Two more nice blogger reviews of Song today:
Ray Gun Reviews
I guess I thought by now the book would have run its course in terms of reviews, but it seems some people who read a lot (certainly more than I read!) took this long to get around to it. Which is great, because while my head is deep into book 2, it's nice to surface once in a while to read what someone else thought of book 1.
One thing I appreciate is when a reader notices the moral aspects of both the plot issues and the characters. I'm sure most writers dread coming off as preachy, and I think there are two ways to avoid it. First, don't, as a writer, have a black-and-white opinion on an issue. It's bound to show. I have black-and-white opinions on a few things and I won't ever be able to include those issues in my fiction until I can bring myself to compassionately portray "the other side." That's going to be tough...
And second, make at least some characters morally ambiguous. The "bad guys" aren't all thoroughly bad and the "good guys" aren't saints. In my world, even the Crib isn't evil. It's a bureaucracy with all the strengths and weaknesses of a bureaucracy, such as ambitious or unethical individuals within an otherwise benign entity, or a committee-approved blind spot when it comes to doing what appears to be in the best interests of its several hundred billion citizens.
Back to book 2. Many people have asked me about a sequel or mentioned a hope for one in their reviews - of course, if you're reading this blog you know that there is one. Some more info: it's coming out in April 2011, it's called Children of Scarabaeus, and the cover art (which I have seen, and it's even better than the first) is again by Chris McGrath and depicts Edie and Finn. So now you know that they survive and are, surprise!, the main characters again.