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June 11, 2014

I finally found another new icky bug on the shelves. Once again, as I’ve done with most other books I’ve talked about, I won’t mention the title so not to bias you one way or the other. My point is to bring up a few issues I’ve been talking about to show how they have been ignored for good or bad.


The author uses the first half of the book to introduce a large cast of characters. His technique is to start each chapter with a bit of action then use the majority of that chapter to delve into the characters life story, ending with a bit of action to sum it up. This pattern holds true for eight or ten major characters and a few minor ones as well.


What he did right is that each chapter has a beginning, a middle and an end. He also has a flow. However, he develops a pattern of tedium which doesn’t change much until the second half where the real action picks up. By then, all the characterization is out of the way and the story moves.


This could work okay in a novel, which it did for me, though I found the first half a bit tedious and repetitious. It wasn’t until the second half that the action really kicked in. To repeat a word, the real kicker for me is that this novel was originally an e-book serial! That’s right, it was originally published as a series of e-books. That means the first two mini-books in the series were basically all character exposition, with just enough action to glue it all together.

Since this book, not sure if it was the completed form or the original serial, was endorsed by Stephen King and Dean Koontz, I’m not surprised. Both authors, especially King, love to blather on and on and on with character exposition while sprinkling in just enough action to give the story a little movement. I’m no fan of King. However, at least with Koontz, he tends to move things along. His books are shorter and more to the point.

There are plenty of people out there who are big fans of character exposition, so they latched right on to the first two installments of this series. By the end, the author had enough sales to warrant a printed novel.

The author did two things I don’t recommend. He slammed the reader with way too much character exposition, and his story flow was tedious for the first half of the book. Yet he got published apparently on the merits of good e-book sales and high-end author endorsements.

It can be done that way. So far, the reviews are very mixed, like from one to four stars, so I’m not exactly off the mark, despite the endorsements. Time will tell.

I know of too many great authors that do it right and get much better reviews.

The choice is yours.

Happy writing.

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