I write, read and review, I blog frequently and love anything to do with books and writing, including editing. I am a Book Nerd and I wear that badge with pride. http://coffee2words.wordpress.com
This is how a short story should be done. The story felt whole, the characters real and the conclusion satisfactory yet still ambiguous enough to leave questions.
Tani, our protagonist, made logical choices and decisions, even while dealing with the paranormal phenomenon in the story. It was so nice to see that logical thought pattern.
That the piece also focused on a pocket watch and tied it in so nicely, was an added bonus.
I saw no errors in this piece. An enjoyable read with a great cast of characters.
This is the first part of The Quest of Dragons and will most certainly be the last one I read by this author.
The list of issues I encountered in this 42 page story is almost longer than the story itself.
If you are thinking about being a writer, publishing books, please do not do what this author has done, and publish something that is barely but a first draft. EDIT YOUR WORK! Get someone else who is good at writing or editing to look it over.
Worst example of a story I've read so far! The only redeeming features, are the fact it was only 42 pages long and the fact that I paid nothing for it!
Things I noticed:
Issues including overuse of the same word in close sentences:
'Very well' is used excessively.
'Tree, deal, wall, Sapphire' all repeated too much.
'You will perish a long painful, agonising death.'
There's only four words too many in that sentence.
Changes in POV mid paragraph.
Use of 'He seen'. Wrong!
Some paragraphs are indented, while others not. This occurs the whole way through the story.
Continuity issues at 82%. The group fled with no supplies yet they unpacked supplies when they arrive at Taisai.
82% - wrong use of their:
'The three sat their(there) for a moment...'
86% - if Taisai is the multicultural hub described when they arrived, why would their presence be unusual?
93% - WTF?!? That is horse shit!
So I loved the Captive Prince Trilogy, like really loved it. I was super excited to see there were short stories in the same world being released and bought this one and pre-ordered the second one 3 seconds apart.
I feel this short story was quite underwhelming.
The writing, as before, was a delightful mix of sweet tender moments, inner turmoil and the big bad world of Vere, but it was rehashing information we already knew from reading the trilogy. Yes, it delves a little deeper into Jord and Aimeric's relationship, but really it left me feeling underwhelmed and a little bored.
I will likely automatically buy anything CS Pacat puts out there, I love the Captive Prince Trilogy so much, but I hope the next few short stories in this end up being better than this one.
What appears to be some sort of slice-of-life drunk dad leaves family story, swiftly takes a turn for the paranormal.
Scott is a young boy and the protagonist. The climax is sudden and quite unexplained and really did nothing for me.
The writing needs work, too many descriptors that weren't needed, too much telling and not showing (e.g. I was panicking), and in general, simplistic narrative that just seemed bland.
Note: only 25% of the book is actually the story, the rest is promotion of the authors other work.
Probably my favourite of the lot, Out of Place Mate sees eldest brother, Sean Quaid come to Gunther's bar in search of his lost brothers. The other two Quaid brothers mated with wolf shifters in stories 2 and 3 of the bundle or Bar Mate and Mate by the Music.
Sean meets damaged wolf shifter, Victoria and I'm sure you can imagine what happens.
The characters in this story have more background and characterisation than in the others. I would like to read more about them.
With little backstory outside of some name dropping from story two, we see Scott and Nancy partying like it's 1969.
This felt too unreal, the sex too perfect (I get that one of them is a wolf shifter), but it's all too perfect, the orgasms and everything working so perfectly was just too unrealistic.
I did like these characters better than those in Bar Mate though, which surprised me.
There's something about girls 'creaming' their pants that turns me off so fast it's not funny. This little piece was too heavy too quickly and really didn't do too much to keep one's interest.
The characters were flimsy at best, the sex boring and the shifter/human relationship felt totally forced.
True to Rebecca Royce style, Unwanted Mate brings the shifters along in quick succession. It didn't have the polish of her longer works (see the things I noticed, below), but it was an interesting glimpse into the world of Gunther and Judy.
I am reading this as part of the Rebecca Royce BUNDLE pack. I will review the bundle as a whole against it when I'm finished.
Overall this bundle consists of four short shifter/biker stories. The pace of the stories was fast, the characterisation minimal for the most part, and the backstory almost non-existent.
I liked some of the stories, but others I really disliked. The feel of the bundle was rushed and unfinished, unlike Rebecca's other polished series, this one leaves a bit to be desired.
Things I noticed:
12% - ...at the very top of least (left) breast...
16% - ...are you going to put it (in) my...
42% - His (He) adored her with his eyes.
This is a very short tale about the owner of a cargo ship 'The Black-Eyed Susan' who runs into trouble with money lenders.
There's not a great deal of characterisation to go on, but I feel like a solid story could be made about The Black-Eyed Susan and its crew. Which I'm happy to say is just what J.A. Clement has done. This is book #0.3 of the On Dark Shores series. I have already read On Dark Shores: The Lady.
The emotional impact was missing from this, but I suppose it can be very difficult to pack a punch in a few pages.
If you like your sailor stories, this might be the first taste of something you'll enjoy devouring.
Everything I've ever wanted is a short story about a stay-at-home mum who locks away her secret life from the family and kids. But once she gets a letter, she can't hide it any longer.
This would be an epic dream come true for most people who share the infliction the protagonist does.
I didn't twig what the secret was until the mention of the purchased devices after her first attempt.
Great little tale Tony.
This edition of Aurealis sees the neo-noir 'Enfolded', from J Michael Melican and the punchy 'Discarded Pieces' from David Coleman making a splash.
I enjoyed both stories, but Enfolded was something extremely unique. I would have liked to learn more about the characters past, which was hinted at, and know what the future held for him. A truly interesting piece that outshone the other piece easily.
Having said that, though, both pieces are well written and formed part of a nice edition, including some advise for self-publishing and promotion as well as a handful of reviews on books.
I really liked the cover art of this edition.
Overall this collection of stories only made up approx 70% of the book (the rest was dedicated to promotion of the author's other works) and left quite a bit to be desired. There weren't really any creepy stories here, and the 'horror' was in very small quantities.
My favourite story by quite a way was 'Death comes for Maggie McDaniel' because of the haunting sadness and the fact that it was a well written and interesting tale. I would definitely read more by Grayson Bray Morris, Pamela Turner, Donna Johnson and William Meikle. The rest I probably wouldn't bother.
I feel that the four best stories are dragged down a bit by the others that get a nudge into the realm of good because they're being carried by the four better stories. Not a great collection, but an OK way to spend a couple of hours if you want a not very scary collection of stories.
Story specific thoughts below:
Out of Order - 3 stars
This one has a single horrible animal scene, which is written off in one or two lines. The horror aspects were not a problem, a bit simple, like a child witnessing a murder, too simplistic to be very impactful. A shame really because the idea is interesting.
Our lady of the toads - 3 stars
Witches tale that reads quickly but doesn't really offer anything new. Not a bad read, but a touch boring.
Family Heirloom - 4 stars
An interesting idea, but the story was over too quickly. I'd have liked to see the story teased out a bit more.
Ring of stones - 4 stars
A really short tale rich with imagery and sensory information. But a glimpse, captivating.
Death comes for Maggie McDaniel - 4.5 stars
A sad tale, full of character and loss. I only wish it were a touch longer so the blow to guts had the impact it deserves. Lovely writing.
Creatures of the night - 4 stars
The creepiest story so far tied in with the character being a writer so it's an instant win for me. The pace is quick, detail light but enough to paint a picture.
Druid stones - 2.5 stars
The story gallops along to its own tune, the ending obvious from a mile off. A lot of flowery wording that could be cut to make the story stronger.
The Loft - 2 stars
Rather boring, even what should have been tense moments lacked any sort of urgency. Repetition and an annoying MC made for an uninteresting or engaging story.
Life in miniature - 3.5 stars
A great idea, but over far too quickly. This should have been teased out, hints dropped etc. Who is Susan? Who is Michael? A little more character behind them would make this a great story.
You have one message - 3 stars
Probably the creepiest only because of the unknown factor and the panic written on the characters faces. The story offered little by way of characterization, but for once this worked because it allowed the faceless masses to form and show mass hysteria even in a small window of opportunity with limited character visibility. Still, there were too many unanswered questions and not enough content to really make this stand on its own.
**Note: I won an electronic copy of this book through the Booklikes giveaway program**
Forbidden is a short introduction to Elle Thorn's Never After Dark series, a white tiger shapeshifter romance.
While the story takes a pretty tried and true course - impossibly handsome, but broody Adonis-esque Alpha male is single despite all odds and happens upon the perfectly normal, slightly unique and not model material woman who has no idea about shifters. They fall into bed together and then into mated love - and offers nothing new to the paranormal romance or shifter romance genres, the writing flowed well and was an easy read.
Despite the expected outcome and actions by the characters, I did actually like Jax, at least up until she didn't bat an eyelid at something that should have caused even some sort of reaction.
Rafe is fairly generic alpha material, all animalistic and domineering, broody dark god that he is. He seems to be part porn star too, his ability to make Jax gush seemed a little too easy.
Overall this is an enjoyable, quick paranormal shifter romance with a little sexy time. Nothing groundbreaking or fresh, but still entertaining and engaging.
One thing I noticed:
22% - Chapter is at the top of the paragraph text.
**Note: I was given an electronic copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Ok, so the time it took me to read this is not an indication of my disinterest or lack of engagement to the story, instead I ended up doing NaNoWriMo and a massive work project in between August and Dec.
That aside, Nica's tale certainly contained a lot of interesting and original ideas. The world building was fresh and the characters rather amusing.
I think my favourite characters were Miles and Monk, purely because of the intellectual way they spoke and sense of humour. I also found I developed a bit of a soft spot for Hernandez.
Where this story fell over for me was in a couple of ways. The length: at only 302 pages, the story felt densely packed and far, far longer than 302 pages.
The pace: the characters were rushing through from one thing to the next, and one frame to the next so fast it became a little too much and things started to blur. Perhaps a few less scene changes and story plot points would help alleviate the feeling of being rushed.
Nica's character and personality might irritate some readers. I found her mildly annoying at times, but amusing at others.
Some of the length could be clipped further with a heavy-handed editor, but the overall finish of the book was good.
One thing I noticed:
3% - blood-?-soaked (not sure why there's a question mark hyphenated between these two words).
*Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*