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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rising - Colin Andrews

Rising - Colin Andrews

A reminder again of how the scoring works: Low scores = GOOD. High scores = BAD. Points are earned based on flaws. They're taken away for super awesome moments. Star ratings are done based on number of points in comparison to the number of pages in the book. 0-20% = 1 20-40% = 2 40-60%= 3 60-80% = 4 and 80-100% =5.

REVIEW: RISING - Colin Andrews
SCORE: 55 points.
RATING: 4 stars


That can be found here: http://www.colinandrews.info/Book%20Extracts.htm (along with the pretty cover and other shiny things from the author's webpage. Gorgeous site!)

And here is a book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u39VaPzuvQo

This story begins with action, which I like. It gets right to the point of things and takes the reader on a wild Indiana Jones kind of adventure. The style is easy to read and understand. I liked most of the characters (sans one, but I have a feeling Tom was supposed to be annoying, right? right? If yes, you did a good job with that one). I don't want to give away spoilers, because that's not my style, but I will say that if you enjoy action stories with good details and diverse unique settings? You'll no doubt like this book.  There's a touch of romance, gunfire, and giant crocks! This book is a creative and imaginative work, and it's the kind of story I've been looking for because it fills a void left behind with the influx of vampire/werewolf/witches phenomena that's overloading the market. It's a great sci-fi adventure, and fairly clean. There's a little swearing, but I'd recommend it to anyone who's about fifteen and older.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK (aka earning the points)

There were a few things that threw me off. The first being some of the language didn't quite feel right. The characters spoke a lot like they were from the UK, but the narrative never specified that was where they were from so I got a little confused because I thought they were from America. I could have missed something though, because that is known to happen, but it threw me off all the same. There was a lot of British slang used in the narrative as well (non-character development type stuff), which isn't a complaint necessarily, but as an American reader it wasn't necessarily what I would call universal language use. I know enough about the terms to figure things out, but in a few areas it threw off the narrative for me all the same. Formatting was weird on my Nook, but I didn't give points for that. I'm just making a mention of it so the author knows. Over all though, the writer has a good handle on how to write.

A few spots needed some tightening, but it was refreshing to read a book by an independent author who knows how to write and bring a good story to life.  I'm definitely ready for a sequel.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Other Side of Life - Jess C. Scott

A reminder again of how the scoring works: Low scores = GOOD. High scores = BAD. Points are earned based on flaws. They're taken away for super awesome moments. Star ratings are done based on number of points in comparison to the number of pages in the book. 0-20% = 1 20-40% = 2 40-60%= 3 60-80% = 4 and 80-100% =5.

SCORE: 10 points.
RATING: 5 stars

More often than not when I pick up a self-published novel, I get a little pit in my stomach. Is this going to be good, or am I going to regret my decision. More often than not I lean more towards the latter because while I’m all about the self-publishing industry, a lot of self-published authors need better editors to the point where I’m so distracted by mentally red-penning a book to death, I can’t enjoy the story. Yeah, so a lot of books have the occasional errors in them, but when they’re so plentiful they distract from the work, that’s usually a bad sign.

Hesitations aside, I started this book. The concept seemed too cool to pass up, and boy am I glad I did because this book is probably the best indie/self-published novel I’ve picked up in a long, long time, if not to-date.  I’m happy to say, I was able to enjoy this story and not be distracted, and boy is the story a good one. I’ll copy and paste the synopsis here so you can see for yourself.

Anya and Leticia are partners-in-crime who steal for a living. Their world turns upside down after a chance encounter with fellow rogue, Ithilnin—the enigmatic leader of an Elven band of thieves.
A scuffle to prove who’s “the better thief” transforms into more than Anya and Ithilnin ever bargained for. They retrieve the missing piece of an ancient poem, before getting caught in the secret dealings of a megacorporation. What they uncover threatens to alter the very essence of not just human life, but the other side as well.
Elven intrigue, cyberpunk action, and a deadly dose of danger come together in The Other Side of Life [Book #1 in the (Cyberpunk) Elven Trilogy].

The story starts out quick enough. There’s hardly ever a time where it lags actually. It’s a great pace of information and action. What I especially like is that while you might be able to predict the romance line, it doesn’t follow into cliché story line patterns. The chemistry is real and it develops so fluently that I’m rooting for the characters in all of their adventures.

In fact, all of the characters in this book are diverse and developed enough where you’re interested in their lives. I find in a lot of books, an author only takes the time to hold the readers interest in just the main characters. That wasn’t the case in this book.
If there was something I loved the most about this novel however, it was that Scott was able to create a completely new world for me. With the plethora of cookie cutter fiction out there, this was a breath of fresh air for me. I got to travel to a world of corruption, technological dreams, and magic. She does a wonderful blend of magic and science, keeping it fantasy but believable with lots of good cultural references in the mix. In fact, the world was so believable and well described that when I went to bed that night I had a dream about breaking in to a corporate tower with a group of elves. I’m not lying. You have invaded my dream world Scott, and this is quite a feat to accomplish. ;)

WHAT DIDN’T WORK (aka earning the points)

Points were earned simply for some minor errors. Five points were given for some grammar blips and writing errors, and then another five were for some formatting problems. They weren’t anything distracting necessarily, but they were noticeable, so I can’t sit and give it a completely perfect score of 0. However, 10 points for a 200+ page novel comes out to being 95% perfection and puts it at a 5 of 5 stars.

Now, I charge you, Jess C Scott, with getting the next two books of this trilogy out so I can read them. I’m kind of on the edge of my seat here, and I’m pretty sure anyone else who picks up this book will be too. If you’re a lover of science fiction, fantasy, or just looking for something new and different that’s a fun, fast read? Pick up this book. You won’t regret it.