As many authors are, I am often asked to give reviews. I generally shy away from doing so because even though I’ve been asked for my opinion, which is what a review is, there are writers who believe their skin is thick, until it is pricked by a less-than-favorable review, and for the thin-skinned, one prick leads to a life time of animosity.
I, for one, am not deterred by bad reviews and I don’t allow myself to become over-inflated by the positive ones. But, they validate what authors do. Readers think that a bad review is the worst thing an author can receive, but they’d be wrong in their thinking. The worst thing any author can receive is NO feedback at all. Contrary to what many people believe, sometimes, a negative review actually helps an author. That’s right. If you leave a review for an author and find that most of the reviewers left positive reviews and yours is one of the few negatives reviews, many readers are drawn in because those few negative reviews help to develop interest in the book. People want to know why one person out of 50 or 60 felt the need to go against the grain. What did they see that everyone else didn’t. You can equate it to Hollywood. How many times have we seen negative press catapult a celebrities sagging popularity. Britney Spears and her 55-hour marriage. Janet Jackson and her perfectly-timed wardrobe malfunction. Kimye and almost everything either of them does. I don’t have to go on, you’ve all heard about them. Besides, I blog about writers and writing, not singers and actors.
So, I’ve decided to give people what they want and begin blogging my reviews instead of leaving them on Amazon and Goodreads alone. Some of you may agree and some may not. Again, reviews are merely opinions left by readers. Some reviewers have earned the respect of the general public, while others remain fairly anonymous, but either way, they are just the opinions of individual people regarding the same topic.
The first book I am going to review is ‘An Accidental Affair’, by Eric Jerome Dickey. He is the New York Times bestselling author of ‘Tempted By Trouble’ and almost two dozen other novels.
Overall, I think the author had a good idea for a multi-layered story, but lost the threads among the sex. James Thicke is hurt, angered, and outraged, among other things, when he sees his wife having sex with her onscreen costar. Although I understood his reasons for what he did (moved out, beat the crap out of the other guy, even had sex with other women), I felt the author went into too much detail where sex with other women was concerned. It would have been enough just to know he had the affairs without smelling the sweat of each one. Other than that, they really served no purpose and took up far too many pages.
Something this author does that keeps me from getting into the story: It is told in first person. Fine. But then, out of nowhere, he falls into an omniscient POV. For example, he knows things without having a vantage point. He knows she has a .22 in her housecoat pocket. There are quite a few other examples, but I’ll let you catch them for yourself.
Also, I thought some of the dialogue was clever, but there were other parts where it felt unnatural, scripted, and contrived ( A good example, among others, is page 224) Then, there were parts that were written in passive voice. As far as I can tell, it was done to hurry the action along, or to get back to the action. A great example of that is on page 348 (hardcover), first paragraph: ‘a chicken was taken out. Chicken was cut up. A big pot of water was put on the stove. Potatoes were cut up.’ That takes you out of the action and puts you on autopilot.
I didn’t feel any of the characters were fleshed out well enough to make them memorable. James came as close to a three dimensional character as I would find in this read. A few of the characters were flat, boring, or could have been eliminated without changing the story.
Overall, I enjoyed the storyline, but was pulled back many, many times by errors. I am going to make them a part of the review, not as a self-indulgent act to show that I was able to pick them out, but in the hopes that they can/will be corrected in the kindle edition. If it were one or two, I wouldn’t go to that length, but for a best-selling author with a reputable publishing house, I was disappointed in the less-than-professional editing. I give this 3-stars only because I liked the basic story line. If not for that, I would have given it less.
Page 46, line 6 – ‘Can’ should be ‘Can’t’.
Page 160, line 18 – ‘Washing me hair’ should be ‘Washing my hair’.
Page 254, line 18 – In the same sentence, made and make are used. Should be one or the other in each instance.
Page 264, line 18 – ‘Lose’ should be ‘Loose’.
Page 336, line 15 – ‘Feel’ should be ‘fall’. Horrible dialect.
Page 373, line 8 – ‘Long’ should be ‘Longer’.
If you’re interested in reading An Accidental Affair to judge it for yourself, I’d love to hear your thoughts.