Across Kindle, Indigo/Chapters, and both the .com and .ca Amazons (which don’t share reviews both ways, I was saddened to learn), both ‘Wake and ‘Sand have garnered some pretty great reviews.
Scattered as they are, I thought it might be swell (as in, my Ego) to gather what readers have written thus far, put cheek in hand, and bask for a bit.
Feel free to join me. However vain, one should bask once a day. It keeps the spirit shiny, especially when reality pokes one in the knees with sharp, pointy sticks.
Upon a Wake of Flame reviews:
“I thoroughly enjoyed this short story/intro piece.
The pacing was good for it’s length and it did what few books are able to with me: quickly bond me to the characters. Within the first few pages I was genuinely concerned for the characters and their struggles, which is exactly what I look for while reading.
It has fairly detailed and graphic battle “scenes” as well.
For being an intro short story it is of excellent quality in my opinion.”
“This short story was a pleasant surprise. Not having read much of the Sci-fi/fantasy genre recently, I was expecting more of the same old good verses evil theme and somewhat predictable plot. That is not what I found. I found interesting characters, descriptive narratives and a plot that kept this reader engaged. There were also some subtle insights into the more complete novel to follow. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will look forward to B.C. Laybolt’s more extensive adventures in his upcoming novel. A great introduction to a new author. Good read.”
“A short prelude to the upcoming debut novel by B.C. Laybolt, which is a brilliant way to introduce yourself as a new author. After reading it, the first thing that came to mind is that gritty opening to the Fallout games, “War never changes…” It is an intense, action packed, brutal wartime sci-fi story. Great characters that you DO NOT want to get attached to, because they may -realistically- be torn apart at any moment. Great tension, because you DO get attached. A great read, but what really hooked me was the dark and foreboding hints of what was to come. Excellent foreshadowing! Check this out! — Justin Killam, author of Seven Crows.”
To Drown in Sand Reviews:
(This first one really got me. Still gets me very emotional to read even now):
“Science fiction FOR soldiers.
Coming from the infantry and finding good science fiction is always a problem for me. Nine times out of ten the author just doesn’t “get it”. They either try too hard, with over the top clichés, or don’t bother to even attempt to understand and it ends up silly.
This is author is different. The characters are visceral and the combat is intellectual, which is the opposite of most others. The story is compelling and rolls along at high and low paces, mimicking normal army life nicely. I am not sure if Laybolt ever served, but he rights like a veteran.”
“Having read B.C.Laybolts introductory short story “Upon a Wake of Flame”, I was eagerly awaiting the first novel in the trilogy of the Lunen Regiment. The book did not disappoint. It was a very engaging story with great character plots, suspenseful action and explicitly graphic. A very gripping novel that was hard to put down until finished. Highly recommend this novel to any one and will patiently wait for the next in the series.”
“I enjoyed this book a lot even though I think felt there were many flaws. There seemed to be too much missing information for the reader to adequately understand the plot. When I finally found out the motivations of Issep, Ter Ense, and others I still don’t get it. I feel like the author has character files somewhere with detailed histories, goals, and motivations, but chose to only provide 5% of that info for the reader.
As for the setting, we can kind of piece together a brief history of the Triumvirate, but the differences between the three member-states are never explained. There was also some kind of fantastical/paranormal stuff happening that the characters didn’t seem to find all that strange and yet didn’t seem to be at all normal in the setting.
I rated To Drown In Sand four stars because the experience was enjoyable. The setting has a lot of potential. The characters are good and the dialogue even better. The writing is clean. If some more information was revealed during some key scenes I feel like this would be a real winner.
Sorry if I’m rambling, but this is a hard novel to review…”
Not too shabby for the first month of release! I’ll post more as they roll in, unless they begin to cripple my soul. Then I may not. I may quit the whole thing and begin a short career as a clumsy tree pruner. We’ll see.