Early reviews for Unicorn Hunters
Posted on March 8, 2016 (Subscribe to Blog)
After several read-thrus of Unicorn Hunters and a slew of fixes, I finalized the manuscript and uploaded it to Kindle on March 4th. It's now completely and utterly done, and it will auto-publish on March 15th. Those who pre-ordered it will receive their spanking brand new copy the very moment it becomes available.
If you haven't pre-ordered yet, you can still do so here:
Or buy it on Amazon UK and other countries (asin number is B01C4FPR2O).
(Pre-orders will help boost its ranking, because it will be like a miniature avalanche of orders when it publishes on March 15th.)
Early reviews are in. I had three beta readers for this book, and for those who indignantly cry, "Hey, what about ME? Nobody asked ME to beta read!"... well, I was on a very short timeline, and I chose three beta readers who have particular strengths as well as a fast turnaround. I'm well aware there are others who would have served equally well, but, well, maybe next time?
Anyway, here is some of the feedback.
Bear in mind that my first port of call is always my author buddy Brian Clopper, and this time around we actually swapped books because we're both planning to publish on the same date, March 15th. So I read and commented on his while he worked on mine. Along with typos and other minor things, he suggested a couple of important changes, which I agreed with. In the end, he was happy and offered the following "official" review (which he'll post to Amazon later)...
For those craving more adventures in the Island of Fog universe, Unicorn Hunters is an exciting debut. The first in the Island of Fog Legacies series, it casts a light on the next generation of shapeshifters.
The hero is Travis Franklin, son of Hal and Abigail. The series is told from his point of view and it offers a fresh perspective from his father's, which was the viewpoint for the original nine books. Travis becomes a shapeshifter like his father, but his abilities turn out to be wildly different than what happened to his parents. I won't divulge the clever twist, but it's so brilliant and paves the way for a huge variety of stories.
Travis is an assertive boy who has no qualms about diving in when he sees an injustice. When he rushes to the aid of a unicorn, his story takes him to Old Earth where he comes up against the despicable practices of a rich collector, Mr. Braxton. Readers are treated to scads of magical creatures that really liven up the already dynamic plot. Travis, aided rather poorly by a mysterious imp, must find a way to free the creatures captured by Mr. Braxton. Along the way, he makes numerous alliances with creatures whose trustworthiness is ever in question.
Robinson delivers tons of action, wonderful plot twists and a preponderance of character development (and I don't often dust off and bring out that word). I have a feeling this series will expose a whole new generation to the magic Robinson weaves in all his books, whether it be a Island of Fog novel or one from his other inventive series like Sleep Writer or Tales of Apparatum.
I know I'm eagerly looking forward to the next adventure of Travis Franklin.
After that, I sent the book on to a couple more beta readers. One said this partway through:
I'm loving the ride, and very curious about the little imp. I'm particularly enamored of Lightfoot. At first I thought you were aiming for a much younger audience, but now that Travis is setting about the rescue of the other creatures, it is more reminiscent of the original Island series. You have a way of drawing the reader into the immediacy of the situation, which has always been your strong suit. I'm really hoping that at some point those nasty Old Earthers get permanently shut out of New Earth – so you are certainly making me care about the characters. Still a few chapters to go, but my initial impression is that Robinson rocks on with this new series.
And after the book was finished:
I thought it was great. I was prepared to not like it as much as the Island books, because after all they were The Island Books. I enjoyed the new characters, the dialogue, the humor, and of course all the surprises along the way. I loved it and will be looking for future Legacies just as I did with the Island series. Matter of fact, I may just revisit the Island this Spring.)
The third reader actually read it with (and out loud to) her husband and three daughters. Near the end, and after I impatiently badgered her, she said:
Love, love, loving it so far! Only found a few minor things here and there. Nothing but a slight puff of breath and a shine with your sleeve and it will be perrrrrfect! Only complaint so far? "This book just seemed so short, didn't it? I want to hear more." Lol. Two thumbs up, oh impatient one! Tiny list of found mistakes swiftly forthcoming.
We loved it! Every person in this family, from the tall to the small, said it was a great book. Our only complaint was that it wasn't long enough! :) Job well done, sir! We cannot wait to read the next book. Like really cannot wait, so please get on that. This book was very well written, very easy and pleasant to read, and already well polished. It was a really good story.
Despite sending both readers what I thought was a clean copy, they still found a bunch of typos and other small things, which I've since fixed. In fact, I read the book again while they were busy with it, and I found a bunch more things of my own! It just never ends. I'm happy now, though. Is it typo free? Probably not 100%, and if anyone finds an error, I'd be grateful to hear about it. But it definitely has the same sparkly sheen as every other book I've written. :-)
Not pre-ordered it yet? Do it now while digital stocks last!
Unicorn Hunters (Island of Fog Legacies #1)
It's been twenty years since Hal Franklin and his friends arrived in New Earth as full-blooded shapeshifters. It was inevitable that Hal and Abigail would end up together, and sure enough, now they have a child of their own – young Travis, now twelve himself and wanting to follow in his father's footsteps as a shapeshifter dragon.
Of course, even though the Shapeshifter Program is available to any approved young person, Lady Simone can't allow just anyone to be fearsome beasts like dragons! No, not even the son of Hal and Abigail. So Travis chooses a wyvern, which is technically a dragon but small enough for Lady Simone to bend the rules for – especially as the old soothsayer on the hill predicts a spot of unavoidable trouble ahead.
Does it involve the recent spate of hunters coming through into New Earth and terrorizing the wildlife? Travis is about to find out when he transforms for the first time and jumps into action to save a unicorn...
This is the first in a new series set in the ISLAND OF FOG universe but with a new generation of characters. Each book will be a self-contained story following the adventures of Travis.
Your covers are gorgeous. Who did this one?
Thank you! I do my own covers, which is to say I choose and buy an image from 123rf.com and add my titles. Sometimes, as with this cover, I manipulate the image a bit by darkening the top and bottom so white text stands out better, and other times I merge images and create something new. But, for better or worse, I do all my own covers.
Oh, and with Unicorn Hunters, I added the faded, misty image of the three hunters. That's just a silhouette with something like 50% transparency, inserted in the right place and then the feet cropped off as necessary.
OMG, the new pre-ordered book has just arrived, i am reading it, and grinning, I'm on 15% and LOVING IT!
I've now finished it, wishing there was more, I am quite a fast reader.
Yes, that was fast, Rosamund! Did you like it? If so, are you able to provide a review on Amazon? :-)