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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 5 star ratings
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    Awesome story

    This was an awesome read and hard to put down. I would recommend it to anyone that loves an action packed and well written story.
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    "Metal Flesh" mangles the language

    I wanted to like this book. I really did. The author was gracious enough to make a review copy available to me, and when I hadn’t posted a review after two weeks, he sent a polite e-mail asking to make sure I’d been able to download his novel. But… I can’t lie. This is awful. It’s poorly written, with errors in punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure that wouldn’t pass sixth grade competency, if that. The dialogue is childish, and all the characters sound alike. The plot is complicated, with far too many groups – religious and political – to keep track of. Characters move to and from distant locations with the ease of turning the page. The year is 2093, and Sprocket is a businessman, but what his business is, is never disclosed. His father was murdered four years before the story begins, and Sprocket knows the identity of a man who can help him get revenge and vows to find him. He enlists the aid of a character named Goth Lila – and at that point, I began to wonder just how advanced, technologically and culturally, Mr. Dragon’s future is. The world of 78 years in the future still has laptops, tablets, e-mail, and automotive transportation. Colleges still have traditional classrooms and even – (gasp!) – old-fashioned print textbooks! In this very progressive future, even the Amish have become tech-savvy, and the Mennonites carry shields. For defense. To explain the plot further would not be easy; Sprocket hallucinates most of the first dozen or so pages, and from there, the story goes in many different directions. Unfortunately, there are many inaccuracies along the way. For example, one character claims Galileo proved the earth was round; that fact was accepted as far back as ancient Greece. Galileo discovered that the Earth revolved around the sun, and not vice-versa. The last time I checked, West Virginia was not considered to be part of New England. At one point, Christmas is mentioned as being celebrated in March, and I can’t find a single reference to vultures inhabiting Madagascar on Wikipedia (buzzards, yes, but no vultures). As for the dialogue: Early in the novel, a couple of ‘suits’ visit a scientist, and one asks about the existence of wormholes. The scientist responds, and I quote: “I’ll assume you mean the ones in theoretical space physics and not the ones you find in the dirt outside made by the common earthworm.” Oh, my. Mr. Dragon identifies himself as an English teacher; I shudder at what he’s teaching his students. Later on, Goth Lila complains, “I always seem to get the comedians whenever I take civilians on missions.” I wonder how many military missions do indeed include civilians, especially idiots like Sprocket. (Our protagonist is supposedly an adult; he speaks, and behaves, like a nerdy adolescent.) SPOILER ALERT Near the end of the story (and it is thankfully brief), a robot makes its escape by – you ready? – balloon. All this tech stuff mentioned in the book, and the bad guy floats away attached to a freakin’ balloon. There’s much more unbelievable action here, but I want to be merciful to Mr. Dragon. Apparently, this is his 4th or 5th novel, and there are sequels planned. I sincerely hope the author takes the opportunity to attend some creative writing seminars, and enlists the assistance of a good, honest editor. As a teacher myself, I’ve seen much worse than what Mr. Dragon offers here, but as a voracious reader of science fiction, for close to 50 years now, I have rarely seen published work that needs as thorough an editing job as Metal Flesh does. I’m sorry, Austin, but I have to be truthful here.

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