October 20, 2020, 06:50:04 AM

Author Topic: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off  (Read 23487 times)

Offline Mr.J

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #60 on: January 03, 2016, 05:13:24 PM »
Everyone should be a fan of Tom Waits :D

My dad's favourite line in a Tom Waits song is where he describes a car as being "monkey-shit brown".


Offline Lanko

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2016, 10:56:46 PM »
Finished The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids, by Michael McClung. Gave it 3 stars.

The book is fast paced, lots of action and the dialogue shines in some parts. Also, very good graphical violence.  Also, there's no cheesy romance, innuendo, and despite the heroine bravado, I was grateful she didn't swore like a sailor.

However, Amra never felt like a thief for me. Even a character in the book points that out. I also absolutely was not convinced by her motives at all. Amra and her underworld companions are also too honorable, too honest. They and the setting really needed way more mistrust, mischief, you know, things you expect from thieves and criminals.

Also, Holgren (and magic) were way overpowered. Actually, Amra is saved by him multiple times and he is the one who does most of the job in the book, directly or indirectly. This reduced a lot of tension in the book as well. And when they get who killed her friend, I didn't really care. Neither of them had any buildup with us.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 10:59:51 PM by Lanko »
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #62 on: January 04, 2016, 12:04:43 AM »
I will go with one more book from here.

Sins of a Sovereignty, by Plague Jack.
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2016, 05:03:00 AM »
Finished Sins of a Sovereignty, by Plague Jack. Gave it 3 stars.

This is probably the darkest book on the SPFBO. I commend the author for not holding back. It begins really well, with plenty of violent descriptions and actions. It's also unique it has chemical weapons and soon guns. Humans, elves ,dwarves, faeries, in a modernizing world.

Then near the middle and until the final fifth we receive massive infodumps on culture, techonology, geography, history, etc. It's not even disguised in a good way, there's a lot of clunky dialogue on this. Some actions seemed unclear and others a bit surreal (like the threats of the Blood Queen to two of her most trusted guys, loyals for decades and with no reason to betray her).

In the end there is a very, very good plot twist, but I was sad the violence, gore and its detailed description vanished from the book (until the end, that is). There was a torture scene, an immolation one and another death that could've been much more graphical. Was indifferent to both villains (the one in the present and the one of the past).

This needed much more refinement, specially in the prose, on its key moments.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2016, 05:06:47 AM by Lanko »
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Offline G_R_Matthews

Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #64 on: January 05, 2016, 06:21:30 PM »
Well done for reading them all!

Is that it now, are you finished with the SPFBO books?
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #65 on: January 05, 2016, 06:42:10 PM »
Still 3 remaining: Shattered Sands, Priest and What Remains of Heroes.
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Offline JMack

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #66 on: January 05, 2016, 07:05:01 PM »
Still 3 remaining: Shattered Sands, Priest and What Remains of Heroes.

You know Shattered Sands is by one of our community members? There's a whole read-along section in the book club area.
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Offline DrNefario

Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #67 on: January 05, 2016, 07:21:50 PM »
Still 3 remaining: Shattered Sands, Priest and What Remains of Heroes.
Those are the three I have read. (Well, okay, I haven't actually read Priest yet, but I've borrowed it from the kindle owners' lending library and will get to it soonish.)

Offline Lanko

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2016, 11:27:04 AM »
Almost a month since I last came here. And I have the largest books to read (although Bloodrush was the 2nd one).

I checked the score table and I am actually worried if all books will be read and reviewed. The biggest offender is Elitist Book Reviews.
I wonder if the contest will finish in a totally fair manner, with everyone given a score. Some gave a score, but didn't reviewed it, which I think it was pretty lame.

Gonna go with What Remains of Heroes, by David Benem. It's the one who received the least amount of reviews so far (4). It's also the largest book. Curious the other two are there as well, with only 5 reviews each.
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Offline DrNefario

Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #69 on: January 21, 2016, 01:39:13 PM »
I thought Weight of a Crown was longer?

I'm thinking that I'm not going to finish all ten before the deadline. I'm 70% through my third book (Priest, which I'm enjoying quite a lot, so far), but they have all been among the longer books, so far. I probably could read the other 7 in time if I didn't want to read other things in between. As it is, I think I might have to delay a couple of the longer ones - probably Blood Rush (my favourite cover) and Weight of a Crown - until after the deadline. Also, I don't actually have City of Burning Shadows, yet, so maybe I'll end up missing that one for now, too.

I think the reviews are being added later, where there are scores with no link.

Offline Lanko

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #70 on: January 21, 2016, 01:55:10 PM »
I read Under a Colder Sun and The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids in about 3 days.

In order:

What Remains of Heroes - 486
Bloodrush - 480
The Weight of a Crown- 448...or 669. Quite curious, both e-books show very different page numbers. Felt like 448 to me.
Shattered Sands - 445
Priest - 370
City of Burning Shadows - 344
A Soul for Trouble - 338
Sins of a Sovereignty - 336
Under a Colder Sun - 213
The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids - 210


Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline DrNefario

Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #71 on: January 21, 2016, 04:50:39 PM »
I've got Weight of a Crown as 582. I also have Priest as 437. The rest are more-or-less the same. I think I just took my counts from what Amazon said, so in some cases they will be estimates. Priest doesn't appear to have page numbers in the file, since it's only giving me a location number on my aged kindle.

(I had 377 for What Remains... in my SPFBO spreadsheet, but I've actually recorded 475 in my Books Read spreadsheet, and Amazon says a little more*, so I have no idea where that came from.)

(Yeah, I like spreadsheets.)

*I count the last page of prose as the page count for a book, so my recorded counts will usually be a bit lower.

Offline eclipse

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #72 on: January 21, 2016, 05:58:20 PM »
I can't remember of a worst first chapter than what I've just read in What Remains of Heroes.

The MC is an old man, drinking over and over in the bar. A gorgeous young noble girl enters with her friend. The friend invites the drunk old man to talk with the girl. He can't believe his luck.
They go outside and he's pretty happy with his luck. The girls really take him to their manse. The friend says the girl is ready. She spreads her legs and he has sex with the young girl, who is also a virgin. Best moment of his life.

Her dad walks in. It just happens to be the archenemy of the MC. He runs away through the window.

The MC returns to the bar. He drinks a bit more, I think. Of course, Archenemy gets the location from his daughter. MC hides. There's a way to escape, but he can't remember.
Archenemy yells to the barkeeper: "Tell me or I will drown you in your cellar!" MC remembers the cellar and escapes the bar.

He somehow returns home, get his sword and armor. He is located, of course. He kills 3 or 4 guys, despite being drunk as hell. He then receives a blow in the head and fall.

Archenemy yells to him (and everyone around) something like: "You fool! I would sacrifice my daughter to gain more power and advantage, because I'm really evil! In fact, I was just going to offer her to the evil necromancers!"

Archenemy apparently remembers who MC is and plans to send him to someplace instead of killing him. End of chapter.

EDIT: Curiously, about 3 minutes later I go to Twitter and Mark Lawrence retweets that Beauty in Ruins just picked this as their favorite in the SPFBO contest.
Maybe it gets really good, but the start was really poor.

My ranking of the books

Spoiler for Hiden:
1. City of Burning Shadows 2 Shattered Sands 3. The Weight of a Crown 4. The Thief Who Pulled on Trouble's Braids , the rest  were all ranked the same apart from A soul for Trouble which I couldn't finish
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Offline Barbara J Webb

Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #73 on: January 21, 2016, 06:18:49 PM »
Almost a month since I last came here. And I have the largest books to read (although Bloodrush was the 2nd one).

I checked the score table and I am actually worried if all books will be read and reviewed. The biggest offender is Elitist Book Reviews.
I wonder if the contest will finish in a totally fair manner, with everyone given a score. Some gave a score, but didn't reviewed it, which I think it was pretty lame.

Gonna go with What Remains of Heroes, by David Benem. It's the one who received the least amount of reviews so far (4). It's also the largest book. Curious the other two are there as well, with only 5 reviews each.

In the first round, EBR was one of the last sites to check in on their reading, and they posted a whole bunch all at once at the end. I think they've got a larger staff of readers, so if each reviewer only has a couple books to read, they're still in good shape.

Breaking the world one character at a time.

Offline Lanko

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Re: Final Round: Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off
« Reply #74 on: January 22, 2016, 02:56:03 AM »
I've got Weight of a Crown as 582. I also have Priest as 437. The rest are more-or-less the same. I think I just took my counts from what Amazon said, so in some cases they will be estimates. Priest doesn't appear to have page numbers in the file, since it's only giving me a location number on my aged kindle.

(I had 377 for What Remains... in my SPFBO spreadsheet, but I've actually recorded 475 in my Books Read spreadsheet, and Amazon says a little more*, so I have no idea where that came from.)

(Yeah, I like spreadsheets.)

*I count the last page of prose as the page count for a book, so my recorded counts will usually be a bit lower.

I used what was shown in Goodreads. That's some big differences on some. Go figures.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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