Anyone who's read one of my reviews over the last year will know that I rarely give fewer than 4 or 5 stars. That's primarily because I tend to know what I'm getting into when I pick a book to read. It's either an author I've read before or one who comes highly recommended.
This time, I was contacted by the author, Jazon Dion Fletcher, who asked if I would read his book, Skull Flowers, and write a review. I've done this a few times, often with good results. This time, not so good.
In his e-mail, describing his work, Jazon told me it is "...a mixture of Contemporary Sci-fi / Fantasy / Horror", elsewhere, I've seen it described as Cyberpunk. Don't get me wrong, I like the occasional Cyberpunk in my reading life. I particularly liked Rudy Rucker's Postsingular. That being said, perhaps I've set the bar too high, Postsingular was just an amazing read.
The writing style is somewhat unusual. Almost formatted as a movie script or play. Character names appear in...
with dialog below and then any additional action or other incidental information is
below the dialog in italics.
Having read both plays and scripts in the past, this was similar and at the same time, like nothing I've ever read before.
The writing style itself is not what caused me to give the work 2 stars. I could get around that, but even when dealing with the wild and wacky way this is writen, there are certain rules which should be followed. Things like "here him out" being used when it should be "hear him out", or using "try's to trap" instead of "tries to trap", and twice I spotted "passed" used when it should have been "past". Believe me there are many more of these.
In addition, there's being outrageous for the sake of being outrageous which seems a bit silly to me. "Inside the Occult Bureau's Drone Transport Alexis sits alone handcuffed with Charm Bracelet's." That is the whole sentence. And really, "...handcuffed with Charm Bracelet's"?
For those of you who might be curious about the book, here is the Amazon Book Description...
"Skull Flowers is the story of Alexis, her robot 808, and her bumbling friend Officer Whistle Britches as they set off on an adventure to find out who and what was behind the assassination of her father Governor Champagne. Along the way they encounter many villains including Special Agent Scarzensky, Mistress LaReaux, and Dr. Necropolis and explore many strange places including the Death Factory owned by Controlled Substances Inc., the polluted bayou along Fiddlers Creek, and the Pyramid ov tha Priestess ov Mars. In her journey she is aided by her mentor Professor Proxy, her pirate friend Junebug, and his girlfriend Minx. Where the stars will shine eternal, where the sky it never ends, where all will ride eternal, where the moonlight shall attend, amongst the riots and make believe."
I'm a reader, not a writer. I don't even aspire to be a writer, not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's been said that I like to eat. When I read, I read for pleasue and Skull Flower was not a pleasurable experience for me. The bottom line is that the work is very amaturish, like something a student might submit in a writing class. A first draft at best. And to make my overall experience even more bizarre, Skull Flowers, has more than 40 reviews on Amazon, 35 of them 5 stars and another 4 stars. This makes me wonder what I'm missing, but I have to be honest and say that I would not recommend this book for anyone.