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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Review: Incarceron

I have been recently picking up books of alike genre to my own, and reading those great sellers. Today, I am reviewing INCARCERON by Fisher, and I actually read through this one quite quickly. Tell me what you think if you have read it! By the way, don't you like this font better? It seems more user friendly to me...hmmm :) Anyways...

My Rating: * * * * (4 stars/5)
In case you are wondering, this review does contain SPOILERS.

Incarceron is a New York Times best seller, and while I think it was a good book and has a great premise, I had some problems with it. It starts off with action. Yipee! The main character is introduced, his name is Finn and he lives in Incarceron which is sort of a living, breathing, prison that was created by the outsiders. Originally, it was meant to be a perfect world, but something went hugely wrong and it turned out far from perfect, especially that only criminals live there. Chapters go from Finn to Claudia, a girl that lives outside with the Warden, her father, and is getting married off to a very nasty earl because the previous guy, Giles, was killed. Claudia actually wanted to get married to Gilles. Now, the setting is great. Outside, we are supposed to believe that the kingdom froze time to keep it Victorian and follow protocol. I thought that was very interesting.

Now, the plot. Well, I loved the idea, and I thought I would see some huge twists and knots and exciting changes, but it didn't, really. The only twist that there is in the novel is that Finn finds out he is Gilles. Him and Claudia both want to escape and they both find a key which they communicate through. Finn and his oath brother and an old man, Gildas, along with a girl (Her name is Attia and I feel she is mostly there to create a love triangle in the future with Finn travel to escape the prison, and Claudia helps with her master Jared along the way., Claudia and her). Ok. One thing I had a problem with was also the parts with action. I felt that the writing was really loose and it sent me into major confusion over what in the world was going on. So toward the ending, they fight Incarceron and manage to escape. But Keiro, the oath brother, can't escape because he is half-man (made by the prison) and Gildas dies. Only those that hold the keys can leave. So, Claudia and Finn escape the prison at the very end and basically push out the evil queen which doesn't have that much reason to be evil. I liked the read. That's why I rated it 4/5. But, I felt that it was missing that something that would have made me love it. Perhaps it was the characters...

When reading Incarceron, I thought that Claudia and Finn were very mundane. I found that the secondary characters were much more developed. Keiro was quite unpredictable and I thought he was going to betray Finn and I found that Jared was an interesting more intelligent type. Claudia herself was selfish. The whole reason she takes Finn out is because she doesn't want to marry the earl. She doesn't care that his friends are stuck inside, she only cares that she's got what she wants (I forgot to mention, she finds out that her father isn't her father and she was born in the prison.). Finn could have been developed more and is a bit passive and "follow the plot" type of character. So that's what I think! Let me know if you read Incarceron and how you liked it :)

If you guys write YA...and you didn't enter this...ENTER :D

YAtopia is holding a great contest for a chance to query Natlie who is really closed for submissions now. I won't explain too much. All the info is here.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April Chain - 2011

I am a bit late, but none the less, things have been busy. This months AW blog chain is a great idea which I love. It has two parts: First, describe one of your characters in 50 words or less. Second, have that character interview you. (Thanks to Orion from nonexistent books).

Part 1: 1865 - Dusty Cummins is an everything but extraordinary teenager, living in Victorian England. He is shy, introverted, and a bit of an oddball. He is forced to live with a terrible secret. A secret which will change humanity (I won't give that away yet *wink*).  He has shaggy black hair, light skin, a bit of a longer nose, and piercing green eyes.

Part 2:

Go ahead and imagine that it turns out your world isn't real and that there is a persona sitting at a type writer or what you seem to call a, what was it?
A computer, Dusty.
Right. Sitting at a computer and typing away your life. How would you feel about such a revelation?
I think that I would ask them to grant me my desires if I had a chance to speak to them.
Is that an offer?
Not particularly.
How come?
Because life is hard.
That's if you make it hard for me, right?
Basically. Can we return to the interview?
Sure thing.
Yes. If that is really the case, and I don't exist, how did you come up with me? Why come up with a person like me? Why make my life miserable?
Let me just say that you were inspired by a sketch of mine.
Is that so?
This is all very unsettling. I feel like I am on the verge of losing my mind. That's it, isn't it? I made all of this up to drown out reality. I made you up.
If that's what you'd like to think, feel free.
Thank you. I suppose that means I should try to stop talking to myself, in my mind, and try to forget you ever existed.
Goodbye, Dusty.
Hope you enjoyed meeting my oddball protagonist. He isn't much of a talker as you can tell. Don't forget to check out the other participants in the April Blog Chain:

Steam&Ink - (link to this month's post)
orion_mk3 -
Yoghurtelf -
COchick -
xcomplex -
pezie -
aimeelaine -
auburnassassin -
Della Odell -
Juniper -
Proach -
allmyposts -
LadyMage -
dolores haze -

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Listening to the RIGHT critique


Critique is an art of intuition. An art, just like the prose itself. Critique. It is personal stuff that will sometimes lead you in the wrong direction. To be truthful, and to get to the point, I have been working on my query submission like crazy lately, and have actually gotten lucky. 7 requests for fulls and 21 rejections. Wonderful in my honest opinion. But why?

Especially on forums we writers go on and post and we wait and we shed tears over harsh critiques (maybe that is a little over exaggerated) and we change our writing. But when do we know if we really need to change?

Taking critiques is like critiquing yourself, because many critiques are purely opinionated. For one, I have proof with my own personal experience. My query was shed and shredded on a great writers forum (AW). I was sick to death of revising and changing, so I said thank you and went back to the original and sent off 21 queries. Requests! Ka-ching! Sweet, and everyone seemed to say that something in my query didn't make sense and the plot didn't show. But I did something right in order to get such great responses. So before accepting critique, even from your closest friends, think twice. Maybe think three times. Because writing is art and art is about expressing yourself in your own prose and your own style. Everybody thinks and perceives in a different manner, and that is what makes art beautiful.

So how do you know when to accept critique?