The Carpenter’s Moons: A Tale From Beyond the Mirror of Eternal Blissfullessness

This book showcases an intriguing range of alien species, and a series of intertwining storylines that are well-handled and mesh neatly through the story. David James Hollamby has also created characters that have some definite appeal, in the run-away-from-home and break the cultural mould coming-of-age bracket.

Unfortunately, I have to be honest this point and note that The Carpenter’s Moons is strictly a comedy sci-fi, and my sense of humour is sufficiently stunted as to make a nearly unhittable target. I therefore didn’t get on very well with the overall style of the novel, to the point where I was seriously considering bailing on the read. However, I hate doing that, so I pushed on, and sure enough, the latter half of the book (possibly—apologies to the author—because I stopped page-hopping to try and read all of the footnotes) became a lot easier to read.

In more technical and less subjective areas, the nearly-constant use of humorous asides in the footnotes, many of sufficient length to end up split across the bottom of two pages, meant a great deal of flicking back and forth from the section I was trying to read, and consequently ended up being largely ignored after I got about a third of the way into the book. There were also enough homonyms and other typos in the text to keep grabbing my attention off the story, some to the point where I needed to pause and figure out which word that sounded like the one in the text actually fitted the context.

Having got to the end, I feel that, leaving aside the issue of whether or not any type of humour will ever be universally appealing to all readers, this story could potentially benefit enormously from a strong copy-edit. Some additional work on the characterisation might also help to move this book from simply the YA genre and add appeal across a range of genres. I had the feeling, reading it, that there was a lot of potential in the book, but either because of my issues with the style, or something else, it just wasn’t quite living up to it.

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