Book Review

Fiction Express Mondays : Chapter 9.

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 sent Molly to do her work experience at Jasper’s mum’s music school, a choice that saw her upset Wendy again and miss out on the chance to interview Art By for the law firm’s magazine. We finally got to hear the whole story behind Jewel and Jasper’s mysterious family, I found that I really felt for both of them, and their mum. My heart sank when Ameera managed to drop Molly in it with Jasper, it had all been going so well that I’d forgotten she knew who the mysterious dad was. With just two chapters to go I hope everything gets sorted!

Soul Shadows by Alex Woolf.
The chapter this week starts with Soul-Carl mentioning a potentially nasty side effect of touching a newly formed shadow, I knew it was going to play a part in this week’s chapter. Estelle’s decision to follow Robert’s plan felt a little sudden, but then I think this probably went well with the amount of pressure she’s faced in such a short amount of time. I felt really let down when it turned out Robert had lied, I’d really hoped there was light at the end of the tunnel for Estelle and Sandor. Like Estelle I found Derek’s end pretty satisfying and Jethro made me cheer for the second week in a row. Things are all starting to feel a bit desperate, I can’t begin to work out how Estelle and Sandor are going to get free for good!

The Soterion Mission by Stewart Ross.
Timur’s discovery that within Alba there were Constants willing to work with Zeds seemed to appeal to his power hungry psyche, I loved how quickly he could see himself as a god. I thought the discussion between Roxanne and Cyrus about why they were on the mission was quite poignant, these quieter moments are a lovely contrast to the harder parts of the story. I liked that we finally got to find out about the third book and how this added to their discussion, what a set of books to have! The twist when they finally reached Alba was a real surprise though when I thought about it it went well with what had come before. It feels like everything’s building up well for a great final couple of chapters.

The Last Symbol by Rebecca Morton.
The vote meant that Drina didn’t stick with the story Tyron had cooked up, instead telling the truth leading to him being enhanced. There were plenty of twists and turns this week, and Miko had to make some really difficult choices. I liked the way he was starting to think about the bigger picture and trying to push through his own agenda without Prophate realising it. I really don’t know which way the vote will go this week but I think Miko’s going to have a hard time regardless of which option wins.

Time for me to be honest, I spent all of yesterday thinking there was something I needed to do, I remembered at about 10.15 this morning that it was read and vote. So I missed the boat this week, but here’s how I would have voted:

  • Diary of a Mall Girl – Molly should make excuses, leave Liam and go to confront Art Boy.
  • Soul Shadows – They should use the ventilation duct to go to the electrical room, switch off the electrified fence, then escape to the roof, climb over the fence and escape.
  • The Soterion Mission – Yash and his archers should try to sneak Roxanne and Cyrus to the mouth of the Soterion cave without anyone noticing.
  • The Last Symbol – Jamese should pass on Miko’s message to all of the people on the list she gave to Miko.

What do you think? How did you vote? How do you think the stories will end?

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6 thoughts on “Fiction Express Mondays : Chapter 9.

  1. Once again, JJ, thank you so much for the kind and (if I may say so) perceptive comments. The great temptation with the week-by-week format is to let plot overwhelm other aspects of the novel. Battling with this, I’ve tried to build character (even with the dastardly, Richard III-esque Timur) and relationships so that the reader’s involvement is at a slightly more enduring level than simply what-will-happen-next. Readers might even see the whole thing as allegory – but I couldn’t possibly comment! One day, when I get a moment, I’ll talk on my blog about how the idea for the book came from Yr 6 primary school children answering the phone when office staff were away at lunch time.
    Enough. Thanks again JJ and hope you enjoy the last two chaps. Might need a hankie at the ready?

  2. Thanks so much again for reading all the stories and summarising your thoughts on them. I love reading your posts and I’m going to miss them as much as the novels themselves in a couple of weeks, I think!
    (Oh, and I also have a post lined up about something that inspired my book. It should be going on the Girls Heart Books site in a couple of weeks!)
    Thanks again, Jenni.

  3. Thanks Jenni. Really appreciate your comments. Sorry things are desperate for E and S right now. Hopefully things will sort themselves out soon though, for better or worse! If I can just find a way of coaxing my mutant climbing plant back to the trellis…

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