We’re are nearing the final stretch for Round One here at Thoughts Stained With Ink!
After today, only one more post revealing the fates of my last two books (which, all of this has been a random order, by the way, and in no way reflective of any ranking system). After that, I’ll prolly write up a quick post explaining how Round Two will work in detail, plus a summation of what happened in Round One, before I continue cutting books before we finally arrive to my semifinalists and finalist!
Commiseration to the fallen and congrats to the next books to survive the first cull!
Title: A Quiet Rebellion
Author: M.H. Thaung
Published: July 2018
Amount Read: 50 of 448 pages (11%)
Rating: 2 out of 5 gems
Blurb: In a society that lives in fear of beasts and the curse they carry, imprisoning victims is the only thing to do.
Convoy captain Jonathan has a guilty secret: he killed a traveller who was cursed while under his protection. The killing wasn’t to defend the innocent, but to hide governmental employment of curse victims—like Jonathan—who have developed paranormal powers.
To assuage his guilt, he bends the rules to help another, younger victim. His growing fatherly affection for her leaves him vulnerable to pressure from an unethical researcher. Can he navigate the bureaucratic web, do his duty and still keep his conscience intact?
This was a case where I needed a little more clarity in the writing in order to become invested within the story. There is a lot of POV switching within chapters that made it confusing to follow and the internal monologues from our two POVs was a little too guilt-ridden for me. I know they are dealing with a recent failure, but I want to move on from that and continue forward, instead of becoming so fixated with that.
The writing itself isn’t bad at all! Unfortunately, it was the repetition and POV shifts made it hard to slip into a story which direction I was unsure to begin with. However, if the premise sounds interesting to you, I hope you give this novel a try and decide for yourself if you like it or not!
To Be Continued
Author: Matt Moss
Amount Read: TBD
Blurb: In the year 2042, the first fully immersive virtual reality MMORPG goes live, giving players the ability to build another life in a world of limitless possibilities. This is the story of one man’s journey.
Down on his luck and with his back against a wall, John Crussel would do anything to provide for his family. Even rob a bank out of desperation. But when he hears of how he can make money in a virtual reality video game called Alterlife, he walks away from the robbery and decides to give it a shot.
Couldn’t be harder than robbing a bank, could it?
John’s world is about to change as he finds that Alterlife is easier than it seems. But being a hotshot new guy that seems to have all the luck draws the attention of some dangerous people in Alterlife – ones that want what he has and are willing to do anything for it.
Through a series of unfortunate events, John becomes the first to contract a deadly virus. Now he only has ten days to live. He soon finds himself tied to a sinister plot and realizes that his misfortune may not be a coincidence.
The virus was designed to kill all of mankind. And John was targeted to be the carrier.
John thought Alterlife was just a game…
And so much more.
Title: The God King’s Legacy
Author: Richard Nell
Published: June 2019
Amount Read: TBD
Blurb: God-king Marsun, the ‘Demon King’, has ruled for centuries. But nothing lasts forever.
Once just an illiterate tribal chief, Marsun trapped an ancient evil within his mighty soul, united scattered tribes in peace and prosperity, then retreated from the world. But his sacrifice is all but forgotten. Technology marches on; new ambitious powers rise; unhappy lords plot rebellion; and from every corner of civilization, savage enemies gather. The God King’s legacy has just begun…
From the author of Kings of Paradise comes two tales in a world of knights and demons, muskets and cannon fire. Flintlock fantasy mixed with the grit of Game of Thrones.
1) Rebellion of the Black Militia
Johann Planck, bastard and scribe of the god-king’s tower, is yanked from his peaceful life of academia, and ordered to capture an immortal creature of darkness. If the knight he’s accompanying doesn’t kill him, or the demon ‘Sazeal’, fresh rebellion just might.
2) Devil of the 22nd
A crumbling empire. An abandoned army. Kurt Val Clause is an ordinary soldier trying to keep it all together because no one else has the balls. Now he has one chance to win a glorious future, die in agony, or lose his soul. He just might do all three.
As mentioned before, a full review will come both of these books later, as my interest was piqued enough to continue reading. For Afterlife, the writing was just so solid, I knew I had to continue reading–even if I want to knock John across the head. For The God King’s Legacy, I am curious to read a new flintlock fantasy and the writing is not bad so far, so I’m excited to continue reading it! Like the others, in this second round, I’ll continue reading until I decide it’s not my finalist or finish it!
And there’s my next one cut and next two books moving forward (not a semi-finalist yet, mind, but still in the running to become one). Check back on this space next Monday to see the last taste tester post!!