Contest Reboot: Reviewers Wanted

Posted: January 19, 2018 by Vanessa in News
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So you want to be an EBR reviewer? You’re in luck! We’ve decided that we could use a few good readers who also happen to be able to write coherently about their opinions.

The last time we had to do this was seven years ago. Since then, several of our reviewers have moved on to bigger and better things in the publishing world–including publishing their own stories or working for places where writing reviews here would create a conflict of interest. All the better for you, if you think you’re good enough to help us out. The perks include more free books than you can read, association with handsome and clever people, and exposure to publishers and writers.

Here is what would be required of you to become one of our reviewers:

  1. Be a U.S. resident if you plan to receive physical books. You can be a non-U.S. resident if you’re willing to only read ebooks or purchase your own books, but plan to adhere to the U.S. release schedule.
  2. Read and review at least one book (optimally two) every month. If you read and review more, that’s great. At times, we may very well direct you on what books to read. Other times, we will leave it up to you.
  3. We do send you (free) books we receive from publishers as well as ebooks (if you have a Kindle/app, even better). We even get audio books every now and then. It also helps to become friends with your local library and Amazon Prime.
  4. Your reviews will follow our established format and you will avoid profanity in the review itself. We will read and edit your reviews before they’re posted. No leeway on this.

Make sense? Good.

This is a serious offer for those who want to make a serious effort. We take pride in our work and we are also control freaks. We want your work to be high quality and we want it to be reliable. If you don’t think you can be reliable, don’t bother entering our contest. We’re not looking to populate a slush pile. Read the rest of this entry »

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God’s Last Breath

Posted: January 18, 2018 by Writer Dan in Books We Love
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I’ve never really gotten into comic books — Ahem. Excuse me — “Graphic novels”. Hey, gimme a break. I’m a child of the 80s and old habits die hard. Anyhow, where was I? Oh yes. I’ve never really been that into graphic novels. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve read a few. And ElfQuest was one series that I voraciously devoured when I first stumbled upon it. Still, despite my very meagre affair with this medium, I can’t help but feel like I need to make a comparison between this book and a graphic novel. I’m fairly certain it’s the fact that the author’s writing style is so visual and visceral that does it for me. It’s what makes this book read like a really detailed graphic novel. The simplicity of his words to imagery. The strong dependence on character to relay the story. I’m not sure exactly. Whatever it is though, no one else does it quite like Sam Sykes.
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Romance isn’t exactly a genre that we here at EBR dip our toes into very often. In point of fact, I just looked up how many reviews of books we have that are labeled as being tagged as “romance”. Want to know how many there were? Two. And one of those, I was tricked into reading. Seeing as how having only one review in a given genre is kind of silly, and having two seems more like an excuse to remove the genre than even one did, I thought I’d add to that total and provide the third review in this oft-forgotten genre here at EBR. I know. I’m too much. You can thank me later for my generosity. No, in all seriousness I also kind of wanted to review this book because then I could mention the fact that the author of this book is none other than Sam Sykes’s mother, and if you don’t know who Sam Sykes is, then you should watch out for my next review. Until then, there’s this one, and it ain’t too shabby either.
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Steak and potatoes. These two foods comprise the epitome of a hearty American dinner. So if I wanted to make an apropos comparison of such an eating experience to reading a book, then that reading experience would be: full of goodness, tender and tasty, and most of all filling. At the end of such a read, I would expect to be satisfied, and if not necessarily ready to dive into the next book, at least ready to move on to something new. One could easily make other such comparisons between food and reading. And if I had to make a food-based comparison to reading this book, it’d be a bowl full of popcorn: easy to keep reading, exciting enough to keep my interest, and regardless of how it ends, finding that I have a bit of a belly-ache afterward. As with reading many of these kinds of books, once in a while they can be fun, but too many in a row? No thank you, sir. But it had been a while since I’d read a popcorn novel. So.
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The Stone Sky

Posted: December 12, 2017 by Vanessa in Books We Like
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Essun plans to move the moon back into orbit around the earth, and in THE OBELISK GATE she learned that there may very well be a cost–her own life–if she attempts it. But first, she needs to find her daughter Nassun, who, it’s turning out, is as powerful an orogene as her mother.

Yet so many things still stand in Essun’s way.

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Persepolis Rising

Posted: December 5, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Love
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…and so here I am, writing a review for a book that I haven’t even received in the mail yet, and I realize just how upside-down the world has turned. I mean, YES, I was uber-excited to get the story early, but there’s just something that I miss about being able to turn the actual pages of a real book. The feel of the paper in my fingers, the visual cue of the turning of the page, the smell of it. It all just seems a bit MORE when I get the physical book. When I can see it on my shelf, sitting there staring back at me. For some reason, ebooks just make a story seem somehow…easier than they should. Less substantive. So am I over-exaggerating at all when I tell you I’m even more excited to get my actual book in the mail later tonight, on the date of “publication”, than I was to get the eARC I actually read? Not in the slightest. In fact, I may just have to start reading this one again. When I get home from work tonight. Just…you know…don’t tell my boss or anything. Cause I really should be reading the next book in my queue. 🙂
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Less than an hour before I sat down to write this review, I pulled my youngest daughter’s loose front tooth from her mouth and thought what an amazingly apt comparison I might make between that act and this effort. Writing this review is a concept that I’ve done no small amount of pondering upon.

If you’ve had the pleasure of reading my previous reviews on the books in this series, you’ll know I’ve not been much of a fan. And yet, they also contain within them some of the most amazing “fantastical stuff” (highly technical term) that I’ve read in literally any other fantasy book/series. So, much like my moments-earlier tooth extraction, I’ve decided to pull the painful review that I might otherwise have written, and instead put together a review that addresses everything I’ve been thinking about this book. Taking it, holding it aloft, and examining it from every angle, so to speak, now that it will no longer be paining me.

Granted, such a review is going to be considerably longer than my regular fare, so I feel as if I need to give a small qualifier to all you readers. If you’re up for a bit more of my blabbering blatherskyte than usual, by all means sally forth and tally ho. I’ll begin in short measure. If, however, you’re just looking for the Cliff’s Notes version, well, here you are: TL;DR Nearly identical in every aspect to the previous books in the series. If you liked them, you’ll like this one. If you didn’t, you won’t.
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