Friday, May 18, 2012

Still Searching for the Next Great Read

Each week I try to review a book that really rang my bells.

So what happens when I have read 6 books in one week and out of those six books I was only moderately interested enough to finish 2 of them, and I still don’t have a book worth calling ‘best’?

I keep on reading, hoping to come across a new L.T. Suzuki or a young Tad Williams.

What do I look for in a book? First, because I read so much that is produced by the indie author, I don’t really expect perfection in the editing department. After all, even big name authors like Rick Riordan and Stephen King have some editing errors in their work and they have big publishing behind them. As a rule, if it is a great story I can ignore most errors as long as they aren’t too frequent.  

But if I can be forgiving about some editing errors, there is one thing I must have and that is a real, interesting and original story that is worth talking about and worth telling my friends about. I want a well-thought-out plot with great tension and characters that interest me and draw me into their lives.  I want consistent, believable magic and political systems and if you have nothing new for me, then I want new takes on old plot twists. I want a big finish if it is the first book in the series, despite that fact that the author may have a series in mind.  I want that first book to stand alone, and leave me wondering what is going to happen after that last page is turned.
In short, every time I start a new book, I am hoping to read something that moved me the way L.T. Suzuki's 'Imago, A Warrior's Tale' moved me when I first read it. The trouble is, I already reviewed it here on October 21, 2011.

I am sorry to say that this week I didn’t have time to read more than 6 books. Out of those 6 books, 2 were moderately good reads and 4 were stinkers.  The four stinkers had more problems than I could explain in one post.  I will simply say that atrocious sentence structure gagged me with overwhelming descriptions of eye-color and scenery or offended me with random, inexplicable incidents of extreme violence for the sake of the shock value. The authors had killed their own books in the first 5 chapters. 
Rather than poke needles in my eyes, I deleted them from my Kindle and moved on, hoping for a jewel in the next book.

The 2 moderately decent books began with great promise.  They had imaginative plot ideas, and wonderful characters.  In both cases, I finished the book because of the characters and I wanted to know what happened. Neither book ended well, and by the halfway point the plots were faltering and I was unable to understand how the characters used their rather muddled magic powers.  But I did like the characters and I hope that the authors continue working on their writing skills because they do show promise.

But I do have around 50 or more books queued up in my Kindle that I have not yet read (being only able to read about 6 a week) so I am sure to have something new and wonderful to talk to you all about next week!

Until then, my friends! Happy reading!


Teresa Cypher said...

Hi Connie, Isn't it amazing how reading a boatload of books fine-tunes our review skills? How well-developed our reader's eye, gets? It is awfully disappointing to spend time on a story that doesn't work.

Still, I am often plagued by blindness toward my own work :-) Thank God for Beta readers :-)

I hope that you find your book soon. I love it when one knocks my socks off--especially when I have little expectation. :-)

Connie J Jasperson said...

Poor Carlie Cullen is slogging her way through the beta/line edit of 'Forbidden Road'. She is a champion, to suffer through that! I read much better than I write!

Deborah Jay said...

I think its awesome that you can get through so many books in one week! But how sad that such a high percentage are so lacking - and this is what so many are so concerned about with the huge explosion in Indie publishing.
I try to read samples from twitter friends, and so far have had quite a few disapointments: such as one who positively revelled in the freedom to do whatever she liked with punctuation (believe me, it didn't add to her work and was really annoying), and one who offered a short story that didn't end, it just stopped. If there's no ending, I don't see how you can call it a 'story'.
Maybe I'm old fashioned in what I expect of a story/novel, but it sounds like I'm not alone.
Out of interesst, how do you choose what to read?

danniehill said...

Connie. Good luck in your search but I totally agree with your choice of good reads! I love Lrona Suzuki's Imago series. The best I've read in a long time.

Sabrina A. Fish said...

I hope your next 6 books are more promising!!! I am impressed you are able to read so many. I have a book by a local writer I am trying to finish and review, but I am also trying to be mommy and wife as well as finish revisions on my own debut novel. *sigh* It'll get finished this week, I hope. I look forward to the next fabulous review you post! I have several books added to my list thanks to you, dear lady!