Book Reviews

The latest indie book reviews from Self-Publishing Review

Review: Sign It Into Law: How To Put Your Petition On The Ballot by Victoria Stoklasa

Sometimes we forget that our responsibility as citizens requires more than simply voting from time to time (often only in congressional and presidential elections) and then sitting back and complaining about the results. This hands-mostly-off approach to democracy has resulted in our thinking of government as “Them,” when it really is—or at least should be—”Us.”

George Bernard Shaw quipped, “Democracy is a device that insures that we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” Stoklasa’s small manual helps citizens make sure that what we deserve is better than what we’ve come to expect.…

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Review: The Woodpecker Menace By Ted Olinger

This charming slice of life from autobiographical writer Ted Olinger, set in Washington State’s Key Peninsula at the bottom of Puget Sound, is truly flavorful. Beautifully illustrated with scrawly ink blot style drawings from whimsily-named local artist Tweed Meyer, Ted Olinger has managed something rare and magical – to capture not only his own life in miniature, but that of the environment around him, in rich, deep language and poetic writing conjuring up the wilderness prose of Laurie Lee and Jon Krakauer – ten short stories like windows into Olinger’s life as he settles into Peninsula life with his young son.…

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Review: Monster by Ben Burgess Jr.

This first novel by poet and spoken-word artist Ben Burgess, Jr. chronicles the love life of Ken Ferguson, a young man who responds to being dumped by a self-centered, materialistic girlfriend by giving up on love and instead devoting himself to pursing as many meaningless sexual conquests as he can manage—and he manages quite a dance card.…

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Review: Four Times Blessed by Alexa T. Liguori

Four Times Blessed is the story of Crusa, a young woman who lives closely with her large extended family, and is engaged to Andrew, a well-respected boy from her New England island, who falls for Lium, a bodyguard who is supposed to be watching her before her wedding.…

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Review: The Nothing Place by Jesse Relkin

The Nothing Place - RelkinThis ambitious first novel by Jesse Relkin begins with 16-year-old Max arriving in Los Angeles from his hometown of Bend, Oregon to enter an in-patient drug rehabilitation facility. For the few days before he is due to report to rehab, Max stays with his Aunt Mercedes, her children, Erin and Mikey, and their nanny, Shannon.…

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Review: EMMA By Michael Segedy

Brent Cossack is a former CIA member who has gone rogue. He takes his orders from a shadowy figure codenamed Sacco, and assassinates corrupt corporate figureheads. Then there’s Rick Clark, who’s working to bring the Cossack’s militant group EMMA to justice after a string of murders.…

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Review: The Day The Music Died By Blair Evans

Cameron Forsyth is a young man studying at music school in New Zealand looking for an impossible answer – what is random chance and what is talent? Is he being deluded in his love for music? What is the secret to music’s magic and what has been twisted out of shape by academics and the media?…

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Review: Out Of The Light Of Darkness by Edward M. Donnelly

This small collection consists of six very short stories and a novella. The stories are linked by theme: death, madness, forgiveness, love. It’s primal stuff, and Donnelly handles his material gently, almost reverently. The first six stories are very short, very lean, almost ghost-like.…

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