Review: Rising Tide by Sam Lloyd

Thank you to #NetGalley for providing me a copy of #TheRisingTide to preview, I really appreciate it.

I normally read sci-fi and a bit of fantasy for my fiction, and decided to dip my toe into a contemporary ‘thriller’ type novel to see what it’s like nowadays. Usually I’ll stick with the bestsellers such as Crichton for this type of novel but I’m happy to give an unfamiliar (to me) author a try. 

The story revolves around a mother of 2 and starts on the day her husband goes missing in a boat during a massive storm. It is written from the perspective of the mother who you are meant to empathise with, however there are hints of a disturbing past drip-fed throughout the story. It certainly makes you wonder who you’re meant to be cheering for as the story progresses, which is interesting. I think overall this part was well-done you’re not sure if you’re reading the hero’s thoughts, or the instigator’s. The community of the small English coastal town is done well also, although having been to Cornwall and watched programmes based there, there seems to be a lack of true local flavour in the dialects and the sorts of characters you expect to see in that kind of place. Only a few supporting characters stick out while others have maybe too MUCH character. So for me in some ways there’s not enough characterization, and in other places there’s too much. 

Story-wise, while there were certainly some surprises leading up to the climax of the story, I felt that the ‘shocker’ moments usually weren’t really strong enough to justify some of the reviewer comments that promised colossal-sized ‘OMG!!’ moments. That, or these ‘shocks’ were explained a bit too soon after the BIG REVEAL. 

There’s also hints of out-of-place story lines from some of characters, which aren’t hinted at (or not hinted enough) in the early part of the story, so these kind of come out of nowhere. While I do like some stories that have this ‘uhh where are we going now?’ feel to them that’s not really what I came into this novel with, so it just felt a little out of place. But it does provide enough misdirection I suppose, so maybe it works? 

The other issue I had in general was that while I think this was a pre-release sample, the Kindle formatting was really all over the place. Some sentences had spaces missing between the words but the biggest issue was that many lines on most pages had a single word on a line with the rest of the sentence above and below. 

Overall, though, the story leads to an interesting and quite unexpected (maybe not-hinted-at-enough?) climax, which more than makes up for any possible shortcomings with the rest of the story. It’s fast-paced and reads like a thriller movie in most places, so I’d give it a thumbs-up.


Wow, this is still online?

Amazing! Thank goodness for hosted blogging platforms, eh? (almost) nothing ever dies on the internet…

It’s been so long since I logged in to this blog (or any of my other ones, to be honest) that WordPress has changed several times since.

Well, here we go again! Let’s see how long this stage lasts.

Recently I was able to join NetGalley, which is a handy way to trial and review (!) books. With a Kindle account, you can have recently or soon-to-be-published books sent to you to read and comment on! How about that!?

So that’s what this blog will turn into, along with, potentially, attempts at fiction from myself. The next several posts will be a collection of my book reviews that I’ve done so far.


ugh, been a LONG time…

…and I know no one is following this blog, but whatever! it’s a new year and I’m going to try to write a page per day this year.

Why?

Well I’ve been meaning to write for ages now, it’s part of my Day Zero Project (101 goals in 1000 days, which ends on my 40th birthday later this year) to write a few short stories, but I haven’t been doing anything about it.

Plus, I saw a video yesterday (here) where a woman tells a man she’s not a writer and he says to her “It’s easy, just do a page a day, and at the end of a year you’ll have 365 pages”. That struck a chord with me somehow and so I decided I would give it a shot. If nothing else it will let me get some practice in and I’ll see how good I am when I attempt to re-read what I’ve done!

I haven’t decided yet how to do the writing. I’ll probably do it on Google Docs so I can work on it from various locations or at least make notes on my phone, but I’ll decide later if I put up the pages or chapters on this blog for general viewing.


OK let’s get this thing going!

Right!

OK.

Yes, it’s been a long time, as I titled the most recent post on my other ‘personal’ blog.

But I’ve been thinking, got a lot of ideas now, and now it’s time to sit down and write.

I just need to make the time (like with anything) and what I found today was a post on Lifehacker that explained Jerry Seinfeld’s tip on getting things done. Basically you get a year calendar and mark each day with a big X for each day you get something accomplished. In his case it was writing jokes. In the Lifehacker article they recommend things like cleaning, writing, coding, etc.

So I’m going to use this for writing. Whether it’s for an after-hours thing I’m doing, for the video project I’m working on, or for actual WRITING, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to aim for 500+ quality words for each day I’m writing a story, OR doing editing, OR some solid work on ideas.

I think this tip is a great idea and look forward to hammering out some enjoyable stuff 🙂


5×5 Fiction

Thanks to Mike, who commented on my last post, I found out about 5×5 Fiction, a writing project that collects very short stories that are written in 5 sentences consisting of 5 words each. It’s a cool concept, and the originator of the idea collects his favorite stories in a quarterly collection. It’s harder than you might think at first to be constrained into such constraints! Here is my first attempt at something along these lines:

The balloon floated, rising rapidly. “Momm-meeee!” shouted the little girl. Her mother looked up, annoyed. The balloon man came back. Easy: another day, another dollar.


First attempt at 100-word story

OK, no writing over the weekend, I was a bit lax but relatively busy. But here goes a 100-word story, I’ve been wanting to do this since I first read about it online.

He hung his head, waiting for the flow of angry words to stop. He had no answers to the questions coming at him. Nothing formed in his mind that would make sense. He couldn’t make the questions stop. He could only say nothing and absorb the anger, push down ill-advised comments. Later on, he desperately wanted to explain things, make everything better, but he couldn’t form the words properly. No matter how calming the words might sound in his head he wasn’t able to start talking. So once again, he kept his mouth shut and hoped things would get better.

(the idea for this comes from the 100-word story challenge on the Velvet Verbosity writing blog)


My first attempt at a ‘Twitter story’: 140 characters

I give myself extra points for hitting 140 characters right on the button. So, what, 1.1 points for this one? Anyway, I follow this guy on Twitter that started doing the original 140-character stories (I think he was the first, anyway), and apparently this is ‘a thing’ for writers to do. So here I go:

As she waved goodbye, he knew they would never see each other again. Then the train pulled away, taking with it the tranquility they shared.


First real post: a six-word story

Inspired by this section of Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/sixwordstories

Whatever may come, we shall fight.

edit: I’m not too happy with this one, to be honest – it sounds more like a slogan for an army division or something.


Hey everybody

So, this is the first post in this blog, which is going to be my ‘writing blog’.

Ideally what I’d like to do is pump out something like a short story every week, but I know I’m too busy for that.

What is more likely is that I’ll get out a couple hundred to a few hundred words a day, and after they coalesce into a chapter I’ll ‘release’ the finished chapter on the blog. The work in progress would be visible as it is written.

So maybe it’ll be interesting.

Or maybe it won’t!

You never know until you try 🙂