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Maradonia Saga

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The Maradonia Saga starts as an everyday story. A girl called Maya and a boy called Joey found a mysterious place in a forbidden area which opened the way to a World between the Worlds Maradonia. The Land of Maradonia With their arrival in Maradonia a prophecy is fulfilled. Overnight their simple li...

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  • Author: gloria tesch
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    Worst Fantasy Books Ever(Ranked 26 out of 120)

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    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful
    RE:
    By: Anonymous
    2012-12-14 06:45:39

    You can find a sporking (a thourough page-by-page review with snarky critique) on this site:
    http://conjugalfelicity.com/maradonia/

    Taken from an Amazon Review:
    Like others who've heard about Gloria Tesch and her debut novel, I'm a writer who's trying to get a book published. For the past year, I've been following a website, Anti-Shur'tugal's LiveJournal community, that critiques writers. It started as a website that dissected the works of Christopher Paolini, but it's grown since then to include critiques of other authors. That was how I found Gloria Tesch. She's one of their more popular victims, and this shouldn't come as a surprise. Anyone who calls herself the "World's Youngest Novelist" begs to be examined under the most critical eyes. The self-praise and lofty claims are nauseating, and the cover art for her debut novel is atrocious, but my curiosity wasn't appeased until I actually read the book.

    When I read it, I didn't do as many facepalms as I thought I would. I expected it to read like a kid's work, and that's exactly what I got. The characters are cutouts, the dialogue is unreal, and there's not much of a story. (Two kids from Earth are amazingly pulled from earth into a strange new land to fulfill a prophecy and battle the 'Evil Empire.' Yeah--that's the empire's name.) But frankly, that's to be expected with writing of this level. The only difference is that it got self-published before it received the benefit of years of revision.

    Even though the book needs work--and I mean that it needs years of work--it doesn't read like a lot of novels I've read. Bear with me here--I was actually able to read this without struggling through it. I'd much rather read a book written with too little effort than too much effort. The amount of effort put into a book comes out in the way it's written. Books that are written with too little effort come across as sloppy and lackluster. On the other hand, books that are written with too much effort are (literally) painful to read; they may have content and ideas that were thought-out, but everything is so forced and artificial that it keeps the story from growing to its fullest potential. Tesch's book doesn't fall into either of those categories. To me, it's the right amount of effort--the kind that does its best in regards to age and skill level. That's why it reads like a kid's book but doesn't feel forced or completely careless. It just reads like a book written by a kid: it's not ready to send to audiences, but it's easy to improve.

    I'm not in any way trying to justify the mess that this book is. Let's face it: it's terrible. But that's to be expected with a kid's first novel, and if this didn't get published, it'd deserve some respect. I'm not against young authors trying to write and get better. I'm one of them. I've been writing since I was eight, and my thirteen years of experience have taught me that young authors should be encouraged, not published. They have a long way to go, just as any other novice author has a long way to go.

    But what I'm against are people who self-publish bad books and market them as the second coming of Tolkien. Frankly, I'm alarmed at how bad the book is, but I'm speechless that her parents paid to have it published like this. It's clearly never been through an editor: the typeface is huge, the words are quoted for 'dramatic' 'emphasis,' and too many spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors went ignored. No discerning publisher would ever touch this book, and no editor would let it go to press like this.

    Unfortunately, anyone with the money and the connections can publish anything, and that's how this book got out to the public. It's created nothing but a fantasy world, and it's wearing thin. The "child author" taglines have gotten old since Christopher Paolini came on the scene, and the "World's Youngest Novelist" claims are questionable at best. They're gimmicks, and people are sick of them. They know that the best way to judge a child author is the same way to judge adult authors: by examining the quality of the writing. People have judged her writing, and they have all said the same thing: it's a huge doorstop with a hideous face.

    Her marketing strategies make the problem worse. She's bought her own television slot on a local channel, she's printed her own newsletter, and she's put up more self-praise on every one of her web pages--all with the same nauseating results. She's boasted about her book becoming a movie--with her as executive producer. She's said that the alleged "collectors' edition" of her book--which allegedly sold for $380--is completely sold out. She deletes negative posts from her blogs, and she uses fake names to post positive reviews of herself and her book. One of her negative reactions to criticism in general was so intense that it led to a brawl. (You can find the video if you do a little searching on YouTube.) To say that she doesn't want to improve would be the understatement of the year.

    Back to the book. I've covered my opinion of the book as an aspiring author, and I've gone over Tesch as an author, so now I need to judge this book as an editor. This is the most mild criticism I can give: no amount of red ink would ever be enough. This book needs to be scrapped, revised, and started over like the rough draft that it is. But since Tesch won't listen to advice, revision won't happen anytime soon.

    I'd love to mark up the whole book and send it back to her and her family, but until then, the only advice I can give is this: don't waste your time and money. All that's here is a teenager's fantasy of fame and fortune. Instead of reading this, you might have more fun writing your own book. You can do better. You can do much better.

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