review

PACK – MIKE BOCKOVEN

PackPack by Mike Bockoven
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

i read a lot of arcs. and i read a lot of monsterporn. and between the two, i have become accustomed to encountering – and reasonably numb to criticizing – spelling errors, misused or missing words, grammatical disharmony, etc. my brain is perfectly capable of reading around errors and grasping the author’s intentions, so at first, the shockingly high number of mistakes in this book were no biggie: “This was a stroke of improbably luck,” characters planning to meet at “the abandon tire store,” “I will call ever hour,” “sandles,” “Do you’re little trick,” “bare this burden,” “throwing all décor out the window” (props on including the accent aigu*, but this is not the word you’re looking for), etc.

and it happens – you drop your copyediting guard and the word “knight” sneaks in instead of “night,” They had come in the middle of the knight…, that’s fine. you forget to close your apostrophes in a bit of back-and-forth dialogue so that a character is asking and answering their own question for some reason, OR you misattribute a quote so it looks like the werewolf is accusing the sheriff of murder, “You and your people killed them,” OR you have a character speaking who isn’t even in that scene, OR all of the above and ALSO sentences in which the verb tenses don’t agree, or a seeming unfamiliarity with compound words: “high tailed,” “in tact,” “race track,” “shout out,” “bad ass,” “entry way,” “batted clean up,” &etc &etc &etc.

again, it’s annoying to come across such high numbers of errors, but it’s just cosmetic damage – i can fill in the blanks and figure out what’s meant to be there.

however.

when the errors aren’t just superficial copyediting errors and are more significant continuity errors, well then it becomes a problem i’m unwilling to overlook and i start wondering what other aspects of the author’s intentions are not being honored and – more importantly – i start wondering why other people are getting paid for jobs that i should have.

this is not an ARC. there is no excuse for this:

When Adam’s body was found in a ditch, torn apart by what appeared to be wild animals, it tore the town apart. Men wept, women wept, children wept and a malaise descended over the town, from which it never recovered. Nellie miscarried their child out of grief. At Adam’s funeral, Kane gave the eulogy and opined that his brother’s death “would leave a mark on this town that may never fully heal.”

His words were prophetic. Shreiner’s closed six months after Adam’s death, and other businesses followed suit. Even the happy occasion of Adam’s son Bruce being born could not make a dent in the town’s mood.

i’m not in love with the echo here – being told the town “may never fully heal” only one sentence removed from the statement that the town “never recovered,” but that’s just a super-fussy nitpick. what i cannot tolerate is a child who was miscarried out of grief in one paragraph being born as a happy occasion in the next. that is unacceptably sloppy.

and on the very next page, same sloppy shit. it’s the start of a new chapter, involving a gathering of several characters, and it opens with:

The man with the Irish accent was expected to speak in front of the assembled group in the “family room” of Dave and Josie’s house, but he had not yet arrived.

it goes on to list who is there and where they are sitting and the general tone of the room. and THEN:

No one was talking and no one wasn’t looking at the stranger in their midst.

the stranger. meaning “the man with the Irish accent.” who cannot be the recipient of all these looks because, you will recall, HE HAD NOT YET ARRIVED. and he won’t arrive until the next page.

&etc &etc &etc &etc &etc &etc &etc

and maybe i’m being a dick and i should just focus on the book itself and not the editing, but it became legit distracting to me. i was so looking forward to it – i loved LOVED bockoven’s debut – FantasticLand, and i love grit lit, and the idea of grit lit with werewolves was tickling all my fancies, but this book just didn’t do it for me, in the end. and i’ll never know if my tepid reaction to it was because of the book or because of my growing resentment with how poorly it was edited.

either way, it has left me sad.

* french seems to be a problem throughout. i still have no clue what a wolf “tearing the last man apart in a bloody decoupage” is meant to suggest, since the fine art of decoupage involves affixing elements together, collage-style, not tearing them apart.

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1/27/19

dear talos – if i can find at least 100 typos and continuity errors in this non-ARC, finished book, will you hire me? it’s a fair challenge – i didn’t count them as i was going along, but i found A LOT. i have my own red pen and i’m ready to earn my keep.

review TK

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1/23/19

HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE HAVE

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6/10/18

WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT

read my reviews on goodreads

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