We are slowly narrowing things down and we’ve got three more to cut today. As always, thank you to the authors for your submissions, we hope that you find new readers through our reviews!
Inkarna by Nerine Dorman
Reviewed by Kristen/Superstardrifter
Inkarna is the story of Lizzie Perry, an Inkarna – a group of people who, through meditation and worship of ancient Egyptian deities, can reincarnate after death. Lizzie, fresh off being a 93 year old woman in the 1960s reincarnates into the body of Ashton Kennedy, a 21-year-old tatted-up druggie metalhead… which is suuuuper not how that was supposed to go, to say the least. Shenanigans ensue!
This was a rather unique read. It takes place in Cape Town, South Africa. That’s not a first for me in fantasy settings, but it felt fresh and unique all the same. Getting to see Ash navigate this familiar world full of the unfamiliar was interesting, especially her navigating being in a man’s body (very unexpectedly) and faced with the man’s very loyal girlfriend to boot.
I ended up DNFing it somewhere around 70% because I had set it aside to catch up on some other deadlines and realized that I wasn’t really all that interested in picking it back up. I don’t think I really 100% latched onto Ash as a character. So it goes sometimes. Nevertheless, I would recommend it to someone interested in Egyptian Mythology used as a magic system, and Urban Fantasy that doesn’t take place in big-city America or London.
Review by Kristen/Superstardrifter
Aftan Whispers by Phil Williams
Aftan Whispers is the story of Tyler, who is a roofer in Metropolis, a city in the nation of Estalia, which is constantly covered by clouds. One day while working he nearly drops a roofing tile on a girl, and when he rushes to apologize he realizes that she’s running from slavers. She dropped a box with an important note in it in her effort to get away, and so he does his best to find her in the big city full of slums, gangs, and guards. When he does finally find the girl, a former slave named Deni, they both get pulled into an adventure that may help clear the skies.
This was an interesting dystopian steampunky world. Metropolis was an interesting place, very dirty and full of corruption and starvation, child labour and slavery.
I ended up DNFing at just about 30%, mainly because I didn’t really like Tyler as a character. He seemed… hopelessly committed to helping this girl (and everyone else he meets), and I just wasn’t really buying it. I can totally understand the ‘helping people is the right thing to do’ angle, but Tyler takes this to a level that just made me roll my eyes at times. While this volume is a standalone in the same world as another of Phil Williams’ books, I feel like I might have gotten some benefit from reading the previous books, since this one occasionally makes reference to people from at least one of them. That all said, this world seems quite interesting and I think I might read the first book in it, after all.
Review by Esme
This made it through my initial round of cuts. I have already given this one a full length review and I sent it over to Graham for further consideration. Unfortunately, there was a mixup with what was uploaded for the contest. I buy books on KU or on Amazon. I actually bought this one outright since it wasn’t on KU. The problem is, when Graham went to open it up it’s just the sample chapter. Furthermore, I’m not sure what the sample chapter looks like, but he said there were lots of grammar errors and things of that nature. The rules state : “Your manuscript must be uploaded via the online form when you apply to enter the contest. You will not be allowed to update or change it.”
My full length review based off what’s available on amazon is here:
We are getting down to the last few books and hopefully we will have more cuts and the final list of semifinalists ready soooonnnn.