When I was still a boy wrapped in a mansized body I had an opportunity to spend the best part of a summer in Prague. Having grown up on the US/Mexico border, and then gone to school in Tucson, this was my first stay of length in a city of girth, and depth. Not to disparage the Old Pueblo, but Tucson is very much a town that just kept swelling without growing. Prague, well, Prague is something else.
What can I say about my summer in Prague? Too much, and not enough. I fell in love with architecture and food. I got introduced to cheap coffee and cheaper beer. I spent a morning at the Cathedral of Life marveling at the soaring arches and meticulous glass, and then spent the afternoon watching tourists take selfies laying on the blood stained blocks where the executions were held at Terezin.
The man I am today was born there on the side of the Charles River, beneath a twilight that stretched until midnight, as I asked someone I respected what ten books he would choose if stranded in isolation for eternity.
So this was my first shot at a critical review for the defunct Authonomy community. Having read the author's manifesto, I have to say that I like the cut of his jib. I chose Step Up because the author is commited to improving his work. That being said, I also enjoyed the read, so the critique that follows the Read More jump should be very much taken as an example of the kind of feedback I would offer to strengthen what is already an impressive novel. If you are an author who is looking to strengthen a work you believe in, this is an example of the kind of developmental letter you would receive, along with line or copy editing.
Step Up is a young adult fiction with easy crossover appeal for adults. As an action-oriented urban crime thriller, Step Up not only delivers an engaging reading experience, but establishes a great foundation for future stories.