I recently read a dystopian novel. (Who hasn’t, right?) While I thought the characters were terrific and the emotional core of the story very satisfying, some of the plot and dystopic elements were equally disappointing, often because they were contradictory or way too convenient. A crucial plot point depended on the characters’ abilities to create something that was almost dismissively easy for them to create. But wait — if the good guys can do this, what’s to stop everybody from doing it? And why haven’t some of those everybodies done it before now?
The only answer seemed to be, “Nothing, but then it wouldn’t be a dystopia any more.” There were other contradictions in the world-building, some of which had more impact on the plot than others, but all of which weakened it for me. I liked the book, but I was disappointed. I find it hard to believe that an agent or editor didn’t raise the same concerns and ask the author to fix them.
And yet… I’ve only seen a few reviews of this book, but none of them seem to care that the more technical or societal aspects of the book are weak at best. Which makes me wonder if I am the only one who cares about plausibility and the technical matters that make me believe anything the author says… or not. I have to admit, this is not the first spec fic book I’ve read in the past few years that I had similar trouble with, but that seemed to do well among other readers.
Thus my question: Is the character/emotional story more important to you than plot plausibility, world-building, or the trust you can place in the author?