Seeing Kermit surrounded and almost buried in leaves kind of reminds me of my relationship with books. I'm pretty much buried in them too! I have no more space in my house for the books I buy and piles are sitting on the floor which isn't good and I can't read them quick enough because I keep buying!!! I've battled to reduce the tbr without success this year but now Kermit and I are embarking on a new plan to reduce the book buying and give me a chance to reduce the tbr at last. The Plan? Download samples instead of buying!
This is what I looked at this week:
1) Sarah Gailey-River Of Teeth
A bayou is overrun by feral hippos and mercenary hippo wranglers from around the globe are sent in to take care of the problem. I was intrigued by the idea of mad hippos running around and killing people, a hunter v hunted but which is which storyline, and the characters riding tamed hippos. It just sounded so great and it was set in a creepy bayou which is a setting made for a gory creature feature. I had planned to just go and buy it but a few blogging friends and Goodreads reviews had me a bit concerned and I decided on a sample instead.
What a waste of time that was! The vast majority of the sample is index, chapters, maps, an introduction to the real attempt at hippo farming proposed in the US...leaving just three and a bit pages for the actual story. So we got obnoxious sounding man goes into building and embarrasses federal agent then sits on a hippo. The End. Based on that I doubt anyone would buy it! Looking at the reviews again I saw talk of poor characters, western type setting, badly explained gender neutral character/characters, diversity thrown in for the sake of diversity and most important, not enough hippo mayhem. I decided not to buy this one.
2) Rowan Casey-Veil Knights
When I first downloaded this sample, I wasn't paying much attention to the fact that 'Rowan Casey' is a collaboration of twelve different authors writing this series. That set me on alert straight away. When I looked at the authors I noted a few that I have tried and not greatly liked. That concerned me but the main worry is how will the story flow and be constant when each book has new authors with different ideas and writing styles?
I read the sample and found it ok but not really gripping. The blurb suggests that the MC has to take drugs to stop the terrible visions that she gets but as soon as I start reading, it turns out our MC is a heroin addict, which I do not find appealing to read about. By the time she started getting high, I had already lost interest. No thanks!
3) JC Staudt-Gambit
Cade works for Zip Maids, a cleaning service for the rich, as well as being a wizard and a thief. In his job he is able to steal things like werewolf fur from the shower drain to use in his spells, until of course he gets caught. Now he must appease the werewolves, dodge the bounty hunter chasing him and deal with the poltergeist making a mess of his kitchen. I really liked the sound of this UF book and I was intrigued that Cade lived with his small talking dragon mentor Ersatz. This is why I grabbed a sample.
I liked what I read. Cade is interesting enough to want to read more about and I liked the basis of his relationship with the dragon. The plot sounds good and the sample introduces the annoyed werewolf and the dragon, and gives the start of Cade's first big bit of magic. I also liked his interaction with the troll on the bus! Yes I'm going to get a copy of this one at some point.
4) J Kent Messum-Bait
Six heroin addicted strangers wake up on a deserted island. Mysterious people watching from the water introduce them to the game-swim to the heroin stash on the next island and hope you can swim faster than the sharks...I love sharks, so when I was told about this one, I had to get a sample to see what it was like. I was a bit iffy about the contestants being heroin addicts though as I'm never keen on drug addicts as my MCs, which is why I would never have risked buying the book.
The prologue puts us six months in the past in the final stages of a game, as one remaining man tries to get to the shore. There is the tension from the fact that nobody is screaming any more amongst the others, the land getting a little nearer and the sharks starting to bump him to check him out as prey. After we see his fate to switch to Nate, an addict. We see him wake up on the island in confusion, mixed with a flashback to how he came to be there, then back to him on the island. I admit that I'm not a huge fan of flashback-flashforward-flashback in novels so that does concern me a bit, but I'm intrigued enough to give the whole book a try! I've ordered a second hand paperback online and hope to read that one later this year!