Monday, July 11, 2011

Battered Earth by D. Hilleren

Battered EarthBattered Earth by D. Hilleren

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, this is a hard review to do. I was so excited to win this, my first, and only, book that I've won from a Goodreads contest. And it came to me signed from the author, which is really cool. I signed up for the contest because the information about this book sounded interesting. Once I got it though, I had so many other books I was really enjoying, and I have really been on more of a YA book kick, that it took me awhile to pick it up and read it. And when I picked it up to read, it took me awhile to get through because of the reasons I'll state later in the review. But let's start with the good things I have to say.

First, the plot/storyline is really intriguing. I could really see this story being made into a movie, with either Matt Damon or Jason Statham as Oliver the government agent. With either one of them in that role, my friend Kim and I would be sure to be in the theater to see it! I think all the different "crimes" were done in a way to throw off suspicion from what was really happening. I didn't quite figure the whole "bad guy" part of the story out till later in the book, and to me that is a good book. I want to be kept hanging, trying to figure out either who is the bad guy, or what will happen next, and this book was pretty good about that. I also liked seeing how one of the "bad guys" kind of understood what he'd done was wrong at the end. Whether that is realistic or not, for the type of guy he was, I still like to see that occasionally. Then to have other bad guys who were still just as bad as ever, also a good thing. And it kind of left off in a way that there could possible be a sequel with some of our main characters, good and bad, brought back.

Now, for my complaints. This was a self-published book, and as with the last book I read that I knew was self-published, I can see the definite downside to doing this. And the main reason is in the writing. Now, while there weren't many errors in this one, which I can't help but see as I teach a class where I am expected to edit papers for these things, so I automatically see when I read just about anything anymore. My complaint with the writing in this is the way that the dialogue was written. It was very stilted, not the way that people really talk, that made it hard for me to read. It's as if the author was just trying to be grammatically correct, which doesn't work for dialogue in a novel. The other complaint I have is a personal one. I am not a person who "believes" in global warming. Do I think the Earth's climate is changing? Do I think that humans can do things to affect it? Yes to both of those. But, as an Earth Science major in college who has spoken to many geologists, I don't believe humans can really create as huge of changes in Earth's climate as some people like to say. And if scientists need to be working on anything, it is not how to "fix" the climate back to what we're used to, but to figure out how we can adapt to the changes. Because change is what the Earth does, whether we're here or not, and if we can't adapt to the changes, we'll be the latest round of extinctions, and another form of life will come up and take over. Earth doesn't need us to survive. Sorry, off my soap box there. Make that my teacher's podium, as it is my area of study.

All in all, a good read, a good story if you read it as that, just needs some work on dialogue. And hopefully as the author continues to write she will get better at that and continue to put out interesting stories.

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