The Love of Summer author Sarah Thompson sat down this week to give her thoughts, reviews, and recommendations on some fellow indie and small press titles.
Since today is International Women’s Day, I [Jeff Slade] thought I’d use my voice to promote the voices of female authors who I’ve found both inspiring and entertaining in equal turns.
So I compiled a list of ten books/authors, five non-local and five local, which you’ll find below. Go and check any (or all!) of them out and you won’t be disappointed!
The Governor’s Daughter is a 2017 period detective thriller from newcomer Sambath Meas. It was published by Red Empress Publishing, a full-service publisher that began in early 2017 offering traditional and new services for our authors to help them succeed and stand out in an ever-changing market. This is the first novel in a planned series by Meas, called The Mysteries of Colonial Cambodia.
This book is part Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Holmes and part Jane Austen, and for those who aren’t sure if that’s high praise or not: it is very, very high praise. The book takes the conventions (and the tropes) of the ‘female-lead period-piece’ sub genre and turns it on its head by putting the protagonist, Anjali Chinak, in a traditionally male role (for the time period) as private investigator. Continue reading The Governor’s Daughter by Sambath Meas | Other Indie
Well, that certainly was a lot of fantasy over the last few months! Time for a palate cleanser I think, and I can’t think of a better way than with some military-grade science fiction.
The Rogue Commodore is the first novel in The Martian War series by prolific author Kenneth Tam. Tam has been writing since 2001 and has published nearly sixty books with Iceberg Publishing, currently based in Edmonton but with strong ties to Newfoundland and Newfoundland culture. Under the Iceberg banner, Tam has four series: the now-complete Equations series, the Martian War series, the His Majesty’s New World series, and The Champions series. He has also a contributed to the Wes Prewer’s creator-owned series Seas of Sand, also from Iceberg. Continue reading The Rogue Commodore by Kenneth Tam | Other Indie
Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches live in harmony with humans, although the majority of humans don’t realize it. Liesel Andrews is a pre-med student who can see supernatural beings for what they truly are, making her the perfect choice to work at the local supernatural hospital. However, her busy-yet-mundane life gets interrupted when she’s called upon to investigate a mysterious illness affecting the vampire community.
Labonté adds to the pre-existing mythology of vampires, giving it some new blood (pun intended), and adding a level of curiosity to the virus (just… how?). As the first installment, Going Viral sets up the world and introduces key characters, giving you enough information to understand what’s going on, while leaving enough unanswered questions to keep you curious. Continue reading Supernatural Causes by Amanda Labonté | Review by Ali House
Figured I’d get the biased part out of the way. Usually when reviewing a new series I’d start off telling you what I know about it going in, and this is the same… it’s just we’ll realize I’m a little one-sided on this very soon.
I’ve spent a little time on Shakespeare. I will say that, on the subject of Shakespeare, I like the comedies more than the tragedies or the historicals, but that’s really just a matter of personal taste. I will also gladly state that I don’t particularly like reading Shakespeare. It wasn’t meant to be read. Shakespeare wrote them to be performed, and you can’t tell me that if he’d realized they were going to be required reading a hundred years later he wouldn’t have made different choices. I love interpretations of the work, however… just about all interpretations. I like adaptations that take place in a historically-correct time period, I like adaptations that take place in modern times, I like other work that borrow from it like Gargoyles… I like it all.
So that’s the genre, what about the comic in particular? Well I know the writer, Conor McCreery. We met at the first Hal Con back in 2011 and played tag during my book launch of Infinity. That’s literal tag. McCreery is a kid at heart in all the best ways, and we’ve been thorns in each other’s sides every year since. I like Conor, so I’m going to say right now I am biased but will try to be fair. Continue reading Kill Shakespeare, IDW | Other Indie
A Quest of Heroes is a 2012 high fantasy novel written and published by Morgan Rice. This is the first novel in The Sorcerer’s Ring fantasy series by Rice, which has produced sixteen sequels to date, with her latest entry, The Gift of Battle, having followed in November 2014.
This book takes its cues from the works that cemented the “heroes journey” storytelling technique into the modern culture. There are shades of Tolkien and George RR Martin noticed and appreciated, but more importantly there are elements of the authors which inspired them: there are strong hints of influences of the epic Greek poems, strong hints of affection for the Odyssey, and iconography like the Dynasty Sword allude to Arthurian legends and folklore. There is a lot to unpack with this book from even just a meta-textual perspective, so much so that I’m genuinely shocked it hasn’t gotten more critical attention than it has: it’s a gold mine of world-building lovingly pieced together from fragments of the epic fantasy worlds that came before it, from an author who recognizes how those elements can fit together to make something fresh and new. Continue reading A Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice | Other Indie
Making Family is a 2016 contemporary Newfoundland novel by debut author Jennifer White and self-published via the Smashwords print-on-demand service. It tells the story of Rose, a lonely old woman who comes home one day to find a distraught teenager named Hannah, who claims to be her granddaughter, sitting on her front porch. Set in Newfoundland, this is a story of strong women. Hannah seeks out Rose when the unthinkable happens to her and she needs somewhere to turn. Her mother is unreachable and Hannah really needs a woman to talk to. Rose sets out to help her through a difficult time, but worries that Hannah will want nothing to do with her once she learns about the past – after all, it’s the reason Hannah, her father, and brother never knew that Rose was still alive. Continue reading Making Family by Jennifer White | Other Indie
‘Other Indie’ is a bi-annual e-zine in which the best in independent publishing is highlighted by authors and editors that have worked in the field for over a decade, in the hopes of helping readers break through the cluster of books they may not be sure about in an age when anyone can publish via digital formats. This issue’s spotlight: Carrots by Colleen Helme, in which we review, interview Helme about her work, and include a short excerpt. Also included, review of: Damnation Code by William Massa, A Daughter’s Gift by Jacqui Tam, Flight or Fight by Scott Bartlett, Zombies on the Rock: Outbreak by Paul Carberry, Kowloon Walled City, 1984 by Nicholas Morine, and 15 Minutes by Jill Cooper, as well as an excerpt from 2016’s smash hit, Call of the Sea by Amanda Labonté!
Other Indie, Early 2017 Issue
The Engen Staff
Other Indie, Early 2017 Issue (amazon.ca)
Other Indie, Early 2017 Issue (chapters.ca)
Other Indie, Early 2017 Issue (amazon.com)
Other Indie, Early 2017 Issue (Barnes&Noble)
Kindle EBook: Other Indie, Early 2017 Issue (amazon.ca)
Kindle EBook: Other Indie, Early 2017 Issue (amazon.com)
Knight’s Surrender is a 2014 YA Fantasy novel by Heather Reilly and published through her own small-press publishing company, Reilly Books. This is the first novel in the Binding of the Almatraek series of a planned five books, three of which are currently available. This is the first in a series a reviews of quality indie fantasy leading up to our Spring 2017 release, Fantasy from the Rock.
From what I’m seeing of the fantasy genre, and I am new to it, the evolution of the genre happens not through innovations in setting or circumstance but through style. More than any other genre I can think of, fantasy reads best if you understand the history from which it came, and the authors that came before and (possibly) inspired the author, either knowingly or unknowlingly.
To that end, I can see the connective tissue linking JRR Tolkien to George RR Martin, and now from George RR Martin to Heather Reilly. With each passing generation of fantasy scribe, elements of the previous are transferred over while adding twists and changes and refinement: that’s how the genre can seem to outwardly the same but so functionally different all these years later.