Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Going Against The Flow: Shocked By What Ratings Show

Midnight's Daughter, by Karen Chance $7.99 (New York Times Bestselling author of Embrace The Night).Published by: ONYX: New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA).

Maybe instead of rating this book "Too Horrid To Read" I should have rated it "WTF?" At any rate, I'm giving it zero stars because I could not visualize the people, places or things that Chance wrote about. Most of her book made no logical sense to me, at all.

FOR EXAMPLE: (I quote the book)

page 7: "I busied myself pouring some of the expensive alcohol in my pocket over the clean portion of the handkerchief and pressed it ruthlessly to the worst of the boy's wounds. He screamed, but neither of us paid any attention." [I pour expensive alcohol in my pocket and scream before ignoring myself too. Don't you?] LOL 

Trust me when I say it gets much worse.
I went cross-eyed just trying to understand or enjoy the first chapter. I had to smack myself in the head to get my eyes unstuck.

The following paragraphs were found just by very quickly flipping through the rest the book, at random. (Confusing sentences and discombobulated paragraphs were much too easy to fall upon.) See if you can grasp what's being described, below, without having to read the paragraph twice, or three times.

page 72: "They needed a null to keep anything freaky from happening while their people decided if whatever it was could be stabilized."

page 77: "I pushed away sickening memories and concentrated on translating the brief scrawl. It was leaking down the walls and was fairly indistinct against the black paint, especially where it crossed the poetry, but I got the idea. [Maybe the editors and writer were all tweaking out when they published this book?]

page 185: (Some dude named Louis-Casare is touching Dorina's cheek and then:)"Light mental fingers danced past my tattered shields and suddenly I could breathe without pain. His hands were warm on my skin and his touch swept away the last of the confused frenzy. They made me feel steadier, anchored, and I realized that he'd hit me with a suggestion. Normally that sort of thing wouldn't work, but my shields were in shreds."

page 285: "Louis-Cesare beat the things back with an armchair, which he stuffed in the hole left by the shattered window. I looked at it dubiously, doubting that wood and leather would hold them for long. I barely had the thought when the makeshift plug exploded through the room, wedging in the open door to the hall, blocking our retreat. [Note: how does an armchair explode through a room (I visualized wood splinters) to wedge between an open door and block a retreat? Perhaps Chance meant the intact chair was merely hurled through the room?]

page 325: "Power was curling upward from every wound now; my skin prickled with it even halfway across the room."

page 368: "I could still see Louis-Cesare's mutilated body, with Jonathan tenderly stroking the multiple wounds he'd inflicted. I understood what Mircea meant; one death was far, far too good for him. I'd have loved to give him one for each and every scar, but wasn't sure I'd given him even one. He'd fooled me with the illusion that Louis-Casare was dead. No vamp healed an almost decapitation in a couple of minutes, not even a master. Especally not a master so drained of power he couldn't even stand up." [Are you confused about what's going on here? One death is too good for whom? Jonathan? Louis-Cesare? Is Louis-Casare dead? Or alive? The next paragraph doesn't help clear anything up. It asks:] "Was Jonathan really dead? Or had it been another illusion?"

Maybe I'm the only blogger who thinks readers should not have to employ mental telepathy to understand whatever message an author is trying to convey. It alarms me to think 175 people could have collectively rated this book 4.5 stars (see Barnes and Noble). It makes me wonder if anyone actually read this gibberish before voting?

Then I wonder: were people paid to rate this book? Or, maybe ONYX publishing drugged them! Now those poor people are probably being held captive, used as slaves on some remote island, where they're continually forced at gunpoint to rate all the books ONYX publishes, 4 or 5 stars.

Character Blog: Vamchoir
Tweet: @Vamchoir
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Publisher: SunTigerMOJO.com 


  1. Hmmm....interesting and yet, disheartening. Let's go back to grammar and sentence structure 101 huh? It makes me wonder about the Editor and publishers. Thank you for this enlightening review.

  2. Kim ~ Your sentiments reflect mine. I utterly HATE writing a negative review for any book. Honestly. To realize this author was on the NYT best selling list just adds insult to injury.

  3. Wow. Kudos for actually finishing it. The quotes are awkward and painful.

  4. Dangling modifiers anyone? Thanks for the information on the book. I now have faith that if that can make it to the NY Bestsellers list, the book I have been afraid to write could DEFINITELY make it! :)

  5. DAMN IT. Just wrote a long comment and poof - gone? AARRGH!

    I'm here from book blog following and bookmarked (i read vamp novels, I'm writing one (isn't everyone?) and I've just written a book review of DRACULAS. Please pop by to read it and comment if your feel drawn to do so. ;) http://wordsinsync.blogspot.com/2011/01/book-review-of-draculas-novel-of-terror.html

    As for bad writing, astound yourself at some of the books you can get free on Kindle. You will really see bad writing, and little if any editing! ;) Shah. X

  6. It was very painful merely attempting to read and I did not finish it. I just started opening a book page here and there and would pick out a paragraph willy-nilly and then just posted what I saw.

    I honestly do NOT look for errors while reading a book. I read for enjoyment. I simply could not make sense of anything written in this one and it was feeling so ridiculously disappointing to me, I finally decided to make an example of Chance's book (don't take a CHANCE and purchase this one) with its traditional publisher, and an author whose heavily backed with the NYT Best Selling Author stamp of approval.

    Just goes to show how corrupt the old publishing industry has become, where it assumes its reading audience is so very uneducated and ignorant. New American Library obviously assumes people are so mesmerized by their stamp of approval that they can push the worst kind of shoddy writing and the masses will not notice. Bleh!

  7. Oh Beth. WRITE YOUR BOOK! You can hire your own editor(s). We don't need to feel inadequate about self publishing (not at all). I certainly published my book, finally. http://tinyurl.com/4zuew8m

    ~ Tami

  8. Shah ~ Very sorry for the trouble you had with that first attempt to post. I went to your blog and subscribed through the RSS and through Facebook. If you want to follow me on social media, I'm at:
    * Facebook: [Vamchoir] - http://Facebook.com/Vamchoir
    * Tweet: [@Vamchoir] - http://Twitter.com/Vamchoir

    Reading your bio - I am immediately noticing a different social standard for listing a lady listing her age there in south of the Persian Gulf, where you live. I'm 49 - but we ladies here in the U.S. often feel so highly dishonored about becoming wise. Women here seldom if ever admit being older than 29. Women are undergoing liposuction, body implants and Frankenstein face lifts in an attempt to look younger. (It's very sad and ridiculous - just like this book.)

  9. Well I have this book in my rather large to be read pile. I liked the Cassandra Palmer books. I think this one is an extension of those books. I guess I am putting it near the bottom of my to be read pile.

    I do have to day the Cassandra Palmer books were hard to follow sometimes but I didn't notice poor writing.

  10. Thanks for this...I run across poorly written books occassionally but this really wins the award for terrible writing!

  11. Sundcarrie ~ If you get through the book ... let me know. :-)

  12. Laurie ~ It's fun to kind of level the playing field (considering all that blather that's going around suggesting eBooks are poorly edited. This one was NOT an eBook ... and it had a big publisher to back it). Glad you stopped by to say "hi!"


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