April Brown is the non-Twitter name of @UncoveredMyths, and a very nice person she is, too.
Her bio says:
April Brown always had a fascination with history, science, and social science. Too many questions have long forgotten answers. Perhaps, new answers will be uncovered in the future, through studies of the past. Many readers find documentaries challenging. These novels and novellas hope to being the past, present, and future, alive in the minds of the reader through the eyes of characters who would rather not be alive in the time they are. These novels and novellas, while adventures, are written in a more classical style, without extreme action, romance, or violence. Characters think before they act. Sometimes, this leads to trouble.
She accepted a copy of my upcoming science fiction collection, Other Earth, Other Stars, for review, and sent me a copy of the first book of her Trails series, Trails 1: Trails Through the Fault Lines for my review.
Since my book isn’t out yet, she’s holding her review until publication, although she’s written it; I haven’t read it.
Here’s my review of Trails Through the Fault Lines, which I’m also posting on Goodreads and Amazon. I sent her the review prior to this, I was so upset that I couldn’t give it a higher rating. She, a true professional, said, “I think it is a very good review, because you point out what you think works, and what doesn’t for you. That will help potential readers.”
First, the cover and Amazon description.
Amber and Alex track the expanding quakes and volcanic eruptions across New Mexico. Amber’s vision of the future terrifies her, as the dammed Rio Grande begins the process of the great split that will unzip the continent from the Gulf of Mexico to Yellowstone.
Alex faces his first active non-Hawaiian volcano, and his fear of not living up to his father’s reputation as a renowned volcanologist. Alex fears his father didn’t escape before a massive quake in California.
Together, with guides Livia and Corbo, they must gather information so the military can attempt to save as many lives as possible. Amber and Alex grapple with losing best friends and family, as their world tumbles faster than the Rio Grande swirls.
Livia twists her ankle on Magdalena Peak, and must face her former friends and try to save their lives. She begins to understand what her well-meaning parents tried to do for her, while helping Corbo as he discovers his past is more convoluted than even he thought. As an undocumented illegal immigrant, he is used to blending in, when all he wants is to be part of something bigger. He thinks.
Great Content, Needs Editing
I love books that take me into other lives and make me believe I’m in another reality. Trails 1 began well. I cared about the characters, and I cared about the premise. The book is full of adventure, excitement, and action.
Brown pulls off something I find extremely rare: Her characters talk about technical matters specific to branches of science about which I know nothing and their dialog sounds natural and comprehensible. I’ve never seen that done a quarter so well. Amazing!
Brown really needed an editor. She REALLY needed an editor. The trouble is not just with technical nit-picks like punctuation and words left out or left in when they should have been deleted (her them instead of one or the other of those words). There are characters who pop up for no reason other than that they’re needed for the plot, then drop out of the story. The plot has no resolution.
Some of the scenes read as if they were edited and polished, and those scenes are very good. As the book progresses, the writing is more and more jumbled, almost like free-writing.
The book reads like a rough draft rather than a finished product. That’s too bad, because it could have been excellent.
My hope is that Brown will find an editor to help her straighten out the technical kinks in a potentially block-bustin’ series.
Brown’s books are available at Amazon in print and for Kindle, and she has an active web presence.
Coffee, Tea, and Gluten Free: The Cookbook and The Novel
Crosswinds: Past, Present, and Future Combine
Trails Series: Through the Fault Lines, Through the Volcano
Cafe Press: http://www.cafepress.com/UncoveredMyths
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: In case of a cataclysmic event, would your main character be more interested in self-preservation, being with/saving a loved one, solving the problems, or profiting from the disaster?