Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bring 'em on, authors. :)

Layton’s ‘The Summoner’ is certainly a hard act to follow; this I know. It was AMAZING. I *still* can’t believe that’s a self-published book, it was so excellent. I am now reading in tandem, ‘Blackroot’ by Miranda Mayer and ‘A Discovery of Witches’ byDeborah E. Harkness. Blackroot is short and I am almost finished with it. It’s a rush-job book, unedited (but still fairly decently written despite some glaring issues with timeline, some full-on name-errors and other things). The story is really raw and gory in places and quite erotic in others. It’s like an outline rather than a story—it needs padding and some character development. It’s also kind of all over the place. I plan to give the author a full report of this; she published it to Smashwords.com—but I think she needs to take it down and submit a revision. She didn’t submit it for general review to me, she talked about it with me during writing group. She said it was the source of many themes for Tinna’s Promise, a book reviewed by an Odyssey reviewer from Florida who gave it five medallions and an excellence award. MM and I got into a little tiff on Twitter about it being unedited, so I told her I’d read it and rip it to shreds. I'm still working on the reading part, the shreds bit might come later. Blackroot is no Tinna’s Promise by any means. It’s like a shadow of it. But I can’t deny that MM knows how to write compellingly. If you like dark fantasy mysteries with a touch of erotica, then go to Smashwords and find it. Even at in its rough form; 99¢ doesn’t seem so bad to spend on it. Besides, you’ll have access to any revised versions made by the author once you buy it. That goes for all Smashwords books you buy.

A Discovery of Witches is a commercially published book, and is just wonderful so far. Yes, it’s formula, yes it’s predictable, but yes, it is also well-written, gloriously edited and it is the package one expects from a traditional publisher. I can’t believe I paid $14.00 for it as an e-book, but what the hell... I had a gift card. I have a hard time putting it down at night, even though my eyelids are heavy with sleep and I have to be up for work in four hours. I’ve a ways to go to finish it, but so far, I’m delighted. So a recommended read in either format, for sure.

Other e-books I’ve been reading lately; I devoured the books by HP Mallory. This includes two books of the Jolie Wilkins series (Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble and Toil and Trouble) and the book To Kill a Warlock. The freakin’ brilliant covers aside (beyond excellent choice of cover artist on the author’s part) these self-published books are excellent. There are a few editing points here and there, but ultimately, they are wonderfully packaged. They sell off the ‘e-shelf’ and I can see why. They’re quirky, fun, well written and occasionally inappropriate in a good way. It’s not my usual genre... I do like Fantasy, and vampirey things can be fun to a point... but these books were so fun and campy it was a light and quick read. I recommend all three of these books quite highly. The first two-book series is about a witch named Jolie and her romantic trials between her hot warlock boss and a sexy vampire. Annoying love triangle! Oh, there’s a whole war thing over her as well, but that’s an aside. The second book is about a fairy detective named Dulcie. Really cute.

After that, I have Jean Auel’s final book in the Earth's Children series to read, once it’s fully released (I pre-purchased the e-book). I am hoping I’ll get something tasty from Odyssey Reviews to follow. Come on Authors... Bring ‘em on. Where are the good books to follow in Layton’s footsteps? I haven’t got any really compelling queries lately. If you think your book is good, and you know it can stand up for itself, then here I am, waiting to review it.

I’ve been told I’m the harshest of all the Odyssey Reviewers by certain authors. I’ve been told that I am cruel. I don’t think honesty is cruelty. I think criticism is an opportunity for improvement. If you fear it, then you probably shouldn’t be publishing your work. It’s as simple as that.

Anwyay... bring those queries on writers. I need reading material.

Oh, and by the way... I REALLY NEED REVIEWERS! Life has been a greedy hog and stolen all my reviewers from me by throwing a bunch of challenges their way. So if you like to read, and you can write a somewhat coherent sentence describing your opinion of a book, then please contact me at herodyssey (at) msn dot com. I can' t do it alone, even with a Nook.