Multi-volume author, Bruno Goncalves introduces us to the first of a series, “Descent Into Mayhem”:
After two hundred years of isolated existence, the colonists of Capicua, a fertile super-earth orbiting Gliese 667C, find themselves confronted with a newly arrived paramilitary force aiming to impose annexation through force of arms.
Oblivious to the impending invasion, Toni Miura joins Capicua’s decrepit armed forces in a bid to escape domestic troubles, aiming for the privilege of driving the Hammerhead, a bipedal armored suit which is the epitome of his planet´s ailing warrior spirit.
With the arrival of the earthborn raiders, Toni’s unqualified platoon, brimming with misfits and plagued by internal differences, finds itself suddenly thrown into the midst of battle. Abandoned by their seniors in the course of their mission, Toni and the remnants of his unit become lost in the wilderness of a world which, owing to the nature of its orbit, suffers periodically from planet-wide hurricane conditions.
So begins a race against time, where a handful of cadets will be forced to outmaneuver a pursuing enemy in the boondocks of a turbulent planet, all the while seeking to deliver an odd but important Bavarian prisoner-of-war to their Headquarters.
I read the story and found it quite appealing. Having a background in military service and construction, and being an avid fan of Sci/Fi this book was tailor-made for me. I derived a lot of satisfaction in the story, easily relating to Toni and his troubles both internal and external. Bruno gives great descriptions of the military emplacements and their construction; the mechanisms of the walking battle suits, weapons and tactics; and the difficulties inherent to the world of Capicua.
This is also one of the problems of the book, the balance between necessary background information and the actions of the characters, including dialogues, is tilted too heavily away from the characters and their interactions.
While we are talking about balance, the story is heavily weighted in the favor of Toni; there is far less story about Kaiser, who he meets on the battlefield over halfway through the book, it seemed like two separate stories unlikely to clash until they finally engaged in combat.
The book opens with an interesting prologue of a tired warrior on the battlefield. Set about 20 years before the story of Toni, I failed to see the significance to his story. While good in and of itself, the prologue did not seem to relate, and therefore seemed unnecessary.
I came across some unusual words that sent me to the dictionary. Bruno used the words without explanation which leaves the reader to struggle with the meaning, I think an improvement is needed in this area because it detracts from the pleasure of a good story.
The reader has to do some work to fully appreciate the story. Bruno could have made it much easier, allowing the reader to stay within the world of Capicua.
Bruno has a really good story here, but it has a lot of rough edges and some structural defects. I rate this book 3.5 stars of 5.
The Magic of Fiction Crafting Words into Story The Writer’s Guide to Writing and Editing By Beth Hill
Professional editor and author, Beth Hill introduces us to her book, “The Magic of Fiction”:
The prospect of writing a novel can seem daunting, but writing, revising, and editing fiction don't have to be headache-inducing tasks.
In The Magic of Fiction, editor Beth Hill helps you master the ins and outs of writing fiction. Learn how to create stronger first drafts to streamline the revision process later. Learn how to work and rework the fiction elements. And learn how to self-edit your stories whether you intend to self-publish or plan to submit your manuscript to an agent or publisher, whether you're a first-time novelist or a many-times-published author.
This book is your comprehensive guide to crafting fiction. It’s the perfect resource for writers planning to self-publish, authors looking for an edge for their manuscript submissions, and freelance fiction editors looking for a handbook on the craft. Students and educators will also benefit from having specifics about writing and editing in one book.
The Magic of Fiction addresses all aspects of writing and editing, from the mechanics to story issues to style concerns. In it you'll find tips, explanations, suggestions, examples, and a boatload of questions to guide your writing and editing.
This guide includes:
• A comprehensive editing checklist
• Fixes for common writing mistakes
• Specifics for punctuation in dialogue
• Tips for putting setting to work for your fiction
• Recommendations for strengthening plot, character, and dialogue
• Suggestions for editing for the reader
• Help for writing to genre conventions
• Tips for word choices
• A guide for editing approaches
and much more.
Why you need this book:
Every fiction writer should be equipped to not only write well, but to rewrite and self-edit. There are books designed to help you write a novel, books to help you revise, and books to help you with the nitty-gritty of punctuation and grammar. The Magic of Fiction brings all these elements together in a single friendly, easy-to-digest, and comprehensive resource for the writer looking for an edge in today’s literary marketplace.
Easy and convenient to use
The format of The Magic of Fiction helps you focus on what you need when you need it. Chapters provide a detailed discussion of topics and end with “quick lists” and suggestions to help you get straight to work on your own stories.
Written by a freelance fiction editor who’s seen hundreds of works in progress, The Magic of Fiction will help you produce high-quality fiction that will stand out for all the right reasons.
600 pages is an intimidating number. It is like standing at the base of California Redwood tree and thinking about climbing it.
Do not let the size of this book pressure you into not starting the climb, at the end you will wish there was more!
Beth Hill has taken the mystery of editing and writing and broken it down into digestible pieces. She has sections dealing with plot, characters major and minor, perspective and point of view. She writes about the beginning, the middle and end story. She explains about punctuation, grammar and styles. Then she gets into the real meat of writing, word choices, keeping yourself out of the story, cutting the fat. Finally, she pulls back the last curtain and discusses the art and science of editing. I am telling you, this is good stuff, and there is a lot more than I mentioned!
I read straight through the book and actually enjoyed it. Beth Hill has an engaging style of writing and sharing her knowledge. I bought the PDF version and appreciate that it is searchable. The Table of Contents is well organized. This is a book every writer and editor should have at their fingertips.
I rate this 5 out of 5 stars! So informative and well written!
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Copyright © 2015 Mark L. Schultz except for the author’s introduction
Who am I?
An avid reader, typobuster, and the Hyper-Speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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