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Solid Premise and Style, Too Much Angst, and Currently Not Updating

By M.E.Traylor, member

Jul 8, 2010: One of the biggest things I appreciated about Winter Rain was Chris’ pace during the early installments. He gave details as they would occur to the point-of-view character, allowing them to unfold as the reader went on, as opposed to explaining everything for the benefit of the reader. I REALLY prefer the former style to the latter. I don’t want to be told what’s going on, I want to find out.

I’m not used to reading first person fiction, but Chris did a pretty good job with it. Most of the time it flowed, with the occasional glitch.

I really liked the pragmatic take on werewolf culture and the decided lack of high drama. The early and increasing angst on the part of the main character, however, was quite a turn off. I was reading regularly and checking for updates up until the story ground to a halt. The last few chapters, while I liked their premise, were inundated with angst and redundancy. Several times I felt like I was reading the same chapter over again. I think it would be great if the story picked back up and was able to move past the angst, because I feel like it has a lot of potential.

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Keeping me reading

By C J Edwards, member

Jun 1, 2010: So far this story seems to be aimed at a younger audience that what I fall into, but after reading the first chapter I have to say I want to read the second. I need to know why Genevieve is being followed. Aside from a few very minor things the writing is very solid and like I said, I will be reading more because I need to know what happens next. As long as I need to know what happens next I will keep reading.

Some of the teacher student interaction seemed a bit much in the first chapter. Are teachers really that mean? I know it has been a while since I was in highschool but if a teacher treated my child that way we would have words. Also some of the dialogue between Gen and her friends was a little confusing and hard to follow. Sometimes dialogue would appear without any indication as to who is speaking. This can pull you out of the story a little bit, but it is a minor issue and easily fixed.

I will be interested to see how the next couple of chapters come togeather.

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The good and the bad…

By biggsbooks, member

Oct 14, 2009: First of all, I have to say that Chris Poirier has accomplished something I thought was absolutely impossible: a story in present tense that is actually fun to read. After the first couple of episodes, I completely forgot that I was reading present tense, and it never once threw me out of the prose. Amazing? Absolutely.

The prose and writing style were also very engaging, the descriptions were good, the pacing was fast and kept me turning the pages. Chris is a very good writer, he hits hard and drags you down the rabbit hole before you can think to escape. I read all of his chapters in a single night, and then got frustrated when there weren’t any more.

For all of that, I want to give Winter Rain five stars. There are two reasons I don’t, although I’m aware other readers might not agree or just might not notice these things to be bugged by them. All the same, I don’t feel like this would be an honest review unless I am . . . well, honest.

First, the plot is hazy and so far (as of part 74), not particularly original. I’m pretty sure this is meant to be a coming of age story with a little "war" thrown in as a backdrop, but unless the author throws in some twists ASAP, then his coming of age and winning the war is all a foregone conclusion (as is getting the girl) and the whole plot really doesn’t hold my interest. I have yet to see anything unusual about the story line, since I’ve read the same hazy plot in a dozen books before and I’m still waiting to be surprised by something. As this is a work in progress and unfinished, this could change with future episodes, and if it does I will increase my rating to match.

Second, the personality of the main character, Tiergan, seems to be defined by sulky obedience with occasional flashes of temper tantrums, which is not exactly admirable. While I understand this is a coming of age story in which we can expect a young, raw teenager to grow up and make something of himself, after 74 installments, I’m still waiting . . . and he’s just getting more sulky with more tantrums. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m losing interest in the story simply because I’m losing interest in the main character. Don’t get me wrong, I like flawed characters and anti-heroes as well as the next person, and I get desperately bored with perfect people, but I would like to see a character with personal strength leading the story. He can be good or evil, as long as he has personal drive, momentum, or just plain old backbone.

However, in the last couple of episodes there was a hint that maybe Tiergan will change his ways, and if this proves to be true through future episodes, it could redeem the character. He may start to take responsibility for himself and his actions, which could easily lead to him taking a stand for what’s important to him, which would be good. At that point I would be rooting for him. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

In conclusion, I found Winter Rain to be a fast paced, well written, engaging story with real potential. And Chris will always have my admiration for the miracle of making first-person present-tense storytelling work.

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