Thursday, July 30, 2015

Challenging reads

Lately this beta-reading thing get's overwhelming and challenging. I just love it. I love giving feedback, I love to have this "immediate" contact with authors. But really, I haven't got time anymore to do anyhing else.

There was this job - it actually became a job! - of editing a first part of a trilogy. And you know what? He asked me to be his "developmental editor" for the next two parts. Amazing!

Then there is this young student who can't afford to pay for beta-reading, explaining her situation on goodreads. I have to fill out a questionnaire after each chapter. That's not easy, because the questions are always the same. But I'm a nice person and I'll do my best chapter after chapter.

But definitely the best thing this week was Michael's (my first and so far only guest) new not-yet-named novel. There wasn't much to correct - but there was so much to think about. And yes, I was thinking about it while at work, dreaming about it in bed, guessing where he would go with this story, deciphering the message more and more. And he's got a lot to say - about the world, about love and about God. Indeed this book put me at a place where I was constantly asking myself: Do I agree? Is that what I believe? What is off here? Is this the whole truth or is something crucial missing? I was "testing the spirits" (1. John 4:1). And I didn't expect it at all. The book doesn't start like this. Michael has an amazing ability to put all those things into one story, a sci-fi romance!

Reading is always an experience. This one was special!

But as I'm not only a beta-reader but also a reviewer I had promised to deliver a review for Housebroken within a reasonable time frame.

My review on goodreads
This was a different experience. Having read some very good reviews I started with great expectations. And, indeed, it drew me in immediately with Bergh's very good writing style and some strange events and this atmosphere that makes you feel that there's something very wrong.
Not just something. Everything is wrong here. Two strangers are intruding an already broken, very wealthy familiy, supposedly to observe their routine for one week. Things get evil very quickly, cruel, brutal, excruciating. And nobody knows why. There seems to be no reason and the one given in the end isn't very convincing.
The well-developed main characters aren't likeable. The kidnappers aren't the worst. If you've got a son like Adam, you don't need enemies.
It is hard to get through all this very detailed tortures and I was glad to reach the end.
But if you like horror caused by human beings, this is your book.

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