As I did with my recent review with Timelines, which I believe was Bob Blink’s first Kindle book, I will divide this review of his latest novel into two parts,
- The story – 5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed the excellent plot, the characters, the settings, and the non-stop action and suspense of what’s coming next. Bob has a special knack of all good story-tellers in that you get hooked right from the start and it’s difficult to put the book down. It takes time and patience to bring a novel like this from concept to publication, and in telling the story, Blink had me engaged through the entire tale. It was a great read
- The mechanics – 1 star
I thought that in the six or so years between Timelines and The Sixth Extinction there would be marked improvement where copy-editing is concerned. Unfortunatetly this proved not to be so. This book has so many mistakes in grammar that it is hard to imagine any sort of copy-editing even took place. Blink acknowledges seven good folks who supposedly spent “the tiresome effort of chasing down grammar and typographical errors.” I would not wish my name to be publicly associated with that tireless effort. There are many errors that would be red-lined by high school English teachers, let alone any decent book editor.
Here are a few examples of mistakes in several categories:
- Incorrect choice of homophones:
had elected to feint sleep. (feign)
when Ray knocked discretely (discreetly)
He had a couple of friends he could still contact for information, so long as he was discrete. (discreet)
- Incorrect ethnic description
the sharp glances she’d been given by the sexy oriental, (Oriental refers to objects, Asian refers to ethnicity)
- Run-on words
find the names of people that he’d never heard of listed everyday. (every day)
- Missing conjuntions – that/if/whether
Don didn’t need to check the body to confirm [that] the man was dead.
The loop harness was strong enough [that] he could easily pull the unit
- Run-on clauses that need to be separated by commas
someone like Dr. Russell[,] who had discovered the dust clouds and tracked them for multiple years was more likely…
For now[,] the food supplies still relied on the fields below ground
- Quotation marks either missing or misused, resulting in discontinuity in dialog
“Guess I’d better get going,” Ray said, still standing by his chair. [“]Walker’s guy should be ready for me by now.”
- Massive misuse of apostrophes in words that are simple plurals (this is really 8th grade stuff)
They’d rely on input from the citizen’s who had heard Cindy’s message,
The defender’s had apparently momentarily lost track.
- Lack of apostrophes when needed to indicate possessive
“Probably because we got Bill Williams unit,”
- Strange sentences
Not knowing what the current situation might be, another.
John and the Don Russell would require more time for recuperation. (Here Don is a first name, not a title)
- Using an apostrophe where it isn’t needed
“Well, you’re job isn’t to take them out, just to find them.”
- Tacking words together using a dash
had been set-aside for them.
- Creating unnecessary breaks with commas
Those who were Cyborg, would have bodies cloned…
- I flagged the following because it is the sort of thing fighter pilots might endure but not ordinary citizens:
[The transcontinental maglev tube] could bring someone coast to coast in less than an hour. [This would be a speed approaching Mach 3, or 2,500 mph at sea level. Imagine the G forces. And this from someone who worked in satellite systems!]
I would hope that the author reads reviews and takes these issues seriously. Many of these are simple mistakes that we all make but are the sort of things that must be caught by a good proofreader before put on sale.