17 April 2009

Beta reading

A few months back, you may remember that Word Nerd talked about asking a few trusted readers to read her whole WIP and give feedback.

Well, as has been said, turnabout is fair play and so now Word Nerd is doing this for a writer pal and she's realizing just what hard work she subjected her friends to. This is a different kind of reading than just reading a book for fun. It's harder because you have to pay more attention and figure out how to tactfully explain problems and still give praise where praise is due. (It's so much easier to pick on the negatives.)

What this really brings Word Nerd to is a big THANK YOU for her magnificent seven who have read/are beta reading her WIP. She really didn't know what she was putting you through and you absolutely deserve every ounce of thanks and credit possible for helping make the WIP better.

14 April 2009

Book Banter -- Matriarch

Title: Matriarch (Wess'har wars, bk. 4)
Author: Karen Traviss
Length: 381 pages
Genre: Sci-fi

Things continue to deteriorate around the planets of Bezer'ej and Wess'ej as the Eqbas Vorhi ship prepares to restore ecological balance to the iseni before moving on to Earth. Meanwhile, as hard as Shan Frankland has tried to keep the c'naatat contained to herself, Aras and Ade, she is furious to learn that Rayat and Lindsey were infected. Shan struggles to keep her own moral compass as the Eqbas contemplate unleashing bioweapons on the iseni and what they will do to Earth when they get there.
Banter Points: The plot basics don't really cover this book very well. As Word Nerd has discovered in the past, writing these for the books well into a series is hard. Nevertheless, the series just keeps bringing it, adding plot twists and forcing characters to grow and adapt to the alien environments they find themselves in.
Bummer Points: Some of this book seemed a little light on action and a bit heavy on the philosophy.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Top-notch sci-fi here. Read it if you are a fan of the genre.

07 April 2009

Book Banter -- Greywalker

Title: Greywalker
Author: Kat Richardson
Length: 341 page
Genre: urban fantasy
Plot Basics: P.I Harper Blaine dies for a whole two minutes after the vicious attack of a small-time crook she's chasing. When she recovers, she discovers that she can see into the Grey, the shadowy realm between life and death. Her Greywalking ability leads her into the territory of vampirs, ghosts and one terrifying antique that could destroy much of Seattle if Harper doesn't figure out how to stop it.
Banter Points: Word Nerd was jonesing for some good urban fantasy and had seen the Greywalker books while browsing at a book store. The concept of the Grey is cool and again, its nice to see a book with vampires in it where they are still scary guys and not the main squeeze of the female protagonist.
Bummer Points: This book sort of screamed first novel. There were lots of info dumps and lots of places where Richardson had to spell out how the Grey worked. Word Nerd felt like she didn't get to know Harper well enough, or that the stakes were never high enough for her personally.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Word Nerd will tackle the next two books in the series, hoping that Richardson improves with time. There's enough good about these to make it worth it.

06 April 2009

March and Literary Year Bibliometer

Word Nerd crunched her reading stats a week ago, but just kept forgetting to post. Here are the salient numbers.

March 2009
8 books
2743 pages
88 pages/day average

2009 YTD
23 books

March also saw the end of the 2008-09 Literary Year. Word Nerd's seventh such LY was right on par with the others. (The Literary Year marks when Word Nerd began keeping her book list during her last year of college).
LY 2008-09
96 books
Seven Year Total = 573