A Real-Time Review

June 23, 2013 at 12:33 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

I always take notes and comment in the margins or in a journal through out my reviews.  But recently, I read a friend’s novel while he was on facebook chatting with me and I gave him a real time review… moment by moment, thought by thought.  He seemed entertained by this, so I thought I could try doing this with more books.  What if instead of editing a formal review after a book, I just shared my streaming thoughts?  With Prominence League Part Two, I’m giving it a try.  The following is directly from my journal this afternoon –  no edits.

Prominence League IITitle: The Prominence League Part Two

Author: C. David Cannon

Publisher: LucidBooks

Genre: Young Adult

Length: 230 pages

Mandarin Moon in my Scentsy warmer, coffee depleted, still in my pajamas, I sit down to read The Prominence League Part II. I truly enjoyed the first book, but that was baseball and this is martial arts – my element. From line one, I’m HOOKED.

Already the book shows a level of writing maturity – that confidence that radiates “I am a seasoned author now.” I hope my second book shows the same degree of improvement over my first.

I love that he starts the chapter numbers where the previous book ended. It gives you an immediate sense of continuation and begs the question – “Is there an omnibus in my future?”

Still, Cannon keeps with his love for knocking out characters. Carriane is a fainting Queen with a flair for drama. It kind of makes you wonder if she was mildly based on anyone he knew in real life and what that was like.

My favorite thing about dystopian society fiction is how it points out intentions behind real world current events.

“Now I see why people did nothing to stop it,” Ian says looking at the timeline of events in the report.  “It happened too slow, and was covered in lies the whole way.” […]

“That’s right Ian […] they weren’t trying to keep us safe from terrorists like they claimed.  In fact, they encouraged new reports of terrorist attacks, because they always beefed up their measures after one.  This was obedience training plain and simple.”

In all this fabulous story telling, though, I want to slap Carriane and her obsession with her relationship status.  But Cannon’s behind the scenes take on our current education system quickly makes me get over it, until Emerald reinstates the token young adult love triangle.

What’s with the Caleb kid that all the females salivate at his very existence? It’s like sitting through high school watching girls fawn over the boy that became the man I married.

And it’s not just the writing that is better than ever [I note after seeing a new graphic], I’m especially impressed with this round of maps and graphics.  And for the first time in the series we see a worldwide view of Carriane’s reality.

By Chapter 26, my daughter is using me as a full on jungle gym.  She has no idea that what I am reading now will be passed onto her in about eight to ten years.  There’s just so much to discuss afterward… the obvious dystopian society and personal worldview stuff – but then also the less obvious near dive into meta-fiction with Carriane’s self-absorbed reality show fantasy and the ever interesting relationship between a hero and their adventure.

Once again I find myself reading an American novelist, possibly sending me on an escape route to Canada.  Man, I need to visit Canada already! It is so often deemed a safe haven.  do they write novels in Canada about escaping to the United States?

There’s this book by Olivier Dunrea that I read to my kiddo literally every night called BooBoo,  BooBoo is a little blue gosling who likes to eat.  Almost every page she eats something and the line after goes: “Good food,” she says. My internal ear is all wonky with toddler stories as I read Cannon’s book and creep up on the end… I just want to close with:

Andi read another book.

“Good book,” she says.

So there you have it folks… my first official stream of consciousness review.

Other books you might enjoy if you read Cannon (or if you enjoyed you should read Cannon):

The Hunger Games

Seed Savers


Fizz & Peppers (Not dystopian, but an awesome adventure!)


Arlington Park (Totally random – Just in case you enjoy the desire to slap characters.)

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Local Events in June!

May 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm (Events) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Aoristos at Good Books
Feed Your Brain 2013 HumbleFeed Your Brain 2013 North OaksPoster Peter Devine
C DAvid Cannon Book 2 HumbleC David Cannon Book 2 North Oaks

Missy Jane North Oaks

Missy Jane Humble

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The Prominence League

January 8, 2013 at 8:18 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , )

the-prominence-leagueTitle: The Prominence League

Author: C. David Cannon

Publisher: Lucid Books

Genre: Young Adult

Length: 197 pages

C. David Cannon is friendly, jovial even.  I don’t know if he is like this all the time or if he was just on a high from his first official book signing, but I would consider him quite pleasant.

His book, on the other hand, is not jovial.  Instead, it’s a social commentary on freedom, discussed in the form of a dystopian fiction piece.  ‘Ah, yes, a dystopian society young adult novel… you’re a sucker for those,’ I can hear the blogosphere groan.  I AM! I am a sucker for those, because they’re inevitably so darn good!

“I think to myself that I am tired of being a captive.  I am tired of living under their tyrannical guidelines, being monitored every minute, and rationed food and resources.  I finally admit to myself that the President was right.  I have been caught up in the adventure, and cannot turn back now.”

Like Carriane, you’ll get caught up in the adventure too, and you won’t want to turn back.

Fans of Invitation to the Game, the Cathy’s Book series, and Seed Savers will love The Prominence League. Young adult titles with elements of science fiction, fantasy, dystopian societies, or all three, these books – along with Cannon’s – are great for everyone’s inner twelve year old.

The Prominence League, though a completely different story with a totally different style, continuously reminded me of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, a book by Dai Sijie about adolescents discovering banned books in China.  Between Dai Sijie’s historic novelization of China in the 1970’s and Cannon’s futuristic version of America gone wrong circa 2024, the concept of a government hijacking citizens for “re-education” is solidly hit home.  Both authors completely address the value of a revolutionary heart and the importance of resisting group-think.

Those are values you expect to find in a Chinese man who fled to France in the 80’s to publish copies of his own illegal work, but not in a fifth grade teacher in suburbia.  For that, I find Cannon refreshing.

January 2013 009At the Half Price Books Humble book signing, Cannon told a story about his fifth grade class and how he read chapters to his students.  He talked of a running joke they had together about how often a character passed out at the end of each segment.  If the book has one flaw, it would be that Carriane McAdams does indeed have a hard time getting from chapter to chapter while remaining conscious.  Summoning my middle-grade self, however, I found I enjoyed the game of ‘how does she get conked out this time?’ It gave the book an interactive air and kept it from feeling too dark.

I would have liked to see the book about a 50 pages longer, develop Carriane’s relationship with her own environment and Caleb prior to his disappearing act and her re-education.  I would have liked to see her spend more time in training, get a better understanding of what that training feels like to the characters, but wrap up the novel exactly the same.  There is nothing wrong with how Cannon handled his story, it is highly entertaining, and I think it would make a strong impact on a young reader.  The opening just moved more quickly than I would have liked, which is probably the same quality that makes it perfect for intermediate readers – he gets right to the point.  Cannon’s book would be a great gift for enticing kids to love the written word.

The Prominence League Two and Three are yet to come.  When they do, I would be psyched to purchase a Prominence League Omnibus complete with all three books in one volume… hint, hint to the marketing department at Lucid Books.

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January 5th, 2013

December 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm (Events) (, , , , , , )

Book Signing with C. David Cannon

Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 1:00p to 3:00p
Half Price Books – Deerbrook Plaza Humble, TX

Local Author C. David Cannon will sell and sign his book, The Prominence League at the Humble Half Price Books. This is a story of suspense about genetically-enhanced super athletes for the Prominence Baseball League and two youth who dare to question their leaders.


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