January 16, 2014

Book Review: Too Much Information by David Haskell

I was looking for new ways to find out about upcoming products and signed up for a service called Tomoson. The primary goal of Tomoson.com seems to be to match businesses with bloggers who enjoy reviewing products and while I don't necessarily want to go out and review free stuff all the time, I thought it would be interesting to check out the service.

My first match with Tomoson was a review of a book called Too Much Information by new author, David Haskell. I do secretly enjoy science-themed thrillers (I proclaim to love biographies) and sneak off and read my husband's Robin Cook books frequently, so a chance at a totally new novel by an emerging author sounded quite awesome.

David Haskell gave me a free copy of the Kindle version of his book, which I was able to read on my iPad with the free Kindle app. For an eBook, it was well-formatted and easy to work with. We have gone through three Nooks in our house and I don't find those very pleasant to read for too long. Reading on the iPad was just fine though.

Forgive me, but I'm a total novice when it comes to book reviews. I know there are some hardcore serious reviewers out there, but this is just me, doing my thing as best as I can.

Too Much Information centers on a mesh of homeland security concerns, airport screening procedures, big business, the (believable) craziness of corporate senior leadership, the woes of being thrown under the bus by your employer, and the challenges of our legal system. With all these plot points, there really is a lot happening in the story.

Conceptually, I love the idea of this book and the thought that went into Haskell's story. Without spoiling it for you, the reader is introduced to the idea of airport security going too far and the impact this has on the public, the employees, and the private sector companies involved in what is really a scandalous situation. I most held on to the stories of Rosa, a wronged airport employee and the group of attorneys representing her in court. It's hard not to empathize with a woman being essentially crapped on by her employer, and very believable that the justice system would favor the well-funded, and legal but sketchy tactics of the big corporation.

This is Haskell's first book and in a lot of ways, that newness shows in how the story flows and the characterization and tone. The downside of self-publishing is the author doesn't have the same opportunities as those with representation, which means the editing and proofreading isn't as tight as a professionally published book. While I definitely struggled with a few inconsistencies and admit my  past working in communications means I get bugged by grammar, capitalization, and spelling errors in professional written books, I strongly believe Haskell's first attempt at writing a novel isn't bad at all. Certainly better than any attempt I've made.

I don't know whether David Haskell plans for a second edition, but bringing in a fantastic copyeditor could turn a great concept into a truly great novel.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, however, the opinion above is my own.

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