Reviews. Familiar Friends and Fresh Faces

Reviews are so important to writers, but since becoming one, I’ve discovered just how vital they are. Having read maybe thousands of books over my life, I’ll admit that I rarely posted reviews either. Again, now that I’m a writer, that lapse will change.

In an effort to up my reading quotient which I’ve found to be a lifesaving pastime, I’ve decided to read more, but not singularly from the well of familiar friends—my go-to authors—but from fresh faces–authors whom I’ve never read. The selection process is organic, incited by something I see that interests my mood, landing in my over-flowing email from marketing sources.

I’m looking forward to this new adventure and it will take time to build a list, but here we go….

FAMILIAR FRIEND

I’m a long-time fan and reader of Koontz books, but try to be selective about which ones I’ll read due to his ability to scare the crap out of me. I can count on a Koontz book to have heros I’ll love and villains I’ll hate, and there is usually supernatural or magical elements too which mean I can lose myself freely, taking a comfortable leap over logic and what I know is true.

Dogs, specifically Golden Retrievers, are often heros in a Koontz book too, and as a lover of this breed, I easily give my heart to any of his books featuring one of these golden beasts. And so, I chose Devoted.

Knowing I’d come across evil in his antagonist, I was still unprepared for the terror I felt during the read. Anxious and invested, however, I took breaks so I could make it through to the last to see how it would end, hoping for a good outcome. No spoilers here, but I will say there was one particular scene where evil meets the good guy that will haunt me. I’m dreaming about it. I want it out of my head. But… will I go back for more? Probably.

Koontz is a wonderful writer, no one is doubting that. He can suck you in and bring you on a ride, and whether you want to get off or not, you may not have a choice. That said, I sometimes found myself skimming some of the deeper passages, some redundancy where I felt the point had already been beautifully expressed and I didn’t need more of the same. I find myself nervous from the hubris of criticizing such a gifted author, but I’m just spitting out my truth. I’m giving it four out of five stars because of this.

FRESH FACE

I saw this fun jewel pop-up on sale at BookDoggy and after just having finished my latest Dean Koontz book, was definitely in the mood for something light and fun. I’ve read many cozies, but, I’d never read one with the paranormal element. I thought it was time to go for that ride.

Lynn Morrison writes well, the story moves along, the characters developed. The setting in Oxford was delightful to read and felt well-researched. Learning about the colleges was enjoyable. One of the primary characters – H – had a super fun accent. Every time this cat/wyvern spoke I smiled a bit, breaking down the dialect. I could hear it and felt amused.

I blew through the book during one rainy day – the perfect companion for my mood. I’d chosen this book from the thousands thrown my way because I related to a blog Lynn wrote about the writing. From Lynn:

“Writing this book saved my sanity. That is no exaggeration. I sat at home, day after day, writing my little heart out. I got an editor. I took my editorial beatings. I deleted, rewrote and rewrote again. I worked my butt off, and somewhere in those hours I rediscovered my creativity and value.”

As an author, I appreciated those words. Good book. The way it ended was bit surprising. I could recommend for all ages.