Hey Everyone!! :-)
It's the 18th again and you know what that means! :-) It's time for my monthly #IndieBooksBeSeen indie author book review! Enjoy! :-)
Snowburn by EJ Frost:
Hale Hauser (aka. Sandringham Snow), a freelance pilot and smuggler, and Kez, a runner who never ditches a job, no matter how hard or messy it gets, are two people who have been beat up by life. Experience has taught them both that other people can't be trusted, and the only way to survive is to look out for number one. But emotions don't always listen to reason and logic, and it doesn't take long for these two to figure out that neither one of them wants to be alone anymore. But the rest of the universe doesn't become a kinder, gentler place just because a couple of lonely nobodies find love. And the question they both end up having to answer is how much is each of them willing to sacrifice to keep the other?
I really liked this book. It's reminiscent of the Riddick movies, with a dark, gritty world and hard-bitten, cynical characters. The world-building is rich and detailed to the point where I was pretty sure I could smell the spicy, fried seaweed that is such a favorite of the main characters and feel the soft fur of Kez's bunnies. Snow is a great misunderstood bad boy who's really a good guy with a hard exterior. Kez is an interesting character with enough backstory and history to make her seem real. Both main characters are secretive, so it takes a while to get to know them, but the journey is worth it and the plot moves forward steadily throughout the book. This isn't a fast read, characters this complex take time to develop and there are a few twists and turns in the plot that need to be explored, but it is a fun read and well worth the time. Five stars, and I really hope there will be a book two! :-)
Vigilante Annie Scarlotte by Robert Kimbrell:
What would you do if you found yourself with an uncontrollable need for blood? A need so great that you would die if you didn't consume the blood of others? And, compounding your problem, you have to drink so much blood, your victim won't survive. So what's a girl to do? Why, feed on those who deserve to die, of course! And that's just what our heroine, Annie Scarlotte, does.
I had mixed feelings about this book. There are a lot of familiar themes, such as the feeding on evil doers a la Anne Rice, and the inevitable death of victims. Granted, the vampire trope has been explored ad nauseum, so it's hard to come up with completely new material, but there were things in this story that I thought had been done before by others and better. For instance, why couldn't the heroine drink a little blood from multiple people, thereby gaining the ability to feed without killing? This is only the first installment of the story, so these questions may be answered later, but this book left them hanging.
Still, the relationship between Annie and her love interest, Marcus, was interesting. There was an entertaining dynamic between the two of them that I think has the potential to become even better as the story progresses. Also, the spin the author put on who was deserving of his vigilante's special brand of attention was interesting. There is a strong theme of Libertarianism that runs throughout the story, which I find a bit nonsensical. But, hey, it's a vampire novel, a little nonsense and the need for the suspension of disbelief is to be expected. And the twist it lends to who the villains are in this piece is fun. Overall, it was a quick, entertaining read.