As a writer one piece of advice we are always being given is to read more in the genre we want to write in, for me that is either Sci-fi or Fantasy.
As one of my loves is reading this is something I do, even though I have my kindle, I still spend money in bookshops. This is for two reasons, support of my local bookshops and because I love the feel of shopping in an actual bookshop. i also love the feel of a physical book in my hands,
It is therefore dissapointing when I pickup a book that doesn’t grip me, and I feel I have wated my money. I will admit I am easy to please and it isn’t often that this happens, but it has happened recently.
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett is a book that I liked the sound of in the blurb, basically it is a colony of Humans that descended from two that were left on this planet and for 163 years they have lived awaiting the rescue from Earth. It isn’t the story that I dislike, although the ending lacked punch and just seemed to peter out. It did give some form of closure which is good, but I was left wanting. What I didn’t like was the way in which the writer has tried to make them different, I realise this is due to the incestuous way in which they have evolved, but even with deformities and lower intelligence, I wouldn’t have though Humans would lose the ability to know what things were that were from Earth, especially if they expect to be picked up. It is the little things that were annoying me to the point where I almost abandoned the book, only curiosity kept me reading, something which really is a rarity with me as I am usually easily pleased.
Some examples of this:
You have a culture that evolved from Humans that now say wombtimes for years, I can’t see how Humans would discard saying years, the “elders” in this book are trying to bring it back but it is something that I just think doesn’t do anything but annoy the reader, it doesn’t seem to serve a purpose other than to show how they have fallen. its really annoying.
There are other ways of speaking that from what I can work out have been changed just to highlight it is a colony of Humans apart from Earth, but all they do for me is make reading this book hard because the wording annoys me. They use the word slip, for sex…. “I had wanted to slip with her badly badly” it just sounds rediculus, and there is the word repetition, he does this often, for me it detracts form the story and makles me not want to read on.
Another one, “Aren’t you that John Redlantern that did for that Leopard?” this is someone asking if John is the one that killed the Leopard…. “did for that Leopard” just sounds stupid and I really don’t see the point in it other than the confuse the reader.
I know this comes over as a rant but it just annoyed me when I was reading it, and I have skipped parts of it just to get past noting having to read this dialogue.
Maybe it’s just me that has these problems as the book seemed to get good reviews, but for me it made me want to stop reading the book and it makes me less likely to buy anything form this author in the future.
Something I will have to watch out for in my own stories.