søndag den 31. januar 2016

"Emotions" by Arnulfo Cantarero


Title: Emotions   Author: Arnulfo Cantarero   Year of publication: 2015   Publisher: Published by the author


This book is a paperback copy kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Scroll down for Danish version

English version:
I really wanted to like this book, but there are a lot of reasons behind my one star rating, which I will attempt to explain as honestly as possible in this review.

Emotions is described as a sci-fi love story. The protagonist is Jason, an alien with a computer inside his brain, living on Earth, but incapable of feeling any kind of emotions, only interested in attaining knowledge and information. He tries to be human, but it is difficult without emotions. Ironically, his computer understands emotions better than he does.

At first, the book seems really interesting and it actually starts out alright. Jason makes a lot of interesting observations about humans, which he of course sees from an alien perspective. He has to learn how to act human by observing humans. I think many of those observations are actually really clever and telling about human nature.

I also really like the questions the book seems to raise in the beginning, about what it means to be human. Are emotions the most crucial part of what makes us human? Jason explores what it means to be human, and it makes the reader question if it is possible to be human without emotions. And what’s more important to humans – knowledge, intelligence, or emotions?

However, unfortunately, there are some issues with this book. Most of the book consists of Jason’s thoughts and how he experiences things. To me, it is too much telling, not enough showing, with him telling us what happens instead of the author showing it.

My biggest problem with this book is that it just seems unfinished. It is not ready for an audience yet. There is a serious problem with spelling, grammar, tense, typos, etc. Not just a little, but a lot. Lack of proofreading might be my biggest bookish pet peeve, but this was really a struggle to get through, I’m so sorry to say. I am definitely not perfect myself when it comes to English spelling, grammar, etc., but this was almost painful to read through, especially because all it would take would be for the author to have someone read through the book before publication. It would leave a much better impression with the reader, because the spelling and grammar detracted so much from the reading experience, it made it seem unprofessional. I am aware that this is a self-published book, but proofreading should still be a priority.

I wonder why none of the other reviews of this book mention the lack of proofreading.

No doubt the author has a story to tell, it is just a shame that it seems rushed. Some of the things happening feel like a thought of the moment, something just thought of during writing and not read through afterwards. There is not enough consistency; the story seems to be all over the place. It goes from YA with a hint of sci-fi, to suddenly being an action story with his father as the chief of the country, crooked government agents, kidnapping, revolution, government coups, cancer curing, a hurricane, a tiger rescue, a prostitute rescue, etc. It would have worked better to just stick with one genre, and I feel like the story works better in the parts that are just YA, portraying Jason’s difficulties in adjusting to human life as an alien.

I really am sorry that I cannot rate this book more than one star, but honesty is what reviewing is all about. The story has potential, but it needs some serious work with editing and proofreading. I can see the good ideas and intentions behind it, it just needs some help to get there.



Danish version:
Bogen er et anmeldereksemplar fra forfatteren.

Jeg ville så gerne kunne lide denne bog, men der er så mange grunde til, at jeg kun kunne give den én stjerne. I denne anmeldelse vil jeg forsøge at forklare hvorfor.

Emotions er beskrevet som en sci-fi love story. Hovedpersonen Jason er et rumvæsen med en computer i hjernen, som lever på Jorden, uden at være i stand til at have følelser. Han er kun interesseret i at indsamle viden og blive klogere. Han forsøger at være menneske, men det er svært uden følelser. Ironisk nok forstår hans computer følelser bedre end han gør.

I begyndelsen virkede bogen spændende nok og den startede fint. Jason observerer og bemærker mange interessante ting omkring mennesker, som han ser fra et fremmed perspektiv. For at lære at være menneske må han iagttage mennesker. Mange af hans iagttagelser er ret interessante og afslørende omkring hvordan vi som mennesker opfører os.

Jeg kunne også godt lide de spørgsmål bogen stiller om, hvad det vil sige at være menneske. Er følelser det vigtigste aspekt? Jason udforsker hvad der gør os menneskelige, og prøver at finde ud af, om man behøver at kunne føle, for at være menneskelig. Og hvad er egentlig vigtigst for mennesker – viden, intelligens eller følelser?

Desværre er der en del problemer med bogen. Det meste af bogen består af Jasons tanker og oplevelser. Det bliver desværre for meget fortælling og ikke nok handling. Hver gang der sker noget, fortæller Jason det, i stedet for at forfatteren viser os hvad der sker i stedet for.

Mit største problem med bogen er, at den virker ufærdig. Den virker ikke klar til at blive læst af et publikum endnu. Stavning, grammatik, tider, slåfejl, osv. er et kæmpe problem. Ikke bare lidt, men virkelig slemt. Den slags er virkelig et af mine værste bookish pet peeves, og det var en kamp at komme igennem, desværre. Jeg er ikke selv perfekt, men det her var nærmest smertefuldt at læse, det skar i øjnene. Især fordi det ville være relativt let at forbedre det. Det ville blot kræve at få nogen til at gennemlæse bogen inden udgivelse, så alle fejlene kunne fanges. Det ville give et meget bedre indtryk, for lige nu er det indtryk jeg får af bogen desværre uprofessionelt og det gjorde ikke noget godt for læseoplevelsen. Jeg er godt klar over, at bogen er udgivet af forfatteren selv og der ikke har været et forlag ind over, men derfor kan man altså godt prioritere korrekturlæsning og redigering alligevel.
Det der undrer mig mest, er, hvorfor ingen andre anmeldelser af bogen nævner det her.

Der er ingen tvivl om, at forfatteren har en historie at fortælle, det er bare ærgerligt, at det virker så halvhjertet. Nogle af de ting der sker virker næsten som noget han lige er kommet i tanke om undervejs og ikke har været tilbage og rette til. Det hænger ikke altid så godt sammen, og det er som om han vil for meget forskelligt på én gang. Historien går fra at være YA med et hint a sci-fi, til pludselig at være fyldt med action, hvor hans far er landets leder som står overfor en revolution, militærkup, kidnapning, en kur mod cancer, en orkan, redning af en tiger og en prositueret, etc. Det ville have været bedre bare at holde sig til fx YA delen, som var det, der efter min mening, fungerede bedst, hvor det handler om hvordan Jason tilpasser sig livet på Jorden som rumvæsen.


Jeg er ked af, at jeg ikke kunne give bogen mere end én stjerne, men at anmelde handler om at give sin ærlige mening. Historien har potentiale, den kræver bare en del redigering og korrekturlæsning. Jeg kan sagtens se de gode idéer og intentioner bag, det kræver bare noget mere arbejde at nå frem til noget, som kan udgives.

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