257 Following

Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer


Secrets of the Isle - Barbara Svetlick

This is Book 2 in a series, but I'm not sure what the title of the series is.


Book 1 is, I think, John Ellery's Daughters (The Ellery Sisters, Book 1).


This book is Secrets of the Isle (John Ellery's Daughters, Book 2).  Or some such.


This kind of failure to pay attention to details irritates me.  I realize that it probably makes life miserable for database librarians, too.


That's enough right there for me to knock at least one full star off an otherwise five-star book.  This wasn't a five-star book.


But at least it had indented paragraphs!  Yay!


It had little else going for it.


The front matter -- you know, all that boring stuff like copyright notice and so on -- was missing.  Absence of that basic information tells me the uploader really doesn't know anything about self-publishing, and may not even be enough of a reader to recognize the lack.  This is part of the business of being a professional writer.  If the uploader doesn't present a professional product, I'm inclined not to perceive that uploader as a professional.  More points lost, at least half a star's worth.


What this uploader did, however, was to provide an interior blurb that quickly started reading like a synopsis, and a cast of characters.  To tell you the truth, I skipped both.  I want the story to unfold by itself, without help from an author telling me what happens or telling me who the people are.  So I just flipped through those pages and went right for the meat of Chapter One.


Well, meat it was indeed.  Bloody meat, as in an opening scene in which a character is severely wounded.  This should have been a dramatic opening, but the first sentence was so long I forgot what the beginning was before I got to the end!  Then the point of view switched without warning in the second paragraph, and again in the third, with an unknown passage of time between the second and third paragraph, as well as a change of location, I think.


By the second page, we're into a dialogue between the wounded character and a doctor, with virtually no speech tags at all.  No action, not much of anything.  Then by page three, we're into a flashback to the wounded man's childhood!


That's when I quit.  Middle of page 3.


There was nothing at this point to indicate that this was a sequel that required the previous books to have been read.  And certainly heading back to the apparent main character's childhood right away further suggests that the reader doesn't need to be already familiar with him.  So that wasn't part of the reason why I quit.


The writing was stilted, especially the dialogue, and there were numerous punctuation and grammar mistakes.  I had already dealt with enough awkward and unclear point of view shifts to throw me completely out of the story.  To be fair:  I don't mind head-hopping at all, if it's justified and clear.  I enjoy a story shot with multiple cameras as it were, but I want to know whose eyes I'm seeing the action through and why the view shifted.  Svetlick doesn't make her shifts clear and she doesn't justify them.


Three pages of bad writing was all I could stand.  If the writing had been good, I might have continued, but I didn't have any reason to think anything about this book would get better.


I obtained this book when it was offered as a free Kindle download on Amazon.   I do not know the author nor have I ever had any communication with her about this book or any other matter.


DNF, do not recommend.