I just finished reading the Lulu.com Edition of Eric Olafson - Neo-Viking and thought I would give it a review. Please note that this is the 2012 printed edition available through Lulu.com and does not reflect later rewrites or editions. I have broken the review into 3 sections; print quality, format and editing, and storyline.
I'm choosing to start with storyline because it was amazing! It was difficult for me to get through the first couple of chapters because I have read them so often, but I soon got into the newer changes and once again couldn't put it down! I'll refrain from giving specific spoilers but I enjoined how the characters were woven together. Previous rewrites felt a little disjointed. This edition was far superior, and there was a smoothness to the storyline and events which really show off how much Vanessa has grown as a writer. The "Interludes" were engaging and entertaining. I got a much broader, yet tortuously teasing, view of the greater GC-verse and was left wanting more. Masterfully done!
Format and Editing=
This deals exclusively with the text of the book, like capitalization, punctuation, and how the text is broken up.
Sadly there were numerous little errors (mostly in towards the beginning). Inconsistent capitalization of names and titles made it difficult to keep track of who of what was being refereed to. Annar Peerson turned into Gunnar Peerson. Freydis was referred to as "Freya" and "Freyis". Punctuation, mostly quotation marks were often facing the wrong part making it difficult to read. Inconsistent break lines ( *** ). Sometimes they were used when they didn't need to be and other times they could have been used and weren't. A couple of paragraphs were could have been split and others combined.
I'm also going to mention the 56 blank, yet numbered, pages in the back of the book. I can only speculate about how and why those are there. An error in the digital manuscript or an aspect of the printing process was overlooked during the publishing process, are the likely reasons.
Font size is pretty good. The page numbers, book and author name are on the bottom of the page and would have liked a little more space between the main text and those bottom elements.
3 different fonts are used on the cover, but differ slightly from the title page. And as my wife pointed out, "Eric Olafson" is in the Disney font.
The binding seems pretty sturdy and I noticed no cracking or splitting. Only time will really tell but it feels sturdy. I can't say the same about the cover. A thin plastic film over a color printed thick paper. On the bottom and open side of the front and back covers the plastic is starting to curl away. And that is from a single reading of the book.
First, I must say how happy I am to have a hard copy! It's a status symbol of how far Vanessa has come and I have wanted it on my shelf since reading that old draft so many years ago. The story is worthy of space on my shelf. The quality of the physical book could be better, but that would mean additional cost. I deem it sufficient. The editing, to be honest, was a bit of a mess. Nearly every paragraph needs something done, but the story is so good it still shone through in spite of it. And is the only thing I see that needs any changing.
Thank you Vanessa for bringing this adventure to life!