Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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On Not Giving Up

A must-read post by Kameron Hurley, about the confluence of hard work and luck.

Full disclosure: I haven’t actually read The Mirror Empire, or anything else by Hurley. Surely some of you have. Thoughts?

Mirror Empire

Here’s what Goodreads says about The Mirror Empire, btw:

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself. In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin. As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father’s people or loyalty to her alien Empress. Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself. In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.

To me, I must admit, that all just sounds . . . cluttered. Back cover copy is hard to write, I know! But this doesn’t do it for me. What do you all think?

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4 Comments On Not Giving Up

  1. Cheryl L

    I enjoy the opinion pieces Kameron writes for Locus, but haven’t tried any of her novels. They sound too dark and violent for my taste.

  2. Kim Aippersbach

    Wow. What an amazing amount of work it takes to get people to buy books! Sobering and kind of frightening.

    I agree, that’s a terrible book description; They should have consulted with Query Shark first! Hurley’s own description works much better for me:

    “So, I have this little book about blood mages, satellite magic, flesh eating plants, and the end of the world”

    Now that sounds interesting!

  3. Maureen E

    I tried God’s War and it…really wasn’t for me. I’ll probably try Mirror Empire at some point, just because I really do appreciate Hurley’s essays & so on. But I think her post about publishing is fascinating–both sober and encouraging.

  4. Rachel

    Yes, I’m worried her novels would be too dark for me. Here’s an excerpt from a comment at Goodreads about God’s War:

    Nyx, Rhys, Taite, Khos, Inaya–they are all horribly broken and horribly flawed, and I can’t look away. I love that their flaws are not sexy flaws–no “too quick to anger in the face of injustice” or “a dark and brooding loner” here–and that the narrative never flinches from them, from Nyx’s lack of intelligence (too many blows to the head from boxing?) and Rhys’s cowardice and everything else. I love this for not being the story of how they all set aside their differences and work together, but instead how their differences tear them apart and keep tearing. I love this for telling the story of star-crossed lovers–Nyx and Rhys–kept apart not by external forces but by their own internal beliefs, which they have no interest in moving beyond. I love this for being different, for being new, for never taking me where I expected.

    … and my response is, Well, I’m glad the commenter loved it, but dear God in heaven.

    Kim, you are so right, that one-sentence pitch is far more inviting than the official copy.

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