trifectaOkay, so you guys totally had to know that another one of these was coming your direction. It’s been way too long since we’ve been able to pontificate on yet another reason why there is so much crap out there in the self-published world. Or, at least, stories that feel like crap when you read them. Because, let’s be honest, the overwhelmingly large majority of story ideas out there could turn into absolutely amazing novels–heck, entire series for that matter–if they were only dropped into the head of a great author instead of an ignorant noob. That’s why it’s uber important, in our vaulted opinions, that everyone understand a few key concepts when starting out: because everyone starts out as a noob. Yes, even we at EBR were once citizens of noobdom. And yet, no one ever picks up their three-thousand dollar Facebook machine (MacBook) for the first time, says to themselves, “Self? You’re about to sit down and write an amazing novel,” and is then able to sit down and actually deliver. A lot of them make particular mistakes, and it doesn’t take long for readers like us to become painfully aware of what’s holding those stories back from making a reader’s day. So grab your notebooks, sit your own butt in a chair, and get ready for yet another round of goodness from your Friendly Neighborhood Elitists.
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Over Your Dead Body

Posted: February 9, 2017 by Writer Dan in Books We Love
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oydb_ebrI have a confession to make. Is there a booth around here somewhere? No? Dang. Okay, so here it is: I sometimes end up relying on EBR to let me know about upcoming books by authors that I love. I know. It’s horrible. Please don’t throw tomatoes though. I’m allergic. I’m having a difficult time even approaching the possibility that I might have missed the release of a John Cleaver book. But, WHAM!, up comes our Best-Of post, and I find John Cleaver book six sitting on the list of our own “2017’s Most Anticipated”. What happened to five? I wasn’t exactly okay with that situation. So, I bought it, read it, and now I get to review it. Because apparently the review fairy is being kind this year and left me a blank space on her dance card. And also, somehow, no one else got to it before me. Praise.
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fionnBodhmhall’s little settlement is in trouble. Established three years ago after being expelled from her clan, the settlement of Ráth Bládhma is home to a handful of misfits, simply trying to live a quiet, fulfilling life in the wilds of Ireland. But one fateful day, Bodhmall’s pregnant sister-in-law Muirne stumbles into their settlement with news of the old clan’s demise–and she carries what could be its heir. Will the competing clan come looking for her?

When Bodhmhall’s partner Liath Luachra comes across tracks in the forest, she discovers a war band in search of something…or someone. As she tracks them down to learn their number and purpose, she finds that they’re aided by a Tainted One–what happens when a druid turns to darker forces–and suddenly their plight becomes much more fraught.

***WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS*** Usually I don’t give away the story, but I feel the need to explain myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Giveaway: Martians Abroad

Posted: February 3, 2017 by Vanessa in Giveaways
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martiansThis giveaway is closed.

Updated 2/3/2017: The winner is Benjamin from Colorado Springs. Your book will be on the way soon!

Tor has provided EBR with a copy of MARTIANS ABROAD by Carrie Vaughn to give away to one of our lucky readers. To enter this giveaway:

1. Email us at elitistbookreviews@gmail.com

2. Include the following on the subject line: MARTIANS GIVEAWAY

3. In the body of the email include your name and mailing address. This giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.

Giveaway rules can be found here. Entries will be accepted until midnight of February 2nd and the winners will be posted on the 3rd. Good luck!

And don’t forget to check out Vanessa’s review here.

lyre-theifHer Serene Highness Rakaia, Princess of Fardohnya, is off to Hythria to marry a brute of a Hythrun Warlord she’s never met and escape the inevitable bloodbath in the harem when her brother takes the throne. She is not interested in marrying anyone and has a plan to save herself if she can just convince her baseborn sister, Charisee, to play along. These two best friends/sisters, though one has been a princess and the other her handmaiden, embark on an adventure of switched identities complete with love triangles and meddlesome gods. Rakaia is rescued by none other than the demon child, R’shiel, who is on her own quest to free her beloved, Brak. Charisee first acts the part, then truly becomes the princess she was never meant to be, which draws the attention of the God of Liars, who is rightly impressed and even helpful.

…And in far off Medalon, someone has stolen the music.

Their quest for the tiny stolen lyre containing the essence of the God of Music will eventually touch all their lives, threaten everything they hold dear, and prove to be far more personal than any of them can imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

Best of 2016

Posted: February 1, 2017 by Vanessa in *Best of 2016

bestof2016

2016 was a solid year for us speculative fiction book lovers (and movie-goers and TV bingers…ah, what a wonderful world we live in), which means that the Best of 2016 has some seriously excellent volumes of sheer awesomeness. And here at EBR we should know, because we participated in Mark Lawrence’s Blog-Off and read some of the worst the self-pubbed world has to offer–the following are golden in comparison. Plus we have a list of what we’re looking forward to this year so you can be ready to pre-order. Here you’re sure to find many hours of reading bliss.

Best Books of 2016:

The Mortal Tally by Sam Sykes – EBR Review
The Spider’s War – EBR Review
Babylon’s Ashes – EBR Review
The Liberation – EBR Review
Poseidon’s Wake – EBR Review
Borderline by Mishell Baker – EBR Review
The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Astor by Scott Wilibanks – EBR Review
Freedom of the Mask by Robert McCammon – EBR Review
The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence
Fall of Light by Steven Erikson – EBR Review
Last Train From Perdition by Robert McCammon
Paradise Sky by Joe Lansdale
Nemesis Games by James SA Corey – EBR Review
The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin- EBR Review
In the Labyrinth of Drakes by Marie Brennan – EBR Review
Morning Star by Pierce Brown – EBR Review

Worst Book of 2016: The Rule of Luck by Catherine Cerveney – EBR Review

What We’re Looking Forward to in 2017:

Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Monster Hunter Siege by Larry Correia
Six Feet Over by Max Gladstone
Nothing Left to Lose by Dan Wells
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
God’s Last Breath by Sam Sykes
The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey
Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan
Phantom Pains by Mishell Baker
Revenger by Alastair Reynolds
Mystic Dragon by Jason Denzel

tl_ebrEndings are always tough when it comes to book series. For readers, for authors, and quite usually for the characters as well. They’re the showdown, the climax of everything written thus far, the point where we as readers have to say goodbye. For many, the ending is the part of the book, or series, that will determine whether you like or hate it, despite everything that has led you as a reader to the point. I’m more in the camp of “joy in the journey” than “how-does-it-end”. So, a great read that has a decent ending gets higher marks than a ho-hum read with a brilliant ending. It’s really nice though when I don’t have to make that distinction; when I get to read something that was a great series, had a great last book, and a great ending.
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