A month or so ago, when summer was a newborn, I boarded an airplane to New Zealand with three new authors’ novels tucked into my Kindle.
As an emerging writer, I’m interested in how my peers are doing, so I decided to pick three ebook novels by three writers I had never heard of. Not being all that into absolute fairness (life is never fair, my mother always says) and being a little tapped out on cash (vacationing 10,000 miles from home will do that to you) I checked out Amazon’s Top 100 Free list. From there I picked three novels in genre’s similar to what I write, Sci Fi and Fantasy. I was hopeful that I would pick three winners–top 100 list and all–but also a little worried that I might get a dud or two–that whole free thing is a little sketch.
I was right on all counts, more or less.
Of the three, one was an unreadable mess, one I finished but didn’t really enjoy, and one was a lot of fun. That said, it’s just one guy’s opinion.
No, I’m not naming names here. I’m not a mudslinger. But here is what turned me off before I hit page 3
- Extreme overuse of adjectives, often 2 at a time. I counted 19 in the first paragraph. Examples:
- pale, dripping slime
- cold dead light
- deep and abiding hunger
- Some very purple prose
- Clichés and common tropes
This said, the story line had promise and I potted no grammar errors. But for me at least it was too messy read. I stopped on page 11.
Clone Hunter, by Victor Methos. Hey I read it all the way through. Met my expectations for a free book, but it wasn’t good enough to want more. Some thoughts, good and not so good:
- The opening was great:
- “It is my birthday and I can’t help but think how odd it is that I will die before nightfall.”
- Too many points of view, although at least it was possible to follow
- Interesting premise—cloning
- Some nice plot twists
- Confusing at times—see POV issue and plot twists comments
- A little too preachy (“The Peoples Republic of America”… seriously?)
No serious flaws to be clear but also just not that great of a story.
Clovenhoof, by Heide Goody and Ian Grant. Satan gets into a tiff with the Archangel Michael and gets sent to Birmingham, England to live in a flat with some loony neighbors. A crazy premise but a story that lives up to the craziness. Stomach clutching funny at times, tongue and cheek always, this was a really fun read. Not going to be on Oprah but still a very good book. As an American reader, the British-isms got in the way a little bit but never too much, and the wry British humor more than compensated. Sometimes a little too offbeat for my tastes (Joan of Arc shows up, and the lisping angel gets old fast) and the irreverence also got a little old, but mostly I was laughing so hard I didn’t mind. And only two adjectives in the first paragraph.