So after doing the first bunch, I thought, “This isn’t so bad. I can handle it, and I don’t have to be mean.” (Not that other people have been mean, exactly, but they haven’t held back. And Tom Mock has been detailed in his critique.)
Then I read this second group, and I realized that any given group could be harsher or gentler, depending on the books.
11) The Stone Mermaid by Aisha Urooj – This is a recommend. I might go back and continue this one, because I have nothing against it except for one insanely specific criticism that I’m not going to share publicly. But it didn’t quite grab me; I put it down too easily.
12) Marked By Fate by Jayme Hunt – Another recommend, and for the same reason. It didn’t hold me in the story firmly. But it will hold someone else.
13) The Dungeon That Walks Like a Man by Alex Raizman – Recommend. I did want more description. And I know I said I would try not to reject things based on sub-genre, but after reading a few LitRPG stories, I can say that the very elements that make them LitRPG are the things that don’t work for me. I’ll apologize right now to those writers, because it’s not your craft.
14) Prince of the Fallen by M.H. Woodscourt – TBR. I can’t tell if I feel the prologue is necessary or not. I’ve seen this kind of story, and there wasn’t much in the prologue that couldn’t have been told in the story itself. It was well-written, but possibly redundant. We’ll see.
15) DNF – And this needs a trigger warning. I’m not going to read a book that opens with abuse.
16) DNF – I did not like the exposition/description. I never felt like I fully understood what was going on, especially with the main character.
17) Roots and Steel by Casey White – It’s LitRPG again. I’m sorry. There’s nothing wrong with it – it’s well-written, and it seems to be an excellent example of the sub-genre. It’s just me.
18) Watchers of the Evenfall by Joe Field – TBR. I liked the tone of the prologue better than the tone of the first chapter, but I’m interested. I’ll keep going for a while and see.
19) DNF – This one is tough. I did read the whole first chapter, and I think it was the pace at issue. I also didn’t get invested enough in the main character. Also, while I have no issue with swearing in fantasy, this swearing just felt like it was there to tell us that this was Very Bad, not because it felt natural to the characters.
20) Price of Innocence by Michelle Piper – TBR. Didn’t think I’d stick with this one, it’s a little grim for me. But I was pulled in and it didn’t let me go, and I got to the end of the chapter, and I was actually jarred out. This is what I meant when I said that I was looking for something I didn’t know I wanted.
Part 2 Summary: