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"This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. It is smart, gripping and even weaves an intriguing mystery into the mix. I cannot praise it highly enough. A masterpiece." - D.M. Cain, author of The Phoenix Project and A Chronicle of Chaos
 

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The Woman of the Void and Kota Book 1 review

The Woman of the Void and Kota Book 1 review

Sunshine Somerville has created a unique, vivid, and exciting post-apocalyptic world with her four-book Kota series.  In celebration of the new release of her short story, The Woman of the Void, which traces the origins of the mother of the Kota warriors, here's my review for that story - released today (08/08/15) - followed by my review for book 1.

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Do You #LitFic? Does Anyone, Anymore?

Do You #LitFic? Does Anyone, Anymore?

The new release from Booktrope of Anesa Miller's literary debut Our Orbit poses questions about the importance of family, the dynamics of foster care, as well as how religion, poverty, and homophobia affects her characters of Southern Ohio.  In this fragmented media environment that has seen the ascension of genre works, particularly of the paranormal kind, I asked Anesa whether literary fiction still had relevance, and just what was its place in 2015?

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3 Short Stories, a Novella and a Novel by Awethors

3 Short Stories, a Novella and a Novel by Awethors

I'm part of a wonderful group of authors on Facebook, collectively known as Awethors.  We support each other and get detailed, varied and prompt answers to questions you might spend hours looking for elsewhere.  Anyway, I've been reading some great books and discovering some brilliant Indie authors.  Here are a few of my recent reviews.

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A True Masterwork: Paul Xylinides’s An American Pope ★★★★★

A True Masterwork: Paul Xylinides’s An American Pope ★★★★★

In recent years the lines between self-publisher and traditional publisher, author and reader, have become blurred.  Consequently, the word ‘masterpiece’ has been thrown around with abandon and thrust upon novels that don’t deserve it, a trend which has all but stripped the term of its gravitas and meaning.  Paul Xylinides’s indie debut novel, through the magic and skill of his stunning prose, attempts to show how sexual dysfunction and the weight of history have affected the methodology of the Catholic Church’s teachings, as well as the corruption of man’s soul and his separation from nature, and in doing so, not only fulfils the criteria of a great work, but is wholly deserving of the term ‘masterpiece’.

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An Excellent Psychological Thriller: Amongst The Killing by Joe Compton ★★★★★

This LA-based thriller by indie author Joe Compton is as much about the consequences of career choices and the obligations of family, as well as grief, suicidal impulses, a media-obsessed America, fear and redemption.

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Homophobia and the Dark Side of the Navy: The Sea Trials of an Unfortunate Sailor by Kurt Brindley ★★★★★

Kurt Brindley himself has served in the U.S. navy and, armed with insider knowledge this experience has bought him, he's able to impart to us details about that life that may never have occurred to us.  Who knew, for example, that rolling balls of lint otherwise known as ‘ghost turds’ might shape the course of a war, and in turn have the potential to shape world history?  This is just a small (and funny) example of unexpected detail in a novel dealing with the underside of a navy at once absurd and often terrifying.

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Elegiac, Profound and Astoundingly Beautiful: Paul Xylinides’s The Wild Horses of Hiroshima ★★★★★

An incredible thing happened to me this week.  While searching Twitter for literary authors, one tweet, blurred into a myriad of others, bubbled to the oily surface of my handheld device.  It was a sweetly succinct and poetic sentence tweeted by someone with a painted profile picture, giving me the impression it was some spam-tweeting robot that merely posted inspirational quotes from famous dead people.  It being Twitter, I continued to scroll until that bizarre sentence finally seeped through the vestiges of my sleep-deprived consciousness, and I found myself scrolling upwards again to give it a second look.  I had just discovered Paul Xylinides, who might very well turn out to be one of the most important novelists of our time.

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