Book Review: She Pulls Off the Interstate

18755302Title: She Pulls Off the Interstate

Author: Eugene Ahn

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: October 19th, 2013

Rating: 2 out of 5

Summary: “On an evening like any other, a mysterious woman moves into room Four-One-Three of an apartment building in a new city with the firm determination to start a fresh life here. Running away from a horrible past, she seeks the solace and peace she hopes to find through isolation, loneliness, and a self-imposed clean slate.
However, despite her best efforts, she soon finds herself surrounded by kind and good people, people who genuinely care about her. Her co-workers at the local diner. The man who lives downstairs. His young and ever-cheerful daughter. People who want to be let into her life, people who might need her protection from a cruel and uncaring world…
Quiet, deadly, and haunted by a violent past, she quickly finds herself pulled between the desire to connect with another human being and the desire to fall back into her darker side…even as fate begins to set in motion a series of events that will lead to a cataclysmic encounter with a familiar and vengeful figure, someone she wished she could forever forget…” – Goodreads

This book has potential, but fell flat for me. The cover is intriguing and of much higher quality than what is usually seen in the indie market, – but a cover alone can’t support a story. (Still, kudos on the cover.)

The characters lack almost all meaningful characterization. At first I thought the author was going for an objective third person point of view, but he’ll occasionally hop into characters heads, so that’s obviously not what he’s going for. Or at least, not consistently. Granted, I like what I got of the main character. She’s powerful and carries the story almost entirely by herself, even if her emotions remain at a constant throughout.

The formatting is a distraction. The most glaring thing is that there are no quotation marks in the book. I understand this might’ve been a stylistic choice, but it’s a confusing and unnecessary one, making it difficult to separate out action and dialogue. No book benefits from not having quotation marks. However, they can easily suffer without them.

The plot lacked conflict for the first 80% of the book.

The writing has promise, but is bogged down by excessive description. (One might want to look at Chapter 4: Proportion in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. It’s a gold mine of information.) Even the dramatic scenes suffer from this, stealing the appropriate “oomf” and punch from them that’d really make them pop.

Free the writing of unnecessary sentences/paragraphs, format it according to what’s standard, add in more conflict and tension throughout, and give the cast true characterization, and this book would jump right off the page. As it currently stands, it gets 2 stars from me.

Best of luck to the author in his future work.


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