If you’re like us, you have a to-read list that’s so long you know you’ll never read them all, and despite your burning passion for independent literature, you find it hard to figure out which books should float to the top of the list. When you visit sites like Underground Book Reviews, you don’t know where to begin. So as our final parting gift, we’re here to tell you which books have left us with a lasting impression over the last seven years. From fantasy to historic fiction, there’s a little something here for everyone.
As submissions editor, dozens of books from just about every genre would pour into my inbox every week. My job was to initially screen them for basic quality before our reviewers got a look at them. If you submitted your book to us, then I read your pitch, sample, and sometimes I even glanced at your cover. If you’re book really caught my attention, I’d review it myself. In that time learned some amazing lessons.
Dan Sofer’s AN UNEXPECTED AFTERLIFE is one of those unique indie novels that has what I call the “Triple Crown” of literary shelf-appeal. The cover gives the novel a polished, professionally produced image. The tightly-written back-cover pitch grabbed me instantly with an intriguing premise. Finally, the opening set a hook that kept the pages turning. As I delved deeper, I discovered a well-written and engaging novel with excellent character development, fantastic dialogue and an original, well-paced plot. This is Underground Book Review’s final week. We now close our doors and thank all our readers, authors, and supporters. Katie and Kimberly, that means you, too. I appreciate Dan Sofer’s patience, as we have been delaying this review for several months. I am so glad I had the opportunity to finish this journey with such a high quality novel. Maybe in a few years Underground Book Reviews will come back from the dead, too. One can only hope.
If you like the sound of Sherlock Holmes fan fiction with a dose of religious sex scandals from the 1500’s, this is the book for you. Not for the faint of heart, The Vatican Cameos is a new take on an old trope. One part historic fiction, two parts mystery, pack this book for your trip to Italy, or perhaps for a lazy weekend at the beach.