Books and Sensibility’s month long dedication to indie
It’s hard to be in the YA book blogging world without noticing all the upcoming indie novels and novelists. So, to open myself up to more independent and self published authors, I am going Strictly Indie for the month of May. I will be focusing on reviewing, discussing and posting about indie novels and even have a few guest posts along the way.
- Release Date: November 12th 2012
- Pages: 340 pages
- Genre: Science Fiction Romance
- Price: $3.99 ebook; 13.99 paperback
Richmond’s everyday life consists of wrangling in her crazy best
friend, Piper avoiding her enemy Lila Hicks and finding salvation in her art, and the peanut butter brownie at her favorite cafe Demitasse.
But, the day Ariel makes eyes with Luca Grinaldi, murder and death begin to surround her. Ariel soon learns that people aren’t just dying–they are being hunted. And she and Luca’s meeting is a not just a coincidence, but destiny.
I’ve been following the publication of this novel since I happened upon Victoria’s blog for a contest. At the time she was being repped by Curiosity Quills, but deferred to self publish. It’s been interesting reading her blog and seeing the journey she has taken to self publication.
The Crimson Hunt is my first voyage into the New Adult category and I can definitely see the appeal. Being in their early 20’s New Adult characters are slightly more mature than YA characters, but still in the “I’m invincible” stage common to YA. While some Big Six publishers are dipping their toes in to the NA water, indie authors are heading in full force.
The Crimson Hunt follows the story of Ariel Richmond, a college junior who just wants to get her Art degree and start a life for herself. Growing up an orphan, Ariel has always been fierce and independent and the only person she lets past her wall is her best friend, Piper. But when Ariel locks eyes with the bright eyed and beautiful Luca Grinaldi everything she knows begins to shatter. People start dying around her and now Ariel is on the run, trying to figure out why everything seems to be centered on her and what Luca has to do with it.
Smith’s writing style is youthful and easy to fall in step with. The story is intense, but the plot peters out a little towards the middle of the book when Ariel is on the run. Because she (and the audience) is kept in the dark for so long about what the supernatural element is, the end feels like a plot dump. The villains of the story felt like cardboard and I wish we could have more backstory on them before we started hating them.
Ariel is a relatable character and she does take control of her story pretty well once Luca lets her. Luca, is the usual quiet brooding love interest with a godlike physique. While I get this is more of a romance novel and “hotness everywhere” is a mainstay of the genre, the near physical perfectness Ariel sees in him made it hard for me connect with as a character. He starts to feel unrealistic in his perfection both physical and personality wise.
During this project, I’ve tried to compare indie novels to traditional novels, but this one is a bit of a challenge. I think fans of Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout will easily relate to and enjoy this novel. It also has similar elements from Altered by Jennifer Rush.
Although it’s pacing can seem a bit off and the male protagonist typical, The Crimson Hunt ends on an action packed note, complete with plot twists and unexpected turns. Overall, it is a solid debut NA romance from Victoria H. Smith.
Side note: This book got a new cover!
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I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.