logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Smashwords-review
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-09-13 11:44
The characters felt stilted and unnatural.
One Hundred Days - Mark Morey

One Hundred Days is a partially fictionalised account of how Australians were part of winning World War One.

While I found the story to be intriguing and providing some new concepts and ideas about how the Australians were involved with the war, the writing lends itself to a war strategy book, more than a fictional story. 

The characters felt stilted and unnatural. Less like characters and more like people represented by a number of pieces of factual information. For example, each person is introduced by their name, then their physical attributes rattled off in a list-like manner. Hair, eye colour, height and weight (especially when it came to the soldiers). And all the women had meaty/fleshy arses - which annoyed me too.

It was obvious to me, from the writing style that Mark has spent a lot of time working in the IT field, the way sentences were structured and the story flowed, was like a simplified and basic version of something far more complex. Like an IT person trying to write an 'IT for dummies' version of some complex IT issue. This is how the story of One Hundred Days felt. All facts, little emotion, simply written - almost in bullet point (pun not intended). 

This withdrew me, as a reader, from this story. It presented the tale in a clinical and unemotional way, which meant that I felt nothing for the characters. There were points in this story that should have come across as harrowing and highly emotionally charged, but alas, I felt little for the characters and had no emotional connection. 

The writing style aside, this book needs a serious edit. There were a large number of easily fixable issues (a lot listed below), but the one thing that annoyed me the most, was the overuse of the word 'and' to link two otherwise separate ideas together. This was done a lot in dialogue, but it also happened in the other text too. This was most annoying because it made the writing feel strange. People just don't talk like that.

An example from 9% through:
They reached the steps of Flinders Street Station and Alec kissed Dorothy's cheek. "Goodbye sweetheart and thank you for coming out with me."
"Goodbye sweetheart," she said. "Thank you for the evening and I really enjoyed being with you."
Alec stood at the base of the steps and watched until Dorothy disappeared out of sight. It was truly wonderful to have her as part of his life, and maybe one day they could marry. Alec was sure that would happen, and then he would be the luckiest man in the world.

Overall, this was an interesting look at how Australia played its role in WW1, but with little emotional connection with the characters and fundamentally flawed writing, I just can't give this any more than 2 stars. With a good edit, this could be a good addition to war history books, but as it is, it needs a lot of work.

The things I noticed:
9% - ...the war will be over before your (you're twenty-one.
- Then he was then free to go. (Excessive overwriting including dialogue with excessive use of 'and' instead of shorter sentences.
19% - After a week of fine of (delete of) weather....
24% - behind the (delete the) Billy still holding the...
25% - and he was (too) embarrassed (to) recount...
- Repetition of parade ground training came to some use.
30% - ...identifiable (by) their untidy clothing, Random lines and paragraphs from here are bolded text.
32% - ...you seem to be over (t)he worst...
34% - ...eyed the pile (in) his locker...
44% - ...that was bad lack(luck) for Charlie...
46% - ...Martin wondered (what) he was going to do...
68% - The(y) picked him up...
71% - ...cripples/. (Remove /)
81% - the text is italicised for a number of pages when Simone and Martin talk of their histories.
- ...I lived there for four yea(r)s...
89% - I didn't understand." He said in French. (")I really speak English." 
91%- ...the front net(not) yet tested...

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-01-31 06:49
Some of the length could be clipped further with a heavy-handed editor, but the overall finish of the book was good.
Nica of Los Angeles (Frames, #1) - Sue Perry

Ok, so the time it took me to read this is not an indication of my disinterest or lack of engagement to the story, instead I ended up doing NaNoWriMo and a massive work project in between August and Dec.

That aside, Nica's tale certainly contained a lot of interesting and original ideas. The world building was fresh and the characters rather amusing.

I think my favourite characters were Miles and Monk, purely because of the intellectual way they spoke and sense of humour. I also found I developed a bit of a soft spot for Hernandez.

Where this story fell over for me was in a couple of ways. The length: at only 302 pages, the story felt densely packed and far, far longer than 302 pages.

The pace: the characters were rushing through from one thing to the next, and one frame to the next so fast it became a little too much and things started to blur. Perhaps a few less scene changes and story plot points would help alleviate the feeling of being rushed.

Nica's character and personality might irritate some readers. I found her mildly annoying at times, but amusing at others.

Some of the length could be clipped further with a heavy-handed editor, but the overall finish of the book was good.

One thing I noticed:
3% - blood-?-soaked (not sure why there's a question mark hyphenated between these two words).

*Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-10-31 09:50
A fast read and entertaining if you can look past the preaching about climate change
The Stone Gate - Mark Mann

The Stone Gate is very firmly set in the Young Adult adventure arena. It is, however also more than an exciting book for young adults. It is a look at Global Warming and what we, as a collective planet, are going to do about it.

For this reason, I have marked it down one star, because I felt that at times the constant discussion about what had been done to correct (or not) the path forward for humanity, came across a little like preaching. Now, this isn't to say that the information and the message in this book is not valid. It is! But I would have preferred a little less 'environmental preaching' and more adventure. This is a personal preference thing, and I feel that young adults will probably not feel this way.

That little issue aside, I did enjoy the adventure that Kaya and Jack experienced. I think my favourite was Beth's world, but I liked how the rich aboriginal history was brought into the story. For me, that really was a work of genius.

The pace of the book is spot on for younger readers, there is constant action and information being provided and it will keep those with shorter attention spans interested because of this. The tone is conversational and light with alternating POV chapters from Kaya and Jack. I liked this format because it allowed for a bit broarder a scope when trying to cover all the related topics as the kids went through their adventure.

This also posed some interesting challenges, in terms of how it was written. I didn't really enjoy the first person present tense writing style, but I think I get where Mark was trying to go with it, alas I don't think the choice lived up to its reputation. Using the first person present tense POV, should have given more insight into the characters (especially when they had interchanging chapters to voice their own personalities). Unfortunately, Kaya and Jack fell quite flat for me. Aside from having some pretty strong stereo-types, they didn't seem all that developed.

Kaya was a nature, environmental guru. She watches shows like Bear Grylls and is in tune with nature. Where as Jack is a typical computer nerd-type of character. There is a couple of flashes of personality throughout the book, but it's limited to specific events that the protagonists find themselves and don't come through at other times.

All of that aside, I still enjoyed the book. It was a fast read and entertaining if you can look past the preaching about climate change.

I predict this should be suitable for ages 13 and up, however there are a couple of assaults/sexual references at the start that may cause distress to those sensitive to that type of thing.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-08-21 00:05
Fantastic work Lindsay, as per usual.
Solstice Day Gifts (an Emperor's Edge short story) (The Emperor's Edge) - Lindsay Buroker

Solstice Day Gifts is a short story based in Lindsay's Emperor's Edge world. It follows our two lovable protagonists, Amaranthe and Sicarius on a trip via submarine to a tourist outpost island. This is book 7.5 of the series, and gives the reader plenty of humour and delight.

It has been a while since I've read in the EE world, and oh how I missed it. The witty banter, Amaranthe's mischievous plots and Sicarius... I have missed my favourite assassin!

One to make the reader chuckle at their antics, it was lovely to experience things from Sicarius' perspective. He's more emotive than I thought, but highly schooled in keeping it internal.

A brilliant little tale to tide readers over between novels 7 and 8. Fantastic work Lindsay, as per usual.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2015-07-10 04:15
Intisar Khanani's work is top notch and thoroughly engaging.
The Bone Knife: A Short Story - Intisar Khanani

Well, Intisar delivers another great short story.

The Bone Knife hints at a much larger story, one that I am extremely keen to find out more about. The loving, supportive family unit Rae (our protagonist) is brought up in, is a delightful change to the broken homes a lot of new fictional characters are emerging from.

The two sisters are sweet and yet amusingly realistic in their taunting and teasing, but also their actions speak louder than words.

When an 'appallingly attractive faerie' arrives on their doorstep to conduct business with Rae's father, things begin to get interesting.

I loved the duelling dichotomy within the faerie character, the sinister and the alluring all wrapped up within a single package. It hinted at a far greater story in the first book of the 'Theft of Sunlight' series.

If you haven't tried anything by Intisar Khanani, do so today, her work is top notch and thoroughly engaging. I am still yet to read Thorn, but it is on my TBR list already. I look forward to more from this author in the coming years.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?