Guest Reviewed by SCD Goff
SCD specialises in reviewing self-published books, in fact she thrives on it, preferring it to more traditionally published novels. Her reviews are thorough, with good tips for debut authors on what worked well and what didn't, and overall I can guarantee your novels are in good hands.
-SCD Goff's Blog
Patrick Patterson and the World of Others by James Fryar
Published Date: Oct 3rd 2011
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
For almost thirteen years, Patrick has lived a quiet, simple life in the boring town at the
Texas border called Farwell...with big dreams and small hopes of
fulfilling them. He’s bullied by the biggest kid in school, constantly
singled out in class by the scariest teacher, and has a crush on the
prettiest girl, named Cameron. It all seems to be too much for him to
handle, when suddenly, he is whisked away by a rag tag group of warriors
and others on a quest across the United States to discover his true
identity and a destiny clouded in mystery.
Never in his wildest
dreams did he think that he'd walk through an underground city filled
with citizens from across the universe, contend with powerful enemies
from the edge of the galaxy, or travel to the Arctic Circle on a high
Now, he must decide what he truly desires and whether he even wants to take up the mantle of hero...or alien.
An ordinary 12-year-old boy in America has weird neighbours,
a bully of a coach, and a giant crush on the girl next door. That is, of
course, until he finds out who he really is – and what he is destined to do.
So far, ho hum, but the author offers a new take on the ‘I’m
a –what??’ story. He interacts very directly with the reader with a distinct
narrative voice which is fresh and energetic. A good sense of humour helps the
story zip along, and the story itself is pacey and well-structured. The author
sets scenes well, has some imaginative flair and the narrative is kept fairly lean,
with nothing there but the essentials.
And now for the ugly bits.
First, the writing is not always clear, and this rankles
with the reader from early on in the novel: ‘In Farwell, the tiny town on the
edge of Texas where our story starts, nothing ever was really a secret anyway.
You see, in a city (if you could call it that) of just a few thousand, not much
happened, and what did happen was common news the very next day in which a
thing of importance did happen.’ I’m not sure what that means.
The author uses some terrible English – for example, ‘would
it be possible if I make my speech tomorrow?’ There’s also some very weird
phrasing where the author uses words he hasn’t quite got the hang of: ‘I dare
say you have had an entire semester to gather all your thoughts into one report
It’s hard to know whether to put these glitches down to poor
writing or poor editing, so let’s give the benefit of the doubt.
But besides this, there are other, larger problems, such as
a lack of development in the secondary characters, and some difficulties with
writing action scenes.
read more: Review: Patrick Patterson and the World of Others by James Fryar