Author Topic: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)  (Read 13005 times)  

Offline VondaZ

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Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
« Reply #25 on: May 20, 2009, 11:57:21 am »
1. Nothing really sets it apart from other novels in this genre.

I thought the story was original, interesting, and engaging. It was original to me. I will admit that I haven't read as much from the Thriller genre - particularly this type of thriller - to be definitive on this. Having said that, what usually makes a novel stand out for me is a set of unique and interesting characters - so perhaps this is where they are coming from? That said, I read tons of stuff with average characters and that never stopped them from being published.

2. Not enough dazzling scientific and technical details.

I disagree with this. Too much of that and I will tune out. Give me enough details to believe and leave anything more technical to my imagination.

3. Too derivative and predictable.

I would have to read more from the genre to determine if I thought it was derivative, but I didn't feel that way when I read it. As far as predictable, I couldn't predict where the journey was ultimately going to lead me and I thought the revelation of the Ark was an interesting interpretation. I did, however, always assume the heroes were going to win in the end, as they usually do in this type of story. I wonder if losing a good character along the way might have made it less predictable?

4. Protagonist not sympathetic enough.

This just comes down to character development. I think if you continue to work on character, this will eventually go away for you. Your plots are engaging, your characters are competent. Now they just need to reach out to the reader a little more on the emotional level.

5. Not fresh enough.

I disagree, but this is really just another way of saying #3 and #1.

6. Too much action.

Obviously, this publisher has never watched 24! Now there is a show that has so much action that I stop caring about the immediate crisis because I know as soon as it is resolved there will be another crisis that is even worse and that will keep happening until the season concludes. To tell the truth - I loved 24 for the first few seasons and still watch, but the fact that there is so much action has now taken away from the punch of the story. I don't think that is the case with the Ark. I really think this is just a disguised way of saying "give us a little more character."

7. Villain's motive too unbelievable.

I don't think the villain's motive was unbelievable. I do think that if the villain was fleshed out more, we would understand his motives better. But I certainly believe someone might feel the way he feels in the modern world.


After reading the list a second time, I really think everything (except #2, which I disagree with completely) could be fixed with just a little more investment in original characters. I agree that this is an area that could be improved, but I don't think the characters were so flawed to prevent publication. I have read some books with characters I just wanted to take out with a bazooka because they were so flat and uninspiring and they acted in ways that didn't make sense because that is what the plot dictated.

I think if in your next novel you take a pause to really think about what you love about your characters and what you hate about them, what matters to them and what makes them interesting and different, then try to let some of that slip out here or there amidst the action, that you will take care of all of these criticisms in one fell swoop.

Vonda

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    Offline marianneg

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #26 on: May 20, 2009, 06:26:38 pm »
    I just finished reading The Ark, and it was excellent.  I haven't been posting because I was reading ahead and wanted to finish before peeking in this thread ;D  An easy 4 stars in my book.  You're not quite Michael Crichton yet, but definitely in the ballpark.

    Just for something to talk about, I agree with the other posters that there could have been a bit more character development.  I did enjoy getting a bit of backstory about Locke and his dad, and I wish you had done the same with Dilara and her dad, and maybe the ex-husband, too.  I suspect that you find men easier to write about than women, and that's why you kind of ignored Dilara at times.

    I also agree with something that I think I read on the other thread - Locke seems just a little too perfect of an action hero.  His only flaw seems to be his relationship with his dad, and that gets worked out.  I'd also add that the romance aspect seemed a little too easy, too.  I'd like to see a bit more resistance, on both sides.  I'm not sure if the men in your audience would feel the same way, though :)

    Overall, though, it's a very good techno-thriller.  I loved that the main characters were engineers.  Partly because I am one ;D, and I agree that it's a profession that is overdue on getting its sexy superheros.  I loved what you did with the story of Noah's Ark; you kept me guessing, but you had laid out the clues and it made sense in the context of the story.
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    Offline lynninva

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #27 on: May 23, 2009, 05:22:34 pm »
    I used to watch Lost, but have not for the past two years.  I did not connect Tyler Locke's name to that show.

    And maybe because I work with a lot of men, it did not seem at all odd to me for him to be referred to by his last name.  We frequently use last names only when speaking about some of the men (even with them present).  Most of the time, their first names are used when addressing them directly.  But it is rare to refer to a woman by last name only.

    I thought the plot was quite unique - it was a very creative way that the Biblical story could have been interpreted.  The book definitely kept my interest & I did not want to put it down.  I also appreciated that you did not use crude language in the telling of your story.

    Offline frojazz

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #28 on: June 13, 2009, 04:55:57 pm »
    Here are my several $0.02:

    I like how Locke is referred to in the book by his last name.  It reminds me of high school when I was nicknamed a derivative of my last name.  It never occurred to me that he shared a name with the character from Lost, but I kinda lost track of that show after the second season.  Also, the in my mind Tyler doesn't look anything like the TV character!

    I feel bad that I was requesting more character development of Dilara from the beginning (I didn't realize you have to work so hard at it, Boyd!), but I am impressed when an author has the ability to write strong characters of the opposite sex in a nonsterotypical, multidimentional way, so I guess it is something I look for in my readings.  I was more satisfied with Dilara's character as the story progressed, but I think more development earlier on would make her an even bigger presence in the story.

    I really like how this story ends.  There doesn't appear to be any way that the bad guy would have survived this, although maybe a vengeful Oasis minion will come back to haunt Locke later in life, but the main characters are realistic in their plans for the future, yet there is potential for them to get together and kick some bad guy butt later.

    The scene with the humungo tractor and the Tesla car still echos in my head.  What a great chase!  I like how Locke gets into trouble with no apparent way out and he is able to think through it (or gets helped out) logically without too much luck or serendipity.

    I'll be sure to visit Amazon and post a review.  I've enjoyed the ride and can't wait to start the next one (although this time I'll be flying through it and not stopping because I'm doing the book klub!).  Thanks for all of your feedback, Boyd.  This was a really enjoyable experience.  I wish I could go talk some sense into some publisher for you.  Good luck!
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    Offline marianneg

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #29 on: June 13, 2009, 07:20:40 pm »
    It never occurred to me that he shared a name with the character from Lost, but I kinda lost track of that show after the second season.  Also, the in my mind Tyler doesn't look anything like the TV character!

    Well, I'm a total Lost fanatic (Destiny found, baby!), and it didn't bother me, either.  It's a pretty common name, and I definitely agree that Tyler Locke didn't look a thing like Terry O'Quinn in my head!
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    Offline boydm

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #30 on: June 16, 2009, 09:18:28 am »
    Thanks to everyone for their great feedback! This Book Klub has been great fun, and I'd recommend it to other authors who want to start some discussion on their books.

    It's also nice to get some honest feedback in a forum that let's us all have a respectful discussion, even when you may not like some of the aspects of the book. It helps to counter a few of the less-than-stellar reviews I've gotten on Amazon. The latest one-star review accuses me of spamming Amazon with reviews from friends, which is obviously untrue, since many of my good reviews have come from readers here on Kindleboards. It bothers me not only because it's a baseless accusation, but also because it dismisses out of hand the opinions of those who enjoyed the book. I don't mind if someone doesn't like The Ark--it's not for everyone--but that one was disturbing. I didn't respond to it on Amazon because starting a flame war never benefits the author, but I wanted to express my gratitude for the support I've received on Kindleboards.

    Offline boydm

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #31 on: June 16, 2009, 09:56:30 am »
    Weird. Now that review has been removed. I'm glad, because it didn't add anything to the conversation about the merits or demerits of The Ark.

    Offline frojazz

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #32 on: June 16, 2009, 11:29:40 am »
    Weird. Now that review has been removed. I'm glad, because it didn't add anything to the conversation about the merits or demerits of The Ark.

    This is a good thing.  Is there a way to report reviews to Amazon to potentially pull?
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    Offline geoffthomas

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #33 on: June 16, 2009, 11:31:55 am »
    See Boyd,
    There is some "justice" in the world.
    That is great news that the slanderous review was removed.

    Our rave reviews of your work are serious business, man.
    We like the books.
    And we have the right to say so without some clown claiming that the ballot box is being stuffed.

    Humph.
    (Indignation and all that kinda stuff).

    Just sayin.....

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    Offline boydm

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #34 on: June 16, 2009, 12:10:02 pm »
    Thanks, Frojazz and Geoff. There is a way to report reviews, but I didn't, even though I was indignant as well. I appreciate the rave reviews, and I don't want someone to suggest they're tainted in any way.

    Cheers,
    Boyd

    Offline KimmyA

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #35 on: June 16, 2009, 12:41:36 pm »
    I've finished the book and left a review on Amazon. I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was very well done. It was easy to get hooked and forget to go to bed at a decent hour.  ;D   I like how it got your attention right off on page 1 and was action packed throughout.

    I wish there would have been a little more of Locke's history. It seems like he knew how to do everything. I realize his military training helped some, but there were a couple of moments I thought 'how would he know that'. I can't remember specifics. Maybe it's my own lack of understanding what exactly an engineer does. I still enjoyed the story very much.

    I look forward to reading your other books.

    Offline boydm

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    Re: The Ark Discussion Board (SPOILERS ALLOWED)
    « Reply #36 on: June 16, 2009, 01:01:14 pm »
    I've finished the book and left a review on Amazon. I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was very well done. It was easy to get hooked and forget to go to bed at a decent hour.  ;D   I like how it got your attention right off on page 1 and was action packed throughout.

    I wish there would have been a little more of Locke's history. It seems like he knew how to do everything. I realize his military training helped some, but there were a couple of moments I thought 'how would he know that'. I can't remember specifics. Maybe it's my own lack of understanding what exactly an engineer does. I still enjoyed the story very much.

    I look forward to reading your other books.

    Thanks for the review, Kimmy! I hope we get to learn more about Locke in future books. I see him as something of an engineering renaissance man. Because he's so smart and capable, he's the engineer I would aspire to be, but he's also very focused on his work, almost to a fault. And when he isn't working, he's doing something mechanical or speedy, like racing cars. He might know a lot about how to take apart an engine and put it back together, but if you asked him the latest about politics or entertainment, he'd just give you a blank stare. That kind of thing doesn't interest him. Now Grant, on the other hand, loves that stuff, and what little Locke knows about it, he learned through Grant.

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