(CCLaP publishes mini-reviews of both books and movies on a regular basis, none lasting more than a few hundred words. A full list of CCLaP's book-based mini-reviews can be found on its main book page, and movies on the main movie page.)
The Never Fable
By Steven Brandsdorfer
Well, when you pour through a book a day like I've been doing this month, in an attempt to whittle down my now gigantic to-read list before the holidays are over, it's inevitable that you will eventually come across some clunkers; so I decided to save them up and share all of them in a row this week, so that my so-so reviews will hopefully have less of an audience and therefore less of an impact on these books here right before Christmas. First up, the self-published The Never Fable by Steven Brandsdorfer, which actually has a pretty decent premise: it tells the dual stories of a gentleman named Daniel Never, who exists simultaneously as a mental patient in contemporary New York City and as a foot soldier during Andrew Jackson's Florida campaign in the early 1800s, as both these lives are affected by various dark, seemingly fantastical touches. No, the problem lies directly in a subject that is common among self-published writers, which is pacing or more precisely a lack of one; namely, Brandsdorfer must have saved all the interesting bits of this story for the second half of this overinflated manuscript, because in the half I read, he will often go ten or twenty pages at a time while getting not a single interesting point across, just entire chapters that can literally be summed up with a simple "and then he sat in his car some more" or "and then they walked through a swamp for another eight hours." I know it's unfair to judge a book without finishing it, but it's also a fact that a book needs to be interesting enough during any particular part of it to compel a reader to continue; and after trudging through a literal 150 pages of The Never Fable with still not a single major plot point occurring, I feel this is a large enough chunk that I can at least say with authority that it's not really worth your time. In its defense, the book has received good reviews from others, so I suspect it's worth finishing if you have a particular interest in these subjects, but otherwise my recommendation is to skip it altogether.
Out of 10: 6.8