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leah

Leah's Bookshelf

Likes: Horror, macabre, fairy tales, ghosts, hauntings, serial killers, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, time travel, orphans, clones, thrillers, classics, gothic

 

I like to read anything that tells a good story, duh ;) Genre doesn't really matter much but I tend to read dark fiction and fantasy the most. I skip chick lit and romance novels with a few exceptions for the extraordinary.

 

My ratings system:

5 stars - ADORED; plan to read over and over and over.

4 stars - ENJOYED; will likely read once or twice more.

3 stars - LIKED; may or may not read again ... someday.

2 stars - MEH; no plans to read again.

1 stars - I didn't enjoy the story and was lucky to finish.

0 stars - I couldn't or wouldn't finish for reasons that may or may not be listed in the review box.

Currently reading

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories
Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Ray Bradbury, Charlotte Gilman Perkins, Willa Carter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Crane, Washington Irving, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, Nath
Progress: 225/768 pages

Alice in Deadland (Alice in Deadland #1) by Mainak Dhar

Alice in Deadland  - Mainak Dhar

Don't believe the hype! Or the 4- and 5-star ratings. Alice in Deadland was a huge disappointment. Normally I don't rate books I stop reading, but I felt compelled to in this case because I was so totally duped by the book's back cover blurb and hundreds of glowing reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. (I didn't compare usernames to see if they were the same reviewers on both sites.)

 

Anywho, I won't waste any more of my time by writing an in-depth critique. My advice to anyone thinking of reading Alice in Deadland is first read the 1- and 2-star reviews. Those reviewers accurately cover the novel's problems.

 

No character development and a weak plot were the main reasons I couldn't finish. The secondary reason was the writing itself. There's no excuse, even if English is the writer's second language. And I'm struck, once again, by a self-published "author" who seems oblivious to the importance of a good editor.

 

Man, this bummed me out. The blurb sounded interesting and fun. Too bad the idea surpassed the writer's storytelling abilities. *big ass sigh*

 

For those interested, my status updates while reading to page 75 are below. There are a few quotes from the book that may help explain why I quit and why I would not recommend this to anyone. (Matter of fact, I'm going to speak to the librarian when I return the book.)

 

09/07/2012 page 34: I guess I thought because it was at the library it had at least been read by one of the librarians. Smelt, spelt and learnt used (pet peeve). Repeated use of "fairy tale" in first 10 pages. ALL talk, no show. Repeated use of the same phrases and "descriptions" within a page or two of each other. I'm already asking how this received so many 5-star ratings and sold 50,000 copies on Amazon.

 

09/07/2012 page 37: "Alice looked to her left and saw something was which no less than a miracle- her backpack, which Bunny Ears must have dropped there in the chaos." That's exactly how it's written on page 37. I'd hope the character development would start by now. But it's still Dhar telling me, not Alice showing me.

 

Note: Anything typed inside quotation marks is word for word, dash for dash, from the book.

 

09/07/2012 page 60: "Alice's hair was cropped short (so that nobody could grab it in a close fight, as her instructors had said),..." Uh, but didn't Bunny Ears grab Alice by the hair during their first fight? "Alice looked up to see Bunny Ears looming over her...Alice cringed as he grabbed her hair, but instead of attacking her, he seemed to be examining it, turning it around in his fingers (p. 14)." Yet, I pushed forward.

 

09/07/2012 page 75: I made it to chapter six, but I'd rather clean my cats' litter boxes than keep reading. Why?

 

"'Alice, tomorrow some folks from Zeus will be here to take you.'

Alice sat up in a panic...Her father saw her expression and sat down next to her.

'No, no. You don't need to worry- I would never let them take you...(p.64)'

'Sweetheart, they're here to get you. They promised us that you'd be back by evening...(p.65)'"