I’ve set myself a Goodreads challenge of 20 books for 2023 under my Leilanie Stewart Author page on Goodreads and 50 books on my anonymous Indie reader Goodreads account. Basically the difference between these accounts is that the books I review on my author Goodreads page are mainly related to writing research, or are mainstream traditionally published accounts and my anonymous Indie reader account is to review awesome mainly self-published books on both Goodreads and Amazon. Why anonymous? For the simple reason that it allows me to stay honest in my feedback, helping fellow authors, while keeping things separate from my main author pages. Before I begin today’s blog post, a disclaimer: these books are my own personal recommendation and opinion. The authors are most likely unaware that I’m promoting their books – I do so because, frankly, I’m blown away at the standard of writing and I would honestly say, these Indie authors should be nominating their books for some independent prizes (Bath novel award, Rubery book prize, etc).
With all that in mind, here are the books and trilogies that I have read over the past year that have blown me away, and that I absolutely, highly recommend:
Amanda Sheridan – Rapid Eye Movement series
If you have not read Sheridan’s Rapid Eye Movement trilogy, then I highly recommend that you do. Her books fall under the paranormal suspense and psychological thriller categories and follow the story of two women, Jennifer and Lucy, who connect in their dreams through remote viewing, seeing each other’s contrasting lifestyles as Lucy lives in England and Jennifer lives in Cyprus, married to an Israeli spy. As the series progresses, we follow Jennifer and her Israeli spy husband Ilan, and learn more about her powerful gift of lucid dreaming. The trilogy is incredibly well researched making a topic that is often regarded as in the realm of sci-fi seem very believable. There’s a good deal of hot romance too, which will satisfy those eager for some sauciness within the action. Not only that, but the writing is tight, making for a page-turning series.
Ashleigh Reverie – Almost Human series
The Almost Human series is as the title would suggest: a sci-fi drama set in the 22nd century. It follows Edel, a genetically modified human who, with the help of Jay, is able to learn more about her own past by connecting with a fellow GM human called Danny, raised as a regular person away from the facility that experiments on people. What she learns is terrifying and brings the reader in a journey that touches on social justice and ethics, while set in a realistic dystopian future.
Tom Flynn – A girl called Dara
I happened upon this book as a Kindle recommendation and I’m glad I tried it as it turned out to be the best literary fiction book I’ve read in a long time. It starts out as we follow Jeff, who develops an infatuation with a beautiful and mysterious woman in his poetry class. Dara sends mixed signals, getting close and affectionate at times, and aloof at other moments. When she suddenly stops coming to class and disappears from his life, Jeff seeks to find out more about her background – with devastating consequences. This is a stunning literary novel with a coming of age theme that covers dreams and disillusionment beautifully.
Iseult Murphy – All of Me
This novella follows the tale of a woman struggling with weight issues and low self-esteem. When a neighbour offers a strange vegetable that he claims will help, desperate Margaret tries it and soon after, splits into three women: Dot, Peggy and Daisy. All of Me is a unique body horror that covers themes of overcoming eating disorder issues in an original, and sometimes metaphorical way.