Galmour: Rae Wilder #1

GlamourWell, it was bound to happen sooner or later, and here it is. Our first non-awesome review.

This is the first book in a series by Penelope Fletcher, and is about a young woman who grew up thinking herself human and … learns otherwise.

I shan’t like to give away spoilers.  So I’ll pause a moment to share the book’s blurb and let Ms Fletcher tell you what it’s about:

Rae Wilder has problems. Supernatural creatures swarm the earth, and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Stalked by a handsome fairy who claims she is like him, demonkind, Rae thinks maybe it was a mistake breaking the rules by going over the Wall into demon territory. Plunged into a world of dark magics, fierce creatures, and ritual sacrifice, she is charged with a guarding a magical amulet. The changes to her mind and body are startling, but rather than accept her purpose she struggles against who she is destined to be. Throw in a big lust for a vampire who can’t keep his hands off her, and life starts to get complicated. Rae is forced to make the ultimate choice: to live and die human, or embrace her birth-right and wield magics that could turn her into something wicked, a force of nature nothing can control.

Honestly, it looked like a pretty good story.  And Ms Fletcher shows a good bit of talent.  This book might even qualify for awesome if it weren’t for two very unavoidable facts:

First, and most important — I must say the book is not terribly well edited.  Even one good ol’ fashioned read through before publishing and some very blatant mistakes would show up — for example, in a late chapter Rae is being carried, according to the text, by someone who is not present in the scene as stated a couple of very short paragraphs later.  Also some of the sentences and paragraphs were phrased in an awkward way that might have got tweaked if Ms Fletcher had found a good friend to read the book over carefully who also was a stickler for English.

The second is that it feels like it’s trying to be a twist on Twilight.  If Ms Meyer’s book is your bag of chips you might not see this as a problem, so let me explain.  Inspired by Twilight?  Well, that’s a tradition of fiction, to emulate your favourites — if Ms Fletcher is a Meyers fan, that’s all well and good.  The book might do well to look a bit like she’s a fan of the work, which would make sense.  But it’s the feel.  There’s a love triangle that forms and just seems an arbitrary attempt to parallel the whole Vampire/Warewolf/Bella thing (sorry, I’m not a fan of Meyers’ work and can’t recall the names and am too lazy to care enough to look them up).

All told I would say — hey, the first book is 100% free on all book stores.  Give it a look, you might like it, if you don’t you’re not out anything.  The sequels are not free, and I’m debating with myself if I shall be purchasing any of them.  I’ve got a sample of book 2 in my to-read list, so we’ll see.  Maybe Compel will see a review one day.

Kindle Edition – Nook Edition – iBooks Edition

A Princess of Mars

A Princess of Mars, the first in a series by Edgar Rice Burroughs about the exciting adventures Barsoom.

There are nearly a dozen books in this series, though I’ll frankly say I’ve never read past the first six. 

The first three are about John Carter, a Virginian who, while prospecting, finds himself transported by mysterious means to Mars.  From there it is one exciting adventure after another as he learns to cope with the strange, brutal new world he’s found himself on and the strange, brutal people he’s found himself among.  There he meets the incomparably beautiful Dejah Thoris and the rest is history.

The next few books deal with his son, his daughter, and the daughter of Carter’s long-time friend among the Green Martians.  They’re good stories, but they don’t have the same feel as the earlier three and each one progressively seems to lack the lustre and wonder of the last.  Eventually you get to a book that feels like an attempt to rehash the first one with a new character.  I couldn’t finish it.

These stories are often credited with inventing the Speculative Fiction/Space Opera sub-genre of Planetary Romance.  The adventures of John Carter of Mars are deservedly engraved into the memory of SF, and their influence can be felt and seen in all but the newest stuff striving so hard to be unlike that which came before.  Ignoring the rest of the series I cannot recommend John Carter’s exciting adventures enough.  They’re truly timeless.  His chivalrous, honourable nature leaves him the kind of hero that will touch anyone in any era.  By all means, the later stories are a fun read, but more pulpy, and with less staying and wowing power.  But Princess of MarsGods of Mars, andWarlord of Mars will blow your mind or your money back.

Don’t believe me?  Follow this carefully crafted link over to Project Gutenburg and try it.  I swear if you don’t like them you’ll be refunded every penny.  Though I’ve a feeling that you will love them and cherish them and find yourself time and again flying out and away to that arid red globe with its white apes, faithful Woola, the fierce six-armed giants such as Tars Tarkas, the grand towers of Helium, and more.  This is like Princess Bride in space – sword fights, and fist fights, true love, and brave deeds, impossible odds, and dangerous beasts.

Awesome for the start, mediocre for the rest.