Aramicus

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Aramicus

Last Free on: 14th Nov 15
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...Unrated (DNF?) with a sense of utter bemusement. I'm not sure I ever found the story in this...

The cover makes it look like old lit-fic. It is actually – actually, I’m not sure what it is.

The writing held early promise, to the point that missing hyphens in the second paragraph actually stood out: “six foot two” but as you get further in, it is a study in contrasts. Long and complex vocabulary is used, and yet common words are missing (e.g. “under lorry” should be “under the lorry”) and hyphens and similar grammar are misplaced. Commas don’t always appear where they should be and often do where they should not. And the author loves brackets: expect a set on most pages. The formatting is basic at best: the table of contents is not hot-linked and can’t be found by the kindle. Even the text formatting is a little odd, for example, odd italics around the word sitting (pg2).

The point of view is somewhere between head-hopping and third omniscent. It meanders, with some random POV shifts e.g. from Aramicus tapping on Aranae’s head to changing to describe her dream without any break in scene shift. The best word I can think of to describe this style is wandering, or possibly free-roaming. It veers off on odd digressions several pages long, for example when we are introduced to Alfie a pizza delivery guy we are given a several page story about a completely different guy trapped an an elevator – which is written in a funny tone and yet ends on a sour and off-putting note – who is never mentioned again. Do we need three pages about a logo? There are early, obvious, and unsubtle hints that the title character is not human: arched limbs, many eyes etc., which would be fine except for loc 721, much further in.

Mobile phone batteries do not explode scooters. At loc 231, when that happened, I was seriously considering giving up and putting this down as a ‘Did Not Finish’. I did continue on, telling myself it was too early to judge, but I put it down for good at loc 721, when it turned out that the fact that the creature with multiple eyes, jointed bristly limbs, that could run up surfaces and had a silk-wrapped egg-sac was a giant spider…was supposed to be a big reveal.

Normally when a book leaves me wondering what on earth I just read, it is because the story veered off the rails. I’m not sure I ever found the story in this to start with. I did skim read the rest, because by this stage I honestly could not imagine where the author was taking this. The story of the giant spiders from the first bit is just dropped for a b story of the local children vs. zombies, and that isn’t finished either. Seriously, don’t expect a resolution – it just ends.

It’s not humour, satire, lit, and it’s not the worst book I’ve ever read (I tackled Atlanta Nights) but it is also definitely not for me and I’m not sure who it would be for. Normally you can at least guess what an author intends. This time I haven’t got a clue.

Unrated (DNF) with a sense of utter bemusement.

Rating: Unrated
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Discussion

rz3300 (28 September 2016)
Sometimes it takes the reviews that I might not get excited about or even understand, where some of the best stories, or at least my favorites, have come from. With that, I cannot write this one off, and it is at least worth a good look.

Tregaron (28 September 2016)
Good luck. Giant space spiders might be fun, if the book didn't forget they were there halfway through and veer into zombie territory. I suspect the author suffers from no-editor-itis.

clair02 (28 September 2016)
'No editor-itis'! I love that. Just judging from the cover, I wouldn't have picked up the book, but then even if I had, I wouldn't be able to read past the first paragraph if there are grammar mistakes and holes in the plot. I think I'll give this one a miss.

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