Friday, January 2, 2009

Book Review of the Day - Adam-Troy Castro

Just finished Emissaries From The Dead by Adam-Troy Castro (agented by Joshua Bilmes, though I didn't realize that until after I purchased it and read the acknowledgments). Though the main character is a strong female, that isn't why I enjoyed the book so much. And I did enjoy it. Main character Andrea Cort is unlikeable in the beginning of the novel and through much of the rest of it as well. I have a difficult time liking books in which I can't sympathize or empathize with the protagonist. But while character development was a major point of this novel, there were other elements that dominated more.

It was a murder mystery, a most satisfying one that kept me guessing right up to the last two chapters. I'm not really into mysteries, but I liked this.

It had complex aliens and an unusual setting both extremely well-defined and described. Again, aliens aren't usually my thing, but I liked this. It was so well done.

And by the end, the main character is redeemed. I liked her. I understood her. I look forward to future novels featuring her character.

So, any complaints? Yes, one. Typos. I do not believe I've ever read a novel with as many obvious typographical errors. I'm talking about every other page or so. It was unbelievable. It felt like a draft had mistakenly gone to final printing instead of the fully edited copy. If I were the author (or agent, or editor) I would be extremely upset that this went to print. And it makes me wonder, do authors, agents, and editors read the version of the novel that's actually on the shelves in bookstores, or does their interest fade after years of revisions, copy edits, galley proofs, etc.? Having read and re-read my own as yet unpublished novel, I can sympathize with not wanting to ever see it again. And so, I wonder if any of them even realize what a huge number of typos are present in the finished product.

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