You Have Five Pages to Tell Me It’s Good: #TheShatteredSkies by John Birmingham. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast

Hello, amazing fellow creatives! Here’s to more fun perusing the library’s new releases to see what strikes our fancy. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’ve retitled Story Cuppings to better fit the premise of the podcast.

As writers, we hear all the time that we’ve got to hook readers in just the first few pages or else. We’ve got to hook agents in the first few pages or else.

Whether you’re looking to get published or just hoping to hook your reader, first impressions are vital. Compelling opening scenes are the key to catching an agent or editor’s attention, and are crucial for keeping your reader engaged.


Well then, let’s study those first few pages in other people’s stories, shall we?

Today I snagged from the New Release shelf:

The Shattered Skies by John Birmingham

We have a unique situation here. This is a new release in Science Fiction, but it’s also the second book of a trilogy, which means a lot of establishment of character, conflict, and setting have already been accomplished. So, we’ve got to seriously temper our expectations when it comes to worldbuilding and character development, for much of that could be present in the first book, The Cruel Stars.

What will you, fellow creatives, make of these first five pages? Let’s find out!

If you do not see the audio player above, you can access the podcast here.

The conflicts and worldbuilding alluded to by the first chapter’s primary character sound epic in their scope, and the character’s voice certainly fits a military mind. I just wish this character could have interacted with someone instead of only inwardly reflecting on all the epic conflicts and political intrigue. Let the man talk to a subordinate officer or some other henchman while waiting to land on a planet! You know me–I’m a sucker for a beginning with some action. 🙂

As always, I love hearing what’s on the shelves of your own libraries. Libraries Rock!

Read on, share on, and write on, my friends!

12 thoughts on “You Have Five Pages to Tell Me It’s Good: #TheShatteredSkies by John Birmingham. #FirstChapter #BookReview #Podcast

  1. I’ve mentioned before that my library doesn’t have a new release shelf, but every year it issues a new bookmark with a list of reading challenges. These include suggestions to read books such as one with an orange cover, one with a two-word title, one set in Portugal etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Our library is the converted telephone box. New releases are what people bring in after they have finished with a book. It’s only a small village but everyday there seems to be at least one different book in there. I keep thinking every week I should close my eyes, open the door and just grab a random book and read it, whatever it is. Must admit I think I might like that book you introduced. Sounds like the type of book I used to go mad for a few years back. xxxxxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know what you mean. There will always be that kind of story our heart yearns for, you know? I think I’ll have to try the “close my eyes” move this week, and just accept a western is in my future…sigh…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Science fiction was always a favourite genre of mine as a teenager, but more the fantasy side than the blasts and explosions, although you know that I loved the original Star Wars films.
    The start of this books seems rather turgid, but I smiled that the ship was called ‘The Liberator’ – straight out off BBC TV’s Blake’s Seven (back to my childhood), and I believe I caught the word ‘Voortrekker’ – hints of SA history perhaps?
    Having written a second book in a series, and now embarking on a third, even though it’s not a trilogy, I’m mindful of how much reminder the reader might require. It’s an interesting conundrum which all adds to the writing fun.
    And now I understand why your book 2 jumps straight in. No problem with that at all! Like my character, Albertina, I’m impatient to get beyond the preamble.
    Have a great day, Jean 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, Chris, exactly! It’s like, look, we covered all that a few hundred pages ago. Blah blah blah ACTION! And I ended up in this situation again for tomorrow’s episode! This feels a bit of a cleaner jump, though. Hmmm.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s