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Follow the Shadows Book Reviews - Imagination, Plot Twists, Humor

Updated: Mar 26

Imagination, plot twists, humor. Reviews of Follow the Shadows provide a fascinating glimpse of what people are looking for in a good book. I’ve learned not to place too much importance on those reviews: one reviewer will say the story moves fast; another will say it’s slow. One writes that the key points of the plot are predictable; another mentions unexpected plot twists. Lesson learned - every reader is different and unique. I respect them all.

I must admit, though, that when I read a review describing the book I think I wrote, the book I meant to write, it’s a happy day. That’s the case with the review of Follow the Shadows published by Midwest Book Review. Words that jump out at me from that review include imaginative, plot twists, and humor.

Imagination. It takes lots of imagination to come up with the details of a fantasy world. The geography, the climate, the creatures and characters, the dangers. None of this was fully developed when I began to write the story. Just like in real life, what was around the next bend generally revealed itself when I got to the bend, sometimes quite dramatically. The true nature of waever vine, for example, became clear to me quite late in the process. And what a revelation that was. I think imagination is always at work in some subliminal place, allowing answers to filter into conscious thought when they’re needed.

Plot twists. Of course I wanted plot twists, and the tough part was judging whether or not readers will read deeply enough and thoughtfully enough to see those twists coming. How many will figure things out before Marise, my heroine, does? I hope there are a few surprises for everyone; no need to put any spoilers here.

Humor. I don’t think I have a natural gift for humorous prose, and my sense of humor often seems a bit out of step; years spent in a medical microbiology lab can do that. There are places in Follow the Shadows where things need to lighten up and I’m looking for a laugh, and those parts were tricky. I’ve had to rely on beta readers for a sense of where the humor succeeds. Where they laugh, I’m careful not to revise too much.

Imagination, plot twists, and humor are essential elements in The Tales of Moerden Book 2 as well. The world of Moerden, where dragons rule, is still revealing itself to me, one vista, one creature, one character at a time. Korpec makes jokes now (who knew he had that in him), we get to know Celeste, and Valke, a little better, and there’s a brand new threat to the tranquility of Moerden. Exactly how Marise’s second adventure there will work out is still unclear. I look forward to the view from the next bend.

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