Monday, October 23, 2017

Book Review : Gridiron Conspiracy by Christopher Paniccia

Dear Readers,

This is a blog entry I never wanted to write. This is a review I never wanted to write. The time has come, however, to get the dreaded "Did Not Finish" review out of the way. So let's buckle in and do this. Today I am reviewing Gridiron Conspiracy by Christopher Paniccia, and I am about to test my own ability to stick to my "100% honesty" in my book reviews.

I had high hopes for this book. I met Christopher at the New England Author Expo this summer in Massachusetts and had the pleasure of hearing him speak on a panel for first-time publishers. Most of the points that were brought up were things I already knew, but Christopher and his fellow panelists were fantastic speakers and did have a few suggestions and tips I hadn't thought of myself. Afterward, when I was wandering around, I had the opportunity to speak with him. I purchased some of his amazing artwork, and we agreed to a swap of the first books in our series.

The first book in Christopher's series follows a protagonist by the same name, a young man entering into the world of professional football. Not too far into the book, we learn that Chirs is unknowingly part of a secret government program that is cloning players and it goes much deeper than just professional football. Really, it's a fascinating premise, but the whole thing is poorly executed. When my male best friend asked me what the book was about, as soon as the word "football" passed my lips, he said, "Well, of course you don't like it if it's a sports book!" For the record, I love football. Also for the record, whether I love football or not, a well-written story should engage the reader regardless. The book opens up with two chapters of exposition and history of the character and the game, with the narration having little more than a monotone voice. At times it felt like I was reading a report or an essay rather than a work of fiction. We writers tend to fall into this trap of wanting to show off all this knowledge we have on particular subjects that we cross the line of being informative into being preachy encyclopedias telling the reader way more than they ever want or even need to know. This book crossed that line way too many times.

When we finally get to meet some characters and see some interactions, they leave much to be desired. Interactions feel forced, dialogue is wooden and awkward, (no one uses contractions. Like...what? O_o) head hopping occurs so frequently that you don't know whose perspective you're reading from at any given moment, especially since this book is written in block format where the cardinal rule of starting a new paragraph each time a new character speaks is broken on the regular. And don't even get me started on the switching tenses and the grammar!

This book got me shook, y'all.

I really wanted to like this one. The cover is awesome. It's minimalistic and different and really catches your eye. I really liked Chirs, and I really wanted to like his book. Unfortunately, this one is definitely not for me. I had to walk away after a hundred pages, and that was really forcing myself to get that far. In the interest of my sanity, it's time for me to move on.

Up next: The Rare Pearl by Jennifer W. Smith. Spoiler Alert! I've already started reading this one and this author has restored my faith in independently published authors.


Post a Comment


Diana Does Stuff Copyright © 2012 Design by Ipietoon Blogger Template