Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Novelette Review: The Job by Cramer Louis Jackson

Publishing Info: 
Title - The Job
Author - Cramer Louis Jackson
Publisher - Outskirts Press
Date Published - 2012
# of pages - 45


Joe has just about given up on his chances of finding a job. Day after day he scours the want ads, stands in line, and is crushed by disappointment. But one day, a letter comes in the mail that will change his life. He is given strange directions by an unidentified potential employer, and thus begins the most unusual job interview he’s ever had, culminating in the revelation that he, and he alone, can do a job he never dreamed existed. Joe is about to embark on a new life with a new identity…and a new love. But a more sinister force is interested in Joe and his work as well. Will he be able to elude evil, and protect the woman he loves? Join Joe on the adventure of a lifetime, in a story that unfolds with cinematic brilliance, providing twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.


The first word that comes to mind is disappointed. From the outside this book seemed well put together. It was short but seemed like it would deal with an important issue today - unemployment. On top of that the science fiction romance aspect of it really peaked my interest. I have so far enjoyed every book I've read in that genre. I didn't really enjoy this one.

From the beginning I felt a few things in the story seemed odd. For example, Joe starts off as an unemployed man looking for a job. He goes to a job interview where it's announced that the positions are all filled. Then he goes home and opens his mail - a bunch of rejection letters from companies he sent his resume to. Here is where it got strange for me. It seemed as if the author was writing from a different time, when things were conducted in this really formal manner. But it seems as though Joe is opening his mail looking for an interview acceptance. Why would the companies not phone him instead of corresponding with him about an interview in the mail? And then he actually does get an interview and the letter says for him to check his email for more details. Huh? Since when does email and regualar mail arrive at the same time? And why would they even bother with the letter if they were going to email him? On top of that, Joe ponders to himself how they even know he has a computer, as if it's some rare luxury that most people don't own today. I didn't know what the author was trying to get across so I had to just shrug it off as odd and move on, hoping that everything would make more sense after that.

I didn't feel like much was done better after that. Everything was worded strangely, there was repetition where it wasn't needed, and the biggest problem of all was missing words in the middle of sentences. For example:

      Layone tries to learn more about the job, but is kept in suspense as they travel the tram trip leading to the huge room that houses the amazing craft.
     The tram arrives at end of the trip and the general, Zann, and Layone exit the tram, leaving the guards to return the tram to the big building where they are needed. The general enters the right numbers into the security box, resulting in the big door opening.

 (All missing words, repetive use of the word tram, and the wrong use of articles (either an explanation or "a big door" would have made much more sense considering we were not yet introduced to any door) are the author's doing, not mine.)

Then the author seems to equate love with sex. Apparently Joe (now renamed Zann in his new job) falls in love with the copilot of a spaceship he was just hired to fly. It was love at first sight. But I didn't feel any chemistry at all. They just seem to know exactly what each other was thinking about, even though they just met, down to thinking exactly where they are going next with the spaceship. For some reason, they celebrate this at every stop by having sex. That seemed to be all there was to their relationship - knowing where to go with the spaceship and then having sex when they were there.

On top of all this, the people in charge of the spaceship seem to be really secretive about it - they go so far as to rename both the pilots and tell them their life as they know it is over. People die protecting it. Yet they don't seem to care that Zann and Layone are flying it to every major city in the world where people can see it and that they are spending extra time in casinos making a big show of their new-found "brain power" that they get from having ship-sex. (really?)

I'm usually a pretty open-minded person. I can see where a book has value even if I don't feel that way myself and I can usually look past a few oddly worded paragraphs and grammar issues. I found the amount of missing words and poor grammar in a book of this size unacceptable, especially considering the cost ($2.99 ebook, $8.95 paperback). This book also seemed to defy all logic, which I just couldn't get past. I don't mind a silly adventure here and there but I need weird things to make sense in their own context.

The one redeeming quality I found in this story was the message at the end of the book about how strong love can be. I wished that was focused on more or explained better. For that very wonderful message, I am not so much as upset that this book was not an enjoyable experience, but as I said above, disappointed.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

You can purchase The Job in kindle and paperback formats from Amazon
You can check out more reviews or add it to your Goodreads list.


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