- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 20, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1463755759
- ISBN-13: 978-1463755751
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,648,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Flood Waters Rising Paperback – September 20, 2011
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About the Author
Elizabeth Hirst lives in Oakville, Ontario, Canada with her fiance, her best friend, five fish and a lizard named Creep. She has published work in Alien Skin Magazine(http://www.alienskinmag.com/) the Mystic Signals 3 Anthology (http://www.loreleisignal.com) and is a former creative writer for Hitgrab Inc, creators of the MouseHunt and Levynlight Facebook apps. http://www.hitgrab.com/. In addition to her efforts as a writer and publisher, Elizabeth is training to be a professional animator at Sheridan College.
Top customer reviews
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Unfortunately, instead of a gem, a got a lesson in why some things are better left alone in the dusty corners of obscurity.
Flood Waters Rising tells the tale of Sithon Flood, a relative to Toraus Flood, a fellow whose treacherous actions caused both him and his family to be exiled until his death. The novel opens with the death of the aged Toraus, thus freeing his nephew, Sithon, and Sithon’s mother, Vaedra, from exile. However, shortly after Toraus’ death, both Sithon and Vaedra are forcefully taken in by Wardan, a mad scientist with the ability to raise the dead. Wardan wants to continue what Toraus put into motion and become the ruler of Rakaria, using the unwilling Sithon and his family as pawns.
One flaw I noticed immediately after picking up this book was it’s grammar. I’m aware that typos happen. Heck, I make them all the time myself. For all I know, I’ve made one in this review. It’s just another part of human error, and, ordinarily, a small typo – even a small handful of typos – wouldn't be a big deal to me. However, when there is a typo on every other page because someone doesn’t know how grammar works, then we have a problem. For every line of dialogue that is written correctly, there are a dozen riddled with errors. Nearly every dialogue tag in this story is incorrectly broken from its respective line of dialogue by an erroneously placed period. This was beyond distracting, and made the book appear unprofessional and sloppy. If you can’t get something as simple as dialogue correctly, should you really be publishing a book?
Furthermore, while I’m on the subject of dialogue, the dialogue itself isn’t exactly quality either. When it isn’t being used to info dump, it’s stiff and unbelievable, often to the point of being comical, even when it’s trying to be dramatic:
“What was that Slash was always calling me? Dung heap? Well, now he’s an ash heap. How are you going to resurrect him, Wardan? Mix him with mud and make a sculpture?” (Sithon threatening Wardan, p. 453)
Sick burn there, Sithon.
The prose is, like the dialogue, is clunky at best. Hirst spends far too much time describing trivial things and far too little time describing things that actually matter, which makes some of the more exotic aspects of the story (such as the technology and aliens) difficult to envision. The book is also plagued throughout by poor word choice and general awkwardness, ie: “With a constant stream of cold distracting part of his sensory perception, Sithon found he could think more clearly.”(p. 169) I certainly know I can think of a dozen ways to better describe someone taking a cold shower. Similes are another thing that this writer should stay away from in the future, as the book is peppered with gems such as: “The hover took off at a speed that made Sithon’s eyes feel like they couldn’t quite keep up with everything that went by along the way.” (p. 285) Yikes.
In regards to characters, they are all wholly flat and unsympathetic; a disaster, considering this is supposed to be a ‘character-driven story’. Instead, we get almost 500 pages of characters that spend more time info-dumping than anything else, and whose actions are as inconsistent as the plot. There is nothing to define any of them in terms of personality, as they barely go beyond their respective character archetypes. The only character who seemed even vaguely interesting to me was Wardan, probably because he was the only one whose actions were consistent.
The plot is hardly better than the characters, as it’s incredibly hard to follow, largely because the writing is so bad. Many things (ie: the difference between Novans and Rakarians) remain unexplained until far later in the book and, while such a technique can serve to build mystery and suspense in the hands of an experienced author, in this case, it makes the story far more confusing than it needs to be.
There is one good thing I can say about Flood Waters Rising, and that is how Hirst incorporates the characters’ species into the narrative. The alien Geedar are a wolf-like people, and canine body language and instincts do play a huge part in how her characters interact with one another. While this doesn’t make up for the disaster that is the rest of this novel, it is a nice touch.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I would not recommend this book, not even if you’re bored and desperate to read about anthropomorphic wolves. Between the grammar errors, flat characters, and poor writing, no ounce of good it contains can outweigh the bad. I wasted several hours reading this nearly 500 page doorstop, and they are several hours I can, alas, never get back.
I mostly liked the story's direction and description. Sithon struggles believably with the transition into his new life. The narrative often describes the outward appearance of new electronic devices, in the laborious way of someone who doesn't understand this strange device. I also liked the treatment of the non-human characters. The Geedar race are anthropomorphic canines, so they notice scents much more than a human would, and they use techniques such as scent-testing security checkpoints. Canine body language is often used, particularly in the silent "huntspeak" language. Human-like traits are balanced with enough distinctive, dog-like ways that the Geedar seem believable for what they are.
The downside of the prose was that I found some things overdescribed. New locations are laid out in detail, with particular attention paid to the relative locations of everything. Minor actions like opening a door might get two full sentences of specific breakdown. This sort of description is mostly visual in nature, so I'm sure a more visual reader would appreciate the help in imagining each scene, but I thought it was a bit much.
I noticed a few typos and misused words (such as cubs "tousling" instead of tussling), but this wasn't common enough to hinder the story. Despite minor flaws, Flood Waters Rising has some interesting ideas and a solid emotional core to back up its punchy action scenes. It's worth reading.