Friday, October 30, 2009

72 Virgins by Avi Perry

3 stars
R- 3.5
Language, Violence
Source- Virtual Book Tour

I really struggled rating this book. On the one hand, it's a pretty good story. International intrigue, terrorism, good guys, bad guys... guys in between...

Arik is enjoying the idea of freedom after several years working with the Israeli military. But now Mossad wants him for an undercover mission-- possibly years long. And they're willing to go pretty far to get his cooperation. He says thanks, but no thanks, and heads off to Bali with Rachel, his girlfriend. When they're kidnapped, though, everything changes, and Arik finds himself pulled into a double life filled with terrorists bent on achieving their final rest in paradise.

But I had a hard time connecting fully with the characters. They weren't overly compelling to me. I can't pinpoint anything. Character development was good, I just didn't connect with them. And while there were things about the story that were cliche or somewhat contrived, it was, overall, a pretty good story.

On the other hand, the editing was terrible. Really really terrible. And unfortunately I'm pretty sure this isn't a galley. I hope it is, but I don't think it is.

Now, to be fair to the author, I don't think English is his first language. Which would probably explain the odd punctuation, awkward sentences and word choice errors. But that's what editors are for! So I guess the blame really falls on the publisher for that one.

As a reader though, it's VERY VERY VERY distracting. And that could be why I couldn't connect with the characters.

Which is terribly frustrating, because it's really hard to separate it all out in my head. If the editing had been good, this would likely be a fairly different review. But I'm kind of an editor at heart, and I just can't overlook blatant mistakes. They drive me crazy and they deeply affect how I feel about a book.

I would LOVE to see this redone, maybe with a bigger publisher that can provide proper editing.

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