Nov 16 2010

Bitter Seeds is pretty incredible so far…

Published by at 7:22 pm under Book Review

Through the first several chapters, I’m amazed by the quality of the writing of Bitter Seeds, a paranormal 1920s-1940s novel not merely straddling but making sweet, sweet love to the line between superhero fiction and urban fantasy.  I hope it will retain the charm after we get move heavily into the paranormal WWII stuff.

Some early highlights:

  • The author, Ian Tregillis, is preposterously good at handling settings and scene-building.  Even if you read the first chapter for nothing else, I would recommend checking out how Tregellis uses setting details to set the mood and develop characterization.  (Hint: those kid-sized burial mounds outside the Nazi laboratory?  Not influenza victims).
  • The writing is remarkably tight.  Nothing is wasted.
  • The main character establishes himself pretty early.  Even as a child, he’s sort of interesting.

3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Bitter Seeds is pretty incredible so far…”

  1. Samon 13 Dec 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Thanks for recommending this book. I finally got it from the library and found it so riveting that I stayed up all night reading it.

  2. B. Macon 13 Dec 2010 at 8:16 pm

    I also found it very compelling. I finished it that night even though I had class the next morning. 🙂

    PS: I notice on your website that your most hated book is Moby Dick. It has one of my least favorite famous opening lines ever–“Call me Ishmael.”

  3. Samon 16 Dec 2010 at 7:34 pm

    I agree, “Call me Ishmael” is over-rated. So is the first line of Rebecca – “Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.” Both lines are often cited as examples of compelling openers that make you want to read more, but neither work for me.

    I’ve gotten a lot out of your site, by the way. I found it around the time I started a superhero novel of my own, and you’ve already saved me from several mistakes, like naming my team “Guardians,” among others. And I thought your analysis of “Soon I Will Be Invincible” was spot-on. It helped bring into focus what I hadn’t liked about it, and what I wanted to do differently in my own project. Thank you very much and keep up the good work!

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