Book Review - Admiral Who

Book Title: Admiral Who?
Author: Luke Sky Wachter
Genre: Science Fiction adventure
Available on Kindle: yes
Preview: yes
Link: : Find the book - Admiral Who - Here

As a matter of full disclosure: This is one of the authors I know, though not at the time this book was released. Since then, I’ve done the editing of a couple of his books.

This is an interesting version of well used plotline where the young newcomer ends up in charge and has to overcome big odds to win the day. It’s old cliché plotline but it’s still one of the most popular for a reason. It’s fun and everyone sees themselves as the hero. In this case instead of some cadet, ensign or lowly lieutenant it’s a young aristocratic kid, who holds an honorary position of Vice Admiral. Unfortunately, the position he finds himself in, is not a twist of fate but part of plan. A plan that expects the young man to fail.

This is the first book from a new writer who might actually have a future as an author. The story is done mainly in the first person put will shift to third when things are done out of his sight. There isn’t a lot of jumping back and forth so it doesn’t really become an issue. There are some spelling and other mistakes but not to the point of being a problem.

There are some interesting subplots, though a bit contrived; they still work well within the story. The marriage by accident is an interesting way to get him out of one problem, even before he knows it’s there. It also makes for an interesting interaction between him and his wife.

The writing style is more then a bit tongue in cheek. Some may find it distracting while I suspect most will find it part of the stories charm. The characters are on the bigger then life side. The situations are ones of long odds and coincidence but no more than any other for the genre, after all that’s part of what makes it so much fun. The little admiral is a fun character and there’s the running joke on every new contact, of people asking - Admiral who?

There is also a good bit of battle action both in space and of the hand-to-hand combat variety. I think very few would be disappointed with the book.

This is a good read and it’s worth getting.

Just downloaded the sample!

Enjoy, I read a lot of the offerings from first time authors to see if they’re worth reviewing. Most Aren’t. Most new authors are difficult to read, the stories lifeless and mechanical. Admiral Who was a surprisingly good book for a first time author.
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I suffer from that a lot in my amateur writing. I usually do parts of a story well rather than the whole (although it’s easier to do well with a short story with a less compex plot).

I host a site where I work with writers. The mistake most beginners make is expecting the story to be good, right off the bat. Most stories suck after the first pass. Any professional novelist will tell you it’s the editing after the first pass where the story begins to take shape. Write the story first and don’t worry about the errors. Finishing the story is the hardest part and where most people fail. Once the story is done, then you can go back and start making it worth reading. Just tell the story without trying to sound like an author.

I’ve finished a few dozen of my amateur works; mostly novella length, several short stories, and one novel-length (but not an epic-type piece, about a young boy and girl and their sixth-grade science project; I started it with the intention of it being a short story, but it kept growing and growing… :awkward:) that I’ve completed (the unfinished Trek one that I mentioned is into novel-length territory). I do almost all of my rewriting before it’s finished. Not sure if that technique is at fault, or if I simply lack the relevant experience to write some aspects well (I know the latter is true to no small degree).

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Have you published any of them? If it works for you, it’s not wrong as long as you’re getting the job done.

He’s never even tried to publish. Of course, some of his best stuff is fan-fiction, so that’s out anyway - unless there is some way to get around the copyright issue.

I’ve read an article about a young Italian man who wrote an entire book of fan-fiction, based on the same story that one of FC’s FF’s was based on, and it was going to be published (probably was, the article was from 2005) on a limited-issue basis due to copyright issues. Somehow, the main guest star on the TV episode it was based on got hold of a copy of one of his drafts, and liked it so well, he insisted on writing the introduction.

Amazon has a whole section specifically for fan fiction, if it’s one of the themes they have under license, he can publish there. If he wants I can take a look at his work, provide some direction and/or editing. I don’t charge.

There is one fan-fiction (kinda qualified, I guess) story he did that has no copyright issues - he did one based on Dickens’ Christmas Carol. It wasn’t a rewrite of the story itself - it was just the point of view from another person. Rather interesting, I thought.

I’m looking at books from new authors all the time for review. A lot aren’t worth reading but they still have sales. Some of the stories I’ve edited stunk but after a couple rewrites they were more than readable and have decent sales. The two main problems new authors have, beyond the normal grammar issues, is either they’re trying to sound like an author to the point of distraction or everything is he said, she said without any depth of feeling so it comes across as mechanical and boring. But that doesn’t mean they are bad writers, both conditions are treatable, it’s just a matter of learning the process.

Many new writers will put out collections of short stories they’ve done to test the waters. If they’re even half way readable they usually get sales.

I tend to write a lot like that - well, I do have some depth of feeling, but I don’t have enough writing talent to even consider trying to publish. I write only to get stuff out of my mind that I keep thinking over. And not much.

Anyway, FC is very good with stuff outside of dialog, and he’s better with dialog than he thinks he is. And he thinks that the subject matter of his stories wouldn’t interest any portion of the current market. If you want to take a look at something he wrote for fun, take a look at http://www.republicanoperative.com/forums/f19/catherine-great-8777/
He would have made it a little “cleaner” had he done it in recent years.

It took me forever to locate that post (the search function here doesn’t work well).

It’s written as a description of a TV show rather than as a story. There’s a lot of that. It’s not a big issue since it’s easily fixed. The main thing is the dialog does come across as natural and not forced. That’s a big step, the rest is learning how to make it into a story with a little depth.

The member’s stories on my board aren’t accessible by non-members so their work is kept private and not distributed. Here’s a story that is accessible since it was intended as an exercise. Mattee - Storm Dog

It’s short and was thrown together rather offhandedly but it provides some idea of the difference since it’s also mostly dialog.

That one was intended to be like a TV show - or a TV interview - and his short stories don’t mirror it.

He has a very, very short story that I could send you, but not without his permission, and I doubt if he’ll want me to. The bigger stuff is just too much to send over slow dial-up.

The difference is the level of impact. With TV shows or movies viewers can see and hear the emotion of the actors. Those things are established for the actors by the script scene directions and by the director. In writing it has to be done by the authors descriptions of the character’s actions and tone, otherwise it comes across a dry and mechanical.

Whether he wants to share his work or not has to be up to him. For some people it can be a very personal thing.

Actually, his longer stuff is much better, in my opinion.

I always proofread his stuff, for typos, spelling and grammar, etc. It’s awfully easy to overlook your own mistakes, and I’m better at grammar and spelling than he is.

When people read their own material they generally see what they intended to write, not what is actually was written. It’s a natural blind spot everyone has. If you can afford to put it away and forget about it for a month, 90% of the blind spot disappears.

That’s very true. I found a lot of that as a computer programmer - except that it wasn’t usually practical to put it away. But I’ve found many an error of my own with someone looking over my shoulder to “help” me.

Actually, both FC and I have found typos after months, and many re-readings - and sometimes even years. And it’s not like we’re reading them constantly. My “editing” of his stuff just catches most of the obvious errors.