I got the amazing opportunity to join in the Apex September Back Catalog Book Tour. This let me “go shopping” in the Apex publications list and I also got some tips from Lesley Conner on books that might appeal to me. If you don’t know how awesome this Mistress of Minions is, be sure you check out the INKterview where my INKubator writing group got the chance to chat with her.
My first review on this tour is I Can Transform You by Maurice Broaddus. This one I actually begged for because I loved Pimp My Airship. I needed me some more words by this awesome author and he did not disappoint.
Apex Back Catalog Blog Tour: I Can Transform You
I Can Transform You is an excellent speculative fiction novella, leaning towards the science fiction side of the spectrum. Broaddus doesn’t waste time setting the stage and the reader is thrown straight into the action from the opening page.
As I’m learning tends to be common with Apex’s publications, this story is pretty dark. It’s also a grittier tale, but nothing excessive or beyond my personal limit.
Unfortunately, I didn’t connect well with the main character, Mac. This isn’t a weakness in the writing–the character had plenty of depth and nuance. It’s a matter of personal taste and we’re all going to have some we connect to more easily than others. Mac just wasn’t someone I clicked with easily.
I was more intrigued by the secondary character, Ade, and I’d love to see something else where Ade had the main role and I could get to know him better. But that’s wishful thinking on my part, although it’s very possible Broaddus has something else out there I’ve not read yet. Or maybe he’s got more of Ade in the works. (hint hint)
The story has a hint of mystery and a lot of twists and turns. It’s the kind of writing that keeps my mind engaged and alert putting everything together and doesn’t let it wander off, which is always a bonus when I’m reading for pain relief and distraction.
As an extra bonus, this volume also includes the original “Pimp My Airship” short from which the novel I previously reviewed (and loved) derived. As a writer myself, I found it fascinating to see how the characters had grown and changed from this earlier version to the full length one, and which pieces survived the revision more or less intact. I definitely prefer the full length version, but this is well worth the read as it stands.
Now comes the hard part. The rating. I end up around 4.5 stars, but I think this is more a reflection of the lingering high from having been blown away by the full length Pimp My Airship as well as the Do Not Go Quietly anthology. I don’t want everything I read to impact me as much as those two did–otherwise my head would expand like an overinflated balloon and I’d seriously get a headache from the high pressure of ideas and the bruising from banging the unwieldy brain on everything. But when those two are still stuck in my subconscious, it is hard not to draw comparisons within the genre.
So don’t let my 5 star stinginess keep you from exploring this world. I’m certainly still eager for more work from this excellent author.
If you are interested in this book, in Pimp My Airship, or in other amazing publications from Apex Book Company, I can give you a little tip. In connection with this book tour, Apex is offering 25% off everything in the Apex store all month long with discount code SEPTEMBER. So this is a great time to check out the tour, pick some favorites, and do a little shopping. If you’re on twitter, search for the hashtag #backcatalogblogtour to find all the reviews and interviews throughout the month.