Tag Archives: indie book review

Review of A Hidden Fire: Elemental Mysteries Book 1 by Elizabeth Hunter

Who knew Vampires and Librarians could be so engaging? I just finished this book, and while it took me a while to read (it’s rather long at 274 pages) it was a very good story with well drawn characters and a few moments of suspense that made it hard to shut off the light! Giovanni is a rather odd character and for the first few chapters I had my suspicions about him but I wasn’t sure where Ms. Hunter was going with some of the odd traits. B. (short for Beatrice) is one smart cookie with a quick sense of humor and a nice shot of sarcasm and she was instantly engaging as a main character. There’s a solid story that drives the action – and the supporting characters are also very well developed. There’s even a slightly psychotic villain and I have to say I love a bad guy who “giggles” – it gives him just that touch of madness that makes him completely unpredictable.
There was one section in the book where I thought “Wait, isn’t that wrong?” and I flipped back a few pages to check the continuity, but it didn’t impact the story at all. I only mention it because one glaring “oops” in a book generally makes me love the story less but it didn’t in this case. That must mean the plot was tight enough, the characters believable enough (and yes, Giovanni is as dashing as his name would lead you to believe; but he’s also adorable in that boyish way that is oh-so-attractive :)) and the action paced well enough that I couldn’t even remember the stumble once I moved beyond it.

Ms. Hunter draws her scenes with such clarity and attention to detail that the “movie in my head” plays without interruption. This story is well written and well edited and I just looked on Amazon and it’s FREE right now. Pick it up – it’s a really good read!

Review of Fuzzy Navel: A Thriller by J.A. Konrath

The title is certainly accurate – Fuzzy Navel is indeed a thriller from the first sentence to the cliff hanger ending. Konrath explains it should take you about 8 hours to read it – I think I read it in about 5 hours – while doing a few other random things between chapters. It’s a quick read, but completely satisfying and packed with “what now?” moments that keep the pages flying.
What I love about Konrath’s writing is this: Right in the middle of a serious situation he comes out with something so clever and well-written that you laugh out loud – only Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Novels have been able to make me do that consistently.
There are some really sick twists in this book – but they all make sense and the pace moves along so quickly that you don’t get to dwell on them (or feel guilty that you were kind of glad the twisted thing happened).
And that cliff hanger ending? Don’t worry about that – Konrath is such a master story-teller that he leaves you hanging just enough that you want the next book IMMEDIATELY but the story you finished was wrapped up so neatly that you don’t feel cheated in any way.
This was an AWESOME read (and I don’t say that lightly).

Bad Metal 01: Wrecked by Robert Black

This is one of the first indie books I’ve read, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. I admit, I picked it up because I ran across a post by the author requesting feedback and I thought “what the heck, I’ll give it a read – if I don’t like it, I won’t finish it and nobody will ever know.” Well, I liked it – I read it in a day (it’s really more of a novella than a novel) and although I don’t usually jump into science fiction, I really enjoyed this story.

The characters are well-developed and the author does a good job of “showing, not telling”. The scenes are quick-paced and the plot is clean without a lot of back story or side issues which helps the story to move right along.

I’m not really into robots, but this was well done and character driven with a plausible story line that didn’t frustrate me with improbability or lengthy explanations (okay, there was one that I could have done without, but it didn’t take me out of the story enough to really even notice it beyond the first two sentences).

If you like science fiction and are looking for a quick, enjoyable read, check this one out.

R. Leonia Shea

Robert Black

http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Metal-01-Wrecked-ebook/dp/B007GEYHKW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336195475&sr=8-1

This is one of the first indie books I’ve read, and I was pleasantly surprised by it.  I admit, I picked it up because I ran across a post by the author requesting feedback and I thought “what the heck, I’ll give it a read – if I don’t like it, I won’t finish it and nobody will ever know.”  Well, I liked it – I read it in a day (it’s really more of a novella than a novel) and although I don’t usually jump into science fiction, I really enjoyed this story.

The characters are well-developed and the author does a good job of “showing, not telling”.  The scenes are quick-paced and the plot is clean without a lot of back story or side issues which helps the story to move right along.

I’m not really into robots, but this was well done and character driven with a…

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Moon Dance by J.R. Rain

R. Leonia Shea

I just finished this book and had to post a quick review on it.  A blend of supernatural mystery and humor makes this a great read.  Samantha Moon is smart, funny, and independent – with a bit of justifiable anger mixed in.  I liked her spirit and the fact that on more than one occasion she made me cringe.  I cringed because I knew what she was going to do and as bad as I thought the outcome might be I really wanted her to do it anyway – those situations made me root for her!  The supporting cast of this book is filled with likeable characters who provide another layer of mystery to an already well-crafted tale.  I really liked this book and look forward to reading the others in the series.

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Review of Dangerous Talents by Frankie Robertson

R. Leonia Shea


As I’ve posted before, I’ve been reading a lot of Indie fiction – yet maybe you’ve been wondering why there aren’t many reviews posted on my site…well, I’m not recommending anything that I’m not absolutely in love with – and I love, love, love Frankie Robertson’s book Dangerous Talents.   The story unfolds quickly with an incident that changes Celia’s (our heroine’s) life.  From the get-go, the story unwinds with believable, interesting characters that you will both recognize and find strangely unfamiliar.  Woven throughout this tale is Norse Mythology and Legend (I’m not telling you how, you’ll have to read it to find out) and it’s masterfully done with well written dialogue and artfully crafted scenes that let you glimpse the inner lives of the characters.  The motives are clear, the scenes fluid, and all of the loose ends are neatly tied up in nice little packages with pretty ribbons that leave you…

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Review of Bridesmaid Lotto (McMaster the Disaster) by Rachel Astor

R. Leonia Shea


I was looking for a little light reading and stumbled across this little gem on Amazon.com.  The premise sounded good so I bought it figuring for a rainy day read it would be a few fun hours.  I loved this book and didn’t put it down unless I absolutely had to.  Josie McMaster is a wonderfully written character who manages to give the reader “yeah, been there; done that” cringe-worthy moments and then she carries on with such style, grace, and humor that you can’t help but fall in love with her.  The supporting cast is equally great and the plot is fun, light, and every girl’s fantasy (big society wedding, rich & famous moments, etc.).  It is well written and humorous and you’ll flip pages (or press the button  on your e-reader quickly) just to find out what happens next.  It’s not a book full of existential dilemmas and…

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Review of The City of Refuge by Diana M. Wilder


I have long had a fascination with Ancient Egypt and have read not only scholarly material, but many historical fiction novels about that time. The City of Refuge is a well written tale of what might have been, filled with character that could have existed, and set in a city that has long fascinated archaeologists and others because of the odd, murky, and mysterious reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten and his abandoned city. The names of the characters can be a bit confusing in the beginning, possibly because my Western eyes are simply not accustomed to them, but maybe it is because in the very beginning you are given very little to identify the names with characters…either way, it passes after the first few chapters and you are familiar enough with the characters to easily follow the story.

There’s a ring of authenticity to the characters and dialogue in the story, and that lends credibility it. Because there are not distracting inaccuracies you can get absorbed from the very beginning and stay with it. There really aren’t any slow spots in this book and although I spent most of the book thinking “oh, I know exactly where you’re going with this” there were still a few surprises in store when the author laid the entire sub-plot bare in a well crafted speech. (I hope that’s not a spoiler – but I’d want to know if the ends were tied up in nice little bows, and they were!)

I read the author’s note and thought Ms. Wilder covered her story perspective brilliantly and it was satisfying when it could have been frustrating (you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out…I thought it was great!), and it showed how well crafted the story was. Ms. Wilder managed to display her knowledge throughout the story in a manner few indie authors of her genre can – the novel is neither trite nor overly contrived and I found it thoroughly enjoyable.

R. Leonia Shea

I have long had a fascination with Ancient Egypt and have read not only scholarly material, but many historical fiction novels about that time.  The City of Refuge is a well written tale of what might have been, filled with character that could have existed, and set in a city that has long fascinated archaeologists and others because of the odd, murky, and mysterious reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten and his abandoned city.  The names of the characters can be a bit confusing in the beginning, possibly because my Western eyes are simply not accustomed to them, but maybe it is because in the very beginning you are given very little to identify the names with characters…either way, it passes after the first few chapters and you are familiar enough with the characters to easily follow the story.

There’s a ring of authenticity to the characters and dialogue in the story, and that lends credibility it.  Because there are…

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