Handbook for Mortals: Book One of the Series Hardcover – August 15, 2017
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''Handbook for Mortals will soon become the new paranormal craze. I found myself more emotionally involved in the story than even Twilight, which I loved. A riveting, original storyline, relatable characters, a love triangle of sorts, and just enough magick to ensnare you.
''Nestled amongst the illusions of Vegas comes a story of a small town southern girl who finds herself the object of attraction for two attractive men. Jealousy abounds, secrets are revealed, and several people's lives are forever changed… When magick becomes reality and a war starts brewing… all bets are off.
''The fortunetellers have looked into the future and the next big thing is here. Handbook for Mortals is a page turning read unlike anything you've seen before… prepare to be enticed.'' --Skye Turner, International Bestselling Author
From the Author
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There may be those who enjoy it. I do not know who they might be, but I'm not ruling out the possibility.
Let's say you're an aspiring writer with dreams of stardom, literary or otherwise. And let's say that you've written a novel, and found a publisher. That alone would probably be enough for you, right? While I'm sure every writer would love to write something that ends up being a #1 NYT Bestseller, I kind of feel like getting a book deal in itself is a worthy accomplishment for most debut authors.
But let's say that simply getting published isn't enough for you. Let's say that you order some books to sell at cons. Enough that, since you've bought copies through sellers whose numbers count for the NYT bestseller list, you end up on said list and at the center of a minor publishing scandal.
Wouldn't it be embarrassing if that novel really, really sucked? On every front, from prose to plot structure to grammar? Can you imagine writing a book where point-of-view shifts mid-sentence? What about including a tarot motif without learning anything about tarot reading? Wouldn't you try to camouflage the bits that were added for franchiseability? Sarem didn't. And for some reason, she made the entire conflict of the second act revolve around a love-triangle that has nothing to do with anything in act three. This book has no redeeming qualities. It supposedly had three editors, and yet it's STILL riddled with typos, grammatical errors, inconsequential scenes, racial insensitivity, and factual errors. I don't get it.
But let's get back to our thought experiment.
After all your book's failings have been pointed out numerous times by various critics, bloggers, twitter-ers, youtubers, and podcasters, why would you keep pushing it? Why wouldn't you just let it die? You can buy all the 5-star ratings you want, but even in the best case scenario where you manage to trick people into thinking your novel might have any merit, isn't it pretty likely that those people will feel a little bit duped and just leave more 1-star reviews?
There's something either deeply cynical or naive about this drama refusing to end. It suggests that the author thinks that manufacturing hype alone is enough to make her book popular, even though it reads like a first draft of a NaNoWriMo project. I guess it depends on whether Sarem won't let it go because she thinks that little of people and the way in which they choose their entertainment, or because she believes that if she just keeps believing in herself that HfM will become huge, regardless of its quality.
This book isn't nearly as interesting as the drama surrounding it, which I think might actually be the point.
I learned a thing or two about books while reading this. Even books with horrible writing, no personal voice, too many quotes from real people, grammar errors in practically every sentence, and a protagonist that I genuinely wanted to die just so I didn't have to listen to her ramble can draw you in. I did want to know how the book turned out, even though reading this book was akin to bodily self-harm.
The story has so many unresolved issues as well. There is a character that is there for no real reason. She exists only to exist and waste my precious time.
If you have the option to read this book or not read this book, choose to not read this book. Even if not reading the book means you have to go without your favorite food for a year. It will be a sad year, but you will survive and you will not loose any IQ points. This book will make your brain hurt because of how poorly it is written.
This book... eesh. The sentences are choppy. Short. The sentences lack prounoun use. Many sentences are poorly punctuated? Colons and semi-colons are missing- hyphens are used instead. Then they're followed by run-on sentences filled with unnecessary details or descriptions or information that could have been better used to fill out those short non-sentences instead of putting them into run-on sentences that, even after all of that information, the author just ends with, "nor do I guess it really matters" (Then why did you write an entire paragraph about it?!). If reading that paragraph was cringe-worthy, I don't suggest you buy this novel.
Every paragraph could be restructured in some way to make the story more interesting and easier to read: the repetition is distracting and the tell-don't-show style of writing makes you feel like you're a mile from the action. Sarem claims that three editors checked this, but I can't see how if this is what passed for a final draft. No matter how good your plot is (which seems to drag as Sarem pulls us in a thousand directions via details inconsequential to the story, then explains major plot points in one sentence before moving on to more useless shopping scenes), you have to have a well-written vehicle to drive it. I don't mean to insult the author, but if Sarem truly cares about her craft, she needs to spend far more time proofing, editing, and reading other books written by talented, experienced people. But if she continues putting out what passes for the average person's first draft and expecting people to purchase it, she's going to have as uncomfortable a wake-up call as I did when I found my old journals.
Top international reviews
It actually takes a lot for me to sit down and read a book, Most books I read are usually in bits and I tend to lose concentration fairly easy. Thats why I would rate Handbook for Mortals so highly… It totally pulled me in and fully grabbed my attention from the first few pages. I am not at the end of the book yet, but I tell you what, I do not want it to finish. I have a very overactive imagination and this book just feeds that. Supernatural powers…magic…Las Vegas and romance!!! What more could you ask for!?!? Top job