jumpuphigh: Black and white photo of two men about to kiss (Boys)
[personal profile] jumpuphigh2011-11-01 09:20 pm

Review: Magic University: Book 4 The Poet and the Prophecy by Cecilia Tan

I loved the first two books of this series* so I was really looking forward to this book where everything was supposed to come together. I like Cecilia Tan’s writing style. I am able to really get into her stories. I don’t normally read professional romance/erotica but I got the first book of this series solely to support the author with her awesome pro-fanfic ways and I discovered that I loved her. I am fascinated by her characters and was really ready for more about them.

Unfortunately, this book was a hot mess. I spent a good portion of the book wishing I was a beta, not a reader, so that I could reply with “What? What?!? Huh? What just happened there? OMG, don’t do that!”** This was supposed to be the culmination of Kyle’s four years at Veritas University (the magical counterpart to Harvard), but I felt confused for much of story. The story was choppy and frequently felt like it was missing really important paragraphs/sentences which would have explained things.

One of the things I have loved about Cecilia Tan’s books in the past is the inclusiveness without an obvious “hey, I’m being inclusive here” feel. This book changed all of that. Suddenly, there was this heavy-handed lecturing throughout the book. *facepalm* No. Please, no. I just want a good story. I don’t want some call to social action. This is supposed to be a romantic smut book.

It really disappoints me that I wasn’t able to walk away from this story with a “wow, that was a great ending to the series” feeling. I had really been looking forward to this book. I’d really love a re-mix of it from Timothy Frost’s viewpoint. Actually, I’d love that for book 3 as well. Hmmmm. Actually, now that I’m thinking of it, it would be cool to have all four books remixed from Frost’s viewpoint. No. I’m not going to write them. Stop it, bunnies. Just stop it.

*Book 3 was triggery which wouldn’t have been such a problem for me personally if I hadn’t just experienced Duainfey recently. Unfortunately, I spent the entire book groaning at the plot devices used.

**Yes. That is pretty much how I beta. It takes a special kind of writer to handle my blunt ways.
elf: Emily the Strange: Misery loves company (Misery Loves Company)
[personal profile] elf2011-09-26 04:32 pm

This is why we have editors (anti-rec of sample of Familiar Scars by Christy Leigh Stewart)

Because of the recent YAGay fiasco, I went looking at Smashwords for YA (or close to that) GBLT fic. I did my normal filtering... ignore anything over $6 and anything with cringe-inducing errors in the blurb and anything without a preview.

I found a promising-looking story: Familiar Scars by Christy Leigh Stewart; just under 30k words for $1. I clicked on the listing.

Stark black-and-white drawing of a girl in emotional distress with black-and-white wavy sections dividing the page around her. Title in gothic font. Compelling (or at least interesting) book cover art by Megan Hansen; I'm going to try to remember that name, because I like her art style.

I was disappointed in the text )
jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)
[personal profile] jumpuphigh2011-09-23 09:04 pm

Book Anti-rec: Duainfey by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

I finished Duainfey by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller last night. I have really enjoyed their Liaden Universe books as well as Sharon Lee's Carousal Tides so I am trying very, very hard to keep Duainfey from causing me to take back every single positive thing I said about them. However, it is very hard.

For most of the book, this narrative jumps between three separate stories. Yes, the stories do eventually start to come together in the last few pages but it was quite disconcerting. Warning for triggers ) I forced myself to finish it only to discover that they decided to do that "to be cont'd" type of ending a story instead of, you know, actually ending the story.

So, no, I don't recommend this book. I'm not sure I'll be reccing any of their other books in the future because of it as well.

elf: Quote: She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain (Fond of Books)
[personal profile] elf2011-01-31 08:30 pm

Review: Melanie, by Jose Rodriguez

Author: Jose Rodriguez
Title: Melanie (Smashwords link)
Genre: Fiction, Drama
Topic: Memory loss, personal identity, race identity

Copyright Status: "This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form."
Content Notes: Contains plot-device amnesia

The description intrigued me enough to download and read this one:
A middle aged and lonely Melanie wakes up with no recollection of her past. Her lack of personal memories forces her to impersonate the old Melanie, a person who she now dislikes and cannot understand. The new Melanie proceeds to fool the world into thinking that nothing has changed while trying to recover her memories but also trying to reinvent herself as a new and improved person.
The book is heavy on introspection and self-identity issues, and those parts were enjoyable, if a bit long. The "adult" rating is justified; there's sex and nudity and crude behavior, but it's not gratuitous or overwhelming, except for the occasional sensory overload when Melanie concentrates on physical sensations because she has no past to connect to. Several times, she realizes she *should* have memories to connect to this-or-that act, but does not.

Not a bad book, just not quite good enough to recommend, unless you really like that kind of thing. )