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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Origin by J A Konrath: Book Review

I bought this book out of curiosity - author, Joe Konrath is one of the rising stars in the independent eBook publishing game. For some time now the possibilities of self publishing to eBook have interested me and I felt that looking at Konrath's work may be worthwhile. He is a very visible author - his name keeps cropping up in articles, with much being made of the way he markets his books and his use of social networks to push his product.

However at the end of the day all that would fall flat if the end product wasn't up to standard.

The author's biography tells us that he collected nearly five hundred rejections, before being taken up by Hyperion Publishers for his twelfth book Whiskey Sour. These days though he is one of the top sellers in the Amazon Kindle store and an advocate of self promotion - he runs the popular blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing which is often filled with helpful advice as well as the author's own controversial opinions on ePublishing V traditional publishing.

Origin, which I purchased from the author's own website for my Sony eReader, is a damn fine book and easily matches  most of the other books I've read in the genre. It's billed as a technothriller, but to my mind sits firmly in the horror genre. It's very well written and the pacing is absolutely spot on - it really does grab the reader and drag them from page to page. The fact that Konrath couldn't sell this to a publishing house and decided to self publish the work speaks volumes about the failings of traditional publishing. There are many horror novels that have been traditionally published and hyped, that can't hold a candle to this work of terror. It does what it says on the tin - delivers a no nonsense read with compelling characters and some genuine chills. True, it does seem to get cluttered in both mythology and theology from time to time, and I found the first half of the story much more interesting than the denouncement, and Bub, the demon is an excellent creation. There were one or two shifts in point of view which I found confusing and had to reread some sections not to lose the thread, but I've certainly read worse horror novels than this.

At such a  low price the book offers superb value for money and displays why Konrath is one of the bigger names in eBook publishing. It also proves that just because a book is self published it doesn't mean it's inferior to a product from a named publisher.

I, for one, will certainly be checking out more of Konrath's work.

1 comment:

Davieboy said...

I've read a fair bit of his work which I warmly recommend. His "Jack Daniels" novels are particularly excellent; exciting, witty and chock-full of memorable characters. Start with "Whiskey Sour" - I guarantee you'll want more....