Mad Sea has started a new program where they promote a specific author each month, including offering specials on their books. April’s author is K. Webster and since a quick look at my ereader showed that I hadn’t read anything of hers, I decided to take advantage. The description of the short story, Mad Sea, was definitely kooky enough to catch my eye; a motorcycle gang and mermaids? You kind of have to read that, right?

It turns out to be a very short, quirky read, but almost a little too jam packed. There is a happily ever after, but I was left with a ton of questions. I understand that it was written for a short story collection, but the concept begs for a full-length novel and I could easily see it expanded to a series.

I feel like it would have benefited from the attention of a good editor as well. It isn’t riddled with errors, but the tone of the writing veers from straight forward to lushly poetic in a way that is a bit distracting in such a short format. And there are some odd word choices in places, where I got stuck wondering “what did they intend this to convey?” instead of reading the story.

I liked it, in a shaking my head at the audacity sort of way. I think I need to read at least one of Webster’s full length novels before I decide whether or not to add her to my regular reading list. But if you have an hour to kill and you want something outside the usual, even for paranormal, give it a whirl.

Review 1: Faith of Beasts

It’s almost Hallowe’en, which is my favourite holiday of the year, so what better time to start up a new blog and what better topic than to review a  sci fi thriller/paranormal book? I was given an ARC for review purposes, but the book will be available for purchase on October 31, 2017.  Faith of Beasts (City of Angels #1), by E.M. Nally is our subject today. This is actually Lila Dubois, whose work I already enjoy, writing under a new name for a new genre.

I have to say that this book reads more like a prequel than a true “first book” in a series. The book ends with the characters in what is obviously going to be just a brief moment of peace, leaving most of the story arcs and plot lines still very much in question. I wouldn’t describe it as a stand-alone book at all, but that’s ok. The basic premise of modifying humans to be smarter, stronger, more talented or somehow otherwise different will be familiar to any reader vaguely interested in sci fi, but the author’s development of that idea is unique enough to still be engaging. I very much look forward to seeing how she moves forward with this in the series – will there be an attempt at a halfway believable scientific explanation or will it be what I think of as “magical science”? I don’t assign any value judgement either way, I’m just curious.

The action takes place in what seems to be the present world, with some allowance for a level of science that may or may not be completely achievable in the current state of affairs. The characters are well developed, with language and themes that make me suspect that the author has some background in psychology or social work. Although several of the main characters come from somewhat similar backgrounds, it is obvious that they are going to respond very differently to the situation they find themselves in, which makes for a more engaging and more believable story.

In my not very well-defined system, I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads and I do recommend. I think I will have to come up with a slightly more rigorous rating system, if I’m going to continue with these reviews, but for the time being, you get my slap-dash, gut-feeling rating.