Pretend for a moment that it is not actually Saturday, that I didn’t cleverly forget what day of the week it was yesterday. Everyone loves a book review, right? You don’t mind.
I blame homeschooling.
Today, for my version #IndieFeatureFriday I give you The Fadian Experiment by W.A. Ford!
W.A. Ford can be found on Instagram @thefarbackroom. Following her has been a lesson in how to run a beautiful and effective IG feed as an author. Ford, like her main character in The Fadian Experiment, is a card reader. She does daily pulls, and using the cards for guidance, she explains what the day might have in store. It’s like a daily horoscope, but cooler. Card reading is a skill that has been passed down through the women in Ford’s family and you can tell she knows what she’s doing. I’m not really into astrology or horoscopes, but I swear, reading her posts is like having a mini-therapy session. Anyway, onto the review!
The Fadian Experiment Review
A couple of months ago I joined a wonderful author support group called The Kick-Ass Author’s Club. I mean, how can you not join a group with a name like that? Over the past few weeks it has been an invaluable support to me in terms of getting a handle on the “business end” of being an author.
One of the first things I did was to start reading the books of my other Kick-Ass Authors because I really wanted to see what the group was all about. I have been so blown away by the variety and depth of these storytellers! So I’ll be sharing my favourites with you on the blog every Friday (theoretically).
This book sucked me in from the first page. It starts out tough and gritty, you jump into some high-stakes action right off the bat and it really doesn’t let up the whole way through.
The main character, Kaleigha, is living a brutal life. After failing a childhood assessment that would have placed her in a job, she now wanders the streets looking for temp work or hustling as a fortune teller while dodging the unwanted advances and abuses of police and other citizens. As if that’s not bad enough, Kaleigha hears voices in her head. That’s why she failed her assessment, and it’s getting worse instead of better.
I loved the set up for this novel. The way Ford describes the world and city, I was reminded of N.K. Jemisin’s settings where the city is almost a character in its own right. There is nothing kind about this world, and Ford’s depictions of future class division are frighteningly realistic.
As we get deeper into the story, the plot spirals and everything we think we understand from the beginning of the book is turned upside down. The characters are intense, the pace is relentless, and the world is complex. You just have to keep reading to see what’s coming.
The Fadian Experiment blends science and magic, reality and fantasy, dreams and memory with so many twists and turns you never know what is going to happen next. At its core, though, this is the story about a poor young women who will do anything to help her city and improve the lives of her people.
Some scenes move a little too quickly. There were a few times I wanted to sit and stay a while in this fascinating world, but the plot forces us forward before we’ve gotten our bearings. It works with the dreamlike quality of Kaleigha’s experience, and I can understand why Ford chose to do it this way. The sense of dissociation as a reader is intense! But there are some places I would have liked to linger a bit longer. This book could easily have been 50% longer and I’d have still been happy.
This is a section I feel I have to add to Indie book reviews. Some people have some preconceptions about Indie authors that we need to address. I don’t want anyone avoiding this, or any of these books, for the fear that they are not getting a professional product.
Indie writers have to do it all themselves, or spend a lot of money paying someone to do it for them. Everything from cover design, interior formatting, developmental editing and copy editing. And it is tough. Even putting out a crappy book is difficult, and I hope if you know anyone who has written and published a book independently, that you give that person a slap on the back and buy them a hot drink, because they probably need it!
However, The Fadian Experiment is well-edited and formatted. I spotted a couple of minor issues that did not detract from my reading experience at all. I’ve read Big House published books with more typos (that is a rant for another time). I do not hesitate at all to recommend this book to you. W.A. Ford clearly takes herself and her writing seriously and The Fadian Experiment is a reflection of her professionalism.
My Rating: *****
I loved this book. I flew through it. And I cannot wait for book 2, coming out next year. As and Indie read, this is absolutely worth 5 Stars. Had it been a Big House publisher, I might have been a little harder on The Fadian Experiment and given 4 Stars simply because I really wanted a little more time in some scenes. But when your biggest complaint is that you loved it so much you wanted it to be longer, I think that tells you what you need to know!
If you love science fiction and want to give something totally new and original a try, I recommend giving this indie book a shot! However, if you like linear plot lines, with cut and dry scenes, you might feel out of your element here.
If you decide to pick up The Fadian Experiment be sure to stop by and let me know what you think! But before you do that, I want you to promise me that you will leave a review wherever you bought it so other like-minded readers can find it too.
Thanks for reading!
Do you have a recommendation for an Indie Sci-Fi read you’d like me to review? Perhaps you’ve written one yourself? Let me know in the comments! I’m happy to support other writers, but only the best books will make it onto the blog.
Note: I have read a lot of Indie books that just don’t cut it in the professionalism department and, you know what? I won’t review them here. I will privately let the author know what my expectations are and let them address it (or not) but I’m not going to add to the Indie struggle with a bad review.