Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of SadieForsythe.com:
The Chorus Effect
by Russell Boyd
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Until recently, Chintz had been a relatively normal guy with a relatively normal cat. For example, neither he, nor his cat, had ever journeyed to a synthetic parallel universe. He had never encountered a teleporting baby or an emotionally mature computer. He could count on one hand the number of philosophical discussions he’d had with people holding multiple degrees in advanced physics. And thus far, his relationship with the voices in his head had been purely platonic. Suddenly, Chintz finds himself working alongside a dysfunctional team of scientists and their astonishing creations, seeking answers to age-old questions – answers that could change our concept of humanity. Of course, that’s only if they can survive federal law enforcement, starvation, psychopathic figments of imagination, the hostile old man who lives across the street, and the end of the “known universe.” Well, actually it’s the end of “a” universe, that “only some people know about.” But for Chintz, that may not be any better at all.
I suppose there will be an audience out there for this book. It’s trying very hard to be Douglas Adams-like and plenty of people (myself included) love Douglas Adams’ quirky humor. IMHO, this doesn’t quite make it though, as a Douglas Adam’s clone or on it’s own.
On a positive note, it’s well written and surprisingly well edited for a self-published book. There are some interesting, odd-ball characters and had the whole thing been a set up for Katie and Chintz’s last moment’s, I’d have called it a success. But it’s about 1/3 too long (if not more) for that to be the case.
If I had to condense this review to a few carefully chosen words, they would be presumptuous and self-indulgent. The author’s constant breaking of the fourth wall especially. As if the book wasn’t quite quirky enough the author/narrator had to stick his two cents in too. It was annoying and broke up the story.
It was this over the top quirkiness that eventually ruined the book for me. You have characters who speak in mixed up, nonsense for no apparent reason at all. You have POVs from the perspective of a cat. You have a narrative style dedicated to pointing out the absurd over the expected, which could have been great if not quite so over played. You have philosophy passed off as science and science of the hard-core hand waving variety. It was all too much for me.
And that is a shame; because Boyd’s descriptive ability is wonderful. I appreciated the distinct lack of alpha hero and the success of the socially anxious, nerd heroes. I liked that there was a strong female character (though I’m borderline on the fact that her sexuality caused such ruptions. I think the book skirted the cliché, but JUST BARELY). But there was just too much else crowding these good things out. In the end, I bored and just hoping to finish.
[ reviewed by Sadie Forsythe ]
Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:
Whether you like Science Fiction or not, this novel is for you. Alright, admittedly, some of the science did go over my head. But that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the book. If anything, it makes it that much more fun to realize just how much thought and effort went it to creating this fantastical story! You wouldn’t know this is Russell’s first novel; he writes like this is old hat, creating characters you care about, want to know even better, laugh with – and laugh at. Even the cat has a personality that reminds you of every other cat you’ve ever known – and like no other – all at once. From the first inkling something was even slightly awry in Chintz’ life through to the very end – I was engrossed in the story. And that’s saying a lot from me. I’m not really a Sci-Fi reader, preferring more of the legal-thrillers, crime dramas and even supernatural mysteries. But that’s just it; there was so much humor, and such depth to the characters and richness to the environments and story line that I just couldn’t put it down. I found myself empathizing with Chintz in his sudden, surreal situation, as well as most all of the people in their various life stories as well as their involvement in this one. Well, except for Carter. I didn’t care about Carter at all (that’s not a spoiler; you won’t either, trust me). I’m eagerly looking forward to Russell’s next novel. I’m sort of hoping for a sequel, so I can see how everyone’s lives turned out. But I also think any story the author plans to write will definitely be on my short list of books I need to add to my library. I’d recommend The Chorus Effect to anyone that loves Sci-Fi, satire, seriousness, and a bit of mystery. There’s love stories, frightening moments, highs and lows. Really, give it a try. You’ll be glad you did. :oD
– Amazon Reviewer mandacakes
I was gifted this book and can say I didn’t know what to expect. It had been a long time since I’d read a book without being in the know of the content or style of writing and I’m glad this one crossed my path.
The writing kept me tuned in by not allowing me to breeze through for information, as I tend to speed read, but rather caused me to read the story the author intended. It was a nice change of pace to slow down and I feel I enjoyed both the story and ideas more than I would have otherwise.
The concepts and ideas might be out of the comfort zone for some, but shouldn’t intimidate those who feel that way about Sci-Fi. I’d recommend this book to anyone and look forward to future works.
– Amazon Reviewer Jester
Thanks for reading! Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!
Self Publishing Advisor
2 thoughts on “Saturday Book Review: “The Chorus Effect””
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Thanks, RedHeadedBookLover! It’s so nice to see you here! – Kelly S.