"The text books discourage wild flights of imagination, but those in the field embrace them." Captivating and intriguing - from the title until we discover the identity of the unknown subject. Is an arm farm a place to grow arms, and is this about medical science and amputees and replacement surgery? Within five paragraphs we learn that it is not about growing arms and surgery, but a journey of both factual and person knowledge. Natalie walks through the field of forensics with the intent of discovering who did her parents wrong. Natalie is on her way to becoming s success but finds herself dwelling on her past. Will what happened to her so long ago ruin her chance at having her own life? Or will she overcome what has been happening to be able to let go of it? It's a long road for this young girl but she chose the path through the Arm Farm, just not with all the repercussions.
BIO: Sarah Butland is the author of three books for children, young adult, and adult. She is 28 years old and currently residing in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, with her husband, son, a dog named Corona, and cat named Russ. On any given day you can catch her reading books by Luanne Rice, Lesley Choyce, Stephen King and Dan Brown. She's also open to reading new authors.
BLURB: "The text books discourage wild flights of imagination, but those in the field embrace them." From the title until we discover the identity of the unknown subject. Is an arm farm a place to grow arms, and is this about medical science and amputees and replacement surgery? Within five paragraphs we learn that it is not about growing arms and surgery, but a journey of both factual and person knowledge. Natalie walks through the field of forensics with the intent of discovering who did her parents wrong. Natalie is on her way to becoming s success but finds herself dwelling on her past. Will what happened to her so long ago ruin her chance at having her own life? Or will she overcome what has been happening to be able to let go of it? It's a long road for this young girl but she chose the path through the Arm Farm, just not with all the repercussions.
Sarah has a very unique writing style. The book is written very narratively, which normally gives the reader a detached feeling, but somehow doesn't in her case. The book is also very dialog driven, whether internally or verbally. Most interesting about the dialog is instead of verbalizing the important aspects of conversation to propel the plot, she internalizes that, and leaves the mundane for quotations. Very interesting. The only real faults I had for the book were that everyone seemed a little too supportive of the heroine, and things seemed to fall into place a tad too easily. This reads like a cozy mystery, and the author definitely did her homework on forensics.
She unlocked then opened the gate. Walking inside she saw arms in the ground....Dead arms sticking out of the ground. Each one in a various stage of decay. Some with fingers or without hands. The smell is overwhelming. The horror intense. Natalie is in the Arm Farm. Natalie is studying in the field of forensics. Her parents were murdered so she choose this path in life with the hope to find the killer. Natalie is being stalked then she is kidnapped. The story was an unique plot. The reader gets to share the thoughts of both the stalker and the stalked. A forensics mystery story is about to unfold. A gut wrenching ending. I volunteered to read this eBook. My opinion is my own.
The New-Adult suspense novel ‘Arm Farm’ by Sarah Butland had a refreshingly different storyline. I enjoyed the idea of Natalie having the opportunity to attend a forensic conference and that the opening ‘meet and greet’ night for the conference was a secret Murder Mystery Night, very creative. It was a quick story with short chapters. Those who like T.V. shows like CSI will enjoy this story.
After walking in from school to find her mothers lifeless body covered in blood and then being told her father had also been butchered in their family home, seven year old Natalie’s life is set on a new course. She grows up with an interest in forensic science, not consciously with the aim of solving her parents still open murder, but more so she could help other victims and their families by getting answers. Natalie’s natural skills were noticed by her professors and she was given the opportunity to attend an out of state forensic conference, this made headlines and soon after Natalie found herself as the victim of a stalker.
I wasn’t very impressed with the cover art for this book. It wasn’t eye catching, the colours are pale and the cartoon like drawing coupled with the strange title are quite misleading. I think to get this book noticed on the market it definitely needs a new front cover, one that will make it stand out from the crowd because when choosing a book buyers are initially attracted by the front cover.
The story is quite intriguing, I like the idea of it and think with quite a bit of work this could be a very good book. Punctuation and grammar are not an issue, there was nothing in those areas that jumped out at me as being a problem but the overall writing needs to be addressed.
1) The dialogue is contrived and not very realistic:- There is quite a lot of dialogue in this book but none of it sounds natural, conversations aren’t written in a way that you could ‘hear’ the people saying them, it was as if the characters were reading from a script and they were very poor actors.
2) The sentences were stilted:- There was no flow to the writing, it became frustrating to read because it was so unnatural and wooden. Some sentences were so stuffy and structured in such an odd way that I felt like I was reading something written in the 1800’s!
3) Vocabulary :- We are treated to some ‘big’ words i.e. smorgasbord for one (surely ‘varied buffet’ would have sufficed) yet the author made the very common error of writing ‘blood splatter analysis’ instead of ‘blood spatter analysis’ (which is one of my pet hate mistakes) yet it wasn’t picked up by her pre-published readers or ‘editor?’
I don’t want it to seem as if I am really down on this book because as I said earlier I found the idea very interesting, this is where a good editor comes in. As well correcting grammatical errors an editor picks out unrealistic areas of the plot and can reconstruct sentences to aid readability. A good edit and a new front cover would dramatically improve this books saleability and I think it is something the author should seriously consider.
I have never been angrier at an editor and publisher for letting down an author as I was before, during and after reading ARM FARM by Sarah Butland. I was leery before reading it because, let’s face it, we do judge books by their covers and this one looked like a pre-teen had drawn it. I was irritated while reading because I found myself repeatedly rolling my eyes at the convoluted and outlandish situations, the inane dialogue and the extraneous or repetitive information. Example: The main character, Natalie, gets a “scholarship” to go to a forensics conference. She has to prepare for a couple of press conferences where a hundred reporters show up to ask her questions. A hundred? Really? Does she have that many relatives who are reporters? Another example: Natalie is kidnapped and left in the middle of nowhere. She calls the detective who was working her stalking case and tells him she counted 23 left and 34 right turns while locked in the car trunk and figured she was 40 minutes away. He immediately answers: “I know where you are, I’ll send someone…no, I’ll be there as soon as possible. Don’t walk far.” Yeah, right. Eye roll. The author has a decent story line: Natalie’s parents were murdered when she was a child, she is now studying forensic science, and someone who had something to do with her parents’ deaths is stalking her. A really good editor could have shaped this novel, hacked off the dead wood, pulled the weeds, pruned back the ridiculous and helped this author blossom. My last complaint is to the publisher who printed this book without justifying the paragraphs. I missed the nice straight right edge. I have a sneaky suspicion that the publisher was, perhaps, of the take-your-money-and-run variety. The book just seemed unprofessional. This is probably a one star book, but I’ll give it two because I think the author was let down by her editor and publisher.
Sarah Butland’s Arm Farm starts wonderfully with a young woman walking into a field of… arms. The touches of horror blend perfectly with reality as she contemplates why she’s there—a perfectly natural explanation—and the chapter’s intriguing, disturbing and fascinating all at once.
The story becomes a little more mundane as the top-of-her-class college student proceeds to get thoroughly drunk while celebrating success with her teacher. Characters make important decisions with surprising ease, belying the complex emotions of the first chapter and tending more towards a cozy mystery style of writing. A mystery in the past concerning the murder of the protagonist’s family, bleeds into the present with a stalker whose thoughts are occasionally revealed. Red herrings are tossed into the mix then disappear, while odd remarks gradually become clear, giving a feeling that the characters have kept secrets from the author as well as the reader while the story progressed. The result is a slightly awkward cross between mystery and suspense. A few soaring scenes will stick in my mind despite occasional typos and unconvincing behavior. Meanwhile the Arm Farm of the title creates a well-written powerfully haunting wrapper to the tale.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review
The concept of a young woman who decides to go into forensics to find the killer of her parents was excellent. I didn't understand the character's actions or reasoning at times and I found the ending quite abrupt. But this was an acceptably decent first attempt at writing a mystery novel. In my personal opinion, a professional content editor could have made this an exceptional story.
Not for me, sorry. Really loved the opening chapter. Thought the Arm Farm imagery was great. The book, though, needed a really good critique. Seemingly unimprtant details (like how people had their coffee, etc) got a lot of page-time. Maybe it *is* important, and I'm missing something, but... Unfortunately, this time, it just isn't for me.