Betty-Anne Olton

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Betty-Anne Olton

  • Up in the Attic and Other Stories on Jan. 28, 2012

    I received a free copy of this e-book in exchange for reading and reviewing it. I really wanted to like “Up in the Attic”. The stories promised to be interesting, with a holiday theme perfect for the time of the year. However, there were some serious flaws in this book that made it a difficult, and ultimately, not very memorable read. The book contains seven stories, all with a somewhat dark element, not quite reaching horror. Two of the seven, “Crunch” and “Meeting with the Fam” had good potential. A third, “The Holiday Lift” ended just when the story got interesting. The others were completely forgettable. This book needed some serious editing. The overall style was full of short, choppy sentences which destroyed any hope of a smooth flow of any of the stories. The author uses some unusual phrases and descriptions which were distracting and got annoying after a while. For example, no one ever “sits down”. Every character “lowers their form” into whatever seat. Additionally, characters sometimes change names in the middle of the story, and then change back again, leaving the reader very confused until they manage to figure it out. Describing a character as “the middle-aged man” works fine the first time … the reader gets a picture of the character in mind. When the same description is used to refer to the character in each of the next few paragraphs, it becomes quite irritating and spoils the story. I was very disappointed with this collection, as I had expected something more ready for publication, especially considering Ms. Auverigne has several other collections/stories available. It is unlikely I will be trying any of the others, which is a pity, because she has some good ideas in this collection, which unfortunately were never truly realized.