Thursday, August 9, 2012
A Wind out of Indigo
Author: Callan Primer
Genre: Steampunk Fantasy
How long it's been on sale: Dec 2011
Current price: $2.99
Marketing: Author blog, one review on a major book blog.
Total sold so far: 31
Link to book on Amazon: A Wind out of Indigo (The Winds of Halflight)
She'd been a king's mistress and a king's spy. Now, with the Summerlands at peace and her royal lover lost to her, all Alice Standish wants is a bit of quiet. But the new queen sees her as the perfect tool to bring down the rebellious warden of Night. Forced to marry him and exiled to the dark side of the planet, she can only come home once she finds evidence that condemns her husband to death.
But Alice is determined to play her own game, and in the haunted, wind-blown marshes of Night, she discovers not only that her new husband is not what she's been told, but there is another, inhuman power on this planet...
... and it has its own plans for her.
First 300 Words:
THE WORM wind was the night wind. Cool and moist and bearing strange scents, it flowed from the east, out of the dark lands, all the way to the steep flanks of Sunbreaker and her children. There it condensed into fog, a heavy, clinging fog that filled the throat and smothered all sound except for the plink of water dripping off eaves.
Alice Standish climbed the mossy steps of Pickaxe Street, not bothering to wipe her face clear of the occasional cold droplet. She was too close to her house and her trusty little stove to bother. Besides, she was used to Finlochen and its fogs, even enjoying the muffled silence they brought.
A doorway flanked with pots of bellflowers took shape in the mist, then faded back into the whiteness as she kept climbing. Her neighbor's house, which meant one more flight of steps to hers. She breathed a sigh of relief.
Slowly lowering the foot she'd raised to take the next step, she tightened her grip on her shopping basket and peered through the dense whiteness. Finlochen was as safe as any city could be, now that Ned had driven the Usurper out, but a woman alone still needed to be alert, especially in such heavy fog. Murder could be done under your very nose, and all you'd hear would be a distant, muffled cry.
Wondering if she'd only heard the trickle of water in a downspout, she climbed a few more steps, only to hear it again: a skittering noise that stopped when she did. Gently, Alice set her basket down and slid a small dagger out of her sleeve, holding it out of sight in the folds of her skirt.
Tick. Tick. Silence. Tick.
A tiny, hesitant chirp.
With a snort of laughter at her own foolishness, Alice slid the dagger back up her sleeve and waited patiently until the kobbie, no more than a foot tall, its ears laid forward ingratiatingly, inched toward her out of the fog. It had its tail clutched in its hands, and its faceted, golden eyes fixed on her shopping basket with obvious hope.
Comments: The cover almost looks Disney to me. The artwork is good, but it makes the book look younger. And I'm not getting a "steampunk" vibe at all from it. If the book really is steampunk, I would definitely change the cover and put something steampunk on it. If it only has a few steampunk elements, but is mostly a fantasy novel, then don't. Keep the cover looking fantasy, but I might make it look like it is for an adult audience. (Maybe a manipulated photograph instead of artwork?)
The description was a bit confusing to me. First, I would start with the main character's name. Then, what does her being the king's mistress and spy have to do with the story? I'm not sure I get that part. I'm also not sure how she's forced to marry the warden of Night. I feel like there are missing pieces in the description, or maybe that it's trying to cover too much so there are holes.
The first sentence confuses me. What is a worm wind? Is it supposed to be a warm wind? I'm not sure if that's a typo or not. I'm also not sure why she's climbing steps if she's walking in the street. I'm having trouble visualizing this. I would suggest joining a critique group or hiring an editor who can give more than line edits. I think the story needs some work.
What do you guys think?