If you are interested in books or publishing as an industry, you’ve no doubt heard the whispers that have now turned into a (sometimes screeching) full volume conversation about e-books, digital publishing, and how print books may soon be a thing of the 90’s. The views are varied as to how and when and what will happen to the business of book selling but one this is true: authors will still need readers, even in the digital world.
This month’s book, Line in the Ice , is the first book I’ve read from start to finish as an e-publication. The latest in a series of titles by the writing duo known as Jamie Craig, it’s a book I probably wouldn’t have come across in a bookshop. Not that I’ve been an easy convert to e-readers. A few years ago my husband bought me a Kindle (the first generation) for our anniversary. Not knowing what to do with it, I sold it. Then I returned the favor and got him the second version for Christmas. After a bit of tinkering it sat in the bottom of the file cabinet until recently when it found a home with a friend as a second hand but much sought after device. May they be happy together.
All this to say, I read this book on my laptop (not even an iPad dares tread in this house) while on summer vacation. And I scrolled through the pages, annoyed at the .pdf format that I needed to send the cursor through the screen and not just tap on the sidebar.
What riveted me, despite the call of family, friends, and quality restaurants (not to mention summer mega sales)? Well for starters, the start. In creative writing 101 which I taught as a graduate student at the University of Florida, I drilled into my students the first question of fiction: what is the story about? Or what is the hook that will draw the reader in? For Line in the Ice it is a fast paced action scene that begins sometime in the future in Antarctica. The combination of techy but not geeky science fiction, a strong female protagonist, and action sequence where our heroine and her friends are battling for — the highest stakes possible — the future of the world, had me putting off the siblings until I could make it through chapter two.
The premise is engrossing; a military team of special operatives, highly loyal and skilled, posted at the edge of the world to monitor other worldly beings. From malevolent furry menace to a hunk of frozen good looking man, the plot thickens as the team has to deal with a new addition who claims to be from another realm and has the solution to saving ours. The tale is adventurous, and as everyone at Thrillerfest advised, the scale is epic. Throw in a love interest between our fair protagonist and the newcomer, and you have a deft page turner that alternates between science, suspense, and romance.
Before you purchase this for your nerdy teenager, however, about fifty pages in is where the romance might surprise you as there’s the first hint that this sci-fi romance qualifies in a third genre: erotica. The scenes are steamy and some may find explicit but if this isn’t to your taste, skipping them all together won’t mean you miss anything from the major story. If you visit the author website, you’ll see from their organizing tabs (and covers of other books) that erotica and specialty erotic are their mainstays.
That aside, for mainstream reader it was a considerably good yarn Almost enough to make you see the possibilities in the future of e-books.
Please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes (mine is A Day in Doha) wins a free promotional twitterview and a special winner’s badge. You can vote in the poll by visiting the official Line in the Ice blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.