Friday, March 23, 2012

Wolf's Rise

Author Sevastian Winters had sent me a .mobi file of his book Wolf's Rise to review a couple of months ago. Alas, I have no actual Kindle, so it took me this long to figure out how to make it actually load onto my Kindle app for my Droid. I had forewarned him that it could take several weeks. I also forewarned him that I am not a fan of the werewolf genre of books.

Wolf's Rise is the story of a government project gone astray. In an effort to create immortal soldiers, President Reagan authorized the LupoSapien Project. Werewolves were crossbred with humans to create a more powerful soldier. When in combat, these men quickly turn into wolves. The wolves can only be killed by decapitation. Any other attempt at killing them results in quick healing and an even angrier soldier. (Think of The Crow.)

When Sven, the basis of their project, gets loose, Navy SEALs quickly mobilize to quickly contain him and the situation. Unfortunately, numerous lives are lost and others are bitten, thus growing an uncontrolled wolf population. One particular man is accidentally bitten when he tries to help his neighbor who has been attacked. A manhunt for him commences, as well. The end provides a temporary resolution of the problems, but the main one is not solved. Book 2 is due out soon.

This book really is not my cup of tea. But I will admit that it was action-packed and kept the pages quickly turning. Plenty of detail allowed me to visualize the events as they unfolded. It was like reading about a movie.

At the same time, it read like a movie script in some ways. A lot of the writing is dialogue between the characters. A lot of the men are pompous jerks who get off on swearing and belittling everyone around them. But their dialogue seems somewhat contrived. I felt like I was reading the script of a cheesy movie from the 60s or 70s at some points. Knowing what I do about the author, though, it fits in with his writing style.

My biggest problem with the book is the sheer number of spelling and grammatical errors. I visibly winced every time I saw a misspelling, improper use of a homophone, or misplaced punctuation. A couple of words, such as "neighbor" being spelled as "neighbour" make sense, as Sev is from Canada. Saying that someone's "spinal chord" was severed, though, is incorrect in both countries. A lot of the dialogue is missing quotation marks in such a way that it cannot be blamed on the formatting for the Kindle. (My copy originated from Smashwords.) What makes this even harder to swallow is that Winters proclaims himself to be a wonderful writer, even touting his latest writing book How I Are Becomed a Much Gooder Author as the answer for all struggling writers. Even great writers need an editor! My hope is that by now he has had someone help him go back through and fix all of those errors.

I have no doubt in my mind that Sevastian Winters is a good storyteller. Reading this book was not a complete waste of my time. I enjoyed the story more than I originally thought I would.

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