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Now that I have your attention...let's talk about Claire C. Riley's book, Odium. First things first, I don't do spoilers, so if you have not finished yet, or if you are just considering whether or not to take the plunge...no need to be cautious.
I believe that reviews should focus on a few key elements: story, characters, and editing. The Indie scene is a wasteland of poorly edited books that can absolutely frustrate a reader. Let's tackle that first...
Odium reads clean. Nothing is perfect. Trust me. I have read titles from the "Big Six" with a hiccup here and there. So, Odium gets an 'A' for being a clean read.
Next, and really the item that tips the scales: story. Odium will suck you into a very real world. Claire does an amazing job of creating very real people and making you love or hate them accordingly. I know it is early, but this book has set the bar high for my "favorite reads of 2014" list.
Where Claire really shines is in her descriptive ability. She paints a world that you can see, hear, and smell. Her ability to describe is an example that teachers could use in a writing class. She does not go overboard, but finds the "sweet spot" of description. And trust me, it is just as easy to go overboard as it is to be to vague. Claire C. Riley is a name you need to add to your list. She may very well be the best writer you have never heard of...but need to.
I am sure that I could have been given a copy of this book as a reviewer, but I chose to buy it myself to support a fellow indie. It is worth ten times the price as this is a full-length book and not some hundred page, double-spaced pamphlet that far too many people are trying to pass off as novels these days.
Help me celebrate Women Horror Writers month by supporting Claire C. Riley. Grab a copy of Odium...you will be glad that you did. And here is my offer to you...if you have not yet purchased a copy, and you do so now and post a review (with the "Verified Amazon Purchase" tag by the end of February (2014), all you have to do is shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your review and I will give you a free copy of ANY audio book of mine that you want. DEAD, Zomblog, Ava...even my non-horror title, Dakota.
So what are you waiting for? Check in Monday and get the heads-up on my Indie title of the Month for March. Here is a hint...it is ANOTHER female horror writer! Personally, I think every month should be about women in one way or another.