Let me start off by saying I received this book from Ebook Skill for free. I have no idea why they sent it to me as I don't recall signing up to receive books from them, but I did, and the story sounded good, so I decided to download it and read it. Now, I'm reviewing it because that seems the nice thing to do for a book I enjoyed and didn't have to spend a dime on.
Hot damn did I enjoy this book. It took me forever because it is long, but it is soooooo good. The idea of the reaper quitting his job and humanity taking over is an interesting premise and the way the author did it is so how we would do it by basically turning it into a government type job.
The characters were interesting. Grim was a complete wet noodle unless the right buttons were hit and that happened on a few occasions. Most of the time I wanted to shake him and tell him to man up. Which I imagine was the point of his character. Tom I could picture well. A once buff dude whose life fell apart so now he's overweight and a drunk, but still half believing he is still as awesome as he once was. He was very believable. I found myself rooting for both men to get what they wanted. Dereck was an interesting bad guy that you couldn't really help but sympathize with and kinda want him to be redeemed, but you know deep down it's probably not possible. The Judge was a giant sociopath who you could believe got away with everything solely because he was a man with power and he knew it. Very disturbing character.
As for Cora, her voice was very authentic. She narrated the story and her personality shone through in her word choices. I could very much imagine her sitting across from me and regaling me with this tale.
The pacing was good and often I was on the edge of my seat wondering how Tom and Grim were going to succeed and if Cora and her band would survive. There was definitely a death I didn't expect that made me say, Damn, how's this going to end the story now? Only thing that got to me was some of the injuries the characters got made me wonder if they really would still be doing what they did, but it wasn't enough to completely throw me out of the story.
Grim is available on Amazon and KU.
Back in October of 2017, I got a message offering to let me try a service for getting reviews for free called Voracious Readers Only. Being one not to pass up free, I said yes. Now, it's been a few months and I think enough time has passed to where I can give a decent review to whether it was worth trying.
The goal of the service is to get books into the hands of readers who will review and become fans. Readers also agree to let you add them to your mailing list.
VRO promises around 20 readers per book. I can say that is a promise they easily achieved. I had Being Human offered for review and it got 38 requests.
But how many reviews did both books get?
I went looking at Amazon and Goodreads and it looks like each book got about five or six reviews and mostly on Goodreads. I did receive two emails of people who reported back to VRO with links to their reviews. I don't think this is bad because I've heard for every 100 book reviewers you contact, you are luck to hear back from ten.
My main issue was Larry, the person who contacted me, made it sound VRO would ensure everyone reviewed the book in his initial message. That sounded farfetched to me. Looking at their website, I see in the FAQ they say they can't guarantee everyone will read and review the book. Maybe they realized it sounded as if reviews were guaranteed. I can't say as I didn't look at the FAQ until much later.
Anytime I had to contact VRO, I received prompt responses and they were friendly and helpful.
In regards to the mailing list, it added 86 new people to my newsletter, but in the two newsletters I have sent out, I've had at least one person who was added through VRO unsubscribe. That's two for two, so I'm wondering what will happen next time I send out a newsletter (and this is with both newsletters having giveaways in them.) I did read a review from another author who had great success with VRO in regards to her newsletter, so maybe it's hit or miss, or possibly, I just suck at newsletters.
Should you try it?
In short, yes. VRO offers to let authors try the service for free and if you like it, you can do a 20$ a month ongoing promotion to find more readers. I'm considering trying that for a month with whatever book I release next (I just have to get a book ready.)
If you are into reading and reviewing, you can sign up to get books through this service. It costs nothing to join and you get books. Just make sure you are willing to write reviews. The site states it's not for people who just want to fill their ereaders with free books they never intend to read.
If you want to know more, visit Voracious Readers Only and click on Readers or Authors at the top to get the information about it.
I thought I'd share a couple of fun reads I found this year. (Also, this will be so Amazon doesn't remind me I suck at using affiliate links and threatened to send me to my room. =P **edit to add. Too late. Amazon says I suck and took away my toys.)
First up is Tentacles Under a Full Moon by C.D. Gallant-King.
Normally, I'm not into vulgar language and descriptions, but I'm giving CD a pass here for writing a great story. Think of it as a D&D campaign but with swearing and talk of bodily functions. I certainly didn't expect the deaths that happened. The ending wasn't what I would call a happily ever after. I kinda wanted poor Huckle to have something go his way. Definitely will have to read book 2.
Second book I've enjoyed this year is Masks by Amara Lynn. I actually won this book thanks to #IndieFeature.
This was enjoyable. Given how anti-social I can be, Avari was relatable. LOL!
I kept waiting for the moment when Avari lost control, but it never really happened. He goes and blows some stuff up, but it didn't really feel like losing control. He seemed more of an anti-hero or more of a troubled youth who just needed someone to reach out and connect to him. I like that aspect, but the book really isn't marketed that way.
I totally called Chayton about halfway through, so no real shock at the ending. I do wonder if a second book is in the works because the main question driving Avari didn't really get wrapped up.
Overall, I enjoyed the characters and it was a fun read.
So, found any good books this year? As you can see, I'm doing the unthinkable and whittling down my TBR pile. Can't have that. Those only grow.
Once again, I did the Goodreads Reading Challenge in 2017 to keep me motivated to read. If I don't, I tend to skip it in favor of staying up later to write. As a result, I've gotten better at not reading a book in one sitting. I'll be signing up again for 2018, but I thought I'd share a few of the stories I read in 2017 that I really enjoyed with a little review.
Bugs by Stephen Drivick
This was a short story and it creeped me out. The idea of giant bugs taking over the world? UGH! I don't mind bugs as long as they aren't touching me. Plus, the bigger, the more they get to me. Don't get me wrong, I find bugs interesting, they just also gross me out. The ending of this story was perfect too. It kind lets you make a decision about it and that's unique.
Get it on Amazon for 99cents if you want to be creeped out.
1301: The Marquis (The 13th Floor #1) by Christine Rains
Full disclosure, Christine and I are writing buddies. We swap stuff all the time, but I still love her stories and this one was amazing. There is a ton of action, a bit of romance, and lots of destruction. I was on the edge of my seat. Other characters who showed up perked my interest and made me want to read more in this series.
It's the first book in a series and is free or you can get the boxed set for $4.99 on Amazon.
Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People by L.G. Keltner
Another good addition to the Self Help 101 series. It was fun seeing Dani at college and the shenanigans she and her friends got up with. I think this is my second favorite next to book 1. (Which I don't think can really be topped, but the entire series is fun and worth it. See my review for that here.
All the books are 99cents on Amazon. Get them so L.G. writes more because I want more. ;)
PS: I got an email from Amazon and they were all, 'you really sux teh ballz at this affiliate thing, so if you don't git gud, we're closing your account, loser.'. (excuse me Amazon for not wanting to shill 24/7 to my blog readers. =P) So these links are affiliate links. I hope Amazon is happy now.
PPS: I really did love all these books. Here's my complete 2017 reading challenge if you're curious to what else I read. Three of those books were DNFs, but even not counting those, I still completed the challenge.
* Marie Landry
* Story Dam
* A to Z Challenge
* Alex J. Cavanaugh
* Larry Kollar
* C. Lee McKenzie
* A Book Lover's Playlist
* Cherie Reich
* M. Pax
* MJ FiField
* Melissa Barker-Simpson
* Christine Rains
* Heather M. Gardner
* George McNeese
* Lexa Cain
* L.G Keltner
* Sarah Foster
* Chrys Fey
* Liana K (Youtube)
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