Baron Franklyn Must Die
By Allen Scudwry
It is the 24th century. Mankind has traveled and inhabited many planets. And wherever the population goes, crime follows. A drug kingpin known as the Baron has gone untouched by authorities for years. Now, two Interpol Agents, Susan Myers and James Banahan, are tasked with bringing down the crime lord. However, they’re not the only people interested in the Baron. An enigmatic individual, by the name of Weston, is on the trail.
This is your galaxy. This is your galaxy on drugs. Lol. Just kidding. So many sci-fi books are about conquering races and civil wars and kingdoms falling and it was nice to see a change of pace to, basically, a police investigation of a narcotics dealer.
Susan Myers: Interpol Agent, parents murdered when she was a child, excellent marksman
James Banahan: Interpol Agent, around middle age, atheist
Weston: vigilante, large build,
Franklyn: drug kingpin, round features, has the title of Baron
Bramnst Pedersen: suffering from drug abuse, incarcerated in mental institution
Only surface detail on the characters. There is background info on Myers, but I didn’t ‘see’ any of the characters because there were scant physical descriptions. ‘Large’ or ‘rotund’ or ’round’ does not convey very much. You get a sense of Banahan’s serious demeanor but the baddie could be so much more ‘bad’. Franklyn’s minions could be so much much more oily and nasty or if they’re sycophants, show that aspect. I like Weston but not much is told about him. Countless pages of background information are not needed, but give me something more. Also, there is one scene that confused me about Franklyn. He’s a drug lord, a criminal, yet his assistant had to explain what Interpol was? Unless there is hidden meaning here, one would expect a criminal to understand law enforcement.
Some tag lines have extra stuff, either an action or telling the reader the way the dialogue was spoken. Not just through ‘ly’ adverbs, but other wordy descriptions. Some of this is unnecessary as the tension of the scene should convey the attitude of the speaker. There are instances where the first word of the continuation of dialogue after a tag should have been capitalized because the line is a separate sentence from the one before the tag.
Titled chapters. At times, narrator jumps from 3rd person close to 3rd person overview and back again. A bit distracting when it should stay close. Some unnecessary profanity. There was a saturation of ‘ing’ and ‘ly’ words, in particular in the chapterat the mental institution. Once noticed, it was difficult not to spot them at every opportunity. Once noticed, the realization dawned of how the entire writing style lacks strength. Sentences could be tighter, some of the wordiness deleted. I did enjoy some of the descriptions which helped bring me into the story because I could visualize the scene better. With sci-fi, this is a must and I think this story contained some fine detail. The technology was not ‘in your face’ or over the top, but believable. The aliens were interesting enough and held my attention.I considered long and hard about the rank, but the more I read, the more I couldn’t get past the weakness of the writing. Usually when I give a rank this low, there are spelling errors and punctuation problems, but despite some good points, I have to be fair and give this a: