Written by: Kate Genet
Usually I’ve no interest in reviewing books I didn’t enjoy – mostly because I don’t finish them. There are too many terrific reads out there to bother with ones that don’t hit the mark. But I feel compelled to review this one; why, I’m not entirely sure – a vain effort towards quality control, perhaps?
I didn’t dislike the book because it told a lousy story. Or because I don’t like zombie stories (I do, I love ’em), or because it wasn’t original in its premise – it was. What spoilt it all was Warren’s lack of care. She’s put out a book that doesn’t care about the details, and in doing that, she’s not caring about her readers. One of the worst things a writer can do is to treat their reader like a moron, and when you can’t be bothered doing a bit of research, you’re saying on every page that you believe your readers to be idiots.
My objection is not to how Warren strings a sentence, paragraph, scene together – she’s getting there on those fronts. It’s the matter of what’s known in the writing business as verisimilitude, and maybe she needs to look that up.
A story has to get the details right. when the details are right, all true and correct, a reader can sit back and relax, enjoy the ride without worrying that his popcorn’s dipped in arsenic instead of butter.
Ms. Warren, if you’re writing an historical novel, never mind anything else – you need to get your period details right. Young women of the era you write of did not open their mouths and say ‘yeah’. Women did not wear pant suits. No, they didn’t. A daring few wore bloomers, but not, I think, your money-grubbing little protagonist. Nor was clothing displayed on mannequins in store windows. It was a different world, and if you want your story to be read and enjoyed, you can’t keep yanking your reader out of it with details that don’t fit. Make it your first job, when writing a historical novel, to get the history right. Otherwise, most of your potential readers, like myself, won’t go further than chapter two. Verisimilitude. You’ll find it covered in your nearest creative writing course.
About the Author: Kate Genet, writing horror and apocalyptic fiction, available from Amazon and other digital retailers.
Visit her site at http://kategenet.com/ for blog and book details.