Bad War

spaceThis reader received a free copy in exchange for an honest review of Summer Cooper's "Bad War". It is a ghost story reminiscent of director Jerry Zucker's movie, "Ghost", starring Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze; however, Cooper's tale lacked the heart and feelings found in Zucker's movie. A story about love, the unfairness of life, and the real pain living can bring. This reader found many spelling, grammar and punctuation errors; the tense issues pretty much drove this reader batty. Such as, "... they saw him sat half way down the bus", and "She was again stood at the kitchen sink looking fretful." Mixing tenses can toss a reader right out of a story, as it did to this reader - "... they saw him sitting half way down the bus", and "She was again standing at the kitchen sink looking fretful" keep the tense in the present where the story is taking place.
spaceCooper told a sweet story but missed wonderful opportunites to show reader's and allow them to visualize and feel a part of the tale. While in Vietnam, instead of telling readers how hot it is, why not show us with beads of sweat pooling into the furrows of their foreheads or fatigues clinging stickily to their bodies or moisture so thick in the air it was like breathing in a sauna...? Many readers do not simply want to be told a story, we want to experience it with descriptions and visualizations that allow us to recall similarities to what the writer is saying, which then allows us a chance to greater empathize with and for the characters, as well as feel as if we are experiencing it along with the character. The characters could use more work as well, as they were all fairly one dimensional. Most dialogue's came across as stiff and felt like lectures or knowledge dumps.
spaceThe story could also use more editing to catch and fix the various continuity errors such as the baby being due shortly before Zeb's injury, yet when he returns home (a few weeks to a couple of months after his injury), the baby can talk... Mary standing naked (in the kitchen) to give Zeb a bath yet needs to pull a thin cotton dress over her head to slip into the tub with him, are just two examples that more thorough editing could uncover. The continuity errors gave this reader pause as she literally said, "Huh???" outloud, while the tense issues tossed her out of the story as her brain processed the past and present tense concerns. This reader admits the tense issues are her own personal peeve and acknowledges other readers may not recoil from them as she does, so she will recommend more editing and state the writer does deserve a read. ** Review originally posted to Amazon reviews on March 13, 2017. **


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