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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Ferdinand_otieno
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Re: What did Cynthia facing constant danger do for the book?

Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 07 Jun 2019, 05:14

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
Shouldn't it be "if used sparingly ...and with a purpose?"

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Post by BuzzingQuill » 07 Jun 2019, 06:55

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 05:14
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
Shouldn't it be "if used sparingly ...and with a purpose?"
Oh yes definitely, purpose is a must. You can't have a character put in life-threatening situations just for the sake of it. But I would argue that Mercer does have a purpose for it as it usually furthers the Cyber-warfare subplot, I don't have an issue with her using it, but I wish it would have been used more sparsely.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 07 Jun 2019, 07:24

BuzzingQuill wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 06:55
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 05:14
BuzzingQuill wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 05:59


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
Shouldn't it be "if used sparingly ...and with a purpose?"
Oh yes definitely, purpose is a must. You can't have a character put in life-threatening situations just for the sake of it. But I would argue that Mercer does have a purpose for it as it usually furthers the Cyber-warfare subplot, I don't have an issue with her using it, but I wish it would have been used more sparsely.
Yes, completely true.

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Post by Shelly Caetano » 07 Jun 2019, 08:19

Often, when constant dangers surround the main character there is a sense of thrill and intrigue. Sometimes, it makes the overall book more compelling; especially when it comes to how the protagonist navigates such danger. This is not the case with Cynthia. The constant danger that surrounds Cynthia points to the characters flaws and incompetence. Instead of thrilling, I found it to be a constant source of frustration. It did not create a filling of thrill or intrigue for me, but rather a deep sense of dissatisfaction.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 07 Jun 2019, 11:52

Shelly Caetano wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 08:19
Often, when constant dangers surround the main character there is a sense of thrill and intrigue. Sometimes, it makes the overall book more compelling; especially when it comes to how the protagonist navigates such danger. This is not the case with Cynthia. The constant danger that surrounds Cynthia points to the characters flaws and incompetence. Instead of thrilling, I found it to be a constant source of frustration. It did not create a filling of thrill or intrigue for me, but rather a deep sense of dissatisfaction.
Couldn't have said it any better.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 07 Jun 2019, 21:18

BuzzingQuill wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 06:55
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 05:14
BuzzingQuill wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 05:59


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
Shouldn't it be "if used sparingly ...and with a purpose?"
Oh yes definitely, purpose is a must. You can't have a character put in life-threatening situations just for the sake of it. But I would argue that Mercer does have a purpose for it as it usually furthers the Cyber-warfare subplot, I don't have an issue with her using it, but I wish it would have been used more sparsely.
Thank you for sharing in the topic.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 08 Jun 2019, 12:07

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.
A careless protagonist who has moments of changing personalities and becoming a protector of a US Senator and combatting cyberterrorism-seems unbelievable.

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Post by chiadeer » 08 Jun 2019, 13:49

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
03 Jun 2019, 00:17
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.
Yes, the great irony of a protagonist who battles conspiracy and cyber-terrorism, but has no problem leaving herself open and vulnerable to strangers who could be killers, adversaries, or worse. It was an unrealistic characterization for the protagonist.
Her personality traits are especially puzzling because she and Glenn seem to spend a lot of time driving home the point to Tim and Garth about security. Don't talk about what they are doing outside of the cyber war room, etc. because there's no such thing as privacy, anyone can be listening and there are terrorists who are hunting down individuals. When Cynthia cut off contact with Sky because she couldn't find any information about him my first thought was, "oh he's a terrorist, he found her on purpose, he didn't just randomly run into her on the street...".

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 08 Jun 2019, 23:46

chiadeer wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 13:49
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
03 Jun 2019, 00:17
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.
Yes, the great irony of a protagonist who battles conspiracy and cyber-terrorism, but has no problem leaving herself open and vulnerable to strangers who could be killers, adversaries, or worse. It was an unrealistic characterization for the protagonist.
Her personality traits are especially puzzling because she and Glenn seem to spend a lot of time driving home the point to Tim and Garth about security. Don't talk about what they are doing outside of the cyber war room, etc. because there's no such thing as privacy, anyone can be listening and there are terrorists who are hunting down individuals. When Cynthia cut off contact with Sky because she couldn't find any information about him my first thought was, "oh he's a terrorist, he found her on purpose, he didn't just randomly run into her on the street...".
Like I said, plot oriented character. The author had it in his mind to make her reckless despite his contradicting plan to make her head security of a senator and combatting cybersecurity. The characters needed to play these two roles must be two different ones.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 09 Jun 2019, 03:52

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 23:46
chiadeer wrote:
08 Jun 2019, 13:49
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
03 Jun 2019, 00:17

Yes, the great irony of a protagonist who battles conspiracy and cyber-terrorism, but has no problem leaving herself open and vulnerable to strangers who could be killers, adversaries, or worse. It was an unrealistic characterization for the protagonist.
Her personality traits are especially puzzling because she and Glenn seem to spend a lot of time driving home the point to Tim and Garth about security. Don't talk about what they are doing outside of the cyber war room, etc. because there's no such thing as privacy, anyone can be listening and there are terrorists who are hunting down individuals. When Cynthia cut off contact with Sky because she couldn't find any information about him my first thought was, "oh he's a terrorist, he found her on purpose, he didn't just randomly run into her on the street...".
Like I said, plot oriented character. The author had it in his mind to make her reckless despite his contradicting plan to make her head security of a senator and combatting cybersecurity. The characters needed to play these two roles must be two different ones.
Every single time she got reckless I felt like I was reading about another character, different from the first.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 09 Jun 2019, 14:33

BuzzingQuill wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 06:55
Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 05:14
BuzzingQuill wrote:
05 Jun 2019, 05:59


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
Shouldn't it be "if used sparingly ...and with a purpose?"
Oh yes definitely, purpose is a must. You can't have a character put in life-threatening situations just for the sake of it. But I would argue that Mercer does have a purpose for it as it usually furthers the Cyber-warfare subplot, I don't have an issue with her using it, but I wish it would have been used more sparsely.
Yes, I agree. If it had been used more sporadically, it would have been bearable.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 10 Jun 2019, 01:35

Ferdinand_otieno wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 11:52
Shelly Caetano wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 08:19
Often, when constant dangers surround the main character there is a sense of thrill and intrigue. Sometimes, it makes the overall book more compelling; especially when it comes to how the protagonist navigates such danger. This is not the case with Cynthia. The constant danger that surrounds Cynthia points to the characters flaws and incompetence. Instead of thrilling, I found it to be a constant source of frustration. It did not create a filling of thrill or intrigue for me, but rather a deep sense of dissatisfaction.
Couldn't have said it any better.
I think the inability of the author to commit to either a reckless protagonist or a responsible intelligent self-sufficient protagonist hurt the book.

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Post by Ferdinand_otieno » 10 Jun 2019, 13:14

Shelly Caetano wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 08:19
Often, when constant dangers surround the main character there is a sense of thrill and intrigue. Sometimes, it makes the overall book more compelling; especially when it comes to how the protagonist navigates such danger. This is not the case with Cynthia. The constant danger that surrounds Cynthia points to the characters flaws and incompetence. Instead of thrilling, I found it to be a constant source of frustration. It did not create a filling of thrill or intrigue for me, but rather a deep sense of dissatisfaction.
Like you've been cheated out of something promising or worthwhile.

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Post by Jo689 » 10 Jun 2019, 15:01

Cynthia is definitely smart, but her lacking common sense throughout the book indicated the reason why she was facing constant danger. I mean, think clearly and rationalize thoroughly before doing something!

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Post by VernaVi » 11 Jun 2019, 00:53

I felt that the danger that Cynthia was in throughout the book was always danger that she put herself in. Situations that she caused on her own, seemed to be the order of the day. I kept waiting for real danger to present itself, but it was always things that most people avoid doing. Like going to a strange man's apartment, leaving your car abandoned and unattended in the street, handing over your car keys to people you don't know, having a one night stand with that same man within hours of meeting him, the list seems endless.

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