Diane DesAutels

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Diane DesAutels

  • Bloodling Wolf on May 24, 2014
    (no rating)
    An unusual take on werewolves. It's interesting to see what growing up is like for a boy/young man born as a wolf, who feels more comfortable interacting with humans as "a wolf-pretending-to-be-a-lapdog" than as "a wolf pretending to be a boy". Rejection from his Alpha father, taunts from his scrawny bully of a brother, love and loyalty with his milk brother and adoptive mother... the only part he doesn't dwell on what seems like enough (probably another of the benefits of living in his "wolf brain" mode) is how his birth caused his biological mother's death. Wolfie is an admirable character who protects those who can't protect themselves from the prejudices and physical intimidation of his pack -- even if his utter disinterest in classroom learning emoves him a bit from being suitable teen-role-model material. The quality of writing and editing is also high. I'm definitely going to go on to read "Shiftless". BTW, one thing I liked (I've seen it done wrong/illogically all too often) is that Wolfie's physical development happened at the speed natural to his wolf form, which gives the advantage of greater physical maturity".
  • Second-Hand Princess on May 29, 2014
    (no rating)
    The bones are here of a rather entertaining satire, but it reads a little too flat/superficial. I don't mean how the princess begins with unquestioned assumptions and propriety -- that's part of the premise -- but rather how we're never given the chance to see real emotions and three-dimensionality from the cardboard cast, except a bit from the little ghost girl and the princess herself. There are also a lot of never-answered questions, such as the reason for all the ghosts in the one kingdom (something to do with the briefly-mentioned wizard??) or their variable physicality. Also, and possibly answered in the sequel[s], what was the actual fate of "her" dragon, not to mention her parents? It's actually not that bad, though, and I personally liked the ending "punchline"-type twist. An unsatisfying ending can spoil even an excellent story, but this seemed very appropriate, even if open-ended.
  • Second-Hand Princess on May 29, 2014
    (no rating)
    Sorry -- my tablet is having no luck selecting a star rating. I was trying to give it a 3 (average of 4 for the premise / general plot, 3 for writing mechanics, and 2 for the aforementioned lack of depth). I recommend Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles for a richer riff on an unconventional princess.