Catskinner’s Book, by Misha Burnett (40:00)

IOD-CatskinnerToday we see that a reader captivated by a smooth opening is much more forgiving of later bumps.

What I gleaned about the story: James Ozwryck finally has a life: a small apartment, a regular job, and a steady income. There’s even plenty of time for video games. And to keep it, all he has to do is let a demon borrow his body from time to time. You know, to kill people. It’s pretty sweet.

Find this book on Amazon.

Kudos #1: Fabulous 1st person style

Details: Most indie books written in 1st person are rife with the “Galloping I disease” problem. But here we see an example of how 1st person should be done. The protagonist isn’t constantly talking about himself and his actions. Instead he shares his thoughts about the world around him, but in an intimate way – the way in which he doesn’t even bother saying “I” or “I think”. And when it’s done that way, the dreaded “I”-echoes vanish into obscurity. Like it does here.

Note: The I-words start to thicken up a bit later, but long after the hook of curiosity has been set, so I barely even noticed.

Kudos #2: The slow reveal

Details: Another thing I’m quite enjoying is the way information is doled out. A taste here, a sniff there, and then a satisfying mouthful, but never the whole meal. The “what’s going on” story is a strip tease, and if done correctly, has customers coming back chapter after chapter.

Note: The cover is a conundrum. There’s actually nothing at all wrong with the design, but its intent perplexes me. What part of that imagery says “Cool demon assassin hiding in a nerd’s body” story? On first glance, I’d have guessed “Collection of haikus about cancer.” And that’s a shame, because I suspect a stronger cover would attract a lot more readers who are looking for kick-ass fantasy, and disappoint fewer oncology patients.

Stellar Cloud, by Charity Bradford (3:59)
Operation: Blackflag, by Richard J. Kendrick (12:38)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That’s why he writes.