Saturday, January 28, 2012

Four Self Published Kindle Books Reviews (Free and .99 cents)

When I bought new phone this past winter, I decided to buy an iPhone because of the great deal at the time. I also found out the wonders of free apps and one of these free apps was the Kindle app. I downloaded the Kindle app and a whole new world opened for me in regards to the massive amount of books I could download. I’ve gone a little crazy, downloading close to 25 books in the past 2 weeks. I think I have an addiction to downloading free Kindle books! Most of the books I’ve downloaded have been free or priced at.99 cents. This is how I read Susan Ee’s amazing post-apocalyptic fallen angel YA book, Angelfall that’s quite a steal for .99 cents. It’s one of the best self-published books I’ve ever read and if it was double the price I would have still bought it. I urge you to buy Angelfall because it’s so good. Kmont from Lurve Ala Mode and I will soon post our discussion review about Angelfall. We both loved it and can’t wait for the next book in what will be a five book series.

I check out the top 100 free books offered on Amazon almost every day. The genres I search the most are romance, erotic, horror and children’s books (which also has young adult books). I end up downloading the free ones the most, which the majority is self-published. I’ll also buy some .99 cent ones. I admit, I’m cheap when it comes to the books I buy. I refuse to buy an ebook that’s $9.99 and won’t go higher than $5.99 unless the book has amazing reviews not only on Amazon but on Goodreads. This enables me to find new authors, as well as familiar ones that have published their backlist at an affordable price.

I’ve decided to post about some of the books I’ve downloaded and give mini reviews because like I said before I’m always on the lookout for something new and different. Out of the 25 Kindle books I have downloaded, 90% of them were DNFs or made me roll my eyes in disgust because if it wasn’t the writing I had issues with, it was the overall story.

Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter was a free young adult book about Mary who can see and hear ghosts. Mary’s a loner who lives with her fortune teller grandmother and wears all black, broods and is bullied. No one at her school likes her except for her quirky friend, Rachel. There’s a new boy, Cy, who seems to like Mary for no reason that’s explained and soon the popular cheerleader, Vicky tries to catch Cy’s attention. But Cy wants to be friends with Mary and one night he invites her over to his house (his parents are conveniently MIA throughout the entire story) and through the Ouija board they contact an evil spirit who used to live in the Cy’s house and ended up killing his wife. Cy assumes Mary is playing a cruel trick on him and turns his back on her. Now Mary has to exorcise the evil spirit before it can harm Cy.

Scary Mary has a horrible cover and the overall tone isn’t scary at all. This was a weakly written book, relying on too may lame tropes we’ve seen before in past young adult novels. Mary was annoying and the way Cy went from hot to cold with her didn’t make any sense. The whole story fell very flat even with the evil spirit plot. Mary’s off putting personality because of how she was treated by her classmates didn’t endear me to her at all and I want to smack her when all was said and done. Overall. Scary Mary was a lacking, one dimensional reading experience.

Final Grade: C

Gossamer Gate by Wendy Callahan was also free and is more of a “new adult” read with the heroine in her early 20’s. This is straight up Labyrinth fan fiction and even with the adult language, adult situations and the sexual promiscuity of the heroine, Khiara, who’s juggling four different men at once, I DNFed this half way through because of the blatant fan fiction style. Even when Khiara enters the Otherworld fae realm and the prince, Ronan stalks her and his brother, Liam comes along to help her, including her human best friend and her crush, Sean tries to save her, there’s barely any real action to keep this story moving along. Gossamer Gate isn’t magical or spectacular and again because it’s blatant Labyrinth fan fiction trying to be original fiction, I cannot recommend this or the $2.99 price it’s now being sold as.

Final Grade: DNF

I’ve never read a transgender romance before and Marlene Sexton has one available for free called High School Reunion. Jerry isn’t happy about attending his high school reunion because his wife left him for another man and he feels he’s a loser. But then he meets Denise and they connect, so much so they go back to her place. Jerry thinks he’s going to get lucky and is amazed this beautiful woman wants him. But then Denise tells him he used to be Dennis and has been living as a woman. But Jerry is attracted to Denise and gives into his passions even though Denise still has all his working parts as a man.

High School Reunion was a hot erotic story and Marlene can write great sex scenes, but with this one you have to suspend your disbelief because Jerry isn’t attracted to men (he’s definitely straight) and because he thinks at first Denise is a woman, he’s attracted to her. But then he’s all for having sex with Denise even though Denise is fully male. I had some difficulty getting passed this, including how both men say, “I love you” right after they had sex with one another. Even with my issues, High School Reunion is well written and a great sexy short and something different.

Final Grade: B

His Indecent Proposal by Lynda Chance is .99 cents. It’s a short, Harlequin Presents type romance where the hero is this uber-alpha male who wants his way and won’t take no for an answer. The set up is somewhat ridiculous where David needs to marry quickly so he can keep control of company he’s already running. He finds the wife he needs in the accounting department where Jenna works. Jenna is barely making ends meet because she has $100,000 in college loans to pay off, but she makes everyone believe she never went to college because she needed the job and is overqualified. If Jenna agrees to marry him, he’ll give her $100,000, which will solve her money issues. Jenna thinks they’ll only be married for a short time, but then David gets a taste of Jenny’s luscious body and he decides divorce is no longer an option.

His Indecent Proposal could have been so much better if it was longer. It’s only 21,000 words, and even though the chemistry between David and Jenna is great and the love scenes excellent (even with the annoying head jumping back and forth between the two main characters) things come to a close too quickly and everything is resolved in a very unrealistic manner. I felt unsatisfied because the ending is so sudden and swift.

Final Grade: C+

Would you like me to review more of the self-published Kindle books read? Is this something that would interest you? If so, I plan on reviewing 3-4 of them each week if I can, and hopefully find some treasures to recommend, as well as some duds to stay away from even if they’re free or for the low price of .99 cents.



Natasha A. said...

This is a great feature! I would totally appreciate it if you did this weekly :D

ahz1 said...

Agreed. This is a great feature. I am addicted to the freebie downloads. I've made it a goal to try to read at least 3 or 4 of them a month.

JenM said...

I've got a ton of freebies, but I've also got a ton of books that I paid for, so the freebies tend to go to the bottom of the list, LOL. I totally appreciate you doing this and would love for you to continue it.

KB/KT Grant said...

Natasha: It looks like I'm going to :)

Ahz1: I just downloaded 2 more books today! I can't help myself.

JenM: You should see my one table in my room. I have 30 books to be read including the 200 others on my TBR book shelves.

Vita said...

I really like this mini-review feature. Your writing style fits this format, in that you give a great concise synopsis and very concrete, understandable reasons as to why the story worked (or didn't work) for you.

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Love this feature! There are so many cheap self-pubbed ebooks, that most of the time I don't want to waste my time on trying to read something with bad writing and an awful cover to match :) I agree, Angelfall is a fantastic read! I also loved Blood Destiny series by Connie Suttle (at least first 4 books).

heidenkind said...

I love this feature! The majority of books I download for Kindle are .99 or free, too, and there's a lot to choose from. I am definitely going to look at Angelfall. :)

EC Sheedy said...

I used to be paper and now I'm going E--both for writing and publishing books and reading them. :-) And I have to say, your taking the time to review self-published work is truly appreciated. This is so-o much a good thing.

KB/KT Grant said...

Vita: Thanks. I think I will go ahead and post this new feature, if not once a week, at least twice a month.

Kara: :) I will have to check out Suttle's books. Are they free or 99 cent ones?

Heidenkind: Go purchase Angelfall! You won't regret it.

EC: Will you be self publishing also?

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Katie, first couple defiitely 99 cents each. I'm very curious of what you would think of them.

EC Sheedy said...

I don't think your blog likes me, Katie. She keeps eating my comments. :-)

To answer you question, yes, I'm self publishing now--only on Amazon so far--and the learning curve is majorly steep. But it is kind of fun.

Are you self-pubbing, too, or are you with a publisher?

(Now it's off to see if my comment will post. ;-)

KB/KT Grant said...

Kara: Which 99 cent books? Ones I should read and review? Any suggestions?

EC: I'm with 3 epubs and have 10 book released with another 3 coming out this year. I plan on self pubbing 2 short stories later in the year. Should be interesting!

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Sorry! :) Blood Wager and Blood Passage by Connie Suttle - first two in series. 99c each on Amazon.

EC Sheedy said...

EC: I'm with 3 epubs and have 10 book released with another 3 coming out this year. I plan on self pubbing 2 short stories later in the year. Should be interesting!

Wow! You're on fire. I wish you lots of luck with the short stories. :-) Every writer needs lots of luck in this Alien New Publishing world. I'll watch for them.