Reviews 3

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Gatherings

Mehreen Ahmed

Mehreen Ahmed brings us a great variety of drama and emotion with Gatherings!  This collection of short stories spans the globe, following a diverse set of everyday people.  It was this span of characters and Ahmed’s choice to focus on the drama of ordinary people that really drew me in.  Each character’s story is touching, and Ahmed’s writing fills each of them with depth and realism.  These stories aren’t always happy, but they’re real and they leave you walking away with one deep emotion or another.  If you love short stories or good emotional dramas, definitely come explore life with the people in Gatherings!


Murder in the Atchafalaya

Jim Riley

Jim Riley brings us a tense murder mystery set in a lush and interesting locale with Murder in the Atchafalaya!  While on an assignment, treasury agent Kristi Blocker is kidnapped and forced to escape into the Atchafalaya, a massive swamp.  Park ranger Hawk Theriot is tasked with finding her in the vast wilderness, but will either of them be able to avoid the dangers of the wild and the most dangerous predator lurking within it?  Riley brings the Atchafalaya Basin to life along with its inhabitants with his powerful description and voice!  This is a fast-paced novel with plenty of twists, but I also really enjoyed the unusual setting and the flavor Riley was able to convey through it.  If you love murder mysteries that are always moving, or even wilderness survival stories, definitely rev up your fan boat and check out Murder in the Atchafalaya!


Leaving the Herd

Asa Rodriguez

Asa Rodriguez gives us an interesting examination of society, individuality, and spirituality in Leaving the Herd!  This guide is split into two parts, one examining society and why people become followers, and the other exploring ways to build your own individuality and values.  Rodriguez has some interesting insights around the human consciousness and society, but it was his writing that really drew me in.  Almost poetic at times, the gorgeous writing makes this philosophical guide an easy read.  If you’re looking for a spiritual guide or an exploration of philosophy, come open your third eye with Leaving the Herd!


Meowl

Leah Ingledew

Leah Ingledew explores a fun and adorable way to tackle deep and serious issues in the children’s book Meowl!  Dogs and cats don’t mix, or so the story goes, but when Max and Mia (a dog and cat) start to play together, they learn that they’re not so different after all.  This book presents a great way to approach the issues of segregation and discrimination with a younger audience.  The bright pictures and lovable characters help untangle a challenging issue in a fun way that I think all people can enjoy.  If you love children’s books, are looking for a way to broach the subject of segregation with kiddos, or are a pet lover, definitely come check out Meowl!


The Warlord’s Crown

James Dittmar

War is tearing apart a mystical land as three friends fight to save their families in James Dittmar’s The Warlord’s Crown!  As the last surviving members of the Nightfall Rangers struggle to return home, they get caught up in a warlord’s vicious scheme to deliver the land to a dark god.  With the help of some unlikely allies, they must fight this evil if they have any hope of seeing their families again.  I really loved Dittmar’s worldbuilding in this one!  Everything felt alive with history and culture.  With great characters and an epic plot, this is an adventure any Forgotten Realms fan won’t want to miss!


Iceapelago

Peter Brennan

Peter Brennan hits us with an exciting eco thriller that sees Ireland buried in an impossible sheet of ice in Iceapelago!  We follow several different perspectives from around the world, from an ocean research vessel to an erupting island, as we begin to see a worldwide disaster begin to unfold Day After Tomorrow style.  What I really loved about this book, though, was the depth of knowledge Brennan poured into the story.  This is a disaster film, but not your typical one with a completely implausible plot.  Iceapelago delivers a disaster based in actual science which makes it all the more tense to read!  If you’re looking for an exciting eco thriller with a strong foundation, definitely come poking around the trenches of Iceapelago!


Before & After

Larissa Hinton

Larissa Hinton brings us some really deep Christian poetry in Before & After!  I love the way Hinton organizes this poetry collection into two sections: Before she became Christian, and After.  Hinton lays out her pain and loss in a series of moving poems in the Before section, and then follows that up with her journey towards healing in the After portion.  It was really interesting (and moving) to see Hinton’s personal journey told through poetry, almost as if she herself is a character within it!  If you love poetry, are looking for some spiritual guidance, or want to read something motivational, come explore the heart of Hinton with Before & After!


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