We’re off to a snowy start in 2014, and I’m glad for the new year. I don’t know what you thought of 2013. For me, it was a year of turmoil and change, some good, some bad. Still, I was able to read some really great books. Toward the end of the year I tried reading books by some well-known authors I’d never gotten around to before.
My search for great books by indie authors continues. Last year I found several that in my opinion were still in the beta-reading stage. Discouraging, to say the least. In December I did find two by indie authors that provided great entertainment.
But first, the books by better known authors:
A Great Deliverance/A Suitable Vengeance
I wanted to read some of Elizabeth George’s work ever since I read her book on writing, Write Away. A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley Mysteries, No. 1) and A Suitable Vengeance are the first two of hers I read. Her main characters are nuanced and complex, the crimes they solve tragic and horrible. I haven’t enjoyed a detective series this much since I read the Peter Wimsey novels. She did what all good authors do: left me wanting more. So much that I read two others, with equal pleasure.
I have to confess, I’d never read any of Dean Koontz’s work, thinking since it was sold in airport newsstands, it must be fluff reading. My bad.
Odd Thomas is a short order cook with a special ability: he can see the dead. Sometimes they want justice, at other times they have information that helps him solve a crime. This time, however, the dead seem to be tipping him off to a mass murder yet to be committed. Along with his girlfriend, and some help from others, both living and dead, Odd Thomas races time to prevent a tragedy.
The writing was superb, bringing me along page by page, even when I was almost too scared to read on. Odd Thomas: An Odd Thomas Novel (Odd Thomas Novels)contains the single most horrifying bloodless scene I’d ever read. I’m not a fan of horror, but this was worth the read.
The Lovely Bones
“My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”
From this great opening line, The Lovely Bones tells the story of Susie Salmon, watching from heaven as her family tries to cope with her death and her killer covers his tracks. This story doesn’t neatly package all the loose ends, but shows Susie’s family unravel, then rebuild and become reacquainted with hope and joy.
By the independent authors:
FALLEN (Descendants Saga (Book 1)) is the first installment in the Descendants Saga, which explores where the legends of mythical creatures come from. This fantasy weaves vampires, werewolves, elves, zombies and more into an adventure set in Victorian England. A young boy arrives from America with his father, only to see his father killed hours later and to be swept up himself into an escalating conflict between the forces of good and evil. An enjoyable read that kept my interest, this is a well-done Christian fantasy that doesn’t overdo the preaching.
The Winter Letter
Charming and intriguing, The Winter Letter tells of Will, who receives a mysterious letter on his thirteenth birthday. The letter claims to be from a king, and is full of cryptic instructions. Will finds himself in an adventure in a land where it’s hard to tell who are friends and who are enemies. Another well-done Christian fantasy.
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