All right, I get plenty mad when characters do something I consider wrong - but then I'm mad because I care. This is different. Sometimes a thing happens that just makes me lose any feeling for the character at all; like he stops existing for me. In this case, I'm not sure it was about characters, it was more about the author and the book. And the choice was between the life of one person and some inconvenience for the other. David was never threatened with death, not even with physical punishment.
And to make things even worse, Callan got off with a much lighter punishment himself. It is not Callan's fault, though, he is a victim, too; and the whole thing could have become a horrible lesson of choices and consequences. What disgusts me is how the book treated what happened: dismissing Mills' death as something unimportant - well, he was "difficult" and impolite to David, and besides Callan didn't love him - and even as something convenient, because now there's no one standing between Callan and David now.
For real, after burying Mills' body Callan and David decide to spend the day playing. I couldn't get over it. I can sympathize with hatred, resentment, cruelty - depending on circumstances. But dismissing a human life as something insignificant so that the author could focus on the sweet love of the main characters I did push through the rest of the book - mostly because I didn't want to have another one in my "never-finished" folder.
But - the magic was gone. I couldn't care what happened.
Well, and it didn't help that David was becoming more and more Everyone okay, "good guys" was extolling him for his many virtues, and I couldn't understand where all those virtues are. Is he stupid? Is he, like, five year old?
Is he a Mary-Sue? The third variant, most likely Decent, slow-building post-ap with a plot and an angsty romance line. View 2 comments. Jun 18, Heidi Cullinan rated it really liked it Shelves: pick-it-for-me-challenge. I went into this book pretty much cold, and I have to say, overall it was an incredibly pleasant surprise.
I know it's post-apocalyptic, but it felt like Little House on the Prairie to me, which I absolutely adored. I got completely distracted by the setting, by the tone—everything was just right. When I realized we were going to go from budding romance to persecution, I was a little bummed, but it worked out okay, which is a I went into this book pretty much cold, and I have to say, overall it was an incredibly pleasant surprise.
When I realized we were going to go from budding romance to persecution, I was a little bummed, but it worked out okay, which is a statement because I'd had my heart set on a sweet romance. I still got it to a degree, but yes, there was decidedly trouble in River City. In the end I enjoyed the way this trouble resolved.
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It was realistic and satisfying. One would like to think that this is a social justice which can't be rolled back, but I understand entirely how the throwback came about. My only complaint with the book is that I feel like there is a slight disconnect between the story that is started to be told and the story that ends the book, and I think this is the consequence of the impending sequel. The central question is a little shaky.
I did not take it that the romance was the main arc of the book, that it was more the struggle over the dragons ID'd in chapter one. And yet this issue is only sort of resolved; it's the story of the two main characters' romance which puts an end cap on the novel. It makes me feel a bit like one of those Escher paintings where there are three prongs on one end and yet they end up in just two somehow.
A Strong and Sudden Thaw by R. W. Daw (2009, Paperback)
I would have been fine with the romance being secondary or in front, but to switch around like that mid-stream stepped on the story a bit for me. Even so. This is a fantastic story, so much fun, and such a ride. I will be looking forward to the sequel when it's released. I fought my way through this overly long and drawn out story.
Angst is not my thing and this story was jam packed full of it. The first and last 25 pages were good.
A Strong and Sudden Thaw
I believe that this would have made a much more palatable short story. I have has quite enough of this series and this particular author. View all 8 comments. Feb 28, Elisa Rolle rated it it was amazing. Apr 24, Paul Jr. It is clear from reading this book that author R. Day can write. Her prose is neat and concise and, despite the pace dragging a bit in the first 75 pages, the characters she creates are well rounded and full and the setting is well told. The story is told from the first person perspective of David, one of our heroes, and David is a likeable fellow who, at the age of 16 albeit, he tends for me to read more 13 or 14 , is beginning to realize that he is a bit different from other men, that a lif It is clear from reading this book that author R.
The story is told from the first person perspective of David, one of our heroes, and David is a likeable fellow who, at the age of 16 albeit, he tends for me to read more 13 or 14 , is beginning to realize that he is a bit different from other men, that a life with a woman is somehow not in the cards. When he meet the immensely appealing Healer Landers, things become a little clearer for David, and through a series of events, the two become entangled, both emotionally and romantically.
Day captures these two men well and as the novel progresses, we see a nice, clear character arc for each of them, both having changed and grown by the time the reach the end of the novel.
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But there's something about this novel that did not sit right with me from about the halfway point. You know how when you see a preview for a movie and you're excited because it seems to be one thing, but when you actually get into the movie theatre, it is another thing entirely and you're disappointed verging on angry That is exactly how I feel with this novel and in that respect, I think it deserves two reviews: one for the novel it is and one for the novel it is masquerading as.
So let's tackle first, the novel that it isn't. A Strong and Sudden Thaw is billed as a speculative fiction work and as such, for me, it fails completely on just about every level. There is a great trend in spec fiction these days to regress. That is, the world is post-apocalyptic, but is post-apocalyptic to the point that the setting has reverted to, essentially, a period setting.
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Many talented authors have gone this route and produced amazing pieces of speculative fiction. However, with this novel, it doesn't work. It is very clearly a period piece, despite the New Ice Age element.
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While this speculative Ice Age does allow the author to wax nostalgic about things from The Before like Disneyland and Almond Joy candy bars, hot cocoa , that hardly makes it speculative. You also get a few author-peeking-behind-the curtain moments--such as with the reference to Bennett Cerf--that are meant to place us very far into the future, but instead play out as a clever writer showing herself instead of the world.
Throw in some dragons and some government conspiracy neither of which are fully explored or committed to , and you get a hint of spec fiction without the intense world building spec fic requires. Don't get me wrong…there is good world building here. But the word being built is late s North America through and through, not post-apocalyptic America.
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Likewise, all good spec fiction has an element of subtle social commentary woven into it and A Strong and Sudden Thaw certainly has social commentary. However, it is delivered with a sledgehammer and not a velvet glove. Allegory and metaphor are thrown away here. We really, really get that homophobia and discrimination are bad, bad, bad, because Day hammers us over the head with it.
Weave in elements such as Healer Landers gifting an old copy of "Crime and Punishment" to David, and any chance of subtlety is gone. Instead of a clever, infiltrating commentary that is one of the hallmarks of excellent spec fic, we get a civics lesson, sans the blackboard and required reading. Now let's look at the novel as it really is.
And it is this perspective from which one must really approach the novel in order to appreciate its nuances. As an historical gay romance, the preachiness the author practices fits. It becomes less the author's personal point of view and more the central core of the story, the primary antagonist, if you will, that stands between these two men and their developing relationship.
From this perspective, the burgeoning relationship between David and Healer Landers becomes more effective emotionally, and the story plays out exceptionally well. The characters are given distinctive and appealing personalities, right down to the "bit players.
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