Don’t get me wrong. It was a good story. The author could spell (or use spellcheck appropriately) and the grammar was good. There were decently developed characters and an intriguing plot and world. The author is a friend of mine so I really wanted to be able to help promote it and be excited about it. But I had such a hard time getting through it because there were so many things that were done poorly craft-wise that it made me cringe.
There were a few plot things, like elements of the world that didn’t make much sense or weren’t explained well, character motivations that seemed contrived or contrary to how that character ought to act, and that sort of thing, but it was really the craft things I had a hard time with.
Things like contrived action tags. “Don’t do that,” she disapproved. “Honey,” she said getting his attention. “Sorry,” he apologized. “Yes, of course,” he elaborated.
Things like random head jumps to inform the reader what a character is thinking or feeling when we’re supposed to be in another character’s POV or switching POVs for one or two paragraphs without warning and then switching back at random.
Things like telling us the name of a character when the main character whose POV we’re in doesn’t know it.
Things like using the exact same phrase to describe the exact same character doing the exact same thing in two different places.
And so, while I think some people would enjoy the story, I would have a hard time recommending it, because of the writing. Especially those without a discerning eye or newbie writers, I don’t want to condone this kind of writing because I wouldn’t want them to think this is how it’s done. I wouldn’t want them to confuse a good story with good writing.
My point, of course, is that having a good idea or a good plot isn’t enough. You must also have good writing. Take great care with your writing. Take the time to learn your craft. Let your work be read by critique groups. Hire a good editor. Take care that your book is so well done your readers can’t wait to recommend it.