Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Amanda Hocking's Trylle Trilogy

Status: I've now written two chapters of my new book! Definitely need some work, but I'm not afraid of getting my hands dirty. If I could, I'd work on this book every waking moment until it was finished. But there are just so many other things that demand my time. Alas.

Number of queries sent: 36
Number of form rejections: 19
Number of detailed rejections: 3
Number of requests for additional materials: 3

So I would be very surprised if there are any writers (aspiring or otherwise) out there who haven't heard of Amanda Hocking and her Trylle trilogy. She's basically the poster child for self publishing an e-book. I've known about her for a while now, and actually send a link to one of her blog posts to people from time to time. This is always in response to someone sending me some article about self publishing, usually with a *wink, wink* kind of note. These people seem to think that this thought had never occurred to me, so they are doing me a great favor. I'm not quite sure why people constantly think I live with my head buried in the sand (this kind of thing happens often, and not just with self publishing). But that's a different matter altogether. 

Here's the link to Amanda Hocking's blog post, which I think sums up my feelings on the matter quite nicely: These two lines, in particular, describe why I'm sticking with traditional publishing: "I am continuously overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do that isn't writing a book. I hardly have time to write anymore, which sucks and terrifies me." And she has since signed a traditional publishing contract, which I think speaks volumes in and of itself.

Okay. On to the books themselves. It probably would've been cheaper to buy these books on my Nook instead of going for the recently released paperbacks, but the covers are so freaking pretty! Let us all admire how lovely they are.  

I honestly can't think of any book covers that I've ever thought were more beautiful. Especially Switched. That color of red just draws my eyes to it, and I have trouble looking away.


And now I shall actually talk about the books themselves. To give some basic background for people who have not read these books, but are still reading this despite the fact that there will be spoilers, these are paranormal books about trolls. Except not creepy, under-a-bridge, ugly trolls. Very, very beautiful trolls. With cool magic. The main character, Wendy, learns early in the book that she is a member of the Trylle tribe of trolls, and was switched at birth with a human (something the Trylle tribe generally does with their babies). Now it's time to leave her human family and go home.

I can honestly say that I very nearly didn't read the second or third books (but I'm super glad I did...more or this in a bit). I had so much trouble relating to Wendy in the first book. Frankly, she annoyed the crap out of me. I just didn't understand why she made the vast majority of the decisions that she did. Nearly every time she spoke, I wanted to smack her upside the head. And why the hell was she so in love with Finn (another Trylle troll, who was more or less her body guard)? Why, why, why? I just didn't get it. To be perfectly honest, it seemed like she went from, "Ew, he's a creepy stalker person who isn't even attractive," to "OMG! He's so frickin hot! I want him! I luuuuuuuuuuuurve him!!!!" in a matter of seconds. And no, she doesn't talk like a 13 year old texter. But that's the impression I got nonetheless, and it drove me crazy. Finn was an ass. End of story. When push comes to shove, I liked one character in the entire first book: Rhys. The human child that Wendy was switched with at birth. And he wasn't around nearly often enough to make me happy. 

So why did I read the other two? Well, at the very end of book one, Wendy finally made a decision that I thought was logical. It intrigued me enough that I went out to Barnes & Noble and bought book two. And after that one, book three. So I could have the pretty covers. 

And Torn and Ascend were so much better! Yay! Wendy started acting like a person I could actually like. Finally, I was able to understand this girl and how her mind works. I understood where she was coming from, instead of constantly thinking her thoughts and actions came out of left field (or were the result of her being a crazy person). Also, early in book two: enter Loki. Now Loki is a romantic hero I can get behind! He's interesting and funny as all holy hell, and he's willing to risk everything for Wendy. Finn wasn't willing to risk a God damn thing. He just strung her along, and then got all hurt when she finally told him to shove off (Yay! One of the many decisions I understood and liked!).

Unlike book one, there were a wealth of characters that I truly liked reading about in the later books. Most of them were in the first book, too, but they actually became likable in the other two. I really enjoyed Tove, Willa, and Elora. Finn didn't even bother me quite as much, which was nice. Plus, Duncan showed up in book two. Honestly, I think he was my favorite character in the series. He was just plain adorable. And hilarious. He kind of replaced Rhys for me in the latter two books, since Rhys (sadly) wasn't around much.

The ending of book three was very predictable. But that didn't make me enjoy it any less. The plots were, overall, fun and exciting. And, like I said, I really got behind a number of the characters. That's what really did it for me. I don't care if a plot is predictable if I want to spend time with the characters. 

So would I recommend these books? Yes. Absolutely. Others might not have as strong of a reaction to book one as I did. Actually, most people probably won't. They are, after all, best sellers. And it was totally worth it to me to get through book one so that I could enjoy two and three. Kudos to Ms. Hocking for writing about trolls instead of vampires or werewolves, or any of the other popular choices of the day. Also, I mentioned that they have cool magic, right? I'm talking super cool magic. Me gusta mucho.  

1 comment:

  1. I didn't read your reviews due to the spoilers, but I have to say, I get people telling me about self-publishing as if I've never heard of it, too. And I intend to give the traditional route a go for the same reasons. :)