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. And one way or the other, I will give the book a try.
Innocence Lost, by Patty Jansen
She wanted to run her father’s business. She got a mad prince.
Johanna Brouwer has notions: she wants to take over her father’s business. She wants to live in a place where she doesn’t have to hide her magic, and she doesn’t want to marry, not even the prince.
Her home, the merchant city of Saardam comes under attack by a fire wizard, and she finds that notions will only get you so far in life. She’s on the run, her paltry magic will do nothing against the evil unleashed upon the kingdom, and why did she ever worry about getting married?
This is totally your thing if you’re into sassy independent women.
Title – Makes me think that this will be a bodice-ripper.
Cover art – Makes me think that this will be a bodice-ripper… with chaos and magic! Comes across as maybe more historical romance than fantasy, but regardless, it looks attractive and professionally-done.
Blurb – I could go either way on this one. It does sound like a bit of a stereotypical story about a woman in an unhappy relationship, but on the other hand, I do like the idea of someone in that situation picking themselves up and going, “Right, well, evil threatens and I’m going to do something about it!”
Snort and Wobbles, by Will MacMillan Jones
Snort and Wobbles is aimed for children in the 6 – 10 age group who are just becoming confident at reading for themselves, or for parents who (like the author) are addicted to reading to their children at night… It is perfect for bedtime reading as it is split into six chapters, each approximately 2000 words.
Dragons aren’t real. Everyone knows that. Whatever do you do when you are eight years old – and meet a dragon in your garden? You have the adventure of your life!
Title – I’m honestly not sure what to think…
Cover – The art’s nice, and it definitely comes across as a kids’ book.
Blurb – I haven’t read a book intended for kids in that age range since I was a kid in that age range, so under normal circumstance, I probably wouldn’t even know this book existed. But hey, nothing wrong with a kids’ adventure tale with dragons; that seems interesting enough, even if it’s not something I would ever really pick up for myself.
Song of the Summer King, by Jess E Owen
Shard is a gryfon in danger. He and other young males of the Silver Isles are old enough to fly, hunt, and fight–old enough to be threats to their ruler, the red gryfon king. In the midst of the dangerous initiation hunt, Shard takes the unexpected advice of a strange she-wolf who seeks him out, and hints that Shard’s past isn’t all that it seems. To learn his past, Shard must abandon the future he wants and make allies of those the gryfons call enemies. When the gryfon king declares open war on the wolves, it throws Shard’s past and uncertain future into the turmoil between. Now with battle lines drawn, Shard must decide whether to fight beside his king . . .or against him.
Title – Sounds like the title of the kind of fantasy novels I used to read as a teen, which appeals to me in a very nostalgic way.
Cover – Oh yes! This looks indistinguishable from any number of fantasy novels currently on my bookshelves. Professional, clean, very appealing!
Blurb – Can I just start reading this book right now? Seriously, this book hit all 3 First Impressions targets dead centre, and I can think of no reason why I wouldn’t buy this if I saw it in a bookstore.
Half-Bloods Rising, by J T Williams
The elves have been called to war. As his parents leave, Kealin and his siblings stay behind to continue to train for the inevitable bloodshed that will reach their shores. For all their lives they have been persecuted for being half-elf. Kealin has never questioned his mother’s true lineage but she has been in hiding and he will soon discover why.
A prophecy is revealed that foretells doom for all the warriors who departed. In order to avert the disaster, Kealin and his half-blood siblings embark into the frigid seas of the north aboard an enchanted ship. In a perilous journey, Kealin discovers a power not at all elven in nature. He is changing. As the blood of the race of a long dead people surges in his veins, a power awakens within his mind tying him to a lost and powerful culture.
But what else is waking in the long frozen north, will risk all of them and Kealin is playing into the hands of a master deceiver. He must learn to control this ancient power before a hidden plot destroys all he seeks to save.
Title – Definitely has that fantasy feel to it.
Cover – It seems like the font for the series name is too big. It’s not overshadowing anything else, but it feels like the cover designer really wants to push that this is part of a series and that the readers should be aware of this right from the get-go. Other than that, though, the art is dark and holds some intrigue, and it makes me curious about what’s inside, so I can’t fault it too strongly.
Blurb – At the first paragraph, I didn’t have much interest. But at the second paragraph, I sat up straighter and paid more attention. Colour me intrigued; now I’m curious about the story and I want to know what happens.
Girl With Ears & Demon With Limp, by Edward J Rathke
Girl With Ears & Demon With Limp is a fast-paced, surreal rendition of a Medieval tapestry. Set within an infinite castle, from which a young wolven girl and an insane man wish to escape, it’s Kafka turned inside out. And like Kafka, these characters are seeking to make meaning for themselves in a world where meaning has vacated for other lands.
Title – Another one that I’m not really sure what I think about it. It sounds like the book contains two novellas rather than 1 full story
Cover – Interesting stylistic choice, but it doesn’t really speak to me.
Blurb – Sounds like it could be an interesting artistic experiment, which can go either way with me most of the time. I’ll either love it or hate it. It’s not something I’d usually go for, though, not without it being recommended to me first.
The Dragon Scale Lute, by JC Kang
Kaiya’s voice could charm a dragon. Had she lived when the power of music could still summon typhoons and rout armies, perhaps Cathay’s imperial court would see the awkward, gangly princess as more than a singing fool. With alliances to build and ambitious lords to placate, they care more about her marriage prospects than her unique abilities. Only the handsome Prince Hardeep, a foreign martial mystic, recognizes her potential. Convinced Kaiya will rediscover the legendary but perilous art of invoking magic through music, he suggests her voice, not her marriage, might better serve the realm. When members of the emperor’s elite spy clan– Kaiya’s childhood friend and his half-elf sidekick (or maybe he’s her sidekick?)– discover mere discontent boiling over into full-scale rebellion, Kaiya must choose. Obediently wedding the depraved ringleader means giving up her music. Confronting him with the growing power of her voice could kill her.
Title – Dragons and music? Sign me up!
Cover – It makes me think that what’s inside will be a graphic novel, for some reason. Bu regardless, I really like the style, and the use of colour. Another instance where I want to give the artist much praise!
Blurb – What looks like Eastern-inspired fantasy combined with some Western touches? Again, sign me up! I’m interested in the setting and the story both, and if I saw this on a bookshelf, I’d want to take a closer look.