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Shaz
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« on: February 23, 2010, 02:47:47 pm »

Something about these books spoke to you deeply enough to cause you to find this board. What was it?
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Andtheodyssey
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2010, 03:39:17 pm »

I like how the books are character-driven. Although I do enjoy books with fantastical/action-packed plots, they often lack fully developed characters (as is often the case with science fiction and fantasy). I like how Karin's focus is more on how the characters react to the events rather than the events themselves. What particularly struck me when I had finished reading all three books (and the easter eggs on the old forum) was how much I had learned about the three protagonists. After reading various perspectives, I began to see how much the narrative reflected the character. For example, I remember how much of a shock it was to read about Jos from Ryan's perspective after having read Warchild. Most of all, I enjoy how realistic the characters are. They change, but they only change so much.
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Ritla
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2010, 08:14:48 pm »

I loved Warchild. And I loved Jos. I'm not sure what I can say beyond that. I'm not sure why I love Jos more than almost every other character that I've ever read that wasn't written by me... maybe it was Karin's writing. Well, I'd say it was definately Bae's writing. But I can't put my finger on precisely what it was.

I can't remember now, but I'm pretty sure I originally joined the forum having only read Warchild.

The situation stuck with me, too. So much that I'm actually writing my senior thesis... well, actually two of them, one for each major on child soldiers.

Warchild just struck me as having so much more base substance than a lot of the other books that I'd read.
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Shaz
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2010, 11:43:13 pm »

Agreed. You can tell when an author has done their research - it makes a HUGE difference.
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Khantael
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 07:35:14 pm »

Again, it's the matter of the way she writes... and I felt somewhat emotionally invested in the characters, which is very rare for me. I -adored- Jos, I loved the alternate point of view of him in Burndive... I really liked the other characters. I felt everything had been well constructed and it held its own as a story, so I sought out forums.
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Ritla
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2010, 08:37:30 am »

Yeah, I also liked the writing style. It's almost poetic at points, particularly in Yuri's book. I enjoy the writing in Cagebird the most, although Jos and his book are still my favorite.
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HelenJames
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2010, 10:37:52 pm »

I think this topic was already mentioned at this forum
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Aziraphale
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2010, 06:30:14 pm »

An interesting thread I haven't posted in yet! How could I overlook this one?

For me it was Jos. He felt so alive after just a few pages (and I have to admit, I rather like the 'second person style). I wanted to wrap him in blankets, give him hot chocolate and read him a story with a happy end. The way he interacted with the people around him felt so natural and I would never get angry or irritated by him cause I understood why he did the things like he did and why he thought how he thought. It was really interesting being in someones head who is kind of screwed up and in denial half the time or lying to himself, perhaps while not even being aware of it.
Then there are the other characters. Usually, when I read a book, I get the other character filtered through the first person narrator but in this case the people around Jos where their own. I could see them through Jos eyes, while at the same time making up my own mind about them, without the 'Jos-filter'.

And then there was something I *highly* appreciate: No bringing the story to standstill to do some exposition. YAY! Jos knows the world he lives in, so he shouldn't explain it to himself. It always felt naturally when he explained something... like when I think useless thoughts like '...now I have to go left'. I hope you understand what I mean.  ^^;
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Karin Low
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2010, 06:14:42 pm »

An interesting thread I haven't posted in yet! How could I overlook this one?

For me it was Jos. He felt so alive after just a few pages (and I have to admit, I rather like the 'second person style). I wanted to wrap him in blankets, give him hot chocolate and read him a story with a happy end. The way he interacted with the people around him felt so natural and I would never get angry or irritated by him cause I understood why he did the things like he did and why he thought how he thought. It was really interesting being in someones head who is kind of screwed up and in denial half the time or lying to himself, perhaps while not even being aware of it.
Then there are the other characters. Usually, when I read a book, I get the other character filtered through the first person narrator but in this case the people around Jos where their own. I could see them through Jos eyes, while at the same time making up my own mind about them, without the 'Jos-filter'.

And then there was something I *highly* appreciate: No bringing the story to standstill to do some exposition. YAY! Jos knows the world he lives in, so he shouldn't explain it to himself. It always felt naturally when he explained something... like when I think useless thoughts like '...now I have to go left'. I hope you understand what I mean.  ^^;

I'm really glad you said that about the exposition. I try to do that in all of my books, though you do have to fudge a little for the sake of a narrative, but I try to make it as least impactful as possible, especially in a first person novel...that the things the character would take for granted won't stick out like tour guide prose. I never want my characters to be tourists in their own worlds.
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Imogen
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 07:58:55 am »

That was one of the first things I noticed about your books, the "not-tourist". It made everything seem so real, like it's an actual existing world, and I wanted to learn more about it. I loved that, but it's not my primary reason to care about the books; that would be the characters, Jos most of all. He pulled me right in and I just wanted him to have good things. He's still the character I care about most, but the more characters I paid attention to, the more I cared about them, too. Characters are usually the thing I care most about, that and especially their realtionship or connections with each other (for example as stated my favorite character is Jos, but my favorite thing in Warchild is his connection with Niko). So I think the focus on the characters was the thing that appealed most to me.
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grisel
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 11:18:30 am »

Characters are usually the thing I care most about, that and especially their realtionship or connections with each other (for example as stated my favorite character is Jos, but my favorite thing in Warchild is his connection with Niko). So I think the focus on the characters was the thing that appealed most to me.

Nicely stated! For me, too, it is also usally the characters and their relationships which is the most important thing in any novel. I am also very much intrigued by the one between Niko and Jos. But this is just the most preferred among many great characters, relationships and/or conflicts.
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cclickyppp
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2011, 10:03:18 pm »

gods, well, here's my first post, and i had to go shopping around because all the other ones i want to respond to definitely - for me anyways - require me to have the copies of the books in my hands! (unfortunately they're about an hour away at my parents place.. drat! i'll have to have them mail them to where i am.. ) but yeah, i think the reason i finally tried to find somewhere to discuss Karin's work was because, as far back as i can remember, i have wanted to discuss these books with someone! and then the thing that stuck with me was the intensity of Warchild. it was real, and it was always able to hit home at my emotional centers. because of this, whenever i was reading the books, i could just slip into this world that was so beautifully created and described through characters that i would never want to leave! also - i think someone may have mentioned this before - none of the characters filled up the pages for the sake of doing so (even if they were just stick figures in the background!). through the eyes of the protagonists everyone in their lives had a purpose.

oh! one more thing! or maybe two.. if there was ever one character that made me want to discuss these books, it would be Captain Cairo Azarcon. he's my hero. he gets the job done when he needs to, but he's always looking for a way to get out of the HUB party line of "kill the strits." he's so 3dimensional, but it's also so damn hard to figure out the man! which is why i love the guy so much! he's awesome! i would love to find out more about his history if that's any possibility in the OMAKE??? *winkwink* Grin

then, i think, the second thing i wanted to say was that i also found the character of Otter to be really really interesting as well. as all the books really deal with the idea of child soldiers and how war in the real world affects them, i thought Otter was a prime example of something that would happen if the children of this world (who are exposed to those conditions that create child soldiers) had access to the kind of information that the children of the Warchild universe had and were able to exploit. he's also one of those 3dimensional but very mysterious characters. makes me always want more!

so yeah.. that's what made me seek this forum out.. or rather, that's really what made me want to find a community that really enjoys the same kind of stuff that i do! so thanks for being here! it's always fun to read what you guys say!
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2011, 11:48:46 pm »

i found Cagebird first, and then had to special order Warchild and BurnDive.

What hooked me immediately was the polish displayed in Karin's writing. Absolutely no cringing to myself and saying GHOD this writer needed a good editor! Every word, every sentence, builds seamlessly to the next. And there is so much information distilled into the words that are there, that no matter how many times i've reread these books, i find new understandings thru nuance that i missed before.

And the characters! They are not cardboard. Having grown up in a typical dysfunctional alcoholic family system and subsequently going thru therapy, i relate to each of the characters emotional pain. Jos, Ryan, and Yuri each are wounded in their own way, and grope slowly toward healing, and dare i say it, redemption. They each have their own journey, and are always true to their personality. I'm a mom, and i almost feel like the characters are my kids, ie, how can i love one more than another? I love them each deeply for who they are and how they try to grow.

And being so well written, with such real characters, i got a little obsessed. So i had to read more, and ended up on the forum. Don't necessarily post much, but i read and enjoy everyone's insights and comments, and especially Karin's responses to us.
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