Murder Genes Kindle Edition
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Let me preface this review by saying that I had no problem with the excessive violence (and reader be warned, there is a lot of violence. Sexual, physical, and emotional). That is a crucial element to what makes the book work. There were other reviewers that commented on the lack of characterization, but I would also argue that is somewhat necessary. This was a book about people being judged for their possible actions. I think we were given enough information to care about the characters, for better or worse, and what the whole book was about was how the actions they chose helped to define them. It doesn't matter who they were before the story started, so much, but who they became as the story progressed, and I would say that the author gave us that.
The formatting was great and consistent throughout, so kudos again to the author. And most of the reviewers talked about the fact that this was a page turner, and I would agree with them. Mikael Aizen can tell a mean story, there's no doubt about that. The concept and plot were pretty amazing, and though there are elements of everything from Lord of the Flies to Minority Report, I think that the author was able to tell his own story.
There are three semi-interrelated things that upset me about this book, however:
First, the editing was not good. This is pretty infuriating, because there are moments when he writes so well and the story is flowing and then you'll run into a horribly formed sentence or a misspelled word or, as happened so often with the son's story, a character speaks in an unbelievable manner. Many of the characters sounded the same and this just does not work when you have a 10 year-old speaking like an adult, or when other adults sound the same. Much of the cursing was just odd(and not just the curses said by the characters that could not speak English well), and to be honest I think he went more overboard in that department than with the violence. One well-placed F-bomb will go a lot further than a string of them in odd places. I'm not saying that the characters should not have cursed or had no reason to, just that a lot of it was done in a silly way or placed at an odd point.
Second, there were a lot of redundancies. There are many moments were the author will say the same thing three times within a single paragraph. The consistency of it makes me think it is more of a style issue with the author. Characters would interrupt the story with thoughts about something that was stated plainly by their or another character's actions.
Third, the author's style was more in the two main characters' heads, and while there is nothing wrong with this, I think the author lost control of it at times. There were many parts where a character would say or think something that took me out of the story and I could plainly see the author's hand at work. This really gave certain sections of the book a juvenile or amateurish feel. I mention this because I think that the author is capable of much more than he gave us.
All of this was enough for me to give the book two stars, but I gave it three because 1) the book was free, and you can't beat that with a big stick and 2) it was a great story, and like I said before, he tells it well in a lot of places. Unfortunately, he wasn't consistent with it and there were all of those grammar and spelling errors.
All in all, though, this was not the worst example of a self-published book I have seen on Amazon. I really hope that the author goes back over this with an editor or writing group and fixes the errors, because I would have really enjoyed the book otherwise. I would even give the author another read if he publishes another book, but if it has the same problems as the first, I think two tries may be my limit.
"Murder Genes" follows the stories of both father and son through the trials they face in a nation where biological reductionism has wiped "nurture" off the table. The book is gory and graphic, however it accurately describes a likely scenario that would occur if a nation forced those with the "murder gene" to live in a place like Morir (what an excellent name for the city: to die). It's refreshing to read something that does not sugar coat death and the destructiveness of a corrupt system. I truly cared about the characters in the end, no matter how foul and destructive they might be. But honestly, how much can you do when you have to kill others to protect yourself and those you love? The most unlikely relationship that occurred between Jay and (won't put name, because I don't want to give anything away) was fantastic and literally had me grabbing tissues once the book came to its end.
I don't particularly agree with reviews that give away the ending (reviews are generally read by those who have yet to read the book), but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed how Mikael Aizen depicts the fact that both biology and culture play a role in shaping human behavior. This book was a page-turner if proven only by the fact that I should have been writing my own papers in the time I have taken to read the book and write this review.
I always read reviews before I download a book. Many times there are reviews that criticize the editing and I think "oh, get over it". I apologize for thinking that because I now understand how annoying it can be.
How can an author expect to have anyone appreciate their writing when the reader can't even get through the book?It's an insult to us...what, does he think....that we are so stupid as not to notice? I don't care if the book was free, he should be more respectful of the reader and of his own reputation.
I am only 30% through and have been struggling mightily since about 15%. It's a shame that I have to stop and write a review at this point. I'll probably skim the rest (which I hate to do....if I can even do it with this mess) and then delete it from my kindle.
On the positive side, I'm enjoying the "quotes" at the start of each chapter. For what it's worth, I think this story line had potential.
Most recent customer reviews
Enough to keep me reading through to the end.
Murder Gene has a great premise but it does need a lot of tweaking.Read more