Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Books: New Indie book reviews - Henry Martin and Eric L. Olson

A couple of blog posts ago, during the author interview with Henry Martin, I mentioned I was reading his first book and would later post a review. Here you will find not only his first book's review, but also the second installment of his Mad Days of Me trilogy's review. For those who like literary fiction, Martin is a great Indie writer. And I'm also adding a review of Eric L. Olson's historical fiction book, "Dance of the Berserkers". Be adventurous and pick up one of these Indie books - all available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback versions.

Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona 
Mad Days of Me: Escaping Barcelona (Henry Martin)

Where have you seen Rudy before? You wonder, while reading Escaping Barcelona. You've seen Rudy walking around aimlessly in the plazas and train stations and dark alleys of every big city. A lost, homeless, dirty young man, suspiciously provoking feelings of disgust, distrust and even fear from the passersby. The invisible scum of society, the runaway, the bum. But that's all there is for the eyes to see. What no one sees, is a tortured soul, a man in search of his destiny, questioning rules, normalcy and desperately trying to find meaning in all of it.

In Escaping Barcelona, we find a traveler - not totally comparable to the traveler in Damon Galgut's "In a Strange Room", but nonetheless possessing the same unsettling feelings when one is restless to leave, searching for what can't be found at home, and, not knowing what to expect, finding misery, horrors, the disdain of society and the cruel madness of a life without boundaries.

Interesting read, food for thought, creative and fast paced, with vivid descriptions of the city of Barcelona. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy to find out Rudy's redemption.

Mad Days of Me: Finding Eivissa 
Mad Days of Me: Finding Eivissa (Henry Martin)

This food for thought second installment in the Mad Days of Me trilogy is hard to put down. Rudy, the main character, finds hope once again, despite his unfortunate circumstances. He becomes more likeable, and because of love, his faith in humanity is somewhat restored. However, it doesn't come easy and he still has many challenges to overcome. His yearning for "normalcy" and routine sees him accepting a bizarre situation, with a woman whose past continues to haunt hear and threaten their new-found promising relationship.

Rudy's narrative reads almost like a journal, where he rambles philosophically about his emotions, feelings and uncertainties. Vivid descriptions of the island of Ibiza also transport the reader to a utopic paradise, and the cliff-hanging ending leaves you longing for more. Literary fiction at its best.

Dance of the Berserkers 
Dance of the Berserkers (Eric L. Olson)

This is a great novel by a new author, and worth reading! Especially for those who love historical fiction, since it seems the author did a lot of research. The beginning of the book stirs interesting right away, however it takes a couple of chapters to understand and start to identify all the characters in the story (mostly, for me, because a lot of their names end in "bjorn" - which became a little convoluted until I sorted out who was who).

Overall, it was a fast paced, well detailed story. I thought the "glossary" at the end for the readers to do their own research of the characters was a plus for history lovers. I would recommend this book for YA and older who love myths and history.

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