Monday, June 24, 2013

What's Going On?

Today’s post is typed up while driving from Dallas to La Monte, MO.

The big question in Storm, by Evan Angler, is “What is really going on?” Mr. Arbitor volunteers to help DOME search for Erin, but it’s really to rescue his daughter. Lily continues to “revise” Eddie, but really she needs/wants him fighting the system. Arianna “captures” Logan, Peck, Hailey, and Erin, but really she’s protecting them from DOME and the IMPS. Connor’s parents sabotage the plant that makes it rain, but really they are protecting people from Trumpet. Logan follows Lily’s orders, saves the weather mill, but unleashes a plague. And all of it went according to Cylis’s plan.

Overall Impression: I thought the second book in the series was a vast improvement over the first, so I was looking for the third to be even better. I’m not sure it quite hit the mark. Where the first book felt like a lot of exposition, the second was really good with rising action and a climax. I felt like the third slipped back into a bit too much exposition, although it did pick up toward the end.

Also, with the second book, the jumps between characters were done at high-drama moments, so they helped build anticipation. Just when a character was figuring something out or about to reveal something big, it would jump to a different point of view, building suspense. Those transitions did not work quite as well with this book.

There were some surprise twists – I am still not sure how I feel about the author writing himself into the book. I thought the “Notes from the Author” at the beginnings and ends of the books were a neat touch, but it was strange to be reading about the characters reading about themselves in Swipe. Also, the Ultranet at the very end of the book is somewhat intriguing.

Overall, the book kept me interested and reading, but was obviously one of a series rather than a good stand alone novel.

In conjunction with the CSFF Blog Tour, I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. 

See other reviews here:

Julie Bihn Beckie Burnham Keanan Brand Pauline Creeden Emma or Audrey Engel Sarah Faulkner Victor Gentile Ryan Heart Jason Joyner Carol Keen Shannon McDermott Meagan @ Blooming with Books Rebecca LuElla Miller Joan Nienhuis Writer Rani Chawna Schroeder Jacque Stengl Jojo Sutis Jessica Thomas Steve Trower Phyllis Wheeler

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

'Swipe' by Evan Angler

Swipe, by Evan Angler, was a little difficult to get into. I never felt like I really connected with the main characters, Logan and Erin. A lot of the interactions between characters seemed awkward. Maybe this was done on purpose since they are all 12 or 13 years old, but it made it difficult to relate to the characters.

I think my favorite character was Peck, who you really only meet in the last few chapters. I knew as soon as he was talked about that he wasn’t the terrible menace that the government, or Logan and Erin for that matter, thought that he was. Again, not sure if this was intentional or not by the author, but it was another reason it was difficult to get into the novel. I knew that Logan would discover that Peck wasn’t actually bad, but it took the whole novel to get there, when I just wanted to get on with the story.

One thing that was done well was the setting / world-building. While it wasn’t extensive, I felt like it fit the story, and was unique for an “end of times” Christian novel. Having “the Mark” be something that is already established and a right of passage into adulthood gives the story a good Dystopian /post-apocalyptic feel. It is similar to the trials in Marie Lu’s Legend, the aptitude tests in Veronica Roth’s Divergent, or even the lottery in Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games. It was an interesting approach, and it worked well.

I also felt like Angler did a good job of describing the different cities without getting bogged down into long sections of description, although I felt like the writing was better when he was simply writing the internal dialogue of the characters rather than having the characters interact with one another.

The novel picked up the pace in the last few chapters when Logan goes to get his Mark, determined to find out what really happened to his sister. Erin’s betrayal was not unexpected, but was still disappointing. Logan finally turns into a character that I can like, and I am interested to see how the story continues in Sneak.