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April 10th, 2016

This may be my worst run of books yet. In my last book review post, I reviewed three books I didn't finish. Here are four more. I've never had seven duds in a row before... (Also, I see I left off some tags in my last post, so if you track my book reviews by the book review tag, you missed that last post.)

Fisherman of the Inland Sea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

A collection of short stories. While the author's name is very familiar, I suspect I haven't read anything by her before. Her voice didn't work at all for me. I read the first story, skimmed most of the second, but the third was where the book really lost me (about some tiny creatures on an adventure to scale a 'mountain,' which apparently was a porch step, but it was written as humans scaling a mountain would keep a journal, and it just so very did not work for me).


Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Man, I came really close to reaching the 50% point on this one, thus would have been able to count it towards my total for the year. There were moments when I actually enjoyed the story, and the writing was okay, but it was so long and wordy, and I kept reading night after night, long after I stopped enjoying it, but just couldn't reach the 50% point.

This was a "furry" book. No humans, every character was an animal-human mix. (And it's not just an anthropomorphic book, the author said he wrote the first chapters of this for a furry club group.) The main characters were Fants (elephant morphs). Apparently they were hated by every other race because they're the only animal morph race that isn't covered in fur. This worked out for them, because they got a whole planet to themselves, one no other race wanted.

The culture of the Fants was interesting enough. The worldbuilding was good. But once the plot got rolling (the quest for a drug that only the Fants knew about), the story lost me.

The whole furry aspect was a challenge for me to accept, too. Some of the names were really silly: fants, the dogs were "cans" (short for canines). All of the animal species' names were based on their scientific names, thus a whole lot of them I had no idea what they were supposed to be. Plus the book never touched upon some basic things: Where were the humans? Did these races evolve from Earth races or somehow just spring into existence, even though they were all based on Earth animals? I suppose we weren't supposed to question that.

Behemoth (Apex Predator Book 1) by David Meyer
Rating: Hated (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Typical self-published*, poor quality book. (*He lists a publisher, Guerrilla Explorer Publishing, but his books are the only ones they "publish," and it goes through Amazon's self-publishing service.)

The writing in it was just so bad. For example:

For a moment, she lay still in the swamp, inhaling the odors of clay, rotten oranges, and bird droppings.

That made me pause. Bird droppings? What do bird droppings smell like? I'm an animal lover, and I have no idea what bird droppings smell like. The main character lived in a city all her life and hated nature (and seemed to be clueless about everything), so how would she know?

His skin, although darkened from years of sun exposure, wasn't too many shades removed from that of an albino.


His waterproof trail-runners slapped the concrete with the lightest of touches.

It's like he keeps using words at random, like he doesn't know what 'albino' or 'slapped' mean...

Cobalt Slave by Jon Walker
Rating: Hated (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This one was even worse than Behemoth. Self-published, by no one else other than the author and "my future wife, Stephanie, for her tireless editing." He needs to find a new wife and/or editor, as the very first page of the book was full of writing issues, rough wording, poor editing, etc.

I didn't get much more than a page in, it was just that bad.

Currently reading: The Dragons Return (Tales From The New Earth Book 1) which seems good enough that I might stick with it. Fingers crossed!

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