Book Reviews

Writer's View - a different approach to book blogging

I read for two main reasons: enjoyment and instruction. Reading and exploring the work of other authors provides me the opportunity to learn and grow. Writer's View book reviews are written from a writer's perspective, with an emphasis on elements of craft found within the books. Though I no longer write book reviews, I maintain this directory for my fellow writers.



Worldbuilding outside of every conceivable box - Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Lani Taylor
Take the Mundane and make it Insane - Hounded & Haxed by Kevin Hearne

Worldbuilding with language (without making up cheesy names for dieties or fake cuss words) - Peace Maker by Lindsay Buroker

Trying to see through a foggy window - Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Hijacking the reader's authentic experience with language - Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Pacing vs. Worldbuilding -- the great trade off - The Moon & The Sun by Vonda McIntyre

Insta-love -- a supernatural answer to a current literary phenomenon - Madly & Wolfhardy by M. Leighton
Worldbuilding with food - Silver Pheonix by Cindy Pon

Worldbuilding with pinches and dashes - The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

Divergent Technology - Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Breaking away from paranormal tropes - the creation of a new paranormal force - The Hive by Marc Davies

Incomplete Worldbuilding - Glitches by Marissa Meyer

Benefits of showing vs telling in a YA novel - Become by Ali Cross
Tell Me About It - Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand

Steampunk Technology - The Strange Case of Finley Jane by Kady Cross

Relevance of Setting - All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin


Creating an emotional conntection to characters largely off stage - Legend by Marie Lu

Character Group Dynamic - The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

Scaffolding for a character's growth/evolution/triumph - The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Creating characters with negative space - Angelfall by Susan Ee

Giving characters a good death - Siege by Rhiannon Frater

Making the conventional, unconventional - Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Creating non-humans that feel non-human - Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Awkward scaffolding for tender relationships - Ironskin by Tina Connolly

Character Evolution - Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

The Antihero - This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

Best Supporting Actors - Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan


The most amazing flashbacks in the history of flashbacks - The Hunger Game by Suzanne Collins

Creating an emotional conntection to characters largely off stage - Legend by Marie Lu

Using flashbacks to spice up an otherwise slow beginning of a novel - Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Flashbacks that slow down the beginning of a novel - Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Creating Tension:

No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse - Hammered by Kevin Hearne

Tension via relationships - Angel Fire by L.A. Weatherly

Creating tension with the environment - Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Tension through ignorance - Girl of Nightmare by Kendare Blake

Show no mercy to your protag - Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Tension through political intrigue - Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Plot & Structure:

Delayed firing of Chekhov's Gun - Eon by Allison Goodman

Inverted narrated structure - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Deciding where to start a story - Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Economy - The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

Let the readers see the horse race - Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

One step forward, two steps back - First Days by Rhiannon Frater

Breadcrumbs vs. cliffs - Dark Currents by Lindsay Buroker

Best first chapters - Rhiannon Frater, Suzanne Collins, and Neal Stepheson

Structuring chapters with commercial breaks - Angelfall by Susan Ee

Letting readers fill in the blanks - Nandana's Mark by Heidi Garrett

Foreshadowing the Unexpected - The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

The stucture of a successful novella - The Assassin and The Pirate Lord by Sarah J. Mass

Fictional Biography - Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey


The use of POV to study the same scene from multiple angles - Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Lani Taylor

Maximizing multi-POV for maximum tension - Fighting to Survive by Rhiannon Frater

Secondary character POV served as a pie slice - The Sheepfarmer's Daughter by Elizabeth Moon

POV within a silo - literally and figuratively - Wool by Hugh Howey

Head-Hopping - Huntress by Malinda Lo

Literary Devices:

Parody at its finest - couples counseling with zombies - Married with Zombies by Jesse Petersen

Using characters as metaphors - Eon by Allison Goodman

Using the speculative landscape to explore teenage depression - This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

Deux ex Machina - Silver Pheonix by Cindy Pon

Other Elements of Craft:

Technical craft vs. creative craft - As the World Dies, Untold Tales Volume 1 by Rhiannon Frater

Weaving fun tidbits into historical fiction - Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

Skipping the conventional in trope fiction - This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Tweaking authentic langauge for a Western audience - White Tiger by Kylie Chan

Opening a book with the POV of a minor character - The Dead of Winter by Lee Collins

For Writers:

Positioning a novel for the target audience - Eona by Alison Goodman

A Fish Out of Water - Madly by M. Leighton