Monthly Archives: April 2012

New Releases Reviews: Not Much Luck

Here are the rest of my recent Kindle samples. Not as much luck this time with adding books to my to-be-read pile, but I found one worth reading, which is enough for now…

Remember, these are just my first impression opinions. I’m not saying any one book is bad – just that it doesn’t grab me enough to want to continue reading. If you like a book I’ve rejected I’d love to hear why – maybe I’ll give it another chance.

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington: Nothing wrong with this book, but the voice of the main character turned me off. It’s a gut thing. Too cocky, too much part of the world-weary overly-self aware culture that’s so popular these days.

The Savage Grace by Bree Despain: A werewolf novel and unless it comes highly recommended by someone whose taste I trust, I avoid vampire, werewolf, angel and zombie novels, especially if the main characters are teens.

Eye of the Sword by Karyn Henley: Adventure fantasy, as you could probably guess by the title. For me too many tropes on the first few pages: responsible older brother/drunk younger brother, unreqited love for a priestess who is stunningly beautiful if you can convince her to put on a dress, self-poisoning land tied to an addictive substance that people can’t help themselves from taking, despite knowing that it will kill them. Might be a decent book, but too much got crammed into the first few pages for me.

Katana by Cole Gibsen: Starts out with talking heads, two teens to be exact,one uber-cool, the other (the main character) whining. I don’t like whiners, not in real life and not in fiction.

Fairest of All by Serena Valentino: The first two pages left me very confused and that’s instant death. The confusion wasn’t in the plot. That I like. It was a confusion of voice which very well may have settled out, but I don’t feel the story is strong or unique enough for me to give it a chance.

Thief’s Covenant by Ari Marmell: I should like this book. It’s other-world fantasy. It seems to have a rich history. The main character has just the right amount of attitude. And the author uses the writing itself to give us insight into different characters’ personalities. And yet, reading it produced nothing more than a m’eh. If anyone has read it and thinks it’s worth a shot, please let me know!

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti: Okay, I know that a lot of us authors were bookish nerds when younger and stories about socially outcast teens have a pretty much guaranteed market, but I am seriously getting tired of the overly self-aware cynical sub-genre. I loved it when Buffy did it 15 years ago but I am ready to move on now, thanks.

The Repossession by Sam Hawksmoor: Missing child reports, a girl with a religion obssessed mother and an immediate flashback to a time before the main character is locked up by the crazy mom. Too many different things happening here to capture my interest.

Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix: Having enjoyed Just Ella so much, I had high hopes going into this one and I wasn’t disappointed. Curious premise and a wondefully strong voice. I whipped through the sample and hit “Buy Now” without hesitation.

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Book Reviews


My Early Influences #2: Patrica A. McKillip

Although there are many authors from the 80s who I would love to be compared to, (like Charles de Lint, Patricia C. Wrede, Sherri S. Tepper, or anyone from the Fourthe Street Fantasy group), there is one author whose early books stand out as the pinnacle of “I wish I could have written that.”

Patricia A. McKillip’s Riddlemaster of Hed series, The Changeling Sea, and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld have the perfect combination of plot, angst, mystery, love and humor. They are books I can read over and over again. In fact, the characters in these books feel more like friends I go visit than mere words on a page.

While McKillip later drifted into the realm of too lyrical for me, these books (written in the late 70s to late 80s), made me dream of being a writer. I have studied these books in detail, counting words, plotting out the actions, tracing the emotional arcs, hunting down foreshadows and generally marveling in the completeness of the worldbuilding.

When I left Canada to move to Spain, I allowed myslf one shelf of books, and these five books had to come with me.

In future psts I will talk about the other books that crossed the Atlantic with me, but in the meantime, go check out these books which unfortunately are not still in print, nor available in ebook format, but most online stores do have secondhand copies for sale.

Also, go check out the Merry-Go-Round blog tour to find out who has influenced other authors/members of Forward Motion Writers, starting with Erin M. Hartshorn tomorrow.


Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Book Reviews, General Babblery