Heavemen: The Rise of the Four

I didn’t buy this disaster but the sample is ten chapters long and, I believe, that was more than enough.

The nicest thing I could say is that Heavemen read like the fantasy of a self-absorbed sixteen year old. Sommers has managed to commit every sin that has made being an Indie/self-published author an object of scorn and then she wants you to pay her for them.

Where to start?

Let’s take punctuation for $100, Alex. She does use punctuation but sparingly and not always when or where she should. Combined with the other problems with her writing this makes for difficult and slow reading. I know there are people that believe that it doesn’t matter how badly you write as long as you as you can make people understand what you are saying but Sommers problems with punctuation, grammar, spelling, and just the language in general make her writing not only difficult to understand to painful to read. Very, very painful. My pet peeve here is conversation is normally enclosed in “ these” where quotes are enclosed in ‘these’. There is a difference.

But Sommers’ problems don’t end there, while English is probably her first and only language she has a very tenuous grasp of it. It is glaringly obvious when common phrases are garbled and common words misspelled or, hilariously, are completely the wrong word. This last provided some much needed comic relief. Here’s a hint: a pedant is not something you hang around your neck.

This lack of comprehension extends to sliding back and forth between present and past tense and results in the reader stopping to puzzle out just when events took place and once you just give up and move on you are confronted a totally bewildering description. You are left, once again, to puzzle out just what, what, WHAT she meant to convey. For instance, Sommers’ tries to describe a ‘man map’. You are going to be hard pressed to decide if it is a man with a map on his torso or a map with appendages. But if Sommers can’t be bothered to write a clear cut description, I can’t be bothered to care and this book has all the feel of being created by someone who just can’t be bothered by such unnecessary, frivolous things like good spelling, grammar, consistency.

Here’s some good advice: the dictionary, thesaurus, and spell check should be your BFFs not aliens from another universe.

The characters have all the depth of a sheet of onionskin, they are the most special snowflakes ever. Sommers has endowed them with every Mary Sue/Marty Stu cliché imaginable. From intrepid daredevil Torrid (okay, it’s really Tory but I’m entitled to a little enjoyment), to the creepy, can’t keep her hands off her own body Pasture (Parssisus) and her BFF, Bintany (Brittany), a pair that are a low rent version of Paris and Nicole, to the Kernel (so Marty Stu he can’t be a full ear of corn and corn this is) these are all the best, most beautiful, the richest, most talented, most powerful…..you get the idea. Paper dolls, each and every one.
This lack of characterization is a symptom of the immaturity of Sommers’ writing experience. In her desire to write the “bestest” story ever she has failed to consider what makes a good story or is unable to discern what makes a good story.

Which leads to the story itself. Sigh. Okay, this is not an original idea but that doesn’t make it a bad idea. Just nothing spectacular. In the ten chapters I read I could find no inkling of anything really different happening later on. It doesn’t help that Sommers’, in her inexperience, chose probably the most difficult plot style to write. She has chosen using the viewpoints of several mostly unrelated characters. This is hard for the best of authors. She would have been better off to have written a story from the POV of one or two related characters which, I think, might have kept her storyline more coherent and consistent. The multiple POVs makes it too easy to lose focus and pacing and I felt this happened to Sommers.

The first ten chapters had the overall feel of a slapped together first draft. I would say Sommers needs the Editor from He!! But this story is not ready for an editor, maybe in three or four drafts from now but not yet. As it stands this story is sloppy and silly, with the feel of something she scribbled during a sleepover with her girlfriends between polishing her nails and gushing about the hottest guy on the football team.

Maybe Sommers has a decent story to tell if she goes back to class and learns more than a texting version of the English language and how to write and realizes that a decent story means a lot of hard work.