Book Review: Red Right Hand

 

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Title: Red Right Hand

Author: Brienne Dubh

Genre: Novella, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 1 Star

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Description/Synopsis:

Dermott McGuinty intended to be a good man but unfortunately for him the devil had other plans. Dermot is given the opportunity to be the next right hand man to the devil but when an assignment turns out to be the woman of his dreams will he have what it takes to get the job done. If he does what will it cost him in the end?

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

I hate giving 1 Star reviews. 1 Star is what I give books that I don’t finish, and unfortunately, this was one of those books.

Plot wise, this story was fascinating. I loved the idea of a guy who is coerced into becoming the devil’s right hand despite the fact that the man isn’t evil. This isn’t a concept you see a lot, and I was excited to dive into the story and see where it would lead. In that aspect, this story was well done. I didn’t get bored with the the scenes that were presented, their order, or what was actually happening in the story.

The problem for me, arose with the technical side of the story. It wasn’t well written when it comes to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. by the time I got to 27% of the way into the book (that’s where I stopped) I found (and I counted this, I promise) 80 different instances of misplaced, misused, and missing punctuation; incorrect, or missing words; and sentences where the structure was so jumbled that I had a hard time understanding what was being said. This story was in dire need of a professional editor. The comma was by far the most common error. Usually they were missing or misused, sometimes more than 10 times a page. It became distracting, and often made the narrative difficult to read because I had to analyze each sentence to make sure I had the correct meaning.

Another, smaller problem I ran across was a sense of weak writing. I know that sounds vague, but let me explain. The story started slow, and as the story progressed it didn’t seem to improve. It took awhile for me to pinpoint it, but I eventually settled on the understanding that the story suffered from what most writers will know as “telling, not showing”. The narrative consistently seemed to tell me what Dermott was feeling or realizing without actually showing how his feelings and realizations impacted his actions. It sucked the tension out of what should have been a very tension-filled story (come on, the guy is talking to Lucifer!) and made the narrative seem dry and well… boring.

The dialogue wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great either. It seemed unnatural and sometimes a little long-winded. The dialogue seemed to suffer from what I call, narrative mirror syndrome… which is when an author writes their dialogue like they write their narrative. Unfortunately, people just don’t speak that way. It wasn’t the worst dialogue I’ve read (thank goodness it wasn’t overly dramatic or whiney), but it wasn’t great. Lucifer didn’t come across nearly as evil or seductive as I expected (despite the fact the narrative called him seductive). He seemed almost tame. His humor seemed to be an attempt at making him witty, but made him sound more like a children’s cartoon villain—arrogant and dismissive. I really wish he had been, at the very least, more menacing.

I think most of what bothered me about this story could have been easily fixed with a good set of beta readers and a professional editor just to tighten up the narrative/dialogue and clean things a bit. Had it not been for the glaring technical errors, I probably could have gotten through the end of the story. It may not have been my favorite story, but I would have given it at least 2-3 stars. Unfortunately, the technical errors were so common, and so obvious that I couldn’t get past them.

I do think there are people out there who will enjoy this story (particularly those out there that don’t professional edit or write and can look past the technical errors), unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them. I didn’t hate the story—I didn’t have any strong feelings about it either way. I simply wasn’t engaged as I should have been, and combined with the errors, I couldn’t push myself to keep reading.

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