Some months ago I began posting comments on books published by other self-published authors I met either in person at writing groups in the local (Halifax) area, or online on various writing community/workshop sites. Today I’m resurrecting that idea.
This post’s subject is Five Light-Years to the Firesnake, the first book in a five-part series written by Rayner Ye. The first four are available on Amazon, here is the link for book 1 on Amazon.ca. It shouldn’t be difficult to find it or any of the others on this or other Amazon websites by searching the author name. You might also check out her website.
I encountered this book on theNextBigWriter, an online community where authors with books in progress post chapters hoping to receive comments from other author/members. The quid pro quo policy is to, whenever possible, acknowledge a review by reviewing a chapter from one of that author’s posted book. Rayner provided comments, some very useful, on many chapters of The Road to Environmental Armageddon, my latest work in progress, so I wanted to reciprocate.
Problem was, she only had the first few novels in this fantasy series posted on the site. I’m not very familiar with this genre (I much prefer old fashioned sci-fi, especially Earth based dystopian stories, and mysteries, or thrillers). But I tried, mostly pointing out places where her first draft suffered from wordiness.
While providing these rather pedestrian comments, I rather got into her convoluted story with multiple characters, some humanoid, some not, on multiple worlds, with time travel, and space travel, and telepathic communication, and characters taking over the minds and bodies of other characters, and god knows what else. There’s also serious conflict centred around slavery and sex-trafficking and exploitation of the vulnerable. She calls the genre for this book ‘space opera’, I suspect a better designation than the one I was slotting it into. I still don’t feel qualified to comment on its quality, but the fact that it got me interested in a genre I don’t usually read must say something good about it. If you’re more into sci-fi fantasy and space opera, you might enjoy it. Financial commitment for the ebook version of book one is pretty small.
One reason I’ve followed Rayner’s progress with this book is the effort she’s put into marketing. She produced the books rapidly and crashed right into trying to sell them. I’ve fallen down rather badly in publicizing my two mystery novels (A Body in the Sacristy and Tilting at Windmills). I must try harder when I get The Road to Environmental Armageddon finished. Maybe I’ll learn something from keeping an eye on Rayner’s efforts. I hope so.