Official Review: Kate Strike by Saramah Hossain

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kandscreeley
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Official Review: Kate Strike by Saramah Hossain

Post by kandscreeley » 09 Sep 2019, 12:39

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Kate Strike" by Saramah Hossain.]
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1 out of 4 stars
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Kate attends ParceHollow Academy, where she's trying to master her power of lightning. She wins a tournament in archery, but she isn't excelling like she (or the teachers) would like. Her coach wants her to go to another school to learn; she doesn't want to leave her friends and her father. Will she master her skills without having to change schools or will she be forced to leave all she knows?

Kate Strike: The Girl Who Got It All by Saramah Hossain is a young adult science fiction story told in the first person. There is no violence or adult content; therefore, the story would be appropriate for teenagers. The book is short and could easily be read in one sitting by advanced readers.

The story is about friendship. Themes of relying on yourself and doing your best come through in the novel, which would present great teaching moments for young adults. The writing style is simplistic without difficult vocabulary, and I think it would be most suitable for middle school children.

Though I enjoyed the premise of the book, the story seemed too short; it was lacking in details that were necessary in order to immerse oneself in the world of the book. For example, not much background is given on the academy and Kate's life there. Also, Kate mentions a tournament at the school, but she doesn't tell us what it includes or the purpose. Thus, the world building was incomplete, and I found myself with questions. Even if the book is meant for a younger audience, there should be no unanswered questions.

Along the same lines, there are holes in the plot that aren't discussed. One of the characters has an incident in practicing a difficult spell. We never learn what happened nor how she fared (as she wasn't doing well at one point). The ending is left open for a possible sequel, but it should have been covered in this story.

The editing in the novel needs work. There were prepositions missing often and incorrect words used (e.g. "out" instead of "our"). In the dialogue, a new speaker wasn't always indicated by a new line. It made the reading harder than it should have been because I had to work out what was being said. From the grammar and syntax, it seemed the author was not a native English speaker. For example, the author states: "I stopped laughing but tried to contain again from not happening at Heather's annoyance." This interrupted the story and made it harder to read. Similarly, the dialogue was stiff at times. It didn't seem natural or realistic, even if you disregard the errors.

The book has promise, especially as more of an older children's story. It still, however, needs work. Because of this, I rate Kate Strike: The Girl Who Got It All 1 out of 4 stars. The editing and plot holes are the biggest drawbacks and keep me from recommending this in its current form. This author is one to follow, though, and I'm looking forward to seeing how she progresses.

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Kate Strike
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Post by KDJ » 10 Sep 2019, 15:13

Thank you for your review. Hopefully, the author will edit and revise another edition for YA readers, especially since the story seems to have potential. It is unfortunate when grammatical and editorial errors interfere with story immersion. Do you think if the book was written in the author's primary language, then translated to English, the dialog would not have been stilted and unnatural? I wonder if that would help create a better book in the end.
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Post by Stephanie Elizabeth » 10 Sep 2019, 16:17

It's such a shame that the book didn't provide adequate detail! Thanks for your honest review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Sep 2019, 18:25

KDJ wrote:
10 Sep 2019, 15:13
Thank you for your review. Hopefully, the author will edit and revise another edition for YA readers, especially since the story seems to have potential. It is unfortunate when grammatical and editorial errors interfere with story immersion. Do you think if the book was written in the author's primary language, then translated to English, the dialog would not have been stilted and unnatural? I wonder if that would help create a better book in the end.
It's possible that the dialogue was awkward because it was a non-native speaker. It's something an editor could fix for sure. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Sep 2019, 18:26

Stephanie Elizabeth wrote:
10 Sep 2019, 16:17
It's such a shame that the book didn't provide adequate detail! Thanks for your honest review!
Thank you. I hate giving a one star. At least it has potential. Thanks!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by Lindsey Klaus » 10 Sep 2019, 22:39

Aww, it's too bad the execution was poor as the premise sounds very interesting. A school where the protagonist learns how to shoot lightning?! Awesome! Hopefully the author gets the book professionally edited and relaunches it, as I think the premise has a lot of promise for a fun, entertaining story. Thanks for your review!

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Post by Wyland » 11 Sep 2019, 07:53

Seems like an interesting Young Adult novel but with the weakness of lacking the world building. This will make me disinterested in reading it. Thanks for the informative review.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 11 Sep 2019, 08:18

From experience, I've found that non-native English speakers tend to make more grammar and syntax mistakes because of how the sentence is structured in their mother tongue. With that being said, the editor should have picked up on these mistakes, so I'm not going to hold it against the author. The plot holes are also concerning but I do wonder if this is meant to have a sequel. Thanks for the review and for being honest though.
"...while a book has got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the reader it's got to be worthwhile from the point of view of the writer as well." - Terry Pratchett on The Last Continent and his writing.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 11 Sep 2019, 13:23

Although I don't usually read sci-fi, I did consider this one. I enjoyed your review, and I hope the author will take your advice about the needed editing.

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Post by kandscreeley » 11 Sep 2019, 19:08

Lindsey Klaus wrote:
10 Sep 2019, 22:39
Aww, it's too bad the execution was poor as the premise sounds very interesting. A school where the protagonist learns how to shoot lightning?! Awesome! Hopefully the author gets the book professionally edited and relaunches it, as I think the premise has a lot of promise for a fun, entertaining story. Thanks for your review!
Professional editing would go quite a long way to making this one better. The errors were pretty distracting. Thanks for your thoughts!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by kandscreeley » 11 Sep 2019, 19:08

Wyland wrote:
11 Sep 2019, 07:53
Seems like an interesting Young Adult novel but with the weakness of lacking the world building. This will make me disinterested in reading it. Thanks for the informative review.
I understand. Thanks for stopping by, though!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
-Louisa May Alcott

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Post by kandscreeley » 11 Sep 2019, 19:11

Nisha Ward wrote:
11 Sep 2019, 08:18
From experience, I've found that non-native English speakers tend to make more grammar and syntax mistakes because of how the sentence is structured in their mother tongue. With that being said, the editor should have picked up on these mistakes, so I'm not going to hold it against the author. The plot holes are also concerning but I do wonder if this is meant to have a sequel. Thanks for the review and for being honest though.
The editor would have picked up on it if it had been edited. I'm positive it was not. It could be much better if it was, though. Thanks!
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by kandscreeley » 11 Sep 2019, 19:12

Cecilia_L wrote:
11 Sep 2019, 13:23
Although I don't usually read sci-fi, I did consider this one. I enjoyed your review, and I hope the author will take your advice about the needed editing.
Thanks! It's worth taking the time to have it edited for sure. Thanks.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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Post by Gathoni1991 » 12 Sep 2019, 01:38

Though a promising plot, the author should have put more effort on it.

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Post by Areej Tahir » 12 Sep 2019, 03:50

This book sounds not so cool because I believe my pet peeve is too many errors in a book, even though it has a promising plot. Thanks for such a comprehensive review!

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