There are just…so many issues with this book that I’m forced into the opinion that it simply isn’t ready for publication. Besides the lack of character and plot development, the writing and grammar are just so poor that it needs heavy bouts of editing and rewriting before being put into the world. Despite all that, I didn’t hate this book–it didn’t frustrate and anger me, but…it’s simply a poorly written and executed novel. It has very few redeeming qualities, and it’s, at best, a rough draft.
I was provided with a copy of this book by a friend, who knows the author. Technically, I suppose you could call this a review request, but it was fairly indirect. I have had no personal contact with the author as far as I know.
What I Liked: Spoilers!
- Honestly, I can’t think of anything specific about this book that made me give it two stars instead of just one. It was engaging on occasion, if you could ignore all the misspelled words and decimated grammar, but other than that, my only real reason is because one stars, in my opinion, should be reserved for books that really boil my blood, or I find offensive, or just ignite a feeling a general hatred in me. This book didn’t do any of that, so I didn’t feel like it deserved an “I hated it” rating.
What I Didn’t Like:
- This is a book (supposedly) about a group of survivors trying to stay safe from zombie-like creatures called the wild. (Which I wish would have been capitalized or something so I could distinguish them from something simply being described as “wild”.) However, I’m sad to say the story had almost nothing to do with the wild themselves–in the beginning, the survivors, including our main character Neela, are afraid of the wild and trying to stay safe from them. But apart from a couple brief encounters with the creatures (Neela stabbing one, and then Darcy and Neela running from a group of them), they only loom as an idea in the background and never make an actual appearance in the plot. The wild are actually some weird side effect from a miracle “cure” to improve upon human DNA, created by a woman named Soul. (Although it never was explained how the wild came to be, since people who accept the cure become perfect beings, and people who reject it become their mindless servants–neither of which are the wild.) So, if you think this is going to be a zombie book, think again. Zombie lovers will be disappointed.
- The grammar and writing in this book was just…bad. There were the most basic misspellings (like “women” in reference to one “woman”–which happened more than once–and “latter” instead of “ladder”–which also happened more than once). By the time I sat down for my first status update, I’d already come across dozens of errors. The grammar in the dialogue was just awful as well. And once, a sentence even went like this: When I didn’t reply Sarah just continued so that I wouldn’t have to, “Dr. C say’s I can work here all year if I like,” said Sarah, “If that’s okay with you that is.” Yikes! I mean, with all the errors in that one sentence, the most startling in “say’s”. Say is? These are things kids learn in elementary and middle school, and these errors are so consistent that it made the book nearly unreadable. I can forgive the occasional typo, but not when the entire book just needs to be marked almost entirely with a red pen. It was the worst part of the whole thing, and so very frustrating, especially for someone like me who cares very, very much about using correct grammar and forming legitimate sentences.
- Beside all that, the characters were just…boring. Neela actually read more like a twenty-something man than an eighteen-year-old girl, and that made her narration feel really strange to me the whole way through. Except for about a chapter when Neela lets Darcy (her love interest) take care of her after she’s wounded, none of the characters showed any development or dynamic changes whatsoever. There’s a really awkward climax where Neela threatens to shoot the doctor, only to all of a sudden remember something the reader was never told and go after someone else. Darcy, face with a life-threatening wound (which I’m not sure how he got), is literally brought back from death when Neela kisses him. The whole thing was clunky and awkward and there was no character or plot development, except for discovering The Fold–the bad guys. And…well, that’s about all that happened.
Overall: This book is still in its rough draft phase, and it’s really not readable at this point with the grammatical and writing errors being what they are. There’s absolutely no character or plot development, even when you get all the way to the end, and it’s just not worth reading as it is right now. Maybe it if underwent heavy editing and serious rewriting (and a blurb change, since this book has almost nothing to do with zombies at all) it would be something worth picking up. But right now, I really don’t recommend it. It’s too rough. And the story doesn’t save it from that.