The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!
Tennal is a neuromodified ‘reader’ who can read emotions and minds. He’s also a spoiled, rich playboy who’s now been conscripted into the military, forced to sync with neuromodified architect Surit who can control others. But when Surit finds out that Tennal is not there of his own free will, he refuses to execute the illegal sync, and the two determine to fake it until Tennal can manage an escape. Through action-packed missions involving possible traitors, political intrigue, and family secrets uncovered by them both, Tennal and Surit forge a bond that brings them closer to each other than either has been to anyone else — but can it transcend Surit’s principles and Tennal’s desire for freedom? I loved watching both Tennal and Surit’s character growth within Maxwell’s wonderful world building, and the slow burn romance was amazing.
Ocean’s Echo by Everina Maxwell (List Price: $27.99, Tor Books, 9781250758866, November 2022)
Reviewed by Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina
“Thank you for your patience. We are all in this together.” Becky Chambers’ The Galaxy, and the Ground Within is a delightful ending to her Wayfarer’s series. In it five characters find themselves stuck together at the Five-Hop-One-Stop (a cross between a truck stop and a Bed and Breakfast) when the planet’s satellite system comes crashing down. As they get to know one another the characters must contend with issues of identity, the legacy of colonialism, sexuality, and family, with a few deadly crises along the way. After a year in various levels of lockdown, this book at times felt far too familiar, but with the lightness and comfort only a Becky Chambers novel can bring. I’m sad to see this series end, but it’s nice to be reminded that bureaucracy will lean on unwanted camaraderie no matter where one finds oneself.
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers (List Price: $16.99, Harper Voyager, 9780062936042, 4/20/2021)
Reviewed by Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina
512 heart-pounding pages of action will keep you on the edge of your seat in Persephone Station. Angel, an exiled combat veteran turned small-scale criminal, must gather a rag-tag army together to protect sentient indigenous life-forms from corporate-level encroachment. This book is busy in the best of ways and is easily one of the best space operas of 2021. I cannot recommend it enough.
Persephone Station by Stina Leicht (List Price: $27, Gallery/Saga Press, 9781534414587, 1/5/2021)
Reviewed by Lizy Coale, Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida