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NEWSHOUND

Gripping Good Story!

By Walter, author of The Fifth Defiance

Jul 3, 2017: The Good:

The author has a fine sense of character. You’ve seen hard charging journalists, supportive but skeptical editors and free spirit friends before, but they are well drawn and possess a specificity that augurs well for this series.

The overall arc appears to be the slow discovery of a dark design, but this is complicated by the fact that, as a muckraking journalist, that is exactly what the main character needs there to be. Further, she is concerned about her own paranoia, and everyone who knows her tells her that she worries too much. It raises an intriguing hint of unreliable narrator.

The side characters smoothly play to type, but avoid falling into the stereotypical traps that you might worry about. You will find yourself nodding along as a prickly editor winds our heroine up, only to find that this is not the ideological descendant of J. Jonah Jamison that you were expecting at all.

This is also a story that knows how to take its time. We are several installments in before our protagonists lycanthropy takes the stage, and the time spent in familiar surroundings grounds the character in a way that will pay dividends as the events of the story unfold. The author has established a baseline, and now we can feel the impact of events which might push the characters away from that baseline.

The Bad:

There is an odd tension between the story’s setting and the protagonist;s job which can jerk you out of your immersion. The protag researches information on reddit, only to turn around and write it to a newspaper column that could never possibly reach as many people as you could on the site. Editors haggle over inches, though surely the newspaper’s website is where most people who read these stories will see them.

This same slight time jump dogs other aspects of the story. People call one another rather than texting. People wait nervously for someone’s arrival, rather than knowing their progress their various apps. Press conferences are the definitive spin on issues rather than exclamation points on the social media arena where you’d expect these issues to be threshed out etc.

Verdict:

Fundamentally, Newshound is a fun read. The schedule states that we should expect 2 thousand new words every 2 weeks, and if your impressions are anything like mine, you’ll think that’s not nearly enough.

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