July 21, 2014

Chasing Tale [7/21/14]: Kindle Unlimited and the Temple of Doom

For ten dollars a month, Kindle owners in the U.S. will have the chance to read a f**kload of ebooks thanks to the newly unveiled Kindle Unlimited, and even have the luxury of listening to Audible audiobooks on top of all that. Is this the future of reading? Hmmm.

I'm Canadian, so it's not an option for me, but even if it was I don't really see it as all that enticing. The reason for that is because I have been buying ebooks off the Kindle Store for years. Cheap ebooks, never mind the glut of freebies that have been offered over the years. My Kindle is crammed with ebooks, so I don't really feel incentivized to shell out ten dollars every month to buy even more ebooks from what is actually a relatively limited inventory of titles when you consider ALL that is available on the Kindle Store.

If I was a newcomer to Kindle land, sure, I'd consider it. But even then, I might hold off until I see the major publishers hop on board, because quite frankly those are the guys charging exorbitant prices on ebooks. For instance, Brad Thor's new bestseller, Act of War, is on the Kindle Store for twice the price of signing up for a month of Kindle Unlimited. I don't care who the author is, there is zero chance of me paying $20 for one ebook. But if Simon & Schuster was to suddenly hop on board this new Kindle Unlimited gimmick, well the price really isn't an issue anymore.

It's early yet,  and it's way too early for anti-Amazon folks to declare the sky of falling, and it's definitely too early for pro-Amazon folks to start fellating Jeff Bezos out of gratitude. Let's give this thing to the end of summer and then have a gander at who is signing up and who is reaping the rewards.

As for the ebooks recently thrown onto my to-be-read pile, I am unsure how many of them are available through the new program. All I know is that a great many of them are by authors whose work I have read before and would wholeheartedly recommend. Take a look and leave a comment with what you think about Kindle Unlimited, and what ebooks you've added to your Kindle recently.

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes - If Broken Monsters does with Detroit what The Shining Girls did with Chicago, I suspect this thriller will wind up on my faves-of-the-year list.

Pennsylvania Omnibus by Michael Bunker - Amish sci-fi. Go figure. Anyway, I was lucky enough to win this serial novel that has been handily collected into one book, thanks to Tim Ward over at Adventures in Sci-Fi Publishing. Thanks, Tim.

Supreme Justice by Max Allan Collins - I had the good fortune to interview Mr. Collins last week (you can read that here) and I have a review copy of his new near-future political thriller, which sounds really promising.

Wide Spot in the Road (Drifter Detective 4) by Wayne D. Dundee - Garnett Elliott penned the first three installments in the Drifter Detective series, but it looks like Dundee is taking the reigns for this one. Fine by me.

A Rope of Thorns by Gemma Files - Chizine Publications had a Canada Day/Independence Day sale on their website, and I finally pulled the trigger and picked up the second book in Files' weird western Hexslinger series. I thought I'd already bought it, but I guess not. Problem solved.

Grunge Gods and Graveyards by Kimberly G. Garratano - Kimberly will be stopping by the blog in a couple days as part of a blog tour, so watch out for that.

The Big Hit by James Neal Harvey - I guess this is Harvey's first novel in fifteen years. That's quite a stretch. This cross-country thriller sounds promising at any rate.

Doubleback and Toxicity by Libby Fischer Hellmann - I received the audiobook edition of Doubleback from Libby. It's the second book in her George Davis series, the first of which I already have on my Kindle. Toxicity is part of the same series, but I think it's actually a prequel. Anyway, I snagged that one free off of the Kindle Store.

The Rats / Lair / Domain by James Herbert - If you ask a horror fan for a classic horror novel to read, they will quite possibly recommend James Herbert's The Rats. I've yet to read it, and I've not been in a hurry to buy it, but then I found this trio of ratty paperbacks at a used-books shop and figured it was time to add it to my shelf.

The Wraith by Joe Hill - There's a new graphic novel coming soon that links in with Joe Hill's NOS4A2. I don't know about you, but that's all I need to know to peak my interest.

You by Caroline Kepnes - A romantic thriller with two lovers who might be in a competition to out obsess each other. So long as it's not written in second-person PoV, I'm happy.

Chasing Ghosts: Texas Style by Brad and Barry Klinge - Honestly, this was a total impulse buy. I saw it on a clearance table for a few bucks, marked down from like $26--really?!--and thought I'd get it because ghosts. Since buying it though, I've read a couple reviews and ... I think I'm setting myself up for buyer's remorse.

Fires Rising by Michael Laimo - Nothing like a little apocalypse to occupy your time. This horror novel has an audiobook release, narrated by Jack de Golia. Basically an ancient evil buried under a derelict church is let loose and it's up to the indigent people living there to save humanity.

Hair Said, Flesh Side by Helen Marshall - Along with A Rope of Thorns, I scooped up this short story collection from the Chizine book sale, as it has certainly been recommended to me enough times since its release.

Hemlock Grove by Brian McGreevy - The second season of Hemlock Grove is out this summer on Netflix, so it must be doing something right. Based on this novel, which I received from FSG Originals, the show looks cool, but I gotta say I'm more interested in reading the book as is the case with most film/TV adaptations.

Dog Days by Joe McKinney - I found myself with a free ebook copy of Joe's award-winning YA novel from Journalstone Publishing. Neat-o. I've already bought more than a couple of Joe's ebooks that I have yet to read, but it's hard to pass up a freebie with his name on it.

Kokomo's Cafe by Armand Rosamilia - I've been reading so much genre stuff over the years, the contemporary fiction tends to take a backseat, and there's a fair bit on my shelf I've been meaning to read. Well, I got the chance to listen to this audiobook recently. Rosamilia is probably better known for his horror fiction, but these quirky short stories were pretty darned good too.

White Walker by Richard Schiver - Richard will stop by the blog next week with a guest post to talk about ancient gods and this new novel. So watch out for that.

The Deep Dark Woods by Ty Schwamberger - Ty's wilderness horror novel is out with a snazzy cover and a cool, high-octane premise. He'll be stopping by the blog soon too, with a guest post of his own.

Doubledown IV (Biters / The Reborn) by Harry Shannon and Brett Talley - Do you remember those old Ace Doubles from back in the day? You read one book, flip it over and--oh look--another book. Well, Journalstone released their fourth Double Down book a few months ago featuring two post-apocalyptic tales by two talented authors. 

And Death Will Seize the Doctor, Too by Jeremiah Swanson - This one involves a guy who can heal people, but not before he takes someone else's life. Interesting premise.

A Hollow Dream of Summer's End / A Hollow Dream: Eternal Autumn by Andrew Van Wey - Back to back novels from Andrew, here. Part of an ongoing series of interconnected books, it starts with a group of friends trapped in a treehouse by an ancient evil, then just goes even darker from there. Neat-o.

Police at the Funeral by Ariel S. Winter - I got caught at the mall waiting for a bus with nothing to read, so I hit up the bookstore across the road--so silly that it's not in the mall anymore--and found this Hard Case Crime title. Unbeknownst to me, however, it's the third in a trilogy. Doh! Looks like I need to hunt down the first two books now.

Legends of Red Sonja by various authors - This series which started up late last year has been collected into a graphic novel set to come out in September. The only thing more impressive than the artwork is the line-up of contributing writers, helmed by Gail Simone.

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