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Hocking, it's safe to say, is not a stylist. Her work reads like a high school creative-writing assignment, full of typos and misused words and lifeless language. But while wordcraft may not be her thing, Hocking definitely does have something. Despite its faults, the trilogy zips along pleasantly enough, and although the books aren't remotely in the same league as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, they do poke at the same pleasure centers. Hocking has some storytelling chops: The Trylle books make you want to know what's going to happen next.

The same cannot be said about her latest novel,
Virtue. Subtitled A Fairy Tale, it's a bunch of goopy romantic nonsense about — to summarize a story that's too complicated and ridiculous to fully explain here — an 
angel who falls in love with a demon. The unlikely couple's all-consuming passion just might save the world from the 
ultimate evil, assuming they can battle their way past a dragon, an evil stepmother, and some truly awful prose. ''She kissed him fervently, standing on her tiptoes to taste him more deeply,'' Hocking writes. ''A fire burned inside, spreading a fresh wonderful heat all through her.''

Locke's Donovan Creed series is decidedly more adult, in both style and substance. Creed is a former CIA
 operative who's now the ''deadliest man on earth,'' an equal-opportunity assassin tracking terrorists for 
 the government while performing hits for the Mob. The tone is tough-guy humorous, equal parts macho violence and dumb dirty jokes. The latest, Vegas Moon, features 
characters with forced-funny names like Dr. Phyllis 
Willis and Fast Eddie Pickles, and a flimsy plot about 
a lethal computer chip implanted in Creed's brain gets padded out with a weirdly detailed pasta recipe and an impassioned defense of airport baggage handlers.

The pasta sounds pretty good. Otherwise, Vegas Moon doesn't have much going for it, and the book's 
neither suspenseful nor especially clever. Locke's idea of a zingy line is ''I lock the front door, then move through Phyllis' office like clap through a whorehouse.'' It's cheap stuff, which makes sense given that the book sells for just 99 cents. To be fair, Vegas Moon isn't much worse than any number of disposable paperbacks available at your local airport at a far higher price. But if you're after a bargain, why not wander down to the 
library and pick up one of the world's best novels for free? Trylle trilogy: B- Virtue: D Vegas Moon: C
http://bit.ly/o8qPwW
 

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And I thought getting raked over the coals by a user review on Amazon was tough.  Ouch.  That's got to sting, seeing it in a national magazine.

If it was me, I'd have to go out and spend some of those millions.  :p
 

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It was definitely harsh, but I think having the Big 6 fight over you and end up with $2 mil for four books and being invited to ComiCon to speak on a panel this week would make me feel better about reading it.
 

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Now that is just silliness.  Amanda has over a million fans.  They LOVE her work.  Obviously she's doing something right.  Obviously her style speaks to them.  She writes Young Adult novels for girls, not for some guy at EW.
 
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Honestly, I've read Entertainment Weekly and am familiar with how they review. Obviously the review for Virtue is a thumbs down, but the B- for the Trylle Trilogy really isn't all that bad. It could've been a lot worse, and so I would happily take that and run if I were her.

I've been wondering about what'll happen when that trilogy finally finds its way on the New York Times book review page once St. Martin's has put it out. Amanda's got a great talent for storytelling, and I think--as in this EW review--that it'll hold up to that kind of scrutiny.
 

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Hocking, it's safe to say, is not a stylist. Her work reads like a high school creative-writing assignment, full of typos and misused words and lifeless language. But while wordcraft may not be her thing, Hocking definitely does have something. Despite its faults, the trilogy zips along pleasantly enough, and although the books aren't remotely in the same league as Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, they do poke at the same pleasure centers. Hocking has some storytelling chops: The Trylle books make you want to know what's going to happen next.
I actually thought this part was great. I mean if I got this in a national magazine I'd be ecstatic.

The same cannot be said about her latest novel,
Virtue. Subtitled A Fairy Tale, it's a bunch of goopy romantic nonsense about - to summarize a story that's too complicated and ridiculous to fully explain here - an 
angel who falls in love with a demon. The unlikely couple's all-consuming passion just might save the world from the 
ultimate evil, assuming they can battle their way past a dragon, an evil stepmother, and some truly awful prose. ''She kissed him fervently, standing on her tiptoes to taste him more deeply,'' Hocking writes. ''A fire burned inside, spreading a fresh wonderful heat all through her.''

Locke's Donovan Creed series is decidedly more adult, in both style and substance. Creed is a former CIA
 operative who's now the ''deadliest man on earth,'' an equal-opportunity assassin tracking terrorists for 
 the government while performing hits for the Mob. The tone is tough-guy humorous, equal parts macho violence and dumb dirty jokes. The latest, Vegas Moon, features 
characters with forced-funny names like Dr. Phyllis 
Willis and Fast Eddie Pickles, and a flimsy plot about 
a lethal computer chip implanted in Creed's brain gets padded out with a weirdly detailed pasta recipe and an impassioned defense of airport baggage handlers.

The pasta sounds pretty good. Otherwise, Vegas Moon doesn't have much going for it, and the book's 
neither suspenseful nor especially clever. Locke's idea of a zingy line is ''I lock the front door, then move through Phyllis' office like clap through a whorehouse.'' It's cheap stuff, which makes sense given that the book sells for just 99 cents. To be fair, Vegas Moon isn't much worse than any number of disposable paperbacks available at your local airport at a far higher price. But if you're after a bargain, why not wander down to the 
library and pick up one of the world's best novels for free? Trylle trilogy: B- Virtue: D Vegas Moon: C
Then I wanted to hide in a corner and whimper.
 

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I'm a firm believe that all publicity is good publicity. Especially when you've been unknown with no publicity.  Granted, would I want the reviews to be better?  Yes.  But they'll more than make up for it from exposure of people checking out their work just because they were mentioned in a national magazine.
 

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It is a sad fact, that when someone makes it big in this world there are those who want to bring them down a peg or two. I hope Amanda sees this for what it is, a non-target audience taking a shot at her success.

Carl
 

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Ouch!
It is a sad fact, that when someone makes it big in this world there are those who want to bring them down a peg or two. I hope Amanda sees this for what it is, a non-target audience taking a shot at her success.
I totally agree with you. It surprises me though that they gave John Locke a lower review than Hocking. Has anybody ever read his books?
 

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lacymarankevinmichael said:
I'm a firm believe that all publicity is good publicity. Especially when you've been unknown with no publicity. Granted, would I want the reviews to be better? Yes. But they'll more than make up for it from exposure of people checking out their work just because they were mentioned in a national magazine.
I've gotta agree here. Just getting a mention in Entertainment Weekly will probably be great for Hocking's and Locke's sales, even if the reviewer said their books were the worst thing he'd ever read (not that he said anything like that). I actually don't think these reviews were bad at all.
 

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David Wisehart said:
The remarkable thing is that EW is reviewing indie books at all.
Times have changed.
David
I totally agree with this David, although it can be said that since USA Today & NYT are putting indies on the best seller lists now, EW isn't THAT much of a stretch.
 

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In regards to Hocking, my wife has made similar comments (albeit far more politely)...and she buys all of Hocking's books anyway.

Something's obviously working for her.
 

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EW spelled their names right.

I've read Follow the Stone and Vegas Moon by Locke. Great literature, no. Fun reads, yes.

I read Switched by Hocking and enjoyed it, although I thought it had an unrealistic view of how the world works, but Amanda is still young. I probably won't be around to see it, but I wonder what she'll be writing when she's a nice mature 50 or 60 something.
 

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Uhmm, I read the whole article. And pardon me...but did anyone else sense a little bit of an agenda here:

It's an irresistible story: the DIY upstarts who persevere amid industry indifference only to find massive success on their own. Who wouldn't want to champion these gutsy indie superstars? It's a shame, then, that their books are so much less exciting than their stories.
This little tidbit just sound to me like..."Those indie author's you've been hearing about? Well don't be to excited, they're terrible."

It makes me very curious about the reviewers background and who owns EW.
 
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