Recent Reviews: Rogues and Summer Solstice

Introduction

Today, instead of an interview, I’m sharing reviews of some of my recent reads. Reviews are part of my goals for the year so I’m sharing some after I post ratings and reaction online. These will explain more of my thoughts about books than in shorter versions posted on Amazon, Goodreads, etc.

Rogues CoverRogues

One of the books I’ve recently read was an anthology entitled, Rogues, which is edited by George R. R. Martin and features short stories by a number of top authors. An anthology is different from a novel to review since there are so many different stories and authors. As such some stories may be appealing and others less so based on personal preference so I’ll stay away from too much commentary on individual stories.

The book was well edited and the writing was well done. Again, some stories had less appeal to me than others and I would have liked to see the whole book dedicated to fantasy so be aware that some stories have real world settings sans fantasy. The theme of rogues was quite interesting and covered a wide variety of questionable characters, some likable and some down-right despicable but I found the scope of rogues intriguing.

However, I must comment that I was disappointed with Martin’s fiction contribution. His story was more of a narrative companion to his own series. But the piece was just a narrative rather than a story with characterization so it lacked appeal to me though it explained some of the history of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms. Martin’s name is prominent on the book so the reader expects a little something more than a distantly portrayed short fiction that lent little to the anthology’s theme. I gave it four stars based on the work of other writers but it could have been five if Martin had contributed better content.

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Summer Solstice CoverSummer Solstice

Next we turn from an anthology of experienced writers to a YA novel by a first-time author. I read Summer Solstice by K. K. Allen who is a fellow member of Rave Reviews Book Club where I’m a VIP member. With that in mind it’s easy to write a favorable review for a fellow member but as a club we are intent on reviewing with promoting quality.

Here’s the review I posted on Amazon and Goodreads with a four star rating:

This is a YA paranormal/urban fantasy novel by a first-time author about which begins with a teenager Katrina Summer, grieving over the death of her mother. She moves in with her grandmother whom she doesn’t know all the while having strange dreams and occurrences which she thinks are caused by grief. But there are secrets and answers waiting to be discovered by Katrina. It’s a mixture of magic and mystery for a solid first effort by author K. K. Allen. I would love to read her next novel to find out what happens and how the author is growing with her writing craft.

Now for a little clarification on the review. In rating the novel I rounded up from 3.5 stars which is how the book struck me upon finishing (however, I was unable to rate as precisely as I would like). The beginning was a little slow but still intriguing and the story picked up with a series of increasingly mysterious events for Katrina Summer.

One of the points that struck me (and this may just be my own personal preference) was the style with which the novel was written. The first person, present tense was a bit awkward and made me feel like the story was backpedaling while going downhill. Again, this is from a first-time author so I took this in stride but did find that I was willing to continue turning pages. I also feel that Ms. Allen exhibits ability that will only improve with each book and as such I’m interested to see both what happens with Katrina Summer and how the author’s writing craft develops.

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cover1seppedAnnwyn CoverCurrent Reads

I’m currently reading the following books for which the authors were interviewed during the last few months on this site:

Annwyn’s Blood by Michael Eging & Steve Arnold

The Blade Heir by Daniel Adorno

I’ll share my thoughts on these books once completed in the near future. Look for more author interviews in coming weeks as well.

 

What books have you read recently and did you like them? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. See the News page for announcements and remember to sign-up to receive news and posts by email. I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. New followers can download The Black Bag via free coupon today! Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.

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Book Cover Green Top & Bottom Cover - Copy

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