Book Review: “Backlash” by S. A. Hoag

S. A. Hoag’s Backlash is my eighth read of the year.

I wanted to review the works of other indie authors, and Hoag is the first. Backlash follows three characters after a great war has devastated the land. They volunteer to protect the last vestiges of humanity from the new world’s dangers. These three share eerie psychic abilities because they are genetically enhanced.

The setting is fascinating. As a horror and sci-fi nerd, apocalyptic tales always pique my interest. (After all, Fallout is one of my favourite video games.) Yet, Hoag wastes no time or energy on long-winded expositions and infodumps. Instead, she places the reader in the middle of the characters and trusts you are smart enough to figure it out.

The story moves at a breakneck pace, and Hoag keeps descriptions bare bones. This approach lets the story race past, uncluttered and streamlined. I’ve read short stories a tenth of Backlash‘s length that took me longer—I devoured it in two days.

Give Hoag’s work a shot; it won’t disappoint.

Book Review: “All Systems Red” by Martha Wells

Martha Wells’s All Systems Red—gifted to me by my good friend, Leander, for Christmas—is my third read of the year.

At 150 pages long, All Systems Red (Murderbot Diaries #1) is a lean book. And boy, Wells makes use of those pages.

The series’ titular Murderbot is hilarious, enigmatic, and loveable. We learn on page one that this bot has hacked its governor module, gone rogue, and dubbed itself Murderbot. Yet, Murderbot is trying to pass under the radar, so it continues working for its assigned humans. But, of course, that’s only the setup.

Wells crams so much world-building and character development in this little book. She does more than some authors achieve in three times as many pages. Thus, I can give it an emphatic recommendation.

I will check out the next instalments of the Murderbot Diaries soon.