Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Two Reviews

Stuttered for the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) 2013.

BUT I got two reviews for the excerpt they read after I progressed to Round 2. This was the first 2 chapters of the book.

Slightly confused as the Expert Reviewers contradict each other (one really likes it the other doesn't) and the whole point of the Fantasy genre is that it is, by its very nature, fantastical. While an intubated child might not be in her own room, this protocol was ignored by both Rick Grimes's nurses and Jim the bicycle courier's doctors. It's called artistic licence. Or dramatic effect. Or Making Shit Fit With The Plot. While it may be unbelievable, so is having a 7 feet tall guy wearing a sword teleport into a hospital room.

Sour grapes? Just a bit!

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

I enjoyed the prologue and thought from it that the story had promise. I think the rest of the excerpt could be tweaked slightly to make it as strong as the excerpt but, as it stands now, the rest of the story seems very silly, not at all imaginable, and I didn't want to continue reading it.

What aspect needs the most work?

The author needs to give more background to these imaginary characters in the first section of the story. Otherwise, they seem really unimaginable. Also, an intubated child would never been in her own room in a hospital. She would be in a ward so that nurses could constantly see her. The author's lack of research on this subject further added to making the story unbelievable.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

I didn't want to continue reading it, as it seemed to fantastical to be at all realistic. There needed to be more development of the characters upfront for the story to even have some slight credibility.

ABNA Expert Reviewer

What is the strongest aspect of this excerpt?

The author did a really good job of making Jared's experience seem realistic. S/he set up anticipation well. At the same time the exposition was full enough and smooth enough not to get in the way, but provide enough information to have the story make sense.

What aspect needs the most work?

Keep writing! I am ready to read what happens next. So far, Jared's experience in the hospital seems to be smooth and appropriate. The section in Alegria seems a little stilted, perhaps because of not enough exposition yet. The dialogue from the mysterious hero seems a bit stilted, also. I expect it to feel more rushed.

What is your overall opinion of this excerpt?

While this is pretty common subgenre (urban legend, two worlds, yada, yada), the author has done a good job of making it original and interesting. I would definitely want to hear was happens next--and maybe enough to stick with the whole trilogy.

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