Official Review: Roxanne by Dean Marquis

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kandscreeley
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Official Review: Roxanne by Dean Marquis

Post by kandscreeley » 16 Feb 2018, 14:40

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Roxanne" by Dean Marquis.]
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1 out of 4 stars
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A battle is being fought. This is no ordinary battle, though. This battle is being fought at the same time and place in two separate dimensions. One American battalion somehow gets lucky enough to travel from one battle to the other after an EMP. There they meet with some Machines of Destruction that give them Swords of Dark Matter. They must continue to fight battles, but all they really want is to return to their Earth.

I give Roxanne And The Netherworld 1 out of 4 stars. I normally wait until the end to reveal my rating; but in this case, I think it's pertinent to state it right up front. There are many reasons for this rating. The first is that I really didn't understand the plot; I'm just not sure what the point of the story was. The same battle was taking place in two different dimensions with two different races (one alien) and technology. That's it. There was no more to the story.

Secondly, if you hear the word battle and think this book is going to be filled with action, you're wrong. This really wasn't even about the battle. It was about different commanders on the two different worlds talking about the battles and planning for the battles. There was very little in the way of action, adventure or even changes of scenery.

Moving to my next point, while this book is stated to be science fiction, I would really call it a military novel. While there was some mention of a different dimension and different technology, the whole focus of the novel is a battle. As such, there were so many abbreviations and terms used with which I was unfamiliar. NBCW, 2IC, BMD and GPMG were a few of the abbreviations that I was forced to google.

Let's say none of the above has turned you off yet. Unfortunately, I have more to add. The editing in this book was absolutely abysmal. I poured over every sentence trying to decipher it. Think I'm exaggerating? Let me give you an example: "They were waring there brand new NBCW uniforms and we had on are old NBCW unifiroms." The author also enjoyed using the same words over again, and I don't think he was using them correctly. For example, instead of he/she said, the author liked to say he cogitated, he rhymed (no the characters were not rhyming) or he proselyted. Instead of exchanging glances, the characters liked to barter glances.

Another point of contention was the repetition found within the novel. This occurred within sentences, but there were also whole paragraphs that seemed to be reiterated for seemingly no reason. The following sentence is one such example. "Sergeant Jurgenson was standing next to Major McKinnon was the New Squadron Commander. Sergeant Jurgenson was standing next to him."

In case that isn't enough, the author threw out a whole bunch of names in a very short time at the beginning of the story as authors are wont to do sometimes. I did figure out some of the names, but this trend only continues throughout the novel. Eventually, I really had to stop trying to keep track of who was who.

It is for these reasons that I was forced to rate Roxanne only 1 star. I normally try to find something positive about every book, but I honestly cannot name one thing that I enjoyed. This book requires some serious reworking and editing before I could even begin to find someone to recommend it to.

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Post by Miriam Molina » 10 Mar 2018, 03:12

The cover art seems to be inspired by the Olympic rings, perhaps symbolic of competition. I'm curious about the title, though. Where does Roxanne figure in all the mess?

I would presume that the author is not a native English speaker, but he wanted to be creative; so, he used a thesaurus. Maybe one rule for writers should be: Beware of the thesaurus.

It is always difficult to give a one-star rating. I hope the author will take it well.

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Post by Kat Berg » 10 Mar 2018, 09:12

Oh, Kandscreely, I am so sorry you had to suffer through this book!
I would presume that the author is not a native English speaker, but he wanted to be creative; so, he used a thesaurus. Maybe one rule for writers should be: Beware of the thesaurus.
Miriam, I think you are right and I second your warning!!

Did you find yourself wondering if you were the one who didn't understand English properly? I have read books that were so consistently bad that I began to question my own abilities and understanding. Am I crazy? No, I don't think I am.
But...


If the author is a non-native English speaker I am sure they do a better job writing in English than I would in their language, but I would wisely hire an editor. Thanks for your well-worded review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Mar 2018, 09:28

Miriam Molina wrote:
10 Mar 2018, 03:12
The cover art seems to be inspired by the Olympic rings, perhaps symbolic of competition. I'm curious about the title, though. Where does Roxanne figure in all the mess?

I would presume that the author is not a native English speaker, but he wanted to be creative; so, he used a thesaurus. Maybe one rule for writers should be: Beware of the thesaurus.

It is always difficult to give a one-star rating. I hope the author will take it well.
I love that advice! Beware the thesaurus! You have really great comments, and I enjoy reading them. Thanks!
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Post by kandscreeley » 10 Mar 2018, 09:30

Kat Berg wrote:
10 Mar 2018, 09:12
Oh, Kandscreely, I am so sorry you had to suffer through this book!
I would presume that the author is not a native English speaker, but he wanted to be creative; so, he used a thesaurus. Maybe one rule for writers should be: Beware of the thesaurus.
Miriam, I think you are right and I second your warning!!

Did you find yourself wondering if you were the one who didn't understand English properly? I have read books that were so consistently bad that I began to question my own abilities and understanding. Am I crazy? No, I don't think I am.
But...


If the author is a non-native English speaker I am sure they do a better job writing in English than I would in their language, but I would wisely hire an editor. Thanks for your well-worded review!
Yes. It defintely made me question my understanding of the English language! I enjoy your comment.
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Post by NL Hartje » 11 Mar 2018, 10:20

Oh my gosh, I cannot believe you finished this book! Kudos to you! (...remember that time I messaged you about declining to finish reading a book... ) :shock2:
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Post by kandscreeley » 11 Mar 2018, 16:35

NL Hartje wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 10:20
Oh my gosh, I cannot believe you finished this book! Kudos to you! (...remember that time I messaged you about declining to finish reading a book... ) :shock2:
Honestly, I'm not sure how I finished this one. It was pretty bad. I've not finished my fair share was well. Thanks for commenting!
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Post by kfwilson6 » 11 Mar 2018, 18:43

Wow, what an amazing review for what sounds like quite an atrocious read. Were the acronyms made up for the purpose of the story or actual military related words? I don't think I've seen or heard any of those, even in passing. Thank you for providing specific examples of each atrocity. I never would have imagined the writing being quite as bad as your review shows.
In reference to the excessive use of a thesaurus with no understanding for proper usage: the author really made quite a blunder changing he/she said. I learned from my grandmother, who is a published historical romance author, that he/she said are "skip words". When we read, we don't actually focus on one word at a time. This isn't apparent to everyone but try putting a bookmark on your page to cover up every line of text after your current line. You realize your eyes are already moving down the page. By changing he/she said, the author made the text unnecessarily dense, which very much sounds like it distracted from the (lack of) plot.
Congratulations on your perseverance in getting through it and thank you for sparing the rest of us. We all got an enjoyable review out of it. I really enjoyed all of your examples.

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Post by kandscreeley » 11 Mar 2018, 19:41

kfwilson6 wrote:
11 Mar 2018, 18:43
Wow, what an amazing review for what sounds like quite an atrocious read. Were the acronyms made up for the purpose of the story or actual military related words? I don't think I've seen or heard any of those, even in passing. Thank you for providing specific examples of each atrocity. I never would have imagined the writing being quite as bad as your review shows.
In reference to the excessive use of a thesaurus with no understanding for proper usage: the author really made quite a blunder changing he/she said. I learned from my grandmother, who is a published historical romance author, that he/she said are "skip words". When we read, we don't actually focus on one word at a time. This isn't apparent to everyone but try putting a bookmark on your page to cover up every line of text after your current line. You realize your eyes are already moving down the page. By changing he/she said, the author made the text unnecessarily dense, which very much sounds like it distracted from the (lack of) plot.
Congratulations on your perseverance in getting through it and thank you for sparing the rest of us. We all got an enjoyable review out of it. I really enjoyed all of your examples.
What you said about he/she said makes sense. I knew if I didn't provide samples, no one would believe me. Thanks for reading my review.
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Post by Jkhorner » 12 Mar 2018, 12:45

I'm so sorry you finished this book! It makes me want to go back and edit it myself, just so I know such an atrocity no longer exists! I wonder if the author either was not a native English speaker, or if perhaps he dictated the book? I think your rating is totally justified!

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Post by Irene C » 12 Mar 2018, 14:56

Sorry you had to get through a book that badly written. There definitely a sort of sci-fi novel that really should just be a war novel, and it seems this one had that confusion along with its other problems.

Thanks for this review.
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Post by londonmartine » 14 Mar 2018, 04:00

Oh no!! I'm sorry you had a tough time reading it. But... I'm not going to lie, your review did make me smile. I'm a terrible person.

Sounds like the basic concept is fine, but it needs a lot of editing work?!

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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Mar 2018, 14:09

Jkhorner wrote:
12 Mar 2018, 12:45
I'm so sorry you finished this book! It makes me want to go back and edit it myself, just so I know such an atrocity no longer exists! I wonder if the author either was not a native English speaker, or if perhaps he dictated the book? I think your rating is totally justified!
Those are both good thoughts. I'm thinking either that or maybe he was just trying to use different words or sound more important. I'm not sure. Thanks for commenting, though!
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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Mar 2018, 14:11

Irene C wrote:
12 Mar 2018, 14:56
Sorry you had to get through a book that badly written. There definitely a sort of sci-fi novel that really should just be a war novel, and it seems this one had that confusion along with its other problems.

Thanks for this review.
Yeah, I'm not sure if the author was trying to appeal to more people by trying to make this both a war novel and sci fi, but I don't think it was successful. Thanks for commenting.
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Post by Bianka Walter » 27 Mar 2018, 13:57

It sounds like one of those foreign language films with really badly translated subtitles! Thanks for the examples - I doubt very much if I would have understood the severity of the poor caliber of writing without them. Well done on getting through it, and giving me a good chuckle.
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