Posts tagged novel preview
Posts tagged novel preview
Title: Fanged Love
Author: Ally Thomas
Number of Pages: 30
Publication Type: Short Story (Flash Fiction at 4,500 words) and Novel Preview
Grace and Nathan aren’t the perfect match, but Grace loves Nathan enough to let him lead her down a path of bloodletting and vampirism. However, after Nathan involves an outside power, Grace is fundamentally changed and plunged into a conflict she doesn’t want.
Star Rating: 1/5
This piece is littered with redundancy. “She tried to use telepathy to reach him with her thoughts”. Well, that’s probably better than trying to use telepathy to reach him with her feet. There are countless examples of things of this nature through the work, and frankly it is jarring and irritating.
Also, “Show, don’t tell.” Grace seems to be feeling a great disconnect from her emotions most of the time. “She knew she was upset.” … what? Why not just say, “She was upset.” Or, better yet, don’t talk about her being upset at all—just show her acting upset and let me figure it out!
This story had the strange honor of being both oversimplified and over-written.
Through the writing, I felt no connection with the characters, many of the scenes were sloppily put together (with the main character gaining/losing consciousness as the start and stop point of three scenes in a row). I didn’t feel any of the emotionally charged material the story was dealing with—it fell absolutely, perfectly flat. I just did not care.
Also, if this were a true “prequel”, it should be able to stand alone. A good rule of thumb for any story or book in a series is that it should be able to make sense in and of itself as a completed story arch. That did not happen—the “prequel” rolled seamlessly into the first chapter of the novel preview. Thus, it’s really more of a “prologue” than a prequel—or, maybe, more of a “Chapter One” than either of those things.
Title: F***ed Up Fairy Tale News
Author: j.a. kazimer
Number of Pages: 40
Publication Type: Short Story(?)(Another possibility— many back-to-back pieces of flash fiction) + Novel preview
What if Fairy Tales were set in modern day, with the heroes as celebrities in “Never Ever City” and the fairy tales themselves reported by trashy tabloids? This is what if.
Star Rating: 2/5
This book was funny for about the first three pieces. That’s about three hundred words, give or take. A page and a half, call it. After that, however, it gets old fast. It’s really not a complicated premise, amusing by its shock value and humor. Except that the interpretations are pretty uninspired. The joke is that it’s children’s stories except with murder and drugs. That’s the joke in every single one (well, sometimes it’s sex instead?). We get it, okay? We know exactly what’s going to be said next, and once it establishes a pattern it sticks with it.
It’s like being around someone who swears constantly. At first, when you don’t know them, you pay attention when they say “fuck”. Once you get to know them better, however, they could swear a blue streak and it won’t make any particular impression on you. You’ve grown accustomed, even bored, with it. This book is exactly like that.
Download? Don’t bother.
Title: Abandon Changes
Author: John M. Cusick
Number of Pages: 49
Publication Type: Short Story / UNANTICIPATED NOVEL PREVIEW
Rei runs drugs and messages for a Japanese crime lord (or baron, at least) and her new relationship plays havoc with her perfect record.
Star Rating: 1/5
The story was alright. Not really great, a little gimmicky, but alright. However, it was NOT just a short story. Only 27% of it was a short story, the rest was a novel preview that was not mentioned in the official description.
Pro-tip: tricking me into downloading a preview of your novel is NOT the way to get on my good side. I feel cheated and mislead, and YOU, Mr. John M. Cusick, are the reason your story gets only one stars. New Policy: from now on, every unnannounced novel preview loses a star from the review. If the unannounced novel preview takes up more than 50% of the file downloaded, you lose an additional star.
Because that is a cheap trick and I am protesting it the only way I can.
Download? BOOOOOOOO NO.
Title: Anything Can Be Dangerous
Author: Matt Hults
Number of Pages: 112
Publication Type: Short Story Anthology/Novel Preview
Four short stories and previews of multiple books, all in the supernatural (with one pseudo-scientific) genre.
Star Rating: 5/5
Thoughts: First, the disclaimer: I don’t much care for ‘book previews’. Either give me the story or don’t, but don’t give me HALF a story and basically make me pay for emotional closure. I don’t approve. So, mostly, this review applies to the short stories in this anthology.
And they were fantastic.
They had the bright, direct style that heavily reminded me of the longer short stories and novellas of late 80s Fantasy and Science Fiction submissions. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, think the second generation of “B” level horror flicks, with a monster of the week, beautiful guest star, and a positive giddy delight that lovingly focuses on the gore and horror. They are fresh, innovative, but have a ‘classic’ feel. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t have a love for the genre.
That said, if you don’t have a love for neon-bright, outrageous, slightly melodramatic horror/science or horror/fantasy, you probably won’t love these stories. I do, and I did.
Nevertheless, they do have a bit of bite behind them. I read the first two stories at night (I like to think I have an iron-plated imagination, and whatever I read directly before bed won’t influence my dreams, and I’m usually right), and let’s just say I was glad come bedtime that my big sharpie-cross doggie likes to cuddle.