Tag Archives: Murder

Write a Story with Me Part 22 — Taking a closer look with Elin Gregory

Some great setting scoped out here by Elin Gregory.  Ooooooo I feel a battle brewing!

22-Elin Gregory

“Protector Sumner?” there was a tone in the watchman’s voice that suggested that he had spoken more than once.

Yoran didn’t take his eyes off the viewing panel. In this place he could not afford to do so for an instant. The combinations of wind, updrafts from the tide and topography that made the approach so difficult demanded his full attention. He altered their course by half a point, less, adjusted the power to the starboard thrusters and waited for the ship to settle, bucking on a new gust of wind. The troops below would be having a rough time. He didn’t envy the men he would assign to cleaning out the jump bays.

“What is it Philpott?” he asked.

The young officer gestured to his own view panel. “I’m picking up an anomaly, sir. A couple of points to starboard there’s a patch – a – I don’t know what to call it sir. It looks like all the rest of the rock face but this new gadget, sir, the heat sensor – it says that it’s warmer. Look, see the yellow?”

Yoran bit back a sharp reply. “I don’t doubt your word, Philpott, but I cannot leave my station. Two points, you say? I think we must take a closer look.”

Philpott sighed and returned his attention to his controls. The Protector was old school with little time for modern gadgets. Philpott decided that news of the other two anomalies that appeared to be accompanying them towards the precipice could wait.

Write a Story with Me is a group endeavor just for the fun of it.  A different writer adds a new 250 words each week.  It is the ultimate Flash Fiction Challenge!

If you’d like to sign up, come on over.  There’s always room for more!

Part One – Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Two – J. Keller Ford

Part Three – Susan Roebuck

Part Four – Elin Gregory

Part Five – Eileen Snyder

Part Six – Mikaela Wire

Part Seven — Vanessa Chapman

Part Eight — Ravena Guron

Part Nine – Vikki Thompson

Part Ten — Susan Rocan mywithershins

Part Eleven — Kate Johnston  AKA 4AMWriter

Part Twelve — Julie Catherine

Part Thirteen — Kai Damian

Part Fourteen — Richard Leonard

Part Fifteen — Sharon Manship

Part Sixteen – Shannon Blue Christensen

Part Seventeen — Bryn Jones

Part Eighteen — Jennifer M. Eaton

Part Nineteen — Shannon Burton

Part Twenty — J.Keller Ford

Part Twenty-One — Susan Roebuck

Part Twenty-Two — Elin Gregory

Don’t forget to stop by next week to see what happens next.

 Aparnauteur —- TAG!  You are “It”

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Review of the Novel “Oracle” by JC Martin

About a month or so ago, I was sent a copy of Oracle by the publisher, and was asked to do a review.  It sat in my inbox for a while.  I had too many books that I WANTED to read, and I really didn’t want to trudge through a police-case style mystery.  Just not my thing, you know?

Honestly, reading the blurb, the story didn’t really interest me, but after reading a novel that I purchased because I wanted to read it–and being disappointed—I decided to give this one a try.

Once again, I will use the Oreo Cookie Concept for reviewing:  Start with the crunchy goodness, dig into the squishy bad, and then end on a crunchy good note.

To start, were there any explosions?  (mild spoiler)  Yep, there are.  Freebie cookie there. (Yeah, I know that’s not fair, but it’s my rating system)

What POV was it written in?  First Person “I”.

UGH!  I hate first person!  Lose half a cookie.

Wait a minute… it’s also in third person.  Huh?  Lose another half a cookie … Let’s get back to this in a little bit.

The Top of the Cookie:  The Crunchy Goodness:

The characters in this story are very believable.  We have a detective and his family facing his own personal problems who is put on a murder case that develops into a serial killer case.  JC Martin did a great job of portraying a man devoted to his family, but dedicated to finding a killer.  The sideline characters are also well played out.  None are stale and forgettable.  Even the rough and tough boss gets to show her soft side, giving us a giggle.  Well Done

The creamy filling… the bad stuff

I’ve harped on typos before.  I was delighted to not find any through most of my reading.  Then, unfortunately, BAM… there it is.  Now, I would have forgiven just one, but it was in the middle of the climax.  I mean, we’re in a life or death situation.  I am completely in the story.  Then SNAG.  What?  I had to stop and re-read the sentence.  I hate that.  The typo reminded me I was reading.  Sorry.  Lose half a cookie. If it were somewhere else, I may have overlooked it.

Points of view:  (Minor Spoiler) The novel starts in the POV of a magician.  It was fine, until the end of the first chapter.  Let’s just say he’s no-longer in the story anymore.  Okay… he’s dead.  I said it.  He’s victim #1.

From here, we are thrown into chapter #2.  This chapter is first person “I” from the POV of the detective.  To me, it was very jarring.  Moving ahead, we will be inside the head of the detective, the killer, and also in the POV of each victim right before they get killed.  After a while I got used to it, but it did bother me in the beginning.  (Cookie already subtracted above)

Now, there is one other POV in the story that I will keep to myself.  Even as I read it, it bothered me because I knew the author was “cheating”.  I cannot tell you more without spoiling the story, but I didn’t like it.  It was done just to add added tension, and I found it unnecessary.  Lose half of a cookie.

Pacing

For the most part, the pacing was great.  Somewhere right before the climax, I was thinking.  “Wait, there’s gonna be another murder? Get on with it.”  Now, I am perfectly willing to admit that I read a few novellas before this, and may have become accustomed to a faster read… but I did get a little impatient in the middle of the story.  This could just be me, though, so I’m not subtracting a cookie for this.

The bottom of the cookie:  Ending on a good note.

Believe it or not, I Actually liked this novel.  Not loved, but liked it.  On a great note, I picked out the “killer” early on in the story.  (I tend to do this a lot)  And I thought I was right until the last few pages.  If I was right, I would have subtracted another cookie.  I really enjoyed that JC Martin gave enough plausible suspects to keep us guessing.  Well done.

POV Switching… while I didn’t like it at first, I did get used to the different POVs once I realized what she was doing.  If I was suddenly thrust into a random person’s head I thought:  “Okay, this one’s a gonner,” and I moved on.  It worked.

Writing style.  JC Martin’s style is sleek and very readable.  She pulls you in to the story, and keeps you reading.  Normally, I am a chapter a night kind of reader.  Frequently, I’d read for longer.  Especially during the climax.  I didn’t want to put the book down.  I kept jumping and biting my nails.  Nicely done.

So… how’d this all pan out?  She got one extra cookie for an explosion… that’s starting out with six cookies, but she dropped down to five because of the POV switching.  I took away half a cookie for the typo in the worst possible spot in the story.  I also took a half for the extra “cheat” POV that I thought was unnecessary.

So that leaves four out of five Oreos for JC Martin’s Oracle

Am I now a mystery fan?  Nope, I’m still not hoping on this bandwagon.

Would I buy another JC Martin novel?  Yes, if the topic seemed interesting.  I’ll have to see if she’d be willing to write something with dragons.  🙂