I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I have to say: TRISOMY XXI has cover art that sucked me in like a moth to a flame. It is exactly the type of imagery that draws me to cheesy horror flicks and B-grade comics. Unfortunately, the book itself is not nearly as good as its artwork. I found myself vastly disappointed with the story and its conclusion, and although it has potential, the execution lacks quite a bit. The resulting read is not one I can recommend.
If you are not familiar with TRISOMY XXI, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of World Castle Publishing:
Sixteen-year-old Joshua Allen was born with an extra chromosome-a genetic aberration known as Trisomy XXI, or Down Syndrome. A serious accident leaves the mentally-challenged adolescent in a coma at the hospital, where he receives a mysterious injection that endows him with supernatural powers. The transformed teen is linked to a string of bizarre, unexplained deaths in town that have both the sheriff and the coroner baffled. A ghastly creature from another planet lands on Earth and begins its hunt for the teenager-viciously slaughtering anyone in its path in order to complete its deadly mission. The salvation of an entire race of aliens is in the balance, as Joshua and his friends are thrown into a horrific life-and-death struggle with the seemingly indestructible extraterrestrial being. TRISOMY XXI provides an epicurean feast of horror, science fiction, and mystery-all seasoned with a pinch of humor that will satiate the appetite of even the most gourmet of readers. If the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Michael Crichton were ever to have collectively penned a spine-tingling tale of horror, this would be it! Delivering a roller-coaster ride full of thrills for its unsuspecting audience, TRISOMY XXI will intrigue every intelligent reader with its alluring array of unforeseen twists and turns. Packed with tension and excitement, this chimeric version of Alien meets The Thing is a powerful story that is guaranteed to capture your immediate attention. You won’t be able to put this book down!
I always feel bad when I have to give a negative review, particularly because I am an author myself, and I know how it feels to have your work critiqued. It is never easy to put yourself out there in the public eye for criticism, however every author or filmmaker has to accept that when they present their work for review. As such, I find it my responsibility to give truthful responses to such work, whether they be good or bad responses. With that being said, I never aim any of my criticism at the author…it is solely director toward his or her work ONLY.
TRISOMY XXI is not written well and reads like a junior high student’s attempt at writing fiction. I found way too much exposition in the writing, almost to the point of absurdity at times. Whereas many authors write minimally and let the readers fill in the blanks, this book overloads the reader with detail and bogs down the narrative. This took me completely out of the story at regular intervals and made for a boring reading experience.
Likewise, the writing is aggravating in the way it approaches certain subjects within the story. For example, the author spends almost two whole pages discussing how foul-mouthed a particular character is…but this has nothing to do with the story at all. Not to mention, the character says nothing very offensive, other than a single mention of the word ‘pussy’. Everything else is about as tame as what you’d find in a middle school library.
The writing style also reaches a level of annoyance with the author’s use of flagrant adjectives. Yes, using such words helps illustrate the characters, scenes, settings, and such…but the author uses them to the point of exasperation. In several instances, he tries to use different words to describe the same thing, over and over and over. Also, instead of simply saying things like “the boy”, numerous adjectives are used instead, such as “the Down Syndrome boy”, “the Trisomy XXI boy,” the mentally challenged boy”, etc., etc. This wouldn’t be such a major thing, but it is in every section, even when there’s only one boy around. This in-your-face “finger-pointing” gets in the way of the story and once again bogs it down.
The story itself is interesting and could very easily be a horrifying and inventive journey. But the negatives far outweigh the positives here, and the originality of the tale is lost amidst a flurry of over-exhaustive writing.
TRISOMY XXI is a letdown for me, and I cannot recommend it. This is a good example of where the author tries to do too much for the reader and, in the end, ruins the reading experience. Less is more in some cases, and in writing it is definitely a rule to follow. TRISOMY XXI is available now in a variety of formats, should you decide to give it a look.