Abendau's Heir discussion

Brian G Turner

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I dipped into this last night and read the prologue, and was very impressed - I know Jo has had a few choice words to say about prologues, and here she demonstrated that she knew exactly what she was talking about.

The character dynamics were excellent, especially how she turned Ealyn into a very active character, despite that he's physically restrained throughout the scene.

We also have clear conflict, stakes, and questions of how the story will now develop.

I do enjoy it when I learn from a book, and I'm already putting her prologue on my study list - to look more carefully at how she deals with the dynamics in this short but succinct scene.

PS - As this is a discussion thread, rather than review thread, please do use spoiler tags for later chapters!
 
I have a complaint to make. :devilish:

I planned to read just the prologue in bed last night, but I couldn't put the darn thing down and I'm much further in than I intended to be, at the expense of sleep!

The horses, dogs, cats and chickens are also lining up here with their complaints, since the knock-on effect was that they all got their breakfasts later than usual this morning. :rolleyes:

Great book so far, Jo, and I haven't read any of it before, so I'm finding it gripping reading.
 
Thanks so much, Brian and Kerry. This is like the mother of all crit threads... :) I'm already patting betas and editors on the back and going 'You were right... (@Hex always liked the prologue scene. :) and Teresa's feedback transformed the start of the book).

I don't know if it's better for the writer to contribute or not. I have no idea of etiquette in this sort of thing - I mean I have the book out but I've been discussing it around the Chrons for years. Any thoughts? But what a nice dilemma to have. :)
 
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Any thoughts?

Hush, we're reading! ;)

Probably best just to enter when and where appropriate questions come up, or you think you can add something helpful to any such discussion. Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy them. :)
 
I'm up to chapter 5 now, and quite enjoying it. It's certainly a tense beginning, not least in Kare's POV scenes. Good use of visceral reactions, though perhaps a little too much at times - a very minor niggle, though. A lot of other books I pick up would threaten to bore me at this stage.

Is it just my imagination in that Ealyn's first spoken words invoke something of Han Solo? :)
 
I'm up to chapter 5 right now and am enjoying it a lot. If I can make any comment, neither good or bad, I am a little thrown by the sheer volume of colons : and semicolons ;

While they are technically correct I suppose, they draw my attention where punctuation shouldn't. But that's probably just how I read how, as an aspiring author.

The book has drawn me in though, and Im very excited to see what happens (y)
 
I'm on chapter 16 and love the way the story is progressing.

Bonus points to everyone involved too, because it feels so polished. I had to laugh because a couple chapters ago I was thinking...'when is this going to be introduced' and the next chapter there it was right when I was hoping for it.

The pacing is perfect, characters feel strong, and descriptions are right on the mark.
 
I'm on chapter 16 and love the way the story is progressing.

Bonus points to everyone involved too, because it feels so polished. I had to laugh because a couple chapters ago I was thinking...'when is this going to be introduced' and the next chapter there it was right when I was hoping for it.

See, that's torture because now I'm wondering what it was!
 
Just finished it. Wow, Jo.

Words fail me. I am not usually a big reader of scifi, more fantasy, but this story gripped me from beginning to end.

At first I was thinking "Jo wrote this. The Jo I have coffee with, the one who recommended I join Chrons, the one who taught me about dialogue punctuation", but about 2 chapters in, I forgot completely and just enjoyed the book.

I bought it because Jo wrote it and if I'm perfectly honest, I probably wouldn't have otherwise because sf really doesn't often draw me in, but this was so well - written that I couldn't put it down. I am glad I wasn't involved in beta reading it so I could get the full enjoyment of seeing the story unfold for the first time.

Hats off to Jo, Gary, Teresa and Sam.

Now when's the next one coming out?
 
I'm enjoying it, too. Was somewhat annoyed at Kare's treatment by the Banned - after all that he'd been through I was hoping to see him bring his powers to bear - why not use them? And why treat him that way if he's so important - don't they have officer's training? Then I realised my emotions were being manipulated by the author playing the "unfair" card. Heh.

It is a good story, and nothing about the writing is less than a high commercial standard. Would probably categorise it as YA fiction, due to the focus on character over technology, and their themes. And I swear I keep finding little film cues in it.
 
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Thanks, Kerry. (Eeeeeee.)

I'll come in on the YA thing, if that's okay, @Brian Turner , because I think it's a good conversation in terms of other writers. I considered at one stage making it YA because the first half or so of the book is very YA in theme - the focus on our place in the world, the age of the characters, the (dare I say it) k-i-s-s-i-n-g.... I think this is a real difficulty for anyone writing something that covers a span of years or, who, like me, enjoys writing characters at the edge of adulthood.

Two things stop it from being classed as young adult (although I think some YAs would enjoy it very much.) Firstly, there is a very marked change of focus and tone in the last third of the book and those become, I think, more adult in nature. But also because it's the first of a trilogy and the next two take part some ten years on (not a spoiler, it'll be in the blurb) and they are very focused on adult concerns and interactions with the world.

So a tough call, that one. :)
 
It's a fair comment - my Kindle says I'm still only 30% of the way in.

And did you put Star Wars cues in on purpose, or is that just my personal bias? :)
 
It's a fair comment - my Kindle says I'm still only 30% of the way in.

And did you put Star Wars cues in on purpose, or is that just my personal bias? :)

There are a few nods to sf (not just Star Wars) in it. Not anywhere near on the level of Jo Walton's awe inspiring breadth, but a couple of small ones. :)

I think it has always been a book which takes off in the last half - from there the story deepens. Part of that is the need, as with most epic, to establish the world, part of it is the embedding of the central characters, all of which takes time.
 
I finished it. I thoroughly enjoyed Abendau's Heir, and it was an interesting read because this and Mouse's Shuttered were the first ever stories I beta'd, and now I've had the pleasure of seeing them both published. :)

I already knew what was going to happen in the story, so this gave me the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the storytelling itself, a rare treat. Abendau was alway good, but it's come a long way and now flows effortlessly through the years - one of my pet peeves in many books is awkward 'time jumping' and Jo does this very well.

It does go quite dark, but it's a thoughtful, needed darkness, not dark for shock value, and that makes all the difference I think. But definitely not YA, though older teens will have no problems reading it, I think.

Looking forward to the next one - I haven't read 2 and 3 so that will be a whole different experience! :)
 

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