Bruadarach

Scottish Gaelic: Dreamer, Visionary

Tag: Review

Review – Two Steps From Hell by Scott Roche

twostepshellDescription:

“Laurent, a faerie sorcerer, lived for centuries. When it ended, instead of drifting into oblivion he awoke in Hell. After countless years of indescribable torment, a half-faerie half-human conjurer summons him to 21st century New Orleans. Laurent now has twenty-four hours to discover who used him as an unwilling murderer and to avoid a return to damnation. The only person on his side is the summoner’s sister, a half faerie police detective, investigating the murder he committed.” (From Smashwords.com)

 

Review:

When I first heard about the new Novella “Two Steps from Hell” by Scott Roche, it was by way of him showing off its cover on Facebook. I mean “showing off” in the most justified way possible. Because there wasn’t else to go by, I first judged the book by its cover, which was done by the fantastically skilled Scott Pond. Nowadays many things get self published and most look it. I appreciate that it’s a question of finances if an author does their covers themselves – I have often done that too – and a lot of book cover designers with affordable rates still make book covers look “self-pub”. That in itself isn’t a bad thing, but it can turn away some people. This made Two Steps from Hell a refreshingly positive experience. No one would think it was self published by looking at the cover. It’s simply stunning. I gave in to the cover’s pull and bought the book on Smashwords. Inside, there were a few editing flaws which will probably be sorted by the author soon.

Now onto the story. I like myself a good prantagonist, one where even his bad reasons are understandable in some ways. This is not just the usual crime novel from the murderer’s point of view, though. It felt more like the most un-morning person being woken up at 5 AM to spend a coffee-less morning in a room full of cheerful people. People would empathise with him too, if he’d end up murdering someone. It is actually quite a sweet story, in a grumpy and twisted way. The interaction of the characters is very funny and I laughed out loud a few times. They fit together very well too and this novella is a great setup for a series. I thoroughly enjoyed the story – it set up an interesting range of beings and powers about which I’d like to find out more. Explanations like “this can be done because it’s magic” and nothing more are usually not enough for me. I hope there is more to all the magic and powers and an underlying plan and a system to them. Of course that can be done in a sequel.

Which leaves me with the end – it is quite open, which kept me on the edge. Usually I like things solved unless it’s a series. Now I only have to hunt Scott down and make him write the next one. I can warmly recommend this novella and I didn’t get anything for saying that! 🙂

 

Two Steps from Hell is available at:

Smashwords and Amazon

 

The one where I visit the View from Valhalla podcast…

TC-97266-MainIcon View from Valhalla has already been around a few years. It started off as a podiobook (podcast fiction) review blog, then a few book reviews were added, and later on it appeared as podcast as well. Odin1Eye, who reviews and runs the site, started off with having a few of the authors on his podcast and after a hiatus he decided to change things up a bit.

The relaunch of the podcast would feature his written reviews as well as a guest to discuss the books with him. This time it wouldn’t (just) be the author who got interviewed, but also other listeners who might have a different opinion from Odin. So this is where I come in. He asked me to be the guinea pig for his first episode of the new format.

Not long after that, I sat in front of Skype, discussing Sense Memory by Brion Humphrey with him. You can find the episode on iTunes and View from Valhalla.

I hope you enjoy our chat and the review and check out the book yourself! 🙂

UPDATE: Brion Humphrey recently wrote a blogpost about sequels and our feedback! Check it out!

Book Review: Ginnie Dare by Scott Roche

I have known Scott Roche on Twitter and within the podcasting / writing community for quite a while now. This is why I am almost embarrassed to say that I haven’t read any of his fiction until he submitted his short story “Fetch” and later “Ma Coleman’s Faerie Giant” to our Every Photo Tells… podcast.

The story he is most well-known for though, is Ginnie Dare. It’s available in print and eBook and I am happy I got hold of a copy. I loaded it on my iPad and read it on the tramway on my way to work.

As far as I know, Ginnie Dare is classified as a Young Adult, Sci-Fi novel. For me, in short, it was a quick and enjoyable read. So quick and so enjoyable, I wished it was part of a series. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Ginnie is a self-taught genius. She loves puzzles and figuring stuff out. Preferably with the help of her dad’s ship’s artificial intelligence. Sounds weird? Not to me. I was that girl. I love her and I feel for her. The need to understand things to an extent that might not be exactly what her parents (in this case, Ginnie’s dad) had imagined, makes her loveable and easy to root for. For a teenager, or younger reader, she is a great role model. Boy or girl.

Her dad is a bit of a grump, trying to balance the captain, friend and dad role all at once and sometimes failing at multiple attempts at a time. The reader can’t always understand his motives, but then again, neither does Ginnie. And we don’t have to, to like him and to know he’s coming from a good place. The rest of the crew on the Dare ship are sometimes exceedingly disobedient but just as able in their jobs and in protecting each other. Then the second ship comes in, the official state-run ship with all the same bureaucrats you don’t even want to meet when you need a new passport – let alone in a crisis. There was a point where I started to mix the different members of the crew up; and even more so when the native planet population came in. I wonder if there aren’t too many people for a story that size. In a bigger novel or over the course of the series you will encounter many characters, but it feels a bit much for the first book.

All in all, I really enjoyed Ginnie Dare and am really curious what Ginnie will be up to next. So that means for you – buy it! And for me… torture Scott into writing more.

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