I just finished this book a couple weeks ago, and it is sort of a sci-fi, dystopian, fantasy, quasi-historical.It has two POV characters, and the story alternates between the two. It took me a little time to get into the groove of the book, but once I did I enjoyed it. The person's review that got me thinking was that she didn't like it because she couldn't become really invested in the characters.
I enjoyed the Twilight series (until book 4, which I threw across the room) because of the concept. Some of the characters I liked, others I wanted to slap silly. *cough* *Bella* *cough* So in that case it was concept over character.
Concept = 2 (including Incarceron), Character = 0
In Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, I'm going to say the concept won me at first, and kept me long enough to get into the characters. So it was concept hook, then character reeled me in. And in a death match, I have to choose one over the other, so...
Concept = 3, Character = 0
In Scones and Sensibility, by Lindsay Eland, it was all character. The concept wasn't super-different, but boy, I loved the characters.
Concept = 3, Character = 1
In Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, it was another case of character trumping concept, although the concept was pretty good.
Concept = 3, Character =2
Then comes Soulless by Gail Carriger, which was a super fun read (the whole series), and all about the concept for me.
Concept = 4, Character = 2
The Artemis Fowl series is another of my top favorites, and this one has the knockout combination of a fantastic concept AND great characters.
Concept = 5, Character = 3
Scott Westerfeld's Uglies, Pretties, and Specials stand out among books I've read, and that was for the awesome concept.
Concept = 6, Character = 3
Almost every Jodi Picoult book has a foundation of great characters, and my favorite, My Sister's Keeper, is no exception. Jodi always adds a nice concept twist, but the characters carry the book.
Concept = 6, Character = 4
Concept = 6, Character = 5
So, the result of our Death Match is . . . concept wins by one! (Not exactly a death match, but still.)
**Revision: For those who visited earlier and my math was off (pathetic when you're only counting to 6, right?), I have learned not to write a blog post while helping kidlets with homework. Doesn't work so well.
But what I learned from it is much more exciting. I think a story needs to have either a killer concept OR killer characters. Of course, as a writer, it is best if you can knock both out of the park, but either your characters or your concept need to really shine, and then the other has to be pretty good, or at the least not turn people off. (I'm thinking in particular about a book I read with a really intriguing concept but I couldn't stand the main character, so I couldn't finish the trilogy. I even gave the story a chance in Book 2. Nope, still couldn't stand the MC.)
How about you? Do you prefer concept over character, or vice versa? Perhaps our Death Match can be revived...