When something you post becomes more trouble than it's worth.
-- The Hornet's Nest --
This was my second draft of a Review I should never have done. I admit that I was just a tad upset when I wrote this. I was really attempting to demonstrate I had read the entire novella , but for some reason writing this second review caused the author to cry foul.[I guess you can't change your opinion once its drafted.]
The first review came in before I had completed reading the novella and was written partially out of being annoyed; not at the use of words I had to look up, but the fact that the word was not even spelled correctly. On his website; the author made light of my ability to critique, which was fine; and I would never have known about this had the troll not arrived at my website. [The author had cast his aspersions upon me and then posted a link to my site. I'm not sure what he was hoping that might accomplish.]
The troll, claiming to be a friend and fan of the author[And a five star reviewer of this novella], started leaving abusive comments at my website; while deriding my grasp of vocabulary with all of his highbrow four letter words.
This prompted me to contact the author at his website and ask him to call off his dogs.[Somehow this devolved into his claiming I was stalking him.]
I won't post direct links to the messages as it's a fractured conversation that goes on for almost a week and sending someone to his website is pointless anyway.
Seeing that there was no way to reason with someone who thought I was an moron and a lowlife and whose friend thought I was a woman because of my email moniker. (I have no idea if gender had a factor in the way he treated me. All I know is he was pretty offensive.)
The abusive friend later; on twitter; boasted over having had Amazon remove the review "I flagged it as unhelpful and then abusive." are his words.
Was that two separate complaints?
In the end I redid the review but withdrew it from Amazon because there was no point in gracing him with any sort of opinion.
All this devolves out of three words; amniotic, susurrus and palimpsest, the rest of the novel contains no other words that might require a dictionary and of the three palimpsest shows up a second time. My main problem was that susurrus is spelled incorrectly being that it is written as sussurus it is difficult to find in any dictionary. Add to that; that all three words were used in somewhat awkward metaphors; and all within the first few pages of the story and one might see why I threw it out.
Anyway the final review I did of this is entitled::
Palimpsest of Amniotic Susurrus
--- The second review starts here ----
This story has one thing going for it; and that's a quiet sense of realism in the fabrication of a parallel universe of a twisted history.
The best part of this story starts at these sentence below, which begin the creative solution to launching a lunar vehicle into space.
They were trapped, but now there is an escape. All but Kendall gather in the wardroom to discuss their options, squeezing about a single table but, unlike at meal-times, confidently, keenly, meeting each others gazes.It ends at this sentence
(Kindle Locations 479-482). Whippleshield Books. Kindle Edition.
He reaches up and begins to strip the gold Mylar from the descent stage's side.It is chock full of all the detail of real space exploration down to each moment to moment of movement toward removing an item by pealing the Velcro.
(Kindle Locations 617-618). Whippleshield Books. Kindle Edition.
It is authentic as some have mentioned in the four and five star reviews.
What it's not is; new or fresh. There's not much new about moon landings since we've been writing about them since before there was space travel. There is nothing new about parallel worlds or different realities where the US and USSR destroy the planet. There is not much new about anything in this story.
But that is never bad; because what is most interesting about writing is how you present the ideas that everyone is familiar with.
This story uses realism to the tune of boring the reader to death. Because, well, when distilled down to each little automatic response and reaction its a boring subject.
Peterson, is our main character- not protagonist- I couldn't identify a protagonist in this story. He is a cardboard self proclaimed automaton and could very well be a robot; though that never comes up.
There was no way to connect with this or any other character. No way to care what was going to happen to them. Maybe that was the point.
Peterson clearly demonstrates that he dislikes or has no feeling for any of his fellow survivors and yet comes up with this gem below, which is out of character to a large extent.
If he is not, his men will die. He cannot allow that to happen.I will grant this much about that; there is some shred of evidence that he might offhandedly think this to himself; when the reader reads all of the six interludes of expository writing about his skills as a pilot and his training. So, yes his training dictates that he should think this, but he has no true feeling about it.
(Kindle Location 695). Whippleshield Books. Kindle Edition
And I am certain that the six- two page expository- single paragraphs italicized- with all the details, foreshadow what the outcome of the story will be.
But by that time I didn't care I was just glad it was finished.
Since no one was happy with this draft I rewrote it after cooling down and could focus on what I really thought. That one is titled Palimpsest of Amniotic Susurrus.
Below is the somewhat lame first Draft of the Review.
----------- Original Review -------------------
I first want to say this Novella is probably a good story and a good short read for anyone who can make it through to the end.
I've read a fair amount of self published books recently. And I have enjoyed a large number of them because they were written by people trying to entertain.
I didn't quite get that from this, for a number of reasons. Those do not include the difficulty in trying to figure out which parts are dialogue without the dialogue wrapped the way I would normally see it. For that matter it isn't even wrapped the normal way the British would do it. It's not put in quotes at all and that is singularly annoying.
What ended my further reading in a rather short span was the colorful language.
Let's start with this:
He listens to the whirr of the pumps, his own breath an amniotic sussurus within the confines of his helmet.Okay so I check yes it is there in my copy amniotic sussurus. First in my feeble mind this conjures an image of some yellowish fluid in his suit. So I take a lengthy trip to the dictionary - no problem I like to learn maybe I have that wrong.
Amniotic: A thin, tough, membranous sac that encloses the embryo or fetus of a mammal, bird, or reptile. It is filled with a serous fluid in which the embryo is suspended.'
Sussurus--hmm doesn't exist wait susurrus ah: soft murmuring or rustling sound; whisper.
Okay his breath is whispering as though through amniotic fluid. Maybe he has pneumonia. Who knows.
I think I understand what he's trying to say, but I'm really not absolutely sure. I knew these words already and even after checking I can't fit them properly in this context, without some stretch.
I admit to using some over the top descriptive words myself within my own writing.
The next road bump:
First of all my hats off; that's a mouthful- what did you just say?After the rubber and sweat stink of the spacesuit, Peterson's nose rebels at the palimpsest of aromas inside Falcon Base--but it will soon tire, and he'll no longer register the smell, much as Peterson tires of life in these cramped cylinders part buried beneath the lunar surface in the upper wall of Rima Hadley.
wait Palimpsest: I have to admit a measure of my own ignorance here I have never heard this word used so I'm not acquainted.
A parchment or the like from which writing has been partially or completely erased to make room for another text.
Hmm no that makes no sense. A parchment of aromas or an aromas of parchment. "Erased aromas or aromas erased.
Well that's a distinct word and it can't be misspelled.
Further search wait--- my larger dictionary has a second meaning listed.
Something having usually diverse layers or aspects apparently beneath the surface.
Oh so maybe layered aromas. Like a seven layered cake perhaps.
Again you can use whatever words you want. I can look them up and learn from them. I still might not have the right meaning.
Well I won't give this up totally but I think I'll set this aside until my next urge to go dictionary spelunking.
With the misspelling- which honestly might be difference between US and UK (who knows and the lack of quotes with the dialogue tags and the time to and from dictionary I'm a bit worn.
This book might appeal to someone.
Edited in later to no avail::
[I'm not asking anyone to dumb down their writing. What I'm asking for is for the words to fit the context. These words either don't or just barely fit the context of the sentences around them. There is another way to insult readers than by dumb down. That would be to use obscure or colloquial words without thinking a reader will look them up and end up wondering how this word fits the context of the sentence.]J.L. Dobias