Thursday, August 30, 2012

Quicky Reviews: 10 Indy books

Lately, I've discovered that I'm reading a lot more books than I am reviewing so I'm going to try and catch up. Since I've been immersed in the independent publishing world, I've been reading a lot of Indie books, so most of these are not mainstream. If someone out there wants a more in-depth review of a book, feel free to ask.

Historically, I've generally not been a critical reader or cognizant of grammatical errors, unless they are egregious, but the more I've been studying grammar as writer, the more aware of it I've become. I hope I don't get to be one of these grammar crazed readers, but I've already seen it happening. Sigh.

No Rating - Too many grammar errors for me to read.  Will try again if they get it edited.             
*          = terrible, avoid
***      = a decent read
*****  = amazingly amazing

No Rating Books
  • The Wisdom of Evil by Scarlet Black
    This book needs a serious edit before I can read it.
  • Shadow of Death by Karen Dales
    Same as above.
  • The Ghost Hunters Club by L.K. Jay
    This is a competently written book, but it reads like an English episode of Sex in the City. It's a nice peek into British life, but I was hoping for a bit more action. I think this is a case of the Not My Kind Of Book misunderstanding. As far as I got, it did not appear to be urban fantasy as I had assumed.

2 Star books.
  • Bite Me by Parker Blue
    Bite Me reads like someone made a checklist for what would make a good urban fantasy. Kick butt hero? Check. Crisis in hero's personal life?
    Check. Conflicted love interest? Check. Irreverent, snarky sidekick? Check. It only caught my interest near the end. Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read so many books like it.
  • A Lucky Break by Terry Callister
    A long, slow book about a man who discovers he can time travel. This is a simple wish fulfillment book and explores just how cool time travel would be. Not much drama.
3.5 Star books
  • Glamour by Penelope Fletcher
    I read Glamour last year and the details are fuzzy, but there are scenes from the book that
    have made enough impression on me to be lodged in my brain. I still remember clearly enjoying this interesting novel. Some new and old ideas mixed together in a pleasant way.
  • Lady of Devices by Shelly Adina
    A steampunk novel about a high born lady laid low, who lifts herself up with her steampunk engineering. I plan to read the sequel I just discovered. I suspect it will get even better.
4 star books.
  • Vampire Games by J.R. Rain
    I really like this entire series. Samantha Moon is a mother first, a vampire second, and a private investigator third. She is a refreshing change of pace in the Vampire genre's cast of characters. She's a mother who never asked to be a vampire and never wanted to be one. My only beef? These are more like novellas than full length novels.

  • The Dark Path by Luke Romyn
    The opening scenes of this book hit me as terribly gruesome, but the rest of the book didn't follow that path, which is a good thing for me. I enjoyed this story of a man beyond redemption who yet chooses to do the right thing.

  • Zero Sight by Justin Shier
    A fun, well written book. Well worth the read.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ryder On The Storm - Violet Paterson (paranormal romance)

Ryder On The Storm by Violet Paterson, Edited by Trace Broyles

Overall *** Plot *** Interactions *** Characters *** World **** Originality **** Grammar **** Style ****
Review Format
This review is based upon a review copy given to me by the author.

Storm Sullivan comes from a long line of Seers, but she doesn't care.  In fact, for most of her life, she hasn't cared about much of anything.  When she learns of her Aunt Trin's death, no tears come. Her two best friends Dan and Shane are gorgeous men who both love her, but she feels no attraction to them. In fact, she's never really felt any attraction for any man. Until she meets Ryder, an immortal who has been tasked to destroy the Sullivan seer's to avert the fulfillment of an old prophecy.

When Storm meets Ryder, the sheer intensity of the physical attraction between the two overwhelms them, leaving both of them shocked and confused.

After Storm encounters Ryder, her life changes.  Suddenly she can feel again and just as suddenly, powers that she has never experienced before begin to manifest.  At the same time, ancient prophecies by her ancestor's come to the fore and she finds herself in the middle of a battleground between her kind and the immortals.

The writing in Ryder On The Storm is generally solid and clean. It is told from the points of view of the two main characters, Ryder and Storm (thus the title).  It fulfills its role as a paranormal romance and should satisfy lover's of that genre.

In Ryder, Violet Patterson has a deft hand at description, but some of her dialog seems a bit forced or out of place.  The book starts up and grabs the readers attention quickly, and I found myself enjoying the story. It carried my interested even though the characters felt a little two dimensional. It wasn't enough to seriously interfere with my enjoyment of the book or the characters, but with one exception, there  were few surprises lurking inside the characters.

The story-line is engaging and satisfying through the majority of the book. I found myself drawn into Storm and Ryder's world and found it easy to root for both protagonists and their budding romance.  Unfortunately for me, I found the ending a bit flat. The climax and conclusion of the story was a bit forced and held very little tension. When it was over I found myself wondering if the author had just gotten tired of the story.

Despite the uninspiring conclusion, overall, this is a fun quick read and not a bad start to a new series.  Typically, as a series continues, the author's skills improve markedly and I wouldn't be surprised to see that here.