Monday, April 7, 2008

The Secret Scroll ~ by Ronald Cutler

Have you read my poem posted earlier today? The poet sounds brave, doesn't she? It's a lie. Oh, that I could that easily review a terrible book! I've been struggling to know what to say about The Secret Scroll by Ronald Cutler. No, it doesn't have "a tragic flaw" and it isn't "made of nothing more than straw." It really has the potential to be a fairly good book, but it really ... really ... really needs an editor. Let me just flat-out say the things I have to say:
The timing is clumsy; it lacks the feel of a well-edited novel; it doesn't flow smoothly; an editor should have picked up on problems like having Christians (plural), Jews (plural), and agnostics (plural) in a group of five people (in chapter 6). Oops! Much later in the book there's suddenly a fellow named Jonathan (chapter 24) who was probably meant to be in that bunch of folks in chapter 6, because he's officially part of that work group. However, he wasn't (isn't) there. Nope, only the other five. Other inconsistencies include someone being either escorted or dragged ... and that's the same person on the same page. Which was it? There's a lot of telling how Josh (the protagonist) feels, and not enough showing ... with no explanation, we're told he feels it. And most confusing were their names, the A's and the J's: Andre, Alon, Alu, Avner, Alexander, and Avraham; Josh, Joel, and Jonathan. Give me a break ... come up with names I can distinguish, please. And please stick with one or the other: one character is sometimes Andre, sometimes Father Andre, sometimes Father Billet. One last major grip: in trying too hard to be a thriller, the author kills off everybody. Well, no, two or three are left, but the characters are dying right and left. Do so many really have to die? And lots of little gripes: Muslims or Moslems? ... both are used in this book ... "out on a line" is probably supposed to be "out on a limb" ... Josh questioning the security people who have come to question HIM ... and hey, there are way too many coincidental discoveries because of Josh's "intuition." As I said, this books cries out for an editor. Somebody left it in rough draft form.
*Take a deep breath, Bonnie, and let's say something nice here.*

Title, author, copyright date, and genre?
The Secret Scroll ~ by Ronald Cutler, 2008, fiction

What did you like most about the book?
The author has a great imagination, and if he'd quit killing everybody for the thrill factor, it could be a good story. (Okay, you know I'm exaggerating when I say "everybody," right?)

How would you rate the book?
I'd have to say "nah, don't bother." And I really wanted to like this book.


Anonymous said...

These gripes escaped my review for the most part, but they are true. This book does suffer from inconsistencies and editing errors and illogical occurrences.

Wendy said...

I didn't like it review is here.

Linda Jacobs said...

Thanks for your honesty! I'll be sure to steer clear of this one.