The old adage goes that “you should not judge a book by its cover” and though it is a virtuous sentiment it is not one that is typically followed. Welcome to day Twenty of my 31 Days of First Impressions Challenge! In this challenge I will be reading the first entry or chapter of a different serial (or web fiction) and then give my first impressions on them be they good or bad. In short: I will be judging a book by its cover.
For today’s entry in the challenge, I read The Other Kind of Roommate, by Tartra.
I am genuinely impressed with how easy everything looks in place on this website. The color pallet of the site’s menu and footer, as well as the body of the site, fit in very well with the colors in the header image. Everything here is cohesive, and though it may not look it, sites like these take a LOT of work. I am impressed.
The header image is incredibly interesting to me. So far I have seen nothing like it in the other serials. I find it interesting that the colors employed in it are relatively light, yet the mood it conveys is a very dark one. I was very eager to begin reading.
“‘Just shut up…’ Definitely. Xander would definitely listen if Alex asked him for a seventh time. At least the prick quit trying to kill him, worn out with all that exhaustive ass-kicking. Xander’s voice was still going strong, though.” –The Other Kind of Roommate, Chapter One ‘Just Shut Up…’
I am half in love with this hook. It has the sense of urgency I keep yearning for in my other posts, it has a sense of mystery that begs me to read more, and it is interesting. The rhythm in it feels a little off though, as not knowing who is talking off the bat is a little disorienting, but this is a little criticism. This hook checks every box I look for in a good intro.
It took a bit of reading for that sense of disorientation to fade. There is a lot that is inferred, rather than outright stated that takes a minute to figure out. I appreciate that the author does not spoon feed me anything, but like I said it took a couple of pages to find my footing. Once found, the serial pushes me to start running. The pace is quick, almost frenetic, and the scene that it takes place in is as chaotic as the main characters’ relationship. The serial is self billed as Fight Club meets X-Men, and there is no better descriptor for it.
I really enjoyed reading this chapter. Everything in it felt very fresh to me, and the author gives the reader just enough information to beckon them to read more. It was disappointing getting to the end of it and knowing that I could not continue reading it until I was done with this 31 Day challenge.
I have basically admitted already that I would read more. The criticisms I have on this serial are very tiny and I honestly have no notes on how my experience could have been improved. I am very impressed at how the color scheme of the site, the mood of the header image, and the tone of writing all worked together so well. It is not the first serial in this challenge to have all engines running so well, but its distinct charm lets it stand out.
Join me tomorrow for my impressions on mathtan’s serial Time & Tied, or check out my own serial: