It is Sample Saturday again, where I reading 6 different samples to see if I want to skip them, buy them, or check them out of the library. This time we have some climate sci-fi, some humorous sci-fi, and several different flavors of fantasy to try on!
I did these in sets of three this time, as last month I had the thought that perhaps the reading of all my samples within a day might have impacted my decisions. I also tried to do a variety of reads within a day. So for my first day I tried a historical (magic?) novel, a climate sci-fi, and a true blue fantasy.
- Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss – I’m going to be honest here, I got 5 five pages into this sample and felt like I was chewing on Pride & Prejudice flavored cardboard. I certainly didn’t hate it, but for now I am not a fan. I gave it another 20 or so pages and nearly finished the sample before vetoing this one. I may return to it as a library book at some point but it was not one for me today.
- Waste Tide by Chen Qiufan – This one was a winner and it was on sale the day I tried the sample so I bought the eBook for myself! It opened with a rather dramatic scene of some climate activists attempting to jack onto a boat that ended.. poorly. The story continued on then to the back and forth of diplomats and explored a part of this future China where waste and trash have pretty much dominated and taken over. The writing just worked for me, it grabbed me and held me in place even if the topic is one I’m not always a fan of. I have a hard time believing this was translated (but by Ken Liu so at the same time – not so hard).
- Dragonslayer by Duncan M. Hamilton – Much like Twelfth Enchantment I think my decision on this one was made pretty early. The first small section was a group of individuals exploring a cave seeking out a ‘magical item’. The next introduced a new character that well… it’s a dragon. A talking POV dragon. I don’t really care about much else at this point. I’m sold. The writing was solid enough and what little I picked up about the setting (Three Musketeer/French in style) is also a big sell for me. Another winner, also on sale so a purchase!
Day two of Samples has come around and today we’re looking at what I’ve heard is a humorous sci-fi, another Fantasy, and a YA urban fantasy!
- We are Legion (We are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor – This was hilarious. A win, which I expected as I got the recommendation for this from two different booktubers I enjoy. It is on Kindle Unlimited which I pay for so I’ll be reading this one that way. My short understanding is a very logical man pays a ton of money and his brain and consciousness is frozen on his death. He wakes up and discovers he’s essentially an AI. I’m not sure how this could go bad, but I can see how it can be hilarious and unique.
- Dragon Ascending by Amy Beatty – This was a much more traditional story than the other two samples I picked up for this batch. Maybe because of that it stood out. The writing was solid, and the idea and setup of the story hooked me. We follow a character intentionally getting himself caught up in prison to try and find a certain individual, only to find that his get out of jail team is waiting for him – already captured in the jail. The world has different races and I have some suspicions already about some character identities that I want to see panned out.
- The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Lee – Of the three of these I was most skeptical of this one. But late at night, at the hospital while I was waiting to be induced into labor this was a solid win. The title leads you to believe this is going to be about a romance but ultimately this is about a super unique premise and the romance is so small scale you almost forget it’s there (spoilers, I already finished this one I was so hooked – that’s impressive considering I had a baby in the span of reading this).
This batch of samples was a win almost across the board – that’s going to be a hit to the TBR but I’m genuinely excited about these and honestly reading digital books is much easier than physical ones right now (I can do so while breastfeeding and pumping – something I do a lot of now). Hopefully some Thoughts posts for these will come up in the future!