Well, this week was another gorgeous reading week. I went straight from Sea and Sand to another new release, The Reprisal, by Kelly St Clare. This is the finale in her The After trilogy, and I’ve been waiting impatiently since I inhaled The Return the day it came out. It’s an utter delight. The relationships between Romy and her knot moved forward in fabulous ways, there was lots of humour, and the uncertain fate of those on earth and the space soldiers was resolved highly satisfactorily. Loved it.
And then I found a new series. I’d seen mention of Sarah K Wilson’s Dragon School on social media and thought it looked good. The premise is that a disabled teenager is determined to take on the highly physical role of a dragon rider – will she manage? It’s also fantasy with (you may have guessed) dragons, so there’s lots to love for fantasy readers.
The books themselves are being presented slightly differently. Instead of novels, they’re novellas, but as a result of their shortness they’re being released more closely together. I’m finding myself growing more and more fond of novellas as I grow older. I daresay it’s just a perception, but it makes me feel as though I’m getting more new worlds in my life. Another positive is that most of them are available in KU, so I feel like I’m working my subscription hard by reading three books where I might only have managed one before!
The first three stories in the Dragon School series are available now (First Flight, Initiate and The Dark Prince), and I loved them. They’re very episodic, so you could think of TV just as easily as books. Amel is a great character (as is Raolcan the dragon), there’s stacks going on in the background so they rattle along at a terrific pace, and the writing is actually very visual so I found it easy to “see” what was going on. I want to read the rest, and I’m delighted to report I don’t have months to wait for the next episode, since it’ll be out at the start of February.
And then just last night (when I’d run out of Dragon School stories) I discovered that there is a book 4 in CN Crawford’s Fae FBI series. I kind of thought there must be another one coming, because book 3 left so many threads unresolved, but last time I looked on Amazon there was no sign. But it’s out now, so that’s what I’ll be jumping into once I’ve written this blog post. Can’t wait!
I’m sorry, I feel like I’m full of excuses lately. My alphabet challenge went so well for so long I think I thought I was home safe, but it seems to have derailed in the home straight.
I should have been reading a book whose title started with Y, but I don’t even have a Y book on my kindle, let alone read or partly so.
What I have been doing is reading my own book what feels like 37 times through as I complete proof-reading and formatting. I, frankly, ran out of time in the day to do any reading that wasn’t getting The Clockwork War ready for publication. However, I’m delighted to report that’s now done and the book’s uploaded and off my desk (it goes live on 8th August, so I’m nicely ahead of myself for once), so I should have more time to read (except that I’m straight on with the next book, plus a tie-in story. Some people just don’t seem to like a quiet life).
And I have been reading! I could blame it on Kelly St Clare if I want to claim I’ve been led astray. If her The Return weren’t so utterly excellent perhaps I’d have found time to read a Y book. Instead, I was completely gripped by Romy and her friends’ ongoing adventures.
Now, I swear I’m back on track. With this blog hanging over me I did another search on Amazon and asked for recs in one of my Facebook groups. I now have Saving Yesterday on my kindle, and when I’m in town tomorrow I’ll see about a paperback of The Young Elites either at the library or Waterstones. I’ll WILL get there, I promise!
This week I used my joker to buy a book from an author I’ve read a free book from in order to help with their launch.
Like one – Love the next
A couple of weeks ago I read Kelly St Clare’s Fantasy of Frost (free in a giveaway). A high fantasy YA novel, I thoroughly enjoyed it. So when I discovered she had a sci-fi/dystopian novel due out 30th August, The Retreat, I wanted to support her launch. I asked for and got a review copy and loved The Retreat even more than I had Fantasy of Frost.
Pay with a review
So, all’s well so far, and I could just have stuck to my free reading challenge and “paid” with a review (which I have, check it out on the Paisley Piranha site).
Amazon are at it again
But I’ve also seen a lot this week about Amazon doing yet another purge of anything they consider less-than-ethical reviews, which always seems to mean removing reviews from legitimate independent authors, while leaving them to help spam-bot rip-off merchants.
Now, I know we authors get very exercised about vanishing reviews (they are – fortunately or unfortunately – very important), but as a reader I’m pretty cross about it, too. If I take the time to read a book, then further time and effort to arrange my thoughts about that book into a review, I don’t think it’s acceptable for Amazon to arbitrarily decide my review isn’t valid (especially since it’s evaluated by software, not a human being: way to wind up a human – make a machine more important than them!)
The value of ‘verified’
So, I bought a copy on the basis that a review from a “Verified Purchase” would be less liable to interference from the ‘Zon (and because I really wanted to support this 5-star read).
And now I’m scratching my head, wondering how come a dislike of Amazon’s practices means I’ve made an additional purchase with them…