Friday, May 31, 2013

Strangely Sober / Essa Alroc

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Mystery/Humor

Approximate word count: 110-115,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


An Orlando, Florida based freelance writer, Essa Alroc has two additional books available: The Apology (a novella) and Asymmetric Angels, the sequel to Strangely Sober.

For more, visit the author’s blog.


“Angelica Salvatori, aka Sal, is anything but sober. As a hard partying and even harder living criminal, she considers her status as mastermind not just a job, but a calling. Between running her crew, trying to burn down her bar, and dealing with her occasional breaks with reality, she has enough on her plate. When she finds out that she has a twin she didn’t know about, one that may be in serious danger because of something she did, Sal reacts by doing what any good delusional sociopath would do. She goes on a violence packed, cross country crime spree to find out who’s hunting them and why.”


A hard-boiled mystery where the main character as well as the secondary characters surrounding her are full of personality quirks, major flaws, and at times, downright evil dispositions. Despite this, often because of it, the reader (at least this one) still wants them to come out on top. Partly that is because they are the way they are for a reason. Their wicked ways usually only hurt those deserving of retribution and at least some of the time the main character, Sal, is almost Robin Hoodish. An over-the-top, fun, and quirky story that fits the characters well.

However, just as the characters have major flaws, the execution of the story abounds with problems. The biggest issue is the lack of adequate copy editing, with typos, homophone mistakes, and grammar errors throughout. There is also one tangent, explaining an aspect of the Holocaust, that while interesting, gave way more detail and drug on too long for what was needed as backstory. If your inner editor is the forgiving type, Strangely Sober is a fun read.


Adult language and situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

A large number of copyediting errors and typos. These included incorrect words (often due to an extra or missing letter), homophone errors (their/they’re and your/you’re errors were especially prevalent), and a confusion in the proper use of bring versus take.

Rating: *** Three stars

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