I’ve decided to make an effort to read and review more Indie books. Here are three Indie books I read in the past month, along with the reviews I wrote (which are also posted on Amazon and Goodreads). Remember, if you like a book or an author, one of the best ways you can support them is to write a review, even a short and simple one!
Black Hat Blues by Gene Kendall
I really enjoyed this book! I loved the characters--Mr. Scratch is funny and terrifying at the same time, while Mark Lipscomb is enjoyably clueless and harmless, yet with enough of a dark side that you can actually see Mr. Scratch as a bit of dark-id wish fulfillment. The relationships between the characters are as complex and awkward as I could imagine between a father-figure creator and the wayward son.
If I have criticism of the book, it's that it sort of lost its way at some points. There's a whole bit that criticizes politicians and political correctness that felt a little out of place in the story. Also, one of the more interesting characters (I won't tell you which one), is killed halfway through "offscreen." I feel like it would have been way more interesting for the author to actually write that character's death scene, or perhaps even keep them until the end of the book.
Nonetheless, if you enjoy comic books and scifi/fantasy, this book is very entertaining. It's funny, dark, and heartwarming, and manages to be both an homage and a critique of comic books and fan culture.
Bellerophon: Son of Poseidon
This is an interesting book, and there's a lot I enjoyed about it. I loved the setting, in ancient Greece. The author included lots of fascinating details that made the day to day life real come alive, but not so much the story felt bogged down.
I enjoyed the story as well. The battles were intense, the fight with the chimera harrowing and climactic, and the political machinations enjoyably dirty and dramatic.
If I had a criticism, it would be the main character. He's a little too good, and I sometimes wished he was a little more naughty. Ancient Greek myths tend to have tragic, larger than life heroes with a fatal flaw, often hubris. Lero could have used a little more lusty swagger, if you ask me. On the other hand, I loved his relationship with Pegasus and his friendships with all the warriors.
Overall, this book is an enjoyable read, and I'd recommend it to anyone who likes Greek myths and fantasy. It's a good choice for someone looking for the grownup version of the Percy Jackson books.
Smile Again by Eunice Nascimento
This is a peaceful, cozy book of short stories. While it didn't have a lot of intense drama, the stories were enjoyable, mellow, and well-written. Honestly, I think "Smile Again" would be a good book to read if you're feeling anxious or depressed, because it's very comforting. I also like the fact that while many of the stories included a sweet romance, many other stories were about friendship or family, or just connecting with other people.
An enjoyable read for anyone looking for a cozy book of realistic, sort of women's fiction short stories.