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The Betterreads Project > STAGE 2: Lamikorda

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message 1: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Lamikorda by D.R. MerrillLamikorda by D.R. Merrill
Science fiction - alien encounters (where humans are the aliens) combines elements of "hard" and "soft" sf, including a constructed language
(originally posted by D.R.)

message 2: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Appraisal of Lamikorda, by D R Merril

Thumbs up...

Cover: pleasant, simple. Looks professional though might not stand out amongst jazzier ones. I'm told mono covers are in fashion.

Blurb:Clear, readable, nice length. Gives me a clear idea what to expect.

Reading the preview... the cover, oddly, looks a bit rough at full resolution. This may be deliberate but it threw me off a bit.

Pronunciation guide. Bit cheeky, but OK.

Story. Clearly and cleanly written, punctuation and spelling good. Alien elements are introduced in reasonable order and after a few pages I'm wondering how things are going to go.

I've read enough to give this a thumbs-up, hope to read more thoroughly later.
(Originally posted by Richard 2060)

message 3: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod

Hmm I'm going to say thumbs up because I can't see anything desperately wrong but I have to be honest and say that I probably wouldn't review it.

Cover - good, arty, balanced but does not seem to fit the book. I would have expected a piece of strange literary sci-fi had I been snagged by this cover.

Blurb - about right I think. Length is ok and tells you about the book in a non dry, engaging fashion.

The book - this has a strong narratorial voice which unfortunately gets in the way of us getting close to the characters. I also think too many characters are introduced on the first chapter but that could be personal preference. Spelling etc is good. Presentation is generally excellent. There are a few repeats of awkward phasing - 'started to' 'did x and then did y and then did z' - these kill the pace and I found it to be a slow start. I realise a lot of this is subjective and I can see it's generally fairly well written but if I'm honest I wouldn't read on. I can see that it would be completely someone else's cup of tea though.
(Originally posted by me)

message 4: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Thumbs down.

Cover: As a first impression, the cover did nothing for me, in fact, if it wasn't for the review process here, I probably would never have picked it up in a book store or even clicked on it online. It doesn't really tell me what to expect on the inside and even though I know what the subject matter is, at this early stage, I can't find a correlation for it. Maybe it's just me and the purpose of the cover is going over my head.

Blurb: I liked the length of the blurb but unfortunately it didn't intrigue me at all. What I want from a blurb is that the protagonist/s are clearly introduced and why it is that I have to care what their predicament is. As far as I can tell from this blurb, we are to wonder what leaders are to emerge and that there is a disease. I don't know if the 'disease' is going to be the 'main problem' to be resolved and saying "What leaders will emerge ..." is far too vague to pull me in. At this stage I'm struggling to 'connect' with a person or story.

Sample: This is somewhat like the blurb. We learn that a group of bird-like creatures are about to board a shuttle that will take them to another moon/planet that has already been colonized by their species. Then there is a little discussion by a mum, son and father where the young boy is scolded for asking if he could meet Marok instead of going to school. Finally, there was the arrival of the shuttle and some introductions made, and that was it.

Final comments: Early on within a book (Certainly within the first chapter) I want to be grabbed by someone, anyone, protagonist and/or an antagonist. I want to know why I should care about who they are and what their dilemma is. After having read the sample, all I got was an introduction to a slew of personalities, none of which made me want to know more about them.

The author's voice was dry, (at least for me it was) and didn't give me an emotional connection to anything, and that's something I absolutely need to keep me turning pages.

On a positive note, the author has a terrific ability to world build and the grammar, syntax etc, was very solid.
(Originally posted by Turhan)

message 5: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
D.R. wrote: "Lamikorda by D.R. MerrillLamikorda by D.R. Merrill
Science fiction - alien encounters (where humans are the aliens) combines elements of "hard" and "soft" sf, ..."

Cover: Not sure I saw enough of the story to equate the cover to what is inside. It would not have attracted my attention alone. Even after reading the blurb, I was still expecting an insectoid race to be included somewhere critical to the plot.

Blurb: Definitely interesting. Alone, that would have been enough to draw me into reading the sample offered.

Content: OK, I'll admit, I'm hooked. I liked the feel of the pace - low key, everything is fine, no reason to hurry. Wonderful introduction. Would I keep reading? Definitely - I'm moping now, because I can't.

Appraisal? Thumbs up!
(Had to sample read from the Amazon page, so there may be more on offer that I couldn't reach.)
(Originally posted by K)

message 6: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Lamikorda - Thumbs Up

Disclaimer: I’m not a native English speaker, so I cannot give my opinion on grammar and spelling. So I’m trusting the authors to have their books and the assets edited.

The cover: It is not particularly good, nor it is bad. It is simple, maybe a bit boring on the color side and doesn’t tell me anything beyond that this is science fiction or a thriller or maybe something literary. It doesn’t tell me whether it is indie or small press pub and looks neutral in the sense that I accept it as a fact and go straight for the text, assuming the story is shelved correctly by the author under SF. I don’t pick my books based on the cover, and this one is not bad enough to skip the book.

The Book Blurb: I’m interested. Simple description of the participating sides and the conflict hints that the author did not make a hot mess of a story and it might be as elegantly weaved. It tells me enough what to expect.

The Sample: I like how we are introduced to the world and its inhabitants, and the ‘discovery’. I’m glad we are not thrown directly into a head-spinning action that would have brought additional strain to desperately figure out the world AND what, why, where is going on. With this type of book slow and detailed is good. We are visiting an alien world, after all. A note on characters: here, I believe, entire species/cultures are characters, less so individuals, at least in the beginning stage. It should be read with this in mind.

Overall: Would I continue reading? Yes. It requires a thorough reading.
(Originally posted by Jeleno)

Vickie Nguyen | 26 comments Okay, don't known if this is allowed because I've already read the whole book and reviewed it, but here goes ...

COVER: Yeah, it's weird, but it gets me wondering if there's any link. My guess is the author picked a pre-made picture. It didn't take long for me to connect the artwork with a scene in the story (I won't give it away :) )

BLURB: This is what really caught me. Writing from an extraterrestrial perspective was a different tack from other "alien encounter" books, and especially some subtle hints about who the "Terai" might be.

SAMPLE: Well, I actually plunged in and got the Kindle version, and I got sucked in right away. Loved how the author describes things, even including Alplai languages. More and more, I wanted to see where this was leading, got intrigued with the details of Alplai society and how they viewed their new Terai neighbors ...

OVERALL: The one thing I found hard was putting this down!! This weaves both world-building and storytelling into a wonderful fabric. Yes, lots of characters, but the story is basically about two different societies/cultures learning to live together, and that calls for something more complicated than telling through just one protagonist and/or antagonist. I'm even kinda hooked on learning the Kiitra language (the author even has a website for that!)

RATING: Thumbs way up!

Richard | 490 comments Mod
Lamikorda: thumbs up.

Cover: I'm not sure what that is (giant soccer ball? the Eden Project? smoke seen through a chicken-wire fence?) but I prefer it to some of the overblown sci-fi covers you see. It's understated, anomalous, I like it.

Blurb: pretty good, clear and interesting. Although it didn't say so (and I've no idea whether it's true), the thought went through my mind while reading it, "The arriving aliens are us!" and from then on I was hooked.

Sample: technically, couldn't find a single thing wrong with it. I liked the Alplai straight away - their brightly coloured plumage for instance, mirrored in their garishly painted spacecraft (nice touch that). Liked the prose too - impressed, definitely worth reviewing.

Richard | 490 comments Mod
(No further appraisals are needed for this one, which has now moved on to Stage 2).

message 10: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Lamikorda is also currently part of BOTM so you can kill two birds with one stone there if you want ;)

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