Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Devil's Eye Reviewed, Gaiman-Batman, and Me

Jack McDevitt, through the fine publishing imprint Ace Books, just released a new book a couple of weeks ago. I read it, reviewed it, and posted said review to SFFWorld yesterday. I went through a spate of McDevitt’s novels a few years back and enjoyed them quite a bit, so was happy to tackle this latest one for SFFWorld. Reading The Devil's Eye reminded me how much I enjoy McDevitt's books and that I've got some catching up to do. As if I don't have enough to read.

Here’s a snapshot of my review:
The action starts when Vicki Greene, a popular horror writer of the era pleads for Benedict to help her, leaving only a cryptic message as his primary clue: “God help me, they are all dead.” Alex is intrigued, though he is relatively unfamiliar with Greene’s work, his partner Chase is and they take the job. With very few clues by which to guide them, Alex and Chase embark on a mystery that spans the galaxy and whose roots have dire ramifications for a planet with both humans and Ashyyur.

McDevitt unravels, or rather the fact that he deftly weaves a number of plot elements together keeps his skilled hand hidden, multiple plot strands throughout the novel rather seamlessly. As such, The Devil’s Eye works on many levels – mystery, conspiracy story, galactic travelogue, alien/human relations, adventure novel, horror novel, character study. Dramatic tension and sense of wonder played off each other quite well. In fact, each element serves the other in the novel very effectively, much like familiar people/characters effectively play off of each other’s personalities.
Neil Gaiman showed off some of the cool Batman stuff for his Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader storyline – an Alex Ross cover (!) and an Andy Kubert (!!) cover sketch. Newsarama posted some images, too. (!!!)

Speaking of British Comic Book writers, happy birthday to Alan Moore!

Lastly, I did something over the weekend I’d been bugging myself to do for a while. I joined the Online Writing Workshop for SF, Fantasy & Horror (formerly hosted/sponsored by Del Rey) and submitted the first couple chapters of the novel I’ve been working on for the past couple of years. Some respected and popular authors have come out of the workshop: Joshua Palmatier (The Skewed Throne); Sarah Prineas (The Magic Thief); Chris Evans (A Darkness Forged in Fire); Elizabeth Bear and a personal favorite of mine (R.) Scott Bakker so I fell like I’m on the right track by joining the workshop.

No comments: