Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Book Review - Frost-Haired Vixen

Now, I know that most of the space in this blog is taken up by rants and tirades - and this post is no different.

Frost Haired Vixen by John Zakour is a heinous book. If you receive it as a gift, the person who gave it to you hates you. I personally checked it out from the library, and it is a waste of shelf space there. An empty shelf would actually be better than a shelf with this travesty of a book upon it.

First, points off for mechanics. The writing is trite, and in the style of a fourth grader who had Phillip Marlowe read to him and thought it sounded fun. (Subject-verb-object-period. Subject-verb-object-period.) There are grammar mistakes and spelling mistakes. At one point, he butchers the mechanism of photosynthesis, so there are even technical mistakes - in a science fiction book, where reality is mutable. These are not cutting-edge science mistakes, or predictions that turned out wrong. These are grade-school science mistakes.

Second, points off for writing. Aside from the aforementioned mistakes, the characters are cookie-cutter; they have no depth at all, their dialogue is laughable, and the majority of the characters are based on tired or, frankly, offensive stereotypes. The computer scientists from Mars? No social skills, kind of greasy-looking, thick glasses, obsessed with women. The mind control? Trite. The end villain was no more predictable than Poe's locked room mystery, and for the same reason; the protagonist had clues that the reader did not.

Don't buy this book. Don't even let your gaze linger on it for more than a moment. I read it from beginning to end, in the hopes that it would improve along the way. It did not.

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