Day 19 – Best ensemble of characters in a book
The Lord of the Rings would be an easy pick for this topic, but I do want a little variety in these posts.
While I love Heinlein, I can’t honestly pick any of his books since they seldom contain sterling examples of ensemble characters.
Most writers are barely capable of creating a single memorable character, even when the story itself is enjoyable (I’d have trouble describing any of Asimov’s characters in great detail. I have trouble remembering the names of most of them). Great writers consistently create 2-3 strong characters in every book. It takes an exceptional writer to create an ensemble of unique voices that are not only original, but remain distinct. I hate reading a book with a large cast of characters and being pulled out of the story to figure out which one is speaking.
My choice for today isn’t a “great” book, but it does have a large cast of major and minor characters. The major characters are colorful individuals that remain unique and distinctive throughout the book – and this is the work of a first time writer. The book has some problems, but the story is great and the characters are exceptionally well developed.
Owen, Mordechai, Julie, Earl, Trip, Holly, Skippy, Franks, Myers, Susan and CO – and that’s just the major characters.
I find it hard to believe Mr Correia had to self-publish this book and market it himself. Fortunately, Baen picked it up and put it on the shelves. His second book MHI-Vendetta continues with exceptional characterization, great story and noticeable improvement in his writing skills. I recommend them both, and eagerly await the publication of his next book.
Note: I don’t know Mr Correia, haven’t met him and only occasionally read his blog.