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!