#170 ~ Katka ~ Book Review and Blog Tour


Katka by Stephen R. Meier

One of the dangers of joining a book tour is committing to a book and then not liking it.  Unfortunately, this is the case for me and Katka, a novella about a man involved in a slimy mail order bride scheme in Eastern Europe. Gavin gets drawn in to this scheme after meeting and falling lust with Katka while in the Czech Republic. Katka is friends with Simona, the woman behind the mail order bride scheme.  When the lure of money got the best of him, Gavin sells Katka.  He doesn’t mean for her to actually go with the man he was scamming, but things don’t work out at all as he expected. The characters were underdeveloped, greedy, selfish, and unlikeable.  Katka did not work for me.

Given the subject matter, crude language is to be expected.  I don’t expect characters to use polite language or politically correct terms for the female body. Although the language didn’t bother me, I would have imagined it being used with more pizzaz, especially from a character like Simona.  Perhaps of them all, she was the most whole character. I understood her and her motivations.  She made sense within the story. I cannot say the same for Gavin or Katka. What they shared may very well have been passionate, but they knew very little of each other.  The sex certainly was not enought for me to believe that they would have the strong emotional attachment they claimed to have for each other. I also couldn’t believe that someone as queesy as Gavin was after Katka and Meeka could really have been pulled into a business that amounted to white slavery.  It seemed that every ten pages something Simona said or someone else inferred “destroyed” him.  If his conscience didn’t stop him from selling the women in the first place, I hardly think he would be that thin-skinned.  More character development would have gone a long way.

There were two things I noticed about Katka that bothered me as a reader from the very beginning: there was a lack of differentiation between paragraphs and editorial errors.  New paragraphs are not distinguished in this book by indentation or extract line spacing in this book.  Although I eventually got into a rhyth, I never really got comfortable reading.  This may have been the intention of the author, but for me it was an unnecessary hurdle.  Given the amount of short dialog, some extra line spacing between the paragraphs would have been helpful. I also noticed that often the letter I in the word I was not capitalized, especially when in a contraction. This, too, became a distraction for me.

When I first read the summary of Katka, I was very interested.  The idea being involved in a mail order bride scam that goes wrong had the potential to be very interesting.  In this current format, Katka just didn’t work for me.  I could see it work more effectively as a movie script, especially if there was more development of Gavin’s character. I could not feel sorry for him and I didn’t find him believable.  With more background, it might have been a completely different story.


Thank you to Tracee at Pump Up Your Book Promotion and Stephen R. Meier for giving me the opportunity to read this novella.  To buy it, click here.

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  • At 2009.06.08 00:35, The Kool-Aid Mom said:

    I’m sooo with you on it. My review posts tomorrow. I hadn’t thought that much about Simona or about Gavin’s thin-skinnedness, but now that you mention it, I can see it. He seemed to have been a bumbling oaf who fell into it.

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    • At 2009.06.08 06:57, Sandy said:

      That would be a little uncomfortable. It is nice when a book tour commitment turns out well for the reader, but it is what it is.

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      • At 2009.06.08 08:30, Kathy said:

        Sorry this didn’t work for you. Bad editing really gets to me, too.

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        • At 2009.06.08 10:52, rhapsodyinbooks said:

          I agree with you, the premise has promise. Sounds like, however, it didn’t work with this book.

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          • At 2009.06.08 14:00, melissa c said:

            A while back I got to read this one for review, and I also couldn’t get into it! I just couldn’t sympathize with any of the characters. Simona was the most fleshed out of all the characters, but even she couldn’t save this story. I was just really glad it was a short one and so didn’t have to spend that much time on it.

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            • At 2009.06.08 14:43, Amy Reads Good Books said:

              Yes, the editing would totally bug me as well. Thanks for the review!

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              • At 2009.06.09 14:51, Stephen Meier said:

                Want to thank you for taking the time to read it and review it. Got to take the good with the bad.

                Again, thank you.

                (Required, will not be published)

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