Black Dog blog tour

Okay, lots of links, starting with a review that I don’t think was specifically part of the blog tour; I just happened across it. Anyway, here it is, at Popcorn Reads, which is a great name for a book review blog, don’t you think?

This is the kind of review I like: longer and more detailed and more thoughtful rather than just a quick plot summary. You may have noticed from the kinds of “reviews” I post that I think plot summaries are boring. This may be because when you read a lot of reviews focused on just one book (your own), you get very, very bored with repetitive plot summaries. What matters is the *reaction*. In this one, I like the way MK quotes tiny bits of the text so I can see what kinds of things caught her eye when she read the story.

Okay, another review here, at The Bookish Outsider. “If you like your YA fantasy with an original spin on a well-known supernatural creature, with great characters and unique world-building and without all the usual love triangles/insta-love then you should definitely give Black Dog a try.”

And yet another review here by Ria at Bibliotropic. I get a kick out of Bibliotropic’s subheading, btw — “leaning toward books as flowers lean toward the sun”! Yes, I didn’t think of that instantly, but that’s certainly what “bibliotropic” means, all right.

I really liked this bit: “No flashbacks, no long info-dumps about a history that is relevant but not an immediate concern, the way history is to most of us. The characters were aware of that war and the history behind it but had more pressing concerns to deal with. The story, after all, wasn’t about the war or vampires or all, but something that took place in the aftermath. Neumeier gave us hints of an interesting hidden history but left it as the tantalizing hints they ought to be, and it added a good amount of realism to the story.”

I’m glad that worked, because I do think long infodumps, especially as prologues, are terribly, terribly boring. I know this kind of don’t-explain thing doesn’t work for everyone, because now and then a reviewer complains that they want to know the full, detailed history of the world, but as a reader, I prefer to have just hints dropped to give a sense of depth, never a long explanation.

I also really loved Ria’s comment about this: “And I was thrilled with a minor plot twist near the end where Alejandro’s black dog is completely removed from him, and he no longer feels the anger that plagued his life and made things so difficult for him, but at the same time he feels incomplete and bereft at the sudden absence of something that he’d lived with for so long. … Neumeier gets much love from me for showing that even the removal of a difficult thing can throw a person off and make them feel loss and grief.”

Okay, one more review link this morning, here, with an interview here. Leeanna’s the first person to ask me about the blood kin; it’s interesting that hadn’t happened to draw any other questions. I had no idea what the blood kin actually were while writing this book (that probably doesn’t surprise those of you who know how I work.) I will say, now that I’ve written the sequel, I do know all about the blood kin.

And one more brief interview here, about how I got started writing in the first place.

And that’s it for the moment! It’s certainly enough, I know.

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10 thoughts on “Black Dog blog tour”

  1. you know, from what you did put in about the blood kin I figured they were the vampire analog to the moon bound shifters, and as they were all said to be dead, I didn’t worry about it, and just went on reading.

    Where I did have some questions, it was on theology/metaphysics.

    The Teen is wondering if Black Dogg-ness and Pure-dom are recessive traits, so if Miguel got together with another normal human from a Black Dog family, would their kids have the possibility of being either Black Dog or Pure?

  2. p.s., I also noted what Ria called out about Alejandro and his shadow, and thought it was really well done.

    Even good things suddenly gone leave one off balance (saw it with Mom when Dad died), and that isn’t close to what the shadow is to a Black Dog.

    I did wonder where the reviewer who thought everyone ought to be suffering PTSD was coming from. They didn’t really have TIME for a lot of that, after all. I figured they were in survival mode. Like the old poster from workplaces “when this is over I’m going to have a nervous breakdown…. ” But you have to get through it first.

  3. Yes, though I suppose I should remember the PTSD thing for the short stories that are set between book 1 and book 2.

  4. Oh, hey, a question about the genetics!

    First, no, the black dog “trait” acts more like a simple dominant. Two normal humans can’t have a black dog kid, and lucky for them. Second, the Pure thing acts more like a two-gene epistatic system, with an interaction between the black dog gene and another two other unlinked genes, so it’s also impossible for two normal humans to have a Pure child.

    But there is also a supernatural twist, so that, for example, if a black dog marries a human woman, each child conceived has a greater chance of being a black dog and also each black dog child conceived will tend to have a stronger shadow; about four kids along and you would be lucky if the child was not simply overwhelmed by his or her shadow. It also matters what the grandparents were and whether the black dog grandparents were male or female.

  5. I’d love it if “bibliotropic” could mean that I read books from a very warm location, but sadly, I’m still stuck in Canada for the time being. :p

    The part with Alejandro losing his black dog reminded me of what a lot of friends have said about disabilities and the social perception of them, actually. There seems to be a general expectation that once the disability is gone, then the person should be happy and leap forward into the “normal” life thatwas denied to them for so long, and if they don’t do that, well, clearly they’re malingering. But adjustment takes time, and that’s isn’t often given due consideration. If a blind person gains sight, they don’t suddenly drop all that habits that helped them get by before, and learning to restructure how they do a lot of things can be as frustrating as going blind in the first place. It may not be the ultimate defining characteristic for a person, but it’s a part of them, as much as Alejandro’s black dog was a part of him, and losing part of yourself is hard!

    Thanks for linking to my review!

  6. Hi, Ria — I can definitely see that being an issue in many, many circumstances, including invisible, nebulous things like Caring For Elderly Parent For Years — and then the parent dies, you’re finally free to live your own life, but it’s a huge adjustment and far from entirely positive. Anyway, I definitely appreciated your comment about it.

  7. Hey rachel just wanted to say that I read your book Black Dog and fell in love with it. I like it so much that I am dying to know if there will be a sequel. I really hope there is, as it was so riveting and mesmerizing that I could not stop reading until the last page!!!

  8. That’s great, Zoe! Yes, there definitely will. You can certainly keep an eye out here for news about exactly when the sequel will be released.

  9. Hi I absolutely love black dog! I red it almost 5 times alredy. Was just wondering if you have been working on a part 2 I am dieing waiting for it!!!!!!!!! I love me my werewolves!!!

  10. Sarah, that’s great! Yes, the related short story collection should be out this month, and the actual sequel, PURE MAGIC, should be out this coming May. I’ll definitely be announcing it when they go live.

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