Friday, September 05, 2008

Oath Breaker - Wolf Brother 5

It's funny how the book world works. In movies, films are released on a Friday. Until recently, preview screenings were on a Thursday, but at least you knew where you stood. Films on DVD and Singles and Albums are always released on Mondays.

But books... it's as if the retailers don't care - so, I was able to buy Michelle Paver's Oath Breaker (book 5 in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series) on Tuesday instead of its official release date of Saturday 6th.


And, I've finished it. Another great stream of narrative, broken between the three leads, Torak, Renn and... no not Stimpy, but Wolf. There filters in another character's cracked up narrative for a brief moment to develop the plot and build tension but we stick rigidly to these three characters for everything.

And Paver makes sure to entwine us with the emotions of these characters, endearing them to us even when they're making the wrong choice, getting lost on the quest, or beating themselves up for their failings.

Sometimes there's no warning. Nothing at all.

Your skinboat is flying like a cormorant over the waves, your paddle sending silver capelin darting through the kelp, and everything's just right: the choppy Sea, the sun in your eyes, the cold wind at your back. Then a rock rears out of the water, bigger than a whale, and you're heading straight for it, you're going to smash...

Torak threw himself sideways and stabbed hard with his paddle. His skinboat lurched - nearly flipped over - and hissed past the rock with a finger to spare.

Streaming wet and coughing up seawater, he struggled to regain his balance.

'You all right?' shouted Bale, circling back.

'Didn't see the rock,' muttered Torak, feeling stupid.

Bale grinned. 'Couple of beginners in camp. You want to go and join them?'

So it begins, and while the last book started more thoughtfully, and this one with a spruce of action, we can already see that Paver is a master of maintaining her style and garnering reader interest.

And I've still learnt so little of these skills.


Anyhoo, Oath Breaker... out now. Read it. It's good stuff.


esruel said...

Now, come on, Rich. You have such amazing creative skills: the latest book - about the books - looks like it could be the one that gets you there. It is good that you look at published authors and then look at your own. Compare and contrast works extremely well, I find. I've done it for a while: Dickens, Tolkien, Banks, Koontz. I've chosen writers at the top, and read what works and what doesn't in my own. Never say you are not doing what they are doing - you are, just you do it differently. It's these differences that make a writer stand out. And can help you get published.

R1X said...

Thanks Es,

It just feels so much easier to review someone else's work, doesn't it? Every time I look at my own it feels like a mess. Confused, slow... I'm trying the, leave it in a draw and comeback to it approach while I do other things

esruel said...

When you write your own stuff, you will approach it in your own way and write it in your own way. Whatever influences you acquire, you will do it all in your own way - hopefully subconsciously, as it will be more natural. That is, you are not referring to other works as you write. Leaving things for a while, as you are doing, then going back is an excellent way of allowing a little light and freshness to come in. Just keep at it and it will just keep happening. It will grow.