Indie Scouting Report: January 2020
In this month’s roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we highlight a sci-fi novel, a military thriller, a dream guidebook, and others.Last Girl Standing
Synopsis: In this action-driven and oft-comedic sci-fi novel, 17-year-old Sierra Mendez must save her small California hometown from a mysterious entity.
PW’s Takeaway: Kaptanoglu offers an inclusive cast, a plot that allows for tension and tragedy as well as personal growth, and an adventure for our times.
Comparable Title: Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle
Sample Line: “I’ve known for some time that our family’s not normal. It’s just Mom and me and the hens and our goat, Brisa.”
★ Okinawa (Future War #2)
Synopsis: Holden’s thoughtful and inventive second military thriller concerns near-future conflicts involving the U.S.
PW’s Takeaway: Holden’s plausible geopolitical developments, including the unification of Korea, will help readers buy in to the exciting story line.
Comparable Titles: Clive Cussler’s Oregon Files
Sample Line: “Returning to his quarters, John got out a bottle of Scotch, poured himself a glass and sat at his small desk, rolling the whisky around his mouth.”
Dreaming at the Gates
Synopsis: Ridall encourages readers to engage with the imagery and emotions of their dreams.
PW’s Takeaway: An affirming and resonant exploration.
Comparable Title: Cindy McGill’s What Your Dreams Are Telling You
A Dream of Steam
James W. Barry
Synopsis: Barry debuts with a clever tale inspired by a true story.
PW’s Takeaway: The impassioned narrative is colored by evocative prose, and Barry’s integration of different plot threads is impressive.
Comparable Title: Annie Proulx’s The Shipping News
Advanced Physical Chemistry
Synopsis: In Nix’s romantic comedy, a heartbroken heroine sets out to have a no-strings-attached affair.
PW’s Takeaway: Readers will eagerly devour Nix’s smart and sexy story.
Comparable Title: Talia Hibbert’s Get a Life, Chloe Brown