genre fusion

Starving Review: Scion of Conquered Earth (SCION Book 1) by Michael J. Allen

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Scion of Conquered Earth (SCION Book 1) by Michael J. Allen (Amazon, Goodreads)

Good morning, my literary foodies! Today, I have another fresh review served up piping hot from the pantry, this time a dystopian YA space opera, Scion of Conquered Earth by Michael J. Allen. Such a mix of ingredients should lead to a tasty genre fusions as long as everything is baked properly, but it could just as easily turn sour. Does Mr. Allen succeed in the kitchen?

Before we find out, let’s renew our pledge to the Starving Review principles:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible

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The World Of … : The Songstress Murders – Mixing Mystery, Romance, and Magic! a.k.a. Genre Fusion

For the next few weeks, Wednesdays will be focused on the lead-up to the full release of my latest book, The Songstress Murders, which you can pre-order from Amazon at THIS LINK.  So, without further ado, let’s get into The World Of The Songstress Murders!

Genre fusion is something that is pretty old-hat by now.  It’s like chocolate and peanut butter; mixing the right taste combinations creates something greater than the individual ingredients.  It’s at the very core of cooking, be it for food or for new literary cuisine. The Songstress Murders is no different.

But as with most elements of writing, genres and their fusions have to be handled properly.  Each genre brings with it certain core elements and genre conventions, as well as certain preconceptions brought to the tale by the reader herself.  To write a genre tale well involves understanding these themes and elements, as well as how to both cater to and play with the reader’s expectations.  One must balance both embracing the genre and creating a unique and interesting interpretation of said genre.  Rehashing the same formula, even if it is a tried-and-true formula, gets tiresome for readers after a while.

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Writing Is A Bad Habit: Give The Crowd What They Want … Or Not? a.k.a. Reader Expectations

The customer is always right and the reader is the customer.  If that is true, we, as writers, should try to always give the readers what they want, right?  We all know that a reader comes into any book with certain ingrained expectations, garnered through what they know to be the book’s genre, any reviews they may have read, the book blurb, and your own reputation as an author.  Now, we have a few choices as an author in this situation.  We can fulfill those expectations, we can subvert those expectations, or we can straddle the fence.

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Starving Review: Organ Reapers by Shay West

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Organ Reapers by Shay West (Amazon, Goodreads)

The life of a Starving Reviewer is one of chance and charity.  We rely on the kindness of others to fill our literary bellies and we never know what we may find on our plates.  Sometimes, though, fortune favors the hungry, dishing out what looks to be a delightful blending of mystery and urban fantasy, a fusion of flavors that promises delights a plenty.  Such a treat was plopped before me with Organ Reapers.  Did it happily fill my belly or feel like a load of lead in my gut?

Before we find that out, let’s review the Starving Review rules:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre.
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible.

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Starving Review: Dust and Sand (The Dust Series Book 1) by Sean P. Wallace

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Dust and Sand (The Dust Series Book 1) by Sean P. Wallace (Amazon, Smashwords)

Literary genre fusion is much like culinary cuisine fusion.  It can combine to make fantastic new delights, taking in the best concepts of two or more different sources, or it can ruin an otherwise tasty treat, mixing conflicting flavors until the whole thing is a muddled mess.  Both of those possibilities wavered in my mind as I cracked open Dust and Sand, a book with fusion concepts from Westerns, horror, and fantasy, and sunk my teeth in.  Did Dust and Sand deliver a wonderful new taste sensation or did it go down like its namesake?

Before I answer that question, let us remind ourselves of the Starving Review creed:

  1. I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre.
  2. I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible.

(more…)