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First Stringers: Eyes That Do Not See Paperback – July 1, 2010
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
I'm looking forward to the 2nd book about the Stringers--Releanna
Great read. Definitely will reread--Wilson
The actions of the group are very believable--Green
I recommended to any who'd like a different approach to superpowers--Cat
Worth the read and I enjoyed the different perspective from someone who is handicapped. The author wrote in such a way that I found it easy to get into each character-U.A.Welder Focuses on a group of young adults who were born with deformities but also special powers-Unidragon
About the Author
Gerald M. Weinberg (Jerry) writes "nerd novels," such as The Aremac Project and Mistress of Molecules—about how brilliant people produce quality work. More of his novels may be found as eBooks at
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There are (at least) five more like her. The science explanation for Ember's and her friends' secret talents is a bit fuzzy (that they are "pulling the strings of the universe"), but it is exposed so succinctly and swiftly that it does not detract from the plot. After spending the first half of the novel getting to know each other and marveling at each others' hidden powers and secret talents, they spend the other half fighting bad guys who want to use them for their own purposes.
It should come as no surprise that this is a completely plot-driven novel. Every element, from setting to characterization, serves the purposes of plot. This is X-men with disabled heroes; the storyline and its characters seem appropriate for a teenage audience. There is practically no subtext to this story; what you read literally is what you get. The writing is direct and to the point, like a newspaper article, and there is so much dialogue sometimes you wonder if you're reading a screenplay instead of a novel.
Fiction writers are compelled to heed that now clichéd writing advice to omit unnecessary words, but that certainly does not mean that you dispense with every form of description or word elaboration that gives deeper significance to your story or depth to your characters. There's something about the sentence "Joe [the dog] obeyed like the obedience champion he was" (p. 139) that feels off: it conveys possibly necessary information, but it does so in such an awkward way that the paragraph would have been better without it.
There's a serious lack of precise description, especially when it comes to characters. For example, when describing the clerk who assisted Ember and Bolton at the court where they went to get married, this is how the narrator describes her: "the only person Bolton saw was the clerk herself. They found her sitting clerk-like". Clerk-like? What does that mean? This goes on in many more passages.
On the other hand, the author manages the characters' magical traits in a very matter-of-fact way, without giving the reader the opportunity to doubt whatever it is he is reading.
Gerald M. Weinberg is one of the founding members of Book View Café, "an author cooperative" whose main purpose is to bring their work directly to their readers through the internet, thereby dispensing with the big publishing houses. However, this novel could have greatly benefitted from some serious proofreading and editing. It is plagued with all kinds of mistakes: grammar, punctuation, spelling, typos. In its 137 chapters every single one of them has at least one mistake; many have two or more. (This review is based on the ebook published by the author for Book View Café). Two stars.
Instead of self-confident individuals, I discovered a series of confused and somewhat lost people. At first blush, the stories of each seemed filled with setbacks and challenges, more negative than positive. As I read on, I saw individuals struggling to overcome and I became increasingly involved in their struggles.
Along the way, a sprinkling of puns and humor (which are clearly distinct) paved the way for the developing camaraderie that proved to be a key to finding the help each was seeking. Despite the conflict and tension of the forming relationships, the complementary strengths and weaknesses kept the group together. One of my favorite characters was a person not valued by the world but whose caring heart and strength found a home among her unlikely companions.
In order to have someone to nerd with about the book, I gave it to my husband, a sci-fi fan. We came up with wild theories about the deliberately preserved mysteries. What could they do together? What would it be like for one of the friends to lose control? Why didn't they investigate the mysteries of their pasts? Now he's asking me for the next book!
I would recommend this book to someone who loves the sci-fi genre and exploring the limits of human potential.
The mix of "kids with super-powers" and a relation to the String theory seemed fascinating. Well, the String theory is only loosely related, but nevertheless the book was (is) a hit for me.
Anytime I opened the book I ended up reading a dozen or more chapters in a row; sometimes till the crack of dawn (no joke).
Even so the nearly 500 pages took some time to read, but still I was sad, when I reached the last page.
The story unfolded and evolved at a good pace; I never lost the interest (too slow) or the overview (too fast).
In hindsight I think, it contains some "teens get responsibilities and grow mature" morale, but that was a very fine underline and not in the way.
The ending was a good closure for the first part, but left enough space (cliffhanger anyone?) for the second part.
Which I will buy right now, so my review is over.
I heartily recommend the book for any reader who likes "super power" stories with a twist.