Monday, June 17, 2013

The Unsuspecting Mage

The Unsuspecting Mage  by Brian S. Pratt

Oh boy was this bad!  If you google this author and this book you will find many positive things said about both.  And, while I have nothing bad to say about the author personally, his writing is just awful.  Sentence structure is poor, I'm talking conflicting tenses in most every sentence.  For anyone who remembers the early days of home computers, you may remember the text based games that we played on them.  They were ripe with stilted language and The Unsuspecting Mage reads like the text of one of these games.  Honestly, there should have been a blinking green square cursor at the end of every line.  

Over at the Amazon page for the book they have a long commentary written by the author, which is very telling and at the same time totally belies what he created.

The main character, James lost his parents and now lives with his grandparents.  He has lots of friends that he talks books with, but then he only has one friend.  He is very involved in role playing games, but who the hell is he playing with?  I know that all people are filled with idiosyncrasies and contradictions, but never has there been one so inconsistent as James is written.  

James is transported into a different world, where he can speak to the people, but he can't read their writing. They have totally different currency, but he just gets how it works.  Some things are completely the same and others totally alien, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason.  I would be impressed by the creation of another world, but what we've got is a few made up things, without proper identification thrown passed off as another dimension. 

Do self-published authors think they don't need editors?  They do!  They really really do. This book was a grammatical nightmare. The sentences were poorly structured, the language was stiff and unnatural, the protagonist was inconsistent and incongruous, just a nightmare.  I can only hope that, since this guy wrote at least seven of these books that he improved with practice.  I'll hope, but I certainly won't waste any more of my time finding out. 

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