Sunday, October 30, 2011

Strong build, but failed to climax

Available here on Amazon for $0.00. Can't beat that price!

The Golden BellThe Golden Bell by Autumn Dawn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really did enjoy this book. Although it is the fourth set in the un-aptly named "Dark Lands", I found myself instantly hooked, and although I did feel rather like there was a little more that I was missing, I was certainly never lost nor confused in the plot.

The characterisation was good. The two main characters - Rain and Fallon, were both well developed. Particularly Rain, with her occasional feral streaks and quick temper. Also, one has got to love a genius engineer. She did seem to fall a bit too easily into Fallon's bed, but that can be forgiven. He was rather sexy, and although you could sense that he wanted to be controlling, he also allowed her freedom and did not pressure her. All good points in a man.

The sex scenes were quite steamy, and well written, and not too prevalent in the plot. Sexual tension was also kept to a relative minimum, allowing more room for the plot to be established.

Now, about the plot... It started strong - Rain being rescued from a Charmer, exiled to the Dark Lands and trying to establish a place for herself amongst the Haunts, as well as uncovering her father's murderer.

That's where it fell down. It almost feels like the author ran out of steam. Like she had a certain word length she wanted to finish it in and didn't wish to exceed this. There was no build - the murderer was unveiled and defeated, without being an apparent threat to Rain or her new way of life. What's more, despite the fact that the evidence was shaky and that Rain took matters into her own hands, there were no serious repurcussions of what she did. No climax, no threat, no tension. Very frustrating - and left me feeling cheated.

On the other hand, I liked the writing style, enjoyed the characters and found the setting intriguing, so I would be interested in reading more by this author - at some point.

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Friday, October 7, 2011

The Eyes of Sandala by Cathy Benedetto

To celebrate my acquisition of a kindle, and my desire to read and support self-published authors (being one myself), I have decided to rekindle (hehe) this blog to help support these authors. Now - this does not necessarily mean that I will be writing nice things about the books! If they're poorly written, or weak, then I will not lie, but I shall hopefully find a few pearls for anyone seeking something a little bit different.

This particular book is available here on Amazon. Ebook is $4.99.

The Eyes of SandalaThe Eyes of Sandala by Cathy Benedetto

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

At first, I somewhat enjoyed this book. It did seem to follow rather traditional plotlines - involving invading armies against the kingdom. Character development, particularly the relationship between Ariann and Tahjeen could have been stronger. As it was, many of the characters came across as somewhat flat and I had trouble remembering who was who and the romance was somewhat unconvincing. A bit more dialogue might have helped. With the male declaring soon after their meeting that they were "destined to be together" it all seemed rather predictable and cliched from there on. There were no surprises, and after the first 60% or so, I started to get bored of it. I set it down. I read another couple of books. I picked it up again. I read a few pages, put it down, and then finally decided I should just finish the jolly thing.

What a waste of time. The ending felt flaky and incomplete, like the author was trying for a cliff-hanger but didn't build up enough to make the reader care. Because the characters were flat and two dimensional, I could barely remember their names, let alone who did what and where. Added into that, was the editting - or lack thereof. I can cope with the occasional spellnig mistake, and the split compound words, whilst odd, was fine. What I did not understand was the lack of line spacing between some of the paragraphs. One minute you'd be reading about the bad guy and what he was thinking/doing, the next it would suddenly shift to the good guys - somewhere else entirely, in the same block of text, this compounded the confusion already garnered by having too many characters and too many names without having enough developed personalities for you to remember who was who. I would suggest that the author takes the time to read through her story at various font sizes in order to pick up on this structural errors.

I liked the concept of the Shala - especially the colour-changing eyes, but the zoologist in me would like to point out that big cats cannot purr.

At $4.99 - a complete waste of money. I'm going to stick to freebies from now on. At least when they suck, I don't have to angst about wasting money on them.

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