Book Review – Queen Part I by Felipe Adan Lerma

This is going to be a unique review because I’m not just looking at the book, I’m examining how the author is making use of a relatively new technology in a bold experiment.

Amazon has dropped some bombs on traditional publishers over the years. First they dropped the Kindle and everyone suddenly realized eBooks were going to be a thing. Then they set up their own indie publishing service and – for better or worse – a bunch of authors who couldn’t have otherwise gotten their work out suddenly had a voice. The most recent bomb was the advent of Kindle Unlimited. In author circles the jury is still out on that one. Personally I’m just happy someone’s reading my stuff.

The thing about KU (as us cool kids call Kindle Unlimited) is it basically says for about ten bucks a month you can read anything you want that has been published as a KU title. There’s been some back and forth on whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for authors, but some of the more adventurous authors out there are starting to change the rules of writing to better fit some of the new technologies out there. One of those authors is Felipe Adan Lerma, a Texas author with no small amount of books already under his name.

Lerma reckoned, probably correctly, that one good use of the Kindle Unlimited platform might be to make use of it to bring back a largely lost art form: the serial. Back in the day you used to be able to listen to the radio and hear parts of a story told every week. Think of it as television without the incessant commercials.

Traditional publishers would never go for such an outrage because it would cost far too much to print a whole mess of parts of a story. Heck, even traditional eBooks would probably not work terribly well because the cost would add up pretty quickly. But KU is a game changer and Lerma is using it to  his advantage to release a whole book but in multiple parts spread out over a large block of time.

Queen is Lerma’s first shot at this strategy and I’ve only read the first bit but already I’m getting hooked on the two characters I’ve seen so far. Part I is a slow build to what will likely be a climactic conclusion; a literary smash-up of good and evil.

It’s too early in the cycle to say how the whole story will play out but Lerma’s poetic prose is intoxicating. Already he’s establishing a calm, calculating villain (the scariest kind) and a hero that’s centering herself in the middle of a brewing storm. He’s already building what will likely be a great story and with the advent of KU readers will be able to experience as it happens.

Lerma has also promised to compile the collection into a single compendium when it’s finished so Luddites like myself can experience the majesty of the whole thing. But for that you’ve got to wait.

It’s almost enough to make me sign up for Kindle Unlimited.

queenvolume1

Get your copy of Queen Part I here

Follow Felipe on Twitter

Check out Felipe’s Website

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24 thoughts on “Book Review – Queen Part I by Felipe Adan Lerma

  1. Oh wow oh wow oh wow do I like this review!

    Much much thanks to Eric.

    Esp liked, “Personally I’m just happy someone’s reading my stuff.” – ditto that!

    I will say I also really like the “bead” Eric has detected in the story line. It’s even got me excited 🙂

    KU is, I believe, as Eric surmised, what makes trying a serial novel not only possible, but affordable and fun. Both for myself and the reader.

    Hopefully folks will catch my weekly Twitter and Facebook excerpts from each book (small fun snippets).

    I’ve also begun doing my own Readers Theatre excerpts on YouTube. “Very” casual. I’m getting a new mic and very excited to resume reading my own words aloud.

    As Eric points out, the new technologies have changed what’s feasible, and enjoyable, in fiction. And includes not only the social media I mentioned above, but blog posts like this that can mean so much to a writer like me (smiles).

      1. Thanks! I will 🙂

        There’s certainly been an explosive marketing opportunity I’m only beginning to grasp: excerpt quotes in print and via YouTube for each book, connecting this new work to older work.

        And then there’s the fine tuning of the chapters as I read them each week preparing them for release, picking out excerpts, tweaking beginning and ending chapters of each book of chapters.

        It’s like I’m following my own work as if it was on TV. It’s an amazing feeling!

        Hey, I’m looking for one person who’ll read each book as an ARC and post an update review once a month, about once every 4-5 books. About 2500+ new words of story each book. 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Felipe Adan Lerma and commented:
    A fabulous blog post from author Eric Lahti asking how and why a serial novel might be possible in today’s digital publishing world.

    In this case it’s specifically about my own work – Queen, a Serial Novel.

    I was literally giddy reading his analysis.

    I hope you’ll give his post a look.

    And my comment (smiles).

    1. Thanks Sylva – I know! His article positively gave me such a boost I went back and reread Book 1!

      Plus really glad he delved into the whole issue of serial fiction, and how it’s possible in today’s digital environment.

      Great post all around. Hope you get to read Book 1 and let me know what you thought 🙂

  3. Clever, clever, clever. Eric, you’re a wise man and a good reviewer. Felipe is using a strategy. What a smart fellow too. I’m not sure about KU. As it stands, I keep adding new books to my Kindle. I just can’t keep up. Both of your books are on my list too. I promise.

    1. Totally understand. I know I have more than I can read fully any time soon, I think of some of these books like savings bonds collecting interest for a future date 🙂

      For me, KU had still been working well because I like browsing into so many books to see if I’d like reading them, and many, especially self help or non-fiction books, I can go in, read the portions I want, then go on to something else, or even go back later to that book. But without having to lay out so much money. I still buy a few books here and there though. I think it all fits together better and better.

      Keep me on your list! Hopefully it’ll keep collecting interest as each new book in the serial comes out. Seven plus more months worth coming! 🙂

    2. I have enough books to read even without KU. I think if I had it my tablet memory would be full. I had to make a promise to myself to read and review what I’ve got before I move on to more. I’ll probably be breaking that promise within a week. 🙂

  4. A great write up Eric. I think that as long as KU is around and being utilised by the reading public Queen will be a hit. Felipe, for me, has a certain writing style that shines whenever Sam Lacroix is about. He does her proud and really reaches the reader.

    I smiled when you likened it to listening to the radio once a week…….brings back memories AND shows our age!

    1. Lolz. I mostly came after the serials stopped but my granddad used to tell me stories before bed that were like them. We listened to a few but mostly he made them up as he went along.

    2. Thank you so much, Sharon 🙂 I do try to stay faithful to how I feel and see Samantha. She’s simple in intent and complex in understanding, or at least that’s the only way I can keep a bead on her 🙂

      Speaking of doing proud, gotta thank Eric for doing the same for me. What a write up! Wrapped up in memories and musing of where fiction is heading, or heading back to.

      But they say (or Hegel did, I think) that history is a spiral not a circle.

      Similar but as a new reiteration.

      We’ll see 🙂

  5. I, too, have been thinking about writing a fantasy serial, I think it is smart business sense and gives publishers what they want: quick, punchy stories that give the reader condensed story bordering on a short story. I have stumbled, tweeted and added this review to my book review flip board 🙂 Well done Eric.

    1. Susan, thank for sharing Eric’s post. It not only helped me greatly of course, but I think sheds a growing light on the value and variety of serial fiction.

      Wikipedia has a very basic entry up that shows some of the early history, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_(literature) .

      Like so many of our forms of literature and the other arts, there wasn’t “a” way to do serial fiction.

      Experimentation and artist preference plus market forces shaped serials.

      Hugh Howey had a recent post about how so much has changed and so much more is still changing. But the part that struck me was, the artist’s voice will be heard.

      I think that’s what Eric is centered on also: the wonderful variety of voice available today.

      If you do create a fantasy serial, please let me know if you can. (smiles)

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