book review

Book Reviews: Reader Magnet Edition

I joined 28 other authors in a free book promotion on Bookfunnel this month. As I’m a reader too, I downloaded the 31 books on offer. Because so many of them are short stories or novellas, I thought I’d bunch my reviews together into a couple of posts over the month.

Click here if you’d like to see what’s on offer and pick up some free fiction for yourself.

Mira works in an incredibly accessible Antarctic research centre that becomes infested with zombies. Without a moments hesitation, she fights her way outside.

Formatted strangely in italics, there is some tension in this otherwise generic zombie tale.

I award Virus Vault

George convinces Tim there is more to life in their super controlled bland world by introducing him to comics and books from the before time. The only problem is Tim’s older brother, Robert, who enforces the terms and conditions. Breaking them means being judged on The Flame of Truth reality court room drama.

In the vein of Orwell and Huxley, The Architects of Reality pokes fun at the modern world at the same time as it critises it and takes certain modern themes to an extreme conclusion. Like most dystopian literature it is also very cynical, offering a warning without any hope for change.

I enjoyed this story and the ideas it plays with. Unfortunately the edition I read had a lot of errors, both in regards to writing – changing tense mid sentence, strange sentence structure – and layout.

I award The Architects of Reality

Elaine Royal is the caretaker of the Sunspinners – five, centuries old, humans who can’t die, and go invisible in strong light, but are otherwise pretty much like everyone else.

For some reason that isn’t exactly clear to me, the Sunspinners must remain hidden upstairs, which they rarely leave except to clean the house and watch tv at night. All except Charley that is, who loves running around Seattle naked, because clothes don’t go invisible (I found the thought of this much more hilarious than it deserved).

All would be fun and games, except people keep trying to buy Elaine’s house when it’s not for sale, and then dead bodies start turning up in her vicinity. It seems like you can’t be a rich eccentric and left in peace these days.

This is a fun urban fantasy with a likable protagonist and some great ideas. I think it is a shame that the Sunspinners didn’t have more distinct personalities and play a larger part in the novel. Only two of the five seem to have anything to do with the plot. I also didn’t understand why they have to pretend they don’t exist. I’ve seen lots of movies where truly invisible men wander around bandaged up, and the internet has made it easier than ever to live a rich life from the confines of your home.

The book starts with a scene that, when it appears again near the end of the book, is very exciting. However, reading it cold without any idea of the people and what was going on, I found it off putting. I’m glad I didn’t stop reading though, because I enjoyed the rest of the book.

Elaine has a strong voice and I liked how she wasn’t a fighter or magic, but used her head and stubbornness to get out of difficult situations.

I award Demonspell

Set two hundred years in the future, after a meteorite changed the face of the earth, Joah is a level seven Timewalker. That means he can journey into the future to report on the weather, or break the law and venture back into the past.

This novella shares a lot with other dystopian stories, especially of the young adult variety, but it has enough original elements to make it interesting and new.

The writing is solid and I loved the descriptions of time walking, as well as how the other magical abilities were portrayed.

Joah is likable and I particularly enjoyed the first half of the novella that focused on the normal life of the future society. I enjoyed spending time within the rings and would have liked to explore them more.

I will be picking up the next book in the series and look forward to continuing the characters journeys.

I award The Apotheon Crucible

Click here if you’d like to read these stories for free, or check out what else there is on offer.

7 thoughts on “Book Reviews: Reader Magnet Edition”

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