Friday, 24 July 2009

Fiction Book Review - Double Life

You may remember a few weeks ago I did an interview with a 14 year old self-published author named Dawson Vosburg. At the time I'd only read an excerpt of his book and some good unsolicited reviews (also linked in that post), since then I've read the entire thing. This review has previously been posted on and Amazon UK.


Double Life by Dawson Vosburg also available on Amazon US and for the Kindle.

I wish I'd could have written this well when I was 14. The world will never see the stuff I wrote at 14 (or indeed at 20), but this is so much better than that.

This is a book written by a talented 14 year old. No, scratch that, it's a book written by a very talented 14 year old.

It's short, but it's aimed at the YA market so the shortness is tolerable. It has an excellent premise and a dynamic plot. Those are both 5 star parts of the plot.

It fails somewhat on the execution. There's an adage often repeated (but rarely properly explained) among writers to "Show don't Tell". In truth this means don't use narrative summary for important parts of the plot - write an immediate scene. At times Dawson summarises events when he should, perhaps, have written a scene. This is especially true towards the end - which feels rushed (and at times confusing) as a result.

Fortunately the overall strength of premise and plot make the flaws in execution tolerable - in my opinion anyway. Other people may be less tolerant but it has "look inside" active on Amazon US so you can see for yourself. Like all artists I'm sure he'll improve with practice and I look forward to the sequel.

My mouse hovered between 3 and 4 stars for quite a while rating this book on Amazon, because in the general order of things it's a three and half star book to me and prevaricated about whether to round up or down. On the balance I rounded up.

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