Whoops, there was a bit of an unintended delay between the last indie book and this one. It was for a good reason, I had a total writing binge in February which took up far more of my free time than I expected, but I’ve had this nagging feeling at the back of my mind that I should be keeping up with my #YearOfIndie.
My indie book this time around was Idyllic Avenue by Chad Ganske, a fellow Canadian indie author. As promised I have posted a review on Goodreads and Amazon. Here is what I had to say about Chad’s first novel:
There’s a lot to like about Idyllic Avenue, it deals with a lot of very interesting concepts such as genetic engineering, androids, dying planets and desperate measures. Chad does a great job of introducing these concepts gradually without a lot of exposition or ‘info dumping’ to the point that as a reader I never felt overwhelmed by how alien the world was, it always felt relatable. In fact, it sometimes made these amazing things seem positively normal and mundane. Robotic butlers? Sure why not, everyone has one of those! This cleverly mirrors our own world and how quickly we adapt to new technology that once felt amazing and is now just another appliance. It made the amazing world Chad has created feel like a more believable place.
There were occasions where I would be trying to figure out what was going on, only to read a few sentences more to find more detail that filled in the gaps. This kept the whole book interesting and enjoyable. Chad expertly leaves some threads dangling throughout the book so that you always want to keep reading to find out more. The pacing is solid too, with everything moving along quickly.
So far so good, but there was one part of the book that I did get hung up on. I don’t want to go into too much detail as it wouldn’t be fair to spoil the plot, but in my opinion the characters don’t always act in a believable manner. For example at a point in the story the main character finds himself in perilous danger that he can’t escape, but instead of trying to resolve the issue he just continues about his life as usual without mentioning it to anyone around him. There are several other instances like this where a character would do something and I found myself thinking ‘why would they do that?’ It sometimes felt like the plot was driving the characters, rather than the other way around. This wasn’t a deal breaker as I really enjoyed the plot, but it did break my connection with the characters.
I’m certainly intrigued as to what is going to happen next and I will be adding Salus to my ‘to-read’ pile so I can found out!
Chad’s book has definitely encouraged me to check out more indie sci-fi, it’s a genre I don’t usually read. It was fun to spend some time in a world completely different to our own with its own technology, rules and society. I can’t imagine how much work goes into creating a whole new place in this much detail, but it’s something Chad does extremely well in this book. Expect to see a review for Salus a little further down the road.
Next up on my reading list is Metropolitan Dreams by the alpha Flashdog himself, Mr. Mark King. I look forward to sharing my thoughts on it soon. Until then please feel free to share any other suggestions for indie books I should be adding to my ‘to-read’ pile.