Friday, May 13, 2011

Picked up stitch....

Okay, so despite my review of Lynsay Sands book A Quick Bite in my last blog, I decided to go on and read another of her books, A Bite to Remember.  I *thought* this was her second book, but apparently it's her 5th in the Argeneau vampire series.  

This book was a huge improvement on the previous book I read.  Here, we have Vincent, the protagonist vampire, and Jackie, the mortal who fears vampires due to an experience when she was young.

The beginning starts strong, Vincent owns a acting production company where a saboteur is ruining his productions, progressively becoming more and more vicious in the process.  He wants to stop the saboteur so he can get back to work.  Clear goal.  Jackie and her partner Tiny are hired to find the saboteur.  Her goal, though the same as Vincent's, is for a very different reason.  She is a detective, she was hired to find the saboteur.  This is her job.  Again, clear goal.  Now, you might say - same goal, no good.  Not true.  They may have the same goal, but they have the goal for very different reasons.  This is good.

Now, throughout the course of the book, we discover certain things about the characters.  There is a little overflow of backstory describing why Jackie is not completely comfortable with vampires and why, despite her attraction to Vincent, she refuses to see him as a romantic interest (other than the whole employer/employee thing).  While the backstory is imperative to the plot, I felt that it could have been incorporated a little better rather than just one single backstory dump, but still.  Her characters are still a bit shallow, but better in this one, and I appreciate that she keeps the cast list small and easily manageable.  At the end of the book there was a large influx of seemingly unnecesary characters that I was unsure about, but due to their small role, I didn't feel that it really detracted from the story. 

This story also had a clear structure.  I have studied the W plot of Karen Docter, and the three act structure as described in Fiction Writing for Dummies.  Both run parallel.  The structure in this book works really well in that regard.  There is  a clear movement from one act to the next and a clear escalation of circumstances.

There were some good complexities in this story as well - like the last one however, there was a sort of Deus Ex Machina ending - the "coincidence" that solves the crime that was a bit too fortuitous to be believable, but this book shows a great contrast in writing.  The story lines are similar, but I think to look at this book, and compare it to the one that I described before is really a great study in how you can turn a troubled manuscript into something workable.



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