Part One: That Ghoul Ava.
If you missed the Thirty Minute Reader last week, I’m reading That Ghoul Ava and the Queen of the Zombies, without reading Ava’s 1st book 1st. I don’t feel like I’m playing catch-up, at all, and Mr. Brown (if I may?) deserves his propers for craftsmanship. Particularly for a second book, he gives us character background without dumping it Carrie-style over our heads, or beginning with a Batman-style “When we last left our hero…,” wrap-up. It’s smooth, natural, and entertaining.
We learn about Ava’s past through well-timed “space-outs,” as something reminds her of that time when… (which reminds me of my tenth grade English class, when I wrote the assignment instructions in shorthand, and later couldn’t figure out what the hell I was supposed to do. How could I? I don’t even know shorthand. This turned my simple journal assignment into a short story about how I was recruited by a secret government agency… Damn! Now I’m doing it, too! I’ll let you get back to my blog post) …jelly donuts and camel incisors everywhere! It was most unexpected.
Ava usually snaps out of her mental diversions just in time to catch the last few words of an important sounding sentence. It’s an entertaining way to give us just enough info to keep us guessing, while developing Ava into a character we can identify with.
No, I won’t say ‘with whom we can identify.’ Get over yourself!
I was completely immersed in the scene at VooDoo Donuts with the ‘maple syrup brunette.’ I’ve never been to one of these shops, but I felt the atmosphere so clearly, that I almost have phony memories of the place. Perfectly done!
The flavor of the book’s humor is coming through a lot stronger now, too (What can I say? Sometimes I’m a bit slow).I even re-read it from the beginning with an eye for things I might have missed. I have a great appreciation for subtle humor, and That Ghoul Ava delivers. It’s an aromatic blend of inside jokes (80’s pop-culture references, chapter titles, even some sentence structures cleverly designed for comedic delivery (Crap! He did that on purpose, right?)), and classical comedic structures that remind me of my favorite Brit-com, Miranda.
If you’ve ever seen it, you’ll know some of the funniest scenes in the TV show are when Miranda turns directly to the camera to give us a confused shrug, or to whisper “Someone help me,” to the audience. Visually, it’s hilarious. In a book, it’s a risky tactic, easily fumbled, but Todd nailed it.
If you are reading along, this brings us to Chapter 6. If you aren’t reading along, you should be! I’ll even buy you a copy of the book (while my budget lasts). Just ask for one in the comments, let me know what reader/format you prefer, and give me the email addy where I can gift it.
I know she does her Friday’s Bitter End posts then. Sheesh! Can’t you DVR it?
I’ll do one more TMR post on each book, and then wrap up each with a full review and a pretty pink bow. Or a soggy Band-Aid. Whichever fits best. We’ll see
For those of you reading along, have I missed anything? What’s your favorite part of the story so far?
*Thanks to those of you who let me know your comments didn’t show up on the last two posts. I apologize for the glitch. I think it is fixed now, but if you have any trouble, let me know, and I’ll get it taken care of right away. Thanks.*