What you care about shows in what you make.
Let’s talk about Hacker’s Magic.
See no sin in this sudden burst of reading, this exclusion of the reader from my thoughts as I read. I’ve been stuck offline thanks to a house-move, and it has not done anything to improve my mood. I’ve been binge-reading chapters, without taking notes, and arrived at the end.
By now, if you’re interested to follow along with the narrative, you’re in the point where I don’t want to talk about specific events in the story. Spoilers would ruin what surprise the story has if it really has any surprises, per se. Everything that has happened has been clearly stated ahead of time; every character of importance to this story has been put out there, and the conclusion plays out pretty much exactly as it’s stated it will.
I commented in the last piece how this is a world ultimately defined by incredibly important people, chosen from birth by some cosmic force beyond their understanding, and then pressed into action to deal with it. If you’re not a god, you can at least be a god’s friend, and hope that that will spare you a life of boring horribleness. Instead, you’ll have exciting horribleness. In these last chapters, we hear that cosmic force, or at least, a form of it, finally given a voice, and we’re told why all these things are happening.
The world of Glory in the Thunder is a strange one. I’ve remarked quite a bit lately about work that gives you your fill of the work it does best; some games, some stories, are like that. Rather than spend their time on their weak points, they want to play to their strengths.
If you like political manoeuvring, precisely worded magical rulings, and queer teens, you should definitely read Glory in the Thunder. And do keep reading until chapter 10, at least; keep reading until you learn about Rashk throwing people into the sea, because that’s some of the finest writing in the book.
You thought I’d forgotten? Of course not. Read along, if you want!
Something wonderful happened this time. Rather than sit down with a goal and a desire to tease out something to write about in the chapters I was reviewing, I just read. I just read and enjoyed myself. That’s rather nice. If you’d like to follow along, join me at Chapter 13.
Short and sweet, this time, let’s dive straight in.
Lost the thread a little, with the essay pressure and all that. Exams are coming, but here we go. Let’s pick up again at Chapter 10.
Hullo folks. Trying to read a larger section this time, we’ll see how it goes. As before, here’s where we’re at.
At this point, chapter six, we’re coming up on the quarter-way point through this book. One of the greatest challenges of this experience so far is avoiding nitpicking, which is slow and unuseful, and stylistic suggestions, because that’s asking Elliott to consider, maybe, have you thought about doing something else? Which isn’t useful at all. I’m not trying to tell a friend how to write her book, I’m trying to show her – and other people interested – what I am getting from the book.
Hello, people following Melissa’s twitter links. You enjoying? Anyway, here’s the link to where I was reading last.
Chapter bookmark, for those of you who might… be reading… along? But chances are you’ve already read the books. Still, hi there. Anyway, onwards:
If I try to make all these introductory sections interesting in their own right, I am going to run out of material pretty hecking quickly. To summarise, so far, a god of gravity was stabbed, three hundred years ago, and now a slightly dim boy has gone for a long walk version of ‘I’m going to my room!’
I was planning on making this sort of a weekly thing, but Melissa was curious, and well, I had only a few things to do today. Let’s crack on.
Starting this weekend, I’m going to try reading sections of Melissa Elliott’s doorstopper fantasy novel Glory In The Thunder, a gaslamp novel full of queer teenagers and antitheism. As I read each chapter, broken up, I’m going to write down some thoughts about what I’m seeing in the story, or what I think is good in the story and worthy of mention to people unacquainted with it.
I’m not judging this like it’s Death Note. The critical eye I use when I’m talking about work that is either in flux, or professionally distributed, is not appropriate for this work. First and foremost, this is a work created by one person, with no professional editorial oversight. Second, this is not a draft; this is not a work where I should speak to the author in terms of you should or consider doing this differently. Third, I’m going to try to avoid saying things that are mean – I want to encourage creativity, not crush it because it’s not perfectly suited to me.
This is in part a reading review that seeks to engage with the text on its level, to look at how it tells me the story it’s trying to tell, and to see if I can bore down to what, in this story, is engaging. See, every story is a good story, really; there’s always some audience, some person, who can connect with a work, and someone to whom it means something. That’s sort of why we write at all – there’s a story we want to share, which we want to offer to someone out there who will care, and enjoy it, and think about it.
If you’d like to read along, you can check out the free online copy of Glory In The Thunder, which I’m using.