Secret of the Red Arrow – first chapter – now posted at Simon and Schuster! I just read it! Do I have any thoughts about it? Yep, sure do! I’ve been so anxious for more glimpses of what this series will be like. Ok, first a few details. The chapter is in first person with Frank and takes place in Bayport. The Hardys had all been taking a “break” from cases basically due to lawsuits from criminals and risks, but Frank and Joe can’t go more than a month without a mystery before taking cases for friends and helping out. They figure that sleuthing must be in their blood. Very true. Yep, there’s no way they can go without a mystery – I always like that aspect of helping people and that good character quality is definitely in their blood.
What I like:
The cover art, the first thing you see, importantly is exciting and well-done – draws you to want to help them by reading the mystery and seeing them through that scary situation!
Now to the also important factor of the quality of the content. I was happy to see the writing wasn’t bad. In fact, it started off with some dry humor, which is cool – I liked it. I won’t give too much away with what happens in the chapter (go read it and see what you think). It has a pretty good flow to it and a scary cliffhanger. Feb. 5th seems like a long time from now for the next chapter! Although just from having read the synopsis, you do know a bit of what is happening.
There’s good humor and the sense of danger – both things are very important in books I like.
I could picture it pretty well. And I wanted to. Well, except for the bank robbers’ creepy masks, which thankfully weren’t described in too much detail.
I like it fine that it’s written in first person. I’ve never had any trouble with that style, and personally think it is cool, so I don’t mind them continuing that at all, as long as the writing is good enough to represent the real characters and sounds like them. Which wasn’t always the case with the Undercover Brothers.
I found Frank’s nervousness about having to give a speech in class, even after the intensely dangerous situations and all that he’s been through, to be a very believable and relatable thing.
What I don’t like:
There’s a typo in the chapter that really annoys me. The first letter of Marine is always supposed to be upper-case if you’re referring to the Marines, no matter what the location is in the sentence. Unless you’re talking about marine as in something to do with the ocean, then the first letter is lower-case, unless it is at the very beginning of the sentence. As the daughter of the most wonderful Marine in the entire world, I had to say something. So I did. US Marine Corps.
Fenton not still solving cases but writing books on law enforcement….That’s not realistic. Sleuthing is in his blood, too, he wouldn’t stop detecting. Although I can see that if he felt it was safer for his family. But he knows that by busting criminals, that makes the world a safer, better place for his family and he gets that.
Possible lying. The writer indicated that the brothers aren’t supposed to be sleuthing, so everything has to be done secretively. That can be done without lying. A good writer can keep the characters from lying without giving away information that needs to be kept quiet for safety and security reasons.
My hopes for the series:
I really hope that the morals and character of the real deal Hardy Boys (and all of the real book characters) are reflected continually in this series. And I dislike any lying, so none of that is ever cool in any series – like I mentioned earlier, a good author can get around writing the characters actually lying – no matter what the reason or what it is called. Keep the characters in character – they’re smart and honest and clever.
And another important thing to help make this a successful series is the accurate inclusion and representation of additional, popular, real deal Hardy Boys book characters. Such as: Frank’s girlfriend, Callie Shaw, in the books as his girlfriend. Joe’s girlfriend, Iola Morton, in the books as his girlfriend.
Friends – Chet Morton, Phil Cohen, Tony Prito, Biff Hooper, Officer Con Riley, and Jack Wayne.
Overall, the feel of the first chapter for Secret of the Red Arrow is pretty good. I’m interested in reading the rest of the book. And I’m hoping for the elements necessary to make this a successful series.