Review: That Scoundrel, Emile DuBois by Lucinda Elliot

Lucinda Elliot describes her novel as a “cod gothic,” a seriocomic parody of a venerable genre that often satirizes itself. The book is a delightful read, with an intriguing story, lively sometimes-outrageous characters, and well-placed touches of humour. An outstanding feature of this amusing vampire tale is the delicious contrast between the staid nobility of…

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Review: The Quickening by Mari Biella

The Quickening is above all a novel of mood. It has a pleasing quality of intriguing familiarity that brings other writers and their works to mind while at the same time setting out its own unique ambiance. As an old-fashioned atmospheric ghost story, the author’s style suggests that of a young Wilkie Collins or a…

Review: Birdie Down by Jim Graham

This one is usually free at Smashwords. Why not enjoy an exciting read that costs you nothing? Birdie Down is Jim Graham’s second novel and a science fiction version of what Rudyard Kipling would have called a "ripping good yarn." What we have here is high adventure of the best kind with a motley collection…

Review: Revolution by Rachel Cotterill

Revolution is a fast paced, engrossing, and enjoyable read. Rachel Cotterill’s second novel, Revolution, is another fast-paced adventure fantasy, and something of an accomplishment. A sequel to Rebellion, the book continues the exciting adventures of the interesting and remarkably independent hero Eleanor. The knife fights keep coming, the rousing action remains all pell-mell and helter-skelter,…

Review: Scat by Jim Graham

Scat is Jim Graham’s first novel. Best described as a hard science-fiction thriller, the dialogue-driven plot revolves around ruthless resource-based political machinations worthy of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Like Dune, there is also a struggle for planetary independence. While lacking the mystical allure of Herbert’s Muad’ Dib, the book’s main character - hard-nosed laconic ex-soldier, Scat…

Why Brian S. Pratt Sells So Well

Fantasy writer Brian S. Pratt is one of the most popular authors on Smashwords. Yet, while he generally gets good reviews overall, many people have panned his novels for their bad grammar, poor character revelation, and skimpy plots. (I believe that he had cleaned up his spelling atrocities before I discovered him.) I've read only…