Dynamistress is still flawed, still trying to be a hero, and is still more of a hero than she can admit to herself. The memoir approach to the story works, although in this book, we get into the first person point of view of a few more characters. Having mental narration from more than one “I” can be tricky, but this book pulls it off smoothly.
Redemption feels like the middle of a trilogy. Mostly because it is. But also because the storyline is not the typical three act story structure. It is several events in Dynamistress’ life. These events are sequential, most lead to the next event. Still, in the hands of a less skilled writer, I would expect that to lead to a disjointed and bumpy story. But this works. It feels more like real life, and real life can be bumpy.
There are things set up that I KNOW will be dealt with in book three. It does not look like it will be a happy book. But I know I will DEVOUR book three when it comes out.
I originally, and accidentally, gave the book 5 stars due to my putting the review for book one in the wrong place on Amazon. But I cannot see any reason to take off any stars, even with what I mentioned in the storyline: that still works. I look forward to meeting the author (Vincent M. Wales) again at a comic con and talking about that. Nice guy. I’m writing superheroine stories also (more comedic, I like to laugh), and I can learn from him.
I have done the final pass on my novel’s outline. Removed a couple more unneeded chapters, smoothed over the plot, have written the outline beats for every chapter, and made sure to show foreshadowing where it is needed.
Sure, I will find more to fix up, but those will be minor details. Now I can get back to my goal for Fanboys Shrugged: have a complete first draft by late October. I’ll still work on my short stories, but it is time to be an aspiring novelist again. So much I can’t wait to write!
P.S. I changed the title from The Comic Book Code to Fanboys Shrugged a few months ago. A better fit for the theme that has entered the book: the Hollywoodization of the San Diego Comic Con. (And yes, I’d still love to go back, crazy as it is. Maybe next year?)
I think it might have been Beth who, about a year ago, told me that the little girl Holly saves in my novel’s first chapter seemed to be oriental. I ran with that, and thus Kittygirl’s real name is now Katsuko Kimura, and Kittygirl’s mom is a small and tough Japanese woman. If I am right, thank you, Beth. And since I think Beth likely helped me get into Carry the Light (I have not asked that yet), thanks again.
Reckoning (the many deaths of Dynamistress) is about a superheroine, but its pace is not comic book fast. It is slow and deliberate, much like the movie Unbreakable. I did not think that would draw me in, but it did. Dynamistress does not have a happy life, but she carves out her path, including her superpowered origin. She goes through a lot of downs, which make her ups so much more satisfying. Her relationships give her grief and occasional happiness. She does not always handle them well: she is flawed emotionally, and admits it in her memoir-like mental dialog. Yet, she is a hero, even though she does not see herself as one. But when the going gets toughest, watch out, villains!
This book has a soul-baring feel. Its chapters often end on cliffhangers that made me feel tension (done with better effect than the constant cliffs in the Duh Vinci Code). The start of the next chapter is then a quick flashback setting up the upcoming action, making me WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS!!! This is nicely Hitchcockian: it draws out suspense.
I give it this book a high recommendation: the day I finished it, I started reading the next book in the series even though I have many other books to read. I care about Dynamistress, dammit!
At Baycon this year, one of the panelists, Sarah Kuhn, mentioned she had written a book about a fangirl at a comic con. I love comic book conventions. So I bought One Con Glory. I read it. I liked it a lot.
Sarah knows comic book nerds. I am one of those. I learned from her. This book has plenty of trekkie and Buffy and Battlestar and other nerdy references; it has a strong and smart and sarcastic and flawed and lovable heroine; and it has the sights, sounds, and smells of the San Diego Comic Con. Sigh, I miss that.
You will laugh with the cutting remarks, choke up at the roller-coaster romance, and you will want that geek girl to lower her shields and get the cool yet geeky guy. A touch of The Hangover, a touch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (no real superpowers though), and a lot of wonderful witty dialogue.