Every month I am to review an independently/selfpubbed book from my fellow striving authors. I then review them on Amazon AU and Goodreads. If you want a review, catch me up on Twitter, I am often asking for books or offering to randomly review.
The Awakening by KL Hagaman – 3 Stars
An interesting steam flavoured adventure with magic woven within, this was an interesting story with a new take on a princess in a tower and her knight, or in this case keeper. A sudden start to the story gives it a pull that makes you want to know what happened and why, but it was the character’s attitudes that I loved, Lilja and Kaden are well thought out characters that make the story enjoyable. Because of the aspects of rediscovering Lilja’s memory I did find some parts a bit slow to get through, and rather telling than experiencing. I was also somewhat disappointed by the ending as while I knew this was first in a series I almost felt that this was more backstory to what was to come, rather than the story of these characters in itself.
Stillbringer by Zile Ellivan – 2 Stars
An interesting take a young girl with power she can’t control, this started out with a great intro to a character I wanted to know more about but found that it fell into a cliche situation that didn’t carry across very well, and across the storyline that didn’t change very much. The chemistry between the characters was very wooden and felt almost forced. One thing I did like was a twist at the end, and the power mechanics themselves stepping away from the trope which should have been further explored & emphasized.
Connected by C. J. Written – 2 Stars
A sweet tale about people and love and the mistakes we make, this was a sad story with a heartbreaking message. I found it a rough read sometimes, especially about the fears and the choices that we have to make in life to make things work. I felt this was more of a biography/insight to life than a story in itself, just this flow of finding bad situations and trying to make them better. An interesting struggle in its own right but it was a little hard to see it as a book. I also found it needed a thorough edit for a few typos and line editing issues. This does not negate that it was a story told of real life experiences from the heart that I deeply felt.
Anxiety Girl by Lacy London – 3 Stars
For such an important issue from a talented writer I was all set to get into this book… and didn’t. While I did finish it I found the main character Sadie to have quite the life, and still find something to complain about – which is the problem with anxiety. Even having the world at your feet doesn’t mean you are okay with the world and having things others don’t doesn’t devalue that depression or anxiety, or that its a serious mental issue. Even with this I still had trouble reconciling myself with Sadie, but when she does experience those things its very real.
Gods of Fire by Jacque Greaves – 4 Stars
Really great fantasy setting with heaps of strong female characters! I was torn when I started reading this because while I dont mind a bit of smut, the reader is dumped in head first right at the start, and it comes across a tad awkwardly, and by the time you come to know the character it switches to a lengthy backstory. What made this book for me was the open relationships and care between partners, really well thought out characters who presented a multifaceted personalities without making everything so very black and white. A great fantasy book.
Between Two Minds by D.C. Wright-Hammer – 4 Stars
3.5 Stars but I rounded to four because the concept itself blew me away. In a world were someone who is in an accident or disabled can be given a new body the technology behind this story is well researched and thought out. There were a few instances where I could see where the story was leading, and I felt that the switch in perspective gave it away. I did find several sections that were very strong back story moments that were still relevant and shown not told, but distracting from the main arc of the story. There was also a very awkward sex scene that I found quite stilted, and while this isn’t a romance its made a strong enough subplot in the story that by the time the MC gets with the girl he’s interested its an almost blink and you miss it moment. What really shines throughout the book is actually the intriguing concept of body switching, and how even with such brilliant technology at our fingertips, humanity still ends up monetizing it for their own gains.
Ghosts of Bliss Bayou by Jack Masa – 3 Stars
This story had a really grabbing and terrifying start, but after a while I just didn’t feel the main character or the story as a whole. It lost some of its flow through at points and I wasn’t sure what was happening. It was still a great concept that just needed work in it’s execution. I did love the ending though, and the way everything was tied together, especially given this is just book 1, it had a satisfying ending.
The Will to Power by Kata Mlek – 3 Stars
This was a seriously dark perspective about a world that’s all to real and brings into play a lot of fears of the future. There was a lot of terrible violence and sexual situations I was not expecting and ordinarily wouldn’t care except I am not sure what they added to the plot in some instances aside from almost forcefully “upping the ante”. The harsh realities we face as humanity tries to cope with the issues of feeding its unending climb are portrayed with a kind of terrifying finesse that was hard to turn away form. Good and suspenseful read.
Tame Me by Simone Holloway – 2 Stars
A short erotic read, this book started out well with heaps of heat, but it was predominately about a very short read that could have been much more detailed, skipped action sequences and wasn’t always clear. Also quite pricey for such a short read.