In Lichgates, S.M. Boyce shows--in grand style and with a debut novel, to boot--that she is capable of joining the ranks of the genre's greats.
Her characters are charismatic and endearing. Their story is compelling. Her world overflows with magic, drama, adventure, and layer-upon-layer of intrigue and suspense. Boyce's storytelling is so rich and deftly executed that I found myself bouncing between pure amazement, unadulterated enjoyment, and absolute, perverse envy. She is that good.
Are there flaws? Of course--the fact that we must wait for the second book!
In fact, forget what I said earlier--Lichgates immediately places S.M. Boyce in the pantheon of fantasy writers. It isn't all wine and roses, though. In addition to the epic story Boyce must complete, she now has to contend with the monster of expectations that she, alone, is responsible for creating.
Bottom line: if you read only one new book this week ... this month ... this year, read this one.
Please Note: Book Two of the trilogy, Treason, is coming soon!
And the fun doesn't stop there. Below are many more awesome Fantasy/Urban Fantasy novels. Click each image to be transported to the author's website.
Finally, I'd like to share what S.M. Boyce had to say about my Vaempires novels--which are free at Smashwords during this Fair! Just use code GY42M for Vaempires: Revolution and code DD74M for Vaempires: White Christmas.
"You’re introduced to a lot very quickly in this novel, and you have to keep up. It’s action-driven and fast-paced, and I recommend re-reading the synopsis first before diving in if it’s been a while. The book’s blurb gives you an inkling of what’s going on that the first chapter throws you into without warning.
We have two main characters: Daniel and Cassandra. Daniel is the son of the Head Royal Guard, and Cassie is the princess. They live in an era thousands of years in the future, after atomic bombs cause a great Devastation and the world is handed over to be ruled by vampires. What’s incredibly neat—besides the fact that this is a scifi vampire novel with freaking vampire zombies—is that we see a constant state of evolution. We’re shown how vampires evolved beyond humans, and then we see another vampire race called vaempires (note the extra “e”), which have evolved to hunt vampires. It’s all very fun and complex.
There are actually very few central characters, and it helps focus the novel onto its central purpose of showing us this advanced war and the subsequent destruction as the vaempires (again, note the extra “e”) attack the vampire cities around the world. The characters we do experience—namely Daniel and Cassie—are further explored because of this isolation. It’s amazing to see them come into their own and respond to the chaos and death, but it’s even more endearing to see their love for each other. It’s the driving force of the novel, and I believe the driving force of life. Their love was very well done and their motivations very well supported.
This is a violent book. Just throwing that out there for anyone who’s squeamish. I am a little, won’t lie, but I managed to skim the gory bits without losing too much of the story. Some images are still kind of sticking to my brain and I wish they wouldn’t, but it’s nothing that will keep me up tonight. I often read this before bed and it didn’t give me any sort of bad dreams. More exciting, really, because of all the action. I love me some good action scenes.
Winship’s style is very detailed, and the action scenes specific. We get play-by-plays of what’s going on, which isn’t my personal preference for writing action scenes. Still, you see each motion and are given the full scope of the fight scenes, which makes Daniel seem even more bad ass. He was trained to be a killer, even if he’d never had to kill before the attack, and he’s been trained to protect Cassie because she’s a royal. Only, that’s not the only reason he wants her safe.
Cassie is just awesome. I wanted more of her voice because of her strength and unyielding will to survive and protect her people, and sometimes sped through Daniel’s perspectives just to get back to her. That could also be because I’m a chick and just better related to women. Not sure.
The ending wasn’t my thing, just because I wanted more resolution. I felt like Daniel’s character went backwards, instead of maturing, and I kind of bit my lip when I realized I only had a page left and it wasn’t enough space to resolve anything. There was also a moment when the conflict climaxed and it seemed that resolution was imminent, but then the rug was yanked from under us. I kinda sat back and thought, damn, that’s no fun. It still isn’t going to stop me from reading the rest of the series, nor does it ruin the overall story.
Bottom line: this is a cool book. If you like vampires, fantasy, or hell, even scifi, I think you’ll like this. It’s an interesting blend of something new and refreshing, and I think it would make the coolest video game in a long time. Seriously, read it and tell me that wouldn’t kick ass as a multiplayer -or- an individual campaign game! It rocks."
"I really enjoyed this novella. It gives us an insight into the characters from Vaempires: Revolution and explores both the lovers and main characters of the primary book as well as the underlying tensions that fuel the primary conflict later on.
Winship has a talent for adorable or lighthearted scenes that made me chuckle. I was often laughing to myself or grinning while I read, just because it was cute or I could relate to Daniel’s character.
Even though one of my favorite parts of Vaempires: Revolution was Cassie’s voice, I didn’t mind not looking through her eyes in this novella. Part of that comes from the fact that this is a quick read and the other part stems from the fact that White Christmas only explores Daniel’s love for the princess, so her input isn’t really needed. It works.
The ending was good. It had a HEA effect, one that was expected and necessary to keep the reader happy, I think, but the tensions building through this novella and the dramatic irony sprinkled throughout makes it more than just a HEA.
All in all, awesome. BUT you have to read Vaempires: Revolution first to really appreciate it. No cheating."
That's all for today, folks! Check out the other Fair Booths (listed below) and be sure to stop by tomorrow, when I feature Paranormal/Paranormal Romance novels.
A. E. Howard
A. E. Howard
Becca J. Campbell
D. H. Aire/Barry Nove
David J. Kirk
Jennifer M. Barry
S. M. Boyce