Indie Titles Worth Checking Out

I put out a call for the best indie book of the year so far and here are some answers I got. Feel free to share your own in the comments below!

saga Saga of Menyoral: Hard Luck Dingus Xavier has the worst luck ever. As if just being named “Dingus” weren’t enough, he’s the red-headed son of an elven mother and a human father.
He might also be a berserker — and those are just the things he knows about.
Sir Vandis Vail has always been too busy serving his goddess to consider training a Squire, but when he comes across a lynch mob attacking a young man, he can’t let it stand. In obedience to his divine Lady, he takes the boy into the Order of the Knights of the Air as a Squire. Dingus Xavier, though, is far more than he bargained for: a gifted ranger, but deeply damaged by a life of abuse. Vandis doesn’t know how to begin to help Dingus face his pain, and he can’t handle his own paternal instincts, either. When a rival religious order targets the Knights for extinction, it could be the straw that breaks Vandis’s back.

Tim Callahan said, “She creates an interesting set of characters, especially the main character Dingus. It’s a pretty typical coming of age in a land of magic kind of story, but it was told very well and I found myself thinking about the characters long after I finished reading it. I got the second book the next week and I’m looking forward to reading it to see where the story goes.”

broken_magic_frontBroken MagicIt’s senior year of high school, and everyone but Neil seems to know what’s next. All Neil wants is to be free: to survive his last year, and keep hoping something better is waiting for him in college. Then a musician named Celeste comes into his life.
Celeste doesn’t fit into Neil’s reality. She’s a runaway, chasing an impossible world. She can’t be like everyone else – and when he’s around her, Neil’s not himself, either.
Helping Celeste in her quest for magic – and the father who abandoned her to search for it – might cost Neil everything.
But when you don’t know your place in this world, and someone offers you another…is everything too high a price to pay?

@jphilogden said “Broken Magic captured a similar HS senior experience for me, then used a concept of magic to discuss identity.”

tanglewood TanglewoodAfter a mysterious meteorological event, a group of strangers calling themselves Castaways settled on the wrong side of the tracks in the sleepy beach town of Tanglewood. Afraid and suspicious of anything that crossed the sky, they kept to themselves. But since their arrival thirty years ago, they’ve gradually integrated into society. They own businesses. Sit on the city council. Their children go to the local schools. They’ve been accepted, although not entirely embraced.
And they’ve always kept their secrets.
When sixteen-year-old Hayley is uprooted from her comfortable life and sent to Tanglewood to live with the father she barely remembers, she learns she’s anything but the normal teenager she thought herself to be. Her father is the leader of the Castaways, and he’s brought Hayley here for a reason he refuses to share.
Struggling to fit in, Hayley finds herself being judged for a background she didn’t even know about until coming to Tanglewood. Why is the quirky Castaway girl so hostile towards her? What’s with the darkness surrounding one of the popular boys? Why does the alien world Hayley keeps seeing in her dreams feel so familiar?
When a frightening threat arrives in town, Hayley discovers that her place in Castaway society has been preordained. But destiny in Castaway society is governed by math and science. Can one sixteen-year-old girl who’s failing physics manipulate a mathematical history that has remained unchanged for thousands of years?

@philogden said “Tanglewood also captured a HS experience for me, focusing on identity. The prose was such a draw, made me feel the town.”

angel Evolution: AngelCandace Bristol has always been obsessed with comic books, but in a world where the nightly news often mirrors these inked stories, her dreams of becoming a real superhero could actually come true. After being rescued by members of the government’s AdvaNced Genetic EvoLution (ANGEL) Project four years ago, getting recruited for this elite team is all she’s wanted.
Now 18, she’s finally reached her goal after years of study and physical training, but little could have prepared her for life as a genetic experiment. As though coming to terms with her new ability to manipulate water isn’t tough enough, she never expected to be swept off her feet by one of her fellow recruits.
With genetic alteration, the threat of physical and mental instability hangs over every superhero like a shadow. When one of their own tumbles over the edge of madness, Candace will have to choose between protecting the world, and saving the one who holds her heart.

Chris Morse said “Fun concept? Solid storytelling? Great world-building? Steamy sexy-time scenes? Take your pick. :)”

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