So you may have noticed a pause in the “History of” blog posts. That, largely, is due to Smoke and Mirrors. Because it is really, really hard to talk about this book without ruining it and the two that came before it.
I’ve confused people before by saying this was the second book I wrote. But it is. Transformations in Pain was shoved in the middle long after the fact. So, this is the truest sequel to Black Womb.
I think it goes way back to a dvd or VHS special again or something. At some point, somebody told me that what people wanted in a sequel was the first movie, again. I disagree with this on principle. I think people want a continuation of the same story, and that’s what Smoke and Mirrors is.
I was also aware of the popular conception the sequels were not as good as their originals, and was trying hard to not let that happen with my series (as young as the series was at this point).
So, armed with these two philosophies, I wrote SAM (as we call it around the office now). It was written to be a direct continuation of the original story and not suck.
Despite what people will tell you, it failed on both counts (keep reading, I’ll explain).
When reviewing Smoke and Mirrors, Jay Paulin said:
…easily be the best book – thus far – in the series. As it stands, it may be the most entertaining.
I say this because nobody has read the original Smoke and Mirrors. It came out a year after Transformations in Pain because I was so unhappy with it I literally rewrote the entire thing. Not one word is the same. All the events are the same (mostly) but the way they’re presented is like night and day.
The new Smoke and Mirrors, as it saw print, is considered one of the better books in the series. While other books are my favorite, I can certainly see where people are coming from. In moves at a good clip and has a great little plot. I recommend it. 😉
Conceptually speaking, there are two “new” characters in this book: Megan Greene and Natasha Mayer. Both are lawyers, and both are based (very loosely) on women I went to high school with (they’re women now anyway, and I’ve been told the term “girls” can be derogatory). I think they both had aspirations of becoming lawyers. I know one of them became a nurse. Anyway, their plots are unique, but both read early editions if Black Womb and provided helpful comments along the way. 😉 And, just like the characters in Black Womb, they quickly grew to be nothing like their real-life counterparts and “characters” in their own right.
I really can’t talk about the plot. Go read it, people. Lol.
Never Look Back