Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Read in 2016 - 20: Undoing One's Enemy

Let me begin this review with a warning: Do NOT read "Undoing One's Enemy" if you are sensitive enough to spelling and grammar errors for them to take away much of your reading pleasure.
The author, Camille Oster, had either no proof reader/editor at all, or the one she had was just as careless as she.

Dear Ms Oster, please, please, please look up the correct spelling of "surprise" - it is NOT, as you insist on throughout the entire book, "surprize"! Honestly, it isn't!
Also, apart from some obvious typing errors which can (and do) happen to anyone, you can not simply switch between tenses in the same sentence, when you are on about the same thing. Here is an example: "The rooms that Lord Eldridge has afforded them were small but well-kept [...]."



Now I have my rant out of the way, I'll focus on the story.
Set in London in the (presumably) mid-1800s, Amelia Hessworth is thrown out of her home of 20-odd years when its former owner returns to take possession of the estate. Amelia's father had originally gotten hold of the property by less than honest means, leaving the heir of the ruined family with only one goal in life: Reclaim the estate, and take revenge on the impostor.

Therefore, Miss Hessworth and Lord Eldridge's first encounter does not happen under the best circumstances - they hate each other heartily, doing what they can to be spiteful, and rile each other every time their paths cross.

This is, of course, the classic setting for a love story, and it is obvious from the first moment these two meet that they are destined to be together. At this point, I could have stopped reading, since everything was so predictable. And yet, in spite of the increasing number of spelling and grammatical errors and the use of clich├ęs left, right and centre, I did want to know how Amelia was going to cope with being (relatively) poor all of a sudden, and what twists and turns the author would offer before the wedding bells would be chiming for the heroine.

The story definitely became more interesting when Amelia met Celeste, a woman her late father had been well acquainted with.
Also, the switch between the minds of the two main protagonists is rather well done. There is even some humour every now and then, but on the whole - honestly, I can not recommend this book.
There were times when I thought of abandoning it, but I had nothing better to do on my train trips to and from work, and it was not overly long. That way, it was not really a waste of time - and not a waste of money, either, because this was yet another free ebook from Amazon's kindle store.

PS: I have just looked at the reviews on Amazon.com for this book. Seems like I was not the only one to notice the lack of proof-reading and editing.

17 comments:

  1. I know I can't write as my brain goes faster then my fingers and I'm am far from literate
    I have tried to read a dozen or more self published books from Kindle and have finished few and of the few have been finished slowley.
    I accept I would have to pay for research and editing authors who attempt to do otherwise are at risk of looking stupid.
    I don't know how you finished a book like this.

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    1. PS. This comment was not edited. I bet I write just like Camille.

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    2. Well, Adrian, the difference is that you do not pretend to be an author. But you know the importance of good editing when it comes to published text in any shape, be it a newspaper article, a website or a book.
      Actually, I don't think I would have finished the book had it not been for the eventless trips to and from work.

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    3. Just buy a Robert Godard book and forget work.

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    4. I don't think I have read anything by Mr. Godard, thanks for the recommendation!
      By the way, I really once nearly forgot about work while reading on the train. I missed my stop and had to get off the next one and catch another train going back...

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  2. Those mistakes would detract from the reading experience for me. I doubt I would keep on reading it to the end, and would be irritated if I spent money on a book like the one you describe. Though I have not seen this book, so am just commenting in general.

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    1. Good job I have not spent any money on it! I have deleted the book from my kindle as soon as finished writing the review.

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  3. I have seen so very many problems with proof reading on kindle books, not just free ones, but books I have spent money on!

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    1. That's a shame, Nan, but I see this more and more - people often say they don't mind making mistakes as others will still understand, and the likes of me are considered uptight, old-fashioned sticklers for rules of correct spelling and grammar.

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  4. I think I will not read this, even if it is free! I need to learn how to delete books from my kindle!

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    1. No, don't, Kristi. There are so many really good books deserving your time and attention.
      You can delete books from your kindle either directly on the device or via your computer.

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  5. Sounds horrendous. Tempting though the plot sounds, think I'll give this one a mizz.

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  6. Georgette Heyer did this sort of twaddle a lot better. Hers were better written though. Bad writing makes me give up pretty quickly.

    btw: surprize can simply be the US spelling for surprise.

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    1. Really, Friko? I didn't know "surprize" is officially not wrong, my mistake then!

      Georgette Heyer was THE BEST - I read every one of her books I could get my hands on, first when I was about 13, and then again when I was in my early twenties.

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  7. As an American, I have to say that we spell it SURPRISE. Funny thing though, we pronounce the letter Z as zee and not zed!

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    1. Thank you, Kay! I was 100 % sure that "surprize" wasn't the correct spelling, as I'd never seen it like that before (at least not in a book), and I have read many books written by American authors, too.

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