Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review: Cracked by Janine A. Southard - Excerpt



Cracked
A Magical iPhone Story

Janine A. Southard

Contemporary/Humor/Slight Fantasy
Cantina Publishing
January 2015

Amazon | Smashwords | Goodreads

What can your phone do for you?

This is the story of a girl and her iPhone. No, that’s not quite right. This is the story of a middle-aged statistician and her best friend. Though she didn’t consider herself middle-aged. And the best friend was more of a roommate-with-whom-she’d-developed-a-friendship. And this description completely ignores the 6,000-year-old elf with whom the woman and her best friend enjoyed story gaming.

So let’s try this again.

This is the story of a woman who wished to find love, but who would rather play story games than actively look for it. Especially in the wake of a horrid break-up six months before from a man who had never sent her a single gift.

Until this Valentine’s Day, when she received a brand new iPhone in a box with his name on it.
Between story gaming and succumbing to the phone’s insidious sleekness, she learns that friendship trumps romance.

In Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story, award-winning author Janine A. Southard (a Seattle denizen) shows you how the geeks of Seattle live, provides a running and often-hilarious social commentary on today’s world, and reminds you that, so long as you have friends, you are never alone.

Excerpt:

     This is the story of a girl and her iPhone. No, that’s not quite right. This is the story of a middle-aged statistician and her best friend. Though she didn’t consider herself middle-aged. And the best friend was more of a roommate-with-whom-she’d-developed-a-friendship.
     And this description completely ignores the 6,000-year-old elf with whom the woman and her best friend enjoyed story gaming.
     So let’s try this again.
     This is the story of a woman who wished to find love, but who would rather play story games than actively look for it. Especially in the wake of a horrid break-up six months before from a man had who never sent her a single gift.
     Until now.
     That man, who is otherwise unimportant to this narrative, had no sense of timing.
     He had, foolishly perhaps, expected something different from their three-year relationship. He’d been after crazy spontaneity and over-sexualized Carnivale stereotypes from his Brazilian-American girlfriend, whereas she’d merely expected companionship and a proposal.
     So when the breakup arrived instead of a ring box, it came as quite a shock to Morena (for that was the woman’s name). And on this day, when she saw a package on her kitchen table sporting his return address (likely carried inside the night before by her staggeringly drunk roommate), she almost took it down, unopened, to the recycling bin in her apartment building’s garage.
     But she didn’t.
     In a fit of whimsy disguised as righteous fury, she wielded a utility knife and tore into the obviously reused box with Amazon.com emblazoned on the side. She slashed at the cardboard and threw packing peanuts all over her matted beige carpet, which had witnessed many a discarded packing peanut before.
     The carpet didn’t mind, but it would have worried about usually sensible Morena’s mental state if it had the kind of mind that knew how to worry. But it was a carpet, so it didn’t.
     If this book were a movie, the non-trash-bound contents of the box would now be surrounded in a soft yellow glow. There would be swelling music whose pulsing undertone would let the viewer know that this, THIS, was a significant moment. But since this is a book (and, for Morena, this was real life), these things did not happen. Instead, she got a paper cut from the crumpled newsprint that cushioned a very ordinary-looking iPhone.

My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Cracked was a fun, fast-paced story with rather endearing characters and an unusual plot. The narration was interesting, almost like the author was talking directly to the reader with a bit of a fairy tale cadence. Though babbling at times, it became rather enjoyable once I was used to it. Though, I will admit, it had me scratching my head at the beginning.

I enjoyed the humor, the light fantasy elements, and especially main character Morena. The setting- Seattle- was perfect for this story. I can just imagine something crazy like this happening under those dreary skies (I lived near Seattle for a couple years... strange things happen there). I wasn't a huge fan of the head-hopping in third person POV, but it didn't keep me from enjoying this cute story. If you're looking for a light, humorous diversion, Cracked fits the bill.


About the Author
Janine A. Southard is the IPPY-award-winning author of Queen & Commander (and other books in The Hive Queen Saga). She lives in Seattle, WA, where she writes speculative fiction and reads it aloud to her cat. She’s story gamed a few times and hopes to someday make a tie-in game for this novel, but first she needs to finish writing all the other books on her list. Besides Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story, she is also the author of:

Queen & Commander (The Hive Queen Saga, #1) – IPPY award-winner for Science Fiction (2013)
Hive & Heist (The Hive Queen Saga, #2) (2014)
“The Robot Who Stole Herself” (A Hive Queen Tie-In Short Story, 2014)

If you want email updates when Janine A. Southard's latest books are released, sign up here (http://bit.ly/janinenews). You'll be contacted for new releases and release-related news (like when her next Kickstarter project is coming). Usually, this is once a month or so, but sometimes goes longer or shorter. Your address will never be shared, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Plus, you'll get a free short story!

Author Links

3 comments:

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