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I have been writing in one form or another since I sat down at my mom's electric typewriter in the third grade. I have been doing it professionally since 2006. I am the author of a number of works of fiction and non-fiction. I write thrillers, horror, suspense and young adult novels in fiction. For non-fiction I write true crime and historical books, mostly about the Midwest and my hometown of Chicago. I also write on a freelance basis and my writing there includes press releases, website content, news, journalism, and reviews of movies, television and literature.
on Nov. 09, 2013 :
I’ve always enjoyed the classic horror trope of we-all-go-to-the-woods-and-things-gets-real, so I was intrigued to see what Alaspa did with it. There’s enough different in the plot to keep you reading, in spite of some awkward sentence-level writing.
People disappearing from their tents and leaving their clothes behind, one per night, is a nice subtle change to what one generally sees in the everyone in the woods story. Usually people get eaten by zombies or axe murdered or something obvious. A simple disappearance was different enough that I was genuinely curious as to what was causing these odd disappearances. Added into this are the methods used by whoever is doing the abducting to keep the campers in their campsite. They try to paddle away but the currents mysteriously change. They try to walk away through the woods but the trees attack them, etc… These methods worked within the context of the supernatural seeming disappearances. I also liked that their supernatural experimenters make it impossible for them to get hurt, so they are forced to wait their turn. It all felt a bit like a subtly done allegory for animals in a slaughterhouse, and it kept me reading and engaged.
The only element of the plot that didn’t work for me is that the first person to disappear from the group is also the only person of color in the group. Having the Latino guy be the first one to disappear is so stereotypical and B-movie that I actually cringed. Let poor Carlos be at least the second one to disappear. Or, heck, make him be one of the last ones standing. Getting to play with the regular tropes of whatever genre you write in is one of the benefits of indie writing, so use that to your advantage.
Unfortunately, some of the writing style on the sentence level isn’t up to the same level as the intricate plot. There is quite a bit of telling instead of showing. Not enough trusting the reader to get it. There are some awkward and puzzling sentences in the book as well.
Additionally, I started counting the number of errors that were clearly not typos, and I got over 30. I fully expect some errors to get through, they tend to even in traditionally published works, but I find anything over 5 to 10 to be excessive and feel more like a first draft than a fully done, ready to publish work.
On the other hand, there are portions of the sentence-level writing that are eloquent and beautiful to read. Particularly, any instance where characters are having sex is quite well-written, and I would be interested to read work from Alaspa focused more on romance or erotica.
Overall, this book contains a strong horror/thriller plot that will keep the reader engaged in spite of some awkward sentence-level writing and a few too many textual errors. I recommend it to horror readers who are intrigued by the plot and don’t mind these short-comings.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Aug. 02, 2012 :
I found the premise of the book potentially interesting and the story moved along quickly and (mostly) kept my interest. I only put it down a few times because I was curious to discover exactly what was going on and why. However, the ending was fairly inconclusive. I also found the many, many typos and grammatical errors really detracted from the story. With some rigorous editing, and a stronger ending, this book could be much more enjoyable.
Read the full review at: http://indiepicks.wordpress.com/2012/08/02/book-review-gone/
(reviewed within a week of purchase)
on Aug. 15, 2011 :
What a wonderful story!Chills,thrills and a interesting ending.
I will never go camping again!
A group of friends and coworkers go on a camping trip and one by one they disappear.The story has very fleshed out characters and moves right along.
For 99 cents you can't go wrong.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)