Read or Die

Review of Mercedes Lackey’s THE SPELLBOUND CHILD

The Case of the Spellbound Child by Mercedes Lackey

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I’ve loved Ms. Lackey’s Elemental Masters series from The Fire Rose – which is probably why I continue to pick up every new addition, despite the fact I drag through all of the “Sherlock” volumes, hoping for a return to the delight I found with the first handful of books. Maybe they’re a treat for devotees of the master sleuth, but I’ve yet to find a single one I didn’t want to beat my head with. The presence of Sherlock provides an unwanted deus ex machina that turns the story from a rewritten fairy tale to a bumbling farce. Except, this time, you got the addition of the struggle to even READ a good portion! I appreciate wanting to remain true to a regional dialect. Still, so much of the Dartmoor dialogue left me reading, re-reading, and RE-READING, struggling to parse the meaning. Nothing throws you out of a story faster than a lack of comprehension! You need to find a middle ground between respecting an area’s manner of speaking and allowing a reader to immerse themselves in the story – AND understand what’s happening.

Even worse, the editing was deplorable. While I understand you pay slightly less for a Kindle version of a book, that shouldn’t translate to less care with the final product. Section breaks disappeared in a couple places, leading to sudden shifts in POV. Spelling and grammar errors show up EVERYWHERE, and you even have simple indents missing. It created a sloppy document any writer would cringe to submit for publication. That you expect a reader to accept such a thing? That’s unacceptable.

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