June 16, 2007

Ripples On the Lake--A Great Read!

So alert readers may notice that this is not a health and fitness post. But since this weekend marks the three month anniversary of Cranky Fitness (hooray!), Crabby has decided she gets to write whatever she wants all weekend. For newcomers, there are plenty of educational health and fitness posts to check out in the archives. Want to know more about prostate cancer? Fat maps? The worlds most disgusting meatballs? It's all there on the sidebar, just waiting. (Those little triangles right next to April and May? Click on them, and they expand to show all the posts for those months. Cool, huh?)

But back over here in the main section, there is important news to report. Dawn Rotarangi's debut novel Ripples on the Lake is just out, and to cut to the chase: it's great. Buy it! You'll really enjoy it!

Dawn Rotarangi is a most esteemed and beloved Contributor of Commentary here at Cranky Fitness, and so Crabby is very excited to tell people about her book. However, the fact that Dawn is so well liked in these parts almost makes it harder to convince everyone that they should read the novel. Readers may not believe Crabby. (And truthfully, Dawn could have published random pages from the Taupo Telephone Directory and Crabby would have tried to find something nice to say about it--"the L's, R's, and Q's were deftly handled and quite true to life!")

But, here's the thing: Ripples on the Lake is really, really good! Crabby is not just being nice and making things up. Other reviewers will confirm this too.

(This is all going to be so much help for Dawn in promoting her novel, don't you think? "Ripples on the Lake is really, really good! --Crabby McSlacker, obscure blogger with a silly name.")

Rather than give you a blow-by-blow summary of the plot, taking you two-thirds of the way through and spoiling a bunch of surprises (which so many reviewers seem to love to do) Crabby will just tell you a bunch of reasons she liked it. You should go to Dawn's website to get the "what it's about" info, because you'll be wanting to stop there anyway to get the details on buying it. And Crabby is terrible at trying to summarize novels coherently.

So here's why Ripples on the Lake is so great:

It has a feisty female heroine, it's extremely fast paced, and it's creepy. A few pages in and things get seriously weird and scary and you have to keep going to find out what happens.

Seriously, bad things do happen. Though the tone is often light and always entertaining, there is a sense of menace that makes the whole adventure very compelling. The pace never lets up, either--it stays exciting the whole way through.

Plus, the author is quite sneaky: without even realizing it, you learn all kind of things about Maori history and traditions, but in an "oh that's cool" way, not in a (sigh) "I guess it's good for me" way.

It's the sort of book you lose yourself in, because the world and characters are so vividly drawn--they're both familiar and totally exotic. There are people you root for and other people... well, that you don't root for so much.

Crabby could go on, but she's already getting tempted to get too specific and spoil plot twists and surprises.

Warning: the book will be coming to you from New Zealand, so a bit of extra money for shipping may be required. But it will all be quite worth it once you receive your copy. Dawn's website will tell you where you can get it; you know what to do!


  1. That was a perfect review with no spoilers, only ingriguers (my new word for the day.)

  2. I was already looking forward to it. Now the waiting for my copy to get here will seem interminable.
    Thanks for not spoiling anything.
    I agree with Julia about the (great word btw)intriguers.
    Happy Three Month Anniversary!

  3. Hi julia!
    I like "intriguers" too and may have to borrow that! Thanks for stopping by. Sorry I've been kind of rushed of late and haven't been giving cool new people a proper welcome. Great blog you have there! And Cranky Fitness has particular affection for Canadians. (Great scenery and people & so sensible too! Crabby fantasizes about moving there some day).

    Good morning, leah! (speaking of sensible Canadians...)
    Thanks for the anniversary wishes. You've been here pretty much from the beginning and I appreciate your comments so much!

    And you will definitely enjoy Dawn's book. A real page-turner.

  4. I don't know Dawn but always love her comments here...especially the ones about the donuts. :)

    Looking forward to reading it!

    And Crabby, I really did laugh out loud at this:
    "the L's, R's, and Q's were deftly handled and quite true to life!"

  5. You just spit that sand out and pucker up, you gorgeous little crustacean! Crabby dear, you made me laugh and cry reading that!

    Like Katieo, I found that bit about the telephone directory laugh-out-loud funny. And you made me get all tearful too because that was a lovely review and I do thank you for that. I'm so pleased you enjoyed it.

    And your Three Month Anniversary! I do hope there's going to be a party with bubbly and cream filled apple donuts for all. I'll be here.

  6. Hi Katieo!
    Thanks for stopping by. I'm glad Martha at That'sfit found you, too, and hope your awesome blog is getting some new visitors. I almost hate to refer people over to Sister Skinny because I'm afraid they'll never come back.

  7. Hi Dawn, I missed you when you slipped in!

    I really did love the book and just wish I had your power of description to tell people how enjoyable it was. But, I'm afraid I'm just stuck with mine.

    And three month anniversaries are nothing compared to Major Book releases. All the bubbly and doughnuts are for you!

  8. Crabby, a few days ago I ordered my copy of Ripples from New Zealand Books Abroad and am waiting with baited breath. Now I am really anxious to get it and to read it.

    You are so nice to celebrate your three month-a-versary by celebrating the relese of Ripples.


  9. Thanks Terrie!

    You've been very generous yourself about letting people know about other's projects--and thanks again for helping me out with the blog!


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