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Bending the Boyne, J.S. Dunn

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Rowan
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Bending the Boyne, J.S. Dunn

Post by Rowan » Mon April 29th, 2013, 1:07 pm

Circa 2200 BCE: Changes rocking the Continent reach Eire with the dawning Bronze Age. Well before any Celts, marauders invade the island seeking copper and gold. The young astronomer Boann and the enigmatic Cian need all their wits and courage to save their people and their great Boyne mounds, when long bronze knives challenge the peaceful native starwatchers. Banished to far coasts, Cian discovers how to outwit the invaders at their own game. Tensions on Eire between new and old cultures and between Boann, Elcmar, and her son Aengus, ultimately explode. What emerges from the rubble of battle are the legends of Ireland s beginnings in a totally new light.

I'm borrowing the summary about the book from Amazon, because at this point I am not sure if I will finish the book. Quite frankly it doesn't seem like the thing was edited at all!

There are just so many things that don't really jive for me. Boann and Elcmar are from two different peoples who the author portrays as very different yet when they marry, Boann alternates between fluid conversation with her new husband and thinking about how to learn the language he speaks. The whole of what I've read - which is maybe 24% (on Kindle) - seems to be the author indicating these people knew a lot, but at the same time not much. And the use of modern terminology is a bit odd. I mean I know the story is set too far back to know the vocabulary that people used that long ago, but I'm sure there are words that might be a little more... primitive... to be fitting.

Over all, I would have to say based on what I've read, this deserves only 1/5 stars. I'm sure there's a good story in there, but this author just isn't good at bringing it out.

Also, has anyone else ever encountered an author who wants to keep their sex a secret? I mean I understand authors using initials only - especially if they're writing in a genre typically dominated by either males or females - or if they have a rather common name but I have no clue whether this J.S. Dunn is a man or a woman. Even the author's website refers to the author as just "the author". Anyone else find that weird or is this more common than I know?

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon April 29th, 2013, 4:59 pm

This was in the pile of books I won (quite unfairly, as it was a writers' costume competition and I had a set of noble garb from re-enactment) at the San Diego HNS conference. I gave it about 50 pages, in consideration of the author having put all that $$ into giving out free copies. But I agree, he/she needed to work on storytelling skills. If the author had tried that tale on a live audience, they would have walked away.

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Lisa
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Post by Lisa » Mon April 29th, 2013, 5:27 pm

Damn, I just spent money on that book! Oh well it was cheap and part of a gift certificate. I'll give it a go at some point.

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Post by annis » Mon April 29th, 2013, 7:12 pm

Posted by Rowan
Also, has anyone else ever encountered an author who wants to keep their sex a secret? I mean I understand authors using initials only - especially if they're writing in a genre typically dominated by either males or females - or if they have a rather common name but I have no clue whether this J.S. Dunn is a man or a woman. Even the author's website refers to the author as just "the author". Anyone else find that weird or is this more common than I know?
It's not that common, but I have come across this total secrecy in at least couple of other cases. Mostly, though, as you say, the "initials only" thing indicates a female author wanting to get a foothold in a traditonally male area of fiction - say thrillers or historical adventure, for example. Generally they don't mind being "outed" once they've established a fan base- it's just getting past that initial male prejudice against anything written by a woman - and yes, that prejudice is definitely still alive and well :)

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Mon April 29th, 2013, 7:32 pm

[quote=""MLE""]This was in the pile of books I won (quite unfairly, as it was a writers' costume competition and I had a set of noble garb from re-enactment) at the San Diego HNS conference. I gave it about 50 pages, in consideration of the author having put all that $$ into giving out free copies. But I agree, he/she needed to work on storytelling skills. If the author had tried that tale on a live audience, they would have walked away.[/quote]

Phew! I was beginning to think I might be alone in this boat. I felt like a child who has tried something new to eat and didn't really like it. lol "I did try the peas, Mummy, and I don't like them."

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Lisa
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Location: Northeast Scotland

Post by Lisa » Mon April 29th, 2013, 9:18 pm

[quote=""annis""]Posted by Rowan


It's not that common, but I have come across this total secrecy in at least couple of other cases. Mostly, though, as you say, the "initials only" thing indicates a female author wanting to get a foothold in a traditonally male area of fiction - say thrillers or historical adventure, for example. Generally they don't mind being "outed" once they've established a fan base- it's just getting past that initial male prejudice against anything written by a woman - and yes, that prejudice is definitely still alive and well :) [/quote]

I agree it is mostly the case women writers using initials only, but the first one that sprang to mind for me was the other way around - C.W.Gortner/ Christopher Gortner. I think this is a better way of going about it, as opposed to, say, 'Jessica Stirling' and all the other male romance writers. C.W.'s stuff is different of course, but just saying, I think using initials is still more honest than a pseudonym of the opposite gender!

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Post by lauragill » Mon April 29th, 2013, 9:54 pm

[quote=""MLE""]This was in the pile of books I won (quite unfairly, as it was a writers' costume competition and I had a set of noble garb from re-enactment) at the San Diego HNS conference. I gave it about 50 pages, in consideration of the author having put all that $$ into giving out free copies. But I agree, he/she needed to work on storytelling skills. If the author had tried that tale on a live audience, they would have walked away.[/quote]

After all the time the author spent shilling the book on Amazon and other forums, maybe I'm not surprised.

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Post by annis » Tue April 30th, 2013, 2:17 am

Posted by Lady of Bennachie
first one that sprang to mind for me was the other way around - C.W.Gortner/ Christopher Gortner.


True- E.V. Thompson's another who comes to mind. Didn't realise Jessica Stirling ws a male author - maybe that explains why "her" historical novels have all the romantic excitement of a bowl of cold porridge :) Could just be a bad case of turgid writing of course, by no means specific to any particular gender...
Last edited by annis on Tue April 30th, 2013, 2:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by lauragill » Wed May 1st, 2013, 2:28 am

I don't like to disparage anyone's work, but the few pages I sampled on Amazon were not to my taste. The tenor of the good reviews makes me suspicious about their objectivity.

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