#SPFBO Thoughts on my fifth batch of books

Posted On 20 November 2017

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I’m getting a bit ahead of my schedule at the moment as I’m hoping to announce the book I will be putting forward to round 2 by mid December at the latest.  So, I’ve read my alloted portion (20%) of each of the last batch of books and my thoughts and my final pick from this batch are below.  I will post my final batch of books in the next couple of days.

Without further ado here are my books from batch No.5:

Faerie Fruit – by Charlotte E English


Faerie Fruit, as far as it goes in the first 20% that I read, was quite a lovely read, with a whimsical and period feel.  Set in a small rural town it starts out with somebody experiencing an illness and having a hankering for a piece of fruit – an apple.  No apples, or other fruit, have grown in the town of Berrie on the Wyn for many years and yet of a sudden, a golden, plump apple appears on one of the trees.  This is followed by a succession of other delicious sounding fruits, a lot of strange out of character behaviour by those who have eaten said fruits and the appearance of a quirkily dressed character who plays the pipes.  I have to admit that this one is intriguing and I like the writing.  It’s a pity that the plot didn’t move a little bit quicker as up to the point I reached things hadn’t really started to happen although there is a definite sense of anticipation.

Spark of Defiance (Games of Fire #1) by Autumn M. Birt



The story starts off with a young man, Zhao, returning to his home village.  Zhao is an Air Elemental and he is accompanied by a friend with similar abilities.  Upon arrival he is immediately detained in the village and although he could quite easily break free of this confinement he wishes to stay in the village until he’s seen his sister.  At the same time another POV character’s storyline is developing – one that I imagine will cross paths with Zhao at some point although by the point I broke off I can’t really be sure.

To be honest I thought that this read well but, I felt a little like I was reading a story that had dropped me into a world that I should already know about.  Don’t get me wrong, I was picking things up as I went along but by 20% I didn’t feel like I had a strong enough handle on things and the relationships and back histories of the people involved.

The Dark Realm (Feyland #1) by Anthea Sharp


I was quite pleasantly surprised by The Dark Realm.  This is a story that combines gaming with the world of the fey.  Jennet is from a very well to do home and leads a life of privilege.  Through her father’s high tech job she has access to the latest in new games (not just at pre release stage but also before they’ve been thoroughly checked) and she pretty much lives in the lap of luxury.  Unfortunately two things in quick succession lead to her life spiralling into turmoil – her father’s place of work is moved and because Jennet has got herself into a spot of bother playing a yet unreleased game – she will not only need to move with him, and switch schools, but will also need to recruit somebody to help her in this new game realm.

What I read of this was good.  I liked the concept.  The writing is clear and I was keen to enter the fae world (although this hadn’t happened by the 20% mark – apart from the prologue that is).  The original set up takes us into the school environment where Jennet makes the acquaintance of Tam.  Tam is the exact opposite of Jennet  He comes from a poor family and his life is tough although I won’t pretend to know exactly why at this point other than he seems to be the responsible one and takes care of his younger brother.  I didn’t really get a sense of the world here – there’s a lot of disparity between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ and it wasn’t made clear why, likewise this is set in some version of the future although I’m not sure when exactly.  There’s an element so far of just expecting the reader to run with things and not question too much the whys and wherefores.  Up to the point I left off I didn’t think this was a problem but I would probably become disgruntled if I read on and things remained unanswered.  Also, this has quite a young feel to it which I don’t really mind although in some ways it had a feeling of things just working out too easily.

The Rogue King (The Rogue King Saga, #1) by Aldrea Alie



The Rogue King got off to an intriguing start.  We make the acquaintance of Koral who seems to have been genetically modified as part of some pact between humans (and I’m not sure who else).  When he runs away from the only home he’s ever known he manages to fall in with others of his kind – although they’re not quite the same.  Unfortunately Koral’s fate doesn’t lie with the pack – he’s to be offered to one of the Gods – known as Lorric after which he will become one of the Rogue.  Rogue’s are feared by all and it seems that Koral is going to become legendary.

I’m not sure that this one is for me – it certainly had elements that I enjoyed, the start of Koral’s story was well done but then seemed to jump quite quickly in that he ran away and was immediately taken into a tribe of similar beings.  Similarly, when Koral was taken by Lorric the whole thing felt rushed somehow as did Koral’s sudden acceptance of his new situation and his vow to seek revenge.  There are definitely strong elements here but there is also a feeling of certain aspects being just skimmed over which leaves me with the feeling almost of unfinished business, like the author wasn’t sure herself how to take certain areas forward.  I also have plenty of questions but having read only up to a certain point some of these may be answered later on.

Everwinter (The Wrath of the Northmen #1) by Elizabeth Baxter


Everwinter shows a lot of promise up to the point I’ve read to.  A story of old Gods breaking free of imprisonment and the everlasting winter that ensues.  The main protagonist so far is a young man called Bram, an engineer who seems to sit at the centre of things.  I’m keen to carry on reading this one so it will be my choice from this batch.  More information to follow.


10 Responses to “#SPFBO Thoughts on my fifth batch of books”

  1. sjhigbee

    There are several books in this batch I like the sound of – but I do find your choice to be the most intriguing – and isn’t that cover absolutely gorgeous!

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Getting close to the end! Good luck to Everwinter in it competes with the books from your other batches!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I love that I’m nearing the end – it always feels like such a big ask/task at the start but as the end approaches it always feels like it wasn’t as big a task as I expected.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Carmen

    I was scratching my head towards the end because it seemed no clear winner had emerged. Everwinter seems like the perfect choice. Enjoy the rest of the book, and on we go to the next batch. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      TBH I was scratching my head too until I got to the end of the list.
      Lynn 😀

  4. jessicabookworm

    Well done on being ahead of schedule 🙂 This appears to be another strong batch and a hard batch to pick just one from! From your first thoughts Faerie Fruit sounds like it would be just my cup of tea, however Ever Winter sounds rather good too, so I look forward to your full thoughts on it 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think you would enjoy Faerie Fruit from what I’ve read so far.
      Lynn 😀

  5. aldreaalien

    I absolutely love that Everwinter cover. And yay for being ahead of schedule. Can’t wait to see who makes it through to the next round.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I’m nearly at the end of the first stage – it’s exciting to see what books go through to the next round.
      Lynn 😀

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