Saturday, November 16, 2013

Electric Storm by Stacey Brutger


Everything changed when Raven, a conduit, accidentally walks in on a slave auction. She only wants a night out with her friends before her next case as a paranormal liaison with the police. Instead, she ends up in possession of a shifter and his guardian. When your touch can kill, living with two touchy-feely shifters is a disaster waiting to happen.

To make matters worse, a vicious killer is on the loose. As mutilated bodies turn up, she can't help fear that her new acquisitions are keeping secrets from her. The strain of keeping everyone alive, not to mention catching the killer, pushes her tenuous control of her gift and her emotions to their limits. If they hope to survive, they must work together as a pack or risk becoming hunted themselves.

A Raven Investigations Novel : Book 1


I received this book in return for an honest review.  Unfortunately, that's what I gave to it.
The blurb I read for Electric Storm was shorter and did not include the obvious errors this one does.  The first sentence should read:  "Everything changES when Raven,...walks in..." or "Everything changed when Raven,...walkED..."

Blurbs should always be written entirely in present tense, but even more importantly, one should never change tenses in the middle of a sentence.  And there should not be a space between the word "Novel" and the colon, either.  This book is riddled with grammatical errors such as this.  The author thanks her editor, but I have to wonder if her editor ever took third grade English.  One reason I prefer working with a publisher is that my books go through two editors--one for content and one for spelling and grammar.

Otherwise, the plot is engaging and the characters are well-drawn.  Maybe Ms. Brutger's editor was strictly a content person.  Electric Storm is told entirely in the point-of-view of Raven, so there's no pesky head-hopping from one POV to another.  There's plenty of action without too many "info dumps"--long narrative passages that slow the action without furthering the plot.  I would have liked to have learned more about the labs that created Raven's condition.  A flashback would have been nice, but Ms. Brutger's allusions to them gave us a pretty good idea of the horrors there.  Finally, the consistency's good.  She doesn't have a cast on her right leg in one scene and on the left in another (a famous anomaly from Hitchcock's Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart).

Finally, while Electric Storm wraps up the case upon which Raven is working, it leaves many questions unanswered about her personal life, and ends on a cliff-hanger.  Admittedly, it is the first book in a series, but it does not stand alone.  A good series is written in a way that is compelling enough that you want to buy the next book, but neatly enough that each book stands on its own so you don't HAVE to buy the next book.  Each book should have its own beginning, middle and end.  It feels manipulative to end one book with the beginning of the next.  I don't want to have to suffer through another travesty of bad grammar to discover who the people were who knocked at Raven's door at the end of Electric Storm.  They belong in the first chapter of Electric Moon.  You can always include the first chapter of Book Two at the end of Book One.  That gives the reader a choice whether or not to read the teaser that continues the series.

If you failed third grade English and phrases like "becoming hunted" instead of "being hunted" or "had gave" instead of "had given" don't bother you, this book should entertain you.  If grammar matters to you, then give it a wide berth.  You'll be too distracted mentally doing the job Ms. Brutger's line or copy editor should have done to enjoy the story.

The Chicago Manual of Style is the preferred grammar reference for most editors.  I suggest all authors who plan to publish independently purchase a copy and study it, or hire two editors--one for content, and a copy or line editor who owns The CMoS.  Write your first draft and let it sit for at least a month.  Then go over it for content--head-hops, info dumps, and consistency.  Let it sit another month while you study The CMoS and then go over it backward and look for grammar errors.  After you've done that, send it to a good editor who also owns The CMoS, because you'll never catch everything on your own.

Length:  342 Pages


Print:  $11.99

Digital:  $3.99

Thanks for visiting.  RIW