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The Claims Adjuster (Volume 1) by A W…

The Claims Adjuster (Volume 1)

by A W Caliburn

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Recently added byEisah

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(Spoilers within)

On opening the file I received for this book I was confused. On the title page, not only was it oddly spaced so that the title looked like this:

Claims Adjus

but the part that is underlined was linked to a random article on Wikipedia. It didn't really bode well for the rest of the book when there were major issues with the title page.

I'm extremely forgiving of errors in indie books because I know most authors can't afford an editor, and it's easy to miss some things. Especially with common errors, many times I won't even mention them so long as they aren't overly frequent. This book is littered with errors, some of which I don't think I've seen in a book before.

The writing felt flat right from the start. Emotions never really came across to me. It was more like I was being told a list of emotions that the character was feeling than it being conveyed in the writing. It's hard for me to explain why it came off as flat, but I'll try to give an example. Here is a summary of his boss explaining what his job is with some stuff cut out.

"What we offer is not really a job in the way that most people view careers", [sic] he explained. "You won't have an office but you won't be working from your home, either". [sic]
"You won't draw a pay check but you won't have any bills to pay",
[sic] he offered...

"Your coworkers will be all around you but you won't really know who they are. Your assignments could be emailed to you or you could come by in person",
[sic] he continued.


"First, this is legal. Well, not really from the law enforcement point of view but then again, how many cops follow all the rules," he was questioning me now?


"We don't sell anything. We don't buy anything. We don't repair anything".


"We don't break things, either".
[sic] He stopped.


"I guess you could say that we end things so that they won't have to end themselves".

"You won't get a company tee shirt or name plate. You won't have a badge or a pass card",
[sic] ...

Look at all of that text describing pretty much nothing. It goes on and on and most of what he's saying is a list of negatives. I could have easily added to the list with anything. "You won't be selling ice-cream. We don't sell books. You won't need a Category D driving license." It's not building up tension, it's wasting time telling us about all the things that won't be needed or won't be happening.

Second, just as a testament to the first thing I mentioned, just look at how many times I had to put [sic] in there. There's plenty of other types of errors, too.

So, the overall story is that the main character, Doug, has been unemployed. He gets a job offer as a "claims adjuster", which is essentially the government hiring him to kill people who would be too expensive to pay medical costs for. The chapters then have him kill a variety of different people. This sort of set-up has been done before and it can be interesting, I just don't think it worked here.

The main problem is that the main characters aren't likable. They're not nice people and there doesn't seem to be any insight that they aren't, and scenarios are strange and judgmental. For example, there's a time he went to the emergency room, and he describes everyone else as having "nice shoes" (he's obsessed with shoes) and cell phones and ring tones and wearing shirts that he couldn't afford, etc etc. At first I thought the point was that only rich people could afford the emergency room, though it's still strange that he would be the only poor person who needs emergency care.

Later on it's said that all of the people he's complaining about aren't paying for their healthcare - he is. It was a strange assumption to make, and it wasn't the only time he jumps to the conclusion that he's paying for someone else' bill.

The main character's moral compass is deranged and his reasoning is bizarre.

I thought back to a particular drunk driving arrest I had made years before. I was asked, on the stand, under oath with God as my witness, if I ever had even took a sip of alcohol and then operated a motor vehicle. I lied.

Okay, so he felt bad about lying on the stand. It's a bit melodramatic, but I can accept that he would feel bad about that. Later, he's assigned his first person to kill, and he thinks this:

I convinced myself that, if it was ok to lie on the stand years past, it's ok to end a life for a good cause.

I don't understand what one has to do with the other or how they're even remotely equal in how bad they are. He's comparing telling a small lie on the stand to following and murdering an elderly woman. "I told a lie once, so it's okay to kill someone". I don't follow the logic.

Parts of this book made me uncomfortable in the way they were presented. The character seems to try and come off as "I don't have a problem with women/gay people," and unfortunately that seems to be followed by a "but" and then proceeds to be offensive.

Read the rest here. ( )
  Eisah | Apr 29, 2015 |
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