Yesterday my SPFBO 7 review for Demons, Ink by Clayton Snyder went up over on Before We Go Blog. This was my selection from my initial batch of books to move on to the next round in the team’s selection process, and the first selection for the team as a whole. We may end up with 9 or 10 books in that second round and from those we’ll narrow it down to a few semi-finalists, and then a finalist.
Anyway, I enjoyed this read and hope you’ll check it out. Click below to be taken to to the review.
Demon’s, Ink Review
As always if you don’t know about SPFBO it’s an annual contest hosted by author Mark Lawrence with 300 self-published fantasy books/authors split between ten judges or judging teams that will eventually work it’s way to a final winner. Check out the SPFBO Webpage for more details and the SPFBO 7 Page for more on this year’s books and judging teams. I hope you’ll follow along!
I’ve been quiet here lately but it’s not because I’ve quit reading or reviewing, I’ve just been doing it over at Before We Go Blog for #SPFBO.
You’ll be seeing more regular reviews from me here soon. I’ve got some reviews for some Orbit releases coming and some self-published fantasy that ISN’T a part of the contest I’ll be posting about.
But in the meantime here’s my review for A Time of Ashes by Ru Pringle for #SPFBO in case you missed it. It was my second cut for the contest.
The blurb for this book reads, “This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whatever.” And that’s kinda how I feel about this book…”whatever.”
Sometimes a book doesn’t hit you like you thought it would. For some books that means you’re in for a grand surprise and it just blows you away in unexpected ways. For others it means it fell flat and you have to ask yourself is it the book or is it me and my personal tastes that are to blame. Son of The Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa is one of thse books that didn’t hit me like I thought it would, and unfortunately it was the latter example of it falling somewhat flat. There were some compelling elements I liked and others that just didn’t stir me in any way. I’ll try to be fair to what the book did and didn’t accomplish for me as a reader.
I’ve finally made it to the end of The Chronicles of The Bitch Queen. It’s been an emotional and intimate journey with Queen Talyien as she penned her story, and it would be an understatement to say I enjoyed it. Tali’s narrative has become a new favorite fantasy series, with a new favorite protagonist, and with K.S. Villoso as a new favorite author. If you’re looking for compelling and complex characters in an epic non-western fantasy setting I recommend you give this series a chance.
When I first received a copy of The Shadow of The Gods in the mail I can’t tell you how excited I was. I’d never read a John Gwynne novel before but I’ve seen pretty much nothing but acclaim for his work. And the reviews from those other books had me thinking any story by Gwynne would be right up my alley. Friends, those thoughts were not wrong.
The Shadow of The Gods is a violent, bloody, Norse inspired saga that I didn’t want to set down. I was disappointed at the end not because it was bad, but because I hungered for more. My tastes in fantasy vary, and I like to think they are wide ranging, but that gritty, battle filled epic is definitely a favorite of mine.
The Helm of Midnight is a dark, suspenseful, fantasy thriller. Ambitious world building, a multi-faceted magic system, and an exploration of the connected themes of morality, trauma, and family do the heavy lifting in this jack the ripper style mystery investigation.
Why? Why did I wait so long to read The Ikessar Falcon? Like, seriously why? I mean yeah I’ve got a lot of books on my TBR and this was just one among many. But I could have bumped it up the stack a bit. I should have bumped it up the stack a bit. I loved The Wolf of Oren-Yaro so why didn’t I read the follow-up right away? Why?
Look, here’s the takeaway you need from this review…you don’t even need to read the rest of it if you don’t want to…the one thing I want to get across if nothing else is this…
If you’re not already reading The Chronicles of The Bitch Queen, you should be because this series is just damn fantastic.
There. That’s it. That’s the whole point of anything else I might have to say about this book and this series. If you want a little more keep reading.
Sometimes a book will just put you off kilter. Either in a good way or a bad way you end up unsure of what’s up or down. I kinda felt that way while reading The Unbroken by C.L. Clark. By the end I felt off and I’m still getting my bearings locked on to how I really feel about it.
The Unbroken is a story about colonialism, identity, rebellion, faith, love and betrayal. Clark weaves these themes into the narrative and what emerges is a tapestry that will move you, even if a few threads seem a little out of place.
Do you ever read a book, series, or author because you intentionally want to be wrecked? That seems weird right? Like it’s one thing for a book to wreck you and to enjoy how good it was, and it’s another to seek it out because you want it. I feel like that with Sarah Chorn’s books. I know what to expect now and eagerly look forward to what they will do to me. I think that’s because Chorn writes about pain and emotion so well. She has a way of getting into the soul of her characters and into yours. And all the while she protects the reader so they feel safe on the journey. It’s a marvelous skill I’m not even sure she’s aware she possesses. Sarah Chorn has quickly become one of my favorite authors and is on my auto-buy list. If you haven’t started reading her books you should rectify that situation.
Today I give you my review of Oh That Shotgun Sky, book 1.5 in the Songs of Sefate. An exploration of fate through pain, emotion, and trauma…with a glimmer of hope and healing.