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Posted October 20, 2011
I bought a paranormal romance book at the same time that I got a copy of TRAPDOOR (in terms of colour scheme only, the books have slightly similar-looking covers).
The pararom book had something to do with the "salvation of the soul." I tried very hard to get through the book, but found most of the dialogue completely vapid, the plot shallow and unremarkable, and I was just left with the feeling that the book completely lacked any substance.
I took a much longer time to read TRAPDOOR, and I'm so glad to see that there are some people in life who still bother to take the time to DEVELOP THEIR CRAFT (writing craft, in this case). I have recently sampled a lot of popular books (YA paranormal, etc), and a lot of them are kinda formulaic/similar to each other. No offense to any readers who enjoy those genres or types of work, though I always prefer to "spend my time" on good books that impart something of value.
In terms of content, I think TRAPDOOR's strongest element is its navigation through and coverage of the soulful, spiritual dark aspect with regards to the turbulence of love and tough relationship situations. There's no "insta-love" and any formulaic/cliched love triangles here.
This is a book where I will remember the story and characters. This is a book I'll be happy to return to and re-read in future. I'm happy to have it on my shelf. As for the pararom book (had to vent that out of my system at the start, lol), I can't remember the characters' names, and all I remember (and care to remember) is that it had a judiciously pretty cover.
One of my other favourite aspects of TRAPDOOR was the self-harm scenes, and suicide theme. The scenes were more evocative than gory or gimmicky, with the emphasis being on expression over cheap sensationalism. I've read bestseller thrillers which glorify violence, mainstream fantasy books that feature scenes of "battle porn" -- the scenes in TRAPDOOR are a different thing altogether.
I fully support the direction/evolution of Lost Violet Press (the independent publishing project of the author of TRAPDOOR). It'd be great for readers who enjoy quality, original work to talk about it (online, with their friends, etc), because these authors deserve to be recognized + have their work recognized (instead of the "writers" writing knock-offs of popular franchises hogging the spotlight via the media attention and glory).
Readers are the ones who can shine the light on high-quality work from writers/creative types who are committed to something real and something true, to combat the proliferation of FLUFF that is constantly celebrated (I enjoy fluff from time to time, but not when it overshadows work that's fresh/original/uncompromising). Quality is remembered; popularity is replaceable. It is very clear which category TRAPDOOR falls into, which is where the rest of the author's books will also fall into, so long as there's always that Dedication/Commitment to Quality.
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Posted January 12, 2011
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