SPFBO 2 – First Impressions (Batch 1)

Disclaimer – I am not going to be commenting on any book’s content. I have not read any of the books currently sent to me, not even a page. I am making this about my first impressions of the following things: title, cover art, and blurb. All things that people will consider before they buy a book. So any commentary I make, negative or positive, should not be taken to mean that I think the story itself will be good or bad.

Thread Slivers, by Leeland Artra

She craves fame. He wants freedom. When their worlds crumble, even survival may not be an option.

The world is driven by wizards, gods, and an imperial space marine 20,000 years into our future. Fame-hungry female mercenary Ticca is willing to skirt the edges of her warrior’s code if it brings her the fame she desires. Her hopes of making a name for herself by spying on assassins are dashed when she’s forced to kill the assassin she was hired to watch.

Lebuin is a rich journeyman mage who’s just discovered his new rank involves actual journeying. He hires Ticca to help him advance to master and return to a life of comfort as quickly as possible. He’s willing to spend all he has to make it happen, but the mage and his mercenary get much more than they bargained for.

Trapped in the crossfire of a vast power game, Ticca and Lebuin must survive a battle between rulers, guilds, and gods. In a land of magic and technology, they’ll need to give everything to keep the world and themselves in one piece.

Thread Slivers is the first book in an epic fantasy/speculative sci-fi trilogy set in a distant future. If you like heroic, humorous, and exotic characters in a world that mixes elements of paranormal and hard sci-fi, then you’ll love this beautiful, original, and thought-provoking adventure.

Title – Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, in part because I keep wanting to call it Thread Silvers, which sounds like the two words got transposed somehow.

Cover – Looks decently done, attractive if a bit generic. The only part I dislike is the font used for the tagline, which clashes with the rest of the layout. I love the subtle reflection of the face in the blade.

Blurb – Definitely catches my attention! Future-fantasy is something that intrigues me, there seems to be some implied humour along the way, and I’m already curious as to how the story will play out.

Demi Heroes, by Andrew Lynch

Lucian Huxley wants to be a hero. To be the one who kills the dragon, defeats the rabid horde, and slays the princess. No, wait, saves the princess.

Right now his job is to clean up after Moxar Lightshield, the real hero. Real heroes don’t do their own dirty work. That’s where Lucian and his companions, or anyone else willing to put their lives on the line for a trivial amount of money, come in. In a world filled with magic, unruly bandits, and fearsome ogres, Lucian has his work cut out.

But this time the Company has offered him the chance to make his dreams come true. Will he succeed and become the hero he’s always wanted to be? Or will he fall at the hands of the God Killer?

Title – Seems more like it could be the name of a series rather than an individual novel.

Cover – I like the art style; whoever the artist is, they deserve some praise here!

Blurb – Seems like it could be fairly light and fun, rather than serious and earth-shattering. Which is no bad thing. The world hinted at seems a bit like the kind of fantasy world now more often seen in MMORPGs than books (or at least the books I tend to read, since I can’t recall the last time I read anything with ogres in it), but even if the world itself is bland, the story could make up for that. So not particularly distinctive, but it still makes me curious.

Emerald Emergent, by James Aaron

Emmie. A girl scarred by the ancient artifact that killed her father.

Elegaia. A steam-powered world where science and technology have become magic.

When Emmie’s best friend Bryte offers her a chance to explore a buried city, she is torn between her father’s sense of adventure and her mother’s common sense. She also can’t deny her fascination with bookish Bryte.

Following her heart, Emmie will face her fears and discover secrets that will change her life forever. . . once she chooses to stand up and fight.

Welcome to Elegaia, where the past can kill you.

Title – Doesn’t evoke much in me at all, good or bad.

Cover – It immediately makes me think that this is a YA novel. The font on the title gets hard to read at times; it looks at first glance like the book might actually be called Emerabel Emergent.

Blurb – Some interest in the technology-as-magic aspect of things. The rest of the description makes me again think that this is a YA novel. Which isn’t bad, and I have nothing against YA novels. I just need to be in a specific mood for them.

Raindropt, by Deena Byrne

Socialite Leah Fox leads a life of enviable comfort. She’s in the most elite social circles of Manhattan society, but one day she comes crashing all the way down. After an unfortunate sidewalk encounter with a witch, Leah is banished to the Bosch Rainforest to reform her ways. While she is coming to grips with being an outsider for the first time, Leah complicates her life further by falling in love with a humble gnome.

Title – No comments, really. Like the previous title, it doesn’t evoke much in me. The tagline of Your typical “girl meets gnome” story adds a bit, because honestly, without that, I wouldn’t be able to tell before the blurb that this was even a fantasy-related book at all.

Cover – Pretty imagery, but makes me think that this is very heavy on the romance, which isn’t my thing at all.

Blurb – To be honest, this is probably something I’d pass on by and not think twice about missing out on. It doesn’t seem like it would appeal to me at all. It reinforces the cover art’s impression that this is going to be a romance-heavy novel, which is fine if that’s what you like, but it’s not what I tend to like. The concept of a rich attractive privileged city girl having to deal with being an outsider for the first time in her life makes me think I’m going to have a lot of sarcastic, “Aw, diddums,” moments while reading it, and I worry a little bit about how easily this gnome character could be a stand-in for a dozen and one non-white cultures where exoticism gets played up and the privileged characters is shown the error of their privileged ways by said exotic person. I’m not saying that’s what does happen in the story, but it makes me a bit leery of the content, and makes me think I should approach with caution.

The Huntress, by Nadja Losbohm

Ada Pearce is an average young woman. She is 5’4” tall, overweight, and doesn’t play sports of any kind. Shortly after her 21st birthday a mysterious priest informs her of her destiny as a huntress. Ada doesn’t believe that story at first, but when she finds out that creatures of the night threaten the human population, she accepts her destiny, gives up her former life, and moves into the secret rooms of St. Mary’s Church, which had been built hundreds of years ago, and begins her training.

In flashbacks, the protagonist herself tells her story, beginning with her first meeting with the enigmatic and unapproachable priest, through her first year of training and her secret life, to the problems she encounters on her first hunt, and the issues which crop up when a priest and a woman live together…

Title – Seems like the kind of title that could appear on any number of books throughout a few genres/subgenres, but it does have some appeal to it.

Cover – Looks like a clip from the opening to a TV show.

Blurb – I want to start off by saying, “Yes! So much yes!” to the presentation of the average woman not being tall, leggy, and extremely fit. I actually think this is one of the few books I have ever seen that seems like it’s trying to express that TV-land isn’t actually a good representation of the rest of the world. So I find myself interested in this already! The story seems like it could be a bit cheesy, and I have a vague worry that once Ada’s training kicks in and she suddenly becomes thinner and more fit, only then does this mysterious priest start being attracted to her, but you know what? I’ll deal with that if it happens. This sounds like it will scratch a couple of guilty-pleasure itches (actually average woman does important stuff, secret societies, reinventing oneself by leaving behind one’s former life), and I think it could be fun.

The Hunters, by Richard Bamberg

When Jesse’s old girlfriend calls him requesting an immediate meeting late at night, he thinks of a lot of reasons she might have called. None of them are anywhere near the truth. Instead of a late night booty call, Gail brings him into a world he didn’t know existed, ghouls, werewolves, and ghosts and they all seem to be after Jesse’s blood. Gail wants Jesse to put a silver bullet in her heart to keep her from becoming the monster she hunts, but there’s no way Jesse is going to kill the girl he once loved. He convinces her to let him restrain her for the full moon. Luckily, a local Adult Intimacies store has all the bondage gear he needs.

Now he just has to fight off a pack of werewolves single-handedly while keeping her from ripping his own throat out.

Sex, guns, and werewolves, what could go wrong?

Title – I expect to get exactly what it says on the package. People hunting monsters.

Cover – Looks professionally done, attractive image quality, the usual urban fantasy tropes of having attractive people around.

Blurb – I swear to $deity, the blurb seemed fairly normal for urban fantasy until holy crap what, bondage gear?! That made me laugh; it was so unexpected, and I think I might appreciate the author’s sense of humour even if romance and sexytimes aren’t really my thing.

2 comments on “SPFBO 2 – First Impressions (Batch 1)

  1. Pingback: #SPFBO 2016 - The Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog-Off - Kristen S. Walker

  2. Pingback: 2016 Year-End Post | Bibliotropic

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s