Giveaway and Review!!!
A few months ago, I posted my review of Troll or Derby, by Red Tash. Since then, Troll or Derby has come out in audiobook format, so Red was nice enough to offer a giveaway for 2 readers to win audio copies. Below you will find a reposting of my Troll or Derby review, as well as my review for Wizard Tales, Red Tash’s short stories following an unusual wizard and the situations he finds himself stuck in. Enjoy!
In Troll Or Derby, fifteen-year-old Roller Deb is singled out by town bullies for both her skates, and for being different. When her popular homecoming queen of a sister is kidnapped by a scuzzy drug dealer, Deb must flee the trailer park in which she’s grown up, and rescue her. Along the way, Deb becomes enmeshed in the magical realm of trolls and fairies, and the blood-thirsty version of roller derby at which these beings excel. But spending too much time among the fairies comes with a price. Will Deb choose to save her sister, with the aid of a mysterious troll? Or will she be lost to the lures of roller derby, and the blonde temptress April, forever?
Axel Howerton says “Red Tash delivers again with this tale of rockin’, rollin’ and full metal fantasy! I love this damn book.”
Mercedes Yardley: “This book has it all. Prophecies. Destinies. Royalty, trust, revenge. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll are doused in humor and lit ablaze with quirky snark. I blew through this book incredibly fast because I couldn’t put it down. If you want a solid, fun read, then pick up Red Tash’s Troll or Derby.”
Braine of TalkingSupe.com Book Reviews says: “Roller Deb is the perfect amalgam of Heather Graham (Boogey Nights) and Ellen Page (Whip It), she’s a sexy ass-kicking heroine and I can’t help but adore the chick! All that unleashed power is both scary and fascinating, it feels like staring into the sun. And Harlow, with his swoon-worthy name, is the kind of troll you want to fall in love with (I was actually imaging them to be Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta in Rock of Ages with Tom Cruise as the villain McJagger). Overall the story is crazy exciting and so fast paced you’ll just keep on flipping the pages.
This book was pretty cool. It was fun and quirky, and had a lot of interesting things going on. I thought the title and cover were cute. This book is full of fairy tale creatures from all different walks of life. Trolls, fairys, pixies, gnomes and lots of others make up this story. These creatures are nothing like we were raised to believe they are. At least, the fairies and pixies aren’t as sweet as we have been led to believe.
In this book, we learn about Deb, a girl who has had a rough life. She is different, in almost every imaginable way. Her mom is a jerk, her sister is a drug addict. No father to speak of. She is constantly responsible for her older sister Jennifer. After the explosion of a meth house with Jennifer inside, Deb finds herself rescuing Jen once again. While trying to figure out just what is going on, Jen is kidnapped by a local drug dealer who is really skanky.
As Deb tries to locate her sister and plan a rescue, she becomes entangled with all different kinds of creatures. She meets a Troll who is in love with her. He has been watching her for most of her life. He takes her to the flea market for fairy tale creatures and as she learns more and more about them, we find out just how important it is that she learns about them. We also learn why she is so willing to accept all of this strangeness. Most people would probably flip out if they met a troll and insane fairies and such.
The story of why Jen was kidnapped is somewhat lame, to me, but believe or not, that really doesn’t take away from the story overall. There is enough going on within this story to make up for any small issues, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
I feel bad for the Harlow the troll. He really seems like a sweet “guy” who could just use a little love in his life. He obviously does the best he can with what he’s got and has been crapped on by the people he cares about way too many times. You can see the humanity in him even through his tough exterior. He deeply cares for Deb and you can tell. He risks everything to save her regardless of the fact that he doesn’t know how she feels about him or what the outcome of their adventure will be. And who knew trolls were amazing musicians? I sure didn’t!
I really came to hate her mom and sister. The way they treated her was appalling and the reasons why were pathetic and selfish. I really think they would deserve anything bad that were to happen to them.
As a former derby girl myself, I was a little bit disappointed in how much roller derby was actually in this book. With the title as it is, I expected much more derby when in reality it is really only mentioned a few times. Practice is discussed, and a game or two, but really not nearly as much as I had hoped. What derby was in the book was well written and accurate for the most part, and Tash did a good job of explaining the sport in an understandable way. Her inclusion of Derby Wives, made me laugh, because I know all about that. The bloodthirsty nature of the fairies who play in this book makes roller derby even more exciting. Not that derby girls aren’t a bloodthirsty bunch to begin with, but I’ve got to say, I think a human would notice just how much more brutal they seem to be, and I think after a little while word would spread and no one would want to play with them anymore.
I liked the ending for the most part. For me it got a little bit confusing as to what exactly was going on, but I got enough of the gist of it to what was happening and the outcome. So be sure to pay attention. There were some unexpected developments which gave the story a little bit of something extra and set it up for more books.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quickish and fun read. There are drugs, and some sexual references, but it’s not romantic, if that makes any sense. There is also quite a bit of violence. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll are main themes in this book and makes it a very enjoyable read.
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Wizard Tales Vol I-III
By Red Tash
Who doesn’t love a wizard?
All three Wizard Tales and two bonus stories featuring the Wizard or his apprentice, Lucian. Get caught up on this wild old man’s wizarding journey before the next Tale.
The Wizard Takes a Holiday is a flash fiction humorous rural fantasy of about 1500 words.
The Wizard Takes a Fitness Class: A wandering wizard with regrets on his mind finds himself in a dance-off against an old enemy. About 5600 words
Lucian’s First Trick is the story of a young man’s last night in the childhood realm of his mundane life. Sometimes when you say “Trick or Treat,” you get what you ask for. Originally published in Sirens Call Issue #5, October 2012. Approximately 3500 words.
The Wizard Takes the Cake: The mysterious Wizard takes a student as his “+1” to the wedding of an old friend in this episode of the Wizard Tales, the longest yet. About 10,000 words
A Laurents County Landfill Christmas: The Wizard bookends this fantastical tale from ruralfab Indiana. Starring the characters of Troll Or Derby. Originally published as part of the Let It Snow! Season’s Readings for a Super-Cool Yule collection. About 6500 words
This review is somewhat hard for me to write. Essentially this is a book of short stories. Some I enjoyed, some I did not. There were a few that made me laugh or gave more insight to Red Tash’s other book that I reviewed, Troll or Derby.
Most of the stories in this book, really didn’t leave much of an impression one way or the other. The Wizard Takes a Holiday was kind of cute, but like with many short stories, I would have liked for the story to continue just a bit longer.
It’s almost as if most of the stories are really just the beginning of another book. Like a teaser or sneak peek into a full length book.
The Wizard Takes a Fitness Class was stupidly funny. It was funny picturing this dance off, but overall, it was kind of stupid. Stupid as in, what they were doing was ridiculous.
Lucien’s First Trick was kind of scary. It was somewhat gross also. It was one of those stories that as a kid would have made you leery of your neighbors and was similar to an urban legend. Everyone knows of the scary old lady who steals children and is a witch. This story is about what would happen if that scary old lady really was a witch, and not just someone we imagine is a mean old witch.
The Wizard Takes the Cake was one of the stories that I just felt nothing for. I would have been happy just skipping it completely. I really couldn’t wait to finish this story so I could move onto the next.
Now, one thing I did notice was that most of the stories except for the last one were linked in many ways other than just being about the Wizard. The Wizard is present in the last one as well, but not in the way he’s featured in the others.
The last story in this book, A Laurents County Landfill Christmas, is really the only one that I can say I actually enjoyed. It could be because it was about the characters in Troll or Derby. We are given a story about the Christmas that falls after the events in Troll or Derby, and shows how life has progressed and changed since that book ended. It was like getting an update on how everyone is doing, and I liked hearing about what was going on with them.
Overall, this was an ok book. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. The last story was, in my opinion, the best of all of them. If I had known that, I probably would have saved myself sometime and skipped straight to the last one and not bothered with the rest.
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All About Red
Red Tash is a journalist-turned-novelist of dark fantasy for readers of all ages. Monsters, SciFi, wizards, trolls, fairies, and roller derby lightly sautéed in a Southern/Midwestern sauce hand-canned from her mama’s recipes await you in her pantry of readerly delights. Y’all come, anytime.
Win one of 2 audio book copies of Troll or Derby!
a Rafflecopter giveaway**DISCLAIMER** In full compliance with FTC Guidelines, I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was in no way compensated for this opinion, and the thoughts are my own. Links above will take you to a site where you can PURCHASE a copy. Using those links will take you through an affiliate link and I will receive a small percentage of the purchase cost. You are in no way obligated to use affiliate links and there is no additional cost to do so.