27 August, 2013

Even pros are afflicted by mistakes



I'm still brainstorming over ideas for the third edit of Uncertain Heirs, so I thought I would break over and do a book review of Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton.


LKH proves once again that she can write quality characterization. Twenty books, and I can still keep all the main characters straight, to the degree that without a dialogue tag or context, I could probably pick out which character said it. The secondary characters, though, can get a bit jumbled, but that's for the usual reasons of any story.

Surprisingly, and in a good way, there were less than 50 pages of sex. In fact, I was 300 pages into the 560+ book before the first sex scene showed up, and it was only two pages. Woohoo! This is the first book since Incubus Dreams that focuses more on plot and less on sex and Anita's ardour, so I'm ecstatic for that small favour. Seriously. It's great to see the characters focused back on the action and the problem-solving, rather than the copious sex.

Now, my major gripe with the book, however, is the fact that the new editors missed an alarming amount of errors. I counted at least six major errors that leapt off the page and smacked me in the face.




I can forgive that lack of attentiveness for an indie-publisher, and sometimes even for a self-published author, but for a major publishing company, that's rather unforgivable. The first few of these errors were so close together that I had to put the book down and walk away from it for a week. Those errors had set the tone, and I was afraid I had wasted money on a book I couldn't enjoy.

In retrospect, five or six errors don't sound that bad for a 560+ page book, but at the time they were jerking me out of my reading mindset and throwing me into critic mode. The only other book that did that to me? -- Twilight. LKH's work is twenty--thirty--forty times that of Meyer's, so Affliction was still the greater book in the long-term because of its quality characters. I guess, even with the mistakes I saw, I would still rate this book with four and a half stars out of five, because it achieved the Big Three for me: good plot, good characterization, and enjoyment.

Comparatively, it still doesn't come close to the first six or seven books of LKH's Anita Blake series in terms of plot, but it definitely trumps the last 13 books.

5 comments:

  1. Hey Ash - hope all is going well on your end. Sounds as though Uncertain Heirs is keeping you busy. When is this expected to hit the shelves? :)

    Regarding books with errors... whew, I spot them all the time. Well, maybe not all the time, but at least every, er, 4th book I read.

    I'll check in again soon!

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    1. Well, I just got a new full-time job, so I'm giving Uncertain Heirs the care it rightfully deserves. I had been aiming for an August/September release, but, well, you see where we are now. lol. I think it'll be sometime next year, if my progress holds, that is!

      How's your agent/publisher hunt going? :)

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  2. I don't usually spot errors in books, but these are terrible! These are errors you should find yourself as the author before your mom even reads it! I'm also working on a book, and I intend on publishing it on the internet. My biggest fear is not catching all the errors, and making all kinds of grammatical errors. The internet has taught people to have no patience for this sort of thing.

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    1. Mysh, great to hear from you!

      What kind of a book are you working on? If you're looking to get feedback before you self-publish (you are self-publishing, right?) I definitely recommend Scribophile.com for some unbiased feedback -- I've been using it for months now, and I really like the people there. :)

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    2. Oooh, thanks for the advice. It's a fantasy novel. I have my characters and my world, and now i just need to slowly come up with some interesting adventures for them.

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______________________________________________________________________

Ash Litton

Ash Litton is a writer and lover of sci-fi, fantasy, and all things fictional. She is the author of No Signal, Thoroughbred, Evening Hallow, Comeuppance, and Cabover Cabaret, and works on other Appalachian Dream Tales between her ongoing novel projects.

When she's not writing, she's drawing, and when she's not doing either of those, she's dreaming up new projects to work on. Born and raised in rural West Virginia, Ash has always wondered what things lay hidden in the hills around her. She attended West Virginia University, where she studied the English language before returning home to her family in rural West Virginia.