To coincide with the publication of my 100th review on amazon, The Max Power Book Awards were created to celebrate great Indie authors and to highlight the depth and quality of talented available through the world of Indie publishing.
In addition to the overall winner of the Book of the year award, the Indie Author Story-teller Award and the Max Power Choice award, ten special Authors have been awarded the Max Power Recommended Read Award for 2015.
These are books of quality that inspired me to pick them out from the 100 reviews and highlight them for a little special attention. Spread across genre, the selection criteria was strict. Importantly the selection process was not inter-genre with each competing on its own merit across all genres. This was perhaps the most difficult challenge in terms of selection for there were so many books I have loved that choosing ten was tough. That being said you can be assured that the Max Power Recommended Read Award is not lightly given, so pick one of these wonderful books up and you will be sure of a quality, enjoyable read. Many of these authors have extensive catalogues, so this short list is your perfect reference point to add to your personal library or indeed, the perfect gift for someone you know who loves reading.
The recipients of the Max Power Recommended Read Awards 2015 are to be congratulated and they are in alphabetical order;
In a Taste of Honey, Tom Benson embodies everything that is good about this genre. Right from the opening paragraph I was gripped when Kimberly receives a terrifying telephone call from her sister’s phone. What follows is a tale of revenge with no holds barred and a heroine who will stop at nothing to achieve it.
This book embodies everything that is good about the genre, action-packed, smart and with an attention to detail that leaves others in the shade. This is a book where everything has been cleverly thought out and researched, that kept me just wanting to get back to the next chapter over and over again. There is no letting up, yet the clever thing about this book is the balance in its pace. In order to get to where it is going, the reader is not short-changed in the detail and Tom leaves no lose ends.
Where other stories can get bogged down in the finer detail and lose you, A Taste of Honey keeps that balance just right and I couldn’t help but find myself equally absorbed by the story, whether our heroine was getting her hair cut or exacting painful revenge on one of her targets.
Intriguing, exciting and eloquent, this is a thumbs up from me. I have read two Tom Benson books that led me to this one and all I can say is he just keeps getting better.
FIND A TASTE OF HONEY HERE;http://www.amazon.com/Taste-Honey-Tom-Benson-ebook/dp/B00QPSAU9C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1447431835&sr=1-1&keywords=A+TASTE+OF+HONEY+TOM+BENSON
Other books by Tom Benson;
My kind of book. I completely loved it. Dark and compelling. This has what I want in a book, great characterisation, believable dialogue and a super narrative. I love character driven books and I simply adore an anti-hero. Helen the central character in this story is so very flawed and the way Sharon Brownlie gradually brings her to salvation (in my eyes anyway) is brilliant. It starts with a violent scene but the book never crosses into gratuitous violence for me and I like that. It does contain other violent scenes as it is the story of a damaged woman addicted to drugs and who is dealing with the emotional and physical scars that result from the abuse she suffered as a child. It is often a tough read but all the better for it. I couldn’t put this book down. No plot spoilers but get this book. It is original, superbly paced and I want more.
FIND BETRAYAL HERE ;
Other Books by Sharon Brownlie
Lucinda E. Clarke
A great read,
Very much away from the normal type of book I would read, I found myself immersed into this autobiographical tale from the opening. I can’t imagine writing a book like this. It reads like a fictional tale at times, that is to say I have often found autobiographical work to be more stilted which is not at all the case in this book. The sense of time and place is beautifully captured, as is the appreciation of what it would have been like for a woman working in a male dominated career in Africa. I enjoyed her reference to working on the stage in the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin as a child, a classic overstatement to secure success at an audition. Truly this is one of the more enjoyable books I have read this year. Do yourself a favour and pick up this lovely book.
FIND TRUTH LIES AND PROPAGANDA HERE;
Other books by Lucinda E. Clarke;
Diana J. Febry
Entertaining and engaging,
I’m turning into a Diana J Febry fan. This is the second book I have read from her in the last month and I have to be honest – that’s a rarity for me. I like to add variety to my reading schedule but in this case I had picked up both books for my Kindle and having read and enjoyed the first, I decided to read the second and I am glad I did. I had forgotten all about good old fashioned murder mystery tales of late as I have veered away from them in recent years. They can be tedious and predictable but not so with this book. While both Bells on her toes and this follow on book Point of no return, retain the same two detective leads, they stand alone and there is no need to read the first before the second although for character development I would say it is best. This book is an example of a writer getting better with experience and also a good demonstration of how to develop characters in follow on books. Very much in the vein of solid thought provoking, keep you guessing, old fashioned, dare I say English (as a compliment) murder mystery stories, this is a quality piece of work. The great thing I think is the pace of the story, it engaged me from start to finish and the thing I had forgotten that I mentioned earlier was the fun I had as I began to try and guess the ending. Believable dialogue, a strong narrative and very much a character driven book, Diana J. Febry hit all my key markers for a good read here. Most importantly, I enjoyed the story. She sets the scene right from the start and allows it to develop in a way that is natural, entertaining and engaging. I can forgive most things if a story is good, here I had nothing to forgive. Really worth adding to your library. Pick it up you wont be disappointed.
FIND POINT OF NO RETURN HERE ;
Other books by Diana J. Febry
Anne Scott Francis
A clever tale,
There’s nothing like a good story well told. That’s what you get with this perfectly paced well balanced tale from a writer I know I will be going back to. I like a bit of creepy, especially when it is well done. The trick is to keep the momentum up and where so many others have tried and failed Lost Girl gets the balance just right. I never spoil a plot so I wont change that today. I will say that while I am only familiar with the setting for the book from films or TV, I found myself reading with a Tennessee accent after a few pages and that for me means I am right in the story. Great descriptive writing, smart dialogue with an intriguing narrative. I know this is part of a trilogy so I can tell you for sure I am going to be reading more from this spook spinner. Pick it up and enjoy.
FIND LOST GIRL HERE ;
What the…? This is a seriously entertaining if not somewhat hard to classify book. That’s a good thing for me. Henchmen gets straight into the action and it never lets up. This tale of villains that you really have to love rather than hate is told from the point of view of the writer’s chief protagonist and Henchman, Stephen. Eric Lahti has played around with genre here, which can be dangerous but works very well indeed in this case.
Key to the success of his style is his use of humour and a superb ability to create likeable characters who while you sometimes need to suspend belief to accept, are in fact characters that the reader quickly attaches to and this for me made the story work. Quite gruesome at times, it is a dark, funny tale that for me has more than one eye on a future cinematic ambition. There is nothing wrong with that. Perhaps I got a sense of comic book or graphic novel about Henchmen as it has a very visual impact on the reader. I could imagine each and every scene as I read the book, a credit to the author who’s attention to detail is a big part of the enjoyment. My only criticism is that the blurb for Henchmen might put some people off reading the book as it lists the varying parts of the book that on the face of it may not appeal to everyone, but this book is more than the sum of its parts, so I for one am glad I picked it up. I want more from Eric Lahti, a new departure in reading for me and one to watch for the future.
FIND HENCHMEN HERE;
Other books by Eric Lahti
Ian D. Moore
I have to confess that this is the first Zombie book I have read. I am a fan of some of the classic zombie movies and I do like The Walking Dead, so there are my zombie credentials up front. What did I think of Salby Damned? Loved it. What are the key ingredients of a good zombie fest? Well first you need a good source story. How do they come about? In Salby damned Ian D Moore handles this perfectly but no plot spoilers. How do you kill them? What happens when you do? Again these details are handled well and as original as you can be, within the limitation of the premise that zombies have to actually meet the general undead criteria of zombies in the first place. The level of peril that the main characters are put in must be high and the hero must have the right strengths and qualities to persevere. In each case Salby Damned succeeds in ticking all the right boxes. More than that, I would think it difficult to be original in a genre that has been done to death (excuse the pun), but this book manages to feel fresh and entertaining, including enough twists along the way to make it a very enjoyable read indeed. I liked the pace, great opening, no hanging around and nicely finished off which is always important. Great read for me, I enjoyed it from start to finish. Look forward to the planned sequel.
FIND SALBY DAMNED HERE;
OTHER BOOKS BY IAN D. MOORE
Katerina Sestakova Novotna
Enjoyable and original,
Refreshingly, here is an author comfortable with dialogue and narrative in equal measure, unafraid to have a unique voice and in the process Katerina Sestakova Novotna has written a creative and original collection of short stories. I say short, some are longer than I would traditionally expect from short stories but if anything their detail only enhances the reading experience.
With what is clearly a strong understanding and relationship with Hawaiian traditions, culture and spirituality, I found myself intrigued by tales of a place and culture unfamiliar to me and while I found common themes recurring throughout this collection, every story has its own particular quality. Themes of love, passion, sexual awareness, spiritualism and sometimes a disassociation with reality give weight to what is a clever, well written book. Katerina managed to keep me intrigued throughout, never quite sure where the stories were heading but always finding a satisfactory destination. Definitely a writer I will seek out again, pick this one up and enjoy.
FIND HAWAIIAN LEI OF SHRUNKEN HEADS HERE;
Senan Gil Senan
The Fifth Seed is the second book of the Beyond the Pale series that I have read by Senan Gil Senan. The first book was so entertaining; I had no hesitation in going back for a second bite as it were. Set in a wonderfully contrived future, the author has demonstrated yet again his ability to conjure up incredibly imaginative and original concepts and ideas and I was gripped from start to finish. It is difficult to write a review on this story without spoiling the plot but I will do my best. Set in the future, using originality and a complex but easy to follow plot, he ties together, different worlds through characters familiar to me from the first book. There are many themes here relating to religion, spirituality, philosophy and science, but for me the book works by the simple fact that the author ultimately deals with the fundamental elements of human nature, love, greed, bravery, loyalty and family for example. There are some clever well thought out narratives and even some biblical analogies, plenty to get your teeth into alongside an exciting story line. He examines questions of consciousness and God on a variety of levels and looks at the influence of technology and imagines a vast array of wonderfully original future technologies. While many writers fall down trying to invent or imagine futuristic worlds, here the imagery is so clear and well thought out that you can’t help but see exactly what he is trying to evoke. Don’t just pick this book up, go find Beyond the Pale and read that first. While both books should stand alone as separate reads, why not read them in the right order. Great read for me, excellent stuff and I can’t wait for more.
FIND THE FIFTH SEED HERE ;
Other books by Senan Gil Senan
Clever, gripping entertaining,
For me this is a very classy thriller. Superb opening to the story and what follows is an intriguing story of espionage with the cyber security expert Frank at the centre of the story. But it is much more than that. I loved Frank, a wonderfully flawed genius who I warmed to immediately. The author is skilled when it comes to characterisation across the board but Frank is the perfect example of how a writer needs to give depth to their creations. The narrative is strong and consistent and the writer shows off his technical knowledge without detracting from the story or losing the reader. He clearly is more familiar with the world of computers than I am and it is a complex book in terms of plot strands and the actual technical background information. However Andrew Updegrove brought me along with him every step of the way. I never for one second felt overwhelmed by this side of the book, a tribute to his knowledge of the subject matter behind the storyline and his great story telling ability. I am not generally a fan of books about espionage, cyber terrorism or conspiracies for that matter, but I was completely engrossed in this book from start to finish. There is a great sense of style here. I believe that having read this book that I know exactly what to expect from his next one. Thriller writers often revert to cliché and can be lazy in terms of recycling the ideas of others. Not so in this case. I found The Alexandria Project to be original and it carried a strength of voice that appealed to me greatly. This is a gripping, funny, clever and above all entertaining read. I am officially an Andrew Updegrove fan and cannot wait to read his next one.
FIND THE ALEXANDRIA PROJECT HERE :
Other books by Andy Updegrove;
REMEMBER TO EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MAX POWER ALL AVAILABLE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Larry Flynn Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –