Dog World - Jason McKinney, Tabitha McKinney For the last few weeks I've been reading Dog World by Jason McKinney. I picked it up as part of the blog tour, which was organised by author Zee Monodee - and many thanks to my friend Zee for providing me with an ARC of it! :-)

Please find below my thoughts about it, both the good and the bad.

The Good
Dog Worldis a very action packed story, that brings you to the desserts of Iraq. Here, you follow a group of soldiers & marines fighting in a different kind of war than the one they thought they signed up for. A war between werewolves and humanity - a war where the werewolves don't stand united against mankind; fractions of the werewolves are fighting and siding with the humans. The action kicks off right from the start of the story and it quickly moves the it forward. Reading this book felt like you're watching an action packed movie - I could literally see this happening in my inner celluloid screen. I found the characters Walinski (with her split personality and werewolf-sniffing talents) and the female werewolf Mitchell particularly likable. In fact I have to say that it was nice and refreshing to see a female werewolf as one of the central characters, for that's not something that I've come across very often.

The Bad
This book is very poorly edited, I cannot stress this enough. It was not so much the occasional typos and random (and confusing) abbreviations here and there that were distracting while reading the story, as it was the badly broken up sentences and missing words that completely took the flow out of an otherwise good and action packed story. As much as it felt like watching a movie while reading it, then this book felt like you were watching a a poorly directed and poorly edited movie - think exploitation, but not in the cool Robert Rodriquez/Quentin Tarantino way. This is a shame, for the actual story line is really not not half bad, to be honest, even if not all characters were not equally well-developed. While reading, I did want to finish the book and learn of the fates of the characters I'd grown to like, so I have to admit that the bad editing didn't put me off enough not to continue reading - but it did seriously impede my perception and enjoyment of this novel.

The Verdict
It's a shame when indie-authors can't be bothered to proof read their work properly. It's not the first time that I've seen this, but I think that it's the first time I've seen it as bad as in this book. I sincerely hope that nothing worse than this is out there, but I fear that there is - after all it's not completely without reason that self-published books come with a "lesser quality" stigmata printed on their back! I suspect that indie-authors, who choose to publish books that are not ready to be published yet, go independent because they are so eager to get their work out there to the public, that they get cannot overcome the temptation to rush through the important editing and polishing process that would otherwise have made their work shine (and perhaps even go through the hassle of finding an agent, publisher, editor and what not). Instead they then end up publishing a half-finished book that you don't really want to read once you get started with it. Don't get me wrong, I can understand wanting to get your book published as soon as you can, but publishing with clear errors that will taint your reputation and skills as a writer, and apriori taint your future work as well? That I understand less. I don't understand how they can ignore, or perhaps even forget, how important steps editing, proofing and polishing are - it means everything. If a writer doesn't trust his/her own skills to do this, then he/she should enlist the service of a professional editor to take on this paramount task (and guess what, when you go with traditional publishing, then that's usually part of the package that you get). To me, skipping this part is just not good enough, nor is it professional enough! It's amateuristic, and personally I find it highly disrespectful towards the readers, who are actually paying for the book with their hard earned money. Luckily, that wasn't the case for me, I had my hands on an ARC and didn't have to spend anything on it other than my time, which in all frankness, I find valuable enough as it is already.