Thursday, 27 September 2012

Review of "Sins of the Father" by RJ Palmer

Story Overview:

Bowen is a boy who is sent to a middle ages monastery by his neighbours after all of his family is killed. There he is brutally tortured until one night he escapes. Aaron is a minister in modern day America, who has recently been struggling with the world around him and how his job fits in with it. However when he falls over one day in church he is taken to see the torture of Bowen in past and as the days go past he visits Bowen more. That is until he has sleep therapy and the visions go away. But then Aaron is introduced to an autistic child at a mental institution that looks exactly like Bowen. Suddenly Aaron finds himself traveling down a path he never thought he would.
Cover Page:  18/20

The cover page is simple, yet effective. The image of a child being burned on the crucifix is very striking and conjures up all sorts of images in which we can all associate with. Yet its simplicity doesn’t give much to the plot, or the time frame in which the story largely takes place, which may be its weakness. The font is perfect for the title and story of the book, giving more away about the story than the front cover.

Character (and their development):  20/20

The characters are well portrayed and very realistic. Aaron is the minister that none us imagine when we think of religious leaders, but that is more to do with the preconception of them rather than the character. Aaron instead gives a more down to earth and human appearance to ministers that is refreshing from the stereotypical character that I have often found in other novels. His movements and thoughts are perfectly drawn out and his character development is done so well that it truly feels linear.  Other characters are portrayed with the same delicate touch that makes them believable and lovable. The actions of the autistic character, named Lucian by another patient at the medical centre, are beautifully crafted and seemed to be well researched.

Storyline: 18/20

The storyline is well thought out. Unlike most novels, there is not one single thread that the reader must continuous go along and consider at the time, but a number of well drawn out threads that lead into one large story plot. I don’t want to give the story away, or any clues as to what happens, preferring you to read it yourself, but I can say that every moment was an eager moment to discover what the next card to turn would be. Unfortunately I think that certain story plots were easily left by the wayside and forgotten, but if they were brought back or even in it from the start and more drawn out it might have gotten top marks.

Style:  15/20

The author certainly has talent, but I feel that it is in need of a little refinement. The description was lovely and was really scene setting, but at the same time long and complicated words were used all too often when simple language could have conveyed the message and not made sentences seem chunky. There isn’t a huge amount of dialogue in the novel, mostly concentrating on the thoughts and actions but when there is dialogue it is wonderfully created and seems the most natural of conversations.

Unfortunately what really let the style down are the very long sentences and paragraphs in places. For the most part the writing was really good. But at more than one point the paragraph took up more than a page on my e-reader and sentences had 4 or even 5 commas in it making reading a chore in places.

Spelling and Grammar:  15/20

To say that the spelling and grammar is poor is a little bit of an over statement. There are some mistakes littered throughout the novel but nothing serious. The main points have been mentioned before, long sentences and paragraphs and some awkward wording in places.

The main issues is the formatting, something that I don’t often mention. On the contents page the formatting changes from “CHAPTER 1, CHAPTER 2” to “chapter 19, chapter 20” which unfairly makes it look like it could be a poor book. I also noted there were two chapter 26’s. Also the paragraphs most of the time have line breaks for them but from chapter 6 some paragraphs are just indented and there are a couple of times when a paragraph break happens mid sentence. These are easily fixed errors and if they were corrected, would instantly move this sections grade up. But as it stands it does look odd in places and needs correcting.

Conclusion:  86/100

It seems like a tale of two halves with this book. The story, characters and the initial look of the book are fantastic, putting it up with some of the best writing that I’ve had the pleasure of reading for a while. However at the same time, the style grammar and formatting is in need of a little improvement. I feel there is great potential in the author and the story is strong enough to be read by the masses, but I think that some people will be overly critical for the use of some words and the formatting mistakes.

So I’ve broken it down to one question: Would I recommend the book?

Yes. Despite the errors, the story and characters are strong. The formatting can be fixed and the use of words is not wrong, just not warranted by the mass market. If a reader can get past these, they’ll have a great read that is full of excitement few authors can achieve.

Connect with the Author


  1. WOOT! Thanks for the review and for posting it all over the place! You rock!

    1. You are very welcome. It was a good read and I wish you the best of luck with it in the future.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank's for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Just wanted to say this was a great review and I love the way you do them. Anyway I can get you to do a guest spot on my blog BTW, I am RJ's husband. I am adding you to the reviewer list.

    1. Thanks for the kind comments. When I was designing the review blog, I made a decision to do something different yet very clear and concise with the reviews. I feel it makes it easier for the reader and the author to know where I got my thoughts and ratings from. Thank you for adding me to your list, it is a great honor when people feel I deserve a place on external lists. I will love the opportunity to do a guest post on your blog and will contact you about that shortly.


Welcome to The Indie Ebook Review Site

Hello and welcome to the Indie Ebook Review Site.

Please take a seat, pour yourself your favourite beverage and have a read of some of our reviews. We cover Science Fiction, Fantasy and Paranormal and have something for everyone.

If you are an author you can also submit your book for review or request a guest poster spot.

We hope you enjoy your visit.