#SPFBO Feedback on the Fourth Batch of Books


I’ve completed my fourth batch of books and now have only six more books to check out.  I’ve also read another of the books that I’ve rolled forward previously and will be posting a review for that one soon. I’ve posted links to previous posts below but for now I’m going to get straight to the heart of the post although I would first like to offer apologies to those authors/books that have been cut during this round.

I would just mention that I’ll be posting my next six books in fairly quick succession (although it should be obvious by now which books still remain :D).  I’m also aiming to concentrate on reading the next batch as soon as possible as I’d like to reach a stage where I can announce all my semi finalists and as I’ve rolled a few forward I really need to press on.

So, straight to the feedback:

The Blade.jpg

The Blade Within by Jackson Lear

This is short and sweet – I’m rolling this one forward.  Very quick and easy to read so far so I’m keen to see how things progress.



Orphans of the Dead by Phil Dickens

I read over 30% of Orphans of the Dead and enjoyed it quite a lot, in fact much more than I expected (forgive me but I’m not in love with the cover and I think it gave me the wrong vibe so I was very pleasantly surprised).  This is a modern world in which supernatural creatures exist.  We focus on two characters, brother and sister, Joe and Charlotte whose father just so happens to be a vampire (although he’s unique in that he has never taken human blood).  Both characters are dhampirs being half vampire half human.

Charlotte is in training to become a Sentinel.  She trains and works hard and is dedicated.  Joe is a young man embarking on his first relationship (also with a Dhampir).

At the stage at which I stopped reading it was obvious that bad things were on the horizon.  Well, they were more than on the horizon to be honest – they’d arrived and were eating people.  I have the distinct impression that both brother and sister are going to be overwhelmed by circumstances that are beyond their control and that will be tough to handle.

I have to say this made really good, easy reading.  I liked that the author takes the time to set up the family and friends and gives a feel for their lives and loves.  It helps to form attachments and mount the tension when you can see things starting to go pear shaped.

I also liked that this was a contemporary setting.

The writing was good and I didn’t have any criticism really other than at this stage I couldn’t help wondering if I was missing something, almost like there was a book before this one and maybe I was missing some background.  It wasn’t enough to hinder my progress though.  This made for quick reading and if I have the time after completing stage 1 of the competition I would like to try and return to see how things conclude.

At this stage though I won’t be rolling this one forward and this is based purely on the fact that there were other books in the batch that I would rate higher at this point.

A good read.



Vortex Visions by Elise Kova

This is another of the books that I’m rolling forward so won’t be reviewing at this stage.  Another very easy book to get along with.  Confident writing and a gripping story so far.



Daughter of Fate by Aaron Hodges

Daughter of Fate gets off to a very quick start.  Immediately you find yourself in a world where the Gods have been defeated and magic no longer exists.

Knights have travelled  to a village where they have heard people are worshipping the old Gods.  They swarm the temple and after attacking one of the people take the rest. Only one person escapes.  Pela’s mother pushes her to safety and she runs to seek help from her uncle.    Pela and her uncle, together with a few other volunteers take a ship and sail after the knights although their odds don’t look good.

Daughter of Fate was a good read but I hadn’t really formed any strong attachments by my cut off point and I wouldn’t say that there was anything particularly new that sprung out at me at this point.  I certainly wouldn’t discourage anyone from picking this one up, it seems to be going down the hero quest route and has a light touch that would make it suitable for a younger audience perhaps – although bear in mind I have only read 30% so things could change in that respect.



River of Thieves by Clayton Snyder

River of Thieves is another of the batch that I’d like to explore further so I’m rolling it forward at this stage.



The Gates of Golorath by R MGarino

I’ve left the blurb for the Gates of Golorath below as it gives a good idea of what the book is about and probably better than I could manage with a quick synopsis.

I have to say that this is a very impressive read and the author’s style of writing is really good, very polished and confident.  I was really intrigued with this one so you may be wondering why I’m not rolling it forward at this stage.  My only issues with this book is that I think it needs a little bit of tightening up.  As the read begins there’s an awful lot of information imparted almost all at once which is a little overwhelming and may have worked better being released slowly as the story progresses.  There is also a lot of military style/bootcamp training and it does start to feel a little repetitious.  But, I have to hand it to the author, this is undoubtedly good and it’s a book that I would definitely be interested in returning to at a later stage.  The characters are well established and things are being laid out in a strong fashion that bodes well for the rest of the story.

At the edge of the world stands a gate to another realm. The fallen angels, the Lethen’al, sealed it when they fled the Apostate. It has lain dormant, forgotten for seven thousand years. But the Lethen’al have not been idle in their absence. They have mastered the arts of magic and of war, in preparation for their enemy’s return.

Arielle is descended from the founder of the Areth’kon, the martial school. She dreams of becoming a Mala’kar, a Bladeless Master, like her parents before her. But she lived in the shadow of other’s expectations for so long, followed the path they set for her without question, and forgotten her own desires. To reclaim who she is, she leaves her former life and lover behind to start anew at the Gates. But her past claims a stake in her future, and refuses to let her go.

Angus is driven by a secret; a failure he is ashamed of. To rectify his disgrace, he is determined to learn the ways of the sword. Forsaking the teachings of the Magi, he arrived at the Gates to train with his father’s people. Raised on the heroic tales of the Blademasters, he strives to live by their example. But the Blademasters here are nothing like the stories.

When their squads arrive at the Gates for their final year of military training, Angus and Arielle are drawn together. The truth of who they are has the power to reshape the history and purpose of their people, but it is guarded by royal decree.

Will they be able to handle the truth of who they are? Can the world? Can they contain the magnificent powers they wield or will they destroy everyone in their way?

All the while, a new enemy stirs in the shadows.

So, to conclude, three books rolled forward for further investigation and three books cut from this batch.

Posts to date:

My Process

My 3 covers for the cover competition

Author Interview - Elise Kova

My First Batch of Books

Feedback on My First Batch of Books

My Second Batch of Books

Review: Cry Havoc by Mike Morris

feedback on my Second Batch of Books

Review: Healer's Rune by Chris O'Mara

Review: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King

My Third Batch of Books

Halfway point Feedback

Feedback on my third batch of books

My fourth batch of books


17 Responses to “#SPFBO Feedback on the Fourth Batch of Books”

  1. Tammy

    Out of this batch, River of Thieves stands out to me. Congrats to everyone moving forward!

  2. Greg

    Orphans of the Dead- ooh I love that cover!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – it wasn’t my favourite but glad to see you love it. It just goes to show we’re all so very different which is a good thing.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Grats on those rolling forward! Orphans of the Dead didn’t make the cut but you made me very curious with your comments – I didn’t know what to expect with that cover either!

    • vacuouswastrel

      I can’t help but feel that ‘Orphans of the Dead’ is one of those unfortunate titles that calls attention to its own mediocrity. Who else would they be orphans of? ‘Orphans of the Dead’ just immediately makes me want to read ‘Orphans of the Living’ instead, since that would be much more intriguing…

      • @lynnsbooks

        Haha, yes, I see where you’re coming from but actually I enjoyed it. Perhaps it should have been Orphans of the Undead.
        Lynn 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, sorry to say I wasn’t really into the cover but I was enjoying the content at the point i broke off and ideally I’d like to return and complete the book if I get the time.
      Lynn 😀

  4. sjhigbee

    Huge congratulations to everyone making the cut – this was clearly a tough group to find yourself in as the standard seems high. And can I just say how impressed I am at the thoroughness and rigour of your process, Lynn!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thank you Sarah – it’s a great batch of books which makes cutting any really difficult but eventually I have to reduce 30 to 1 so there’s no choice.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        I’m just very glad it isn’t me doing the reduction:))

  5. October : My Month in Covers | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] the end of the month.  I also read the first 30% of my fourth batch of books and posted feedback here – rolling forward three books for further investigation and I’ve started my fifth and […]

  6. waytoofantasy

    Looks like a lot of good books in this batch, Lynn!

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    […] Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker is a great read taking on the traditions of Dracula but with an interesting twist having Bram Stoker as the main character in the book being plagued by vampires. Love this read, thanks again to Lynn from Lynn’s Books for the recommendation! […]

  8. jessicabookworm

    Ooo three books carried over – Wow this was obviously a good/tricky batch this time. 🙂

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