Monday, February 11, 2013

The Writer's View - The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins

From Goodreads: Cora and her husband hunt things - things that shouldn't exist. When the marshal of Leadville, Colorado, comes across a pair of mysterious deaths, he turns to Cora to find the creature responsible, but if Cora is to overcome the unnatural tide threatening to consume the small town, she must first confront her own tragic past as well as her present.

The Writer's View

Two weeks ago I posted my bizarre reason for buying this book. Usually when I make rash decisions I end up regretting them, but I really enjoyed this book. The heorine is Cora Oglesby, a gun-toting, whiskey-drinking, baaaad ass warrior of the old west. I have to admit I struggled with her character a bit at first because she is drunk ALL THE TIME, but as we get deeper into the story we discover the tragic reason behind her drinking problem. And the lady kicks ass from here to sundown. She had me in tears by the end. I am a Cora Oglesby fan! This series is #1 on my current wish list of books I'd like to see HBO get their hands on.

The first half of the book was a bit disorgaized (in my opinion) with the POVs from random characters that didn't add anything to the book. If you can get through this part, the book really takes off in the second half. Like I said, I was in tears by the end.

Opening a book with the POV of a minor character

Like I mentioned, this front half of the book had some scenes written from the POV of minor characters that I wasn't particularly interested in or vested in. The novel itself opens with the POV of two different town marshalls. I get the technical reason as to why these characters opened the book -- they witness a paranormal crime scene and thus introduce the readers to a paranormal old west. Overall, though, since these characters weren't particulary interesting or really all that essential to the main story, I think the opening of the novel was not as strong as it could have been. Cora is a such a brilliant, awesome character. Opening the novel from her POV would have kicked butt, in my humble opinion, and done a much better job of sucking the reader in.

What do you guys think about opening a book with the POV of a minor character?


  1. Hm, I have a big pet peeve with multiple POVs. I don't mind them if they are done right. The writing style sounds like it might bug me. I don't think I've ever come across a book opening with a POV of a minor character. Not sure how I feel about that. At least you enjoyed the novel in the end :)

  2. This sounds like a cool book. I always love a badass heroine!

  3. I don't mind multiple POV's if it's not TOO many and it's easy to tell the difference in their voices. I'm not sure if I would it being started with a minor character, but I think it makes it a bit confusing. I remember that happening in other books and it threw me for a loop at first. But I got over it.
    I'm curious how she is if she's drunk all the time, that actually makes me want to pick this up even more, which seems silly. But I love books in the wild west and she sounds cool.

  4. Yeah, sometimes you have to wade through the beginning of some books to get to the good stuff. As long as it's really amazing I'll wade and this one sounds great.

  5. I don't like POVs of minor characters period. Can you tell I'm not a fan of multiple POV books? There just doesn't seem to be much point to it and even though I haven't read this one I can completely see a book being much stronger if say the main character stumbles upon a supernatural crime scene.

  6. I suppose opening with the POV of a minor character is more like a movie or TV series. The crime ones, where every episode begins with some random people coming across a dead body or something. THEN the main characters enter to take over. But on TV that probably only takes about a minute. I imagine reading a scene takes a bit longer, and it's not like you're supposed to be invested in that character. I guess it depends how exciting the actual story is at the beginning as to whether I would enjoy it or not!

  7. Ooo, I must admit the tagline of "True Grit meets True Blood" catches my attention. For the majority of books, starting the book from a minor character's POV would not work. I would say it works better for mysteries, though (sometimes seeing through the eyes of the victim before he/she is killed and then get to the MCs does work).

  8. Oh True Blood! That's a way to get my interest! ;) The "Opening a book with the POV of a minor character" thing could have been really cool and unique though if done right. Too bad it wasn't so enthralling in this case. I hadn't heard of this book before. Great review!