By Keshia McEntire
If your bookshelf is full of traditionally published books that you found at Barnes and Noble, you might be missing out on some great reads.
While working on my book, Saving Eden, I’ve meet dozens of talented writers publishing quality work. These books are well-edited, exciting and engaging. I’ve put off reading some traditional bestsellers to dive into these books. I wanted to share a few of my favorite indie reads with other bibliophiles. Because I love science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction, I will focus on those genres.
Winds of the Forest by Dele Danie
I love post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories, but it’s rare to see the narrative taken out of a western setting. (The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin is one exception.) Winds of the Forest does a great job of exploring what the world might be like if the last habitable place on earth was in Africa. In the only surviving part of the earth sits the post-apocalyptic West-African kingdom of Nayja. That’s where we meet seventeen-year-old Genesis Romunda, one of the elite hunters of Black Forest. She’s annoyed that all of the other hunters are joining a rebellion rather than trying to provide food. When she is chosen by the Central Royal Council as one of the first girls to attend an elite university, her perspective changes and her world is turned upside down.
The Fae & The Fallen by Brittni Chenelle
I picked up this book out of curiosity. I’ve never read a book that takes place in an academy setting, but I know a lot of people love them so I wanted to know what all the hype was about. This story did not disappoint. In addition to the teenage love and cattiness I expected from an academy book, I felt the concept of a society split between the powerful and powerless was unique. I enjoyed her unique take on the fae, as well as the diversity of the characters in this book. The story follows Reina, who’s first kiss nearly killed her. When 80% of the population is gifted with touch magic, she feels it’s best to keep her hands—and her lips—to herself. Until someone makes her feel a fatal touch might be worth the risk.
Skye Light by A.R. Maloney
I was thrilled when A. R. Maloney gifted me her book, Skye Light. I am in the process of reading this one, but I love it so far. I especially love how descriptive she is about the fantasy setting because it really transports me to this new world. The story follows Skye, who felt magic calling to her at a young age. Because of her affinity to magic, she’s been pulled out of her quiet life with her mother and asked to join a group of sentinels who are protecting the land.
The Forgotten Timepiece by Joyce Licorish
This book is by an author from my hometown, Indianapolis, so I had to include it on this list. SeRina, an adopted, beautiful, rebellious and assumingly white teenager goes on the quest to find her biological family after tragedy strikes. On her journey, she is shocked to find out her true heritage. After an encounter with her eccentric newly-discovered grandmother, she is mysteriously transported from the year 2009 to the antebellum South in 1859 where she finds herself chained to an ancestral past that she never knew.
Expendables: A Young Adult Dystopian Novel by Alison Ingleby
I received an advanced copy of this book and I love it so far! The story follows Aleesha, an illegal citizen in poverty-stricken Area Four. When her illegal status is discovered, Aleesha is forced to join a mysterious organisation intent on taking down the corrupt government. Then she’s introduced to Trey, an Insider who’s been brought up with everything she longs for: wealth, privilege, education. By the time Aleesha and Trey realize that they’re just pawns in a much bigger game, will it be too late?
Fairy Tales and Space Dreams by Jasmine Shea Townsend
Fairy Tales and Space Dreams is an anthology of short stories. I am a fan of fairy tale retellings, so I was so happy when Jasmine shared this ebook with me. My favorite story in the collection was Rapunzel the Night Maiden, but I also loved her unique take on Snow White.
Saving Eden: A YA Dystopian / Post-Apocalyptic Adventure by K. R. S. McEntire
Of course, I can’t publish a list like this without giving my own book some shine. For a less biased opinion, you might want to check reviews others left about my book on Goodreads.
Saving Eden is the story of Sixteen-year-old Angela, who thinks she and her father are the last survivors on earth. When a seventeen-year-old boy stumbles upon Angela’s home with news about a thriving community, she dares to leave her garden for the first time to find a better home. She follows him to a settlement in what was once Chicago. Then, she joins a group known as The Resistance who protect mutants and vulnerable people from the deadly Wardens that control the community. But could The Resistance have secrets of their own?
Writing Saving Eden was a ton of fun and I appreciate all of the support from people who have purchased and/or reviewed Saving Eden. It’s also taught me how much time, money and effort goes into putting out a quality book. I have gained so much respect for indie authors, which is why I created this list. My goal is to publish a sequel that takes place a year after the events of Saving Eden.
I hope this list gave you some new novels to add to your TBR (to be read) pile on Amazon or Goodreads, and encourages you to support an indie artist. If you like this story, share with your book-loving friends. For more book reviews, join my Facebook book page Diverse Fantasy and Sci-Finds.