Tour’s Books Blog

July 30, 2010

Short Reviews: Two New eBook Releases from Samhain

  • Title: Bear Necessities
  • Author:  Dana Marie Bell
  • Type:  Erotic paranormal romance
  • Genre:  Shifters; expansion of the Halle Pumas series; bear meets mate
  • Sub-genre: Bear shifter falls for Outcast wolf when visiting cousin in Halle
  • My Grade: B+ (4.3*)
  • Rating:  NC-17 to X
  • Length and price:  Full novel; 80,000+ words for $5.50; some discounts available
  • Where Available:  ebook available at Samhain
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from publisher’s website

I followed Ms Bell’s Halle Pumas series and generally liked her books, but with Bear Necessities she kicks it up a notch and writes a well balanced story with humor, suspense, and lots of hot sex.  It helps that I loved Alexander ‘Bunny’ Bunsen, the bear shifter hero and I really liked Tabby, his Outcast wolf mate. (more…)

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July 29, 2010

3 Short Reviews: New Release Mystery, Erotic Paranormal, Erotic Romance

It’s a mixed bag this week, so see if anything appeals.

  • Title: Tomb With A View
  • Author:  Casey Daniels
  • Type:  Paranormal mystery
  • Genre: Amateur sleuth; Pepper Martin series; an obnoxious volunteer dies in the Garfield Memorial
  • Sub-genre: President Garfield helps Pepper Martin solve several crimes
  • My Grade: B- (3.7*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full novel; 90,000+ words for $7.99; some discounts available
  • Where Available:  book available at any book store
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online bookstore (more…)

July 21, 2010

BOYCOTT THIS BOOK: Troublemaker by Janet and Alex Evanovich

Filed under: Uncategorized — toursbooks @ 5:24 pm
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You know, even when I hate a book, there is usually SOME redeeming value.  Then there are just some egregious, money grubbing, inexcusable use of fame to rip-off fans.  This is a complete and total rip-off.

  • Title: Troublemaker
  • Author:  Janet Evanovich, Alex Evanovich, and Joelle Jones – illustrator
  • Type:  Graphic novel
  • Genre: Amateur sleuth; Barnaby and Hooker series
  • Sub-genre:  Glorified comic book
  • My Grade: F  (0*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Short short story with pictures for $17.99 discounts available
  • Where Available:  book available at any book store
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online bookstore

Can you spell RIP-OFF?  A huge, mind-boggling rip-off.  This pathetic attempt at money grubbing is a tribute to the desperation of authors and publishers to separate readers from their dollars without actually delivering anything of value to the reader.  This outrageously over-priced bit of trivia isn’t as good as your average comic book.

Troublemaker capitalizes on Ms Evanovich’s second tier series after her wildly successful Stephanie Plum.  Barnaby and Hooker had two outings – Metro Girl and Motor Mouth.  Both use Florida settings for much of the action, a place where Ms Evanovich has her second home.  Neither was a barn burner, but both were fairly entertaining for a light summer read.  Troublemaker is a dead loss.

The entire text of this so-called novel is shorter than a short story.  You can read it in about 20 minutes or 40 if you’re really slow.   I actually counted the words on several pages and it went from 6 to about 25.  On average, I’d say 10-15 words per page.  At 100 pages, that’s 1,500 words, give or take.  The typical book is typeset at about 400-650 words per page.  That’s a grand total of 3-4 pages of text.  How much of a story can you tell in under 2,000 words?  I’ve written journal articles that have a word limit of 3,500 words!  My reviews in my blog have long word counts!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, artwork tells part of the story, but even allowing for a few paragraphs of descriptions being taken up by the art, this is a pretty sorry excuse for a ‘graphic novel’.  The story – about Rosa’s supposed abduction – is confused, disjointed, and incoherent.  Comics, or graphic novels, require the storyline be tight, without distracting sidebars.  There’s no time or space for such things, yet Evanovich wrote this like a bunch of unconnected scenes intended for another book.  Unable to use them, they were strung them together with the slimmest premise around getting Rosa back safely and – Troublemaker was born from the scrapheap.  It was STUPID AND INSULTING TO THE READER.

I’m not sure how I feel about the very well done artwork that’s wasted on the mishmash of tale with less sense – and a lot fewer laughs – than a Carol Burnett sketch.  It was rather sad.  The artist, Joelle Jones, obviously cared a great deal while mother and daughter Evanovich were more than willing to trade on their names.

Like many people, I read comics as a kid.  The creators of characters like Batman, Superman, even Archie, respected their audience and gave them stories that were illustrated with good art.  Troublemaker had the quality art, but no story.

My recommendation:  BOYCOTT THIS BOOK. I’m serious.  As long as people buy this god-awful tripe on the strength of an author’s popularity, readers will be ripped off.  It’s a disgrace and not worth the 20 minutes it will take to read it.  Tell everyone who reads Evanovich to give this an absolute pass.  At a $1.50 it would be overpriced.  At $17.99, it’s a joke, even at the Amazon discount that takes it under $10.00.  Allow me to blow a big, fat Bronx cheer at Janet and Alex Evanovich!  Go buy some real comic books.  You’ll get more value for your money!

July 20, 2010

Short Reviews: 4 Mysteries/Thrillers from Paranormal to Historical

I like mysteries in general, and their frequent partner, action thrillers.  I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew and Dame Agatha so it’s  no surprise really.  I admit that I am a bit particular about them, though.  I have little patience with certain tropes and character types.  Here are 4 very different books, and my reactions to them.

  • Title: A Glimpse of Evil
  • Author:  Victoria Laurie
  • Type:  Paranormal mystery
  • Genre: Amateur sleuth; Psychic Eye series; meddling psychic works for FBI
  • Sub-genre:  Meddling profiler violates FBI procedures and gets in trouble
  • My Grade: C  (3.0*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full length novel; about 90,000+ words for $7.99 discounts available
  • Where Available:  book available at any book store
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online bookstore (more…)

July 14, 2010

Short Reviews – 3 New Releases in Urban Fantasy and Erotic Paranormal

May and June are big release months for ‘beach reads’.  That includes lots of romance, mystery, urban fantasy and paranormals.  I read my way thru some good ones and a below average one from a writer I generally like a great deal.  I am often amazed and pleasantly surprised by some authors – good and bad:

  • Title: Twice Bitten
  • Author:  Chloe Neill
  • Type:  Urban fantasy
  • Genre: Werewolf and vampire in an uneasy alliance; Chicagoland Vampires Book 3
  • Sub-genre:  Schemes and plots; should the world know about shifters?
  • My Grade: B-  (3.9*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full length novel; about 90,000+ words for $15.00 list but discounts available ($I paid 8.85)
  • Where Available:  book available at any book store
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online bookstore

The Chicagoland Vampires is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. It isn’t quite the type  story I like, but I was surprised to find that Chloe Neill is getting better with each installment.  Hardcore UF readers will justifiably complain this is UF light.  True, but I think UF light has broader appeal than the noir style stories while maintaining just enough of an edge keep from sliding into paranormal chick-lit. (more…)

July 13, 2010

A Vampire Mystery and a New Action Thriller

Every once in awhile, a book title is just so intriguing you simply MUST have it regardless of the fact it’s out of print and the publisher is defunct.  Such was the case with The Case of the Virtuous Vampire.  How did I stumble across such a niche market book from a tiny publisher?  Paperback Swap.  Yes, despite what many publishers think, book swapping online actually increased my purchasing of books, it didn’t reduce it.  It does the same for many others.  Why?  Because you find many new authors and/or genres and the waiting lists move too slowly because there aren’t millions of copies sold.  But I’ve bought a hundred paperbacks – trade paperbacks (those $14-$18 oversized paperbacks) and mass market paperbacks, many by new or new to me authors.  I’ve also bought more than my fair share of hardcovers.  SIGH!

I wonder sometimes just how much the current paranormal/UF craze owes to J.K. Rowling and her brilliant Harry Potter series.  You have a whole generation of kids growing up enjoying the story of the ‘boy wizard’ in the books and the movies.  A lot of today’s Twilight reader’s probably cut their fiction teeth on Harry and his friends.  It’s only natural they would find a touch of the supernatural appealing.   I think the predictions of a waning interest in paranormal and UF that many publishers predicted were a bit premature. (more…)

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