Books, indie author, Out of the Box Blogs

Do $$$ Effect How We Rate?

I just finished Time Heist by Anthony Vicino. It’s been on my TBR for awhile, and I got it on sale for $0.99 so it was a steal. I like Anthony’s writing, sometimes a bit overelaborate, I’ll give you an example at one point the helicopter thingy (not his words) is crashing and the windshield cracks. This is what Tom the main character thinks Asphyxiation on account of too much air felt too paradoxical a way to die. Though, in the end, I suppose breathing eventually does us all. I was thinking what would have summed it up better? Oh shit. But that’s me, not a writer. And there are times when the clarity of Anthony’s writing is just stunning to me. Tom is addicted to a drug called Quick Sliver. There is a moment when he is detoxing in the middle of the, well everything honestly, and he really doesn’t have time for it (yeah that’s a pun, time) so his partner gives him a hit. It’s then he thinks this...I pitied the living. The dead were my idols. This drug was my god. I read that and thought Anthony you talented s.o.b.

But that’s not what I’m really talking about, what I do want to know is this, I gave this book 4 stars because for $1 it was quite good. In fact if I liked the ending I would have given it 5 stars and written glowing reviews to high heaven everywhere I could think of. But what if the book cost $7 or $8? Now if the ending was different I would have gone with 4 stars, but if not 2-3 stars. And that got me thinking, should my reviews have price factored in? Is that fair, especially if your dealing with a published author who has no control over the price? I do it because I think I was always raised that, the more you pay for it, the higher standard it must adhere to. But is this a proper additude to have in my book reviewing? I’m feel like it’s almost unconscious for me but I’m curious to hear others thoughts on the matter.

Out of the Box Blogs

Siblinghood of the World Award

This is our first nomination so a very special THANK YOU to Bibliomad for nominating us!

I know I’m just one of the three bloggers on our page but it’s my day to post so you get stuck with me. Here are the 10 questions Bibliomad asked:

  • What is your most treasured memory?

For me it’s sitting on my mothers bed, with my mom and sister, reading a book while they talk about anything. I’ve learned when dealing with my mothers cancer to appreciate the small moments. You never know if that’s all you get.

  • Press shuffle. What is the first song that comes up? What does it mean to you?

That’s awesome, The Monster by Eminen came up, which is funny since 90% of my music is hard rock. Everyone has weaknesses people!

  • What book did you have to read for school, yet you hated it? (If any.)

The Canterbury Tales, I’m sure it was hilarious in its time, but not my cup of tea honestly.

  • If you could only listen to one song for the rest of eternity, which would it be?

You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC. Loved it from the minute I heard it and it still never gets old.

  • What is the weather like whilst you’re writing this?

It’s about 85 degrees out and the sun is shining. No tradewinds though so everything is a little voggie from the Big Islands volcano.

  • If any one book character were to become a real person, which would you choose to do so?

This is a great question! Ben from Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series. Smart, snarky and has a dark past, sounds like bff material to me.

  • Which book character do you have the biggest crush on?

Vhishous from Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward.

  • If you could recommend one book to the whole world, which would you choose?

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. It has always been one of my favorites and its a classic so it can appeal to a broad audience.

  • What is your favourite holiday?

No favorites for me!

  • What is your dream holiday/vacation?

I have a list! I would love to visit South Africa, in fact all of Africa has been on my list for awhile. If it has to be somewhere I’ve been I loved New Zealand, I would love to go back there someday.

The official rules of this award are:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog in your post.
  2. Answer the questions that the blogger who nominated you has provided.
  3. Nominate ten other bloggers (or up to 10).
  4. Create ten questions for your nominees and notify them of their nominations.

Our nominations are:
Clayton the Page Turner
Scifi and Scary
Records of the Ohanzee
Heron There & Everywhere
The Bookish Khaleesi
Metallic Wolff
An Acquaintance with Letters
Read it or Not Reviews
Stacey is Sassy
One Book Two

Okay, that’s technically eleven but I know many of you are very busy writing books, or working or both so I figured I’d throw it out there and see who wants to try it. I also randomly picked a few names (though I’m eagar to hear your answers) so if you weren’t nominated and want to answer my questions,go for it!

My Ten Questions

  1. Who is your favorite author that’s alive? How about favorite author that is dead?
  2. Are you primarily a reader or a writer?
  3. What books are on your preorder list right now?
  4. If you could go live in the world written in a book what book would you chose? Would you still be human?
  5. If you could co-author a book with anyone who would you pick?
  6. If you had to write a biography about anyone, who would you write it about?
  7. If you had the choice between given lots of money but never being able to pick up a book again or being poor but having an unlimited supple of any book you want which would you chose?
  8. If you could build your dream library, where would you put it?
  9. What’s your favorite genre? Why is it so much better than the rest?
  10. Who’s your favorite bad guy/villain in a book?

Thanks again Olivia!

Books, Reviews, scifi

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

red queen

This one I’m torn with, I have things I liked about it and things I didn’t which will probably put me in the minority since it’s such a popular book. But let’s do this right fist the official blurb..

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart…

Pros first. The writing was amazing, first YA book I’ve read in awhile that had a solid plot and well written characters. Mare, who this story was about, at the beginning I liked her, unfortunately it didn’t stay that way but I’ll explain why. The prince brothers Cal and Maven, best characters in the book. They actually stuck to character, which was nice for a change. Loved the villains in this book, great job. The world building was spot on, I understood where they lived and the divide between the silvers and the reds. In fact I enjoyed the concept, if you have a super power and have silver blood you’re a silver (let’s call them upper class) if you have no power and have red blood your a red (servant class). I enjoyed the idea of having the power but not the right blood color, very cool.

My problems, I think I figured out the twists too early. Therefore I started to get really annoyed with Mare, who had no problem participating in killing silvers but was appalled that the silvers killed back. I’m never a fan of the everybody wants you thing, though the end helped with this a little, but I think I’m over lead female characters that do selfish stupid stuff and don’t understand why things go wrong. So done with that.

There is a fantastic part at the end where a character straight out tells her, I was your friend and you betrayed me, now I’m going to die. Your fault. I was cheering for him, she doesn’t seem to grasp that when you use people they can get hurt, even with the ending I don’t feel like she really got it.

Would I recommend this read? Yes I think it’s good enough to recommend. I will read the next one and see how it goes. Some characters are interesting enough that I want to read more about them.

Books, great reads, indie author, Reviews, scifi

The Unspoken Agreement

I have always felt there was an unspoken agreement between an author and us readers when we purchase a book and frankly lately I think the rules have been out the window. So I’m curious, is it just me that feels this way, having these expectations of my writers? Do I need to adjust to a new way of writing? Or are some books just not playing by the rules? Allow me to explain.

When I buy a book it’s like the author and I have made a contract. A simple one, I will give money to your seller and you will deliver a story. I don’t have to like it but it must follow the guidelines of all stories. Sound simple? Apparently not. This is how I view a story: A beginning, if it’s the first time we are meeting everyone with character and world building when appropriate. Then a middle, this is where your plot comes to life, the climax of the story as it is, whether it’s bad guys seemingly defeating good guys, or a big fight, big reveals, this is when we get the meat of the story. The all important end, the big finish, where you frankly actually finish the book. No cliffhangers (I will discuss this), no unrelated twists, just bring it home. Make it complete.

What I feel like has been a trend in some writing lately…

The Cliffhanger. Why do authors do this? Especially with book one? I have yet to meet a reader that loves this, so why do it? Is it because you just couldn’t think of an ending? Is it because you want me to be forced to buy your next book (doesn’t work with me, you cliff hang I abandon)? Or is it because you knew from the beginning that you would write three books so it doesn’t matter to you? Well that sucks. Let me tell you there are many extremely successful series out there that have 8,10,20 books and you know what, no cliffhangers! Every book is a complete story by itself. We feel satisfied when we read it, like an episode on tv.

The Plot. Ever read the back of a book, then read the book and the blurb has nothing to do with the story? I bought the book because this is what you told me the story is about. Can’t always blame the publisher, indies are also committing this crime, it’s kind of like false advertising. See this whale??? Sorry we are sending you home with a guppy. I might have been interested in your original story, I like guppies, but it’s just not going to sit right with me the whole time cause all I can think about is that whale. Blurbs should match the story and the plot should follow that. Having a plot is good too, some now don’t even have a plot.

The beginning. World and character building are paramount. In fact too often characters are left with no personality, shallow as it were, and books can fall very flat. But some authors swing too far the other way making whole books out of world and character building. That’s great if I already have book 2 and 3 but if this is all I have, then I don’t have a story, just a really long resume. And 200 pages of that gets boring. I know a lot of authors say they are setting up the next book, but I’m not buying, you got to sell this book to me, not the next one.

So the big question is, are my expectations to great?