Hi, Folks. Amazon has posted the Publisher's Weekly review of the semi-final manuscripts in the Breakthrough Novel contest, as well as the review given by their "Top Reviewer" which served to push Ark into the semi-finals. Again, the entry for Margaret's Ark and its excerpt is at
I'm very happy with the two reviews. Whether these will be enough to get the book into the Finals (top 100 entries) on February 19th, only time will tell.
A number of you have posted public reviews which have never been posted by Amazon. This is happening all over the board, not just with ours. Not sure what's up with that. Overload, maybe?
Here are the two reviews:
manuscript review by Publishers Weekly, an independent organization
Apocalyptic horror meets Christian spirituality in this update of the Noah's Ark story. When Margaret Carboneau, a widowed mother of two, has a dream in which an angel commands her to build an ark to save 30 people from the coming deluge, she brushes off the unsettling vision until she learns that thousands of people worldwide have had virtually identical dreams. Margaret constructs an ark, encountering skepticism and resistance from the locals. Although Margaret's story of faith and sacrifice forms the crux of the novel, the author adds perspective and texture by incorporating the stories of others affected by visions; some of these subplots are more deftly executed than others, but they provide plenty of opportunity to explore faith from multiple perspectives. Like the original tale, the manuscript's tone is ultimately hopeful, though it pulls no punches in its portrayal of the consequences for those who fail to believe.
Amazon Top Reviewer
This is an extremely well-written excerpt! I love the characters so far. Margaret and Jack are both very complex and interesting, with imperfect lives. I like that they are both a bit skeptical of their mission when the dreams first come to them, but begin to accept it as the dreams continue. I like the idea of modern-day people faced with a very strange religious task, and I would imagine there is a great deal of room in this story to examine the idea of faith. Although this story is well-written, writing anything with a religious angle is tricky. Much of the audience will be turned off by the very idea, and much of the rest of the audience will be turned off if the story turns into preaching instead of plot. So far this line has not been crossed; the religious aspect is presented in such a way that it does not overpower the characters in the story. I would be interested in reading more of this story, and seeing the ways in which Margaret's and Jack's lives intersect.