INTRODUCTION: Welcome to Vanity Published Gold! In this series, I'll be looking at some of the best - but mostly some of the worst - of the books that come out of the vanity press! For those not in the know, a vanity press is a publishing company that you have to pay, usually a large sum of money, to have your work published.
We're going to do this in several steps: Summary of what we're talking about, a bio of the author, the overall plot, discussing the main characters, and final score, from 0 (unreadable.) to 5 (best-seller in the making.). Please, let me know if there's any improvements I should make, or any recommendations you would like to make.
First, of course, we're going to take a look at one of the most infamous "series" of "books" by "The World's Youngest Novelist," The Maradonia Saga. All things in quotations are up for debate.
I got this book for a penny, and when I got it, it turned out to be a signed copy. I thought that was a little interesting.
AUTHOR BIO: First thing's first, let's talk about the author herself, the one and only Gloria Tesch. Never heard of her? I'm not surprised. Gloria wrote the original story that would become Maradonia when she was around ten or thirteen years old. (The years are different from different sources.)
Of course, her parents lauded her as a genius for writing a book at such a young age and created a company just to publish the books, three at first, later split into five. Gloria proceeded to grow an ego bigger than Texas, Russia, and Donald Trump combined, and declared herself "The World's Youngest Novelist," which she's factually not, especially not that now she's around her early 20's. She also believed that a movie and theme park were going to be made based on her books. The theme park idea can probably be ignored, but the movie, believe it or not, actually happened thanks to the work of her and her parents. YOU CAN WATCH IT IN FULL HERE. It's on Birdemic levels of quality, and resulted in Gloria's mom leaving the family, and Gloria losing her house. I'm not even kidding. So, let's talk about the first book in the series, Maradonia and the Seven Bridges.
OVERALL PLOT: Maya and Joey Swanson are two siblings who have just moved into a new town in Florida, and as they make new friends and enemies, they end up discovering Maradonia, a "world between the worlds" where they discover that they are the chosen ones who are destined to defeat the Emperor of Evil with the help of a few magic friends.
MAIN CHARACTERS: Maya and Joey are supposed to be presented as relatable teenagers, and come off as creepy, unfunny, and complete sociopaths, Joey especially. While Maya comes off as somewhat human, just a complete moron, Joey acts like an uncaring psychopath throughout the book, to the point that I wanted to personally stab him by the end of it. They also come off as Purity Sues, which is NEVER a good thing, such as Maya being a black belt and good at painting, and Joey got A VISIT FROM A SENATOR FOR AN ART PROJECT. Not. Kidding.
OVERALL SCORE: 2/5 The book is a generic, poorly written fantasy story with no real pushing forward of the plot,
FINAL THOUGHTS: Read Narnia or the Bible. Both are written better. I'd also recommend this sporking of Maradonia by Conjugal Felicity, a wonderful person who talks about books like this: http://conjugalfelicity.com/gloria-tesch/
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