So, here's one that popped up since the last time I checked the schedule: "My Writer's Camp." Here's some of what he had to say in his 'good' column:
The characters in this book are fabulous. Their flaws and talents are doled out with a pace that does not overwhelm the reader, but makes the characters feel so very human and familiar despite their supernatural gifts. The tension between them, both sexual and emotional, is perfect and enhances the story without becoming a dramatic focus that takes away from the adventure. The villains are despicable and the supporting characters are unique without overwhelming the story....
If you're blinded right now, that's because I'm over here BEAMING with pride. I'm so, so gratified every time people point out how fun an interesting the characters are in Song of Secrets. As a reader myself, characters are the thing I latch on to more than anything else. I can be impressed by a good world-build, but if the characters are only 'meh,' I'm far more likely to bail.
In fact, my friend (and fellow writer) Naomi Kritzer have been talking about some of the books that are up for the Hugo this year, as we're both voting members this time around. I admitted to her in email (and now to you all on this blog) that I had ended up giving up on Ann Leckie's Ancillary Sword and Three-Body Problem by Lui Cixin entirely because I never really cared all that much for the characters in either. Both those books are really deep in when it comes to world-building and plot... but I just never latched on to anyone (because I will keep going if there is a side character I'm interested in.)
At any rate, this is a yay!