Reviewed: 2012-12-30 - (Review Updated: 2013-01-01)
Not normally my genre, but I gave this a go out of curiosity to see how one gets scores of 7s, 8s and above on here. I tried to be reasonable, without showing sour grapes about this (under a different pen name to this I'm always getting sub-6s), but for the life of me I don't understand why this universe merits such high scores.
First, I have to get past the language difficulty - being a Brit - which funnily enough I don't have problems with in such great screenplays as 'Unforgiven', or the remake of 'True Grit'. Here, though, I find it awkward.
Technical quality 6: author intrusion is rife. I guess this is the 'homely style' that one reviewer refers to, but for me it's a device that went out with Jane Austen. I want to be 'in' the world of the novel, not being spoken to by the author in almost fairy tale fashion, unless of course the author is a protagonist (as in first person stories). Also, it's extremely dialogue-dependent with very little visual or other sensory description, but there's an obvious competent level of literacy, hence a 6.
Story plot: okay, this is its strength, and why I guess the series appears to be so popular. There's a story happening right from the off. We're going somewhere (literally), and there is pace. In which case, why do we need the author to tell us "something exciting is going to happen"? Just let the actual narrative do the talking please.
Appeal to reviewer 7: it wouldn't be fair to vote down on the basis of setting or subject-matter, since this is subjective (although it seems like most readers just that). However, one reason it lacks appeal for me is the constant sense of 'sketchiness', ie not a great deal of convincing psychological depth.
I suppose the lesson I can learn from all this is that 'plot' is everything - well, almost everything - and a literary level of writing not important at all. I think I knew that already, though, with such things as the 'Shades' trilogy and its multitude of spin-offs topping the best-sellers list.
Reviewed: 2012-12-27 - (Review Updated: 2013-06-23)
This is an updated review, about 6 months into the story.
I was going to review Cindy, Christina, & Nikki individually, but decided I would be saying basically the same thing for each review. So I am reviewing Community instead.
If you haven't read the 3 stories mentioned, please do so, as they provide the back stories to this series.
This is the story of 4 young, smart (possibly genius level) girls, Cindy, Tina, Nikki, & Susan and their husbands as they gain college educations and build their engineering business in the south central US. Expect a lot of loving conversation, getting together with family and friends and maybe a bit of drama.
Oyster50's home-style writing has had the previous series at the top of the lists for the last year or so. I am expecting the same for this series.
Sex will be present, but not a main part of the story. What sex there is will always be very loving.
We have now found out that Cindy and Tina are even smarter than they thought (they will finish 4 years of courses in less than 2), and Nikki and Susan won't be far behind. Terri, Alan's daughter is turning to be another prodigy, and Susan, now that she and Jason are married, is a bit naughty. The engineering business is gaining strength and the girls may be part of it sooner than we thought.
I will probably update this review every 5-6 months as the story progresses. The ratings may be updated also.