W. R. Watkins
on April 19, 2015 :
Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy from the author, in exchange for an honest review.
This is a short detective story, focusing on Amanda Watson.
I do not know how this has made me feel. Part of me can see the potential for this story, the other disappointed that it was not met in this book.
For the most part of the story, the reader is met with a lot of repetitive exposition. For instance, I think I read three to four times about the size of the "not so small and yet still small" office. I think once would have been enough to set the scene. And the writing, whilst it did pick up (some) steam near the end, did not draw me in. Some of the sentences were fragmented, and did not flow smoothly from one to the other. Early on in the book, I felt I was reading a to-do list of what she should do next (i.e. wake up after power nap, wash face, brush hair, change shoes, walk out of office, catch taxi etc.) which after a while, made me lose interest in what I was reading.
As a detective, to have the answers given to her about what she needed, and where she needed to be, didn't really fit. It felt a bit like M giving James Bond all the information he needs prior to going on a mission. A detective gets the information as they go along, finding it out for themselves. If there is to be a re-write, I would suggest that the book takes this route. Unless of course Ms. Watson has a career change into espionage.
For a short story, the writing needs to be short, sharp and to the point. It needs to draw the reader in from the first line. I feel that too much descriptive writing (I did not feel that I needed to know the file was leather "that was probably not leather", or the history of her desk) is not the best approach. If there had been more focus on her case and what it was about, that would have been more interesting. Had this been a longer book, the length of exposition would have been ok. We got to know what Ms Watson is like, but not who she is.
With more work, editing and additional chapters, I'm sure that this book will be a very entertaining read. As it stands now, it does need a lot of fine tuning to get it right for a short story. There are not many female detective stories that I can think of currently (some will probably come to me later on), so there is a market for this sort of book.
I strongly encourage Ms Tabassum to keep on working on this book. I can see her, and this book's potential, and I really do hope that there is another edition!
(review of free book)
on Feb. 23, 2015 :
Talk about a hook into what I sincerely hope is more from Hina Tabassum! Excellence at Work is a glimpse into the life of a hardened private detective, who discovers that an unscrupulous competitor is using her work to gain favor with a client. Personally, I wouldn’t mess with Amanda Watson, the woman comes across as a powerhouse unafraid to bulldoze anyone who gets in her way. Give me a strong heroine any day and I’m on board!
Hina Tabassum has built a world, developed a character and hopefully set the stage for more to come! Looking for a woman with a great sense of work ethics, unafraid to speak out? Check out Excellence at Work and you’ll see why Hina Tabassum NEEDS to give us more. My ONLY complaint? I don't have more from this author to read.
(review of free book)
on Dec. 12, 2014 :
Well, i enjoyed Hina Tabassum's "Excellence at Work". The author does a great job giving readers some interesting details, and that's quite tough considering this is a very short story. We get to know about Amanda Watson in just a few pages and I found myself wanting to know more about her. She felt a bit controlling and I would like to see her cope with matters where she has no control. Perhaps a mystery case where she doesn't know what to do and where to turn to.
I don't know if Hina is going to write more about Amanda Watson but I found Excellence at Work a kind of a prologue to future adventures starring the female detective. I mean, she can easily write the Amanda Watson mystery series and even do some sort of a spin-off that focuses on her life when she was younger. The love for the Harry Potter series is evident in the work. You got Amanda Watson (after Emma Watson I presume? I could be wrong), Percival, half moon glasses, and so on.
Excellence at work is a fun read that lays the groundwork for future stories with Amanda Watson if Hina decides to write them.
(review of free book)