This review is my half-cannonball, the reading and reviewing of 26 books. The half-cannonball was my goal for the year; I never thought I’d make it by the end of June (the half year). So, I will be continuing on in an attempt to make the full cannonball both for personal bragging rights and a hope of contributing to something greater than myself. I celebrate this achievement by reviewing One Confirmed Kill by Peter Johnston. It should be noted that I received this e-book for free for the promise of reviewing it (hey, it only took 3 months!).
There is a problem with being a new writer. I think this problem can be called the end-of-the-nose scenario. What I mean by that is not being able to see past the end of one’s own nose, or at least not clearly. Mr. Johnston takes the time to pen an account of life in Iraq during the war using his personal experiences and ruminations on his time in the military to present to us a view on the less pristine side of military life. However, I had a difficult time with a few aspects of his writing.
One Confirmed Kill is written in first person format, which is a great way to get into the perspective of the narrator, it does unfortunately tend to allow the writer to use their own voice and write the way they, or the person they are basing their narrator on, speak. I spent a good portion of my time reading wanting to edit the document for punctuation and word choice. The other main problem I had is that heading into this story with very little knowledge of the military and their procedures I had a difficult time keeping up with all the acronyms and short hand. But finally, perhaps the most egregious error is to me, a sense of a lack of editing. This is a short story that runs to 30 pages and over 18,500 words. It either needs to be shortened and honed down or expanded and given chapter breaks to aid the readers’ comprehension.
Anyway, as an amateur writer myself I hope to cast no stones, but instead have hope that Mr. Johnston can find an editor or a group of readers who will help him hone his craft, as I was certainly entertained and the very real problem of troop suicide is dealt with honestly.