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2 out of 4 stars
Review by Bfrisco
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When I first began reading this book, I found the author's writing style engaging. I enjoyed the fact that everything seemed very well-researched, and the author managed to explain the terms and equipment to the reader without resorting to having the characters or prose spell it out. While the author's attention to detail remained throughout the book, I found that the writing declined somewhat as I continued reading. One prominent issue I found was that the core group of characters were difficult to distinguish from each other, especially because the narration switched between first and last names for the characters. I also lost track of who was speaking on occasion, due to long stretches of speech without names or due to improper punctuation.
I found a number of typos and punctuation errors throughout the book, especially regarding commas and missing quotation marks. While some of this might have been an issue with formatting, I also noticed issues where the wrong "your" or "to" was used, which indicates to me that this novel was not professionally edited. Personally, I found this aspect of the novel quite frustrating, because there were portions of the book that sounded so lovely and well-written, but they were followed by repetitive or confusing sections that might have been resolved by an editor. In addition, as the novel progressed, the author began to tell more than show his audience what he needed them to know. I also found that the author switched between present events and memories with little indication that he was shifting to a different point in time, which left me confused as to when certain events were taking place until I reread the passage. Another set of eyes might have resolved some of these issues.
I appreciate that the author clearly incorporated detailed aspects of the characters' daily lives without inundating the reader with jargon. If something was important, the author would explain it, but some terms were left undefined in the background of the story, such as items of clothing. I could also see that the author took care to craft the story in such a way that everything tied together in the end. While I found the ending a little lacking, I felt the author did provide an explanation for everything in the end. I also felt that the author successfully balanced the crime mystery side of the story with the everyday military drill and cleaning aspect of the story.
I would rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I would have given it a rating of three stars if the book had not contained multiple, glaring errors. I also lowered my rating because I felt that the writing oscillated between wonderful and confusing. I did feel the author wrote well enough to elevate the book from a rating of one star because there were moments I genuinely enjoyed the prose. I also felt that the author incorporated a great deal of accurate information and research into this story. I would recommend this novel to someone who is interested in a suspenseful story with a military background and a whodunit element.
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Aimy wrote:Although you have rated this book 2 stars, your review speaks in favour of the book. I like the plot. Perhaps the author could easily have gotten a three-star rating for this book by remedying some shortcomings as you also mentioned that writing oscillated between wonderful and confusing.
I do appreciate the feedback! I did like parts of the plot, and as I mentioned, I would have rated it three stars if it hadn't been for the multiple spelling and grammar problems throughout the book.
-- 10 Apr 2017, 15:59 --
-- 10 Apr 2017, 16:00 --
Chrys Brobbey wrote:I think this is a helpful review that could guide the author in his future endeavors, or even in a re-issue of this book. As a writer myself I find such reviews as pertinent guidelines in my writings. Kudos.
Thank you very much! As an aspiring writer, I was taking note of the things I enjoyed and the things that didn't work so well for me. I appreciate the comment!
― Ernest Hemingway
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