The second part of a series is always a difficult trick to pull off: have all the clever ideas been used up in the first part? Is the plot reduced to dull filler to bridge the gap before the finale? Do the nuances get lost in the rush to ramp up the action a notch? Well, all the answers here are a resounding no: this book is just as absorbing as the first. In the first book, the villain, Nihil, was defeated, but the results of his experiments are still roaming the kingdom of Halthas. A number of Wielders (magic users) have been altered, rendering them very powerful but also unstable. Some of them have surrendered to the lure of that power, and have become wildly destructive. Others seem to be under better control. The focus of the story is how to manage the altered Wielders: should they be killed? […]
Month: June 2015
I read this book in January 2011, when I was only just finding my feet with reviewing. I mention below that it’s unlike anything else I’ve read, and four years later that’s still true. A strange but (for me) compelling book. As fantasy, it has no magic at all – or has it? I gave it four stars, and I still think that’s the right rating for me. I loved this book. I had no expectations going in, and had never read anything by this author before, but it was mentioned as a good fantasy book, I sampled it on the Kindle, and liked it, although it’s totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It is a slow book to get into, but there came a point about a third of the way in where I stopped trying to follow the details of the plot (they’re not relevant) and […]
It’s now a month since my third book, The Mages of Bennamore, was published, so this is a good time to look at the state of play. The previous book, The Fire Mages, was released in January with a long (13 day) promotion campaign, and it’s been selling well for four months. I’m signed up for Amazon’s exclusive Select program, which means readers in the Kindle Unlimited subscription service can borrow the books for free, and that’s kept things ticking over. However, sales + borrows had dropped to around 4 per day, and just 1 per day of my first book, The Plains of Kallanash. Promotion plan So I planned a similar, although shorter, promotion for the new release – just 7 days this time, including sites that have done well for me in the past, like BargainBooksy, EreaderCafe, OHFB and ENT. I set the price to $0.99 worldwide for […]
I loved the author’s debut work, ‘See You’, regarding it as one of the finest books I’ve read in recent years. So this opener for a new series was a must for me. The author very kindly sent me a copy in advance of release day, so I could be one of the first to read it – thank you very much! This is a very different book, a thriller built around thirty-something police lieutenant Maggie Redmond, divorced with two children. Maggie’s a very likable, very normal person, doing her job, raising her kids, not exactly struggling to get by but (like most of us) stuck in a bit of a rut. But Maggie has a secret in her past, and when ne’er-do-well Gregory Boudreaux turns up dead in an apparent suicide, her life threatens to unravel. She’s thrown into the path of Gregory’s uncle, the town’s rather charming chief […]
There seems to have been a lot going on lately, what with the launch of The Mages of Bennamore, various other promotions, and the ongoing projects of the next book, and the one after that. So here’s a quick rundown on the state of play. Weekend promotions This weekend (6th and 7th June) two of my three books are specially priced. The Plains of Kallanash is at $0.99 (US/UK Amazons only, sadly) and The Fire Mages is free in all Amazons worldwide. This is a great opportunity to complete your collection if you haven’t already got all three books. Click the links to take you to your local Amazon to buy. The Mages of Bennamore Release date was 15th May, with 34 pre-orders and a nice little surge of sales to get things underway. Then I had a week of promotion set up – paid advertising every day, with the […]
This was a serendipitous find, since science fiction isn’t my usual fare. But having tripped over it, I started reading and was instantly hooked. The book starts with a bang – literally, since almost the first thing that happens is a massive explosion which seriously injures the Nations of Earth President, during a meeting with our hero, Cory Wilson, the ambassador of the title. Cory is about to take up a position as Earth’s ambassador to the united non-Earth nations (gamra) who control interstellar travel. Now, everything is in disarray, his gamra partner has been arrested, and Cory himself is under suspicion. And from here on, the pace is relentless, without a moment for Cory (or the reader!) to catch his breath. This is as much political thriller as scifi, with various factions chasing after Cory or offering him aid, with the usual problem of who to trust. Cory’s own […]
Yep, I’ve been away on holiday for a while, driving the campervan the length of Britain and through the channel tunnel (on the train!) to France for a weekend motorcycle event at Dijon. Then driving back again. Three solid days of driving in each direction, then parking in a field. But everything went well, the weather was not too horrible, French campsites and motorways turned out to be very civilised and we made it back home safely. So the blog will be getting back to business soon, with a review of Patty Jansen’s sci-fi Ambassador 1: Seeing Red, and an update on my own books.