And now the post-mortem…

Man_typing_by_himselfGood news: the Createspace edition of Young Sentinels is now being proofed, and I hope to have a box of YS to take with me to the Las Vegas Comics Expo. Bad News: now I have no excuses to save me from launching into plotting/drafting the next book, Girl’s Night. There is, however, one post-publication item I’ve decided to add to my list: a post-publication critique page.

You know what I mean; the new piece of art is hanging in the gallery and getting comments like “I think it’s a duck.” Reader feedback. Amazon is one source of feedback, but not the place for detailed critical discussion, and some of my readers have thoughtfully posted here in the past to let me know about editing issues, etc. So what I’m really looking for here are unvarnished opinions. What do you think about: the new characters? the story’s bad guys? ongoing character progressions? multiple POVs? What do you consider the good bits? The bad bits? Were you lost at any point? And so on.

Why is this important? For a writer, each new book is practice, a workshop exercise for the next book (at least until you’re Patterson or King). I get some feedback from my beta-readers while writing my books, but hearing from readers who don’t know me and won’t hesitate to tell me where I’ve let them down or where they think I can do better is vital. Hearing what I’ve done right helps too, but not as much as hearing what I can improve upon.

So I want to hear it: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Have issues with Young Sentinels? This is the place for it. Loved some bits, but were thrown by others? This is the place. Suggestions for doing better next time? I want to hear. Questions I can clear up without spoilers? Write them here.

I’ll just wait here thinking happy thoughts.

24 thoughts on “And now the post-mortem…

  1. It is a great book. One can tell your getting better as an author. Regardless of what others have nit picked about it is a really great book. (The Bears can have cheerleaders. It is called fiction, it is not the real world.) After the read it stays with you, that is a good book. I am really wishing sequels did not take so long to come out. I am hooked and want to eat it up like popcorn.

    I did notice well used tropes. The Dr. was very much a Magneto, as well as a certain Representative being a mutant hater with the Young Sentinels as the X-Men. Her Highness is great and opens all sorts of story lines. I am hoping for a Young Sentinels: Army of Oz book.

  2. I was actually surprised when I got to the end. The relationship between Seven and Hope didn’t develop the way it was teased, but that’s a lot like life,ain’t it? The Shelly-Go-Round is still spinning, which is really true to the character, but can get a little, for lack of a better word, annoying. Bad word choice but I can’t think of a better one, sorry. Most of all, worth the wait and worth the money. Although I do wonder if ‘Galetea’ will be going out with Astra to the club now and then.

  3. Shelly’s story really bugged me. The crusiale no backups detail didn’t seem to fit with the prevrous book. if her link wasn’t backing her up then why couldn’t she use it to connect to Hope? indeed how was it keeping her ghost self offline at all if it wasn’t working. It needs a justification, and some forshadowing. being dropped in at the last moment made it feel contrived.

    As I said in my amazon review I wasn’t a fan of the multiple points of verw and found it a little hard to work out which of the new boys was telling the story a few times.

  4. I felt like the book didn’t hook me until almost halfway in. I think this was because you had two new characters acting as PoV, so their stories didn’t matter so much to me. In future, maybe just one new PoV character?

  5. For the most part I really loved the new book. The only real problem I had was when POV shifted I couldn’t really tell who we were switching to because none of the characters had a distinctive enough inner voice to tell me who they were immediately. I usuaually had to read a few pages before i realized who we were following. On my second read through I noticed the symbols above each switch. That would have saved some me some confusion if I had noticed on the first read through. Perhaps some headers before a change in the future? One other chapter that made me take a pause on the first read through was when the attack on the court room happened. We follow that scenario to it’s conclusion from Astra’s POV, then jump back in time to follow it in Mal’s. I thought that this might have been better handled by cross cutting than the backwards jump afterward. In any case I liked the new book and am definitely hooked. Keep ’em coming!

  6. I only have 1 complaint. It is currently only available as a Kindle. If I am going to spend money on a book I want an object made of paper I can put on my shelf and hold in my hand. Once that happens I will be first in line to buy it. Same for Omega Night.

    1. Good news and bad news then; Young Sentinels will be available in paperback by the end of the month. Omega Night, only a 5,000 word short story, will have to wait for a future anthology–but since it’s only $.99 that’s generally not a problem.

  7. The point of view thing didn’t bother me quite as much for Astra, as her voice really is pretty distinctive, but the two new voices seemed both a little too similar, and a bit redundant. They both had interesting worlds they were window into, but I never got the sense that the book really needed both characters. (I preferred Megaton to Grendel.) I also think that while realistic, after the driving force Astra and Atlas’s relationship had in Wearing the Cape, the sorta fizzle of Seven and Astra and Astra’s crushing on Grendel just kinda felt annoying to me (much as I do like all three characters). Part of me is just being a romantic, wanting Astra to have some deserved happiness – and I know that she can’t be happy all the time, or there’s no story (I just decided to bail on a series where the characters are happy all the time because there was no progression, so I do hope that there’s always room to grow – but some definitive progress after two books would make some sense, at least from where I’m reading).

    Artemis coming back was a dream come true – I totally agree with her in-universe, but as a reader, it’s so sad to see Astra alone. Shelly is great, but Astra needs a darker, sadder perspective, I think – but one that remains more of a peer relationship. Which means I’m more than thrilled that Girl’s Night is at least in your mind!

    I think my favorite new character is probably either Megaton or Ozma. I know Ozma is crazy and hilarious, but I think there’s a lot of cool stuff that could be done – either as perspective or just a motivator/actor in other character’s journeys.

    My absolute favorite thing is Blackstone’s pointing out to Astra that she is the next Atlas. Not just from a perspective that laments the lack of heroes who don’t happen to be dudes, but also because her powers, mind, and values are the kinds of thing that I love in the Big Gun heroes (Wonder Woman, Superman, Captain America, even Iron Man to some extent). She’s a breath of fresh air in the often quite dark and cynical capepunk universe.

  8. I am going to add my voice to the POV criticisms, just putting the characters name at the beginning of the scene would have fixed the problem so EASILY. I found myself backtracking to reread sections once I figured out who was talking in the scene.

    Character wise, I liked Mal, his family situation should help put a face on the superhero/human’s first conflict. Grendel was nice enough, but could have been more distinctive. Ozma, I didn’t get much out of as I haven’t read the Oz books and felt like I was missing a ton of background information on. Shelly just needs to return to the human world permanently. It did look like she finally understood what she had done to her friends and family by the end, but continuing the close connection to Astra et al. is like a anorexic working as a model or a recovering alcoholic working in a bar. She need to return to humanity and stay there for her own wellbeing. (Besides, she felt too immature to be a good peer companion to Astra.)

    Relationship wise this book felt lacking, it just felt like several lose threads left hanging. She kisses Seven and he doesn’t respond?? At least he could politely let her down. The crush on Grendel felt odd given that she is both older than him and his new captain. It didn’t really feel like he had done enough to earn her notice. (despite saving her…I know weird). Her next love interest has to be at least as strong a character as Atlas but have a very different voice. Also, since she didn’t give it up to Atlas (despite engagement and weekend away) she now has to wait for the wedding night with the new guy. (Finally a good Catholic girl who doesn’t break down after one kiss.)

  9. Well, you asked for it! I held of commenting for a while, because after finishing YS, I went back and reread the whole series from the beginning right through a second reading of this book just to see how things held together.

    First thing, it sounds like I’m going to voice an alternate opinion on the issue of the multiple POV in this book; I actually LIKED them! I was a bit worried at first when it started, as I’ve read a couple of other series which started with a single POV and then after a few books tried (unsuccessfully) to introduce more viewpoints. I tended to find it… annoying I guess is the best word. I would find myself skimming through the “new” character POVs to get back to the “real” storyline with the “main” character. I did not have that problem with the multiple POVs in YJ, however. I’m not quite sure if it was the fact that the storylines of these new characters were all woven together with Hope’s, or if it was that I found all three new characters interesting in their own right (not just interesting superheroes but interesting *persons*), or a combination of the two. In any case, I certainly don’t mind you continuing this way in future books.

    Next, I just have to say I loved the moment when Jacky stepped off the plane! I know that Hope has Shelly back as her “BFF” but she really can’t fill the role in the story that Jacky did/does, the somewhat darker personality to contrast with Hope’s brighter character as well as someone who Hope can turn to as a sounding board/big sister/voice of reason. I think Hope even said in the story (IIRC) that as much as she was glad Shelly was back in her life, their relationship has changed. Shelly used to be the leader but now Hope is the older one and has taken over that role in their relationship.
    That said, a couple of small nits to pick. First, her abortive relationship with Seven. I’d don’t feel strongly for or against it, but I didn’t care for the way it just seem to fizzle out. Certainly, in real life that can happen but in terms of the story I just kind of wondered why bother with it to begin with? The relationship didn’t amount to anything and the failure of the relationship didn’t seem to amount to anything. I just hope whatever you have planned for Hope and Grendel amounts to a bit more, story wise, no matter how it works out in the end. After the seriousness of Hope’s relationship with Atlas, going back to her “crush of the year” per-Atlas behavior would just seem a step backwards for the character.

    Second, the issue of wishing Shelly back to life. I certainly don’t mind the results for the characters or the story, but I have to agree with one of the previous posters that it seemed just the slightest bit forced. The whole Shelly not backing up her personality and Hope being unable to wish for something she didn’t really want. I don’t know, perhaps a bit more foreshadowing of these reasons might have made things progress a bit more smoothly?

    In the end, though, my complaints are all minor and overall I really enjoyed the whole story. I’ll be looking forward eagerly to your next book and seeing how mixing Hope, Shelly and Jacky together in one place comes out. No matter what, I’m sure it will be fun!

  10. First off, I love the series and I do have high hopes for the Young Sentinels characters in the future. That being said, I do have to add to the voices who had some trouble telling apart the additional POV characters. Mostly I had to wait until they made some reference to their powers or, in Grendel’s case, referenced Ozma since he had his own way to referring to her to really tell Mal or Grendel apart. As mentioned by others, that really could be alleviated in the future simply by putting the character’s name at the beginning of any perspective switch. Other than that, I did not have a problem with the new perspectives despite my initial apprehension.

    I seem to have a difference in opinion in the ending to the relationship with Seven from the others here in that I really didn’t have a problem with the quick end to it. It happens. Of course, my perspective there might be colored by the fact that I really didn’t care for the idea of a relationship between the two of them anyway. It seemed too ‘easy.’ I also have no issues with a potential relationship with Grendel should things shape up that way. Or not. I guess we’ll see.

    As for the Shelly thing, I too think it is a little weird that Shelly didn’t have any present back-ups that really seems like it could have been mentioned and expanded on earlier in the book.

    Finally, new characters. Love Ozma! Alright, I have no real knowledge of Oz and I hate, hate, hate the Wizard of Oz movie (despite enjoying movie musicals…I have no explanation) so I’ve never really tried to read any of the books (although now I might). So I did feel like I was missing a lot. But despite that she is a really interesting character. I really hope to see a lot more of her. As for Grendel and Mal, they’re both fine. I’m interested in seeing where they are both going. Of the two I am more interested in Grendel. That little touch of knowledge of Grendel’s possible futures makes him seem like he has some interesting ways that he can go as a character.

    Anyway, enjoyed the book. Already read it twice. And, as mentioned, I love the series. Everytime I read your books I go on a superhero kick for days or weeks afterwards. I look forward to the next book. And now I need to figure out some way to get my superhero fix. Maybe I’ll try and convince my friend to run that game of Mutants and Masterminds, or run one of my own.

  11. There were a few inconsistencies that I caught. Whoever you have doing your proofreading is very good.

    One point hit me very hard as a military historian though. In Chapter 8’s prologue you speak of Astra as having ‘killed enemies of the country in the first attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor’. This is not true.

    There are still veterans of the Aleutians campaign of June 3 1942 until July 28, 1943 during World War II still alive who would disagree vehemently. Not many unfortunately. The Japanese assault on the Aleutian Islands of Attu and Kiska was either a diversion to their planned assault on Midway or a plan to safeguard their northern flank that did not receive a great deal of support, and they retreated after the battle of Midway was decided.

    It is not a huge point. But it did jar me.

    Other than that, well done.

    I DO want to see how Hope is going to handle being in an army with Brian.

    And please, please, PLEASE, let Shankman and his goons get what they so richly deserve. Pretty please with sugar on top? The pie was good!

    1. What can I say: Geraldine Roche, like most who aren’t historians, probably doesn’t even know the Aleutians are actually American soil and not a territory like Guam.

  12. The good;

    1) I liked the expansion of the team and how you made it balanced without it appearing contrived. Generally speaking, comics and comic-based novels have a problem with that; either everyone in the team is a nigh-invulnerable flier with heavy firepower or the selection of team members is arbitrary. Good to see that in the Young Sentinels not only they are strategically chosen but there’s also a plot point or three involved in the selection itself.

    2) I liked the personalities of the new members. A guy violent by nature who’s also focused and serious, the immature guy that can’t help but hit on every girl, the cautious guy who is both unsure about himself and brave enough to try, and the seemingly insane girl that unsurprisingly comes off as the most mature and stable of the lot. I like how they balance Shelly’s boundless enthusiasm and Astra’s outward sweetness wrapped around a seriously good but strong core.

    3) The flow of the action is good and there are no internal inconsistencies; the story is entrancing and a good example of comic-based fiction without losing anything in solidity or perpetuating the absurdities of many comics.

    The bad;

    The POV was an issue for me, but not in how they are somewhat similar to Astra’s or not; teenagers from similar cultural backgrounds, of the same ages, in the same city are expected to have similarities after all. My issue was that Megaton’s POV was not interesting enough because he was similar. I really liked Grendel in how he was darker than Astra and from a different familial background because such antithesis makes for a better balance in the book but Megaton simply lacked interesting points about him and was repetitive. Breakthrough in a supervillain attack, like Astra. Coached by more experienced superhero of the opposite sex. Seems to like Astra. The acclimation to new powers. Powers that afford him flight, a measure of toughness and lots of firepower. Saving the day in something heroic, dangerous and potentially lethal. His introduction follows the same pattern as Astra’s -which is only natural, given his circumstances- which makes his POV kinda dull.
    I’d have really liked to see a totally different POV like Ozma’s; she’d not only have been more experienced with an entirely different powerset but also her personality would have been interesting to get a peek into.

    And the weird:

    1) I’m surprised Astra didn’t have any contingency plans after her latest kidnapping. Technological beacons can be scrambled and psychic barriers can block Merlin types, but what about something passive, like isotopes added to her armor that can be seen from a satellite even through walls due to unusual radiation?
    What about a Merlin-type or Verne-type designing an addition to her suit that teleports her back to headquarters if she’s incapacitated, or gives off a really powerful distress signal?

    2) Astra still doesn’t have a reliable way to incapacitate people. How hard would it have been to add a cattleprod to her gloves so every time she hits someone non-invulnerable while it’s active, they go down? Come to think of it, a tazer with quarter-pound power source could knock out a human. How about building her a bigger maul that has a fifty-pound power source and is effectively a giant tazer that works on people a couple hundred times tougher than normal, like other Atlas/Ajax types? Name it Mjolnir or something.

    3) If Astra needs to level-up, Malleus could take an upgrade. Titanium is better than steel but not very dense. An equal-mass maul made of tungsten alloy would be nearly five times denser thus have about half the striking surface for the same length. That immediately more than doubles the damage-dealing potential of each hit.
    And for the really serious battles, a battleaxe is both the most visually intimidating melee weapon and also the one with the most penetration against heavy armor. Against an equal strength/toughness opponent, a hit could sever limbs, decapitate or cleave in twain.

  13. Hmm… okay, general points first I guess, before my major gripe. Firstly, Mr. Harmon is definitely getting better at telling this type of story, in giving it a richer and more realistic atmosphere, drawing the reader in. On top of that I liked the new characters – Megaton and Grendel particularly, with Ozma being a fun if somewhat cliche addition and the last (can’t think of his name off the top of his head) being somewhat of a dissapointment but not much. Pretty much reeking of upcoming betrayal and switchover to supervillainy there, but we’ll see. On a less positive note, despite the writing feeling a lot smoother, a nice progression skillwise from the previous installment anyway, it was very slow in places. There seems to be a whole heck of a lot of filler in these books for how very short they are, a lot of it completely unnecessary even for character advancement, much less for the plot. I really wish some of that type of stuff would get trimmed out in the future, or better yet (by an order of magnitude) replaced with real plot advancement instead of the first half of each book just kinda twiddling its’ toes and all the real action and story coming right at the end.

    Now my gripe. Astra really, really needs to level up to meet expectations. TA gave the reader some heavy expectations right from the start of the series, what with his hinting at her potential, entrusting her and enlisting her in his fight, giving her the big book, all of this. Honestly, I read all of this to say that she’s going to be THE superhero after atlas died, bigger, badder, the force that could carry the world somewhat safe (and, you know, not decimated several times over) through the rolling apocalypse that TA and DA saw defining the upcoming century. Blackstone kinda said the exact same thing in YS, that she was going to be the new Atlas. Hell, the doc even said right from the start that she was a progressive breakthrough (don’t remember the exact terminology, even though I just reread the series in preparation for YS) which seemed like it was a pretty rare thing in itself.

    The fact of the matter is though, she’s not. Not so far as I can see, anyway. She still seems to be about the same as when that bridge dropped on her, getting totally outclassed by more or less every high level strong-man villain she runs into despite a year of training first with the strongest cape in the world, then with the ‘ultimate trainer’ Watchman who also seems to be one of the strongest Atlas types to boot (certainly well out of Hope’s league). The author seems to have just completely dropped that progressive breakthrough thing that I was gleefully contemplating making her into a real badass superman type, fighting groups of tough baddies at a time. I mean, everyone in the story harps about how strong she is, she’s revered for it by her fans and Blackstone is grooming her to be the next Atlas, but the reality is that as the story is going that’s only ever going to be a publicity stunt. She’s not even second best to him, she’s only the SEVENTH most powerful Atlas type in ONE country, which it was remarked had a rather low number of breakthroughs to begin with. So when you come to world stats, there are probably hundreds of Atlas and Ajax type heroes and villains who could just casually stomp Astra any day of the week, and she’s meant to replace the strongest of them?

    And that’s completely ignoring the Ultra crisis. The next Atlas, the one who’s supposed to see them through the coming crisis, needs to be the strongest of THEM, as well. And yet Bulldozer, a high level A or low level Ultra Ajax type, demolished her AND Watchman. A couple of times. Honestly, Astra didn’t even contribute too much to those fights it seemed – he almost stalemated against Watchman, then with Astra thrown in they just barely overcame him.

    Honestly, I was really just expecting Astra to develop into something of a badass in this series, and it seems like it’s going to devolve into even more of a situation where she’s hopelessly outclassed and slowing down the enemy until the real heavy hitters get there to take them out. I had some hope in YS that this situation would get fixed. First of course you have her fighting and then being abducted by the group that’s creating Ultras (very annoying having your protagonist completely neutralized for half o the book and providing little more than filler chapters about how she’s sitting around in a hotel room doing nothing, or sitting around in the dome doing nothing, by the way), which could have lead to a power up in numerous ways. Pelligrini, who worked with the DA and presumably knew about Astra’s importance to the future could have boosted her willingly to start, despite the whole enemies issue, because he’s a crazy ass cultist breakthrough. I was thinking there was a possibility too that he’d have to physically give back her power (how did she get it back btw? Nothing he did and nothing involved in the wish process seemed like it should have giver her power back, it was kind of just like the author decided, okay the books’ over and the reader can’t enjoy it so have your powers back Astra!) and she’d somehow snatch all the juice he had stored up. Presumably that’s how his gift’s working since the boosted villains never seemed to power back down like Blackstone expected, Pelligrini must be taking from some to dole out more to others (also explains the need for all the youngsters, him draining the least useful to fuel up those that can potentially cause massive disasters and therefor lots of breakthroughs).

    Then there was the wish of course. I couldn’t believe she was going to use such a powerful thing and sign herself over to the Princess’ service for god knows how long to ‘save’ shelly from a pretty awesome situation, despite the awkward attempt at explaining how she for some nonsensical reason couldn’t back herself up, couldn’t migrate between the two fully functional brains she had at her disposal to escape possible Federal persecution, couldn’t do a lot of things that her electronic existence would seem to imply. I was pretty relieved when they decided she’d let Shell go on as she was, and was almost sure that the wish would be used to get her powers back for the climatic fight, and boost herself at the same time. After all, the guy who makes ultras broke into the freaking superprison right around the time she was discovering that she would rather be strong for others’ benefit rather than weak for her own. It seemed a sure thing that Pelligrini would soup up some of the convicts and release some others, the away team would get swamped and start going down while the rest of the nearby capes were occupied with Greenman, and Astra would be left to act on this newfound purpose by wishing herself an Ultra, or simply strong enough to protect her friends. Then she’d flash over to Supermax in a suborbital dash to put Atlas to shame, hit the prison like an orbital strike, kick ass, take names, chew some freaking bubblegum.

    Instead events were contrived so that she had to waste the wish on Shelly, despite that issue having already been resolved. The superpowerful robot and the guy who can pump out massive explosions were defeated by a vine which they had just sort of allowed to trap shelly in the first place (that made, literally, no sense that she just waited for it to trap her when he could have gone off anywhere in the harbor to the same effect, and she couldn’t move him anyway once he was hooked, and a couple of seconds’ wait before he hit the water would have made little to no difference on his stored power). The bad guys didn’t really make much of an effort at all to fight the Sentinels in the prison (just, what, two or three villains?) which didn’t matter because they still won anyway without what could have possibly been the best fight scene (and the debut of a new and legitimitely badass Astra!) in the whole series really ever getting off the ground. I mean, the bad guys won, unconditionally, they weren’t even inconvenienced. And the future of the series seems to be pretty much the same as the past, with Astra never ‘leveling up’ except in the public eye, never really being indispensible except as a figurehead, constantly getting beat down by single villains instead of being the force of nature that was implied in the beginning, and eventually becoming completely irrelevant when the tide of ultras (whether all created by pelligrini or not) arrives.

    Seriously, I’m imagining a book or two in the future her getting beat senseless by one of the juvie escapees that pelligrini boosts and I’m just cringing, and not knowing if I’ll be able to keep reading after that. Enough of the damsel in distress already. The couple of times it’s forced her to go all out and just completely demolish herself to defeat her enemy like the fight with the Ring have been cool, but I’m tired of the hero being the underdog whilst being hailed as the next best thing to superman.

    On a side note, I hope she goes for Grendal in the love department over Seven. Seven was never more than an amusing side-note despite the scope of his luck powers, and the way he just kind of completely ignored her advances in YS was pretty disappointing to boot.

    Once again, please oh please level Astra up. Please. And don’t make us wait two or three more books for it. Don’t even make us wait for the very end of the next book for it (I was waiting for it the whole way through YS and it STILL didn’t happen 😦 ). She’s now like the third strongest and fifth or sixth most powerful just on the SENTINELS (including the newbies), and we were promised a freaking Titan not a Mighty Mouse.

    This ends my regularly scheduled rambling. I really do like the story, it’s on of my favorite superhero series’ (and I read a LOT of them), but I feel like a lot of the love I have for the series is based on seeing Astra as an up and coming badass and it’s harder and harder to justify that belief as the story goes on and she seems more like a minor in the major leagues.

  14. An army’s general can lift, like, a hundred pounds. A tank can lift thirty tons. Just because the tank is stronger than the general does not make it any more important. IMHO, that’s how Hope will help; she’s a genuinely good person who is also experienced with social and military authority, comes from a rich family from very high society, has contacts in superheroes, the police, the military, said high society and the mob. Even the Paladins who hate supers only accused her of “believing lies”, not that she’s evil/corrupt.

    And she’s only a year into things. How soon can we expect her to wield worldwide authority, like a certain former Sentinel who got voted a President?

  15. Loved the book and love the fact that you are introducing new heros of unconventional types like Ozma. That gave me some ideas for other genres that haven’t been tapped yet and I thought I would mention them here. The dragon ball z universe would be cool like a super saiyan type of breakthrough that starts out at a certain level and through intense training can learn new attacks and level them selves up to who knows how far (atlas type that can do energy projection etc). Also the senzu bean idea is cool from that series (pill that gives instant healing). Also how about a video game break through or a breakthrough based on a popular video game character (haha don’t know how you could make it work but a mario break through would be hilarious). Just some silly ideas for you but thanks so much for the book and I can’t wait to read the next one.

  16. I will too divide my comments into “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” SORRY, but :

    1. The Good: Astra getting a little responsibility, and having the Astra/Hope identity stuff happen (trying not to get too into spoilers, but there were two separate instances that I can see.) I think the full tying of Hope to Astra and vice-versa is a big development for her character. She’s fully dedicated now. I also like the introduction of Grendel. The character who must balance being part “monster”/ part man, and his deep, interesting storyline. It was also interesting to see the parental issues with Megaton. I liked the look into Hillwood Academy, and Detroit Supermax, but I want MORE! Finally, I liked that this book teases at the future of the Sentinels and at a future book. It leaves you wondering, and is IMHO the first of the WTC books that can’t really stand alone.

    2. The Bad: I didn’t like the multiple povs, but you’ve heard that already. And I think some of the characters, like Reese, are uneeded. Megaton was kinda limited too. Instead I would have liked to have “heard” or “seen” more of the original characters. Dive deeper into them, they are our good friends that we shouldn’t abandon just because a couple of new kids come to town. The “teaser” with Jackie (And Mr. Harmon, you KNOW what I’m talking about, you clearly want people to be craving a Bite Me sequel) was also kinda bad. I miss Jackie, but the way you brought her back was a little muddled. I would rather have seen Nix/Nox as real hero characters.

    3. The Ugly: Ozma and Shelly/Galatea/Virtual Shelly. They were like massive, warty tumors that should have been dug out with a scalpel and dissected, so that you would know how such horror happened, and how to prevent it in the future. They weren’t necessary in the story, and they didn’t blend in well, and they made an ugly lump in an otherwise smooth surface.

    Those things being said, I like your work. Any chance a WTC movie is going to come out? Or a T.V. series? Who would you cast as Astra? Atlas?

    1. Atlas had been my original main character, and I’d pictured him played by Nathan Fillion, of Firefly fame. Astra… I don’t know. Not really familiar with the young TV/movie set today.

  17. When YS came out it was late and I was tired and I finished it in an hour flat. Ok, a little hyperbole but hey, not that far off the mark, it was a couple hours. I actually don’t remember much of the story, but I didn’t like the POV switches. They were just distracting for me. Also I agree with many of these fine commentors, the kinda little fizz in this books romance department was little bit sad. Sorry but that’s the truth. I think that if your gonna have more romance in this story it has to be all or nothing, love or just leave it out. I hope this is helpful and I’m not trampling on your hopes and dreams. I should probably stop procrastinating now and do my work……..

    1. I looked at the time stamp on my comment and said “wait a minute…….” and then I realized, VEGAS. I’m so stupid sometimes . Ok work……..

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