The Book Robin Hoods: More Reviews in the Bag!

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I’m starting to see results from all those copies of What We Need to Survive I’ve been sending out to reviewers through TBRH. Yeah, okay, one of them was just a two-star, but that’s going to happen–not everyone is going to like my work, and that’s okay!

But I got a pretty glowing one just this past weekend that I wanted to share. This is the sort of quality reviewer you can find through TBRH, which is such a great resource for indie authors!

The world got infected with a mysterious disease, which killed off most of the population in a short period of time. Everything’s changed: there’s no electricity, no working factories, no way to connect with other people other than in person. Those who survived either prefer to stay in one place or to walk from town to town, trying to find food and supplies they need to stay alive. Paul belongs to the second group and he’s used to traveling alone, but one day he meets a group of strangers and decides to join them. As they walk through deserted areas together, Paul starts to notice the advantages of not being alone anymore. He’s especially interested in quiet and introverted Nina, whom he can’t quite figure out. Will traveling together bring them closer? And what are the odds to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, where every person you meet might be your enemy?

‘What We Need to Survive’ is the first book in the What We Need trilogy, written by the American author Elena Johansen. I’m glad there are two more books to read, because I’m definitely not ready to part with Paul and Nina yet!

From a post-apocalyptic story you’d probably expect a lot of action, battles, zombies or governmental conspiracies – that’s what other PA books and movies are usually about. I’m not into those things, so I’m glad this book is nothing like that. It focuses on everyday life of those who survived the plague and try to stay alive in this new reality. It’s about human relations, learning to trust and help each other, about friendship and love, which make it easier to live day by day, when the future is so uncertain.

The author created a group of well-constructed, three-dimensional characters with great dynamics between them. My favourites are definitely Paul and Nina. Paul is a strong, tough man with a tender, caring heart, always ready to help the others. He’s also musically talented and I have to admit I have a weak spot for fictional guys who can sing and play instruments. Nina is more withdrawn, she doesn’t let her emotions show and it’s not easy to earn her trust, but she cares deeply about her little group.

The romance between Paul and Nina is one of the main threads of the book, but thankfully it’s free from clichés like insta-love or ‘we survived so let’s live like there’s no tomorrow’. It’s a delicious, slow-burn romance – there’s no rushing into things, just because they both survived the plague. They’re slowly getting to know each other, gaining mutual trust, and one of them needs to work hard to let their guards down and open up for the possibility of falling in love and building a relationship.

‘What We Need to Survive’ is a very well-written, captivating novel you won’t be able to put down. It conveys a message that there’s always hope, and love and friendship can grow even on the ashes of the world as we know it.

★★★★✩

The Book Robin Hoods: And So It Begins!

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I introduced you to The Book Robin Hoods last month, and since then, I’ve sent out over a dozen review copies of What We Need to Survive to interested bloggers. Some contacted me, some I asked! (Note to self: get back to that. Writer, promote thyself! I could be sending out more books…)

I’m excited to say that my first BRH review is in!

Wow, just wow! So when I stumbled across this book it sounded very intriguing and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed by its content. What I probably liked the most was that the characters are in the focus. Sure, as a reader I want to know why the world is in its current state and there are still some unanswered questions left of which I hope will be answered in the sequels. Yet I loved to see how the characters, especially Paul and Nina, grow, mature and deal with this inconvenient and scary situation. How they build relationships and friendships even though the next day might be their last one. You never know as everything is uncertain and blurry. This book jumbles with the importance of values and materialism. What DO you need to survive after the epidemic plague wipes out 95% of the American population? What is important, what loses value? I loved how this story really got me thinking about such questions however, I was glad to return to our own rather safe and not plague polluted world. After all, we don’t know what the future holds and imagining such a world as in “What We Need To Survive” is scary, thought-provoking yet somehow important and essential in my opinion. I can definitely recommend this wonderful story with a very satisfying ending at least I thought so. Personally, I cannot wait to dive into the sequel “What We Need To Decide”!

Since they were so excited, and willing to keep reviewing, I sent What We Need to Decide along as well–I need reviews for books two and three even more than book one, but since you have to read them in order…

[I don’t regret writing a series romance at all, but it does make it more difficult to market the later books. Definitely considering a looser structure and/or stand-alones in the future.]

So, writer friends, this is a great resource. Getting book reviews without paying an arm and a leg can be tough, and here we have a growing community of passionate readers who are excited about supporting independent authors. We need to be utilizing it!

If you haven’t checked it out, go and become a member, apply to have your profile added. Or just research the reviewers on offer and contact them directly about your work! Everyone I’ve corresponded with has been lovely, so there’s really no risk, even if they turn you down.

The Book Robin Hoods

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“Welcome to The Book Robin Hoods, where authors are matched with readers with the goal to promote writers and help book bloggers find awesome new reads to review.”

I’ve joined a new community of readers and writers, created and hosted by M.C. Frank, which has the goal of making it easier for independent authors to find reviewers for their works, and giving readers access to authors they might never have found otherwise.

As of last week, I’m now a featured author, and I’ve already gotten a few requests for What We Need to Survive!

I encourage everyone to check out the site. I’ve already gotten a few direct requests for review copies, and pretty soon I’ll be making requests of my own, to see if any of the featured book bloggers are interested in my works!