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Ella Bandita and the Wanderer
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message 1: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Ironside (julesanneironside) | 653 comments Mod
Hi! I think I'm doing this the appraisal list still open? Here's my book:

Ella Bandita and the Wanderer by Montgomery Mahaffey Ella Bandita and the Wanderer by Montgomery Mahaffey
Genre: Fantasy/Romance

(Originally posted by Mongomery)

message 2: by Turhan (new) - added it

Turhan Halil | 270 comments Here's the Goodreads link to this book

Once there, you can navigate to the Amazon books page if you wish too.

I was wondering where there is a small sample of the book somewhere so that I could appraise it for review.

message 3: by Richard (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
The original book (available only in paperback I think) has been split, as an ebook, into four novelettes. The first of these is Birthing Ella Bandita - sample on Amazon.

message 4: by Richard (new)

Richard | 490 comments Mod
Thumbs down.

Cover: I like the cover a lot - the three lines of text would look better properly centred maybe, but it's not bad at all.

Blurb: This could definitely be better. In the first line I'd change "the young woman" to "a young woman", and from then on refer to her by name (if there is one, that is, because the idea here may be to never tell us). "Silent treatment" sounds odd ("silence" would do fine) as does the Sorcerer standing on a riverbank "holding a promise".

Sample: Very short, only 12-1300 words. Text not justified on the right. Prose a bit stilted at times, for instance: "How much longer could this endure?", "the farmers began to shuffle the ground", or "the onslaught of euphoria". It is a very short sample though, so might have given a misleading impression, but it just didn't hook me I'm afraid.

message 5: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Nov 14, 2014 09:54AM) (new)

Anthony Deeney | 81 comments A cautious Thumbs up (I edited this twice).

Cover: Good. Looks skilled/professional.

Blurb: Mmm... sounds like it might be good, but I confess that it might not be my kind of book. This bit seems a little clumsy,

" Yet a sorcerer intervenes with a last chance to change her destiny. But she must be his lover and give him her heart to transform into the immortal Ella Bandita. All his life, the Wanderer hears stories about Ella Bandita, the ruthless thief of hearts. But he never believes she lives and doesn't recognize her when they meet. "

I think the "Buts" would work better with ", but" and probably it is a bit "spoilerish." My blurb was this way too!

I found this:

Take the first quarter to third of the book, don't tell any detail beyond that, but anything up to that point is okay.

Sample: Seems well written,punctuation and spelling fine, but we don't get to know enough about "the girl." I presume she is "Ella." If I don't know her name, I am less likely to connect to her and less likely care. If I don't care about Ella(?) I don't care about the book.

There is something "wrong" and I am mildly curious and just a little annoyed that you don't do more than hint at it. The conflict isn't there.


I found out from the book reviews that Ella is a zombie! It might just be a good hook (in the sample) to end with the revelation that the girl riding away on the horse is actually dead!


message 6: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 563 comments Richard wrote: "Text not justified on the right"

Were you looking at the Look Inside feature on amazon to see the sample? If so, you have to realize that the formatting in the Look Inside does not always match the way an eBook will actually look on a Kindle.

Specifically, type justification. Depending on how the author created the file they submitted to amazon, the book may appear not to be justified, but inside a Kindle, it will be. Most eBook readers, I think, default to justified text if no justification was coded into the source file.

So I'd be careful about criticizing eBook formatting based on samples from Look Inside (I pointed this out those running The Source a while back as well).

message 7: by Turhan (last edited Nov 15, 2014 08:21PM) (new) - added it

Turhan Halil | 270 comments I wasn't sure which way I was going to go with this until I read my own review of it and decided with a Pretty Solid ... Thumbs Up!

Cover: I 'really' like the cover. The muted colors, the motion of Ella's hand, the light streaming in from the entrance of the stone steps and the font. I even like the text being off center, it gives the appearance of non conformity and I am all about being different if it's well done (subjective, I know)

Blurb: I was confused as to which blurb I should read because I'm not sure which one (The paperback or the ebook) version the author is asking us to appraise. I went with the ebook version because it also ties in with the sample on the 'LOOK INSIDE' at Amazon Books.

I'm kind of on the fence with the blurb. The young woman is ostracized by everyone in the village, why not just leave and go somewhere else? why suicide? I do however like the hook that the 'Sorcerer of the Caverns' (very intriguing, but why is he hanging out by the river? shouldn't he be at the caverns? Maybe he should be the Sorcerer of the River.) offers her an alternative to suicide that may "claim a fair price." This makes me want to know what the heck that is, I'm hooked!

Sample: The text isn't justified to the right (Micah's point is taken into consideration, but unless the author tells me otherwise, I'll assume it isn't) I enjoyed the prose and the authors voice but aside from that there really isn't much of a story. I wanted some dialogue or a further hook that would have me paying the 99cents to purchase the 1/4 book.

message 8: by Sue (new)

Sue Perry | 175 comments CONFUSION: Are people reviewing two different books? I have looked at the full one and the "Birthing" installment. I could only find an excerpt for the "Birthing" installment.

VOTE: Thumbs down, I regret to say.

NOTE: I went through all this quickly, as I would when shopping for a new author. So I may have gotten some things wrong.

COVER: The full book cover is eye-catching and well-crafted (I like the layout, colors, text). However, the green light coming from the star strikes me as corny, it looks too fake. I would never opt to read this book because the expressions on those faces suggest personalities I don't want to spend time with. The "Birthing" cover strikes me similarly. I'm thrilled that Ella is not starlet pretty, but I dislike her expression and the blue light looks phony, it's not a fully baked special effect.

(I can think of a current indie best seller that has a very similar magical light - so my impression may be an outlier.)

BLURB: In the blurb for the full book, I see several intriguing sentences, but overall the blurb leaves me confused. Probably in an effort to conserve words, the sentence structure is dense and hard to follow. Also, it confused/misdirected me to mention sex with the sorcerer as well as the Wanderer. And I didn't track how the emotions went from lust to battle of wills to vengeance w/ loathing.

On the other hand, I like the blurb to the "Birthing" piece.

In the real world, with my reactions to the blurb and/or cover, I would not proceed to read an excerpt, which I have had some trouble finding.

EXCERPT: I could only find an excerpt for "Birthing". It was just okay to me - the writing style didn't grab me and the situation seemed cliched initially. As I read on, I became intrigued but in the real world I would have stopped reading before I reached intrigued.

message 9: by K. (new)

Caffee K. (kcaffee) | 461 comments Cover: Everything about the cover except the face of the female in either cover I could find works. But, the expression would turn me away from the book. The scowl/frown does not look like someone who is depressed, it comes across as someone who is very, very angry, and ready to kill you. The blue light in the electronic cover is subtle enough to not detract from the scene, but the green in the cover on this thread is much more demanding, almost overpowering the other elements in the cover.

Blurb: It seems strong enough, though I think it should be split into 2 paragraphs. Start the second paragraph with the Wanderer's segment. With it all in one paragraph, it feels muddy and confused.

Excerpt: From the electronic version, which I think has been stated is only part of the story, I was intrigued. I always have liked to see when rules are broken, and common methods turned on their heads. The lack of dialogue or names has me wanting to see more. More of the story, and more of what makes this character tick.

Verdict? Tentative thumbs down because I would not have made it past the cover. If I had, the blurb would have likely lost my interest. However, once over those hurdles, I liked what I could read of the very short sample.

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