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Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Review: Never Deal With Dragons

Great title, great cover, and yet...

I came very close to not reviewing this. Why? Because I only review books I like and this teetered on the edge. But, I decided to review it because it had some really good points and I think a lot of people will like it.

What worked for me: This is so witty and fun, right from the first page. The voice is funny and captivating. If you enjoy quirky main characters and a story that hasn't been told before, this may be fore you. The futuristic world is unique and interesting. The different take on dragons was a blast. While our main character Myrna's sense of humor is a bit dark, I liked it for the most part. She started out spunky and independent and I instantly liked her. There is some great tension between Myrna and Trian that held a lot of promise. The romance took a very, very long time to start to take center stage but once it did it was well worth the wait. 

What didn't work for me: The info dump all across the first fifty pages drove me crazy and nearly made me stop reading. All that information would have been much more interesting if the author would have 'shown' us with action and scenes instead of simply 'telling' us. I understand that this is a hard temptation to fight when writing in narrative first person, but it can be done and has been often to great effect. Unfortunately, the 'telling' instead of 'showing' never stopped. Then there is Myrna's odd, complete insensitivity to watching animals being devoured alive. While I'm an animal lover, I'm also a realist with a tough skin, but this callousness started to get to me after a few scenes of it. I get where the author was going with this, but it didn't exactly make me like that aspect of Myrna.

One small detail that kept nagging at me. The future in this book is based off the premise of constant EMP pulses continually knocking out electronics. Reality: EMP pulses don't keep going. Whether caused by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, they pulse, then they stop. Without something to keep them going, they don't just keep going. There is never any mention of why these pulses keep happening. No mention of storms, nothing. As a writer myself, I understand authors are allowed to take liberties in fiction, but even fiction has it's rules.

Summary: Myrna's voice is great, it will pull you in and make you want to experience this world with her. For that reason, I believe a lot of people are going to love this book and I encourage you to give it a try if you like alternate futures, dragons, and quirky main characters. 

4 comments:

  1. Great review, Heather! Those things that drove you nuts would bug me too.

    Thank you for your sweet words on my blog yesterday!

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    1. You're very welcome! I'm so incredibly excited for you. Hopefully now Hollywood will come knocking. ;)

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  2. Heather, this is a great review. It's so hard when you read books and struggle with issues. But I'm glad you did this, because I'm going to read it to learn from this experience.

    I want to see what she did right...and how the info dump came across so I don't do it too. I think that so many authors read your posts...that we can all learn from this book.

    Lorenda should be very grateful for this excellent review. Not everyone can like everything. But we can all learn from each other. The goal is to get better, and sell books. You did both for Lorenda.

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    1. Well said Karlene! You're so right. We can learn from every book!

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