Hello and thank you for stopping by! My name is Chris Fried and I’ve been a book reviewer since May 29, 2013. It’s now April 17, 2019, so I’ve been doing this consistently for almost six years now. In that time, I’ve read and reviewed over 391 stories to date with many more to come. That’s including a wide variety of short stories, novellas, anthologies, and full-length novels.
I wrote my first book review back in June 2008 for Peter David’s “Tigerheart”. I had gone to New York Comic-Con in April 2008 and stood on a long line to meet Peter, as he was signing advance copies of the novel his publisher was giving out. After reading the book, I remembered how much I had enjoyed it and wanted to tell others about it. So, I wrote a book review and submitted it to Amazon the day the book went on sale.
I hadn’t been moved to write a book review for a long time after that. But in May 2012, I was reading an article in Entertainment Weekly magazine where they mentioned how Ridley Scott had bought the movie rights to an independently published novel called “Wool” by Hugh Howey. It was gaining a lot of attention and Hugh’s star was hitting the stratosphere. The post-apocalyptic setting of the novel had intrigued me so that summer, I sat down and read the entire Wool Omnibus pretty quickly. I was pretty amazed at the story and when I finished it, I was hoping Hugh would write more stories in the Wool universe.
A year later, Hugh published a prequel series called “Shift” and I devoured that book too. By then, I had heard that some authors published fan-fiction set in the Wool universe and I hungrily turned my gaze onto those stories. I soon found Jason Gurley’s “Greatfall” and WJ Davies’ “Silo Submerged” series, which began with “The Runner”. Eventually, I had published reviews for those stories as well.
I kept finding more independently published stories out there in the book world and had enjoyed those as well. This led to me discovering many books out there written and self-published by indie authors that I wasn’t even initially aware of. As a voracious reader, I became hooked on the quality of the stories I kept finding. At that point, I just kept on writing reviews for each indie published story I had read, wanting to share my enjoyment of these stories with others. It just kept getting bigger from there.
In January 2016, I was kindly invited by Preston Leigh to write book reviews for “The Leighgendarium”, a popular blog with author interviews and podcasts. When it shut down a couple of years later in March 2018, my reviews no longer had an online home to call their own. Preston has since reinvented himself and became a BookTuber. I wholeheartedly recommend you check out his Facebook page here and his YouTube page here.
Since then, I have been thinking off and on about creating a blog of my own. Now, that blog has finally come to fruition. Welcome to The Indie Athenaeum!
You might be wondering whether I’ll put up a book review in my first blog post. Well, for nostalgia’s sake, here are two reviews: the first book review I ever wrote, for Peter David’s “Tigerheart”, was published on June 17, 2008, which you can find here. And the first INDIE book review I’ve ever written, for Jason Gurley’s “Greatfall: A Silo Story (Part 1)”, was published on May 29, 2013. You can find that review here.
Tomorrow: What’s in a name? The secret origin of The Indie Athenaeum.