Kindle Unlimited is either a feast or a famine when it comes to enjoyable content. For every awesome book among its ranks, there’s about a dozen that…aren’t. However, there’s some diamonds in the rough and I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you.
Of Honey and Wildfires
by Sarah Chorn
This is an excellent book that manages to be both valuable as literary fiction as well as fantasy. A steampunk novel set in the Frontier where the magical Shine is the most valuable commodity, this story follows the adventures of a young orphan girl as well as a rich heir as they explore the corrupt dealings of the Shine Company. It is very LGBT friendly as well as a book that deals in subjects ranging from economic exploitation to loneliness. I strongly recommend this book and its sequels.
From the moment the first settler dug a well and struck a lode of shine, the world changed. Now, everything revolves around that magical oil.
What began as a simple scouting expedition becomes a life-changing ordeal for Arlen Esco. The son of a powerful mogul, Arlen is kidnapped and forced to confront uncomfortable truths his father has kept hidden. In his hands lies a decision that will determine the fate of everyone he loves—and impact the lives of every person in Shine Territory.
The daughter of an infamous saboteur and outlaw, Cassandra has her own dangerous secrets to protect. When the lives of those she loves are threatened, she realizes that she is uniquely placed to change the balance of power in Shine Territory once and for all.
Secrets breed more secrets. Somehow, Arlen and Cassandra must find their own truths in the middle of a garden of lies.
To Beat the Devil
by M.K. Gibson
Salem is a man who has survived the Biblical apocalypse along with the rest of humanity. Unfortunately, God didn’t show up and demons have set themselves up as the rulers of the Earth. A cyborg courier, he finds himself caught in the web of infernal politics that has emerged and struggles to find a place for himself as well as the last of the free humans. I really enjoy this snarky fun urban fantasy series and all of its use of mythology. It’s not high art but it’s damn fun.
175 years have passed since God quit on mankind. Without his blessing, Hell itself, along with the ancient power of The Deep, were unleashed upon the world. Two world wars and oceans of blood later, a balance was reached. Demonkind took its place as the ruling aristocracy. Mankind, thanks to its ability to create, fell to the position of working proletariat. Alive, but not living.
Welcome to New Golgotha, the East Coast supercity. In it you will find sins and cyborgs, magic and mystery, vices without virtue and hell without the hope of heaven. In the middle of it all is Salem, smuggler extraordinaire and recluse immortal, who has lived and fought through the last two centuries, but his biggest battle is just beginning.
To Beat The Devil: A technomancer Novel is an incredible adventure full of cyborgs and demons, gods, magic, guns, puns and whiskey, humor and heart. Follow Salem as he embarks to discover the meaning of the very nature of what mankind is: our souls. And, who is trying to steal them.
Bill the Vampire
by Rick Gualtieri
Speaking of humorous urban fantasy, the Bill the Vampire series is a delightfully crash and amusing work from start to finish. Bill is an arrogant jerk of a nerd and being turned into a vampire does nothing to improve his disposition. However, possessing an immunity to vampire mental control, he finds himself heralded as the chosen of the Freewill prophecy. From there he ends up facing Bigfoot (Bigfeet?) armies, Alexander the Great as a vampire, and his own idiot friends.
There are reasons we fear the night. He isn’t one of them.
Meet Bill Ryder: programmer, gamer geek, and hopeless dweeb when it comes to women. All he ever asked for out of life was to collect his paycheck, hang out with his buds, and eventually (someday) ask out the girl of his dreams.
However, then Bill met Sally. She was mysterious, aggressive, and best of all…smoking hot. Bill never stood a chance. Before he knew what was happening Sally had lead him to his death, and that was only the beginning of his troubles.
Now Bill awakes to find himself an undead predator of the night. The only problem is he’s still at the bottom of the food chain.
He’s in way over his head, surrounded by creatures more dangerous, better looking, and a whole lot cooler than he is. Worst of all is the dreaded Night Razor, a master vampire who just can’t stand him. He gives Bill a 90-day deadline to either prove himself or meet a more permanent kind of death, and the deck is definitely stacked against him.
But Bill isn’t exactly average. A vampire like him hasn’t been seen in over five centuries. He’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, unlikely allies to help him out, and an attitude problem that makes him just too damn obnoxious to quit. He may just pull it off… if he doesn’t get his teeth kicked in first.
Bill the Vampire is an 80,000 word horror comedy adventure by Rick Gualtieri.
Into the Dark
by J.A. Sutherland
I’m a huge fan of steampunk but rarely have I seen it in space. The Alexis Carew series follows the titular character as she leaves her backwater planet to join Her Majesty’s Navy. Being a midshipwoman is no picnic, especially as it involves a lot of 17th century British Navy tropes as well as a sexist environment that doesn’t much care for young women. Can our plucky heroine win the crew’s respect and save the Empire? Absolutely!
At fifteen, Alexis Carew has to face an age old problem – she’s a girl, and only a boy can inherit the family’s vast holdings. Her options are few. She must marry and watch a stranger run the lands, or become a penniless tenant and see the lands she so dearly loves sold off. Yet there may be another option, one that involves becoming a midshipman on a shorthanded spaceship with no other women.
by J. Zachary Pike
To wrap up this month’s recommendations for Kindle Unlimited, Orconomics is a fantastic book parodying not only Dungeons and Dragons but the entire profit-driven economies of the fantasy genre. Adventurers love going into monster homes, killing the people inside, and stealing their wealth. Well, an entire business has begun around it in this series. However, the number of monsters and their amount of wealth is running out. Some monsters have decided to get jobs to avoid being slaughtered too. What to do!
Brimming with swords, sorcery, and wit, Orconomics: A Satire introduces Arth, a world much like our own but with more magic and fewer vowels. For the licensed wizards and warriors of Arth, slaying and looting the forces of evil is just a job. The Heroes’ Guild has turned adventuring into a career, selling the rights to monsters’ hoards of treasure as investment opportunities. Corporations spend immense sums sponsoring heroes to undertake quests, betting they’ll reap the profits in plunder funds when the loot is divvied up.
Questing was all business for famous Dwarven berserker Gorm Ingerson, until a botched expedition wiped out his party, disgraced his name, and reduced him to a thieving vagabond. Twenty years later, a chance encounter sees Gorm forcibly recruited by a priest of a mad goddess to undertake a quest that has a reputation for getting heroes killed. But there’s more to Gorm’s new job than an insane prophecy; powerful corporations and governments have shown an unusual interest in the job. Gorm might be able to turn a bad deal into a golden opportunity and win back the fame and fortune he lost so long ago.
Promising fun, fantasy, and financial calamity, Orconomics: A Satire is the first book in The Dark Profit Saga, an economically epic trilogy.