Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Analysis - The Ordinary by Jim Grimsley

I'm calling this an analysis because it isn't a review. It's another book that didn't appeal to me, but got lots of good reviews on Goodreads. So what didn't work for me?

It starts as a first contact sort of thing - a high tech world investigating a seemingly primitive society. That got my attention. The main character, Jedda, is in the right place with the right skills to be selected for the team. I liked her. Halfway through the book we have a shift. It might seem like a primitive society, but they have powerful magic. OK, that's cool. But the spotlight moves away from Jedda and I lost interest. The book ends with Jedda being the savior of the magic world, I guess. Either I skimmed a really important part, or just didn't get it, because I couldn't figure out why her? Or, and this is even worse, I couldn't figure out what she did to save that world, although everyone was very pleased with her.

Some of the other characters are immortal and the summary of their lives to bring the reader up to date wasn't very interesting. I wanted to get back to Jedda and her compatriots.

I've read in a number of places the the first chapter is a promise to the reader about what the book will be. I think that might be part of my disappointment with this book. We went from first contact to the internal conflicts of the magic land's magic wielding royalty. I think I wanted to see more of how the tech world was reacting.

So how do I use this information? I guess I need to take a look at my WIP and make sure the through-line of the story doesn't change its focus. Easy to see in other's work, not so easy to pick up in my own.

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