Book Review

Fiction Express Mondays : Chapter 3.

Voting has closed over at the Fiction Express website so it’s time for me to share my thoughts about the new chapters. Please be aware I discuss some of the things that happen in the chapters and the voting choices so if you haven’t read the chapters yet there are spoilers ahead.

Diary of A Mall Girl by Luisa Plaja.
Last week’s vote resulted in Molly going up to Jewel’s flat and encouraging her to go to Art Boy’s mural meeting. On the way to Jewel’s Molly met Jewel’s brother, he’s also somewhat mysterious and I really liked this. Poor Molly’s life continues to go every way but the way she wants, I really feel for Molly but am thoroughly entertained by her at the same time. Molly’s brother Jamie featured a bit more in this chapter, I really liked getting to see more of him. The relationship between Molly and Jamie reminds me a lot of the relationships many of my friends had with their brothers when we were teenagers. The word that keeps springing to mind about this book is fun, and this chapter has plenty of it.

Soul Shadows by Alex Woolf.
The vote last week saw Estelle realise that Sandor wasn’t in fact Sandor but another of the strange shadow creatures. After escaping him and reaching what seems like safety Estelle finds out much more about what the strange shadows are and meets some people who know a lot about them. I really liked the introduction of the new characters even if the characters weren’t particularly likeable people. I think this new turn of events worked really well, this chapter was a little less scary (not necessarily a bad thing) but moved the plot on really well. There were still moments where I found myself holding my breath, this was another great chapter.

The Soterion Mission by Stewart Ross.
The chapter opened with the group facing the group of Zeds. Other readers had far more faith in the Constants’ battle prowess and voted for them to fight their way out of the circle, this lead to a great fight sequence. For me a fight needs to be clearly written so I don’t lose track of what the characters are doing, this clash certainly met my criteria and I didn’t feel the need to go back and re-read bits so that I knew what was happening as I have had to do with fight scenes before in other books. This was a lovely plotty chapter, I loved hearing more about the Long Dead and seeing books through Roxanne’s eyes. Whilst I had anticipated the ending of the chapter I did hope I was wrong, but the way it was approached was perfect and made my voting very easy for once.

The Last Symbol by Rebecca Morton.
Thankfully the vote last week didn’t go against Miko and Lok, the new chapter showed them being taken in by the Blues. There was plenty of excitement and tension within the chapter, I found myself trying to read faster so that I could find out what was going to happen. Drina, Miko’s sister, continues to feature and keeps the reader informed of what is happening back in Zenith. I really like seeing the story from both sides, it definitely helps to build the tension. I liked the introduction of Oldtown, it was very strange to see something so familiar (Blues aside) be described as so alien to Miko. I think this really helped to highlight again how different Miko’s world is.

After plenty of thought here’s how I voted at the end of chapter 3:

  • Diary of a Mall Girl – Jasper should be at Molly’s door.
  • Soul Shadows – Estelle should go back with Sandor to the facility to get medical help for the injured soldier, then return for Derek (if Mitchell will allow it)
  • The Soterion Mission – The Tallins should obey Zavar’s wish, leaving him to die while they press on with the mission.
  • The Last Symbol – Miko should follow Cadmar’s advice and ask to train with Marsha, even though she has clearly taken a dislike to him.

What do you think? How did you vote?

7 thoughts on “Fiction Express Mondays : Chapter 3.

  1. Very many thanks JJ. It’s a taxing task wrirting a chapter a week, especially if one tries to make it a bit more than just a crash-bang-wallop, incident after incident affair, so it’s truly heartening to read that someone appreciates it! And yes, I was surprised at the readers’ realpolitik decision – I think Taja must have been behind it somewhere!

  2. I now feel – as one should – that the characters are beginning to write the novel for me. But there’s a surreal conflict on the horizon between them and the readers, I’m sure.
    Can one imagine a situation where the characters leave the page, log in and vote? There’s a short story for someone …

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