DWJ's answers: Harry Potter

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Mon Sep 3 17:11:33 EDT 2001

On Sun, 2 Sep 2001 16:21:43 +0800 (WST), Paul Andinach wrote:

>On Fri, 31 Aug 2001, Melissa Proffitt wrote:
>> (But will you all slaughter me if I admit I didn't like _A Dark
>> Winter_?) 
>No. But why didn't you like it?

You would ask, wouldn't you?  :)  Let's see....

I liked the beginning.  The city setting appealed to me; it seemed more
realistic (whatever that means) than the typical faux-medieval city.  I
liked the political situation and the way the government was set up.  I
*really* liked Hrudis Winterridge.  (I hope that was her last name.  I've
been writing all afternoon and things are starting to get surreal.)

That's what I liked.  Some of what I didn't like:  There were places,
especially at the beginning of the book, where the POV character described
things in ways that kept reminding me that it was a book, jerking me out of
the story very unpleasantly.  That makes it hard for me to stay interested,
especially if I feel the author does it because he doesn't trust me (the
reader) to pick up on his clues and figure out what's going on for myself.
Another thing I disliked was that after the great setup, it turned into just
another quest/journey story.  Much as I liked the goblins (again, they
*were* called goblins, right?)--and I did like the way he made them people
rather than the same old tired fantasy cliche--I kept waiting to find out
what was REALLY going on.  And then, when I did (the revelation about who
the true villain is) it didn't hit me the way it obviously was supposed to.
This is the one area where I think my disengagement with the bulk of the
quest story influenced my reaction; I didn't care enough about the
characters in question to be terribly moved at the end.

But I think the biggest problem I had was that I wanted the story to be
about Hrudis.  *She* was the one who intrigued me from the start; at the
end, which was admittedly very gripping, I was interested because of her
involvement.  So in the end it was an issue of me having picked up on an
interesting story element that wasn't the one the author chose to develop.
Dave Luckett did a good job in not writing the same old Tolkien ripoff, but
ultimately I wanted something else.  Which is awful of me, to criticize the
author's choice, but that's how it went.

Melissa Proffitt
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