What did Cynthia facing constant danger do for the book?

Use this forum to discuss the June 2019 Book of the month, "Cynthia and Dan: Cyber War" by Dorothy May Mercer.
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Re: What did Cynthia facing constant danger do for the book?

Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 04 Jun 2019, 23:01

Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 07:53
sarahmarlowe wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 19:31
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 09:04
Did you feel that a protagonist who seemed to be in ever present danger and just barely survived was good for the book? Did she make the story more thrilling?
I didn't like Cynthia as a protagonist from early in the book. I found her dimwitted about her surroundings, getting herself into danger as much as having danger find her. For example, when she meets Sky, she trusts him enough to give him the make, model, and tag number of her unlocked, keys-in-it car? Good grief. And then she is happy that "his friend" has taken care of it? She's not my definition of a strong female character. Or strong any kind of character. I don't think she made the story thrilling, more like frustrating.
I completely agree! Cynthia irritated me from the get-go because of her lack of common sense. Why would anyone go to a stranger's house after just meeting him? Sky seemed like he was the domineering type, and Cynthia quickly fell under his spell. I do feel that female protagonist should have included someone with common sense and a backbone, especially considering her job.
Risking her safety is one of the largest problems with the characterization of Cynthia.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 05 Jun 2019, 02:56

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 23:01
Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 07:53
sarahmarlowe wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 19:31


I didn't like Cynthia as a protagonist from early in the book. I found her dimwitted about her surroundings, getting herself into danger as much as having danger find her. For example, when she meets Sky, she trusts him enough to give him the make, model, and tag number of her unlocked, keys-in-it car? Good grief. And then she is happy that "his friend" has taken care of it? She's not my definition of a strong female character. Or strong any kind of character. I don't think she made the story thrilling, more like frustrating.
I completely agree! Cynthia irritated me from the get-go because of her lack of common sense. Why would anyone go to a stranger's house after just meeting him? Sky seemed like he was the domineering type, and Cynthia quickly fell under his spell. I do feel that female protagonist should have included someone with common sense and a backbone, especially considering her job.
Risking her safety is one of the largest problems with the characterization of Cynthia.
A protagonist who works on "espionage" and "cyber-terrorism" should have an assassin's view on personal safety and an internal risk assessment for every situation they fall into. This was what was lacking in Cynthia's characterization.

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Post by BuzzingQuill » 05 Jun 2019, 05:59

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 09:04
Did you feel that a protagonist who seemed to be in ever present danger and just barely survived was good for the book? Did she make the story more thrilling?
I honestly didn't enjoy this about the book. Because it was so frequently used, I think that it drew away the suspense, if used sparingly, I think it could have enhanced the book and made Cynthia seemed much more competent

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 05 Jun 2019, 06:09

BuzzingQuill wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 05:59
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 09:04
Did you feel that a protagonist who seemed to be in ever present danger and just barely survived was good for the book? Did she make the story more thrilling?
I honestly didn't enjoy this about the book. Because it was so frequently used, I think that it drew away the suspense, if used sparingly, I think it could have enhanced the book and made Cynthia seemed much more competent
I agree with you completely. If it had been used sparingly, it would have been something to look forward to , maybe hint at something major in the chapter. But ad it was used, it became commonplace and distracting.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 05 Jun 2019, 06:15

BuzzingQuill wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 05:59
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 09:04
Did you feel that a protagonist who seemed to be in ever present danger and just barely survived was good for the book? Did she make the story more thrilling?
I honestly didn't enjoy this about the book. Because it was so frequently used, I think that it drew away the suspense, if used sparingly, I think it could have enhanced the book and made Cynthia seemed much more competent
A protagonist who gets herself into dangerous situation at rare times is a much better story than one who finds herself in recklessly placed situation most of the time. It also looks bad considering the degree of competence, intelligence and spycraft needed for her work.

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Post by BuzzingQuill » 05 Jun 2019, 06:22

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 06:09
BuzzingQuill wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 05:59
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 09:04
Did you feel that a protagonist who seemed to be in ever present danger and just barely survived was good for the book? Did she make the story more thrilling?
I honestly didn't enjoy this about the book. Because it was so frequently used, I think that it drew away the suspense, if used sparingly, I think it could have enhanced the book and made Cynthia seemed much more competent
I agree with you completely. If it had been used sparingly, it would have been something to look forward to , maybe hint at something major in the chapter. But ad it was used, it became commonplace and distracting.
I truly do believe this book had quite a lot of potential. If adjustments were made to the story, like fixing the suspense issue, I think Mercer would have a perfectly good book on her hands

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Post by BuzzingQuill » 05 Jun 2019, 06:28

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 06:15
BuzzingQuill wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 05:59
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 09:04
Did you feel that a protagonist who seemed to be in ever present danger and just barely survived was good for the book? Did she make the story more thrilling?
I honestly didn't enjoy this about the book. Because it was so frequently used, I think that it drew away the suspense, if used sparingly, I think it could have enhanced the book and made Cynthia seemed much more competent
A protagonist who gets herself into dangerous situation at rare times is a much better story than one who finds herself in recklessly placed situation most of the time. It also looks bad considering the degree of competence, intelligence and spycraft needed for her work.
Couldn't have put it any better myself. As some who aspires to write professionally one day, I believe its incredibly vital to have your characters react to situations in a way that only enhances the idea of who that character is in the reader's mind. I feel as if Cynthia didn't act in accordance with who she was supposed to be rather she acted in ways designed to service the plot

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Post by DC Brown » 05 Jun 2019, 10:03

cpru68 wrote:
03 Jun 2019, 01:52
I thought her actions of going to a stranger’s apartment was ridiculous. For someone who is fighting terrorism and has training on how to be safe, that was just crazy to me. She seemed weak and not at all a strong female in the book. The constant foreshadowing of a pregnancy was also weird. She kept “forgetting” she possibly could be pregnant. That was so unrealistic to me for a woman who was supposed to be so intelligent.
I absolutely agree. First, she has this great idea to fight terrorism, and the next thing you know she's under some complete strangers spell, giving him all kinds of information. Cynthia was definitely not my favorite character. I'd have to say Tim and Garth were better characters!

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Post by DC Brown » 05 Jun 2019, 10:09

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 23:01
Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 07:53
sarahmarlowe wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 19:31


I didn't like Cynthia as a protagonist from early in the book. I found her dimwitted about her surroundings, getting herself into danger as much as having danger find her. For example, when she meets Sky, she trusts him enough to give him the make, model, and tag number of her unlocked, keys-in-it car? Good grief. And then she is happy that "his friend" has taken care of it? She's not my definition of a strong female character. Or strong any kind of character. I don't think she made the story thrilling, more like frustrating.
I completely agree! Cynthia irritated me from the get-go because of her lack of common sense. Why would anyone go to a stranger's house after just meeting him? Sky seemed like he was the domineering type, and Cynthia quickly fell under his spell. I do feel that female protagonist should have included someone with common sense and a backbone, especially considering her job.
Risking her safety is one of the largest problems with the characterization of Cynthia.
She not only risked her own safety but that of others. Being unaware of her surrounds, not knowing anything about the man she just met was very off-putting for me. As a whole, I felt the storyline was interesting, but the characters as a whole were not well done.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 05 Jun 2019, 13:17

DC Brown wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 10:03
cpru68 wrote:
03 Jun 2019, 01:52
I thought her actions of going to a stranger’s apartment was ridiculous. For someone who is fighting terrorism and has training on how to be safe, that was just crazy to me. She seemed weak and not at all a strong female in the book. The constant foreshadowing of a pregnancy was also weird. She kept “forgetting” she possibly could be pregnant. That was so unrealistic to me for a woman who was supposed to be so intelligent.
I absolutely agree. First, she has this great idea to fight terrorism, and the next thing you know she's under some complete strangers spell, giving him all kinds of information. Cynthia was definitely not my favorite character. I'd have to say Tim and Garth were better characters!
A conflict of plot expectations and personal characterization, i think.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 05 Jun 2019, 21:28

DC Brown wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 10:09
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
04 Jun 2019, 23:01
Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
02 Jun 2019, 07:53

I completely agree! Cynthia irritated me from the get-go because of her lack of common sense. Why would anyone go to a stranger's house after just meeting him? Sky seemed like he was the domineering type, and Cynthia quickly fell under his spell. I do feel that female protagonist should have included someone with common sense and a backbone, especially considering her job.
Risking her safety is one of the largest problems with the characterization of Cynthia.
She not only risked her own safety but that of others. Being unaware of her surrounds, not knowing anything about the man she just met was very off-putting for me. As a whole, I felt the storyline was interesting, but the characters as a whole were not well done.
That almost became a quick kidnapping situation.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 06 Jun 2019, 00:27

BuzzingQuill wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 05:59
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
01 Jun 2019, 09:04
Did you feel that a protagonist who seemed to be in ever present danger and just barely survived was good for the book? Did she make the story more thrilling?
I honestly didn't enjoy this about the book. Because it was so frequently used, I think that it drew away the suspense, if used sparingly, I think it could have enhanced the book and made Cynthia seemed much more competent
Thank you for speaking my mind on this.

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Post by Shilpa Paul » 06 Jun 2019, 07:05

Cynthia was a fool. She lakshman common sense. She trusted Sky blindly on their first meet. She Is not smart enough to guess that Dan must have put a tracking device. The story could have been much better if her character was strong and had been focused on the cyber war and protecting the senator instead of the personal goof ups.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 06 Jun 2019, 11:02

Shilpa Paul wrote:
06 Jun 2019, 07:05
Cynthia was a fool. She lakshman common sense. She trusted Sky blindly on their first meet. She Is not smart enough to guess that Dan must have put a tracking device. The story could have been much better if her character was strong and had been focused on the cyber war and protecting the senator instead of the personal goof ups.
I agree. For someone working on protecting a US Senator and with knowledge of espionage and terrorism, I expected the tracker to be noticed immediately.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 06 Jun 2019, 22:40

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
06 Jun 2019, 11:02
Shilpa Paul wrote:
06 Jun 2019, 07:05
Cynthia was a fool. She lakshman common sense. She trusted Sky blindly on their first meet. She Is not smart enough to guess that Dan must have put a tracking device. The story could have been much better if her character was strong and had been focused on the cyber war and protecting the senator instead of the personal goof ups.
I agree. For someone working on protecting a US Senator and with knowledge of espionage and terrorism, I expected the tracker to be noticed immediately.
I find it highly unlikely she survived this long while being reckless about her personal safety.

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