Dueling Book Reviews: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero and Artemis by Andy Weir

Book Review of Artemis and Meddling Kids

Today, I’ve got a special treat for you: dueling book reviews! Okay, the books aren’t actually dueling. I’ve just been reading a lot and have a backlog of reviews to share. Today we’re talking about Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero and Artemis by Andy Weir.

How do I describe Meddling Kids? It’s basically a punchy, mystery throwback for people who grew up watching Scooby Doo. If that doesn’t sound awesome, I don’t know what does. On the other hand, delivering something that witty can be a challenge. Let’s see if Mr. Cantero is up for it!

Next up is Artemis by Andy Weir. In the wake of his wildly successful book, The Martian, Weir has a lot of expectations to meet – and critics have been pretty mixed in their reception. All that to say, a noir-style heist on the Moon is a pretty cool idea. One that’s at least worth exploring.

While I typically finish up PlotBoilers podcast episodes with a few thoughts on life as a writer, this one is all book-talk. Don’t worry: the writing life tips and tricks will be back next time!

Books Mentioned in this Episode

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

Artemis by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Retrograde by Peter Cawdron

Into the Water Book Review & Plotting vs. Pantsing

Into the Water Book Review & Plotting vs. Pantsing

In today’s episode, I’m reviewing Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. You probably know Hawkins from her breakout novel, The Girl on the Train. But what you might not know is TGOTT isn’t actually her first book. It’s hard to not compare TGOTT with Into the Water, but I’ve done my best. On the other hand, there are some interesting comparisons and similarities between the books I found worth discussing.

For today’s “Writing Life” bit, I’m going over plotting and pantsing. If you don’t know what those are, the difference is pretty simple: Plotters outline their novels before they write; pantsers start with an idea and discover the story as they put it on the page. In reality, most people fall somewhere between these two extremes. (If you plotted every detail before you wrote, you’d technically already have a first draft – you know?) However, understanding which process is best for your next WIP is super important.

P.S. – This episode probably should have been titled “The Miracle” because, after recording it, my computer decided to completely stop workingCringe. I’m pretty sure it’s on its way out, but I was able to recover the episode audio file (and 20,000+ words of a work in progress – Whew). Just in case any of you are even remotely part of the IT industry, I’m not going to say how I got it working again – for the sake of my pride and your sanity. All that to say, if I’m a little late getting my next episode up, it means Black Friday didn’t go my way and I still don’t have a new computer. Life is full of adventures, isn’t it?

Books mentioned in this episode:

Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Structuring Your Novel – K.M. Weiland

Outlining Your Novel – K.M. Weiland

Outlining Your Novel Workbook – K.M. Weiland

Story – Robert McKee