Monday, September 10, 2012

She Wulf Blog Tour

You may have noticed I haven't been posting much lately. I'm working on the next Others novel, you see, and it's not coming as easily as the others. So I'm distracted. But I want to get myself back on a regular posting schedule, including lots of reviews, and further installments in my Defining Urban Fantasy series. And what better way to kickstart book reviews than signing up for a blog tour, I thought, with the deadlines and all? So I signed up for not one, but two blog tours via Novel Publicity.

Someday, I will learn to read samples before actually agreeing to review something.

She Wulf Review

The folks at Novel Publicity sent me copies both of She Wulf and of the first book in the series, The Day of First Sun. I had originally intended to review both, but after the first couple of chapters of The Day of First Sun, I realized there was no way I could review it. It is, simply, too obviously a first novel. And not just a first-published novel, but a first-ever-written novel. I probably wouldn't have finished it if I wasn't participating in this blog tour, but I wanted to be completely fair, so I read the whole thing.

She Wulf, I hoped, would be better. It's an urban fantasy (though it feels more like a grown-up version of Harry Potter than one of the girl-heroine-kicking-ass-in-the-city novels usually labeled UF), and it draws heavily on Beowulf. Beowulf is cool, and Sheryl Steines does some gender-swapping to give us a female Beowulf and a female Grendel. So far, so good.

She Wulf is definitely better than The Day of First Sun in nearly every way. The plot is more coherent (possibly owing to the use of Beowulf, but even the non-Beowulf parts seem better constructed). The characters are a little less like cardboard cut-outs, though they still didn't ever seem like real people, and I didn't quite care what happened to them. The writing is better, though there are still a lot of missing commas, ungrammatical constructions, and other things that drive me nuts. To be fair, a lot of the things that drive me nuts are things readers more interested in pure story won't be bothered by.

So yes, it's a marked improvement. But... Yes, there's a "but." I still wouldn't have read more than a chapter or two if it weren't for this blog tour I signed up for. If I made it farther than that, I would definitely have given up when I hit the chapter with the horse, in which every single instance of the word "reins" was spelled "reigns" (yes, it's a word, but it's not the same word).

Maybe I demand more from fiction than other readers. I can ignore flaws in both writing and story if the characters grab me, but I can't forgive everything. But I'll stop there. I don't ever want to be the sort of person who tries to discourage people from writing, or even from self-publishing, and I do hope Sheryl Steines keeps writing and keeps getting better. Maybe someday I'll come back to her work and find I love it. Going by the glowing reviews Ms Steines, books have received on Amazon, it's possible the flaws are in me and not in the book. So my recommendation is this: download the sample first. You'll know by the time you read the first few pages whether or not this is a book for you.

Tour Notes

(The following text was supplied by Novel Publicity and is pasted in exactly as received.)

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the She Wulf eBook edition is just 99 cents this week--and so is the price of its companion, The Day of First Sun. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $550 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of the book. All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win! To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copy of She Wulf for just 99 cents
  2. Purchase your copy of Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  3. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  4. Visit today’s featured social media event
About She Wulf: Annie is sent through an ancient time portal with only a prophecy to guide her; she struggles with a new destiny as she tries to figure out a way to destroy an un-killable demon and return home. Get it on Amazon.

About The Day of First Sun: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your review, Nic. I'm sorry neither book was a fit for you, but I'm glad you saw an improvement in She Wulf. That's the best any author can hope for to keep getting better and better. Sheryl is an amazingly enthusiastic person and loves what she does, and I think it shows! Thanks for joining us on this tour :-D