46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
A Major Disappointment,
This review is from: Level 26: Dark Origins (Hardcover)This book was disappointing on several levels. First, it should be advertised as "produced by Anthony E. Zuiker" as it appears that the actual author is Duane Swierczynski. Mr Zuiker seems to be cashing in some of his TV credibility based on the success of the CSI franchise to create some sort of social networking site based on a series of books, this being the "pilot". Sorry Mr. Zuiker: after my initial order of one episode, you are on the cancellation list. As other reviewers have noted, following the links provided in the books to see the interactive/internet portions of the novel is not a simple matter of typing the address into your browser and going right to the material. You have to register with a valid e-mail address, and even then you aren't given access to the material: you have to join their community. Appears to be a marketing data mining effort.
Second, in my opinion, the book isn't well written. The 406-page book is chopped up into 107 chapters! Great for readers with attention deficit syndrome, I guess, but not so good for character and plot development (there was none). The main character, the serial killer nicknamed Sweegel isn't believable at all and you really learn nothing about the character that would explain his financial independence, technological expertise, or the reason behind his God-complex killing spree. You are asked to believe that this fellow jets around the world killing people with ease, physically overpowering and out-maneuvering victims and special agents alike, planting technologically advanced monitoring devices within the most elite government agencies, and physically fitting into and out of spaces and situations with ease, all while being described as an "emaciated, ghost-thin man" and "a five-foot, six-inch, 126-pound stick bug". There really is no mystery to solve; the reader just follows the run of the narrative that takes us through his killing spree based on some sort of competition with the hero Steve Dark. In stereotypical fashion, the hero is forced to deal with tragedy and loss while battling not only the serial killer, but the evil high-ranking government official who routinely orders the deaths of anyone that fails an assignment or displeases him. Gosh, a Secretary of Defense that uses the Vice-President's plane, has a secret team of government assassins at his beck and call and is overbearingly ruthless and evil - was Jon Stewart consulted on this?
Third, the book was poorly researched and edited. There are so many holes in the book that just defy common sense and mistakes that could have been easily corrected if ANYONE had bothered to review and check the material. The one that was the most glaring to me was the sequence in the United Methodist Church and the subsequent deaths of the "priests". The Methodist Church has ministers and pastors, not priests; I'll leave it at that. Another reviewer has done an excellent job of pointing these mistakes out.
Something non-related to the book also bothers me. On another site, there have been numerous over-the-top positive reviews in the reader/member review section that make me wonder if the reviews are not being salted by people associated with the book and site. Here is one example of a "member" review I found:
>>The story is not gorey but plays on your own imagination instead. It gives you just enough details to set your mind off on picturing for yourself what happened. The suspense, the story, the cyber-bridges, forum, and website all contribute to this not-to-be-missed edge-of-your-seat page-turner! Beware: you may want to read it near a computer so you can easily jump on to watch the video clips, but it IS NOT NECESSARY to watch the cyber-bridges in order to enjoy this book! They are meant to enhance the experience, not 'complete' it! But is strongly recommended that you partake :) (yes, there will be questions at the end of the book....book 2 is coming in 2010 and book 3 in 2011, so expect a cliffhanger and don't let that distract you from enjoying!)<<
Hmmmm, how would a regular reader know the rollout schedule of Book 2 and Book 3?
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 18, 2010 6:45:10 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 18, 2010 6:45:40 PM PDT
Your last point was probably your best -- if this was truly a worthwhile book, why plant reviews and other marketing gimmicks to get people to buy it? Speaking of gimmicks -- that "cliffhanger" ending of the novel, too, is like something from "Lost in Space" back in the 1960s. But to laud your last point isn't to overlook that you made excellent points throughout.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 16, 2010 12:54:21 PM PDT
I'm so tired of "reviewers" suggesting 5 star reviews are plants. I'm definitely not a plant and I enjoyed the book. To each his own. You don't have to be a "plant" to enjoy something someone else doesn't. Good grief!
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 21, 2010 10:36:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 21, 2010 10:39:41 AM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2010 7:23:16 PM PDT
Too Cold in Madison says:
"Hmmmm, how would a regular reader know the rollout schedule of Book 2 and Book 3?"
How about by checking Wikipedia?
Posted on Dec 16, 2010 3:07:51 AM PST
I have to agree with this reviewer. The omnipresent nature of Sqweegel defies logic at times. Especially the ambulance scene. There really isn't any real character development either. I do enjoy the digi-novel concept as a whole, I just wish the plot, pacing, and character development for the novel itself was more thought out and explored.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›