Tag Archives: indie authors

Book Review: The Road to Beaver Mill by Annis Pratt

The Road to Beaver Mill: Volume Three in the Infinite Games SeriesThe Road to Beaver Mill: Volume Three in the Infinite Games Series by Annis Pratt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book begins with an interesting set-up. I was especially taken with the author’s stated goal in writing the Infinite Games series: to show what happens to a society when its environment is degraded. Her blog, linked here, says that Infinite Games is the story of the Marshlanders’ struggle to create  communities in harmony with nature.

I was engaged immediately with Bethany, an 11-year-old girl who I thought was going to be the main character. She was relatable and the circumstances of her headstrong behavior and rescue were well portrayed. I found the idea of riding the wind to be really fascinating and worth exploring more. The author has a good eye for detail and a strong voice. The matter-of-fact attitude displayed by the characters towards sex and other bodily functions is refreshing and, I think, appropriate to YA readers. Overall the book has an unsentimental, down-to-earth tone which makes the imagined world real to all the senses and helps the reader identify with the setting and the ecological theme.

But about 2/3 of the way through, the book lost focus, new characters arrived, and I became confused about what was happening. Bethany went offstage for long stretches. There is some excellent material here; perhaps it needs a more editing and shaping. Or perhaps one just needs to start with the first book in the series. I received this book as part of a giveaway and it whetted my appetite for more, but I wish it stood better on its own.

Like The Secret King: Lethao, which I reviewed last year, The Road to Beaver Mill is another tip of an iceberg. The more you delve into the accompanying materials, the more you will get out of the experience of reading.

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Book Review: Catalyst Moon: Incursion by Lauren L Garcia

Incursion (Catalyst Moon #1)Incursion by Lauren L. Garcia

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first installment of an enjoyable saga, Catalyst Moon. I don’t read many series, though, and this book reminds me of why. Incursion does a good job of setting up the characters, the world, and the conflicts, but the pace is leisurely and once things are really getting going, the book ends. I might read the next one, but I have so many other things to read in the meantime that it will be months if not years until I get around to it. I don’t believe this book stands on its own.

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Book Review: A Gleam of Light by TJ and ML Wolf

A Gleam of Light (The Survival Trilogy #1)A Gleam of Light by T.J. Wolf

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A Gleam of Light has many of the elements of a first-rate thriller: a sympathetic protagonist, mystery, conflict, and a fascinating backdrop. It’s clear that a great deal of thought and research has gone into this book. These elements, however, need to be put together differently to keep the reader really turning its pages.

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Book Review: I Call Myself Earth Girl, by Jan Krause Greene

I Call Myself Earth GirlI Call Myself Earth Girl by Jan Krause Greene

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It has been more than a week since I finished reading this book and I have been struggling with how to review it. It breaks most of the standard rules for fiction–genre, literary, or otherwise–but is surprisingly affecting and effective in its message, in spite or perhaps because of its idiosyncrasies. Continue reading Book Review: I Call Myself Earth Girl, by Jan Krause Greene

Book Review: Eden’s Serum by Angelique S. Anderson

Eden's SerumEden’s Serum by Angelique S. Anderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a very readable and fun science fiction romance. Its fast pace and plot twists made it feel like a screenplay for a summer sci-fi action thriller. There were a couple of times the plot genuinely surprised me and made me sit up in my chair and take notice. That rarely happens to me any more as a reader, even with science fiction.

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Book Review: Watership by Jenna Whittaker

Author’s Note: In addition to the non-fiction and professionally published fiction that I have reviewed on this blog, I am occasionally blogging reviews of independently published Science Fiction and Fantasy authors, as I hope to someday join their ranks! 

WatershipWatership by Jenna Whittaker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was an enigma. It was written with some beautiful language. Especially at the beginning, it read more like poetry than prose, and I think that is a good way to approach this book to get the most out of it: Read it for the imagery and the pictures it paints in your mind of the living, elemental watership, traveling through space to save humanity by feeding first off nebulas, and then life forces and energies of living beings. This material also might make an excellent graphic novel if the author is an artist or can find a collaborator.

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