We began free reviews to indie authors on a first come, first serve, as-our-strength-holds-out and we-want-to-read-it basis starting on November 1, 2015. We also do non-reciprocal indie reviews as part of various indie author groups.
Please query us through the form below. Sassa will contact you if she has interest and room on her waiting list. We aim for but do not promise reviews for accepted works within eight weeks from acceptance. If we accept your query, we will let you know how to send us a copy in PDF, mobi, ePub or physical form.
Below are our guidelines to help you decide if there is a potential fit.
We will review what we love, and that means:
- historical fiction, any time, any place. We loved Memoirs of a Geisha, Shogun, Remains of the Day, Kristin Lavransdatter, The Spanish Queen, anything by Philippa Gregory, anything by Anya Seton, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall duo, anything by Umberto Eco, Jean Auel and her caveman series, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, anything by Pearl S. Buck, anything by Mary Renault, Conn Iggulden’s Genghis series…
- military fiction, any time, any place. We worship Bernard Cornwell and wonder why he has not been cloned or imitated
- fantasy, especially high/epic fantasy, sword and sorcery. We like wizards, elves and technomonks
- supernatural but no vampires or zombies. Ann Rice gave us our vampires and Cherie Priest quite enough zombies, so we’re good on that front, unless you really believe you have something better
- science fiction, especially…well, all of it really…but we hanker these days for space opera, hard science, cyberpunk, whatever comes after cyberpunk, social/dystopian/political, steampunk, alien encounters…well, all of it really…speculative anything as long as it is thoughtful and well-written. We appreciate a sense of humor and an idea thoroughly explored
- contemporary satire/social commentary/idea-driven fiction exploring the zeitgeist through larger than life characters. Think The Devil Wears Prada and the Bonfire of the Vanities
- crossover genre-blenders mixed with ingredients from above
We won’t review what we don’t love, and that means:
- no erotica, dinosaur or otherwise
- no horror
- no recovery memoirs
- no romance novels, although romantic subplots are always welcome in the genres listed above. Victoria Holt’s On the Night of the Seventh Moon and Daphne du Maurier’s gothic romance Rebecca raised the bar so high for us long ago that we would never be able to bring ourselves to give out a five star in this genre
- no religious fiction unless it sneaks through as well-written historical fiction with religious themes, which we would actually really like, or something with technomonks. Just not in the mood for pious faith-promoting and heartwarming religious themed fiction
- no gritty urban stuff with lots of violence and rage. Trying to steer a middle path and avoid both saccharine sweet and twisted bitter…
- no avante garde polyperspectival unpunctuated literary stuff without a plot, agreeable characters and some sort of ending. We recognize we are old-fashioned fuddy-duddies. We are quite content to be so
We won’t review what someone else can do better, and that means:
- no non-fiction, how-to, self-help or humor. We are geeky and love non-fiction in every field. However, whether it is a cookbook, a political tome, a biography or a philosophy book, we know someone out there has a PhD or twenty years of experience on the topic and can bring more to the review
- no literary fiction. We are deeply embarrassed about this decision. We love the classics and would very much like to be high brow and erudite and in the know on emerging literary stars writing the new classics. However, our literary fiction book groups keep picking best-selling contemporary literary novels with unbearably whiny, angst-ridden protagonists fretting over first world problems for far too many elegantly written and boring pages. We finally admitted in our secret hearts that we found literary fiction too tedious to endure any longer, no matter how good for our souls it might be.
We hereby embrace our low-to-middlebrow taste for well-written escapist genre fiction with lots of action and great characters. We want the can-do dude from Andy Weir’s The Martian, “out in space, fixing all the problems,” not the literary novelist’s navel-gazing hero taking us into a deeper understanding of contemporary reality. Reality is a mess right now–we are looking to escape! Our motto and rallying cry: Reality is for those who lack imagination.
If you are hunting for a good review from us, we like well-written, polished, idea-studded imaginative stories with interesting, multi-dimensional characters and a rollicking plot in just about any setting, any time, any universe.
We do not make public our one and two star ratings, as we see no point in damaging someone’s dream through our humble and purely subjective review. We aim to be constructive, both to help our writers keep growing and to provide our readers with useful reviews. We will publish threes and up, so be warned!
Our 1 to 5 star system:
Epic bad. We could not finish
Nice try, no cigar. Not willing to tell others to read it
Good job. Flawed but fun for genre fans
Excellent. Small issues, but we liked it or admired it and believe others will too
Great! Loved it, want to tell everyone they must read it