Friday, September 28, 2012

Sampling Samplers: Breathless Reads (Fall 2012)

Breathless Reads Fall 2012 SamplerEvery now and then, certain publishers put out small, free samplers of their upcoming releases. I've never thought much of them before, but now they will be part of a new feature on my blog: Sampling Samplers.

Sampler 1: Origin by Jessica Khoury

 Stories about the struggles of perfect beings like Pia who have pet jaguars, can run twelve miles without breaking a sweat, don't bleed, and get almost everything they want are not very interesting to me. Still, it is competently written and I see why there is such hype over Khoury's debut novel. It just so happens that while I do think science is evil, I don't think it's seriously evil the way I feel this book would come to paint it.

(The intrigue was enough to make me check out the reviews, however. Insta-love and all, this doesn't sounds like my thing.)

Would I read on?: Unlikely.

Sampler 2: The Innocents by Lili Peloquin

No. Just no. Badly written with too much exposition/telling-not-showing in just the first two chapters and reading the excerpt in this sampler felt like a chore even though it was not very long. I get a Gossip Girl-esque vibe from this book and I dislike Gossip Girl-esque novels. I was not interested before and I am even less interested now.

Would I read on?: No.

Sampler 3: Venom by Fiona Paul

This specific excerpt held my attention the most out of the five stories featured, with the second most-interesting story coming in at a very, very close second. I didn't get the chance to connect with Cass the way I wanted to, but I liked the way the first two chapters were written, especially when Cass goes out to the cemetery to see her friend one final time--only to find her friend is not in the coffin where she should be--and ends up running for her life. The cliffhanger of that chapter makes me want to read on and see who was chasing her, but that was where the excerpt ended.

Would I read on?: Yes. The question is pretty much rendered null and void because I'm on an ARC tour for this book and have to read it, but I would have whether or not I got on that tour.

Sampler 4: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

A dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel with vampires being called Darklings and oppressed by humans. Okay. Sounds like a great idea, especially due to my soft spot for vampires, and the alternating chapters Ash and Natalie narrate have their own style and voice. Still, there's something about it that failed to capture me. My weariness of dystopians/post-apocalyptics, most likely. Natalie giving her Darkling maid a mandated ID bracelet like it's a gift put me off too. Just a few pages before, she was cringing at the dehumanizing torture and treatment of Wrath-infected Darklings, but she gives her maid a gold ID bracelet declaring she is owned by Natalie like it's not dehumanizing. Ugh.

Apparently, dystopic/post-apocalyptic novels with vampires in them only work for me if the author's name is Julie Kagawa.

Would I read on?: Unlikely.

Sampler 5: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

"Not my thing" is pretty much the phrase of this sampler. High fantasy is not my thing, though Rhodes (who is, by the way, Michelle Rowen writing under a pen name) writes it well and Venom just barely beats it out as the story with the most potential. Dividing up a story between more than three characters is risky territory and in just the chapters featured in this sampler, I see the story through the eyes of five. I might read on, but I can't see myself buying this unless I am absolutely assured I will love it. This would be a borrow, most likely. Fans of A Game of Thrones and all its sequels might be into this.

Would I read on?: Maybe.

Find this sampler and others on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, their Facebook page, and other online booksellers.