52Under2: Week 10 Shortlist

Week 10 of my 52Under2 book reviews.

It was a pretty good week for interesting-looking books on Smashwords this week; there were a lot to choose from in compiling my shortlist. These are the Top 5 books that caught my eye and I’ll be reviewing one of them in depth later in the week.

The Doorknob Society by MJ Fletcher
A girl finds that she can travel through dimensions just by turning a doorknob. In the wake of this discovery she is sent to a magic school to learn about herself and her powers.
I really liked the title design on the cover of this book. That coupled with the fact I noticed it was tagged ‘steampunk’ drew me in to adding it to my shortlist and reading the excerpt. However, over the course of the excerpt I didn’t see any steampunk elements. The novel starts in current day Paris, with the protagonist about to partake of some cat burglary. Presumably the steampunk goodness will emerge at magic school.

Vampire Music by Michelle de Paepe
When an anorexic girl’s former best friend comes back to town he wants nothing to do with her. Turns out he’s a vampire and a rock star.
What struck me first about the book was its strong sense of place, but the excerpt kind of lost me with how immature the characters are portrayed at age 14. (Collecting frogspawn to put on frog plays with?!) I found it interesting that the protagonist becomes anorexic, yet this isn’t the focus of the story. I would like to see how the author deals with and explores this issue.

Dead As Dutch by Rich Docherty
A student film crew wandering in the woods accidentally invoke a dead gangsters curse.
I really liked the sound of the premise of this book. It bills itself as horror/humour, which is a genre I enjoy in movies, though have yet to experience in a novel. The start of the book was fairly good. The language was punchy. The character descriptions were strong. Though as the excerpt was really short, I didn’t really get much more than character descriptions from it.
This book is available for free on Smashwords until 10th March 2012 as part of Read an Ebook week.

Prophecy of the Most Beautiful by Diantha Jones
Turns out that seeing things doesn’t make high school girl Chloe crazy, she’s really a powerful soothsayer, the Oracle of Delphi in fact.
I love the Greek myths. I’d be interested to see how the author works them into her story and to find out which of the Olympian gods is moonlighting as a rock star nowadays. This was another book with a fairly short excerpt, but even within the small bit I read the main character is already in trouble, both with school and with a sinister vanishing guy.
This book has 25% at Smashwords until the 10th March 2012 as part of Read an Ebook week.

The Sphinx Project by Kate Hawkings
A group of four genetically modified teenage girls escape from the military lab where they are held. But they aren’t the only things that escape…
The first thing I thought when I read the summary of this book, was that it sounded an awful lot like the TV show Dark Angel. When I started reading the excerpt I caught a few more similarities – most notable when the protagonist drops a mention of her feline DNA. While the setup is the same, the story promises to be different. The excerpt was pretty good. Action packed from the very beginning.
This is the book I’ll be reviewing this week. Let’s see how it stacks up against my memories of enjoying Dark Angel.

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