beckyh2112: (TFG1: Kill Them All)
Rebecca Hb. ([personal profile] beckyh2112) wrote2011-12-16 01:14 pm

Transformers: Exiles

Did Not Finish

This book has:
- a Decepticon double-agent on board the Ark
- a visit to Velocitron where they start a civil war
- a visit to Junk
- I'm told there are pirates later on

Despite all of this, I was near bored to tears by the book because I didn't care about any of the characters.

[identity profile] 2011-12-16 08:50 pm (UTC)(link)
I find it amazing that they can write a boring book that has all that. You'd think that would take more effort than writing a decent book.

[identity profile] 2011-12-17 12:31 am (UTC)(link)
That was one of the reasons I kept reading it for as long as I did. Surely, I thought, he will take these elements and make them interesting at some point.

Using this because I can.

[identity profile] 2011-12-17 02:40 am (UTC)(link)
And yet, someday I will get this and read it just to canon check.

Re: Using this because I can.

[identity profile] 2011-12-17 02:57 am (UTC)(link)
I'm so sorry.

[identity profile] 2011-12-17 04:04 am (UTC)(link)

"I don't care about any of these people" -- death sentence for a story.

What did he do so wrong? Have you had a chance to think about it?

I am currently re-reading REH's best Conan story, "Red Nails", taking notes and analyzing it, in the hope that I may learn something about writing the kind of stories I want to write. I can already say that the man did not waste a sentence, nor did he bore the reader. The craftsmanship of the opening section is impressive.

[identity profile] 2011-12-17 04:13 am (UTC)(link)
Optimus Prime is his main point-of-view character. Normally, I'm not much of one for Optimus Prime, but that shouldn't be a story-killer. Prowl is a secondary point-of-view character. He's hit-or-miss for me as a character - it depends on the writer. This writer missed. Again, shouldn't be a story-killer with all this other stuff going on.

A lot of his characters just... sound the same. Or don't do anything. Or both.

Too, it feels very much as if he's trying to hit the marks on various plot-points he needs to nail, so he just sort of shoves the story along. The plot isn't organic - it doesn't feel as if the characters are making decisions based on what they know and how things are around them and what they're like as people.

Additionally, there's the problem that the Decepticons are on the other side of forever for the two-thirdsish of the book I read. In the first book, the interactions between Megatron and Orion Pax/Optimus Prime were sufficiently compelling to make me care about both of them. Here, we don't even know the Decepticons are still alive until halfway through the book, and we're just with them for a scene.

When we went to Junk, I found Wreck-Gar interesting. But then he got shoved off-stage, and I stopped caring again.

[identity profile] 2011-12-17 03:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm having that problem re-reading old Agatha Christie mysteries. I expect I'll have a rant on them sometime soon, but the long & short is: plots are contrived to make a mystery puzzle, and characters do unnatural things because the plot calls for them to do so. Also, because the plot calls for the murderer to be a mystery, characters never have the character they appear to have--they always have deep dark secrets that make them act oddly, so no one is ever "in character" or clearly "out of character". Also her characters are all either stereotyped caricatures, or classist prats. Why was this author so popular?

[identity profile] 2011-12-17 05:48 pm (UTC)(link)
Well, for one thing, she made me care about her characters.

[identity profile] 2011-12-17 11:16 am (UTC)(link)
I'm actually really impressed with myself that I didn't put it down. Normally, if a book's bad I'll drop it within the first few chapters - more to life and all that. But this one, I gotta admit, I was reading solely for the snippets of history about the 13.

I genuinely don't get how you can write a book so bad and get it published. I mean, if Hasbro or whoever actually got decent writers in then they'd make a hell of a lot more money because people would actually look forward to buying their stuff. Whereas now the hardcore set will always pick up a copy, then proclaim it awful so that far fewer of the "maybe I'll pick it up"'s just don't ever bother.

Anyway. Yeah. What the hell was even going on at the end there? Wait, you didn't get that far. Don't worry! It doesn't make sense anyway! You missed nothing.

[identity profile] 2011-12-17 03:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Books like this and The Worst Books in the World *cough*Left Behind*cough* are inspirational to writers--even the worst Mary-Sue self-insert obsessed fanficcer can look at them and say "I could write a better story than that! If he can get published, so can I!"