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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.
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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.
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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.
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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 […]
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The inner thoughts of a woman who is a suspect in a murder, homicide, and suicide. At first glance at the title, some would think this was going to be heavy since the plot involved a murder case, but you'd be surprised at how the novel would turn out. It had the element of a slightly gruesome scene and humor with a touch of romance.

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GOD’S FORSAKEN is a great opening to what may be a well-beloved fantasy series. With its believable characters and funny dialogue, fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean and Chronicles of Narnia will find the same action-packed adventure in between these pages.
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A slower book in some places, as so much history is revealed, and characters spend a lot of time talking and negotiating and plotting, but if you have enjoyed the rest of the series as much as me, you will find this interesting and vital to the plot of the book which leads to the final battle. A perfect tying up of loose ends revealed secrets and new alliances. I think I will continue to wonder, what happened next? I recommend this to readers who enjoy an epic saga, a vast but believable array of colourful characters, plus plenty of romance, danger, action and adventure. This series has it all.

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Remote Access is billed as an international political thriller, and it delivers on that promise. National politics shape the motives and actions of many key characters in both China and the United States. International politics also guide their decisions. Since the book centers on the U.S. president’s plans to impose tariffs on China, it has a ripped-from-the-headline feel. Know yourself and be forwarned. If a ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller is right up your alley this may be the book for you. If you’d rather turn the news off and take a break from politics then you may find this book a little too real to fully appreciate.
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Shadow Play was lucid and well-written, with an active dialogue that is smooth and crisp. It can get the reader entranced by the book's twists and turn of events throughout and leave them with an “Aha” moment with the final chapter.

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There's quite a bit of world-building here and the first few pages suffer under the weight of it. Interestingly enough, her conflicted emotional state when she first ran away to Elish might have been the harder part for me to unravel. I'm not sure if its a blessing or curse that we don't see the Xiinisi (world-builders) homeland and society for jumping into the ruins of her comforting sanctuary creation. The saving grace in these first 100 pages were the characters she populated the world with. I found her interactions with the mere mortals of her realm refreshing, realistic, and often amusing.

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