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Mainak Dhar is a cubicle dweller by day and author by night. His first `published' work was a stapled collection of Maths solutions and poems (he figured nobody would pay for his poems alone) he sold to his classmates in Grade 7, and spent the proceeds on ice cream and comics. Mainak was a bestselling author in his native India with titles published by major houses like Penguin and Random House and with one of his novels (Herogiri) being made into a major motion picture. In early 2011, he began to use Amazon to reach international readers through his ebooks and became one of the leading independent authors in the world with more than 100,000 books sold in his first year. Mainak is one of the top selling horror authors on Amazon worldwide and in March 2013, became the #1 bestselling Horror author on Amazon, momentarily unseating Stephen King. His bestselling Alice in Deadland series is being made into a TV series in the US. Learn more about him and contact him at mainakdhar.com.
Alice In Wonderland is my favourite story. Zombies are my new favourite genre. Naturally, I would choose this book, especially after seeing its 4 Star rating. All I can really say is, Yikes! Alice In Deadland is amateurish. The writing is SO repetitive. When I read a certain phrase or combination of words multiple times within a couple of pages, you've already lost me.
There is no intrigue in this story. I consider myself a trooper when it comes to books. I give them all a fair shake and rarely force myself to stop reading - in for a penny... - but this read is taxing. No plot or character development AT ALL. The phrasing is just weird, the grammar sucks, there are a ton of typos. And if you want your zombies to be sympathetic characters, give them at least one redeeming quality! Don't just tell your audience that everyone's equal, so there. Make us want to like them. Example: Hater, by David Moody. This story is told from the perspective of the changed and the unchanged. While not exactly a zombie story, you do find yourself having compassion for the "others".
All that being said, the one thing I find unforgivable in a published novel is lack of research. If you've taken the time to write a novel, do yourself a favor and have the story make sense. Check your facts, however minor to the plot they might seem. The story needs to be logical, not just convenient and easy.
I wasn't honestly expecting much with a 99 cent book, and I wasn't wrong. I give the author credit for the idea; it's mostly original but its execution is, simply put, poor. There are several issues with this book but I'll address the main two here.
1) Writing The author is almost certainly one of those people who, since they write technical manuals for a living, think they can write fiction. His dialog is stilted, unrealistic and conveys no emotion. Perfect example: location 1847, where a soldier who has captured the protagonist says (in all its grammatical glory)" 'Talk to me! I'm in charge here and are you are my prisoner.' " Location 527-ish: "Alice could take it no longer and blurted out." Contractions seem to have disappeared as well as civilization in this book. In addition to distractingly putting commas in all the wrong places, any and all statements made by characters are ended with a period, nearly without exception. Anyone with rudimentary grammatical knowledge will actually have to read the sentences several times to figure out what the author intended to say. This is not a `Kindle ruined my formatting' issue, this is an `I have no idea how to properly form a sentence' issue. To make matters worse, the author has no idea how to develop character or even allow the reader to construct the character mentally. His descriptions are dry and uninteresting, beating any possible dead horse they can find: (loc. 370-ish)" She opened it and took out her water bottle, draining it as she drank every last drop there. " Was that really necessary? There is no economy of words or joy in description that causes the reader to connect with the story; it's all the joyless and bland descriptions that you would expect to read if you were looking through a technical manual.Read more ›
I was VERY close to purchasing this book based on all of the wonderful 4 and 5 star reviews, until I read one review that urged readers to just read the preview pages on amazon. First, I must say, it's an enticing premise for a book! There even seemed to be a handful of possibly interesting characters, but the writing is HORRID. There were a few times when I could almost get into the story, but the repetitive, simple writing just wouldn't allow me to stay there.
If you are very young, or otherwise simple (no disrespect intended) you may actually like this book. That being said, PLEASE do yourself a favor and read the reviews sorted by "most helpful first" (you will notice it's all of the 1 and 2 star reviews) and if you're at all still interested read the sample pages! If, by the end of that, you are still interested, then by all means read the entire book and leave a positive review if you liked it!
All of that being said, after my own amateur investigation I have concluded that most all of the 4 and 5 star reviews are forged, or driven by something other than an honest review of the book. This book wouldn't get an A in a high-school writing class, despite the interesting premise.
Bottom line: Even though it's only a dollar, your time would be better spent elsewhere. Take 10 minutes to research it!
I'll start off by saying I love a finely written book like Jumper or reflex by Gould, John Locke, Zakour, and many more. This is not one of them.
The author starts off by telling you about the main character. Her skills, abilities, and you really believe the character is ready to do what is written. Then you get to the story, and realize the character can't do any of it.
Alice is suppose to be a top notch 15yr old fighter with many kills under her belt, lots of training, knowledge on the situations, and the mindset to do the job. Unfortunately in the writers first test of Alice he proves to be a disappointing characters. She can't fight, think, plan, or user her brain.
The writer spends a several pages telling us how skilled Alice is, but as soon as a fight happens, he tells you all over again DURING THE FIGHT. So a 2-3 pages action fight turns into a essay on her character with bits and pieces of a fight.
The character has a rifle, gun, and long knife. The only way to kill the creatures is by shooting/hitting them in the head. So Alice is in close proximity to three undead, she shots one in the head, wastes two in the chest of another before shooting the second in the head, and the third gets kicked. She then runs away because she's out of bullets. Runs 1/4 of a mile flat out in there territory, and never reloads. During all this the writer re-iterates Alice's fighting skills/knowledge/preparedness.
I stopped reading at that point. Why bothers? By the way, this was in the first chapter.
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