Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blind Faith by C.J. Lyons

iconiconI heard about Blind Faith from The Cheap, a blog and corresponding Facebook page that I follow.  It looked like a pretty good story and had high reviews, even though it was self-published, so I decided to give it a try.

After reading it, my thoughts are pretty much the same: Great story.  I was truly impressed.  The editing left a lot to be desired, though.

I guess I'm kind of a grammar Nazi, because this kind of thing bothers me.  Within the first couple of chapters, she used "good" instead of "well."  I reread that sentence probably half a dozen times, because I was so annoyed, and actually contemplated highlighting it and making a note on my Nook to immortalize my feelings about the error.  If it were a physical copy, I probably could not have resisted correcting it in red pen — and I'm normally a stickler about not defacing books.  I don't even like to write my name in them!

Throughout the book, I noticed other errors.  Most were extremely minor and probably wouldn't be noticed by the average reader, but something the author did a lot of, and something that really annoys me, was using commas where there should be periods.  You cannot join two complete sentences with just a comma.  This is basic grammar, people!  Use a period and start a new sentence, or if you have to, use a semi colon, a dash, or a connecting word like "and" with that comma.  Don't use a comma if both parts of the sentence can stand on their own as complete sentences.  You will forever alienate me (and lots of people like me) if you do.

Aside from that little rant, though, the story was quite good.  The author apparently is an ER doctor and has a lot of experience working with cops on big cases.  The story felt authentic, like she really knew how the process worked.  The plot moved quickly and maintained suspense well the entire way.  The formatting needed some work: The pagination was ridiculous, showing as 900 pages, but every page I turned was equivalent to 2, and sometimes it took far longer than it should have for the next page to load.  Between that and the grammatical errors, I was somewhat distracted from the story, but it still managed to hold my attention pretty well.  Just imagine how stellar that plot would be if the grammatical and formatting errors were corrected!

This ought to serve as a warning for anyone who is thinking about self-publishing.  Ebooks have made self-publishing more acceptable than ever, and there are some really great self-published ebooks out there.  But if you want to be taken seriously, make sure you don't skimp on these two steps:  1) Hire an editor.  And 2) check and double check your formatting before you make the file available for download!

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