Once again we are at the point where the towering pile of review titles is threatening to bury me under a landslide of words. As much as I hate not finishing a book, the overflowing shelves of titles waiting to be read demands that I put aside my literary OCD and make some hard choices. While my recent vacation gave me ample opportunity to dabble and sample, the real-world demands of starting a new job, coupled with a busy Sept/Oct ghost walk schedule, mean that my reading time is at more of a premium than ever before.
So, sadly, that means taking a pass on those titles that have failed to hook me, or which haven't been able to sustain my interest. The following are my thoughts and impressions on those that didn't work for me, but where I can see how there might be an appeal or a hook for other readers.
To Touch The Sun by Laura Enright
Published February 25th 2014 by Dagda Publishing
This one had definite potential with its more rational, scientific approach to vampires, but the execution was somewhat lacking for me. I just found the writing to be very heavy, very dense, as if she were trying too hard to force the narrative. The characters were interesting, and seemed to have some real depth, but the physical action often felt awkward.
Soul of Fire by Caris McRae
Published February 1st 2014 by Smashwords Edition
This is one of those books that I may try to find my way into again at a later date, but which just couldn't sustain my interest right now. Maybe it's the age of the protagonist, but it really felt like a YA adventure, when I was hoping for something more epic. Like I said, the tone (and my overall impressions) might change, depending on how much Sheba develops later in the story, but I just didn't feel like we were moving ahead quickly enough to maintain my interest.
The Flip by Michael Phillip Cash
Published May 4th 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
While I enjoyed my first two encounters with the author, this one just didn't work as well for me. I think part of it was that I simply didn't like either of the main characters. Brad and Julia are well developed, and 'feel' like real people (particularly in the tension that grows between them), but I just didn't like them. The other aspect that bothered me was the horror itself - it was a little too soft or subtle for my tastes, lacking some of the shock value and power of Cash's other tales.
X-Novo by Ken Hagdal
Published July 1st 2014 by Niflheimr Publishing
This is another book that I may revisit when I have the time and the patience. As interested as I was in the concept, I didn't really feel there was much substance to the reversal of gender roles. The first-person (female) narrator certainly didn't help matters, as I was looking for some outside commentary on why so little about the genders had changed, and why it seemed to be more political than social. Also, it felt like we were being dropped into this future dystopia with no explanation, which bothered me, although maybe there's more detail in the latter half. Interesting concept, and Lisa certainly had potential, but my own list of questions became too distracting to continue for now.
Fateful Encounters by Vovo Verdan
Published May 6th 2014 by Melange Books
I think this one is just a case of being the wrong audience for the book. The blurb itself really didn't reveal much, but I was curious about the 'erotic crime fiction' tag so I agreed to give it a try. While there is some very explicit sexual content, it's not critical to the story. Instead, this is largely a standard crime thriller, which is a genre I rarely read, and only watch when I can multitask on other things. It's perfectly fine, but when I found myself skimming pages, I knew it was time to set it aside.