Friday, May 2, 2014

First Impressions: INDUCTION DAY

I’m happy to be back (after our hiatus in April) with First Impressions for May! Our first submission is a NA science fiction novel, a sequel in fact: INDUCTION DAY, Book II of Butterman Travel, Inc. by Pk Hrezo.

I’m a time traveler, not a superstar. Tristan doesn’t get it. He forgets people around him aren’t used to the spotlight—with hordes of fans drooling over his every move. That’s his reality, not mine. I have more important things to consider.
His serving-droid delivers a fruit smoothie from its tray to my hand, the midday sun glinting off its shiny metallic torso. “Anything else for you, mademoiselle?”
“No.” I chuckle at its ultra-feminine, sultry voice and refocus on Tristan in the lounger beside me. “French, huh? I’d have pegged you for someone who prefers a Southern drawl on their cyber help.”
“Tried the Southern Belle feature. Felt all wrong, like generations of repressed slave spirits were cursing me from the shadows.” He resets the sliver of his shades on his nose and maximizes them for full coverage, concealing his twilight-blue eyes. “Gave me the creeps ordering it around.”
“But it’s okay ordering around the French?” Squeezing the orange slice at the rim of my glass, I miss my aim in the glass and ejaculate droplets onto Tristan’s cheek. I chuckle.
He purses his lips, wipes his face. “What can I say? I prefer my droids with a French accent. Rolls off the tongue like butter, Butterman.”
He seems to be studying me but it’s hard to tell. Once his lips ease into his superstar grin, I know he is.
“I do like the fuchsia stripes,” he says, referring to my hair. “Trés glam-rock.”
I brush my highlighted strands back from my face in mock supermodel style. “Magenta Marvel. Not fuchsia, thank you very much.”
He arches a brow as if to say who-gives-a-damn, and I wait for his smartass retort because that’s how we play, and I’ve been more than just a little eager to continue this flirty slow-dance on the skirt of an emotion we haven’t yet come to declare. 

I enjoyed the flow of the conversation between Bianca Butterman and Tristan in this scene. As the beginning of a sequel, it suggests that they know one another, but not completely – since Bianca has not encountered Tristan’s serving droid before. There’s also a playfulness about it that comes across as genuine.

With that said, I hope the flirtation will give way on the second page to information that tells readers exactly where in time they are in relation to previous events (no easy task in a book about time travel!) and a hint of the premise/conflict for this sequel. In other words, I like opening with this coy exchange, but Pk shouldn’t let it go on too long without moving into the plot.

The one thing that I’d like to see tweaked is the opening paragraph. Bianca says she’s not used to the spotlight like Tristan is, therefore I expected this scene was going to put her in an uncomfortable spotlight situation. However, they appear to be alone. So, unless hordes of drooling fans are going to gate-crash on the next page, I’d suggest changing the phrasing to say that Bianca is not used to luxury (like serving droids with French accents), or something else that reflects what’s going on in this scene.

Readers, what do you think? Thank you, Pk, for letting us be the first people to glimpse the sequel to Butterman’s Time Travel, Inc. And everyone, please check out Marcy’s feedback at Mainewords.

12 comments:

  1. Thanks Dianne! Great points. It's definitely a challenge writing a sequel when it should also serve as a standalone.
    I should rearrange some things since the conversation switches back to why she mentioned the superstar comment.
    Great feedback! Thanks so much for taking the time to do it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep, I agree with Dianne. Also, super minor and nitpicky note, but you have your MC chuckle a lot for such a short period. Maybe change chuckle to a different type of laugh one of the times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep Marcy pointed that out too. Thanks for catching it. :)

      Delete
  3. I LOVE the first two sentences. Really nice opening. I also like the light-hearted dialogue. It comes across as natural and flows well.

    But, I don't feel grounded, if you know what I mean. If I'd read the first book, I'd already have a better understanding of who these two characters are, and if this book picks up right where the other one left off, I might even know where (and when) they happen to be carrying on this conversation, but as it stands, I'm clueless. (Nothing new there.) Hopefully, that information will be clarified within the next page or two. However, even as it stands, the voice alone would be sufficient to keep me reading.

    Now, this may be a little nit-picky, because it's something I see more and more frequently these days... in newspapers, magazine, and books... even textbooks, so it may even be considered proper usage now. For all I know, its more frequent usage may be driving it toward being "accepted", but I'm gonna mention it anyway. It's the usage of the pronoun "their" instead of a more correct singular pronoun. (i.e. "I’d have pegged YOU (addressed to a single individual) for someone who prefers a Southern drawl on HIS (singular) cyber help.") Like I said, maybe this is considered okay nowadays, but it always catches this old broad's eyes.

    All-in-all, a great start. Guess I'm gonna have to snag the first book, huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Susan! Oh gosh you're right. I get my pronouns mixed up sometimes. thanks for catching it! And that's great info about not knowing where they are. I'm rethinking this already. And yeah, it does become clear shortly after but I should work it in sooner. :)

      Delete
  4. Overall I like this very much. And I didn't mind the description of Tristan as a superstar because I haven't read the first book and it told me a lot about him with just one word. I missed the second chuckle so quickly after the first one because she "ejaculated" something onto his cheek. I stopped reading and said, "What?" It totally threw me out of the story. Ejaculate is a verb I would use carefully. You might want to rethink it here. Or maybe I just have a very dirty mind...

    Overall, like it very much!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robin! And a big LOL to ejaculate. I hesitated on using the word but it's such a fun word. And fit the action quite well, But yeah, I was concerned with it too, so I"m glad you said something. :)

      Delete
  5. Starting sequels is definitely tough - trying to entice new readers and satisfy current fans too. I liked the byplay of the characters although some was a little 'telly'. I think a little streamlining would make it really shine :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I liked the first para, and the dialogue is fluid. But I felt the conversation went too fast, without many details of setting. I haven't read the first novel, so I just thought that the conversation was taking place in a void. I know I'm in a scifi world because of the droid, and I can see the characters. But I see them in the air, with no background, no atmosphere.. Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great stuff to think about. Thanks D!

      Delete
  7. I have a thing for time travel stories, so PK Hrezo caught my attention with this one. I could use a serving droid around the house right about now, LOL.

    ReplyDelete