Arm Farm Paperback – Nov 11 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Captivating and intriguing - from the tile until we discover the identity of the unknown subject.
Is an arm farm place a place to grow arms, and is this is about medical science and amputees and replacement surgery? Within five paragraphs we learn that it is not about growing arms and surgery, but a journey of both factual and personal knowledge. Natalie, the protagonist, walks through the field of forensics with the intent of discovering who did her parents wrong.
Sarah Butland creates captivates us with numerous images or word pictures, and her descriptions of Natalie's thoughts and feelings. She introduces both characters and relationships in ways that intrigue the reader, keeping us both guessing and wondering about the identity of the unknown subject.
I am struck by the author's mastery of language is in the first sentence quoted above. She is able to weave themes such as faith and spirituality, creating interest and images. She leads the reader on with subtle hints about the characters and their relationships as they and we seek to learn the identity of the unknown subject.
Sarah has published children's books and poetry, and now demonstrates her ability to write captivating, intriguing and entertaining fiction. We hope she will give us more.
Terrance R. Trites
ARM FARM--not a story one is soon to forget... Arm Farm
Sarah is a brilliant writer and this is a very good example of forensic science.
Young Natalie is a girl who needs to find out what happened to her parents and what went wrong. Her thoughts and images place you in the book.
Couldn't put it down and can't wait to read more from this author.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
After walking in from school to find her mothers lifeless body covered in blood and then being told her father had also been butchered in their family home, seven year old Natalie's life is set on a new course. She grows up with an interest in forensic science, not consciously with the aim of solving her parents still open murder, but more so she could help other victims and their families by getting answers. Natalie's natural skills were noticed by her professors and she was given the opportunity to attend an out of state forensic conference, this made headlines and soon after Natalie found herself as the victim of a stalker.
I wasn't very impressed with the cover art for this book. It wasn't eye catching, the colours are pale and the cartoon like drawing coupled with the strange title are quite misleading. I think to get this book noticed on the market it definitely needs a new front cover, one that will make it stand out from the crowd because when choosing a book buyers are initially attracted by the front cover.
The story is quite intriguing, I like the idea of it and think with quite a bit of work this could be a very good book. Punctuation and grammar are not an issue, there was nothing in those areas that jumped out at me as being a problem but the overall writing needs to be addressed.
1) The dialogue is contrived and not very realistic:- There is quite a lot of dialogue in this book but none of it sounds natural, conversations aren't written in a way that you could `hear' the people saying them, it was as if the characters were reading from a script and they were very poor actors.
2) The sentences were stilted:- There was no flow to the writing, it became frustrating to read because it was so unnatural and wooden. Some sentences were so stuffy and structured in such an odd way that I felt like I was reading something written in the 1800's!
3) Vocabulary :- We are treated to some `big' words i.e. smorgasbord for one (surely `varied buffet' would have sufficed) yet the author made the very common error of writing `blood splatter analysis' instead of `blood spatter analysis' (which is one of my pet hate mistakes) yet it wasn't picked up by her pre-published readers or `editor?'
I don't want it to seem as if I am really down on this book because as I said earlier I found the idea very interesting, this is where a good editor comes in. As well correcting grammatical errors an editor picks out unrealistic areas of the plot and can reconstruct sentences to aid readability. A good edit and a new front cover would dramatically improve this books saleability and I think it is something the author should seriously consider.
Copy supplied for review
The story becomes a little more mundane as the top-of-her-class college student proceeds to get thoroughly drunk while celebrating success with her teacher. Characters make important decisions with surprising ease, belying the complex emotions of the first chapter and tending more towards a cozy mystery style of writing. A mystery in the past concerning the murder of the protagonist's family, bleeds into the present with a stalker whose thoughts are occasionally revealed. Red herrings are tossed into the mix then disappear, while odd remarks gradually become clear, giving a feeling that the characters have kept secrets from the author as well as the reader while the story progressed. The result is a slightly awkward cross between mystery and suspense. A few soaring scenes will stick in my mind despite occasional typos and unconvincing behavior. Meanwhile the Arm Farm of the title creates a well-written powerfully haunting wrapper to the tale.
Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review
Sarah Butland is the author of three books for children, young adult, and adult. She is 28 years old and currently residing in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, with her husband, son, a dog named Corona, and cat named Russ. On any given day you can catch her reading books by Luanne Rice, Lesley Choyce, Stephen King and Dan Brown. She's also open to reading new authors.
"The text books discourage wild flights of imagination, but those in the field embrace them." From the title until we discover the identity of the unknown subject. Is an arm farm a place to grow arms, and is this about medical science and amputees and replacement surgery? Within five paragraphs we learn that it is not about growing arms and surgery, but a journey of both factual and person knowledge. Natalie walks through the field of forensics with the intent of discovering who did her parents wrong. Natalie is on her way to becoming s success but finds herself dwelling on her past. Will what happened to her so long ago ruin her chance at having her own life? Or will she overcome what has been happening to be able to let go of it? It's a long road for this young girl but she chose the path through the Arm Farm, just not with all the repercussions.
Sarah has a very unique writing style. The book is written very narratively, which normally gives the reader a detached feeling, but somehow doesn't in her case. The book is also very dialog driven, whether internally or verbally. Most interesting about the dialog is instead of verbalizing the important aspects of conversation to propel the plot, she internalizes that, and leaves the mundane for quotations. Very interesting. The only real faults I had for the book were that everyone seemed a little too supportive of the heroine, and things seemed to fall into place a tad too easily. This reads like a cozy mystery, and the author definitely did her homework on forensics. Recommended.
author of Summer's Road