Book Review #1

One of the great things about being an indie author and publisher is the great community of like-minded people I get to talk to. As with any group, there are a few bad apples out there, but for the most part, my fellow authors are terrific people, and would far rather support each other than drag each other down in order to climb to the top. The prevailing attitude is that a rising tide floats all boats, and that readers devour books far faster than we can put them out—so why not help each other?
It’s my turn to do the same, and at the same time hopefully introduce my readers to some new authors they might enjoy. I’ll be reviewing some of the indie authors, not with a view to rating them, but to give you an idea of what their books are like so you can decide whether or not you want to give them a try. A lot of the books will be free, as a common marketing tactic for indie authors is to get the first book of a series into as many hands as possible, and hope that enough readers will enjoy it enough to buy the rest.

My first review is of J. F. Mehentee’s “Hotsuka’s Story,” book one of his “Dragon Pearl” series.
Imagine that you’re a god, or at least a being so superior to humans as makes no difference, with powers of creativity, knowledge, and movement to rival that of any being in the universe. Now suppose that you are punished for certain transgressions by being forced to live as a human, with all the limitations of sense and ability that entails.

Who wouldn’t feel trapped by such a turn of events? Yet this is Hotsuka’s fate, and he soon finds himself being used as a pawn by the most powerful member’s of his race, for reasons he can’t quite fathom. Slowly, he learns that he retained one power, one he never suspected he had previously: the power to bring about the existence of a new race, one with the strength to overcome the corruption of its predecessor.

This is not your typical fantasy story. A British ex-pat, Mehentee calls upon his Asian heritage to weave a tale that is at once both foreign and familiar. In place of terrestrial urgency, the reader senses great cosmic powers maneuvering around a lonely, central figure trying to find his place in a vast universe he can no longer understand–an oddly human problem for such a being!

The story unfolds over the course of decades, and depends less on frenetic action than on a compelling and potent unveiling of truths. If you enjoy fantasy with an Asian flair, especially one with a bent toward myths and legends, give Hotsuka’s Story a try. It’s free on Amazon as of November 2018.

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