Status: DNF Cut
This was a story about a boy who went to a demon dimension for nine years and then returned to the Human Realm. His name is Shimon, pronounced She-moan, and he’s just come through a rip in the fabric of the realms and landed near his old city/home, Cherize City. In some ways this city sounds pretty familiar, there are cars, trucks, coffee shops etc, but still has a different feel to it than our Earth, so it’s not a standard urban fantasy in that way, at least from what I read. He lands in Cherize, has a bad encounter in a coffee shop with the locals since he’s lost his ability to speak Pangean. He ends up hurting someone unintentionally because he’s markedly stronger than normal people. He’s able to leap onto buildings, fling people through walls, and with a ‘gentle swipe’ can dislocate peoples arms/shoulders – which is exactly what happened. He eventually finds someone who points him towards his old home where his parents and brother still live.
Things go poorly there, too. Due to differences in the passage of time in the Human Realm vs Demon Realm, more time has passed for Shimon than for his family. His family thinks he should be 11, and here he comes as a 17-year-old trying to establish contact with his family despite not being able to speak with them. He gets kicked out, his parents flip out, and Shimon is understandably depressed. He runs into his brother, though, and things go much better with his brother than with his parents. He tries to re-learn Pangean with his brother’s help. There is, however, an organization that wants Shimon badly, and wants to capture him by any means necessary. Right after his encounter with this organization is where I DNF’d, about 16%.
The prose in this just did not at all work for me. There are very odd word choices being used that just didn’t flow well at all. Eg:
“He waved a cloaked arm, to which the being beamed a minimal smile”.
‘Beaming’ basically by definition is a huge smile… to follow up with “minimal smile” as a secondary descriptor is contradictory. There were phrases that were overused and became repetitious… “marine-haired boy” was used 57 times in a short book and became old, fast. I think it’s supposed to mean ‘blue-haired boy’ and not ‘salty haired boy’, but the color was never used, just the term marine. There were many instances where the word that was chosen didn’t quite fit correctly. It would be in the right ballpark, but it was slightly misused and lead to my confusion many times. There were words missing in some of the sentences, eg: “It took a little for the cloaked figure to react” – it would read more fluidly if it said, “It took a little while for the cloaked figure to react”. There were spelling errors, formatting errors, and there was a sentence that was cut off at the comma and not finished. It became burdensome enough that I had to DNF.
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Status: DNF 53% cut
I started this one first because according to goodreads, it was the longest. It actually read a lot faster than I was anticipating, and so therefore felt much shorter.
Fire Within is the story of Ivan, Thedric, and Ani, who all reside within the Taroshian Empire. Ivan is an escaped prisoner, coming with his fellow escapees to wreak vengeance upon those that imprisoned him, Thedric is the son of an important noble, investigating gang related shenanigans in the city, and Ani is the daughter of a bookseller… and a secret princess of a line that the empire thinks extinct.
This one was quite well written and for the most part quite well edited. It’s got a few lines in it that I highlighted because they were pretty quotable quotes. There’s some pretty good usage of metaphor here and there. Ivan and Thedric were interesting characters, but it was Ani that I most connected with.
I ended up setting it aside right around the middle because it got suddenly heavy with the objectification of women, and I was about done with the amount of breasts and asses pointedly ogled by the male MCs in between the female MC getting groped by the baddies. Perhaps this won’t be as egregious to other people, but after the third eyeroll in as many chapters, I was done. Still, if you’re a fan of epic fantasy and not as annoyed as I am at this sort of thing, I’d say you’d likely enjoy this one.
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Status: Read 100% passed round 1 of cuts. Cut in round 2
The last cut we have has already been reviewed. I passed on a few books to Graham for his consideration and he rated them higher than this one which was in his original batch. The book was very well written, and Graham was enjoying his time with it up until the ending. Try it for yourself if you think the original review sounds good to you!
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