It’s that time again… in order to announce semi-finalists, I also have to announce cuts. I really hope that people find these reviews interesting enough to pick up some of these titles.
Born of Water by A.L. Knorr – DNF – Kristen
This is a YA Urban Fantasy about a girl named Targa. Targa’s mother is a mermaid, and while Targa has never shown any indication that she is as well, she’s grown up a fairly normal human. Her mother, a master diver, is invited to Poland for a special salvage operation, and Targa comes along, and shenanigans ensue.
I was excited for this one, because the blurb hints that Targa might be ace, and I thought that would certainly be a unique thing to see in a YA book about mermaids. I was disappointed when this turned out to not be the case (no worries though, I didn’t have my hopes too high for ace characters in YA UF). Alas, so it goes. I had trouble staying interested in the plot as it moved a little too slowly for me, and I never really found myself enamored by Targa as a character. This book is definitely for you if you’re into stories of Sirens or Mermaids.
Storm of Divine Light by Ernesto San Giacomo – DNF – Esme
The blurb: A disturbance in the night and an unlikely stranger force the exiled master rogue Dagorat into a perilous quest. Along with his oldest friend Cyril the Wise, he sets off to retrieve a powerful weapon stolen by the dark mages of the Golgent. Together, they brave the journey across a continent to Dagorat’s former home of Easterly, where discovery means certain execution. Along the way, he uncovers hard truths about his past, and finds new hopes for his future. But the rising threat of war means those hopes tremble on a razor’s edge. Can he ever find his way out of the shadows and into the Light?
Unfortunately, this book and I just didn’t click. From very early on (page 3 and continued on for a while) there were dialogue info dumps that gave character and plot background. That sort of world building rarely sits well with me unless there’s a specific reason for it. Two characters who are already both aware of the information being spoken about is a pet peeve, and it happened so early that it was not getting off on the right foot.
I did like the world building, it had a very old school feel to it with mages and epic journeys, powerful artefacts, and high-stakes plotlines. This can get pretty violent and dark, so depending on your preferences that may be a good or bad thing. It was written like everything else, fairly descriptive, lol.
The writing style may appeal to some, but unfortunately it’s another area that didn’t work for me. Adverbs and adjectives were used so frequently that sentences would occasionally feel clogged and difficult to follow. Ultimately, I was struggling with the writing style so I knew at that point I had books I was sending forward to the semi-final spots, so I DNF’d about 30% through.
A Dragon’s Chains by Robert Vane
I gave this book a full review, so it did make it through round one cuts in that I finished it — but unfortunately it’s not going any further. This is definitely a book to pick up if you enjoy dragons as they’re heavily featured. There’s lots of action, adventure, magic, wizards, and dragons!