Friday, June 15, 2007

The Black Tea Experiments, by Ray Atkinson

I love getting things for free. So, when a publicist offered too send me review copies of two books, I jumped at the chance. Once I got the books, there were some warning signs that the quality might not be too high. One of the books was obviously POD book, and the other (which I'm reviewing today) was published by a "publisher" who's on Writer Beware's "Two Thumbs Down" publisher's list and is strongly not recommended by Preditor's & Editors.

The Black Tea Experiments calls itself an "airplane book," by which the writer means it's intended to be picked up at an airport bookstore, and is short enough to be read during a single flight. If that's what your looking for, then I would recommend this book. It does have an original plot and interesting characters, which can make it a fun read.

The plot goes like this: there's a Russian mad scientist/mob boss who made a serum that turned some kids into super-geniuses and altered their blood. One of these kids gets murdered on a college campus and the hero's girlfriend is blamed. Somehow the hero's super-dooper telescope managed to catch pictures of the crime. It's fairly interesting.

Unfortunately the book has some major style problems. There is way too much extraneous information. It seems like every character (major & minor) gets his own little backstory or side story, which distracts from the main plot. Then there's the fact that the POV keeps shifting from one character to another with no warning. Hell, it shifts from one character in the main plot to another character's back- or side story with no warning. There are also quit a few typos and word misuses like this one:
Your Honor, the defendant has been discovered on a security camera leaving the library with the decendent...

I suspect the author meant deceased. Also, the dialog is pretty bad in spots.

I can only give The Black Tea Experiments three yo-yos. I hope the POD book is better, but I'm not holding my breath.

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