Thursday, July 1, 2010
Book Review: The Baseball Box Prophecy
My husband was the one who encouraged me to buy The Baseball Box Prophecy. It is a middle grade fantasy written by a local author, Bruce Newbold. My husband had heard a spot on KSL radio where Amanda Dixon highly recommended it, claiming she thought it was better written than Harry Potter. With that recommendation I couldn't resist.
During my trip to D.C. I was able to finish the book. I don't say "able to finish the book" lightly. If I hadn't had the extra time that travel brings, I daresay I would have put the book down and moved on to something else. Reading it bordered on being a chore.
The novel did have a creative and interesting story line. As part of an initation to get on a neighborhood baseball team, eleven year old Cletis has to venture onto the porch of a strange old woman, deemed a witch by the other boys. He ends up befriending the old woman and discovers that she has lived thousand years as part of a punishment, and she is in hope of being freed from her curse by the fulfilment of a prophecy. Cletis finds that he is the one she has been waiting for to fulfill the prophecy. I liked this part of the book--the story.
This is Bruce Newbold's first novel. He has written several screne plays, however. I feel his editor did him an injustice by not insisting he tighten, tighten, tighten. Had she done that, perhaps Bruce's debut novel could have shone much better.
I'm not saying you shouldn't read this novel. For some readers it might be a fit: baseball fans and/or readers who don't get weighed down by the superfluous. I admit, I have a hard time setting down the red pen when I read, unless the writing is invisable. By invisible, I mean that I don't get distracted by it. If writing follows the time-tested rules learned by seasoned authors, the reader doesn't see the writing, only lives the story in their mind. I didn't do that with this book. I noticed the writing.
I would give this novel a 2 star rating if I were to put this review on Amazon.