Remember how I said I'd share this space with other independent artists? I'm going to start with books because, well duh, I read a LOT. My first review is for Notebook, by Mel Hosking, which I gave five out of five stars on Amazon.
Notebook, not to be confused with The Notebook, because that would be terrible, is a dystopian future young adult novel set in a world where most plants and animals have gone extinct due to poisoning of the water supply. The protagonist is a young woman named Iris Ivy, named so because both are extinct plants. Iris lives in a compound with her mother and father and her replicate, basically a clone who we learn will be used as 'spare parts' because that's how the human race survives, by replacing failing organs with fresh clone meat.
Eventually Iris and her clone, Dandelion (named for a plant that survived), learn that life in their compound is not as it seems and they escape, only to find that the outside world is equally as dangerous, but not in the way that they thought.
On a technical level, this is a well written book with proper grammar, no spelling errors, and a good flow, which I know many pedantic readers find important. But that's not what made me love it.
I was drawn in by the way it read. Whether intentional or not, this book hearkens back to the golden age of sci-fi. This isn't a post-apocalypse zombie drama, nor is it a sappy romance set in a dystopian backdrop. This is a scientific mystery, which leaves the reader unravelling clues right along with the characters. And the characters are very well written. You love those you are meant to and hate those you are meant to, but then there are some that you don't know about. I found myself trying to guess the 'twist' and failing, which I loved. Plus, this book makes the sci-fi genre accessible to young women, which if you've read anything I've posted previously, you'll know is the pet cause I champion.
For an indie e-book, it's a little pricy at $5.99, but when you consider that the standard genre paperback is now about $10, it's still a bargain.