Wednesday, December 14, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: The Shroud by Dallas Tanner

Posted by Carla B. at 7:29 PM
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It was okay. I liked the general concept and the story line, as well as the characters. I do believe the characters needed more depth and for as well as I could "know" them, I sometimes found them acting against how they were developed.

Overall, I think this book could be very good if it had a good editor. It proves how essential that is, especially for an author that is published independent or by a smaller house. In this case, there were several large chunks of "info dump" which slowed the pace of the book considerably. This information could have been provided as an addendum at the end of the book, as several larger chunks of information were not essential to the storyline. Where the information was essential or quite helpful, I believe it could have been written as dialogue between characters or woven into more action-oriented scenes.

I also found at least once where the main female character had an entirely different name. It was confusing enough to see the author randomly switch between using her last name, her first name and her nickname. However, at one point he used a totally different name which makes me think an earlier draft (or perhaps a middle draft) changed her name entirely from the one in the final publication - only this one time it did not get caught. Those things are confusing and again interfere with the pace of the story.

While the story did follow a systematic flow through approximately the first two thirds of the book, the last third seemed to jump around and was very awkward. A few scenes were entirely unnecessary, to the point one made me cringe a bit in embarrassment for the author. By the end of the book, I found myself skipping large segments and scanning the pages for essential information. I just wanted to get it finished. While I was sometimes bored through those first two thirds, I was interested enough in the storyline to see how the author was going to solve the problems and explain some of the situations. I did find it fairly predictable in some ways (such as the identity of Boangeres), which was slightly disappointing.

I think the author has promise, but I found myself wishing I could edit this book and perhaps other future books of his. I think with good editing his writing can be tightened, his characters made more consistent which would add depth, and basic errors (such as consistency in names, and double checking timelines, etc.) would be immensely helpful. With that, I think he could find a home at a larger publishing house and get recognition for his unique storylines and story concepts.

If you are interested in reading it for yourself, please click here:

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