Okay, so, the Indie eBook Roundup got a bit behind schedule after my little medical emergency back in June so I’m doing my best to get things started up again. Our first – and until now last – post featured a number of titles by the indie publisher Dark Fuse. This month’s round up features a selection of indie books from various publishers. You’ll find each publisher and links to GoodReads and Amazon among other details listed before each short, two paragraph reviews.
Published under one Amazon’s in-house publishing imprints – 47North – Interrupt is a fairly high quality book that without the increase in accessibility to indie publishing, we may never have gotten to read. Jeff Carlson presents us with a disaster novel that asks us to accept a pretty crazy scenario. I think a lot of other authors might have gotten lost in their premise or cheapened it through their presentation some how. But Carlson manages to keep things in perspective. Basically what happens is that at some point in the near future the Earth – at least the United States – falls victim to a series of improbable events that basically erase all sense of civilization. Between a hostile attack and a coincidental series of solar flares the wiring of the human brain reverts back to its most primal.
The characters in the story were fairly well fleshed out if the prehistoric characterization weren’t a little bit unrealistic. But considering the plot, that really didn’t matter. I enjoyed seeing the story from multiple points of view though it might have been nice to see how the rest of the world fared. So many of these sorts of disaster stories are set in the United States. We never really know how things outside our own boarders are effected. But that’s probably just the international relations major in me. All in all, this is a really great story that with some tweaking could potentially be turned into a Hollywood film. It’s a really nice change from your basic sort of zombie apocalypse – the science behind reverting back to basic, primal instincts is fleshed out and understandable.
I really don’t want to spoil too much of the character interactions and the rest of the book so all I can say is disaster fans, take notice. This one is definitely worth a read.
Title: Grasping at Eternity
Series: The Kindrly #1
Author: Karen Amanda Hooper
Release Date: May 21, 2012
Publisher: Starry Sky Publishing (All Night Reads)
Source: NetGalley ARC
Genre(s): YA Fantasy, YA Supernatural, YA Paranormal Romance, Reincarnation, Spiritualism, Romance
Talk about emotional. Grasping at Eternity is a book that really tries tot you hard in the #feels and does so fairly well. Published by a publisher so indie I can’t even find a website on Google (granted I didn’t look that hard), this is the sort of story you’re surprised hasn’t been turned into the next Twilight. But seriously, it’s got that sort of YA teen romance vibe that I think a lot of girls would get into if only this book were more publicized. The plot behind the book is actually really quite touching in a way. Main character Maryah appears to be a normal everyday girl whose life is changed forever when her family is brutally murdered and she is whisked away to live with ‘family’ she hadn’t seen in quite sometime. But Maryah is not a normal girl and this family knows much more about her than she does about herself. See, they know her from before. They know her from her past lives. But Maryah – for reasons unknown- chose to have her memories of her past life erased. Now she’s faced with her soulmate, Nathan, and all these strange out of body experiences that try to reunite her with her past.
I think the best part of the story for me was Nathan. Imagine being someone’s soulmate and spending lifetimes together only to have them just completely and totally forget about you. This is a guy who not only knows Maryah but also has to live with the fact that as far as he knows she chose not to remember him. Tack on a little teenage pseudo love triangle and you really feel for the guy. Maryah was a bit annoying after a while and I almost stopped caring about her entirely and just read the story to find out what was going on with Nathan and the wide array of tertiary characters. Ultimately, though, the book ended well though I’m more than tired of all these YA trilogies out there. Still, can’t hold that against this one. #Feels abound.
Data Runner gets a split review from me. On one hand, I really wanted to like it more than I did because it had a lot of potential. On the other, though, it just didn’t quite meet up to my expectations. The book follows a teenager named Jack Nill who works as a ‘data runner.’ Basically these are special parkour running couriers who transport data old school to keep them out of the hands of various mega corporations with a lock down on pretty much all technology and data streams and what not. He’s pursued by some even lackeys of some of the corporations among others and gets help from a girl named ‘Red Tail’ and some friends. It sounds like a great idea, right? Very Mirror’s Edge- ish. Except it doesn’t really work out.
I just didn’t really get into the story. The action was cool. Jack’s motivations I guess made sense. But none of the other characters were really that well developed and the bad guys were terribly one sided. The whole world was pretty one sided. The world building needed a whole lot of work. I mean, I get the idea of having evil corporations running everything in the city and seeming to be bent on world domination or something. Fine. But I need some kind of explanation for things and how they got that way and why. I just didn’t get enough. And while the jargon was nice and all the acronyms made it feel like I was on an army base half the time. I grew up on Army bases. I know acronyms. I did not know any of these. I like immersion in stories but this was a bit too much at times.
So, Data Runners wasn’t a bad adventure story but not the best put together book all together.
As a law student, I always like stories with lawyers where they aren’t just playing lawyers and doing law stuff. I thought I’d like this book because one of the main protagonists is a Vancouver attorney. The problem is that he turned out to be quite the stereotypical alcohol-fueled attorney and from there I had already had a problem caring. I give up on books fairly often. And while the plot was promising and while a lot of other people seemed to like it, I wasn’t really able to get into the Awakening. I gave up about twenty-five percent of the way through the story and just didn’t really want to take the time to go back over it.
I’d say pass but a lot of other people really liked it so I think you should definitely see if this sounds like something up your alley and give it a shot if you think you’d like it!
I really liked Scrap for the most part, I really did. I’m as sucker for a Dickensian street orphan whose plucky and clever and I liked that Tucker Scrap – though the name would mislead you – is a stronger female character. I thought that a lot of the story had potential and that the world that Sharplin brought us into was rather interesting with is mix of magic, alchemy, and some more advanced mechanics. Tucker is a likable enough character, I think, and the first maybe half of the story was really good. After that though it petered out a little bit for me. Seeing Tucker get pulled into a world beyond her initial understanding and into something much bigger than herself should have been a bit more exciting but at times I found it tedious.
I also got a little lost when I realized that Tucker – who I had assumed was in the later half of her teens – was twelve or thirteen (I can’t remember which). It definitely made me a bit uncomfortable when looking back on some of the more sexually explicit moments of the story. Is this meant to be targeted at YA or MG readers? I’m not entirely sure. If the latter, I’m not sure I’d want that in a book I was reading if I were twelve. I get that this is a fantasy world in a historical-ish setting so it’s relying on the whole Game of Thrones age allowance but yeah. I don’t know. I honestly liked the candidness of it until I realized that people half my age were probably meant to be reading it. And while the story wasn’t too bad the ending was a bit “meh.” Not unfulfilled but I don’t know. I had just hoped for a bit more. The sequels will obviously expand on things – like maybe answering some questions as to what happened to certain characters. And if those things don’t really bother you then you’ll probably like this book enough to give it a three or four star rating yourself! Honestly, it really is a well written book. I enjoyed it. I just… had my enjoyment hindered a bit.