May 2013 Book Reviews

Amidst transitioning away from one job and working two others, I managed to read 5 books this month. Reading is a way I escape stress and it was good to escape with a couple interesting books this month. Check out the book of the month and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of it! Night Bells by L.M. SherwinNight Bells is a fantasy young adult novel so the book is on par with my normal reading habits. The novel is a coming of age story about Lord Maslyn, a 12 year old boy who has been imprisoned in his own castle for 6 years. The pacing of the novel was good and the story was intriguing. (A talking pig!) My only complaint is I wish the story was darker; however, Night Bells is the first in the series, so maybe the themes become darker later in the series. Night Bells is another example of a great indie book! 5 out of 7 stars.

The Leopard by Jo NesboThe Leopard is another crime thriller in the Harry Hole series. (I reviewed The Snowman and The Redeemer in earlier book review posts.) I love the flawed character of Harry and his unconventional detective skills. Much like the others, this book keeps you guessing until the end. The Leopard isn't my favorite of the series, but it's definitely worth a read for crime and mystery readers! 5 out of 7 stars.

Unicorn Western by Johnny B. Truant and Sean Platt - I am a weekly listener of the Self Publishing Podcast hosted by Johnny and Sean (and Dave Wright). They mention this series often in their podcast, especially since Unicorn Western was born out of a joke. Unicorn Western is a serial and each installment is novella length. I read the first, although after reading Unicorn Western I, I picked up the whole saga (9 episodes total) for a sale price of only $4.99! Unicorn Western is laced with jokes (it is a western with unicorns), the storyline is fun, and the writing is crisp. I only gave it 4 out of 7 stars, but I imagine the rating will go up after I read the whole saga. 

The Book of Deacon by Joseph Lallo - I picked up this book at some point from a recommendation. I enjoyed the first half of the novel, but struggled through the second half. The plot completely shifted to a new world and set of challenges, unrelated to the first. I imagine it will all tie together since it's a trilogy, but I needed more integration in this book. Also, Lallo does not use chapters in this book which I do not like and the writing is weak at times. I think the book is a good start for Lallo, but needed a little more work before publishing.  3 out of 7 stars.

Book of the Month

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. StedmanThe Light Between Oceans is a novel which stirs up every emotion. Tom and Isabel are married and live on Janus Rock, a solitary small island off the coast of Australia. Tom's responsibility is to man the lighthouse. Isabel is a young woman eager to have children, but suffers two miscarriages and a stillbirth. After the stillbirth, a boat washes on shore with a dead man and a living baby. They decide to keep the baby and raise the child as their own amidst doubts and possible future consequences. The ensuing story is beautiful, yet tragic. Stedman's sentences are carefully constructed and I couldn't stop reading the last 100 pages, despite the sad story. The Light Between Oceans is a great novel. 6 out of 7 stars.

If you want a chance to win a copy of The Light Between Oceans, simply leave a comment below about a good book you have read recently.