The Invasion of the Tearling: Well, I haven’t quit reading it yet! Actually so far this book is a big improvement over the first one. It helps that the Queen of the Tearling, Kelsea, is spending less time looking at herself in the mirror, moping over her appearance, and acting stupid (though she could hardly spend more time acting stupid because, really, she already achieved peak stupidity in the first book). But what really helps are the extensive flashbacks to the (barely) pre-apocalypse life of one Lily Mayhew, who lives in a burbclave with her monstrous husband and accidentally becomes involved with a separatist movement. Frankly, everything involving Lily is at least three times as interesting as anything involving Kelsea. In fact, at this point I consider Kelsea’s parts of the story to be annoying interruptions of Lily’s parts of the story.
“You put on a good show, Mrs. Mayhew, but men like your husband rarely limit the damage to the outside.”
Lily took the packet, trying not to touch his fingers. “I suppose you think I have options.”
“Oh, I know you don’t.”
Something tells me that Lily may discover a few options that she didn’t know she had. And sure, it seems like she might have wandered in from The Handmaid’s Tale, but if you’re going to borrow from a dystopia, you would be hard pressed to do better than that as source material …
Meanwhile, editing continues on Father’s Books. I’m actually almost to the end of it, and as always, when I’m near the end of the book during editing, it’s a little difficult to find a teaser that doesn’t include spoilers. Even this one was a little bit spoiler-ish, until I redacted a few words, to protect the identities of those involved …
“You stay here, okay?”
She shook her head, didn’t want to let go of his arm.
“It’ll be all right,” he told her. “I have to go stop something bad from happening.”
“Something bad already happened,” she whispered.
Okay, okay, there’s still a spoiler alert: Something bad happened. Actually, by this point, quite a few bad things have happened, so it’s difficult to know exactly which one is being referenced. So, uh, feel free to take your pick.
The long-time reader who remembers that it took me five years to completely re-edit and publish Shards/Ravels, and two years to re-edit and publish Television Man, may note that I got to the end of Father’s Books astonishingly fast in comparison. Of course, this is just the first round of edits, but I’ve found that I’m making many fewer changes to the manuscript this time than I did with the others. This is interesting to me, because in my recollection, Father’s Books has always been the most problematic of the completed, unpublished manuscripts I had in my back catalog. Upon re-reading it during this round of editing, I’m pretty sure that the reason I developed that feeling about it is that I was never satisfied with the ending. Reading it again now, I was still dissatisfied with it. Fortunately, this time around, I came up with a different ending, one that, I think, fits the rest of the book much better. But I can’t tell you what the new ending is, because then I would have to kill you.
Speaking of Television Man, it has picked up its first review at Amazon.com!
Thank you for the nice review, reader! Now I just need a few more of them …