About a week ago, I wrote about author Jacqueline Howett, who took to attacking a book blogger for a negative review of her book.
Granted, none of us here at Luxury Reading have read Ms Howett’s book, The Greek Seaman, so we decided it’d be best to actually give it a look and provide an honest opinion. Jennifer, one of the reviewers here, agreed to read the book – read on for her thoughts.
Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen
Newlyweds Don and Katy arrive in Don’s birth country of Greece. Katy, who is English, is learning to adapt to her new surroundings when Don comes home with the news that he has agreed to act as chief officer on a cargo ship heading for Libya. Don is unaware that the entire reason for this trip is not to deliver asbestos, but for the captain of the ship to sell a large blue diamond. Distracted by his lovely new wife, Don is nearly oblivious when incidents begin happening on his ship that threaten the lives of everyone on board.
The Greek Seaman by Jacqueline Howett isn’t a particularly long book, but it took me nearly a week to read it from cover to cover. I was not invested in any of the characters, and didn’t care what became of them. The relationship between Katy and Don, who have a 15 year age difference, is utterly unreal. We are forced to believe that they are so much in love, but never shown what drove them together and made them inseparable. Katy is incredibly naive about other cultures, and Don is more worldly since he has traveled around the world as a seaman. They have absolutely nothing in common! None of the other characters made any kind of impression on me either because they were so poorly developed.
The Greek Seaman is written to be a thriller, but the reader is told in the second chapter what the devious Captain Lucas has planned for the M/V Thalasa. In order to be suspenseful, the reader should have been just as clueless as Don and Katy about the demise of the ship and crew. Instead, I kept wanting Don to tear his eyes away from Katy for just one second so he could see that this wasn’t an ordinary mission.
The biggest issue of this novel is Howett’s writing. I was distracted from what might have been an interesting story thanks to all of the spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors that appear in nearly every paragraph. I had to stop and ponder what Howett was trying to say when she wrote sentences like, “The steward, having paused with his weight for a moment before the vessel hit down into the next turn, made it this time across the deck, and the shaking tray finally eased from his hands” or “She strolled along like someone had just pulled hard at her reins, until a spray of flying fish shot out of the calm waters before her to return that gleam of life back into her eyes”. It’s the author’s job to write clearly and concisely so the writing is accessible to the reader, but Howett ignores all the rules of writing and creates an incomprehensible mess.
Given that this was a finished copy purchased on Amazon.com, none of these errors should have been present. It was obvious that not even a basic spell check had been performed before the content was uploaded for sale. If Howett wants readers to take her work seriously, she needs to hire an editor to help her with characterization and plot development. This book is a really lazy effort, and I will not be reading anything more from Howett.
Watch Jacqueline Howett read an excerpt from her book here.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.
No review copy was provided. A copy of the eBook was purchased from Amazon.com.