September 2018 Archives

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This is a coming of age story set in an alternate version of early twentieth century San Francisco in a world where inhuman creatures such as vampires and lycanthropes are real.

It took me some time to figure out that what the author intended was neither "The Perils of Pauline" nor a Wooster and Jeeves type story, as there are elements of both here. The protagonist is Helena Brandywine, a sheltered little rich girl whose main issue is nobody has ever really held her to the same standards as everyone else, which is a pity (and appears likely to be remedied in future volumes of the series) because she's game to work and wants to make a difference. You can't help but like her, no matter how helpless she appears because she wants so badly to improve things. At one point, she's asked to make a major personal sacrifice and agrees almost without hesitation in order to rescue some people she believes need the help. It's not that she's unwilling, it's that her guardians and keepers have, for reasons of their own, kept her sheltered from the world (the title of the story is a fairly obvious euphemism for something else). So when she goes haring off here and there on wild goose chases only tangentially relevant to her self-appointed mission, it's because she doesn't know any better, not because she's incapable of making a coherent plan. Her primary foil is a police detective who actually possesses the skills she finds herself desiring, including a worldly knowledge such as only someone who's had his face rubbed in the ways of the world can possess. She wants to be Sherlock Holmes; he actually comes fairly close to being Sherlock Holmes.

Most of the supporting cast are at least reasonably distinct characters, and although the plot reflects some of Ms. Helena's present scatterbrained nature, it does come to a coherent conclusion. Although it's something of a 'to be continued', I didn't mind as I think I'm going to keep reading the series.

I give Pretty Waiter Girls a solid seven out of ten rating. By Amazon standards, a four star review.


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The book feels like a guided tour with isolated stops and no feel as to how they all relate to each other. Go here, ask for help. Go there, ask for help. Every once in a while, it's broken by something or other, none of which incidents particularly engaged me. None of the characters engaged me or seemed memorable. The ending seemed like trying to wave a magic wand and failing - not that it didn't get the happy ending for the story - but that it didn't make any kind of real scientific sense, which is important given the nature of the ending.

This story would have benefited from someone reading it and asking the author a few tough or searching questions before publication.

I'm going to give it a five of ten rating - the writing flowed, the author has ability, it just didn't engage me. By Amazon standards, a three star review

I'm slowly getting the covers for my books re-done, one by one. Here is the new cover for Preparing the Ground

PTG new front cover.jpg

 



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Working The Trenches
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Preparing The Ground
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Building the People
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The Invention of Motherhood
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The Fountains of Aescalon
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