When Your Favorite Authors Disappoint

I’ve written before about authors becoming complacent. At that time, I hadn’t read any of Raymond Feist’s books recently, so I couldn’t comment on the later books from personal experience.

I just finished Rides a Dread Legion, so now I can speak from a position of some experience. If I didn’t know this was by Feist, I’d have thought it was by a low- to mid-level independent author that published without editing or without even any halfway decent beta-readers looking at it.

Technical errors show up in what should be a highly polished book. In one instance, a character expresses surprise at a statement that a given personage will arrive soon, despite the fact that just a few (Kindle) pages before, this character had been involved in a conversation where the personage’s arrival was mentioned. In another, despite the previous paragraph saying that as soon as a group magically teleported to an area they were going to observe strict silence, one of the members of the group speaks up to make a comment, and the leader responds without reminding him that they’d decided on silence. There are others, but those should make the point.

Even a volunteer editor should have caught those goofs if I did, because I’m by no means a professional editor. Yet here they are, in a book by a famous author and published by one of the Big Six Publishers.

One person on a writing forum I frequent suggested that maybe Feist has decided that he doesn’t need editors any more. While possible, I wonder at the publisher letting even an author as skilled as Feist send books out with no scrutiny at all. Pobody’s nerfect, after all, and even the big names goof once in a while — as I mentioned above.

Perhaps Feist’s ego has gotten the better of him, or maybe he’s just, as another friend suggested, phoning in in these days without caring much about the quality. Either one would be a shame, and would be an ugly blot on what should have been a remarkable career.

On another note, allow me to apologize for no Morning Quote this morning… I got up late and had to rush to an appointment, so I didn’t have a chance to post one.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “When Your Favorite Authors Disappoint

  1. I’ve had a similar experience with one of my favourite writers lately…over a series of about 20 novels (and counting) I have found inconsistencies similar to those you point out, but particularly in the later novels. More alarming are the big inconsistencies in plot – for example, there are two characters who were in the army together in WW1. In one early novel they say they were sent home early with shell shock, one novel revolves around the fact that they were in Paris when peace was declared, and I’m told in the next one they were suddenly in the Navy!?!?

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