Sunday Jun 17, 2007

Rebel Island rocks!

I recently finished Rick Riordan's Rebel Island, and it was terrific. I've written before about my admiration for Riordan's Tres Navarre series of Texas detective novels, and this one lives up to his high standards. I really enjoy when an author pays homage to another author's work by recycling one of her plots, but in a new and entertaining way. Actually, Riordan does a mashup of two famous works, Agatha Christie's novel And Then There Were None, and John Huston's film Key Largo. Both use the device of a group of people stranded at an isolated island hotel, who suddenly realize that there is a cold-blooded killer among them. Key Largo adds a violent hurricane into the mix.

In Rebel Island the island is off the Texas coast, beyond cell phone range, and a lot of the guests are hiding guilty secrets. Between a murderer on the loose and hurricane-driven waves washing over the island, will anybody live to see the dawn?

I got my hands on an advance copy, but the regular edition will be published August 28. Plenty of time for you to read the first six books in the series before you set sail for Rebel Island.

Thursday May 24, 2007

Buying an ARC

Can't wait for the next book by your favorite author to come out? There's a semi-secret way to get your hands on a copy before everyone else.

I've mentioned before that I'm a huge fan of Rick Riordan's Tres Navarre mystery novels. The next one, Rebel Island, is scheduled to come out on August 28. Publishing is an excruciatingly slow business. I know from Rick's blog that he delivered the manuscript to his editor nearly a year ago, and yet I still have to wait for three more months. Arrgh! I've got a hunch that the reason may be that Rick is even more well-known as an author of bestselling children's books, so it may be that the publisher was avoiding publishing too close to the release of one of them.

 However, I have a way of getting around this this delay. Publishers often produce "advance reading copies," or ARCs, and distribute them to reviewers and book stores in advance of publication in order to build buzz for the book. These may not be as slickly bound and decorated as the final product, but true fans like me don't care. The text is what counts!

ARCs aren't supposed to be sold, but there is an active gray market for them on eBay. Late last week I scored an ARC of Rebel Island for $10.25, including shipping. Hee-hee! Since I am helping build buzz for the book myself, I've got a hunch that the publisher's "prohibition" on reselling ARCs is more of a nudge-nudge-wink-wink ban, and that they actively hope they'll circulate. A rabid fan like me will buy the true first edition for my collection when it comes out anyway, so my conscience is clear.

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