Last week Ed was kind enough (and charming and sweet and well, you know...) to answer a few questions for these two sassy southern girls. Let's talk about Breakers, the kick-ass novel that led to me meeting Ed. (Sweet serendipity!)
I'm a former English teacher so even though I read voraciously, far and wide and deep across almost every genre, I put down a lot of books because I'm picky as hell.
Sometimes I will read a not-so-great story because the writing's spectacular. I can and do get drunk on language.
Sometimes I will read a great story even if the writing is not-so-great.
Sometimes I will even read a not-so-great story with not-so-great writing if the characters grab me up and make me give a shit about 'em. (This makes M crazy. How can you read such stupid freakin' tripe, says she.)
Sometimes I give up on page two.
But sometimes I find a book where all those elements meet. Excellent prose + strong plot + engaging characters = a novel that will keep me up reading into the wee hours of the morn. Breakers is such a book.
Gush much? Me? I know, but it's true.
Ed creates multi-faceted characters like Walt, who tries to keep his girlfriend from leaving him by faking sick and then after all hell breaks loose, wants nothing more than to die after walking to California. I despised Walt when I first met him. Yuck, said I. I never would've guessed this underhanded fella would grow the way he did - he goes on to become a leader with the potential to save the world.
What I really loved was Ed's deft hand with figurative language. Now indulge the teacher in me and lemme share a few direct examples of what I'm talking about.
- "Debris caltropped the outer lane" - describing a congested road. I love the way he turned caltrops into a verb. Perfect, simple, and elegant. (Yes, a caltrop can be elegant when it's used in the right way.)
- "Surf rustled and thundered. He could smell the sea more strongly than his own sweat now" - describing the ocean. I can see it and hear it and smell it and even feel this in my chest.
- "...made him want to choke the soldier until vertebrae cracked free of the man's skin like ice cubes from a tray" - Ok. this one's obvious. It makes me want to roll around in that simile like my dog does when he scratching his back on the bedroom carpet.
Now I must be honest. When I hit the aliens, I though WtF? I didn't think Ed would be able to pull it off. Here I was, utterly engaged in this stellar post-apocalyptic tale and now he's pulling out the creatures from outer space. I shouldn't have worried. It works, and it works well.
*Dancing around trying not to tell you the whole story*
If you're looking for a post-apocalyptic tale, then this is your book. But even if you're not a fan of science fiction, I think Breakers will appeal to you. The science and aliens and other-stuff-I-won't-spoil-for-you make for a great plot, but Ed's lyrical and gripping prose, as well as his skill at creating characters who live and breathe and die on the page, makes this book well worth sassing about.
Now if things work as planned and I'm not a complete nincompoop at blogging, which I'm afraid is always a possibility, down below you will find a link to Ed's Amazon page for Breakers.
Shit, I dunno how to do the little Buy button thingie instead of the long string of gobbledygook, but the link will still get you there. Scoot your backside over there and pick up a great read!
Oh, and this post should've run last week but my stoopid health shit got in the way. Many thanks to Ed and our readers (I think we have a few!) for understanding.