#SPFBO Thoughts on my sixth batch of books


I’ve completed my final batch of books for the SPFBO.  My thoughts are below.  I’ve also read each of my chosen books from each of the previous batches.  All that is left is to choose my finalist – this year this is a bit more of a conundrum as I have more than one possibility and so I need to have a good weigh up.

Anyway, without further ado here are my thoughts on the sixth batches of books:


A Gaze of Flint by Sandy Hyatt-James

A Gaze of Flint got off to an intriguing start.  A young woman, apparently gifted with ‘The Sight’ starts to have visions of a young child who is about to be kidnapped.  The story is split into two parallel threads, one in which we follow Elizabeth as she struggles to come to terms with her visions and the other as we are introduced to people from a parallel universe as they use their technology to ‘help’ the people on earth.  I thought this made a good start, however, two things which held me back from enjoying this more than I could have : it feels quite young in some respects and the whole ‘alien/parallel universe’ idea doesn’t feel well enough developed.  I can’t really put my finger on it other than to say it has a very young feel especially in terms of the dialogue.  Of course, I am only 20% into the book but at this cut off point A Gaze of Flint hasn’t quite captured my attention enough.



The Empire of the Dead by Phil Tucker

The Empire of the Dead is one out of two books out of this batch that I’ve read fully and will be reviewing during the course of  this week.  I still need to make a final decision about which book to take forward from all six batches.



Dark Moonlighting by Scott Haworth

Dark Moonlighting is a tongue in cheek look at fantasy tropes.  This story focuses on vampires and also takes something of a satirical look at medical/cop/lawyer types shows.  I found it to be humorous and easy to get along with.  The vampire of the story is called Nick Whittier and he definitely gave me a Dexter vibe.  He’s in jail at the start of the book and taking us back through his story.  I was definitely entertained by the first 20% that I read and will probably continue to read on and write a fuller review.  Unfortunately though at this point I won’t be taking Dark Moonlighting onto the next stage.



Road to Shandara by Ken Lozito

This book didn’t really work out for me, I think it might be aimed at a younger audience and I think it may work for somebody just starting to read fantasy but for me it felt too familiar in terms of the ideas.  A young boy, who is going to come into powers, his grandfather dies and a whole new world opens up, a world that he knows nothing about.  Of course, I’ve read only 20% but that is the cut off point.



The Archbishop’s Amulet by Watson Davis

This was very easy to read and in fact I found myself ploughing on and reading it all.  One of two books that I read in this batch (despite my best intentions to only fully read one book from each batch).

My review will follow.


In terms of my SPFBO I have read six batches of (five) books and chosen a book from each.  I have now read each of the final choices (two in the case of batch 6).  I now need to make the decision about which book to take forward.  This week I will post my reviews and then choose which one to go through to stage 2 with. I confess it’s not an easy decision but I will have my finalist chosen by this Saturday at the latest – hopefully sooner.