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"No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting"
-Mary Wortley Montagu
-Mary Wortley Montagu
'The Last Bush Pilots'
So Much Potential
When reading the synopsis of this book, it intrigued me. Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Top 100 Finalist and an author who was a pilot himself, to me meant personal experience that could lend to the character’s flying skills, understanding of the flight controls better than anyone just researching it and bring me back into a world of aviation. I was correct, in that regard only.
Based on the synopsis provided to me, I was expecting the book to be about a rescue of a pilot in the wilderness of Alaska and immediately snagged it for review, with high hopes of another book I could add to my collection. This was not the case. Most of the book, based on the writing not the synopsis given, was supposed to be focused around a character nicknamed DC and his ultimate goal as a pilot but ended up being written about a group of characters, including DC, all their life stories and what happened to them in one summer, in no particular order, rhyme or reason.
This book was not written as a pilot, who was a friend, needing rescuing in the wilds of Alaska. That was one just one ‘event’ that occurred and was written about in this book, along with at least 3 other ‘events’ in the book that took place before we even got to rescuing the friend, which lasted one chapter. We are introduced to the synopsis and prologue with the impression of a friend in need of rescuing and one of the other ‘events’ in the book was written about longer than the main point of the book itself! The other events mentioned didn’t even correlate to what the book was about and either failed to have a point, never told us what happened in the end or failed to meet repercussive expectations and fell flat. This book was literally a sweeping collection of experiences that occurred in each of the character’s lives. With no true depth, like someone telling stories around the campfire, only the dramatic parts get told, but nothing that makes you connect to what is being told.
My favorite aspect of this book and the reason I didn’t give it 1 star was when the author wrote about flying. The flow of the words drew me in to the world of being a pilot and flying in Alaskan skies. I felt like I was there.
My least favorite aspect was from the lack of editing and character depth, which made reading and enjoying the book very difficult. Here are some of examples:
• Prologue- incorrect spelling of ‘damnit,’ twice on the same page and throughout the rest of the book. It should be ‘dammit.’
• Chapter 1 & Chapter 2 both start with “You’re too young to fly!” from tourists with sarcastic responses from the pilots, who are supposed to all be different people in different locations. I thought my Kindle had messed up and sent me back to the chapter I had just finished reading it was so similar to each other.
• Every character will say at least once, ‘to hell with it,’ in the chapter dedicated to their life story and in other aspects of the story. Which, as a writer, shouldn’t happen. There should be differences and various depths in the characters built.
• The author couldn’t decide his writing style either, at some points I was reading a fiction or non-fiction and other times a screenplay and even a dictionary at one point.
o Chapter 1: virga – wisps of evaporating rain.
• Choppy writing throughout the book. This example alone had 6 periods in the span of 2 lines in the book!
o Chapter 2(as written, including mistakes): “-to sort things out. “She chocked on the last word. The sobs hit. She sniffled. “Damnit. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this.”
If you like to read about piloting or the wild beauty of Alaska, this author paints a nice picture for the reader. On the other hand, if you are more sensitive to swearing, especially strong language use, or the more realistic conversations in this particular line of work, towards or about other men and women, then I wouldn’t recommend it.
The Last Bush Pilots by Eric Auxier has so much potential to be a 4 star rated book, unfortunately though it is bogged down by A LOT of mechanical errors, spelling errors, choppiness that ruins the flow of story and writing, sentences that don’t make sense in relation to what was just written or just downright horrible writing. This book was similar in a lot of ways to material I have been asked to edit PRIOR to being published. This book completely skipped the professional editor step. Because the potential is there and some sections were written well, I would give this book 2 out of 4 stars, but if I could do ½ stars, I would give this book 1 ½ stars instead.
I received an ARC for my honest, unpaid review.
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