Reading My SPFBO Cohort #2

A few posts back I mentioned that I was into supporting my cohort in SPFBO 8 – the books assigned to the Before We Go Blog. My admittedly strange way of doing this is to read all 29 books, and thus either gain those books kindle page reads, or buy the ebook version. Not a huge help really, I admit, just 29 sales or sale equivalents, but there we go.

Further, I’m going to be weirder and say what I think of each book after I finish them (and I will do my damnedest not to DNF any book) but without naming any of the books or giving away too much in terms of identifying detail. No ratings, no nothing, just my general impression of each book as they come across my desk so to speak.

This is going to be very slow because I don’t read much unless I’m on my treadmill, and I’m a) fat and lazy currently b) able to walk outside, which is generally nicer than walking inside on a treadmill. I used to read a ton in bed before sleep and upon waking, now I just fall asleep. A peril of advancing age? Perhaps.

So the second book I read is very well written: the author knows what they are doing, builds a solid world and a good cast of characters, but it did not grab me. One relatively early sequence had me failing to suspend disbelief for a while, and it took some time to get back into the rhythm of the book after that, but I did, and it flowed smoothly from there on. I did get emotionally involved once or twice, had one real case of “the feels” which was good, but I think the book suffered from me reading it as a writer – I saw too much technique in it, the hook being set here, the patterning of character interactions to foreshadow future events there. It was all well done, but I saw it from the wrong side of the curtain, as it were. I wonder how the book would strike non-writers. I suspect many would love the ride it provides, and catch many more feels than my black heart allows me. Overall, this is a well-crafted novel that I enjoyed when I managed to switch my writer brain off, and a credit to the self-published community.

So there you have it. 2 down, 27 vague reviews to go. Before You Go Blog are mowing down the contenders, so I expect them to have come to their finalist long before I get there. Maybe I’ll go walk now and try to catch up some…

Keep reading, folks!

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