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:
Asunder: A Novel of the Civil War
by Curt Locklear
Publisher: Outskirts Press
a CIPA EVVY Award Nominee!
Thrust into the middle of Civil War battle, with both Union and Rebel protagonists and antagonists, Asunder, the first in a trilogy, is a story of love and loss and of families torn apart. Thoroughly researched, the novel presents numerous complex, memorable characters struggling against incredible odds in an epic spanning from Texas to New York.
The story begins in frigid February, long after the battle. Cyntha Favor, an abolitionist and ardent believer in Spiritualism, searches the battlefield in hopes of finding her husband’s grave. Having received erroneous reports of his death, she hopes to free his tormented soul.
Sara Reeder, initially naive and an ardent supporter of the Southern cause, is thrust into the battle maelstrom. An excellent horse-woman, she rides to warn the army of a surprise attack, but is too late. With battle all around, she aids wounded Union soldiers, and her zeal for the war changes forever. In early 1861, both armies wore an assortment of uniforms. The Union had not adopted the standard blue uniform. Cyntha’s husband, a Union soldier, Iowa Grays volunteer, Joseph Favor, is found unconscious by Sara. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, he awakens with no memory, unable to recall even the battle. The Reeders perceive him to be a Confederate.
* courtesy of Amazon.com
I have studied the Civil War for decades and this book is an accurate portrayal of that time period. The author really brings to life the world of the 1860’s Missouri. The characters of Joe, Cyntha, Sara, Lucas and Dred, amongst others are very well crafted and quickly a reader finds himself caring for what will happen to each character. The story runs in relatively three distinct plot lines that are deeply interwoven. The author very accurately portrays not only that war is killing and death but he also amazingly brings to light the fog of war. I have rarely seen anything outside of unit battle diaries that offer such a succinct feel for that key aspect of war. I really enjoyed Joseph in the army and Sara and her family not to mention Cyntha and her protector Josiah.
It was not clear to me as a reader that this was part one of three until late in the book. Further, I was more than disrupted by the constant flash backs and flash forwards. It was extremely confusing at times to go from six months ahead to five months back to three days later to six months back, etc. Had this book been crafted in a smooth chronological order, it would have been 5 stars.
I personally found the portrayal of the river pirates and the Jayhawks to be too realistic and offensive. Fans of Games of Thrones/Walking Dead/Vikings will appreciate the lawlessness and disgusting behavior. I could do with much less of it. There is enough in the basis of the story with the war and all the turmoil and drama without the extra aspects.
A worthy read and now I must read part two to see what happens to Cynthia as she tries to find her brother.
– Review by N. N. Light on the POTL: All Things Books, Reading and Publishing blog
Here’s what some other reviewers are saying:
I read a lot of Civil War novels by best-selling authors and those new to the genre like Mr. Locklear. I’m happy to give Asunder five well-deserved stars. It’s easy for writers of first novels to lean on clichés and tired vignettes to tell their story. It’s easy to let the action carry the plot and forget to develop fully rounded characters. Not so with Asunder. The tale begins with a mostly unknown major battle in the often overlooked state of Missouri and dives immediately into the lives of several interesting people, civilian and military, women and men, slave and free. I recommend Asunder to any reader who wants a great story about likable characters cast into terrible situations. I’m ready for the second book of the trilogy.
– Amazon Reviewer Philip T McBride
I love historic fiction but have to be careful as when I find a good book I tend to stay up too late reading. This book did not disappoint so I have had some long days after nights where I can’t put it down. I am about 3/4’s of the way through and could not wait to write a terrific review. If you like reading about the Civil War you will enjoy this read leaning about battles, ship wrecks and seances.
– Amazon Reviewer Barbmom
Thanks for reading! Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!
Self Publishing Advisor