Monday, 11 April 2016

Review: The Indestructibles

The Indestructibles The Indestructibles by Matthew Phillion
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If this had been well edited, it would have got a fourth star and I probably would have bought the sequel. It's an engaging, though by no means groundbreaking, YA supers story. But the author has a lot to learn about the mechanics of prose.

Specifically, he needs to learn:

1. Where to use, and where not to use, a comma. In particular, not to use a comma to splice together what should be two separate sentences (this happens over and over, as do various other comma issues).

2. How to use the past perfect tense when referring to something that happened prior to the "narrative moment". Every time I hit a sentence like "Billy wished Jane came to that conclusion earlier" (instead of "had come to that conclusion"), it disoriented me. This also happened frequently.

3. The difference between breaks and brakes, effected and affected, enormity and enormousness, site and sight, waved and waived, breath and breathe, fallout and falling out, definitive and definite, queue and cue, canon and cannon, held true and held firm, and (in one case each) they're and their and it's and its. Also the meaning of a few other words, such as "refuted", "guise", "corralling", "clamored", "begrudge" and "proffered", which are all used to mean something other than what those words usually mean.

4. To always use a question mark when someone is asking a question.

There are occasional missing words, and problems with verb tense or number, but I think these are just typos, not lack of knowledge of the correct way to write the sentence.

A couple of the characters were less original than I would have preferred. One was solar-powered, and after being orphaned and rescued from a crashed vehicle had been raised to be a straight arrow by a good-hearted farming couple. She could fly and was invulnerable to harm. The other had no superpowers, but had achieved everything by grim grit and determination to be better. She was an orphan, lurked in the shadows, was the member of the team nominated by their mentor to develop a plan to take the others down if they went off the rails, and was given a grapple gun and a number of other devices by one of the team's mentors. The remaining team members were more original, but those two just had too many obvious parallels to their models.

There are formatting issues, as well, with inconsistent indents for the paragraphs. All in all, it's not ready for prime time.

That's a pity, because the story itself is good, and the characters are appealing. If the issues I've mentioned above make no difference to you, or you think you won't notice them, by all means pick it up and be entertained.

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