Where Honesty Never Ends.
Note: This copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. No updated rendition was provided to us prior to reading.
Greetings! The Review Board here to share thoughts on Savior by Anthony Caplan. Without further adieu, we bring you Mr. Controversy.
“Savior” by Anthony Caplan is a 308-page PDF read (based on the file that I received).
Let’s read the blurb (provided by Amazon):
A father and son stumble into the secret world of the Santos Muertos, a crime cartel bent on global domination. The son must find his father and keep the secret of the ancient Mayan code underlying the creation of matter in the universe from falling into the wrong hands.
A story of sacrifice and love.
Just like Mr. Caplan’s blurb, my review will be short.
Right off the bat, the first sentence was very lengthy and could have been broken up for an easier read.
“The morning that Mary died, the television broadcast F5 tornado warnings in the mid-Atlantic, a man shot up a hospital in Fort Wayne, Dittohead Larry’s car dealership promised amazing deals in Kissimmee, and a crack opened in the sky that was getting bigger every day.”
“The morning that Mary died, the television broadcast F5 tornado warnings in the mid-Atlantic. There was a man who was shot up a hospital in Fort Wayne. There was a Dittohead Larry’s car dealership which promised amazing deals in Kissimmee. Lastly, a crack opened in the sky that was getting bigger every day.”
Another observation that I made, were multiple missed comma opportunities as well as comma overuse. In several instances, semicolons or colons could have been used in place of commas.
Speaking of commas, colons, and semicolons, the word “and” is used 3,129 times (which includes words that use this 3-letter combination in this specific order).
MY PROBLEM comes in where those letters in that order (“and”) started 71 sentences. Instead of the constant peppering and abuse of the word “and,” those three aforementioned punctuation marks could have been utilized instead of the word “and.” The word “and” is an effective word, but ONLY if utilized properly.
Example #1: “It’s something I learned in college. A party trick. And then I hear his outraged screams of anger.”
Suggested Edit: “It’s something I learned in college: A party trick. Then I hear his outraged screams of anger.”
Example #2: “And we were happy before Mary’s death.”
Suggested Edit: “We were happy before Mary’s death.”
Example #3: “In my day of triumph, even the night will be shot through with the prismatic effects that Mary glimpsed as she whispered to me. And I will never hear the false wind overhead. And I will be able to walk freely.”
Suggested Edit: “In my day of triumph, even the night will be shot through with the prismatic effects that Mary glimpsed as she whispered to me. I will never hear the false wind overhead: I will be able to walk freely.”
In some parts of “Savior”, Spanish dialogue is used in the story. Although I do not oppose Spanish, citing that its popularity has made it into arguably “the second language of the United States” as well as my being able to speak, read, AND write Spanish, there is no translation for those who DO NOT speak Spanish. This would be helpful for those who are looking for a translation.
Granted, an argument can be made where everyone should pick up on a second language, yet let’s be honest. We ALL know a good number of closed minded people who will not attempt to study a second language due to ignorance of Mental Expansion in the name of better understanding others.
If someone is offended by this, then it would stand to reason that I am speaking directly to you with these words.
The biggest issue that I have with “Savior” is that Quotation Marks are nowhere to be found in the story, causing confusion to the traditional reader who is accustomed to reading stories with that critical punctuation mark. I have spoken with my colleagues in The Review Board as well as a few friends outside of The Review Board’s walls about this issue. Although the general consensus is that quotation marks ARE used for a reason, one should not bring judgment down on someone especially if it stifles their creativity.
It is worth noting (as Ms. No Labels and I have discussed in length, and Ms. No Labels suggested that I share what we spoke in the name of clarity and understanding), that there is a growing trend of NOT using quotation marks in stories. For Ms. No Labels and I, the use of quotation marks is a literary staple that lets us know when spoken dialogue is being used. When I read this story, and my personal opinion, the lack of this pertinent and very important piece of punctuation mark is not only vital, it is very critical. Citing the lack of quotation marks made it quite difficult for me to not only read “Savior,” but to enjoy it as well.
There are several sites that discuss, in length, this particular “new trend” (READ: FAD):
On one side of the coin, I understand creativeness in thinking outside of the box. We would not be living in the Society in which we are living today had thinking outside of the box was not implemented. Creativity and thinking outside of the box gave birth to MANY incredible sights, sounds, tastes, etc. (Salted Caramel Fudge Brownie Sundae, anyone?)
On the other side of the coin, there are literary rules in place for a reason. Those literary rules calms down the confusion, and it keeps tradition intact. When quotation marks are missing from a story, how do you expect people to know who is speaking to who in your story?
Overall, it is up to the discretion of the writer/author to consider all of those who he/she is trying to reach with his/her story(ies).
As Ms. No Labels said to me at 2:16PM on February 9, 2015, “Our job is not to edit. Our job is to review. If the misses in edits messes up our enjoyment from a reader and reviewer perspective, then we need to speak on it.”
I spoke on it, and Truth be Told, I have MORE Highlights and sticky notes on my PDF copy than I do story.
Survey Says: 1 out of 10 stars
The only thing that I can say is this: More work needs to go into the book. A professional editor, a professional proofreader, an extra pair of professional eyes so they can catch the grammatical errors would most likely make this book a bit more enjoyable and digestible. For me, I am having a hard time downing “Savior.”
Thanks for checking out The Review Board. Feel free to share, like, and subscribe. Have a wonderful day!