Lisa H.'s Reviews > Under the Overtree

Under the Overtree by James A. Moore
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May 11, 2011

did not like it
Read from May 11 to 13, 2011

Disappointing, to say the least, esp. given that some well-known authors gave it such high marks in their cover blurbs. I should know by now not to trust those.

In particular, one review compared it to "vintage Stephen King." I read everything King wrote up to a point (he lost me at Gerald's Game), and his early work (particularly the short fiction) clearly showed the depth of his own reading and how it informed his writing, drawing on classic mythology texts like Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough to form the background of stories like "The Mangler", "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut", "The Lawnmower Man", and "Sometimes They Come Back", while "Children of the Corn" and "Jerusalem's Lot" are heavily influenced by HP Lovecraft, and "Here There Be Tygers" recalls some of Saki's finest stories. (And "The Jaunt" is a memorable, if surprising, foray into science fiction.)

This guy, James A. Moore, apparently never read anything, or if he did, none of it stuck. There's no substance to his invented "Folk" - although there is plenty of source material available to flesh out the nature spirits Moore inserts into the story as the force behind a series of grisly murders and unexplained occurrences. His spooky demon-hunter has powers that are never explained, a mysterious book of spells pops up and is superficially clothed in elements of "the dark arts", but that's as far as it goes: where King (and many others) would have actually read enough of previous literature featuring such things to give them some weight, Moore just skips over the inconvenient process of including any details.

I finished it. I wish I had given up when his writing first started pissing me off. (Not even going to get into that, but suffice to say if you are a stickler for properly constructed sentences and word usage, save yourself the headache and skip this one.)
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message 1: by Lisa (new) - rated it 1 star

Lisa H. What happened to the fine art of editing? Hell, proofreading? This guy's storytelling isn't bad, but his punctuation is heinous, not to mention the sentence fragments that make me want to stab someone.


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