Kindle Price: $0.99
Official Rating: 2/5
“Adin Anderson lives in a small town where the stagnant flow of time is considered peace and quiet, but that isn’t good enough for him. He may not be a big believer in fate, but something bigger has to be out there for him. And the day he receives a random letter from an unlikely source may be it.”
There are some times when I’m reading a book and I realize, It has potential, but right now it needs heavy editing and that’s how I feel about Sixty-Seven Salamanders.
I was chatting to my good friend Maggie (check out her article on Book Blurb Blacklists here!)about Sixty-Seven Salamanders (which I could conveniently abbreviate to SSS) and she said that based on my description, Sixty-Seven Salamanders sounded more like a prequel than an actual book. And she was right. Sixty-Seven Salamanders would be better off as a prequel, rather than the first book of a series. The reason being is that, the entire plot is focused on Adin’s development. There are many actions scenes, situations where he makes serious decisions (that will no doubt affect him later on), and overall moments where he experiences growth. So, it would be wrong for me to say that there was no substance to Sixty-Seven Salamanders, because there is. You are shown how Adin is growing, experiencing, and learning from predicaments along with his friends/team and that’s important. However, that isn’t how you begin a series. As aforementioned friend said, “In general, it [the first book in a series] should have its own self-contained plot, but it can also hint at a larger plot line that spans the series. So…it can be read as a standalone book, but it’s also open ended enough that it can be expanded on in later books.”
Out of anything, the abundance of cliches and curse words stood out the most, unfortunately. They were everywhere. There was hardly a page that didn’t have at least one curse word and one cliche and I was dying. Now, I realize that people curse all the time and I assure you I wasn’t gasping in horror every time I saw a character let one fly. But there really was an excessive amount. Damn was said twenty-one times, ‘ass’ was said thirty-seven times, and ‘hell’ was used in some form (e.g. “What the hell?”) fifty-eight times. Why? It didn’t feel necessary, definitely didn’t add anything to the plot or overall book, and was, all things considered, a useless thing to include. The cliches were there too, in the form of overused one-liners, a character describing themselves (for no reason) in order to give a description to the reader, and situations where everything somehow works out. I also saw quite a few mistakes that could have been easily fixed with basic editing.
In addition to that, I didn’t see any conflict. Anyone who has ever read anything, knows that there has to be conflict in a book. Without conflict, it’s a) unrealistic and b) I’m quite sure there can’t be a solid plot. Sixty-Seven Salamanders had attempts at conflict, but it was all fluff. Meaningless, five minute banter between characters, half-hearted anger, and a ‘villain’ that honestly didn’t do much besides insult two different people’s parents. That’s not very much.
I want to briefly touch on this just because it struck me as odd. In two different parts of the book, a girl is naked around Adin. It was never really explained why and it was never obvious as to why Joseph included it, but it was weird and happened twice with two girls. I’m all for being comfortable with your body, but how often does a girl walk into a bathroom in the nude around a guy she doesn’t know? At one point, one of the girls joins Adin in the shower. Nothing sexual happens, but she goes in there with him (without his permission), talks to him for a bit, doesn’t shower, and then leaves. She doesn’t even shower! Or at least it isn’t mentioned that she was showering while talking to him. First of all, it wasn’t like what she had to say couldn’t have waited until after he got out. Secondly, why would this be okay? If Adin had joined the girl in the shower without her permission, there would be outrage, but I guess since Adin is a guy, people think it’s fine? That’s not fair. Maybe it was done to show that Adin is a gentleman, but there are definitely other ways to tell the reader that.
Would I Recommend Sixty-Seven Salamanders? I’m afraid I would not recommend it at this moment. It needs to undergo severe editing and development before it will reach the potential that I saw as I was reading it. There were too many things that I didn’t like and not enough that I did like and for that, I cannot encourage others to read it.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Update: After writing this review, I was informed by the author that editing as since been done to fix grammatical errors.