Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: NO Paper: YES
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Monica Brinkman is an entertainer who has acted, done radio commercials, and even delivered singing telegrams. She currently lives in the Midwest. This is her first book, with a sequel, The Wheel’s Final Turn, in the works. For more, visit Brinkman’s website.
Strange things are happening to people who live in the small town of Raleigh and they find that what goes around, comes around.
If you’ve visited any of the internet forums where readers hang out you’ve probably seen one of the many discussions regarding the difference between traditionally published books and those that are Indie published (by a small press) or self-published. One of the arguments that invariably comes up goes something like this:
Indie Lover: “Indie books can break out of the formulas. Bend genres. Write a book a Big 6 publisher wouldn’t touch.”
Indie Hater: “Traditional publishers will take any book if they think it will sell. Most Indies are writing to the same formulas as everyone else and couldn’t get a publisher because they aren’t good enough. All Indie books suck.”
In my opinion, neither extreme has the whole story, but both are partially right. Some genres, romance for example, require writing within the constraints of the genre. A romance written by an Indie isn’t going to stray too far. However, a book that bends and mixes genres too much isn’t going to find a home at a traditional publisher because they wouldn’t know how to market it, which is another way of saying it won’t sell, because they don’t know how to sell it. If putting a book on any of the logical shelves in the bookstore is going to be a bad fit, it is a marketing problem.
This prelude is a long buildup to say that The Turn of the Karmic Wheel is one of those genre-bending stories people are thinking about in the conversation above. They are rarer than some want to think, but they do exist. The book has some mystery (what is happening and finding the underlying cause of it is the main story conflict for some of the characters). There is a supernatural, some might say mystical or spiritual, component to much of the story. Some of the scenes would fit in a horror novel.
The structure of the story, with multiple characters, each with their own story line which eventually joins with the others, is different, but well suited for where the story goes. My only complaint is that there are times when the reader needs to pay close attention to the chronology of the different story lines in relation to each other because changing story lines often involves a move back in time. However, the characters are well developed and easily distinguishable, so telling them apart and remembering what has happened with them isn’t a problem.
I’ve read thousands of books. The Turn of the Karmic Wheel is one that stands out for being different. If this is any indication, John Lennon was right, “Karma’s gonna get you.”
A small number of typos and proofreading issues.
Rating: **** Four stars