Sharing

1 star1 star1 star1 star0.75 star
After being abducted from a home for at-risk youth in the middle of the night by a twisted, murderous creature called an Indrik, a young girl named Charlotte with a talent for survival is taken (along with five other children) to an empty desert where it never becomes night and all the sand flows like water into a bottomless hole in the ground. First book of "The Fold." Followed by "Shifting."
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Price: Free!

Published: Nov. 08, 2010
Words: 93,530
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465882554
About Miracle Jones

Miracle Jones is a very private person.

Also in The Fold

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: KC Ras on Oct. 17, 2012 : star star star star star
The only negative thing I could say would be that it's disappointing that so many lesser writers have publishing deals and the aid of paid editors to help polish their stories.

This story was different and compelling and layered. There is a level of psychological stuff going on below the surface story that I wanted to penetrate.

The story doesn't try to hide that rules get broken, things don't fit and lots of it shouldn't make sense. If the world and the characters in this book makes sense or seem real to you, therapy might have some real value for you.

If you can suspend your disbelief and live inside the imagination of whoever created this world for the length of the book you can be rewarded with a fantastic tale. It's not disgusting on a Pahlaniuk level but it's not for kids either. All the things buried deep in a person's subconscious, including violence and sex are represented somewhere in the story, but never does it dwell on any single thing long enough for it to derail the story.
(review of free book)

Review by: David Lovato on Oct. 06, 2012 : star star star
I wanted to give it four stars, but in the end I couldn't justify it. I'll start with the more negative aspects and move onto the positives, so I can end this review on the high note that this book deserves.

Unfortunately, the book reads as a bit amateurish the whole way through. There are a lot of typos and formatting errors. We all make mistakes, but there were times where I'd find two or three typos on the same page (and I read it on an iPod Touch, so a page is basically two paragraphs at most).

There were also several basic rules of writing that were completely ignored for no apparent reason. I think breaking rules can be great if it serves the story, but here it seems more like an accident. For example, in one of many long-winded segments of dialogue, the author put quotation marks at the end of every paragraph, even though the speaker didn't change. Typically, you'd only put an opening quotation at the beginning of each paragraph to remind the reader it's still speech, but you'd leave off the closing quotes because the speaker isn't done talking. Curiously, the author did this exactly right one time in the book, and wrong all the others, again for no apparent reason.

There were also more serious issues. Some of the events in the story seemed like they were there more for shock value than anything else. It's not a huge problem because in most cases it worked, but others it didn't. Other events seemed like they happened less because they made sense and more because they were convenient for the author. Sometimes rules set up within the world of the story get broken, again, with no apparent reasoning behind them, and I think of all of these issues, these ones contributed most to my lower rating.

The dialogue also tended to get on my nerves. There's a classic writing tip, which is to read your dialogue aloud to see if it sounds like actual speech. The author could have benefited from this. Much of the dialogue sounds like something no one would ever say, especially not children. Sometimes they use words I had to stop reading to look up, but then don't know what other, much simpler words and concepts mean. The dialogue also tends to come across as robotic; characters almost never use contractions. "It's" in place of "it is", when writing dialogue, can go a very long way, especially when it comes to children, who tend to try to talk fast and short.

The book also seemed a bit wordy in general; I think a good 10,000 words could have been cut away without changing the story at all. A good part of this would be the similes. Nearly every action by any character in the book is described and then given a simile at the end. Sometimes they didn't even make sense. I thought it was charming at first, when the action was slower and the children were getting used to their fantastical surroundings. Later it served only to annoy, interrupting the action to basically describe what had already been described as though I didn't understand it the first time.

Basically, I think the book could have used another round of editing, especially from someone who had never seen it before.

Onto the positives.

This is probably the most creative and imaginative thing I have ever read. A lot of other reviewers comment on its originality. It has a lot of it. There are also some classic, tried-and-true tropes here, but even these have Jones's creative and very unique spin to them. There were times I thought it was obvious where the story was going, and when it got there it was miles from where I'd suspected.

Jones seems to me to have a good grasp on biology. There is a certain "magic" in this story, but the author doesn't use it to fill any creative gaps there might be, which tends to be a huge problem when writing stories of magic. Instead, all of the places and all of the creatures are carefully planned and carefully described, and they just plain work.

Despite the errors mentioned above, there is a lot of genius in the story and at times in the writing itself. My last impression is that Jones is a good writer who needs a good editor to turn his good writing into great writing.

All told I will say Sharing is more than worth the read, and I'll be moving on to the next book in this series shortly.
(review of free book)

Review by: Kim Pursley on May 18, 2012 : star star star star star
Good book but I have to say the second one, SHIFTING, is better and I CAN'T WAIT for the next in the series!!!!!!!
(review of free book)

Review by: Gretchen R on April 26, 2012 : star star star star star
I got carried away with this story and didn't want to put it down. I couldn't wait to read Shifting as soon as I was done. Charlotte is a wonderful character. & I'll never see cockroaches in the same light again. Wonderfully written.
(review of free book)

Review by: Narcisse Navarre on March 20, 2012 : star star star star star
This novel is a wild, surreal thrill ride through a Daliesque wasteland that is impossible to put down. Charlotte, Tessa and Asfodel are some of the strangest protagonists you will ever encounter but some of the most memorable. This book is as engrossing as it is grotesquely beautiful. Miracle Jones is a gifted writer.
(review of free book)

Review by: GlennAndSasha Gabriel on Jan. 08, 2012 : star star star star star
This book is everything the other reviewers have said... and more.
A masterpiece of the written word.
Looking forward to reading everything you have.
A massive fan!
(review of free book)

Review by: Eric Fehlberg on Dec. 28, 2011 : star star star star star
Sharing is the best book I have ever read. This makes it sound as if I have read maybe three books ever. But no, I have read thousands. Sharing is the best. Here's how good it is. Last summer I was in St. Petersberg in Russia, and when all my friends went to an underground nightclub absolutely packed with inhumanly beautiful women of questionable morals, and no discernable inhibitions, I said "I'll meet you there." and then stayed up all night in the apartment to finish Sharing. I would do it again. This book will make you love cockroaches, fear kittens, and hate unicorns. It will make you question the world you live in. Just read it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Robert Stikmanz on June 18, 2011 : star star star star star
Fiercely imagined and eloquently told, Sharing is the story of Charlotte, a girl whisked on the back of a mythic beast to a realm of danger, unreality and numbing monotony. The beast, a mutilated flying unicorn the girl calls Mister, enslaves Charlotte to clean his home—a vast cathedral soiled continuously by gore and excrement—and to cook. Mister feeds exclusively on the substance (be it flesh or whatever) of sentient creatures, preferably cooked well and imaginatively spiced. First on the menu are several of Charlotte's friends brought along as a living larder.

One after another, Charlotte must prepare and serve schoolmates slaughtered as she watches. Each loss takes with it assumptions she held about her place in being. With little else to anchor her sense of self, avenging her friends becomes a consuming passion. She begins to train as a fighter. Over time she hardens into a lean young woman, stripped emotionally to a desire for revenge, a single question about reality, and a kernel of decency she terms simply "respect."

At this extreme, her only companions are a bookish cockroach, Asfodel, and a bloodsucking cyborgian sphere, Tessa. Charlotte communicates with these two by "Sharing," a kind of ultra-telepathic ability common in the universe but almost unknown in humans. Sharing allows her silent conversation with similarly able creatures, among whom both Asfodel and Tessa happily count. It also allows her to glean information of a sort from inanimate objects bearing traces or imprints of sentience--books, for instance, or skulls of the dead. One creature, however, with whom she cannot Share is Mister, her captor and the focus of her hope for revenge.

The main story of Sharing is Charlotte's, and across the narrative she grows, evolves and habituates to the world of her captivity without reconciling to it. Charlotte's story, however, plays out in the context of another, that of Mister, and this second-order tale unfolds for the reader as it unfolds for the girl. Slowly she learns the origin of the strange realm in which she is held, and her captor's place in it. When Mister's past catches up with him, the girl who has long since grown into a warrior finds her allegiances muddier than expected. Sorting loyalties amidst the final conflict, Charlotte begins to understand Mister, even as she can neither forget nor forgive what he has done.

F. Scott Fitzgerald once famously claimed that every novelist is a moralist, a sentiment with which Miracle Jones seems comfortable. Couched in a landscape of stark, alien weirdness, strange friendships and bizarre violence, Sharing plumbs questions of what it means to be who we are, the tension between self and other, and dynamics of power. Jones accomplishes this feat without sacrificing twists of plot or the logic of narrative. If the ride is surreal, the resolution is satisfying. Ultimately, Charlotte negotiates the quite actually shifting sands of her prison world to extract from Mister not redemption but a tiny measure of recompense; she manages, in the process, to preserve herself, her orb and her cockroach. Highly recommended.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Eryn Murphy on March 31, 2011 : star star star star star
I'm a big fan of "This Rocketship Will Crash," Miracle Jones's short story blog. When I noticed he'd written a book, I bought it without a second thought.

This is an incredibly fun and wildly creative little book. How is it possible that this thing has only 5 reviews? It starts off a little rusty, but it just gets better and better. I stayed up until 7am reading it, ignoring my itchy eyes and tired body, absolutely captivated.

I can't wait for the sequel. (Mr. Jones, if you bound two books of this length together into one, I can see it being much more viable to publishers. I know your NYC agent said he didn't know what to do with it, but I think a publishing house that frequently dealt with fantasy would LOVE it.)
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: A Reader on March 14, 2011 : star star star star star
Book was mentioned on a blog I frequent.
(Actually, the rejection letter was mentioned.)

Came over to Smashwords and put the book in my cart.

Became suspicious of all the glowing 5-star reviews.

Checked out author's blog and got sucked in to a story there.

Came back to Smashwords and checked out the cart.

Stayed up 'til three AM reading the book.

Came back to Smashwords to write a 5-star review of my own.

You should buy the book and after reading you'll be back to write your own 5-star review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: funtub on March 11, 2011 : star star star star star
Loved it! Couldn't stop reading it and am so upset that it's over. Fascinating, creative world. Buy, buy, buy it!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: thatmattkid on Feb. 15, 2011 : star star star star star
I wish I could write a review to do this book justice. I loved it. It was wild and brutally imaginative and very well done. I decided to buy the book after reading everything on "this rocketship will crash" (http://miraclejones.blogspot.com/) and read it on a flight; it was well beyond what I expected and my expectations were high. I was bummed when it was over and had to buy Rocks at the Cuts now so that I have more Miracle Jones to read. I hope you enjoy it too!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Hello Photo on Dec. 22, 2010 : star star star star star
This book is incredible. It's unlike anything else I've read, and I couldn't put it down. I stayed up all night reading and was heartbroken when I realized it was over. If that's not a glowing recommendation, I don't know what is.

Not to give away the plot, but Sharing has orphans, a diner, a friendly cockroach, gourmet food, a mysterious monster, and psychics, all inside a fantastical world.

Miracle Jones' imagination is unmatched. You need to buy this book, especially if you're a fan of This Rocketship Will Crash.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Bushy Manjamas on Dec. 04, 2010 : star star star star star
Wow. Sharing is a fantastical book that will keep you entranced for days - until whenever you finish it. You will ignore entreats from friends to go out and play, you will call in sick to work, you will not sleep! as you get drawn further and further into this amazing world created by the author. You will re-think your stereotypes of unicorns and cockroaches, and you will find yourself trying to Share with random creatures. I believe some people might even find themselves cleaning and cooking after reading this book.
I read a hard-copy print of the book (I still prefer reading paper-and-ink versus electronic screen, alas!) and found myself bringing the printed copy with me everywhere. Then I decided not to go anywhere so I could peacefully finish reading about Charlotte’s physical and psychic adventures surviving in a sandy wasteland.
The book is well-written, the plot is amazing, the ideas introduced are marvelous, but I am most impressed with the author’s perfect timing of plot maturation, character introductions, revelations of what’s going on, etc. Frequently, I find books to “move” either too slow or too fast. Worse, if I find the plot moving too slow or if I get at all bored with the story, even for a minute, I’ll get impatient (one of my faults) and skip ahead or read a little of the ending. Often this ruins the reading experience for me and then there is a chance I won’t finish the book. Not this book! I was so happy to read it and keep reading it without ever skipping forward; I was completely entertained the whole way through.
I don’t want to give away any plot, one of the best things about this book is that I had NO FREAKIN’ IDEA where the story was going, and so I was very delightfully surprised by the book’s visionary fantasy marvelous science fiction circus of events. The sandy dune wasteland we are introduced to at the start is a mystery both to us readers and to the brave heroine Charlotte. As the story unfolds, truths are exposed; unlikely friendships are created between amazing characters; creative psychic phenomena intrigue us in increasing levels of power; the magnificent, sad, and awe-inspiring history of the books’ worlds is revealed; and the greater realities hinted at keep us hungering for more.
This book is not for the faint-hearted. There is gore. There is sex. There is murder. There is destruction of entire worlds. And the author manages these “serious” topics with an oft-irreverent humor that might offend some people. WHATEVER. Those people possibly should not read this book, but those people probably don’t have smashwords accounts nor do I want to meet them, and so it does not matter.
I am so happy that this is the first book of a series called “The Fold.” I would be crying if there was no sequel because I am dying to read more. I can’t wait. I want to see what Pip’s Cross is like. I want to see Charlotte's character grow. I want to meet new strange creatures doing what comes naturally: shifting, burning, making, forcing, building, traveling...
In the meantime, I think I’ll re-read my soon-to-be-tattered copy of Sharing. I will clean my house and find innovative ways to cook strange foods. And I will no longer step on cockroaches.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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