Book Review: Grimm by M.K. Eidem

This week’s review is by M.K. Ediem, the first book in her Tornian series, Grimm. This is a bit different from my normal reviews as it is not a short story, it is actually a fairly long book. Also, I listened to it in audiobook form.

I am a bit of an audio book junky. My day job is a normal, but sometimes boring, desk job. So often while I work I will listen to audiobooks, just to liven up my day. I adore reading but, like most others, don’t always have the time and audio books are a great way to find time.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

So Grimm is a romance novel about a woman who is kidnapped by a race of aliens that are dying out to basically be a breeder for them. And, as this is a romance novel, she falls in love with one of them. I am going to admit it, romance novels are one of my guilty pleasures and, as I love anything Sci-Fi or Fantasy, I love to read paranormal romances. This, however, was not one of my favorites. It’s not the worst book I ever read but it did have some serious problems.

  • All of the characters were very one dimensional. Now, I know this is a romance novel, I am not expecting major character development, but a little wouldn’t hurt.
  • The kids. The main female character has two daughters who, by the 3rd chapter have been taken from their home and see their recently widowed mother making out with a huge dude who is not human. And they are totally fine with it.

Now, I am the oldest of six kids with my siblings ranging from 23 to 7. I have over 30 cousins, at least half of whom are younger than me so I can say with complete authority… this is not how kids act. If we are going to have even slightly realistic children there should have been multiple code red level fits thrown, but nothing.  They aren’t even scared of the aliens that are everywhere!

  • Insta-love. I hate it when books do this, it kind of feels like a cop out. However, in other books I can normally deal with it. In this book it actually kind of offended me. She is kidnapped, nearly separated from her kids forever and taken to another planet but she tells the guy that she loves him within just a few days. I call bull shite. When I read the description for this book I thought I would be reading about two different cultures clashing and these two struggling to get over their differences (and her KIDNAPPING) to slowing fall in love with each other. That is not what happened.
  • Her speeches. The main girl in this book gives speeches… a lot. People don’t talk like that.

Well, now that I have torn this book apart I will tell you it wasn’t absolutely terrible as far as silly romance novels go. If you are bored and want a book where you don’t have to think and just want a happy ending, you could do worse than this book.

However, if you do choose to read it I would suggest getting it from audible. It is dually narrated where there is a male voice actor doing the male voices and a female voice actor doing the female ones. What really set it apart though were the sound effects. You can hear birds chirping when they are outside or you hear if a door knocks before the narrators tell you, pretty cool

What I really thought about during this book though was an article I read on Writer’s Digest once about a character’s “status.” This book had the critical flaw that the author could have avoided if she read that article. Neither of the main characters was ever in a situation where they had a lower status than anyone else. They were always the top dogs and, quite frankly, it made them kind of boring. It made me think about my characters and how their status needs to be high, but I still need to come up with scenarios where they are vulnerable. So I guess in that respect, I am glad I read this book.

If you would like to get it on Audible click here.

Self Published Review: Demon Eyes by Sarina Dorie

So this Sunday I will be reviewing, as you can probably tell by the title, Demon Eyes by Sarina Dorie. I want to tell you a bit about why I chose this book. I am a fan of a Kpop singer named Jay Park. He actually grew up in the area I live in but is now an entertainer in Korea. I like most of his songs, but there is one that always makes me laugh. It is called Demon, and it is in English.

I have often thought that one of the reasons I like Kpop is because I cannot understand what they are saying so the stupid and or ridiculous lyrics cannot bother me. This song supports that theory. The entire song is a bit silly talking about how he can’t let go of this girl and and how that somehow makes her a demon. But there is one line in particular:

“No wonder your eyes are red in every picture we take. You’re a demon, why you so evil to me?”

Yes, because clearly her having red eye is a sign that she is a demon. Except, in the story i just read… it really is. So, without further ado, here is my thoughts on this short story.

What did you like about the story?

I liked the randomness of it. I know that was a weird comment, so let me explain. Basically in this story a girl goes into a 24 hour store and picks up her graduation pictures and laments when she has red eye in them as this is apparently a recurring problem for her. The boy at the counter tells her that, clearly, this means she is a demon. See the random? But, it actually works for this. In a short story there is no room for slow buildup, you just gotta kinda put it out there right away and while this might not have been an elegant way to do this, it was entertaining.

What didn’t you like about the story?

There was a lot of explanations. This is a 2100 word story and we spend nearly half of it with the counter guy explaining things… it was a bit boring.

What did you learn?

I’m gonna be honest. I’m not really sure that I learned anything. But I was mildly entertained for a few minutes so I wouldn’t count it a total loss.

Would you recommend reading this book?

No, as I said in the above question I was only mildly entertained and the story is extremely short. However, she does have multiple books out, you can check out her profile on smashwords here, and I would not be opposed to reading a book of hers that was longer with the story more fleshed out.

If you would like to read this short story just click here!

New Weekly Segment!

I have been considering lately what I want this blog to be about. Its main purpose, as I wrote about earlier, is to talk about the process of me writing my novel. The problem is that I don’t always have something very interesting or entertaining to say about that. Other than “I wrote words… then realized I didn’t like it and rewrote them…” Oh, the joys of editing.

So to break up the monotony of me complaining (apparently writing a novel is hard, who knew?) I have decided to introduce a weekly segment. Introducing:

Self-Published Writing Review Monday

Its a working title, don’t judge me.

Basically I will go on smashwords or amazon and I will look around the free self-published fiction. I will find something I think is interesting, read it and tell you what I think. Not only does this make sure I keep up on reading, I am a firm believer that writers should read, it will also give me a better sense of the self-publishing community.

I have built a small and simple survey, to give myself questions to think of when writing reviews. I may not always follow it exactly but it will at least give it some format. So, without further ado, here is the first review!

 

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The story I will be reviewing today is “The Hunt” by Troy Martin. I chose to start off with a short story because right now I am actually working on a short story so I wanted to read a few to get a feel for the format.

What did you like about the story?

The main thing that I liked about the story was his imagery. It wasn’t overly done but there was enough to pull you into the world he was building. The story itself wasn’t all that ground breaking or imaginative, it’s about a guy that hunts werewolves and one in particular because it killed his wife. But what the story lacked originality it made up for in description.

What didn’t you like about the story?

There was one plot hole that pulled me out of the little world being created. This man, whom we have not been told is anything but human, is able to choke out a werewolf. Troy described to us how bad-ass these things are and how it apparently ripped a door to pieces but his character is able to choke his newly werewolf wife to death with his bare hands. This may be explained away by the fact that she is newly turned, but in a few paragraphs he holds down the werewolf that turned his wife long enough to cut off his head… I call bullshit.

What did you learn?

I have read quite a lot of fantasy and science fiction, but this is one of the first times I have consciously read with the eye of a writer. One thing I noticed was the lack of explanation. He didn’t spend paragraphs explaining the origin of werewolves in this world or give an in-depth explanation as to how to kill them. We got little snippets here and there and in these five pages I was able to learn what I needed to know to understand what was going on. Thinking back on other things I have read I realized that is normally how it works. The often repeated show them don’t tell them phrase in action.

One thing I had been struggling with in my short story was how did I explain all the different nuances of what these characters are and what they can do? Now I realized that for that story, I don’t have to. All you need to know is that they are teenagers with magic that heal fast. When I write the whole novel I will have to go into more detail but there will be no long boring paragraphs of explanation, it will be dropped here and there as needed.

 

Overall I thought that this was a good short story, definitely worth the read! If you want to read it for yourself you can download it here at smashwords.com:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/404702

 

If you do read it, let me know what you think!