Friday, September 6, 2013

Kindle Spotlight -- Wild Marjoram

Today we have a novella by N.R. Grabe. It is (deep breath) Wild Marjoram: The Vote (Stop 1 on the Uproar in The Broken Apple Road Trip)

The story takes place in an America where World War I is still going on. Germany has taken the eastern seaboard and built a wall around New York City (now called the Broken Apple). Not only that, but they've deployed robot sentries to guard the perimeter. Majoram and her friend Jerry The Stealth have just run away from their madame/rebel benefactor Victoria with her money. They're trying to get into the Broken Apple to end the German occupation, but they really have no idea how. So in the mean time, they decide to stay with some old friends of Marjoram's on a farm. Unfortunately, these farmers aren't quite as benevolent as they seem, and trouble quickly ensues for the duo.

I honestly don't know what happened with this book. The story has lots of potential, but it's wasted by serious problems. For one thing, the dialogue is awkward and typos crop of frequently, as if it were haphazardly translated from another language. Here is an example, exactly as it is written in the text:

     "You live on a farm around her?" Marjoram says to Fremont as she sorts out papers into piles for stapling.
     "I do." He replies as he writes some notes down on the child's desk close to her, using the old inkwell attached to it. "You can make a ink out of berries, have I showed you this?"
     "No. I would love to try my hand at that. Do you print your own books with that ink?"
     "Yes, we do. We are the warehouse for such things."

There is plenty more where that came from. I could swear English isn't Grabe's native language, if not for the commentary she provides before and after the main story in which she clearly demonstrates a decent grasp of it.

Also, the writing is very murky. The characters often only hint at what is happening without actually showing us. They make frequent references to their past adventures despite the fact this is the first book in the series. And these adventures sound a lot more interesting than the events we actually see. Finally, the events we see are poorly communicated to us. I could never be completely certain what was happening.

Therefore, I cannot recommend Wild Marjoram. It's a poorly written story in a market already crowded with poorly written stories. But if you still want to read it, I'm including the link as usual.

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