are, ladies!) have already promised to post reviews when they pick up their copies.  Yesterday was a great sales day for me, thanks to

Next on the Agenda: Hollowland by Amanda Hocking  
It actually wasn't my intention to pick up another Hocking book so soon after reviewing the Trylle Trilogy, but after I finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth (review of that one on goodreads, HERE), I didn't have anything but Amanda Hocking and Carrie Ryan on my iPhone for the gym.  It was a "let's watch nothing but sports and news" day on the TVs, so I decided to take a detour from Ryan's zombies and try Hocking's out for size.
Well, let me tell you, they are a LOT more scary, since they aren't what you would call zombies per se, but more like diseased victims of a virus who have a lot of their strength, speed, and brains left when they "turn".  Towards the end of the virus' life in its host, they become more like traditional zombies, lurching, moaning, and slow.  The interesting thing about Hocking's zombies: they aren't undead, or raised from the dead.  They are people who are ALIVE and consequently can be killed by shooting them anywhere, or injuring them.
The good of this book is the main character.  Unlike the Trylle trilogy, where I spent a lot of the first book questioning the protagonist's motives and actions, for this book I was just along for the ride.  She wants to find her brother, she kicks ass, she can shoot a gun, etc.  I love strong protagonists (don't read Compis if you like wimpy girls, warning there).  I also think that one of Hocking's strong suits is her side characters.  A lot of times, writers seem to add in their other characters as though throwing them in at the last minute, and talk about cliche!  Hocking doesn't fall prey to that weakness, and I found myself liking each of the characters in turn.
The story is also compelling, though a bit vague in spots.  Remy travels north to the next quarantine that she is aware of, so she can make sure her brother is okay.  Why she is so sure he IS still alive doesn't become apparent till near the end of the book, and Hocking does a great job leading up to it.
Where the whole thing kind of collapses for ME, is toward the end of the book.  This is a great story, don't rush the end!  Hocking spent a lot of time building up the characters, and the story, then she just rushes into the rescue of Remy's brother and some of the other characters, like Tatum and Bishop fall short and suffer the loss of detail.  It also loses some believability, because she just MET Tatum.  Why would he be willing to risk everything for her???
I think that this is where some honest feedback would have been good for Hocking before publishing.  If she'd just BELIEVED in her readers and their ability to be patient and wait for the story to unfold, this could have been a knock out of the park, 5 star story.  Instead, I have to give it 4 stars.  It bums me out, because I literally could NOT put this book down yesterday.

So there is my take on Hollowland.  I'm going to tackle Run! by Blake Crouch next.  I've heard from so many people how fantastic it is, and even though he has traditional roots, this book is all indie.

*Edit: Made it to 7,600.  Yay for naptime!  See you all on Sunday.
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