fred_mouse: crystal mouse, looking straight out at the viewer (crystal)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
I picked this ebook up from one of the assorted bulk SF/Fantasy 'free ebook' pages, which I *think* took me through to a 'sign up for the author's newsletter to get a free book' site.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book - urban fantasy, set in Karachi, incorporating aspects of Islam and the local supernatural traditions as well as some of the political history of Pakistan. The world building is delightful. The level of detail is possibly obsessive, but useful to me as a foreign reader from a different religious tradition, and gave a really good sense of place. I found the protagonist annoying, but it is a coming of age story for a young man who is the only son of a somewhat wealthy family - it is understandable that he starts as somewhat of a brat. Some of the other characterisation was a bit weak, making it difficult to keep track of some of the secondary characters, and making the villains a little bit bland.

Main complaint is that it ends abruptly, after doing a lot of set up, but without a sense of having resolved anything.

It is listed as a duology, but book 2 is not out.
yourlibrarian: MerlinArthurCollage-threeeyespei (MERL-MerlinArthurCollage-threeeyespei)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
I found myself not only staying up late to read this book but also thinking about the characters the next day and being sorry their story was over. To me that's a definite winner.

Read more... )
yourlibrarian: MerlinArthurCorner-salina87 (MERL-MerlinArthurCorner-salina87)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian
Given that this is a free ebook (I picked it up at the http://allromanceebooks.com site) I thought others might be interested in checking it out since the author has various other male/male titles, most of them only a few dollars.

Read more... )
elf: Red & blue faces (Face Off)
[personal profile] elf
I was given a copy of this to read & review, and while it's been on my mind, it's taken me a long time to get around to it. It occurs to me that that's worth mentioning--months later, I'm still thinking about this book, mulling over scenes in my mind, contemplating how the characters would react in other situations. This one set down roots and sunk in deep.

From the description at Amazon: Three people lie in a prison cell. One is a murderer. Can his companions help him unlock the door to his own mind before his unreasoning rages claim their lives. The Hour before Morning explores a distant future in which the human heart is much the same. The Ash’torians see their conquest of the Outliers as a triumph of civilization. The Outliers see it as servitude. Their resistance takes many forms, from non-violence to terrorism. Yet one thing remains constant: though lives are shattered, compassion endures.

What I liked about it )
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
[personal profile] cesy
To quote [personal profile] liv, in response to a request I made for recommendations: Helen S Wright: A matter of oaths, which you can download free from her website has lots of awesome women in space. It does have some romance, but mainly m/m, the women are too busy being awesome to bother with relationships. It's not quite up there with the Vorkosigan saga, but it's a similar type of thing and very readable.

I also just read it and enjoyed it. Sadly she hasn't got anything else published, but I'd recommend this one.
elf: Red & blue faces (Face Off)
[personal profile] elf
I took a chance on this a while back, and am very glad I did. I think it was on sale at the time; I have trouble believing I'd pay $3 for a book entirely outside of my normal genre choices. (Yeah, it's not much, but there are plenty of $3 books *in* my genre range that I'm not buying yet.)

From the description at Smashwords: Argus Ward is a former U.S. Secret Service agent who runs a protection agency catering to the rich and famous. His best-kept secret--which he shares with lawyers and doctors and even psychiatrists--is his status as a high-functioning paranoid schizophrenic. One day, with little warning, he turns psychotic for the first time in twenty years. He lands in a secure psychiatric facility, charged with the murder of his most famous client, high tech industry billionaire John Helms, the wealthiest man in America.

Also notes: Best Mystery Novel, Red Adept Annual Indie Awards 2010. Which is why I was willing to try it; I'm intrigued by anything focusing on non-neurotypical characters, and if it won an award, the writing must at least be decent.

I should look into more award-winning books, I think. )
elf: Petalwing, singing (Petalwing Singing)
[personal profile] elf
I bought this a few weeks ago, and dragged my feet on reading it, because I knew that (1) I'd love it and (2) then I'd be done, and the author doesn't have any more books for me. (Have read them all. They're all wonderful.)

Description from Smashwords: After escaping murderous bandits, Katherine says, "I jumped from the frying pan to the fire. Soon I’ll be dancing on coals." The thieves were the frying pan. The young Apache who saved her was the fire. The coals? Gaetan. Filled with rage and hate, Gaetan is Katherine's one chance to stay alive. When the struggle to survive forges a bond that turns to love, can he admit it?

Squee inside. )
elf: We need a hero, son: A super-FREAKY hero. (Need a Hero)
[personal profile] elf
cover for Impulse Control by Susan Biscoff
Description from Smashwords: Talents, kids with supernatural powers, are taken from their families and forced into government research facilities called State Schools. At one such school, a group of Talents must work together to stop a dangerous experiment that’s already killed two of their peers and threatens others. If they’re caught they face Detention, and Detention at a State School has a whole different meaning.

Commentary inside )
elf: People magazine: Sexy men in love (Mainstream Slash)
[personal profile] elf
Notturno and its sequel Vigil center around an antique literature appraiser and his vampire lover. The books are hot, well-plotted with terrific characters, and professionally edited & produced. They are, however, solidly in the "gay vampire porn" category, and that's probably not a big draw for everyone. If you like that, these are terrific; if you've been considering dabbling in gay vampire porn, this is a great place to start.

I've loved ZA Maxfield's other ebooks; I was hesitant to try these (this, really; I tried Notturno first and got hooked) because paranormal erotica is outside of my normal reading range. The erotica's fine; I hate reading botched paranormal concepts, and a lot of the genre isn't well-thought-out. These have paranormal/otherwordly politics that unfold slowly because they're running through the filter of the human's perceptions, and he doesn't want to believe any of this is going on at first, and then doesn't want to believe there's any real dangers.

They're both available at Fictionwise from MLR Press:
Notturno )

Vigil )
alitalf: Skiing in the 3 Valleys, France, 2008 (Default)
[personal profile] alitalf
Author: Mike Higgins
Title: Origami Rose
Genre: Science fiction detective

There are only so many new ideas around at any given time, and the science fiction plot device has been used elsewhere in other ways, but that didn't stop the book from being a page turner.

I read this a while ago, and haven't time for a proper review, but: Origami Rose costs 99 cents here and you can download a pdf sample first. Children are being kidnapped, and apparently killed, and the story opens with an investigator looking at a case file.

The text is pretty clean, though one or two grammatical or punctuation errors hit me in the face. I noticed few typos, the one that stuck in my mind is "Seventh Calvary", maybe because it occurred more than once.

When I read the book the first half was free to download, and the whole book cost $3. I had no hesitation in buying it when I had finished reading the first part. I suggest you look at this one, if you like either science fiction or detective stories.
elf: Life's a die, and then you bitch. (Gamer Geek)
[personal profile] elf
Author: Al Bruno III
Title: The Binder Of Shame Presents: The RPG.net Rants (Link to Smashwords listing)
Genre: Nonfiction, more-or-less. I believe (gods, I hope) there's some exaggeration and/or embellishment going on here.
Topic: RPG Gamers. Specifically, 80's tabletop games with bags of differently-sided dice.
Copyright Status: Effectively CC BY-NC-ND; disclaimer says "This free ebook may be copied, distributed, reposted, reprinted and shared, provided it appears in its entirety without alteration, and the reader is not charged to access it."
Content Warnings: this book contains instances of homophobia, sexism, ableism, fatphobia, various other -isms I'm probably blocking out, and outright gross & disgusting behavior. However, the narrator seems like a genuinely nice guy (not a creep who claims to be nice) who is working against all those things.

I recommend skipping the Smashwords version (well, except to drop a note to the author) and downloading the RTF I put at Google Docs instead. I cleaned it up.

It needed fixing, and it was totally worth it. If you did gaming in the 80's, especially if you bounced between systems looking for that perfect one that would allow *everyone* to enjoy every game, you need to read this book.

Bad formatting, bad grammar, bad fonts; could not stop laughing long enough to care. )
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