Discovering authors via Kindle Unlimited

Not free, no. The Kindle Unlimited subscription cost USD$9.99 per month, and there are some months when you can’t find anything to read.

I have to say my break was fantastic. Although I’m already a week in to the new work year and it’s starting to feel same-old, same-old.

I did, literally, spend the first week of the break sleeping. I’d get up at 10 or 11 am, have an afternoon nap, and then go to be early. I didn’t realise quite how exhausted I was until the break.

I spent the second week reading.

Early in the pandemic I subscribed to Kindle Unlimited. It was supposed to be for three months, but here we are, two years in, and I still have the subscription.

The quality is hit and miss, and I’ve had dry periods, where I couldn’t find anything to read, or where the ideas were great but the writing was so bad that I couldn’t keep reading. The two things I have found with the unlimited subscription. I am more tolerant of the standard of writing when I’m not paying for the book (Even though I am, via the subscription, but it doesn’t feel like I am), and it’s hard to find good books.

I find it difficult to find books on Amazon anyway. To me, Amazon is the final step when you go to borrow/buy a book, it’s not an easy browsing platform. Most times I go in already looking for a book I want to buy.

There are places you can find books on Amazon—readers who read this book also looked at, best sellers, new releases, and so on—but I still find that unless I know what I’m looking for, it’s a lucky-dip. One thing that helps is recommendations of authors who read and like similar stories to those I read. In this post, I would like to talk about some authors that I have discovered through my reading, mostly on Kindle Unlimited (KU).

The stories/authors skew to the romance side, and to urban fantasy. I don’t know if that’s just what I’ve found so far. I have to say, as a result, I’m getting really picky about new urban fantasies. The two I mention below (Nash and Harper) were discovered early in my KU adventure. I don’t know how I’d feel if I was reading them for the first time now.

Where possible I’ll do book comps, rather than describe the story.

Also, whilst I discovered these stories trawling through Kindle Unlimited, not all the books are on the subscription, because another thing authors do is put in a $0.00 first novel, so you select it, and then buy the following novels. Also, these are $0.00 or Kindle Unlimited for me, they may not be in your country, so check before you download.

Kat Ross, Lingua Magika series

Has a similar feel to Charlaine Harris’ Gunny Rose books. Wild west, railroads, phantoms.

This is not Kindle Unlimited. The first book is $0.00, the next two cost. I liked it enough to pay for the second, and I have pre-ordered the third.

T. A. White, Dragon Ridden Chronicles

I mentioned this one is a quiz a few months back. Starts out as a classic fantasy—girl with a dragon tattoo which moves around and turns into a real dragon. Midway through the series you realise the bones of the story are science fiction.

Lindsay Buroker, Star Kingdom series

When I’m recommending this to friends I tell them it reminds me a lot of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan books. Some Vorkosigan fans may hate it, others may not even see the parallels.

Eight books in this series. I enjoy most of Buroker’s books. This series is science fiction, others are fantasy.

Vanesss Nelson, Ageless mysteries

I’m a sucker for SFF whodunnits. Protagonist is a policeman (policewoman) in a classic fantasy city that sits below a citadel populated with winged, powerful people who treat the city-siders like dirt. Police procedural with an interesting story about the protagonist’s past sitting behind it.

Three books so far, three more planned. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

Helen Harper, Highland Magic series

Think of any of the classic urban fantasy series with a touch of whimsy. A bunch of thieves doing their (supposedly) last job. Includes a genie in a sword (a letter opener, really, but he’s only a small genie). Integrity tells terrible jokes, though.

Helen Harper has a number of series I like, although this is probably my favourite.

Ariana Nash, Shadows of London series

Another urban fantasy series (m/m). Tracking down illegal artefacts.

Quenby Olson, Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide (to the care and feeding of British dragons)

Pure regency romance. With a dragon. Pride and Prejudice crossed with the narrative style of Princess Bride.

This is one of only two stand-alone book on my list. I’ve found the Kindle Unlimited books tend to be series, rather than single stories. More so, I think, than traditionally published books, and the series are often longer. Eight books and more.

Light Raid, Connie Willis and Cynthia Felice

Young adult science fiction. Royalty, romance, spies and of the stories they coauthored, the one that feels most like Connie Willis. The light-hearted Willis, if her protagonists were younger.

The second stand-alone book. My favourite of the Felice/Willis cowritten stories.

Your mileage may vary

Obviously, one person’s taste may be another’s ‘blegh’, and I have to say that when I am paying for books I can be a lot more demanding of the book, especially when as the price increases.

21 replies on “Discovering authors via Kindle Unlimited”

I enjoyed this post, Karen, as it’s always fun to get book recommendations. Some of these books I already knew, others I’ve added to my list. I also read and enjoyed Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide (to the care and feeding of British dragons) recently and look forward to more in the series.

OOOO Definitely trying these, thank you! For another KU book series, I quite enjoyed The City Between series by W.R Gingell.

I love KU recs, thank you! I’m adding them to my list.

My recs are more SF – I really enjoyed SJ McDonald’s Fourth Fleet Irregular series and Glynn Stewart’s Starship Mage books (both take a while to get going though!). For fantasy, AJ Lancaster’s Stariel series was great!

I binge-read the four so far Stariel books a week and a half ago.

I have lower expectations and demands for KU books than “I have to pay $12.00/$16.99 for this NYC-published ebook/trade paperback??! Bleah!”

Thanks for the KU recommendations. I recommend the series “The Case Files of Henri Davenforth” by Honor Raconteur. All of her other series are good as well.

I love my KU subscription, but it IS difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff! I always appreciate getting recommendations.

I do wish KU books were edited to a higher standard – “fowl [foul] language,” “vile [vial] of tears,” and “accept [except] for Oliver” are but a few of the jarring misuses in the otherwise entertaining book I just finished – poor editing takes me right (or perhaps I should say “write”) out of my escapist fantasy world!

I agree on the editing, and homophones are definitely increasing. For myself, I have found that the more errors (homophones, typos, grammar) in a book the less patience I have with the story. i.e. I’ll stop reading earlier.

A lot of professional writing groups (here in Australia, anyway) encourage a professional edit as part of the self-publishing process nowadays. I think it helps, for sure.

The original edition of Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison either had one or more of copyediting from hell or no copyediting or other production major issue(s). It was riddled with inappropriate homonyms, misspellings (“supercede” instead of “supersede” being one repeated example), missing words, missing lines, missing paragraphs, etc.

Stars Uncharted is on sale on Audible right now 🙂 – your books are some of the few that I can say I enjoy the audio edition as much as the print edition (I’m actually re-listening to the Linesman trilogy right now on my commute to and from work, since I don’t have much time to read during this time of year).

Yes, they both did a fantastic job! The narrator has the power of life and death over an audiobook, so it’s always a joy when the narrator’s performance makes the author’s (or, of course, authors’) work shine as it should.

I’ve become a fan of audio books during lockdown as I can listen and do other things so don’t feel so bad at getting immersed in a book for hours on end.

I’m nearing the end of Confluence as I type this (well its paused so I don’t miss bits as Radko is with Bach atm – sorry if I spell wrong obvs can’t remember how they were spelt when I traditionally “read” them).

When listening to Alliance at the beginning it still makes me sad when the Kari Wang gets destroyed and I’m chanting “jump jump jump” :o( hoping though that we might get more from this universe ;o)

Thanks for recommendations too I need something new to read as have been doing a lot of comfort reading (ie re-reading books) of late so need something “fresh”

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I always like to see what authors I enjoy read themselves! Authors I’ve discovered on KU that I don’t see so far:

Kate Stradling (Brine and Bone and Namesake are favorites)
Cassandra Gannon (Read The Kingpin of Camelot first; it’s the third in a series – very funny)
Kristy Cunning (Reverse Harem is not usually my jam, but these have great world building, dialog, and characters. Also funny. Try Gypsy Blood to test your millage).

There are so many good recs in this list. I think I read Stradling’s The Legendary Inge and enjoyed it enough to recommend to Sherlyn. I’ll have to check out your other recs, none of which I have read.

I came back to mention a series that I’ve enjoyed reading (and rereading): The Touchstone series by Andrea Höst. The first book, Stray, is permanently free for US Kindle readers. I see it is also free on the Australian Amazon.

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