I’m currently working my way through A Mage of None Magic by A. Christopher Drown and enjoying it in certain ways, and it gives me the chance to talk a little about voice.
While the story of A Mage of None Magic isn’t incredibly compelling or fascinating to begin with, and at the moment is an ordinary fantasy tale with a cast of familiar characters — magicians, apprentices, sailors, inn keepers, the usual — the voice of the book is thoroughly entertaining and interesting. If it weren’t for the voice, I probably would give this book another fifty pages and then stop reading; give up on it. But the voice of A Mage of None Magic keeps me interested and enthralled enough to wonder what’s going to happen next.
Voice is important in making a story stand out and separating books from being like all the other similar stories out there in the same genre. A good voice will be unique and immediately capture the reader’s attention. It may be something the reader latches onto and enjoys reading; or a strange voice that the reader may not love at first, but want to keep reading due to curiosity. In some cases the voice may be too unusual or jarring to turn a reader off the book, but at least the writer has done their job of making their story stand out.
The voice in A. Christopher Drown’s book is keeping me reading and entertained, not too slow to make me bored, or too fast to make me confused, or using a complicated vocabulary or sentence structure that I might find jarring. Much like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, at the moment the voice is just right.