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Smashwords book reviews by Shoobydoo

  • The Unsuspecting Mage: The Morcyth Saga Book One on Jan. 01, 2011

    I only managed to get through 8 pages of this before asking myself why I was bothering and hitting the back button. The present-tense writing is incredibly distracting, but I am a poor judge of that because I absolutely despise present-tense writing in general. What dialogue I read was stilted and very unnatural. The main character starts out as trying to be an interesting subversion, by making James interested in geeky and nerdy things, but in practice it just seems like a poorly written author stand-in. When the author actually wrote "It's not like he was fat or anything" was really the last straw. That is not the kind of sentence you put in a professionally written manuscript. (And yes, that is what the independently published should strive to be; professional.) That is the kind of thing you say in a conversation with your buddy when trying to defend your sedentary lifestyle. In fact, it would have been fine if this sentence was used as a piece of dialogue between two characters DISCUSSING the main's sedentary lifestyle. However, it was a piece of background information about the character. Instead of revealing James' traits through his actions and interactions, we are instead treated to lovely infodumps like "It's not like he was fat or anything. He just wasn't in to that sort of thing." If that's the best this book has to offer, you can count me out.
  • Coffin Cats on Jan. 01, 2011

    I won't say this book is good, because it isn't. I did, however, get some enjoyment out of reading it because it was just so silly. My advice to Miss Pooh, from one ambitious writer to another: get a good copy editor. You manuscript will look much better if things are spelled correctly. Develop a sense of scale. No wagon can possibly travel hundreds of miles in a few hours. That distance would take months to travel by wagon. If the descendants of the coffin cats are a secret, there can not be millions of them. There are only four and a half million people in, for example, the entire state of Louisiana. Are there enough coffin cats to fill an entire state? And if they all live in one enormous city, why is it a secret? That is like trying to take a area the size and population of Minneapolis/Saint-Paul and all of it's suburbs and hiding them completely from the outside world. I know it's meant to be a children fantasy book, but having a completely unrealistic sense of scale like that makes your story seem ridiculous. You need a lot of work before you have something really good, but you can make it.
  • Prey on Jan. 20, 2011

    I really enjoyed this! This story wouldn't be out of place in a published magazine. The writing style was a bit overly formal, but I felt that it accentuated the alien narrator. The ending, too, was less than what a human would hope for but still so true to the narrator's culture that it was satisfying nonetheless. It would have been nice if a little more time was spent on the relationship between Krin and the human, so as to make the ending have more impact. A few sentences could stand to be edited to clarity here and there, but to be honest if I were to run out and purchase Analogue today and find this story between it's covers, I would be quite satisfied.