A WRITER/METEOROLOGIST’S REVIEW OF SUPERCELL

Tornado chasers on the Great Plains.

Tornado chasers on the Great Plains.

As many of you know, I’m a meteorologist in novelist’s clothing.  (Or is it the other way around?)  Well, whatever.  I majored in atmospheric science in college and took a couple of courses in creative writing.  I think I did fairly well in them (it was a long time ago), even though I recall being severely intimidated when I entered a classroom full of English and English Lit majors.

At any rate, though I’ve always been a writer, I really didn’t do much with the creative aspect of it until relatively late in my life.

So, it was with some trepidation I recently read a review of Supercell by a writer, Elizabeth Winks, whose college minor is meteorology–sort of a reverse image of myself.

I thought you might be interested in what my reverse image thought of Supercell.  I’ve posted a few excerpts from her review below.  The full review can be found in “Midwest Book Review.”

Bernard gave his main character as difficult a situation as possible, which was enjoyable for me as the reader because it kept me wondering if Chuck [the protagonist] was going to be able to handle everything tossed his way. It added to the suspense.

 Speaking of suspense, upon reading the novel, I often times found Bernard’s writing style to be formulaic. What I mean by this is that there was a clear pattern to how the plot would rise and fall as it built up to the climax. Chuck and the crew would go through a series of advancements and setbacks in a sort of obvious way. At times, I found myself thinking, “Okay, here’s another setback, but the next reversal will be one forward.” Yet, Bernard was able to make the ending of the novel unclear through the use of a complex plot line that finally comes together at the climax in an unsuspected way.

Overall, I thought that Bernard was able to craft quite the thriller novel through the blend of science and creative writing. Personally, this book was exceptionally thrilling because Bernard and I are sort of opposites: whereas he was a professional scientist who did writing on the side, I am a writer who’s minoring in meteorology. Anyone who finds tornadoes and massive storms fascinating will surely enjoy this book, as I have. It’s like talking a walk on the wild side – but a heck of a lot safer.

Ah, but Liz, a writer must experience these things.  TIme for you to sign up for a tornado chase . . . maybe not with Chuck Rittenburg, however.

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