A Short Selection of Easy Summer Reads
One would be forgiven for thinking of the term Brain Candy as somewhat derogatory – at least when it comes to books. It hints at stories with little to no substance or intellectual merit, and that make no demands at all of their readers, as if that’s somehow a bad thing.
What’s forgotten here is that writing such a story is hard.
Writing a novel is a massive undertaking. It takes time, effort, and patience. Writing a novel that people want to read is even harder (trust me, I’ve tried).
So writing a novel that sucks readers in to the point they forget to eat or sleep is no mean feat.
The point I’m trying to make is that brain candy may sound like a bad thing, but to really pull it off, you need some serious storytelling skills. You hook the reader on the first page, and you keep the tension up all the way until the end. No slacking on the pace. No glaring plot holes. Prose as smooth as butter. No matter how many reviews claim that about a book, precious few actually pull it off.
Who cares if little old ladies throwing rocks and turning into burning unicorns isn’t the height of literary art – if it keeps me entertained for an afternoon or two when I need to get away from the real world, then I’m there for it.
If it keeps me laughing out loud in a crowded coffee shop, well, I might feel a bit awkward when everyone’s looking, but it’s still worth it.
So, with summer chomping at the bits, here’s a selection of brain candy I’ve reviewed for the Uncharted Library (in alphabetic order by title). I hope you’ll find something to enjoy.
A Kingdom of Iron & Wine, by Candace Crossford
Young woman moves to the big city to study art and discovers there’s more to the world than she thought. Contains fae, werewolves, sexy vampires, more fae, and some things I don’t even know what they are. Comes with a vibe of warm summer nights and a splash of romance. Urban Fantasy. Review.
Brimstone Bound, by Helen Harper
Young woman about to graduate from the police academy gets assigned to work at the supernatural squad and has to solve a murder, which gets complicated by the fact that she also gets murdered. Werewolves and vampires and all that good stuff – except it’s Open Urban Fantasy, so no hiding behind a masquerade. Review.
Leveling Up (series), by K.F. Breene
Middle-aged and recently divorced woman inherits a magic house, complete with supernatural neighbors and murderous dolls. This is the one with the little old lady throwing rocks. Gets a bit steamy in the later books. Book #1 in the series is Magical Midlife Madness. Review.
The Faceless Mage, by Kenley Davidson
Young woman with a talent for forbidden magic goes on a mission to check out the prince of a neighboring kingdom, while pretending to be the princess meant to marry him. Traditional fantasy, with elves and everything. Review.
Three Minutes to Midnight, by L.M. Hatchell
Young woman tries her best to stay out of supernatural affairs so she can live her own life, but fails miserably. Authentic Irish setting. Some romance. Witches, werewolves, vampires, fae. Blue Moon Beer (not Guinness). Review.