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Posts Tagged ‘sorely in need of an editor’

 Do you remember those campy sci-fi movies in the 50’s that were so bad they were fun to watch? Well, that’s pretty much the way I had to look at this book and certainly the only way I finished it (although I don’t think the author intended this to be a satirical farce). The basic premise sounded interesting for readers looking for an entertaining time slip of a book – masons working at Hampton Court in 2070 find a woman’s body and a letter that leads them to believe that she was Henry VIII’s mistress and pregnant. Curator Kaitlyn Rose has issues of her own, as Anne Boleyn’s ghost seems to really have it in for her, and she’s in love with her boss Colin. Half brothers Colin and Brighton (who have a mysterious past that shocks the you know what out of Kaitlyn)hate each other, and the aging Queen Mum sends them all back to Henry VIII’s court to find the pregnant woman and bring her back to the future so England will have an heir. Once our intrepid time travelers arrive they hook up with Henry and Anne and their court and surprise (!) Henry immediately starts lusting after the beauteous Kaitlyn while the evil brother Brighton schemes to leave his hated brother Colin in the past. OK, now that I’ve put that down on paper it _is_ sounding a bit silly.

Where to begin on what is wrong with this book when there are so many places to start? First off, this is apparently self-published POD which means no editor. And boy did this book need editing. Typos on almost every page — you instead of your, now instead of know,there instead of their, ware instead of wear, you’re instead of your, 5:00 shadow and then two pages later it’s five o’clock shadow — get the picture? Now for the setting of London in 2070, outside of a few Jetsonesque like references to 3D TV, I really didn’t get much feeling for being decades ahead of our current lifestyle. Worse yet, the way the dialogue was written in an attempt at British accents was way over the top – virtually every sentence had either bloke, bloody or bollocks in it.

Now for the story itself. Two men and a woman traveling alone walk right into Hampton Court and they’re just accepted like that? No one is shocked at unmarried Kaitlyn traveling alone with two men and no chaperone? No lady to attend her? Righto. They’re promptly given rooms by Henry and Kaitlyn’s given the room of his absent mistress – yet still no lady to attend her. Worse yet, Colin comes and goes and spends the night (!!) in Kaitlyn’s room and not an eyebrow raised. Want more? How about Anne Boleyn the Queen of England running off to the forest to make whoopee with Brighton and nobody notices? I could go on and on but you get the picture.

Now, why is this so campy and hysterically funny? For starters, the emergency kit brought along by Kaitlyn was priceless – “her tried and true pink and blue plaid pajama pants with their matching pink tank top”, biscuits, diet cola, chocolate, tampons, anti-bacterial soap and lice killing shampoo (I did not need to read about the other part of her body that needed shampooing). Kaitlyn keeps getting tipsy during the Court entertainments and ends up on Colin’s lap (!!), or better yet all the times she’s mad about something and in front of the King and Queen she pouts and puts her arms akimbo. Although the flat out hands down winner that had me on the floor laughing was when our intrepid heroine displays her skill in martial arts and karate chops Henry’s guards when they attempt to arrest Colin. One of my favorite quotes:

“Without hesitation, Henry snapped back into king mode, hastily slipped through the door, sans shirt, with his breeches half opened, barely containing his thwarted…” (I won’t use the word but it starts with an “e”).

There you have it, a silly plot filled with huge gaping holes that falls apart quickly, poor sentence structure laden with typos and way too many commas along with cartoon cut-out characters all add up to a mess of a book and a serious waste of a tree. If you find it at the used bookstore for a penny (no more) and want a few laughs go for it, otherwise skip this. It doesn’t even deserve one star.

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Although I understand my ARC was an uncorrected proof, this one was supposedly published in the UK last year so you have to wonder about who on earth let this stuff get past them.

“She nodded back. Avoided Jane’s eye. ‘My lord,’ she answered, with all the poise she could manage; then, neutrally to Jane’s shoulder, aware of Jane’s hand settling on Will Hastings’ arm on Jane’s waist; of the moist, hungry look in her sister’s eyes: … ” (I think this was the day after Edward died)

“When Hastings kept his temper, Dorset, unnervingly, began to stare at him. Jutting his jaw out. Leaning forward over clenched hands. Trying to stare Hastings down; the stare of a man with death in mind; holding the eye-lock for so long Hastings had thought he might pull out a sword then and there.”

“But, quietly but firmly, he moved her back. Turned away. Reached for his buckler, with muscles taut as wire again.”

Our own 15C Superwoman: “The important thing now was to stay calm; avoid getting rattled; take one step at a time. She was managing it all so far. Having Alice and the Prattes see the Italian workers today, for instance. Tomorrow, visiting the princess and sewing in her new laces for the violet silk gown. After that, snatching another hour with Dickon on the way back. Then innocently chatting with Will Caxton at his gate about her time with the princess. It was all possible, if you kept your head. It could all work.” Whew, thank goodness there’s no kids to take to soccer matches.

Here our silk merchant Isabel is having an intimate (!!) conversation with the Princess Elizabeth who has told her she’s going to marry Henry Tudor: “She shook herself. ‘Well, so….what’s he like, your future husband?’ she said, trying to look and sound warmer without saying anything overtly treasonous”

Isabel having a conversation with R3 about the rebellion and looming battle: “She said, doubtfully, thinking of all those armies blundering around different parts of the West Country, trying to meet up. ‘Well, it seems…messy.”

Messy???? Gawd, what a mess of a book.

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