Being a lot more picky with what I buy and how I spend my money I’ve taken to reading a lot of samples online via the Amazon Kindle store. From there I decide if I’m going to go through the Library (if it’s an option) or if I want to wait or if I want to commit and grab it. I try to go for samples of things that are on sale for that month, which I try to mention if I commit to one, or if I see something at the Library and I’m not sure if I want to try it.
Here were January’s samples and my decisions:
- The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
The writing on this one didn’t grab me. It was cute and I love fantasy stories with talking animals but it flat in what I had. There wasn’t much past that on this one for me.
- City of the Lost by Kelly Armstrong
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t enjoy the first segment of this but past that I got hooked in. I’ve read some Kelly Armstrong before, and I vaguely recall always having a bit of an adjustment to her style of writing. This time I think it was the almost clinically disassociated manner in which the main protagonist seems to talk. We’re held at a distance, but as the story continues it gets more and more intense and you’re more and more wrapped up.
I’ve put the book on hold from the library, it is one I’m interested in finishing but since it’s the start of a series I think I’ll save my money and do the library route.
- The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons
I had heard that this was an Adult Fantasy but the writing feels very YA to me. I definitely get Chosen One vibes as well, not usually a trope I’m much interested in. The combination has me passing on this for now. It maybe something I come back to in the future but for now it’s a no.
- Unequal Affections by Lara S. Ormiston
This one is a winner (and currently on sale for 1.99 on Kindle for the month of January!). I don’t know that I’ve ever read anything that’s a straight riff from Pride & Prejudice just because I’m usually not a fan of fanfiction or the like on things like that, with the exception of Sherlock Holmes, so this was so pleasant to read. The writing was something of its own, which I was concerned about. If it had tried too hard to emulate the original style it would have come off jarring but the author seems to have had her style pinned down for some time from the sample size I read.
- I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie
I was hoping this one would be one of those thrillers that starts out a little faster than the sample leads me to believe. I think right now the pace on this might not be what I want? I’ll keep an eye on this one and come back to it. I like the idea of the map and tracking where people are and when. It seems like a fun mystery – if one that might be solved easily. Some days I’m in the mood for that, but not right now.
- A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone
I don’t think this one was too my taste just in idea and tone. The writing was lovely, though I can see it getting old quickly for some folks as it’s very flowery, I would definitely call this purple prose. This would be a pass for me for the time being.
That’s it. One purchase and one library hold. Unfortunately City of the Lost has quite a wait time on it, but that will give me plenty of time to finish Unequal Affections and a few other Kindle/Physical reads before it shows up on my TBR. I love saving money, and frankly not feeling silly by jumping in before trying things these days. Any recommendations for other samples to try?