Saturday, September 30, 2006

Good grief

Last night I started reading Mercedes Lackey's Phoenix and Ashes for this month's Fantasy Favorites group read. We usually vote on a book for everyone to read, but this time chose to do a theme. "Fairy Tale Retellings" won and I chose to read Phoenix and Ashes.

I have to admit to a fundamental liking for the Cinderella story and there aren't many retellings of it - Beauty and the Beast seems to be the favourite and appears often, but not Cinderella.

I read and enjoyed the first in Lackey's Elemental Masters series, The Serpent's Shadow, which is a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. However, although I've tried a couple of times, I never got into the second one, The Gates of Sleep (Sleeping Beauty). So I'd decided to leave Phoenix and Ashes alone rather than have two unread books in the same series sitting on my shelf. This month's theme gave me a good excuse to buy the book after all.

So far (probably about 1/3 through) I'm enjoying the story but good grief, the editing is apalling.

There are words left out, misspellings, extra words and other fundamental errors, so that I have several times been tossed out of the story because I need to reread a sentence several times until I figure out what it is supposed to say, as opposed to what's on the page.

Probably the best one so far was "the sun shown through the window". I puzzled on that for a bit until I worked out that the sun actually shone through the window, which makes much more sense.

I don't know if the problem here is Lackey, the editor, or a combination of both. I am more inclined to blame the editor as, while I'm no long the Lackey fangirl I used to be, she can still tell a good story when she leaves her soap box at home, and I assume she has way too much experience for these kind of basic mistakes to be anything other than minor slip ups from the typing and creation process. Surely it's the editor who should be noticing missing letters and missing words as that's what he/she is being paid for.

I'm finding it highly annoying. This is basic suff that shouldn't be in a novel published by a big publishing house (Daw). Come one guys, maintain some standards please.

No comments: