Thursday, October 30, 2008

REVIEW: Free Book Friday: Transformations

Author: Donna Barr
Genre: Fantasy
Price: $14.14
Publisher: Lulu

Self-publication has many uses and one of them is to make available niche interest fiction. I think equine transformation fantasies would have to be considered a niche. I was aware of this type of fantasy, often with a sexual component, and intrigued at a whole collection on the subject by Donna Barr. (Basically men are turned into large horses, often with humanoid heads, at some point in the story). I would confess, however, that my interest has waned somewhat by the end of nearly 400 pages (although to my mind the last story in the collection is the best).

Add to that many of the stories are set in Ms. Barr's own AU, paranormal, post-war Nazi empire (think Fatherland, crossed with pre-Raphaelite Narnia, on LSD--no heck that doesn't work either). The thing is if you are interested in seeing Barr's take in a Nazi AU I think Ringcat might be the place to start. And if you want to see what she does with a half-horse race (sans most of the fetish material) I would recommend her centaur comic book Stinz.

The author's worlds are no less vivid here but far less accessible. They are written, I think, for a client who needs no introduction to how things work in Barr's semi-dystopian Deutschland. However the feeling of not making many concessions to the reader also extends to the contemporary and straight historical stories in the mix. The prose stylings sometimes meander and dwell on scenes rather than trotting along as most modern stories do--and although the characterizations and scenarios are quite exquisite there is often not so much of an actual plot.

I would give this 10/10 for novelty and 6/10 for readability--rounding out to a solid 8/10 overall with a recognition that some readers will adore this book and others will be as confused as hell, and probably bored as well. With that in mind I would request that you enter for the free book only if you really want to read stories about men turning into horse-bodied creatures and fitted with gorgeous harnesses, or at least that you won't complain when that is what you get.... I will also throw in a bonus book, a copy of Homicide Insecticide by Orthi Rabbane.

Rating: 8/10
Reviewer: Emily Veinglory

Giveaway details!

I am giving my copy of these two books away. The copy of Transformations has a slight scuff marks from bouncing around in my carry-on bag during a flight but is still in very good condition. To win, comment on this post by Midnight, Sunday November 2nd. A name will be drawn randomly and will be announced on Monday November 3rd. If your name is announced as the winner, please email: podpeep at gmail dot com with your snail mail address. Good Luck!


Janel said...

Both of these books look interesting. I've never heard of the horse transformations before! Please enter me.

sweetsue said...

You've got my curiosity up about both these books. I don't know if I will love them or hate them, but they sound fascinating

Anonymous said...

hiya ,my first time here,from you thru another person blog link

rb said...

Hello, the books look interesting! I am here through blog hopping :D

Anonymous said...

Thanks for having such a cool giveaway. I found you all through Breeni Books...great job you all are doing here.

Amber said...

Please enter me :)

Paradox said...

Please count this entry! I didn't find the contest until now and I've known about Insecticide Homicide for what I think has been about a year, when I read a post by the author on a forum. I search out any books written by teenagers, and it's unlikely I'll find this one elsewhere.

Icetwofire said...

I just wanted to say that both books seem like they would be a really good read, thanks for the giveaway.

Donna Barr said...

I agree with every word on "Transformations." But we do the jobs we're hired to do. If you think it's painful to read this stuff, you should try writing it. It pays very well, but how the hell many ways ARE there to describe how to stick a tail on some guy's BUTT? I will say nothing against those who hire me to hack, because I have to bills to pay, too -- but if I have to spend another 10 pages outlining ornate OCD magic tricks, I will fall on my mouse pointer. I WILL. Please buy my own books so I can stop writing this genre -- or ANY genre!!! =%O