I always knew filling the X slot in my alphabet reading challenge might be difficult, so when I spotted a book titled Xoe early in the year I grabbed it. Due to my lack of choice I wasn’t especially hopeful.
Fie on me for a cynical doubter! Actually, Xoe was mostly a fun read. The relationships between the female characters was great fun and well-depicted. The paranormal elements were good and intriguing (we had the introduction of demons to bring a different slant to the customary paranormal vampires and werewolves fare). What I enjoyed less was the romantic element which felt slightly forced and clichéd, as though the author had been told to make the romance more obvious. And there were an awful lot of fashion reports. Maybe this stuck with me because I rarely describe my characters, and never in detail (I’m often told off by editors for this). But what do you need to fix a character in your mind? I don’t think very much – maybe hair and eye colour, and then if something’s remarkable about them mention that: they might be very tall, or always wear a hat. But in Xoe we seemed to constantly get a run down of what each character was wearing when we met them, which I found unnecessary.
But maybe I’m the one out of step, reader – do you like a full and detailed description of characters, or just a broad stroke of description that you can fill in for yourself?
And it’s hard to believe I’m nearly at the end of my alphabet reading challenge! Check back next week to see what I’ve found starting with Y.
There was a bit of a wobble this week, reader, I’ll confess. I had a “T” book that was recommended by a friend whose books I love. Sadly, the book wasn’t half as good as her own and simply wasn’t for me. Referring back to my “speed of reading” measurement, when I’d been reading for 3 days and barely reached a quarter of the way through I knew we weren’t a good match.
So I shelved that and tried to find something (I was only mildly panic-stricken; no biggie). Taking what I’ve learned about searching on Amazon I picked a likely word, “Truth” and went in. Anita Oh’s The Truth Spell caught my eye. Oh, my goodness, it was a delight! It’s a first-person narrative and Lucy was so lively and spiky and fabulous the novel was a joy to read.
I zoomed through it in two evenings’ reading, it was that good!
And a first for me – this was the first book I’ve read entirely on my phone. I often have short stories on my phone in case I’ve got five minutes to fill, but I’ve never tried to read an entire novel on my phone thinking it would be annoying to be continually swiping, but not at all. Clearly, if the narrative is gripping enough it doesn’t matter how I’m reading.
The Truth Spell is highly recommended if you like a fresh and modern paranormal tale. I’m now going in to find myself a “U” book, with the keyword “Under” – check back next week to see how that goes.
I am so excited to share this with you – my next release will be part of a set with 22 other novels by a group of uber-talented YA writers: Shattered Worlds
Escape into twenty-three epic worlds that will leave you breathless.
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USA Today bestselling
author J.L. Weil USA Today bestselling authors Armitage & Culican New York Times bestselling author N.R. Larry Rebecca Rode Kristy Tate A.G. Henley USA Today bestselling author Jane Redd Miranda Hardy and Jay Noel Ali Winters Audrey Grey Elana Johnson Megan Linski Elizabetta Holcomb Cindy M. Hogan Liz Long Julie Hall Cameo Renae Jen Minkman Cortney Pearson Ainsley Shay Katy Haye USA Today bestselling author Emily Martha Sorensen Nichole Giles
Well, my reading challenge is making my reading matter varied, if nothing else.
This week’s read, The Dark Days Club, was plucked out of my TBR pile, where it had been languishing for months. I think we got off to a bad start due to a misunderstanding. I was browsing in Waterstones when I saw it, picked it up to read the first few pages and liked it. For some reason (I can’t even begin to fathom the workings of my mind at this distance) I didn’t buy it, so I went home empty-handed.
Next day or so I decided I did want it, so went on Amazon and merrily typed in the title “Dark Deeds Society” – blank. No entries. Well, that can’t be right, I thought, but since I couldn’t remember the name of the author I was stuck.
So it wasn’t until I got back to Waterstones that I managed to get hold of a copy. (As an aside – people are always telling me that Amazon isn’t a book shop, it’s a search engine – the most sophisticated search engine in the world. Huh. Really? When it can’t fathom I mean Dark Days Club when I type Dark Deeds Society.?Colour me unimpressed.)
And then it just sat on my bookshelf until I knew I’d need a “D” book and picked it up.
I don’t know why it took me so long because it was excellent. Reminded me a little of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but with real depth of character and not much silliness. If you enjoyed that (I caught the film over Christmas) I definitely recommend this.
Join me next week to find out about my “E” read – can I get through a boxset in ten days?