201 pages in February. First up is page 13.

Page 13

Malicious Designs by Lee Carlon

The description was a bit wonky.

Malicious Designs is set in Rasa where dragons soar above abandoned cities of technological splendor, and the survivors of the cleansing must choose between kneeling to malevolent gods and risking annihilation.

Usually, you would choose between option a or option b, not option a and option b. The sentence feels incomplete without the or.

Vulture Hill: a journey of discovery, betrayal and intrigue by John Firmston

The description felt rote, like this happens then this happens then that happens.

The first paragraph of the preview went:

Jake tossed his beer can into the fire, sprang to his feet and dashed toward the raging torrent. He knew the screams coming from the direction of the Todd River were Banjo’s.

The writing felt so removed from the character, so detached. It certainly isn’t for me.

Forbidden Lore | Revival by Shobhit Dabral

Unlike the previous book, the description for this felt too grandiose. Anyway, descriptions are hard to write and at least this one doesn’t have any errors, so I looked at the preview.

It starts off okay, tight and close to the character, but the second paragraph suddenly detaches and talks about someone, and I couldn’t figure out if it was about the character in the first paragraph or a totally new character.

Crimes Against Posterity by A.R. Miller

This seemed more like an essay than a novel. First there’s an introduction, then a prologue, then three paragraphs into the first chapter and no character has yet emerged. The bulk of the preview was about the author’s philosophy.

Page 148

The Cryptid Club by Edward J. McFadden III

This looked promising but I quickly found it wasn’t for me.

A raspberry sherbet sky filtered through the Andes Mountains in the east as morning came on like a freight train, thin ribbons of cloud trailing off the snowcapped peaks like smokes from a chimney.

I see sentences like these and my brain immediately filters them out. It just takes too much effort to parse through. Like when I try imagining the thin ribbons of cloud, I lose the picture of the raspberry sherbet sky in my mind. I have to really think it through, and reread the sentence a few times if I want to have a clear picture that integrates all the elements in my head. Which is why I usually filter them out and skim until I find a character-based sentence.

The Vlastock Method by P.S. Power

It started with paragraphs of history, a prologue of this happened then that. By the time the voice of the main character showed up, I didn’t care anymore.

King Robin by R. A. Moss

A story about Robin Hood becoming king and turning into a tyrant. Not sure what this is doing in science-fiction & fantasy.

WHISPER Flashpoint by Brandon Fero

Something felt off about the description, especially this part:

To bear that burden, the men and women of their armed forces remain steadfast. Others begin questioning their loyalties. Others unearth secrets. More aim to finish old vendettas.

The “others and others” part doesn’t sound right to me. Now, I usually can get past stuff like this in the description but the author put it in the book as what seems to be an epigraph for chapter 1.

Poison Patty (The Poison Patty Saga Book 1) by James Chalk

I stopped at the second sentence in the prologue:

I bit that king with my ferociously fanged, powerfully pernicious, poison pussy and watched while he painfully perished.

While there are probably too many adjectives in that sentence, it is missing one; poisonous. Now, poison is ingested while venom is injected, so it really should have been a venomous pussy.

Page 18

All public domain stuff.

Page 20

Hayabusa-San: A shock discovery creates a race for survival, but whose? by Angus McKinnon

I stopped at the first line, which was:

“Tenacious buggers, these Nips.”

Legion 1000 by S.R Whelan

There was a typo in the description:

For the young men and women serving in the imperil legion they know that 1000 confirmed combat kills is enough to be discharged from service of the empire.

The Kite and the Coin Toss by Ron Swan

From the description, this seemed to be an alternative history story, which I don’t particularly enjoy.

Anything But Groovy by Amanda Lauer

This one seemed to be a body swap (like Freaky Friday) + time travel story. I just wasn’t interested.

Revolution: The New World by Shemar Frazier

Stopped at the third sentence:

It was six years since we decided to take shelter in an abandoned mansion for the night.

It should have been: It has been six years…

The Nominal Echo Chronicles by Manuel Panchana Moya

The prologue was interesting, if a bit shallow on the science. But the next chapter features another protagonist and the next chapter after that yet another one. After skimming through the three chapters (two full chapters and a small part of the third) in the preview, it doesn’t seem like the story has started yet.

Page 62

Michael the Travler by Michael

When even the title has a typo you know to run far away. No description, no book cover. Out of curiosity I took a look at the preview and found out that this is not even a proper book.

Zhanai’degau (The Black Ring Book 1) by Allen Wold

Typo in the description.

Panadawn Commonwealth: The Ambassadors by Philip Hamm

This one started off with a character telling the reader of their exploits. I read to the end of the prologue and found out that I didn’t even remember any of it, probably because I didn’t care about any of it.

Page 6

Dracon Rouge by C.L. Hadyn

At first, I didn’t even understand the title. Dragons are on the book’s cover and in the description, but “Dracon” isn’t a real word. And what do cosmetics have to do with anything? Then I took a look at the publisher’s website, where they publish mostly romance with muscly men on the cover and it kinda made more sense.

Page 67

Listen for the Crickets by Chad Gunter

The author didn’t separate the dialogue by different characters into their own paragraphs, which made it very hard to read.

Mother Virion: The Teacher Prophet and The Portal by An Tzu

In the first paragraph, the narrator introduces themself. The second paragraph, the narrator tells the reader that they will help the reader make sense of the story. The third paragraph, the narrator goes off track by telling the reader a “funny” story. Three paragraphs in and I still had no idea about why the narrator would want to tell the reader this story. It’s kind of hard to connect with a character that has no motivations.

Also, this is priced at 9.99.

Ultragoth by Marc Levinthal

This had a similar problem to the previous book. First three paragraphs were used to set the scene, and to detail what the character did. Then the character motivation hit me hard in paragraphs four and five. See, if it had started with those two single-line paragraphs, I would have connected with the character right away.

Anyway, the first five paragraphs in this book are about the same length as the first paragraph in the previous book. So, in a way, this gets to the character really fast, and I might have bought this book if not for…

A recommendation from Goodreads

Someone commented on my review to Between Worlds (The Occupation Saga Book 1) and said that it was a ripoff from James Galloway’s Subjugation. To be fair, the book’s description mentioned that it was inspired by Subjugation, but I haven’t read it so I didn’t mention it. But since it was commented that the original was better than the homage, I decided to go check it out.

The book was apparently published chapter by chapter in an online forum. Now, that is as indie as it gets!

I got the book from http://weavespinner.net/worlds_of_fel.htm, where the book has been compiled into an epub, which I then converted to mobi to put on my kindle.