The Lost Diaries of John Smith
In 2014, a gargantuan fireball causes the demise of countless people and destroys 99-point-some-odd percent of electronics. The cause of this? Aliens (though they did it accidentally). These aliens then very nicely force survivors (including the titular character, John Smith) to mine for a mysterious reason under dangerous conditions. All this is told many years later via several secret diaries kept by John, and the young girl he saved back in 2014 who is trying to find him.
Oy vey. There's a possibility I could have liked this.
First off, and most importantly: THE EDITING ERRORS! Christ Almighty! The MULTITUDE of editing errors! Honestly, they got to be so prevalent that I started keeping a list (and it is by no means complete, I'm sure; I only started keeping it on page 8, and I left out anything that I wasn't 100% certain of):
Pages 8, 12, 17, 20, 27, 29, 42 (I started a little paper list here, instead of on my Kobo, because it was ridiculously distracting to close out of the book and open the sketchbook, but I managed to lose it, so I started another list on my Kobo) 54, 65, 67, 84, 88, 90, 92, 94, 95, 97...
These pages all had some mistake or another. Sometimes simple things like "...and that mean working for..."(p. 8) or "...he was right off course..."(p. 94) or "...the worse is not over..."(p. 12). At first I thought I was dealing with past/present errors (mean, means, or meant?) which is irritating enough, but then, I started finding stuff like THIS:
"Today a small plague dedicated to the men is located as close as possible to the mine entrance."(p. 92) A plague? I'd love a plague dedicated to me! Is the bubonic one taken? Or how about locusts? I know! I'd like the plague that keeps sending me e-mails promising to add four inches to my penis! I'm sure my husband would be delighted!
Or how about THIS:
"...but if someone young and inquisitive comes along demanding to know the truth, then sometimes we oblige with a few documents hand-delivered, albeit anomalously, because you deserved to know the truth."(p. 97)
Firstly, can you see how the past/present thing is a little off-putting? And I'm pretty sure having the words "anomalously" and "truth" in the same sentence is counter-productive. I mean, he could have intended to use that word, but I'm fairly certain he meant to use 'anonymously' since they were talking about discretion and something that had to be covered up or else the government would find them.
Seriously, you need to proof-read your shiz because you send it out into the internetz.
But you can't get a friend, an acquaintance, an escort, a liberal arts student looking to make a quick buck, or YOUR OWN DAMN SELF to read it? "Yep, banged this out, used spell check, and out out into the interwebz you go, labour of love that I spent countless hours on." I mean, at that point, you're just being lazy. And what does it say to us that you're not even willing to read your own book?!
Seriously, editing errors piss me off like a motherbitch.
On top of the serious MEGA issues I had with the editing, there were some other issues that I had to make note of that just kind of irritated me (possibly because I was already irritated by the editing errors, but I was irritated none the less).
I had a fuck of a time finding out the gender of certain characters. I thought the present protagonist was a dude for a long ass time. And we're not even told the gender of a later character, but they write in a letter "[I wish] we could have been more than just good friends." about John Smith. Now, I have to assume this was another dude, because homosexuals make everything more awesome. And sparkly.
I found things disjointed as fuck in the beginning, but the editing issues, making some words suspect as to whether the author meant the past or the present, may have caused some of the issue.
Pages 61 to 64 were basically a recap of the previous chapter; recaps are fine and oftentimes necessary, say, for example, when starting the second or fifth book in a series. But not in the middle of a 98-page book you are currently reading.
And just because I'm nit-picky, I have to mention on page 26 - "... and for the first time in my life I felt terribly alone. Not sure if the others left me alone... [that is the author's ... not mine] Writing this months later and I can't remember what I felt at that moment, nor what happened." Although she described what happened right after that sentence (she picked some flowers, and then they left). And she says she felt alone, but then she don't remember how she felt? Maybe the character also had an issue with reading what she wrote, because she had literally just written how she felt right before she said she didn't know how she felt.
The basic premise was decent. But the constant editing errors just gave me a righteous cunty agitation, and it was easy for me to then find faults where, if I wasn't constantly faced with the word "too" instead of "to", I may have let them go.
Get yourself a proof-reader, Phillip Rhodes, and THEN send out your books. Trust me dude, you'll thank me for the advice later.