#SPFBO : My Third Batch of Books : Update

Artboard 1

300 books           10 Judges            1 winner

The 1st of June marked the start of the sixth Self Published Fantasy Blog Off (details here.)  My Introductory post is here.  You can find my first batch of books here and my update here, and my second batch of books and update here and here.

As with previous years I’m hoping to read a batch of books each month.  I will read at least 30% and hopefully will choose one or two books from each batch to roll forward and read fully and review before choosing semi finalists and a finalist.  My book list is chosen randomly and the six books I will be reading this month are outlined below:

 

Spitting Image by Patrick LeClerc

Spitting

Okay, I will start this on an unusual note.  Patrick Le Clerc had a finalist in last year’s competition with Out of Nowhere – a book about a paramedic known as Sean Danet who appears to be immortal.  So, I was slightly puzzled to see another entry with the same character because that seems to be like a second book in series – although it doesn’t appear that way on GRs so I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt.  To be fair, I think this could easily be read as a standalone without reading Out of Nowhere.

Sean is immortal.  He’s lived for many, many years.  He’s been a soldier and now a paramedic – a job that allows him to make a difference using his healing abilities without anyone noticing his existence.  As the story begins we are given an introduction to Sean, whilst he’s out on a night shift.  Returning home Sean is paid a surprise visit from his girlfriend Sarah, and this happens again the following day and whilst these surprise visits are very welcome something feels slightly wrong. Initially, Sean is worried that Sarah is losing interest, a thought that chills him as he finally feels like he’s met someone that he’d like to stick around for and get to know better, but, as it happens, more sinister powers are at play and both Sean and Sarah are in danger.

I read my allocated 30% of this one.  It’s a very easy read and this is an author that can be engaging without doubt.  He gets off to a good start, although maybe a little slower than I would expect given the length of the book.  I think that his main character relies heavily on sarcasm and self deprecation and this maybe sometimes doesn’t come across as clearly as it might.

All in all, this was entertaining enough up to my cut off point but it didn’t quite grab my attention as much as I would have liked.

Conclusion : Cut

 

The Usurper (Brutal Saga #0.50) by James Alderdice

Usurper

I’m not reviewing The Usurper at this point because I enjoyed what I read so far and would like to carry it forward and continue reading. I will make a decision at a later date as to whether or not this will be a semi-finalist.

Conclusion : rolled forward

 

Night Warrior by Jordan J. Scavone

Night

Night Warrior is a really good concept, portal fantasy in reverse if you will.  Instead of the central character being sucked into a fantasy world the exact opposite happens and characters from that fantasy world are pulled into our modern one.  What makes this additionally strange is that all the characters appear to have been created by Viranda’s imagination when writing a new book.

I must say that this got off to an intriguing start.  We meet Viranda whilst she’s in a spot of bother – she’s badly injured and still carries those injuries and trauma as the story really kicks off.  Viranda wants to be an author and since her ‘accident’ she’s been having unusual and vivid dreams.  She starts to write these down becoming totally immersed in the world she is creating.   Then lightning strikes and the characters from out of Viranda’s book start appearing in her world – which can’t be good given that some of the characters are less than savoury.

As I mentioned, this one had a really good start. I was intrigued by Viranda’s situation as the book began.  Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the next section quite as much although it’s still entertaining.  I think the main issues that really struck me were that Viranda is incredibly accepting of a bunch of sword wielding characters turning up in her life – very calm and collected in fact.  The other thing that occurred to me is that in spite of all these fantasy people running around in our modern world there seems to be very little impact other than the events that are circling intently around Viranda.  I realise of course that other things could be happening off page but I would have liked to have a sense of how things were being affected, and I would definitely have liked a little more emotion particularly from Viranda, not to mention some surprise from the fantasy characters at the strange modern world they found themselves in.

On the whole though, this was easy to get on with, I did have niggles but at the end of the day I don’t think I’m the intended audience for this (I think YA?) and my automatic questions and issues got in the way a little.

Conclusion : Cut

 

Jacob’s War by Mark Hood

Jacob's

This is another entry with an intriguing premise and written in a format that I really enjoy that alternates between diary entries made by Jacob Willlams as he fought in the first World War and later update chapters that take place after the war has ended.

It appears that there is a thin divide between our world and that of the supernatural and some of the points of protection are either weak or failing.

Strange creatures are slipping into our world and only the Fae Defence Society stand between them and certain disaster.

I thought the diary chapters were very good where I read up to and liked the tone and style of the writing – there was an innocence to Jacob at the start of the journal that started to wear thin as things progressed and the rose tinted glasses were removed.  In the alternating chapters we jump forward and watch Jacob and his comrades as they prepare for a forthcoming onslaught of unknown beasts.  Unfortunately, I didn’t quite enjoy these chapters as much as the journal entries and I think that’s because the divide was too great for me.  One moment we’re reading about Jacob as he heads out to war, the next we’re watching him wield magic and fight hairy beasts.  In fairness, as you read forward these two points will eventually come together but I think I would have liked a smoother transition somehow.

Conclusion : Cut

 

The Hammer Of The Gods: So You Want To Be A Star (The Druid Trilogy #1) by Andrew Marc Rowe

TheHammer

Well, The Hammer of the Gods was quite a surprise.  I enjoyed where I read up to and will carry this one forward for further reading.  No review at this point and I will make a decision at a later stage as to whether this will be a semi finalist.

Conclusion : rolled forward

 

The Story of Evil – A Hero’s Downfall (#1) by Tony Johnson

Storyof

The Story of Evil certainly got off to a furious start.  We begin with a jousting tournament that goes horribly wrong when evil creatures attack the city.

We then make a fairly quick introduction to three characters as they go from one danger to the next.

Stephen Brightflame is a young man with dreams of becoming a knight.  He’s actually jousting when all the trouble begins.

Ty is Stephen’s brother in arms, he rides a flying beast and so when the attack begins he is immediately drawn into the action.

Kari is a young woman watching the tournament who tries to make it back to the safety of her home but becomes embroiled in a fight with one of the beasts.

I have mixed feelings with this one.  It shows promise but I think it is too ambitious at the start.  I read my allocated 30% and by that time we probably only progressed half a day at most – by which time most of the inhabitants of the city were dead and considerable damage had been caused.

Now, all this action and death is without doubt a good ploy to pull the reader immediately into the story, but, without knowing the characters I felt a strange ambivalence towards their fate.  In fact, the way in which everything was being systematically destroyed I began to wonder if there would be any survivors.

I also had a number of issues that just kept pulling me out of the moment.  There is a definite feeling of over explanation here for some of the really small minutiae, on top of this we have flashbacks by way of background – but they felt a little long winded and out of place when the whole city was under attack and being bombarded with monsters and  flying masonry.   One example is Ty, reflecting on his lack of a solid relationship when he’s plunging through the sky – it just felt out of place.

I don’t mean to sound overly critical,  This does show promise but it didn’t really work for me.

Conclusion : Cut

 

 

23 Responses to “#SPFBO : My Third Batch of Books : Update”

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    The cover for The Hammer of the Gods is a very intriguing one – all those hands reaching for the hammer, and some of them are NOT human! Intriguing… 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’ve actually enjoyed it so far and look forward to reding more.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Tammy

    Looking forward to hearing more about the two you rolled forward. Congrats to the authors!

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    The Usurper totally looks like my kind of book, so I am glad that’s being rolled forward as I’d love to know more!

  4. #SPFBO : My Fourth Batch of Books | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] here and here.  I’ve now read and updated my third batch of books and also provided an update and today I will be outlining the fourth set of books that I will be […]

  5. waytoofantasy

    Glad to see a couple of these have promise. I do like the sound of The Usurper, looking forward to your full thoughts on that one!

  6. jessicabookworm

    Glad to hear you’ve generally been enjoying your reading of this 3rd batch, but fortunately not found it too hard to cut books. I hope you continue to enjoy The Usurper and The Hammer of the Gods. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Well, when I’m reading a batch together usually one or two just shine more for me so the choice does become easier – even if I’m enjoying the other contenders.
      Lynn 😀

  7. sjhigbee

    This looks like it was an enjoyable batch – and I liked the look of The Usurper. I’ll confess, the very clunky cover for The Hammer of the Gods put me off, so I’m glad to learn that the writing belies the amateurish look of this one:))

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I know what you mean about the cover, it’s not my favourite, but the content is really quite good so far.
      Lynn 😀

  8. #SPFBO : My Fourth Batch of Books : Update | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] my update here,,my second batch of books and update here and here and my third batch of books plus update. Today I will be providing feedback on my fourth batch of […]

  9. #SPFBO : My Fifth/Final Batch of Books | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] can find my updates for batch 1, batch 2, batch 3 and Batch 4 by clicking on the  […]

  10. #SPFBO : My Fifth/Final Batch of Books – Update | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] can find my updates for batch 1, batch 2, batch 3 and Batch 4 by clicking on the  […]

  11. #SPFBO – My Next Steps | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] can find my updates for batch 1, batch 2, batch 3, Batch 4 and Batch 5 by clicking on the  […]

  12. #SPFBO Review : Calico Thunder Rides Again by T.A. Hernandez | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] can find my updates for batch 1, batch 2, batch 3, Batch 4 and Batch 5 by clicking on the  […]

  13. Incursion (The Necromancer’s Key #1) by Mitchell Hogan | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] can find my updates for batch 1, batch 2, batch 3, Batch 4 and Batch 5 by clicking on the  […]

  14. #SPFBO Review : Tuyo by Rachel Neumeier (Tuyo #1) | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] can find my updates for batch 1, batch 2, batch 3, Batch 4 and Batch 5 by clicking on the  links.  My recent update in which I announced further […]

  15. #SPFBO : Semi-Finalist and Cuts Announcement (2) | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] can find my updates for batch 1, batch 2, batch 3, Batch 4 and Batch 5 by clicking on the  […]

  16. #SPFBO : Finalist announcement | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] can find my updates for batch 1, batch 2, batch 3, Batch 4 and Batch 5 by clicking on the  […]

  17. #SPFBO : Stage 1 Complete | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] can find my updates for batch 1, batch 2, batch 3, Batch 4 and Batch 5 by clicking on the links and my finalist announcement can be found […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s