I’ve been blessed by dozens of reviews on The Serenity Strain, and I don’t usually write about them (good or bad). But I’m making an exception with this one by Kimberly Lewellyn, whom I just met through Facebook about two weeks ago.
I’m making the exception because
- it’s a great review of TSS and—I ain’t proud—I’d like to share that;
- it’s a great example of what a book review should do in my opinion (i.e., talk about what engaged you in the story; in Kimberly’s case, there were several things, including characterization and plot); and
- it mentions the broader canvas of Apocalypse Weird (beyond TSS) several times.
For your convenience, I’m putting the review in this blog. | Here’s a link to the original
As any voracious reader of indie fiction can tell you, the “indie” experience often is an adventure in and of itself. Like Forrest Gump’s infamous box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. You’re going to love some, be indifferent to some, and some can be downright nasty. For me, that’s part of the fun of indie fiction. Although this was my first Pourteau book, I already knew it wasn’t going to be that nasty chocolate covered cherry that I always try to avoid. The creators of the Apocalypse Weird universe obviously chose their authors with care and you’re not going to run across a poorly written book in the series.
I loved The Serenity Strain. It had a touch of everything I crave in post-apocalyptic fiction: Well developed relationships between characters that made me care for them, root for them, yell at them and cry for them; very bad guys that made me cringe when I realized the chapter was about them; a touch of solid science, but not enough that it made me yawn; and a supernatural component that melded nicely with the science element. I was a tad disappointed in the loss of one of the main characters. He/she was a great character that I had invested a lot in emotionally and was looking forward to more of him/her throughout the series. I guess that just goes to the author’s skill at creating a character the reader actually cares about and not being afraid to add that touch of reality to really bring a story home, but I still don’t have to like it, Mr. Pourteau. lol
The author does a nice job with characterization, especially for what I consider to be a “short” book. He sets a good pace, slowing it down a bit in appropriate areas and really ramming it home during the action. I’ve read some reviews that didn’t care for the violence in the book, but it didn’t bother me at all. It was appropriate for the setting and not over the top. After all, I can’t imagine any apocalyptic scenario where it’s going to be all rainbows and unicorns.
Another thing I love about the series in general is the intertwining nature of the world they have created. Finding little tidbits here and there that connect to other novels in the series is, for me, like finding that delicious nutty caramel in the box. I am very curious to see how this new world develops as more and more novels are added to the series, and if and/or how the strategists of the AW universe bring all of these stories together in the end. (Hey, AW Gods: I’d love to see characters from different stories eventually crossing paths!) 😉
I was very pleased with this installment of AW. Mr. Pourteau is a skilled writer and his work is a pleasure to read. I’m delighted to have found another author to follow and am definitely looking forward to more from him, both within the AW series as well as his standalone works.
First, thank you, Kimberly, for taking the time to read my novel and, second, for posting an insightful, helpful review. (I also appreciate its praise for TSS! 😉 ) But even if it wasn’t a 5-star review, as a reader of indie fiction myself, I appreciate your focus on the writing components in the story. Knowing what readers are looking for in a “good read” helps writers produce better works. | Check out the May Apocalypse Weird Book Sale
And by the way, if you’re one of the folks who’s read TSS or another of the AW novels and you want to see more from AW in the future, please consider supporting the Apocalypse Weird Indiegogo campaign. With your help, Wonderment can bridge the no-man’s land between start-up and “the big push” with targeted marketing campaigns. But that can only happen once the books have been out a while. Supporting AW will ensure that Apocalypse Weird novels keep coming for your reading pleasure! 🙂