Review: The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss

The Slow Regard of Silent ThingsI’ve been a zealous fan of Patrick Rothfuss ever since a member of staff in a bookshop thrust The Name of the Wind into my hand and urged me to read it. He really can’t go far wrong in my eyes, but The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a whole different beast.

A spin-off novella from his Kingkiller Chronicles series, this short book follows Auri; a mysterious and much-loved side character from the main books.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things breaks almost every rule of storytelling. Everything authors are told not to do, everything readers expect, Patrick Rothfuss circumvents almost all of it. And the result is absolute perfection.

It’s beautiful, sweet, heartfelt, and amazingly powerful all at once. There are few books that have crawled into my heart and settled there like this one has.

Review: A Mask of Shadows by Oscar de Muriel

A Mask of ShadowsA Mask of Shadows is the third book in the Frey and McGray series; a collection of Victorian gothic paranormal crime thrillers. What’s not to love? You can also read the reviews of the first two books; The Strings of Murder and A Fever of the Blood.

★★★★★
Just when I thought that this series couldn’t possibly pull in any more things that I love, the third book manages it, with a story drawing from the infamous curse that hangs over The Scottish Play.

Frey and McGray are at it again, with their usual hilarious banter and personalities that clash more than McGray’s wardrobe. But somehow, despite the twists and turns, the conspiracies and secrets, and their unorthodox approach, they always pull together to save the case in spectacular fashion.

The mystery was so involved, so gripping, but Frey and McGray’s personal lives weren’t forgotten, with Frey winning a point against his estranged brother at last!

This book kept me guessing right up to the final reveal. Well, actually, this one has a final, final reveal. Loved every minute of it, and now comes the agonising wait for the next book!

#DystopiaCrave Free Book Promo

From today until January 5th, you can pick up all of these dystopian books absolutely free. Fill up your ereader for 2017 with dark, enticing, dystopian tales.

Generation ZGeneration Z: Book one: The Outbreak
Carey Lewis
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A brief period in history where humans and zombies share the Earth together—to set out our differences—and ultimately where one race is destroyed. Randolph Garvey, a zombie, will be your guide through this journey.

Stories From the WarStories from the War
Autumn Brit
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Enter a dark fantasy/dystopian tale with underpinnings of love, betrayal, and tumultuous relationships set in a dark future.

 

Underground

Tube Riders: Underground
Chris Ward
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Marta Banks is a Tube Rider, a girl who risks death every day in the abandoned underground stations of London. Tube Riders are a family, but when they discover a dark government secret, everything they hold dear is threatened.

Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors
Benjamin Wallace
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Compared to Monty Python, this Post-Apocalyptic Dark Comedy is possibly the funniest book since the Hitchhiker’s series.

Halfskin: the Vignettes
Tony Bertauski
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A synthetic stem cell called a biomite can replace any cell in your body. They are infallible. Those with 50% biomites will no longer be considered human.
They will be halfskin.

Planetfall 1799
Chogan Swan
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Earth 1799—No one knows the seeds of Earth’s destruction just fell from space. The Corvette Valishnu has tracked the last of the parasitic niaaH across the galactic core. Tiana is the sole survivor.

SIMULATION
M. Black
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When everything is a lie, how do you know what to believe? Join Ilia, the princess, and Jez, the Giver, as they uncover the truth about their world.

The Bottle Stopper
Angeline Trevena
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A dark and gripping thriller set in a future dystopia. If you like stories of oppressive governments, genetic selection, mass murder, and the fight for freedom, if you look for unlikely heroes and always root for the underdog, you’ll love The Bottle Stopper.

Shadow Islands: City of Skies
Farah Cook
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Nora must defeat supernatural creatures in the forbidden areas where she must look for nine artifacts that unlocks the ShadowIslands. But why does Nora have rare abilities?

DystopiaCrave

Amazon’s Review Policy Changes and What it Means for Authors

AmazonOn October 3rd, Amazon changed their review policy which now states that reviews are no longer allowed in exchange for a free or discounted item. It was originally thought that this wouldn’t apply to books (sending out advance review copies (ARCs) has been an industry standard for many years), but it appears that this is no longer the case.

Prior to October 3rd, Amazon guidelines stated that ARC reviewers should include a disclaimer along the lines of “I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review” as part of their review. This policy has now changed.

An email from an Amazon service representative stated this:

I’d make sure none of your reviews contain disclaimers using “I got this in exchange for that.” I would recommend your reviewers use language like, “I volunteered to review a complimentary copy of this book.”

It also appears that, not only will Amazon be removing any new reviews with the previously acceptable, indeed required, disclaimer, but they may well be removing old reviews too. Reviews that, when posted, followed Amazon guidelines to the letter.

To avoid having Amazon reviews being deleted, I suggest that you ask your reviewers to use the newly suggested phrase: “I volunteered to review a complimentary copy of this book.” Also, if you have previous ARC reviews, and you don’t want to see those disappear, it looks like you’ll have to ask your reviewers to log into their account to edit them.

At the end of the day, it’s Amazon’s sandpit, and we have to play by their rules.

Please also check out the links below, and if you have any other useful sources, please feel free to link to them in the comments. Forewarned is forearmed, and the more information we all have, the better.

Further reading:
www.scifiandscary.com/indie-authors-im-sorry
www.creativindie.com/why-amazon-is-deleting-book-reviews-understanding-amazons-new-review-policy-and-getting-back-deleted-reviews

Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman

Bird Box★★★★★
Another book that I’ve absolutely shot through, another book that’s interrupted sleep, mealtimes, the daily routine of life.

Bird Box contains a few factual mistakes that dragged me out of the story for a moment, but its compelling nature always pulled me back without too much interruption. This book takes the fear of the unknown to a level I’ve never found in another story, and its present tense narrative, despite being full of flashbacks, pulls the reader straight into the heart of its world.

This book is truly terrifying, and the realisation of what the real enemy is, which creature is more fearsome than any other, is not only jarring, but has left me shaken. Malerman has created the scariest antagonist I’ve ever read (and I’ve read Misery). In fact, I’m still shaking while typing this. I’m not sure any book has ever done that to me before.

If you’re looking to read this, you better be ready, you better be sound of mind, because you won’t be able to close your eyes.

Friday Reads: How to Live Longer

Friday ReadsA recent study has discovered that people who read regularly are more likely to live longer than their non-bookish counterparts. Good news for all us book nerds!

Quoted in the New York Times, Yale University’s epidemiology professor, Becca R. Levy, stated that “People who report as little as a half-hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read.”

But claiming benefits from increased levels of literacy is barely a new thing, and several previous studies have concluded that it can be beneficial to many different aspects of our lives.

I try hard to fit a good amount of reading into my life, and, most days, manage to grab a chapter or two. Mind you, when it’s a particularly good book, I’m one of those people who will spend an entire day doing everything with just one hand while I hold a book in the other.

At the moment I’m reading Josh Malerman’s ‘Bird Box’. It joined my TBR pile after several people in my Twitter feed were raving about it, and I’m not disappointed thus far.

What are you reading at the moment?