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Smashwords book reviews by Derek Broughton
- Survival After The Zombie Apocalypse
on Nov. 10, 2011
I'm afraid I got about a page into this. The writing is absolutely awful. If you can't construct readable sentences, hire an editor.
- Project Hope
on Aug. 21, 2012
A well written and edited book, but ultimately the story let me down.
One night a Berlin-type wall goes up around the "Zones". Inside the wall, life goes on much as it might have done in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II - right down to the daily commute of slave labourers to work in outside factories. Now, ghettoization is nothing new in human history, and the fact that this happened isn't unreal - but why did it happen? We never find out. Why does nobody outside the Zones care? In Warsaw, the Nazi overlords whipped up already existing anti-Semitism and many people were happy to see the Jews confined to the ghetto, but in Project Hope, the Zones are still getting TV from outside, and as far as anybody can tell, nobody even notices that they've been walled off from the rest of the world.
I liked the characters, but they need a better background.
- The Weeping Empress
on Sep. 06, 2012
Perhaps I owe someone a bit of an apology. A while back, I had an argument with a self-published author who claimed that readers held indie authors to a higher standard than those published by mainstream houses. I disagreed. I have to admit that perhaps we were both right to a degree. The problem is, readers give authors a bit of a bye when their work goes through a large publishing house. It's the publisher's responsibility to see that the work is properly edited, and even when it's obvious that the writer can't write, we blame the publishers, because their editors should have caught and fixed the problem.
So, in the case of self-publishing, I still maintain, we're not harder on the author-as-author, but we may be harder on the author-as-publisher! I will repeat my mantra: no author, independent or not, can afford to publish work that has not been edited by a qualified third-party. Which gets to the long-missed point of this review —
This is a fine story, and with good editing it would be worth at least 3 stars, quite possibly 4, but the editing (if there even was any) is tragic. It's not just the silly typos ("loose" for "lose", at least three times), they're not actually much more common than in many a mainstream novel. It's the use of sentence structure that is either, at worst, bad English, or at best, local idiom. It's the use of local trade names (hands up if you know what a "Sheila maid" is - and if you do, would you expect to encounter it in an Oriental-themed fantasy?). It's redundancy: "She hadn't recalled hitting her head, but she obviously had" - if you've done your job as an author (and she did!) you don't need to insult the reader by saying "she obviously had". It's the use of words and phrases that the author has probably used all her life, but are just plain wrong: somehow, I feel a Kimono dragon is just not quite as frightening as she intended.
All in all, I'd be happy to reread the 2nd edition, when a publisher picks it up, but I'm not likely to read another self-published Forsythe.
- Gay Marriage is not Logical
on June 04, 2013
What a stupid and dangerous idea. If "Gay Marriage is not Logical", then my own, heterosexual, marriage of 26 years is not logical.
Marriage exists for one reason - to permit a couple (or, in fact, a group) to pool their resources with the full consent of the state. Marriage has nothing to do with procreation, as that happens easily enough without marriage.