Sunday, July 10, 2011

J.C. Phelps—Color Me Grey (2004)

Since buying my tablet, I'm reading much more, enjoy reading more, and via all the free downloads authors offer to get a following, I'm getting to sample a lot of great work.

One of those novels I downloaded for free made me hyperventilate. I had found a new,  favorite author. The writing was sharp and hilarious, ala Janet Evanovich, with better plot. I haven't fallen in love with a character as whole heartedly since Ruth, in The White Dragon. I was ready to buy everything Phelps had in Amazon.

Ahhh, but then I finished Act I. Act II was the feared, innocuous muddle in the middle. Telling narrative that could have been summarized in a half-dozen paragraphs. Unfortunately, the reader must slog through it for a couple hours. Then. Great. Act III, and the coming climax. Argh. No climax. No action. The protagonist wasn't even engaged. She described (telling) the action she saw via a satellite feed. Not riveting. Plot was a letdown.

Color read as though someone else wrote Act II and III.

I optimistically look forward to reading subsequent novels though. If she could be that phenomenal in the first part of Color, she has the writing skill, a great funny bone, and knack to build a terrific character. She just needs the editing to get her over a learning curve. I cringe when I read my earlier writing. I'll bet the following sequels rally to the quality of the early chapters of book one. If not, I may have to hunt her down and bludgeon her about the head and shoulders. Dang, I loved the first third of the book.


Working on novel number nineteen!


  1. I try not to comment on reviews that aren't absolutely stellar because I don't want to seem like I'm complaining. That is NOT what this is. I just wanted to say, what a great review!

    I'm sorry the second two were a let down for you. I actually thought they were better than the first one. Now I'm afraid to write a fourth for fear of being bludgeoned. :-)

    I really appreciate you taking the time to read and review my books. You understand, it is the threat of bodily harm that brought me to respond to this post. I think that's great - except now I'm going to have to find a good hiding spot.


  2. I'm sooooo glad you have a sense of humor. Of course I knew that from Color Me Grey.

    Don't worry, I won't hunt you down. I'm all hot air.

    And the middle and end probably wasn't as bad as I sensed them to be. It's like eating the best part of the steak first. The other feels twice as chewy, than if you ate it first.

    I do look forward to reading more.

    Kudos, and I'm so happy you chose to e-pub. You encourage me to take the plunge too.

  3. Mac - You really should do it. It's worth it. Even when people aren't completely enamored with your work. At least you are being read.

    All reviews are greatly appreciated because if they aren't all rainbows and butterflies, there's a chance the author can learn something from them.

    Don't get me wrong - I LOVE rainbows and butterflies.


  4. I'll remember that when I review Reflections.

  5. Oh sheesh - I misunderstood your review. :-) I thought you were referring to Shades and Reflections as Acts II and III.

    Those two books are what I thought was better than the first.

    Way to go... You've made me very nervous now. :-)

    (rainbows and butterflies, rainbows and butterflies)

  6. Sorry for the confusion.

    Most every "writing manual" refers to the three acts of fiction, most simply referred to as the beginning, middle, and end; also: Hook, Climax, Resolution...and a slew of other things.

    I plan (and look forward) to read your sequels.