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Lovely Assistant by Geoph Essex
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Lovely Assistant

by Geoph Essex

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Note: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Let me get into the thick of things by pointing out the pros and the cons.

PROS

1. I adored the cover art: even more so when I looked on the author’s website and realized he had illustrated it himself.
2. There were a few likeable characters in this work. Jenny, the main character, was very no nonsense. The optimism of Calvin was very infectious. I also had a soft spot for Rex the horse. His reaction to lots of situations made me laugh and also wonder if animals often feel that way about the actions of their human counterparts.
3. The overall concept was very intriguing—so much so that one could not predict what was to happen next. The lack of predictability definitely played in the author’s favor.

CONS

1. Excessive fluff:
The way I describe “excessive fluff” is when additional information is provided in chapters that do not: (1) add to the make up of the character (2) provide additional information to assist in conflict or plot and/or (3) present additional people who play a large or small role in the outcome of the book. Towards the middle of the book, there were chapters and chapters of extra information which served no point. They read more like “a day in the life of Jenny and Calvin” and took up major space where more plot development and conflict should have taken center stage.

2. “Scratch my head” dialogue: Many of the dialogue segments read as if they were scripted. In addition, there was quite a bit of repetition and very strange metaphorical comparisons. It is recommended that the author derivate from some of the terminology because it may not be understood by all, particularly if the audience is not solely U.S. based. There were nonsensical ones at well: one that stuck out was “his hormones visibly aching.”

3. Sentence structure: There were many passages in Lovely Assistant that are entirely too lengthy. One sentence (in Chapter Two) was twelve lines long. By the time I finished reading some of them, I was trying to figure out what I had just read. This adds aggravation to a read that is by all counts, entirely too long.

4. Descriptions of certain characters: The method in which some characters were described confused me. Why did it matter that Jenny was Chinese or that Heckler was black? Why was Vincent and Carrie’s perfection so paramount? Did these things have a purpose or really add to the characters’ blueprints? Why did the cops have to be made out as jokes? If it was the attempt of the author to be comedic, he did miss the mark. Instead he should have let their actions provide the majority of the comedy. The race innuendos provided nothing and the majority of the allegories should have been diminished or eliminated altogether.

5. Entirely too long: This book could have easily told the same story in under half the size. There is too much delay between one level of action and the next. Because of this, by the time an old character was reintroduced or finally had a role, one had to remind herself or who the individual was or forgot the person existed. Supplemental characters were overkill and the ones who were paramount did not get the author care needed to make the slow parts bearable.

Overall verdict: 3 Stars

There is a very rich story here but the above mentioned cons served to water it down and kept it from achieving a higher score from me. ( )
  NoLabelsUnleashed | May 22, 2015 |
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