Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe

And they published this?

Night Shade Books, you should be ashamed! Her hand was cold and callous. And no, that wasn't metonymy...

I just finished a fantasy with an interesting premise, pedestrian, journeyman writing - and the most egregious copyediting ever. Those of us who speak English would call her hand calloused, from wielding a pen, but not whoever looked after this volume. Also, I pity the ladies whose costume is constructed from scissor blades (shears) rather than diaphanous material (sheers). There were other faux pas I don't recall, that a professional copy editor and publisher should be ashamed to have let into print - if there was a copy editor and not just a spill chucker. I'm loathe to criticise the writer - I doubt I could do better and the premise is intriguing- but the prose is leaden, the hero is going for moody and intriguing but just comes off as whiny and the interchangeable brothers, mothers, aunts and servants who should trip off the page like a French farce or a Greek tragedy glide around like cardboard characters stuck to sticks. Mostly, I blame the Locus reviewer if the positive comments quoted on the front cover were not accompanied by an equivalent warning about the writing quality.

Or should I tell you what I really think?
Tags: copy editing, criticism, fiction, grammar flame, writing

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