Category Archives: Reviews by Atrium

The Thief: a Master Class in Pacing

For my writing students, I recommend this book as a master class study in pacing for inserting the rights elements at the right moment. Continue reading

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Killing Off the Bad Guys: Robin Hobb’s Series Finale

But the power of the dragons is so overwhelming that the deaths seem puny, and the humans who kowtowed to the bad guys seem parochial in their fear. Here’s a clear warning for Martin when Daenerys’ dragons are grown, hey? Continue reading

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Crime Novel by Mosiman

What happens next? The morbid curiosity was active, and the characters well drawn enough that I could put the story down and return with a memory of events and who was in the next scene. Continue reading

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Marina Dyachenko: Keep the Plot Uncomplicated

Dyachenko’s story offers many situations where Egert is humiliated and heaps shame on him with relish. But Egert Soll was driven by the curse and had no choices except one time he uttered “no” instead of “yes”. This is not a moral dilemma where his free will decides his fate. Continue reading

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Unrequited Love is Key to Keeping Fans

Here we find the real problem of women as heroes. A female hero succeeds when she finds a protector while she goes about producing the next generation. A guy hero succeeds when he rides off into the sunset to the next adventure. No matter how well written for style, scholarship, pacing, plot, or level of diction – the fans of our stories ride along on a fantasy that resides in the hero’s (or heroine’s) unrequited love. It’s the story of unrequited love that captures the fans. Continue reading

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Kage Baker: Make a Satisfying Ending

When The Anvil of the World neatly tied up all concerns into a hopeful package at the end, I had this odd sense of satisfaction, a feature that was once a prerequisite to securing a publishing deal. Hurrah for self-publishing! Continue reading

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Louise Erdrich: About the Unreliable Narrator

I found the central character to be Cally who struggles to find meaning in the advice, myths, strange gestures, broken dreams of her parents-stepfather-cousin-grandmas-ancestors. The details Erdrich presents of their disassociated lives are unsparing and often funny. Continue reading

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Luck in the Shadows by Lynn Flewelling: A Review

The struggle in the final act means the watcher and apprentice fight on the side of the current royal family for whom only three scenes were spared, and vanquish a long-simmering blood feud for which only two scenes were constructed. Continue reading

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