Sera Reviews The Magistrate by Keira Michelle Telford

Keira Michelle Telford is another new author for me. One of my friends has gotten me started reading more sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian-type novels, and this definitely falls into the latter category. As with the book I previously reviewed, I had no expectations as to the author’s style or history.

The title refers to the main character, Carmen Wild, a magistrate in 24th century London. Magistrates are similar to Judge Dredd in the sense that they patrol the streets to enforce arrest warrants and terminate any civilians who attempt to evade justice.

To paraphrase the Goodreads blurb, London in the 24th century is full of poverty, crime, and horrible living conditions. The laws themselves are “strict, illiberal, and unsympathetic.” Anyone too poor to feed and clothe themselves is sent to the workhouse; anyone who can’t pay rent is sent to debtors’ prison. And anyone who’s gay is hanged. Not a very happy place to live.

While this novel was exceptionally long (around 400 pages), once it got going, it got GOING. Carmen is a very well developed character who does unsavory things as part of her job. She’s not the best partner for her girlfriend, but then her girlfriend isn’t perfect either. Carmen is complex and interesting, and her back story, well developed in the novel, is very interesting and explains much about her actions. The secondary characters are full formed and not cardboard cutouts. Everyone has a distinct personality and Miss Emmeline was my favorite character. As the madam of a whorehouse, she is the “hooker with a heart” (though she runs the house but doesn’t offer herself to her customers) and, for me, served as the soft part of a very hard world.

I very much enjoyed the way the author structured her story. In the beginning, she intersperses the present with visits to the past. She makes it clear when the events take place, so it wasn’t difficult to follow and actually added to the story for me.

Keira Michelle Telford is a prolific author with another series and at least one stand-alone novel. The best part of this book for me was that it is just the first part in the Prisonworld Trilogy, which means I can revisit the characters. Which I’m in the process of doing now with The Procuress.

To download a sample or purchase The Magistrate by clicking here.

L World by Taryn Rose

I want to give a warm welcome to our newest reviewer, Sera Warren. We hope to see much more from her. Here’s her first review!

I’ve never read anything by Taryn Rose, so this was a new proposition for me. I was able to go into the book with literally no expectations as to the author’s style or history. This is kind of a rarity for me and a much appreciated gift.

L-World begins with attorney Blake Sanders learning that her divorce is final. In an effort to make a change for herself and usher in her new life without a husband, Blake has made an appointment with a hairstylist to update her look. At the appointment, she is surprised by her attraction to the stylist, Janie Buckley.

As a novel, the plot was engaging and interesting. The characters, especially the secondary characters, were well fleshed out (I really liked Blake’s son, Wes, and Dom). Even the side story was interesting – and it didn’t overwhelm the main plot. While the story as a whole felt artificially long and the beginning was a bit draggy from over exposition, I really enjoyed it while I read it. However, the story wasn’t particularly memorable afterwards.

My main issue with this story is the extreme number of euphemisms. While the author states on her Goodreads page that she loves them, I quickly became distracted by the euphemisms for female body parts and things sexual. It’s a personal preference, perhaps, but I don’t particularly like to see “sweet goo,” “lady parts,” “dripping sweet box,” or “engorged love sack” in what I read. Such euphemisms read more as bad straight porn masquerading as erotica, and this story was strong enough to not need them.

L-World is, as far as my research could determine, Rose’s second published work and her first with Ravenous Romance. While it’s not quite at the level I’m used to for purchasing, at only $4.99, it’s a deal for a full length novel. And it’s definitely better than much of what can be found on Amazon for more.

Despite the title, this is not a bad book by any means and it’s a pretty quick read. I hope Rose continues publishing as I’d like to see what else she can come up with and how her writing progresses.

Click to buy L World