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Children of Apollo Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot is really good. Well crafted. Exciting. Good pacing. But the text is rife with spelling and grammatical errors (I didn't count but I'm thinking on average more than one per page). Even a mediocre copy editor could have fixed 99% of the problems with the text. Now, if this book had been crappy in general, I wouldn't have cared. But it is actually a great story. Thus, my frustration stems from the fact that a very good book is dragged down by easily fixable stuff, most of which MS Word would have picked up. It's just plain sloppy.
Some examples of what I mean: Berkeley is not spelled "Berkly". Camaro is not spelled "Camero". Taut is not spelled "taunt". Aide is not spelled "Aid". Applause is not spelled "applauds". Champagne is not spelled "champaign". Asti Spumante is not spelled "Asti Spurmanti". Las Cruces is not spelled "Las Cruzus". Alan Shepard (the astronaut) is not spelled "Alan Shepherd". To add insult to injury, the author does actually spell the name correctly once... Baikonour is spelled in three ways in the book, both incorrect. Proper grammar does not include things like "going to fight for if-no when-you send me to Congress." Stylistically, there are gems like "They looked at each other in for a moment, sharing the awful truth they had just shared."
Then we have the technical errors. I will grant that the author is not an aerospace expert but for this book a modicum of research would have been required.Read more ›
The characters are cartoonish. From the Soviets, to Nixon, to liberal peaceniks, to the astronauts - all coming off like a parody.
There are glimpses of excitement and interesting plotlines, but the junior varsity nature of the writing quickly diminishes it...
But, y'know, fatuous as I found the writing in the early going, it grew on me, and I found that I actually liked it. Probably won't read it again, but I liked it. So might you, if you can get past the lack of editing.
And to the reviewer who considered it "liberal-bashing", it didn't seem that way to me, even though one of the "heavies" is a liberal Congressman. It was that "either-or" approach to the space program espoused by the liberals of the time that killed it. Pretty hard to tell a story of an alternate history without mentioning that. It would be like writing a real history of WWII without including Neville Chamberlain. And the Speaker of the House is certainly a sympathetic character. Whittington does get in a couple of digs at some guy from Arkansas, but doesn't mention him by name. And you'd have to be in really deep denial to think that the Soviets didn't "run" Americans during the Cold War. Look up the Venona Project. I'm sure we were doing the same (I hope). "(International) Politics ain't beanbag!"
Leaving aside bad plotting, bad writing, and the many serious technical quibbles, all of which would be bad enough but still only subjective, the book is also marred by numerous factual errors. The proofing is also terrible, with spelling and grammatical mistakes making the text almost unreadable.
Then there is Whittington's very open political agenda, namely whitewashing Nixon and demonizing Democrats. If I had been his editor (and if he had one for his long ago self-published book, that editor didn't do his/her job), I would have told him that making Walter Mondale into a villain is a great idea, since historically "Moondale" wanted to gut NASA and spend the money on social programs before we even got to the moon. Beyond that, Whittington's political agenda not only makes the book too implausible to believe, but manages to alienate what would be at least half its intended audience. Anyone who isn't a card carrying Republican ought to come away at least annoyed, if not downright offended.
So, my hope is that someone with a better sense of what it takes to write a proper book will tackle this subject. It certainly deserves a better treatment than Children of Apollo.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good alternative history story with excellent character development and a believable plot.
I'll be looking for more from this author!
Since I have enjoyed other books written by Mark Whittington, I was surprised by a small grouping of negative reviews for Children of Apollo, and since it was one of his books I... Read morePublished on July 5, 2012 by SusieB
I'm a big fan of alternate history. But a huge problem for me is that virtually all alternative history ultimately has things turning out worse than they did in the timeline we're... Read morePublished on March 11, 2012 by Dayton Lavon Kitchens
I decided to pick this book up after reading a few of Whittington's social commentary posts online...wow. Really should have kept my money. Read morePublished on February 28, 2012 by ansonee
This is an exciting book to read. I identified with Wendy because I've always wanted to walk on the moon. Read morePublished on January 10, 2012 by D. Calcote
read a friend's e-book. This author uses false logic in arguments or political allegories and is full of grammatical errors...Published on January 9, 2012 by pvv38
Don't waste your money. This book is nearly impossible to read. It's as if the writer is fumbling with a newly learned language. Read morePublished on January 7, 2012 by jaym724
I'll be short and sweet. Years ago, you would go through scrutiny before getting published. Thank goodness the book was in the stack of already read paperbacks at work. Read morePublished on January 7, 2012 by G.V. Mielko
It was difficult to get past all of the errors and the plot is a little weak without much of an ending. Read morePublished on January 7, 2012 by Liz D.
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