Esme’s First Semi-Finalist

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We at the Weatherwax Report will have somewhere between four and six semi-finalists, there isn’t a set number, it will depend on the batch and how we feel. I will choose two, Kristen will choose two, and Graham can choose two.

I have a handful of books I have neither cut nor given a review to yet, those will absolutely be coming soon, I had an 84 hour work week due to illness and vacations coinciding at work.

With each semi-finalist I have to consider how the other judges will like them, the broad appeal of the novel, the flaws, and the strengths. I think the general consensus is that characters matter more than most other aspects of a book and that in general spelling errors and whatnot can be looked over if the meat of the story is excellent.

The books I have left in the running all have their strengths and weaknesses. It’s my job to try and figure out, as best I can, who will have the best reception during the finals. This is …. not an easy task. It’s left me hemming and hawing every year we are involved in this competition.

As I sit and write through all the reviews I have left, I have solidified my opinions on who will make it through to the semifinals. I will post them all, and then announce my second and last semifinalist. Bear in mind, even if the book was cut, it doesn’t mean it’s a “bad” book. Reading is subjective.

The book I’ve picked is very unique, it’s something ‘different’ and ‘fresh’ which will always capture my attention. I can absolutely sit down with a book about orcs, dwarves, elves and humans all at war with each other and enjoy myself immensely. However, if something is “out there” and something I haven’t encountered yet before, I latch on.

It’s not without its faults, there were spelling errors and I would have liked it to have beefed up its world building game. However, the characters had very strong voices, the magic system was trippy, the prose was fantastic. I have also been informed that since my reading and feedback, the author sent the book out for another proofing, got the errors fixed, and has uploaded a clean version. So if you get the book and you’re like “what was Esme talking about?”, the issues have been fixed!

I present to you, my first semifinalist, Last Memoria by Rachel Emma Shaw My Original Review Here

CONGRATS RACHEL! Your book has been passed on to my co-judges and together as a team, we will decide who ultimately moves forward.