Scarlet Angel, by C. A. Wilke (40:00)

IOD-ScarletAngelA slick, fast-paced whoami tale, with a juicy mystery that kept me on my toes. Literally.

What I gleaned about the story: Years later, a long-term amnesiac begins to have flash-backs about the life she left behind, and the glimpses are dark, suggesting big business, technology, and secrets in the halls of power. But now they’ve threatened her new family, and if she doesn’t put a stop to them this time, they’re just going to keep on coming.

Find the book on Amazon.

WTF #1: Adult friends who’ve only known each other for five years, calling each other “brother,” “sis,” “ma,” etc. 

Analysis: If they’d known each other since childhood, I’ve got no problem with it. But when adults bond as close friends, they don’t have that shared childhood history, and I just don’t buy them using those terms. It’s bad enough when actual siblings call each other “bro” and “sis” in fiction. It’s just not how people actually talk, except maybe ironically, in very specific circumstances. But with adult friends? Adults know that no matter how close they are, they are not, in fact, family. And while I suppose it’s conceivable that some very few people actually would talk this way, that doesn’t change the fact that it felt unnatural to me, and jerked me out of the world each time it happened. Fortunately though, it wasn’t used that often, so I’m lumping them together and calling it one WTF.

WTF #2: “Ah may not have given birth to ya, but I know ya well ‘nuff. Yer definitely not a cold-blooded killer.”

Analysis: None of the dialogue in this story is rendered with phonetic patois. Even the apartment superintendent, who is Indian, speaks in unaffected English, with what little accent he has conveyed deftly through word choice, rather than phonetic spellings. So when Scarlett’s “mother,” Ruby, uttered her bits of dialogue with a fully rendered phonetic accent that seemed part Boston gentry and part Ozarks hill-billy, it stood out, jarring me out of Scarlett’s world and back to my tacky little basement treadmill.

Conclusion: But those two little glitches were the extent of my problem. Other than that, the time flew by, and before I knew it, I was stomping past 40:00 and heading for glory.

Athame, by Morgan Alreth (34:40)
Wisdom Beyond Her Years, by J-L Heylen (17:18)

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.