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Balcony of Fog

2.51  ·  Rating details ·  258 ratings  ·  173 reviews
A toiler from post-nuclear America meets a mysterious woman who escapes with him to the cloud realm, where sublimity and nightmare mix to illuminate the tension between the power of love and the love of power.
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published January 15th 2020 by TooFar Media
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Zoe's Human Did you by any chance sign up for a Book Riot giveaway for an iPad recently? That giveaway is a chance to win an iPad and a definitely getting a copy …moreDid you by any chance sign up for a Book Riot giveaway for an iPad recently? That giveaway is a chance to win an iPad and a definitely getting a copy of the book. That's why I got my copy.

Here's the link to the giveaway:
TooFar Media Dear Reader,

We recently launched a book promotion to introduce avid fiction readers to the work of our author, Rich Shapero. Like many small independe…more
Dear Reader,

We recently launched a book promotion to introduce avid fiction readers to the work of our author, Rich Shapero. Like many small independent publishing houses during Covid-19, we have had to find new distribution outlets for our catalog. Unfortunately, our efforts went awry and for this we sincerely apologize:

Some of you entered a promotional contest to win an iPad and received a well-intentioned copy of Rich’s recent novel, Balcony of Fog; we may not have made it clear enough that you would receive the book on entering. Some of you had others enter the contest on your behalf, using your address, possibly without informing you. Additionally, due to a systems glitch, our fulfillment house mailed out multiple copies of the novel to the same address.

We sincerely apologize for any confusion or inconvenience these errors in our promotional efforts may have caused you. Again, this is TooFar Media’s fault and responsibility—not our Author’s, and certainly not yours.

We want to assure you that we do not retain any addresses or private information gained via this or any of our other promotions. We never have and never will sell any of your information to any third-party marketers. TooFar Media is simply a small group of readers doing our best to serve other readers by publishing great literature.

We hope you will accept our heartfelt apology. Please feel free to contact us directly at

Thank you, and be well.

Brian Courtney
President, TooFar Media(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 2.51  · 
Rating details
 ·  258 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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Will Byrnes
Dec 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, romance, fiction
…how many stories like theirs, Arden thought.
People who escaped to the sky with high hopes, lived a short life there and disappeared.
I am no angel. I can be bought. I guess that is how this review came to be. I spotted an ad in my daily feed of Literary Hub. The come-on was a chance to win an iPad. In return for filling out a form to enter, the sponsor would send a copy of a book that sounded, at least, readable. Sometime later the book arrived at my doorstep. Sadly, it was not accompanied b
May 09, 2020 rated it did not like it
I think this had some deep meaning to it, but it got lost in the lack of character development, world-building, and overall explanations in everything.

On page three, he faces some kind of confrontation with a man. I do not understand their relationship or what really happened there. It was unclear and lacked a couple of sentences to make it easier to connect certain actions.

On page 10, he meets a woman who, as a male writer, is of course naked and "beautiful" even though there is a lack of why
Pandora Clairmond
Aug 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
First of all, I received TWO copies of this book at my home address around July 16th from the publisher. I DIDN'T ask for them. I asked on my Instagram story to NOT be sent more and today I received THREE more copies. I contacted the publisher via Instagram and complained. Basically, they accused me of lying and insisted the copies were prizes for some giveaway that I've "entered." I know for a fact that this a lie because there is no way anyone in my household entered the giveaway. The first ti ...more
Jul 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book was sent to my home address from the publisher with out my consent to get my address. I previously read and reviewed a book of this guy who is disgusting and now he has found my address and sent more crap. My address is PRIVATE information and this not appreciated. I will never read this author again.
Ashley Kvasnicka
Nov 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
UPDATE: Book Riot mentioned the giveaway and it was “sign up to win an iPad and receive a free copy”

I just wanted to write this real quick to maybe clear the air. Obviously I can’t speak for everyone but maybe some of these people who are questioning where it came from might have an ‘oh yeah’ moment? I was pretty surprised when I saw the reviews on this book that I had just received in the mail and obviously disappointed in. Now I personally am NOT confused as to where the book came from... But
Aug 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
got this book sent to my address, even though I didn't even ask for it. not going to bother reading it because I can tell the author is making fake accounts and rating his own book just to boost rating. no thanks. ...more
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
I never won this book from Goodreads, the author sent me this book and said I had won it. I did try to read it, the first couple of chapters I was pulled in by the characters and the story. But after that I was totally confused about what was going on. I gave this book two stars for trying. The author needs to be more honest especially who he sends his books too. Don't tell me I won when I didn't, that lie will not get you a honest review. 😒 ...more
Patricia E Yarian
Dec 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
What a flipping waste! Too bad there's no half wait...I really am torn with even "awarding"a single star!! And I can truly say I most certainly gave it an honest try to find a redeeming factor in this book. Did I say book? Well hell, it is a hard cover.....would I pay for something like this? Oh hell no, not in this lifetime or any time!!
Is it worth telling , or hinting, you'd maybe like to read this? Nah....not worth your time!
So go grab a good cup of java juice (or tea) get another
Nov 24, 2020 marked it as to-read
Giveaway Win???Kind of?
Igenlode Wordsmith
This book wasn't quite as bad as initially I thought it was going to be, in that it did eventually pick up some kind of interesting plot theme — the risks of seeking to become ruthless in order to defeat ruthlessness. The actual ending was unexpected and I didn't find it particularly dramatically satisfactory, but it is at least less of a cliché than one might have predicted.

Unfortunately the central love affair is arbitrary and deeply unconvincing, the science-fiction setting at the start is po
Dec 06, 2020 marked it as to-read
People need to read the fine print!

I'm just laughing at all of the 1-star reviews from idiots who don't read the giveaway that they are entering!! They see "WIN AN iPAD" and then enter their address and email address. Book Riot has been putting on an iPad giveaway for a few months now and EVERY entry wins you a free book. EVERY ENTRY. I just entered a 4th time. I have not won an iPad yet but I want to so I will keep entering (the giveaway ends and they put on another one, it's not multiple entri
Emily Perkovich
Sep 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I didn’t hate it, but I am glad I didn’t pay for it. There is little to no character development which makes it difficult to keep up with dialogue and character purpose. The first 50 pages of storyline are so rushed that I had no idea what/why things were going on, and then I was just suddenly expected to believe that two characters, whose only real distinguishing factor is their names, have now fallen in love and are running away together. A good ...more
Kay Stephenson
I also received a copy of this in the mail but I did not enter a contest for it. I am upset that the publisher was able to get my address from Goodreads (or their parent company Amazon). I can see that others have also complained about this. Please take the time to write to Goodreads and complain so they will take this security issue seriously. They need to contact the publisher and find out where/how they got our addresses.
Oct 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
One star

This book was...weird? I have no problem with the genre, but the subject matter almost didn't make sense at times. All the characters had the exact same voice to the point of almost not being able to tell who is speaking at times. I couldn't finish this book because I had zero interest in the characters. I didn't care about them at all. Its rare enough for me to dnf that I was quite disappointed. I can't rate something I couldn't even get through higher than one star.

I felt the author
Courtney Lake
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received a copy of this book as part of the Goodreads giveaways.

This was a beautifully written story, but it was all flash and no substance really.

The imagery was gorgeous, I loved the descriptions of the cloud realm and the cloud ships. It was magical and breathtaking. I would have loved to see that world actually explored.

But the plot.... It is clearly an allegory for life and chock full of symbolic meaning. But that's all. I didn't really get invested in the story once they reached the clo
Nov 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was just....a whole bad experience.
Jul 28, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Neva Womack
Oct 11, 2020 rated it did not like it
I went into reading this book with an open mind. But the further I got, the more I disliked this book. It was written (just in my opinion) while the author was in a LSD fog. I realize it was supposed to be based in a post nuclear world, but it was just too far out there for me.
Chris Hughes
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's not often I even think about not finishing a book once I start, but I came very close to doing just that with this one. The plot was very thin, very little character development, and the descriptions of the world were way too flowery and added little to understanding what was going on. The whole thing was very confusing. The ending was very abrupt & disappointing. I first thought this would be some sort of post-apocalyptic science fiction, but it turned into a weird fantasy about life in th ...more
Vernon Luckert
Aug 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
Review is of a free copy. My review of this book will be almost the same as my review of this authors book "The Hope We Seek". Neither book is interesting, entertaining or well written. The author may have a good idea of what is in his head, but he does not have the necessary skill to convey his ideas to others via the printed word. ...more
Dec 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 1-star
this book was given to me for free by a random man peddling a cart full of them, and i still paid too much. rich shapero owes me money.

by the way, he's a millionare who started his own publishing company so he could actually publish his books (what other publishing house would take them?), and he hands them out on college campuses for free because he's so desperate for people to read them.

a short list of the worst things i discovered while reading because yes, i unfortunately read the entire tra
Kira Simion
Jul 31, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: gift-or-won
I won a copy of this book through a giveaway online. Thank you for sending it to me and writing it, Rich. I will review it honestly with a family member as I received two copies as part of the giveaway. So one for me and another.
Allison Krulik
Dec 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
Weird, just weird. I didn't actually finish the book because I wasn't all that interested and honestly just confused half the time because of all the wordiness. ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaways, popsugar
What did I just read?

Unlike most of the reviewers, I did finish the book in its entirety, but it certainly did not help me understand.....anything really about this book. There is one review on here that was obviously written by the author, and honestly it explained the book better than the book itself.

Now, if you love bad books, this one is perfect for you. All of the author's attempts to be serious or meaningful had me laughing because of how bad it was. I'm kinda upset I didn't get 3 copies o
Aug 29, 2020 added it
Could not get into it. It was like it should have been book 2 or 3 of a series. And then I got
another copy in the mail. It was bad enough I didn't order it in the first place. Now I have
2 I have to get rid of.
Oct 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
Disclosure: This book was received as a promotional giveaway via Goodreads.

Perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind but no matter how hard I tried I wasn't able to connect with the characters or the story. Maybe I'll come back to it in the future but as of today I didn't enjoy it.

Elizabeth Gordon
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Weird. Would not recommend to anyone. A book I could not understand.
Book Club of One
Dec 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
* I received a free copy of this book after entering a Book Riot contest.*

Balcony of Fog Arden, a peon in a dystopian future America(?) is planning his escape when he meets Estra a mysterious (naked) woman who appeared out of the fog. They escape into the wilderness and then somehow journey to the cloud realm. There they seek to start a new life together until Estra's past catches up with them.

Thankfully this book was short, but I spent almost the whole of it wondering what was actually happeni
Nov 15, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: giveaways
I received a copy of this book for free in a Goodreads giveaway.

The first few pages were already confusing, with some action taking place up in the air that leaves the protagonist, Arden, injured. Then there's some attempt at world-building in this post-apocalyptic America (and I only knew it was America from the inside of the jacket), with what seemed like a promising setup with people separated into nine levels according to class and gender. But then there's a sudden romance between Arden and
Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight)
I see a lot of people confused as to how they got this book in the mail. There was a recent Book Riot giveaway for an iPad, and it said you'd get this book free just for entering. So if you entered that giveaway, that's why you've gotten this. That's how I got it. If you didn't enter that giveaway, then I don't know. ...more
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Rich Shapero is a writer and musician whose multimedia storytelling projects pioneer unseen worlds. He published his debut novel, Wild Animus in 2004 and in the mid-2000’s founded TooFar Media to produce and distribute his multimedia stories and future works. He is the recipient of the 2015 Digital Book World Award for Best Adult Fiction App for The Hope We Seek.

Rich creates visionary landscapes a

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