As usual, I’m sharing what reviews I find for my books. However, this review is special to me. You see, Joshua Robertson is someone whom I respect a great deal. He’s a brilliant writer, a well-respected member of the community, and someone I consider a mentor. When I saw that he’d started reading Caught, I felt a degree of fear. I feel it when any of my author friends read my work, but I’ll admit that I was slightly more nervous than I had been. So when I saw his five-star review for the book, I had to let out the breath I’d been holding since it appeared on his “currently reading” tab.
Some of you might recognize the name. You should, I read and reviewed Anaerfellfairly recently. I can say first-hand that Mr. Robertson is a busy man, so even seeing him take the time to read my book was an honor. The fact that he liked it has me on cloud nine. I’d like to take this chance to thank him now. Thank you, Mr. Robertson.
I just wanted to share this very kind four-star review for An Unusual Occupation. I’m so happy I made each part available. It’s allowed people a chance to try Bob’s story, and so far, they’re enjoying it! This review was kind and constructive, and I’m so grateful. I hope the reviewer tries out the rest of Bob’s story, and maybe Caught. Regardless, I’m honored she tried my work at all, and thrilled she liked it. You can read the review here.
As I type this, I officially have 504 followers! I’m simply thrilled each day someone decides to click on my website and decide to keep up to date on my posts! As is common whenever I hit a milestone, I’d like to take a bit of time to give back to those who followed me by spreading word about their blog, so I’d like to talk about my five most recent followers.
MovieBabble: I’ve only just discovered this blog since it started following me. Looking at the main page, I’m just startled at how much content they pack into this page. It’s essentially a film review site. I’m honestly excited to check out some of the reviews. I’m always interested in what people think about what’s out there.
Ris Reads: Marisa is a young woman who provides reviews. Anyone who talks about books is super in my opinion. She’s new to the review world, but she has good taste in books judging by her last few reviews.
Luna Lestrange Reads: I spend about 10 minutes a day looking for book reviewers. Luna prefers Young Adult (I have a book I’d like you to beta read if that’s your genre, Luna) stories. Her last few reviews highlight her interest in that area. She’s my newest follower, and I’ve only seen on of her reviews, but she’s brief and conversational, which I appreciate in a reviewer.
Stories to live by: Courtney is another reviewer. What drew me to her was her openness about content. In her latest review, the book she read made light of religion, she said. She wasn’t positive or negative about it, just informative. That way readers who might not appreciate it, don’t buy the book, and those who like that sort of thing know it’s their kind of story. I appreciate that sort of information.
Nifflerreads: This is a reviewer who read 36 books in January alone. That’s about one more book than I read last year. So anyone that prolific get’s my attention. It means viewers can count on more consistent reviews.
I’m happy to announce that after only one day of availability, An Unusual Occupation already has a five-star review! You can check out that verified-purchase review here. I’m so flattered by this review. I love Bob as a character, so any time a reader connects with him, I’m so pleased. I want to thank the reviewer for not just buying my book, but liking it and telling people about it!
Spolier Free Summary: Nothing Left To Loseby Dan Wellsis a horror novel about a young man named John Cleaver. It’s the final book in the John Cleaver series. John has all the traits and desires necessary to be a serial killer. He simply chooses to be better. Lucky of him there are monsters in the world only he can hunt down. Unfortunately for him, his newest target has a reputation: “Run from Rain.” He’s alone. He’s being pursued by the FBI, and he’s facing the most feared creature on the planet.
Character: John is one of the most compelling characters I’ve ever had the privilege to read about. I still feel strongly that the first three books were a more satisfying story as a whole, but the rest of the books were a fantastic extended look into someone you can’t stop listening too. If you enjoy deep characters with intense conflict, this is the series for you, and read the whole thing.
Exposition: Wells doesn’t mess around too much with exposition. Even from a first-person narrative story, the information comes in a lot of ways. I said this is a horror novel, but it’s more of a twisted detective story. So yeah, there’s some exposition and pondering, but when the character talking is this wonderful, it’s hard to notice.
World building: The biggest benefit to the continued series (a phrase I use to describe the other books in the series), is the world building. The first three books focus more on John and his conflict. The other book sin the series build on the method of the Withered. I was happy to get more information on this group, how they formed and how they work. The last three books answer all those questions and put a nice bow on the series as a whole.
Dialogue: This felt a tad heavy handed in this novel. These books have always been fairly cerebral, but I think there was more of this than I’d like. The reason for it is, like old Batman comics, John makes use of the other characters to explain his logic. It’s common is detective books, but it felt a little over the top for my taste.
Description: Easy to scan. Nice details. No chunks that slow me down. My kind of pace!
Overall: I didn’t want to put this book down. It drags the reader through an intense story. Yes, I’m still a bigger fan of the original three books, but this is a nice ending. It fits the tone and is probably a stronger theme than the third book. If you love gritty, monstrous detective stories, you’re missing out if you haven’t read this. Until further notice, this is the book I will compare others to when thinking of my top reads of 2018.
Spolier Free Summary: Edgedancerby Brandon Sandersonis a novella featuring Lift, a character from the Stormlight Archive. This was the second time I’d read this. You can see my initial review here. Lift is a girl who’s apparently been 10 for about three years. She goes from sneaking into a place to helping a friend become emperor. The only problem is Darkness. He’s an emotionless hunter who seems obsessed with Lift and her pet Voidbringer who may not actually be a Voidbringer. The only thing crazier than her situation, is her idea to actually track down Darkness and stop him before he kills more people. While the rest of Roshar frets over the Assassin in White and the Kings and Emperors he kills, Lift is fighting for those other people. Those who might not otherwise be remembered.
Character: Lift is a fun character. She’s witty and unpredictable. She’s super proactive and incredibly sympathetic. The thing that makes her most interesting is she doesn’t put things together the way others might. Her fresh perspective on a situation often turns out right. She almost feels like a YA version of Columbo. I don’t know where she fits on my “list of favorites,” but I’m always happy when she’s is.n the scene, so this novella based on her is charming.
Exposition: Sanderson doesn’t beat the reader over the head with exposition. This book flows even more swiftly because of Lift’s quick wit. Honestly I know it had to be there (no book can have zero exposition), but I don’t remember any.
World building: Sanderson calls this Stormlight Archive 2.5, and it first. There are some parts here that might lose a person if they’ve never been to Roshar before. I don’t know how big the impact would be because I read this in order even on my first read of the story, but looking at it another time though made it easier to see how one might get a tad lost. I don’t think it’s that big a deal as long as you can grasp a few of the details of the world.
Dialogue: There’s a particular amount of plot revealed in dialogue. There’s also some foreshadowing here that I’d recommend people note before other books in the series come out. It’s quick and smart, like most Sanderson books, but I’d recommend anyone read this book a few times because I’m certain some of the names thrown out and characters introduced will grow in importance.
Description: Sanderson is more passive in his description than some might like. I’m not among them. I enjoy a book that’s streamlined for content. It’s still effective. What Sanderson does in this book is hone in on the important details. He doesn’t spend much time on making everything detailed. Instead, he makes sure the details you need to see are vivid.
Overall: I’m always grateful for re-reading books like this because I miss details. In this story, some of the characters introduced and information passed slipped by me the first time. Then again, Sanderson’s books usually do get more rewarding the more times you read them.
I had a great day today. A class of my BMCSC students graduated (that’s always fun to see)! Then I came home to get ready for Animorecon, and while I’m setting up, I see The Journals of Bob Drifter got a 5-star review on Goodreads! Now that’s just about an amazing day! You can read that very kind review here.
That review comes with great timing since both e-versions of Bob and Caught are only 99 cents during the convention. So if you haven’t had a chance to pick up either of my books, this is a great opportunity!
I’ll be at the convention pretty much all weekend, so I might be a bit it or miss with the blog and social media. I’ll try to post pics of what I’m up to and all the great cosplay I see. I’m excited to start my tour, and I hope it goes well for me. I’d be very happy to see any of you there. If you can’t make it, this sale I’m having is just my way to try and make sure everyone can save on my work.
It was a great year filled with a lot of great covers, great authors, and some amazing books. Thanks to this idea, I got to read my favorite book of the year. I got to make some amazing connections, but this is really all about the covers.
We had 5,317 votes for this bracket. That’s actually fantastic given we had one less round. In the monthly brackets, we start with 32, and that ads 16 more votes per voter. These numbers mean we had at least 1,329 unique voters, and that’s awesome if you ask me. The winner of this contest can say more than 1,000 people looked at all 16 covers, and thought his or hers was best. (I have to TRY and keep some drama don’t I?)
There were three different leaders at different points of the contest. It was a close fight between the last two (came within ten voters, which would be one percent for those math people out there). However, I’m proud to say we have an undisputed champion.
Let’s look at the stats! Phil brook beat his other competitors by more than 40 votes in each round. Night Stalker by R.L. Weeks gave him a bit of a run for his money in the Elite Eight early on, but then he pulled away. The Door Keeper by Steen Jones also gave him a good fight up till about three days ago. It looked like The Girl Who Could See would be the only one to best him in the finals, but then he snatched the lead and didn’t let it go! He only won that championship round by ten votes, but those ten voters came in a very timely manner.
He received 542 total votes. He came into the tournament ranked fifth. He started out chasing Loveless by Marissa Howard, but then managed to climb his way to the top.
That means the Weech goes to Philbrook’s cover designer, which means he not only owes us a jig (I’m not kidding this time Chris, your fans deserve it!), but I also need him to tell me who that designer is so I can engrave The Weech and send it over to him.
I hope you all had fun this year. I really am pleased with how things turned out, but I’m hopeful this continues to grow. I hope the authors and artists who were involved spread the word so other authors and artists can get exposure. That’s the whole point of this tournament.
That said. There’s another post on my blog that just came up. The December Book Cover of the Month is up and running as we speak. I won’t be pestering people nearly as much. You all came out by the hundreds (literally), and I think it’s only fair to step it back a bit for the December and January Book Cover of the Month brackets. But it was fun this year, and I’ll do it again next year. We’ll see how things go after that. If it catches on, I’ll keep it going.
I will continue to identify and select covers for each day from Amazon’s New Release section for fantasy and science fiction. If you follow and like my Facebookpage, you can see what covers will make the bracket.