Beta-reading

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Over the last week I was lucky enough to beta-read self-published author K.S. Ferguson‘s upcoming book Hostile Takeover. It is the second book in her Rafe and Kama series, following on from the events in Calculated Risk.

It’s the first time I’ve ever ‘officially’ beta-read something for anyone, and I was a bit nervous about it, but luckily she gave me a list of things she particularly wanted me to focus on. First, I read through it, noting down anything that jumped out at me, then I read it through again, this time taking notes on more general things about the overall structure. After that I organised my notes into something resembling coherence and sent it off to her. She replied saying I had been helpful and it was just what she needed, which was reassuring. I felt that my critiquing skills were under as much examination as her writing, so it was nice to get such positive feedback.

Hostile Takeover is a sci-fi thriller, along the same kind of lines of Michael Crichton’s  better books. It has murder, blackmail, corporate intrigue, social upheaval and explosions. All the good stuff! It was such a visual read, I could see this as a movie or something. It also has a romance subplot running through it between the two main characters, which was something that needed some work, but this book has amazing potential. I can’t wait for her to release the final version so I can read it.

K.S. Ferguson has also written an urban fantasy series, the first book of which, Touching Madness, is available through her website. As is Calculated Risk and a science-fiction novella called Puncher’s ChancePuncher’s Chance was published in Analogue magazine. It was featured as the title story and won an award.

I really enjoyed beta-reading and it’s something I would like to do again, especially now I feel a bit more confident in it. I also really enjoyed the book, it was fun and well-written, so a big thanks to K.S. Ferguson for giving me the opportunity.

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