Monday, August 22, 2011

My first Review - now with sprinkles

I have a machine gun approach to sharing creative things on the internet. The assumption is that if I spray enough people with ammunition of ideas, words and pictures I can stay relatively safe from any critical shrapnel.

There are a few times this doesn't work out such as when I posted my MC Escher Tardis and was promptly told by a few people that they'd have done it better but they don't know how. Got to love that range of critic that can't do and never has but knows they would do it better.

So I was about 78% super excited last month when I finally posted my first novel up for sale and watched with chummed breath to see if anyone would actually buy the thing. A few days had to pass before it finally hit like a sack of waffles that oh god, someone's going to write a review of this thing!

Each morning I would check, at first, just to see that yes I didn't dream the whole thing and there really is my name listed as an author (I fooled them good, eh?) but as that got old sock I found myself waiting to see if any little magical stars would appear next to the book title.

And I'd wait.

And wait some more.

And . . . eh screw this. It's begging time.

A half sarcastic tweet later and I'm pointed to someone who does a bit of book reviewing in exchange for free copies of said book. My heart beating a bit (oh yeah, I'm mostly undead now. Crazy weekend), knowing that there's a very good chance my tale will go over like a lead balloon sat upon by an elephant, I agree and off she goes into the wild blue internet.

That was a whole lot of text to say that here is the first non-related review of my book from someone that I haven't exchanged 140 characters with for a few years.

Courtesy of Duffbert's Random Musings (because Amazon is being a big ol' butt) -
The fantasy genre is not normally one I gravitate towards.  But throw in plenty of snarky sarcasm and off-the-wall situations, and I start to get interested in terms of reading "something different."  Through an acquaintance on Twitter, Sabrina Zbasnik asked me if I would be willing to read and review her ebook Tin Hero.  Given the off-beat description and the email exchange I had with her, I thought I just might like this.  I was right... This was an entertaining read based on the "hero kills ogre and wins the hand of the princess" story line, but with enough craziness to make it fresh and unique.

Jack the Farrier's son is one of those kids who is in constant danger of causing harm to himself or others (or even the whole village) due to his lack of common sense.  Everyone, including his family, harass him continuously, knowing that he'll probably not survive to see adulthood given his many failings.  He happens to be in the square when Princess Anne announces that an ogre is threatening the village, and the person who kills the beast will have her hand in marriage.  Jack ends up with her lace hanky dropped at the end of the proclamation, instantly "falls in love" with her, and decides that he will be the one to slay the ogre.  But how can he do that if he knows nothing about weapons, fighting, or really anything else for that matter?  He needs a teacher, and sets off to find the fabled master (on his horse named Horse) who has killed all manner of beasts in his lifetime.

Actually, make that *her* lifetime, as the master is a woman named Cas the Barbarian.  She's retired, and has little to no patience to train future dragon slayers, much less one that could probably be bested by his own shadow.  But she needs some quick money to pay off a tax collector, so she takes him on as a boarder and student.  While he's probably more dangerous to himself than to any mythical beast that needs to be killed, she does see a small spark within him that might be able to be molded into something that would stand a remote chance of not getting killed.  With the help of Penny (her other boarder), Humphrey (aka Hump, a beast killer in his own right), and Chud (you'll have to read the book to find out about Chud), they take their best shot at getting Jack to the point where he can win the hand of his "true love" (or die trying)...

Offering to read and review an author's first novel (and self-published at that) is always a dicey proposition.  They may put a lot of work into their writing, but you find out that perhaps writing isn't their calling.  Fortunately, Tin Hero doesn't fall into that category.  Zbasnik does a great job in taking the standard characters and twisting them around in ways that bring a smile and laugh to the reader.  Her skill with dialogue, usually an area where new authors fall short, shows an adeptness at capturing words and pacing.  It's even more enjoyable that she does this with "unusual" characters set in a time and place that isn't something you'd encounter at your local Starbucks.  Yeah, there were a few typos and grammatical errors that an editor would have caught and fixed.  Normally that would bug me, but I was having too much fun in the story to let it detract from the overall effect.  

In short, I was impressed that this is Zbasnik's first novel, but I hope it won't be her last.  If you're looking for an enjoyable read that goes off in directions you weren't expecting, Tin Hero is well worth downloading...

Obtained From: Author
Payment: Free
I've never been called "Zbasnik" before. I like to think it sounds like I'm a robot that's gotten the taste of human blood and is running amok in some postcard background city.

So, to sum up "at least my Mom thinks I'm cool."

1 comment:

Thomas "Duffbert" Duff said...

You can add me to the "thinks you're cool" list... :)