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Uninvited, by Pete Mortimer

This is where I would normally do the Short, Sweet, and Snappy review, some nice little bullet points about what I liked about the books, what I didn’t, and the most important, whether I would recommend you go out and buy it. However, that part is missing this time. There is only one reason for that; for the first time when reviewing, I didn’t finish the book. And I will not be finishing the book, either. 

So who, where, what and why? The book is a novella called Uninvited. It is about an unnamed man who comes home to find a stranger in his house. It lost me in about four pages, right about when the man comes home, finds the strange man there, and goes to make a cup of tea. 

Now, I’m all about suspending belief and reading about impossible things. Hell, I write vampires and aliens for a living. There has to be some kind of doing away with reality to write and read genres like that. Having said that, there is a line. For me that line is apparently coming home to find a man in my house, a man I do not know and was not expecting, a man who no one else could have let in, and I go off to make a cup of tea? Nope. I’m going to kick and scream and ask questions. I’m going to call the police, get out of the house, and shout for help. I am not going to say “oh” and go make tea. 

That wasn’t the only problem, if it was, I might have finished the book just so I could see what on earth was wrong with a man who would go make tea when faced with an intruder. 

The writing style felt like that of an eight year old learning to tell stories who hadn’t grasped the concept of multiple clauses in a sentence. Almost every single sentence was a fragment. Reading the few pages that I managed was jarring, and there was no submersion into the world the writer had created. I think that if I put the whole book into MS Word, the average sentence length would be maybe five words. 

Short sentences, of course, have their uses. I am personally a fan of using fragmented sentences on occasion, sometimes when dramatic things are happening, and sometimes because it flows better. However, using them to tell a book almost exclusively does not make for good reading. As such, Uninvited is not a book I will be going back to any time soon, nor is it one that I can give any stars to. 

On a final note, there was one other thing that bugged me. I read the paperback, but it was formatted like an ebook, complete with extra paragraph returns between each paragraph. This, however, is a pet peeve of mine, and has no impact on the reading except that it makes you feel like you’re reading an ebook, not a paperback. 

All in all, this is not a book I recommend reading. If you like, you can go check out the Amazon’s look inside function and see what I mean about fragmented sentences. But personally, go read something else. 

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