Indie Book Reviews: Part I

The best thing about spending the last 2 months driving between Oregon and Washington, living out of a suitcase, and ignoring my bossy muse has been catching up on reading. Indie books were gifts from heaven!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared reviews of books I’ve enjoyed. These are in no particular order. And there are more to come!

 

A Thousand Yesteryears

by Mae Clair

Intriguing plot and believable characters. At the death of her aunt, Eve Parrish returns to Point Pleasant to sell off the family hotel. Not only is the town known for sightings of a fantastical creature, the mothman, it’s also the location of a bridge collapse that, fifteen years ago, claimed the life of Eve’s father and friend. That tragedy still hangs over the town, and Eve has no plans to stay.

But her old crush Caden Flynn still lives in town, a man haunted by the events of the collapse that took his sister’s life. The truth about what happened that day begins to unravel when the home of Eve’s aunt is vandalized, and she begins receiving threatening notes. Someone wants her gone, even if he needs to kill her.

The story is a high-paced paranormal thriller with vivid worldbuilding and a touch of romance. The plot holds together well with all pieces falling into place. The characters are emotionally rich and thoroughly credible, not only the main characters but those on the periphery. I was intrigued by the mothman and its mysterious relationship to the events. Excellent fun and highly recommended. I’m eager to read more of the series.

Global Link to Amazon

***

Survival of the Fittest

by Jacqui Murray

Fascinating world-building. I seem to have developed a taste for prehistoric fiction. After reading Murray’s Born in a Treacherous Time, I was looking forward to her next foray into the dawn of man. This book takes place 850,000 years after Born in a Treacherous Time and is the first book in a trilogy. It’s not a stand-alone novel so be prepared to move on to Book 2 when it comes out.

The plot of the story is something of a quest as three separate groups of early man abandon their home-bases in search of safer ones. A changing climate, dwindling resources, and danger from a growing number of aggressive tribes drive them onward.

To some extent, the first half of the book is three separate stories, one for each group. They join into one larger group about mid-way through the read, and the rest of the book deals with the choices made to procure peace and ensure their survival. Subplots and characters add flavor to the story, all in the well-researched context of prehistoric life where, naturally, the norms are different than they are today.

One group dominates more of the book than the other two. The main character is a female leader, Xhosa. Her responsibility is to protect her people from a variety of dangers, particularly from other humans, while they search for a new home. She’s a complex character, thoughtful and ingenious, and callous as needed in a world where the weak jeopardize the entire group.

Secondary characters have distinct personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and quirks which add complexity to the “human” tale. There are power struggles, deceptions, kindnesses, and wisdom. The world-building is a fascinating foray into prehistoric landscapes. Though fiction, Murray deftly brought to life a time we have little record of. Highly recommended.

Global Link to Amazon

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Short & Not Always Sweet

by Dorinda Duclos

Stories to savor. Duclos offers a generous selection of over 60 short stories, pieces of poetic prose, and flash fiction in a compilation that kept me enthralled for an entire afternoon. The writing is lovely, evocative, and in many cases emotional. Some pieces are lyrical and heartfelt reflections with themes centered on nature, serenity, and empowerment. Others are dark forays into ghostly hauntings and the realms of murder and revenge. Some of my favorites are Patience, Dusk, Wilted, and I Am. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon or to savor over a week, one page at a time.

Global Link to Amazon

***

Happy Reading!

205 thoughts on “Indie Book Reviews: Part I

  1. Diane, “Survival of the Fittest” seems like a wondeful world-building adventure and since i loved Clan of the Cave Bear, I know I would love to read this historical fantasy novel. Thank you for sharing. It is now on my list to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. mylilplace says:

    Wonderful reviews! Will check out these books when I get the chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. inese says:

    These are all great books!
    My daughter and her family had a vacation in Lincoln city. Oregon is beautiful, and Washington must be the same.
    Wishing you all the best! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sound like some good books there. I like the idea of a novel about cave people.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. William Johnson says:

    i have nominated you for the Leibster Award. check it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank goodness for all these great Indie reads, which help us get through the night (or long drives, or just away a bit from reality and into another world). Jacqui’s prehistorical fiction certainly does that, and in amazingly intelligent and fascinating ways. Now I’m off to read Mae Claire’s “A Thousand Yesteryears.” A great way to escape. And I look forward to seeing how Duclos puts together her sweet and not-so-sweet stories, as I’m thinking of creating an anthology of my flash fiction sometime, hopefully sooner rather than later. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  7. smilecalm says:

    i’m happy hearing
    of these interesting
    works, Diana!
    hope you’re feeling
    well & happy 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. […] is making possible, the world of fiction has become more exuberantly varied than ever. Blogger and indy author D. Wallace Peach writes from Oregon. Diana began writing later in life and has more than made up for lost time. Here […]

    Liked by 1 person

  9. da-AL says:

    love this so much I just reblogged it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. da-AL says:

    Ooooh – you’ve reminded me of one of the most delicious parts of summer – more hours to read!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Wow! I would love to read them. Good expression of thoughts

    Liked by 1 person

  12. These are great reviews, Diana! I loved A Thousand Yesteryears and the two subsequent books in the Point Pleasant series. You have to check out the Hode’s Hill series as well. Take care of yourself!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve already read both Hode’s Hill books, Julie. I’m making huge dents in my TBR pile as I’m driving and sitting by hospital beds. Reading has been such a wonderful retreat. It’s keep me sane. 🙂 Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Vashti Q says:

    Wonderful reviews, Diana! Thank you for sharing. 😀 xo

    Liked by 4 people

  14. krc says:

    love driving thru Oregon

    Liked by 3 people

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