Sunset on the Butte

Sunset on the Butte, an e-book in the romance genre set in and around Cascade, Montana probably sometime in the latter half of the 19th Century written and published by Patricia Prinzing.

Pearl Butler arrives by stage in Cascade to join and share a home with her sister Mildred and encounters all sorts of experiences, both life-threatening and those of overwhelming joy and happiness. The stage is robbed on her initial journey, she meets a handsome young rancher in a rather embarrassing manner and marries him. She is abducted by gypsies, sealed in a barrel and thrown into a river, attacked by Indians, meets jewelry thieves when visiting New Orleans among other experiences all while attempting to live a ‘normal’ life. This is a relatively short read with a story line that consists of a series of activities indulged in by the protagonist, her relatives and acquaintances. The characters are not particularly well developed, several appear literally in name only and/or in very short vignettes, and interrelationships do not seem to be ‘naturally’ developed. As a whole it is a simply told tale the author describes as “…my spin on how things might have been in the 1800’s” and as such, no doubt will appeal to the group of readers that enjoy such homely couched tales. A most interesting note: this author is one of the very few ever to include the presence of gypsies within America West in the 1800’s – an immigration that began early in the century.

2* Homely, somewhat ‘uncomfortably’ presented romance no doubt with appeal to certain readers.

The Labyrinth Wall

The Labyrinth Wall ISBN: 9780991531219, Obsidian Series – Book 1, Luminous Word Press, a fantasy e-book by Emilyann Girdner.

The protagonist is Ariana, a product of the ‘creators’ who bring seemingly large numbers of individuals to life. They are brought forth, given a basic supply of food and water and their choice of weapons and released into a surrounding labyrinthine area where they toil to collect obsidian for which they are paid with minimal supplies when brought to the collector/guards. Their compensation always is inadequate, so most kill each other in fighting literally to survive. The reigning powers could not care less, for they just create more. Ariana was created two years ago but with the development of an older teen and has been able to avoid killing because of adroit management and a seemingly well-developed ability to attain the necessities and avoid confrontations. The story progresses as she encounters one who frequently has killed along with others who are part of a group formed to work collectively so as to lessen/eliminate the need and this strange collection of individuals attempt to find a way out of their all-encompassing maze after encountering a stranger from ‘outside’. The tale presents closure to the action but also most appropriately provides entré to the next book.

The author has set forth a young adult fantasy that would appear to be more suitable for the younger portion of this scale for several reasons; most sentences are short, the verbalization seems more appropriate to this level, the characters are inconsistent in thought and action patterns and the activity level is sufficient to overcome the uneven pattern of presentation. A plus is that a glossary is provided at the end which a prospective reader would find helpful to peruse before starting the story.

3*    4* Interestingly devised plot; 3* flawed presentation as described.