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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The First FBC SPFBO Semifinalist Update(by Mihir Wanchoo)


Our First SPFBO update is a bit overdue, as I had explained in my 2017 SPFBO introduction post. We’ll be selecting one book semifinalist from every five books. These book groupings are random and sometimes we might have no semi-finalists or we might have more than one in one group.

With our first group, these were the five titles that I went with and keep in mind I tried to read at least five chapters or 20% of the book (whichever was longer). Before I made a decision whether I wanted to continue or skip to the next one.

Here are my brief-ish thoughts on each of them:

The Slave From The East (Victor Poole) – This book was an interesting one and the blurb while seeming a tad generic promised a lot. The opening chapters details Ajalia, a slave who will being one has her wits and strength hidden within. The first few chapters detailed an intriguing world however the characters weren’t that strong to hold my interest and after five chapters I chose to skip it.

The Crimson Queen (Alec Hutson)The Crimson Queen began with a very typical fantasy trope however the characterization kept me interested as we are introduced to quite a few more. The world settings weren’t quite detailed as I would have liked but the flow of the book kept me hooked all the way till the end.

The Burglar of Sliceharbor (Jason Holt) – This book was a nice comedic fantasy and had a bit of a Terry Pratchett vibe to it. The story opens up in the city of Sliceharbour which has a variety of animalistic/humanoid races and then introduces us to our main character a crane. The story however seemed very much like a draft and could have served with a couple more rewrites IMO.

The Lion Mistress (R. A. Steffan) – The Lion Mistress was a book which seemed very intriguing based on the blurb and it was a decent read. I must say that it begins on a dark note and the chapters that I read introduced a protagonist who is scarred on the outside & inside. The story however wasn’t as intriguing as I liked it to be and in the end I think it wasn’t a book for me.

Absence Of Color (S.K. Wee) – This was a very intriguing title and even though this seemed like a YA book, the author certainly has managed to infuse a certain amount of darkness into the story. This was a story that I certainly enjoyed and in the end it was a contest between this title and another dark debut.


So without further adieu our first semifinalist is The Crimson Queen by Alec Hutson. Many congratulations to Alec and I’ll be reviewing TCQ next week and hopefully will be able to interview the author as well.

2 comments:

DK said...

Glad to see this one getting some attention - just read it recently and loved it, found it very refreshing and enjoyable.

Bradley Bowen said...

Cool

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