Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Evermore... than just entertainment

Rarely do I have the desire to re-read a book as soon as I've finished. Lynn Viehl's Evermore is one of those books that tempt me to do so - if only to find the clue I missed.

The Darkyn series is one of the better ones I've read - the characters stay true to form, as do the politics, the world building and the plots. There is nothing worse than a series departing from the expected and descending into a quagmire of politics or... something else entirely that relies on one aspect and nothing else (I think you know who I mean).

This isn't, quite, a review to lure readers in, but more a commentary on the techniques for writers, and I would urge any new writer to read the series.

The evolution of the characters is nigh on perfect as are the carefully hidden clues to the resolution. For me, the best part of each book is at then end and the 'damn, I missed it!' moment.

Of interest is the way Ms Viehl handles the series. If you've read the Stardoc series, you may have noticed the less than flattering reviews of Rebel Ice and yet, the genesis of the book lay in a previous one, in one small scene and comment made by Duncan Reever. The book, while different from the rest, perfectly encapsulated the answer and consequences. If readers picked up on that mega clue, the criticism would have been less and there'd be more sheepish 'oh, I missed that'.

So, too, with the Darkyn and Alexandra Keller's pursuit of a 'cure'. While Evermore relates the tale of Jayr, Seneschal to mac Byrne and her feelings for him, there's a lot more going on than unrequited love. Each book is a precursor to another one, not necessarily the next book in the series.

For example, Lord Locksley plays an important part in this book, and yet, Twilight Fall is released in July and Locksley's book follows that.

Nowhere does it say a series has to be absolutely sequential, just because readers are fascinated with a particular character. The underlying strength of the series is in Dr Keller's search for a cure and the evil Brethren. With both those elements, Ms Viehl can craft the stories of individual Darkyn around them.

Lynn Viehl has a planned route, with planned solutions, and writers - experienced and new - can learn a great deal about how to write a series from reading Darkyn and Stardoc.

One final note: Night Lost is my favourite in the series, but they are all worth five stars. I'll read them all again before the next one appears, if only to search for the hidden clues.


Pandababy said...

All so true, Jaye, about the writing and the high quality of the Darkyn series. Rebel Ice? I've read it at least twice and it's one of my favorites.

Jason said...

This all makes me wish I had promoted those books more than I had for Christmas. I'm going to town and I may buy a book from one of those series so that I can read them.

Jaye Patrick said...

Jason, both series are worth your while; but start at the beginning.

Lynn does write them as near stand alones, but for Rebel Ice you need the background - the previous books - to understand the angst and criticism out there.

You'll enjoy them, though, so save up and make your purchases.