Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wish Craft by Lauri Robinson

TITLE: Wish Craft
AUTHOR: Lauri Robinson
PUBLISHER: Wild Rose Press
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 16k)
GENRE: Time travel romance
COST: $3.00

Jayden White can only think of one way to solve her sister’s money problems – travel back in time to invest money that will yield millions. There’s an added bonus to going back, however. Part of her is convinced that the diary she and her sister found upon their mother’s death is actually hers, detailing a life in the past with a man she’s never met…

This short novella starts right in the thick of things, with Jayden about to travel back in time to invest money and help her sister’s financial problems. A diary they found upon their mother’s death details the life of her sister’s great-grandmother, a woman with the same name as Jayden, who looks remarkably like her. Jayden is partially convinced it actually is her, and that she is destined to fall in love and marry her half-sister’s great-grandfather, Levi Grimshaw. When she goes back, however, she discovers that Levi is already engaged to another woman.

Though I’ve read a novel by this author that I really enjoyed – the primary reason I bought this – it’s impossible for me to rate this any higher than I have. The single biggest problem I have is an issue that riddles a number of small presses, and that’s the copy editing. Numerous easy mistakes are the marks of amateurs, regardless of the story’s potential. It’s easier to look past other editorial problems, since content editing is such a subjective thing. I accept that. What works for one might not work for another. Copy editing, however, is not subjective. That’s what dictionaries are for. That’s what style guides like Strunk and White are for. These are the basic building blocks for writers, and when publishers can’t even get that right, my faith in them erodes.

Wild Rose Press is really hit or miss in this regard, either because they have editors of varying skills (I can’t compare the books I’ve read since they don’t put the editor information on the copyright page) or because the authors themselves are that much stronger/weaker amongst themselves. This falls squarely into the miss column. Simple errors such as spelling mistakes (i.e, a flat-healed boot), incorrect word usage (i.e. allowed dusk to take it’s time), and easy typos (i.e. he forgot to breath) litter the text. It’s frustrating and annoying. I get pulled out of the story every time I find one, and when they occur as frequently as they do in this, it’s simply inexcusable.

If the story was believable in any way, it might be easier to overlook the mistakes. I adore time travel stories, and I fully recognize that some suspension of disbelief is required to make them work. I require very little to buy into time travel being possible, but it does require some kind of tangible explanation. Magic, science, talismans…it could be anything. In the blurb, it’s described as quantum jumping, but you know what it actually is? Meditate and wish real hard, and you can make it so. That’s it. It just feels ridiculous even by time travel standards, and honestly, the prose is nowhere near sophisticated enough to sell me on the explanation. Toss in the fact that there’s no natural flow or reasons for Jayden and Levi to fall in love – in a single day, with Levi forsaking everything he was going to do for this woman just because he knows in his heart that she’s the one for him – and it’s doomed. The characters come across as silly and flat, and the entire tale disappointing.

Why is it so much to expect authors and editors to know the basic tools of their trade? A couple mistakes are understandable, but the level of errors in such a short work is unacceptable.


5/10 – Riddled with simple errors and lack of a sophisticated voice made it impossible to buy into the outlandish premise


3/10 – Flat and uninteresting


4/10 – Showed promise, but there’s just no realistic flow or depth to her to make her believable

Entertainment value

3/10 – Disappointing

World building

6/10 – The historical setting is the best part but there’s no hope of making the time travel believable



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