Title: Welcome Descent
Author: Cam Wolfe
Page Count: 430
Ah, it’s nice to get back to reading indie, it’s been a while. I technically read this as part of Todd and Dane’s Indie Readalong, a sort of now-defunct mini-series in which myself and Todd the Librarian on YouTube go out of our way to read and review indie books.
This one is by an Australian BookTuber and AuthorTuber (Cam Wolfe of Page Nomad), who I’ve been watching and following for a while now. He’s one of the authors that I have my eye on and I enjoyed his piece in the Local Haunts anthology, so I’d been looking forward to getting to this one.
First impressions are good, and you can tell that Wolfe has put his heart and soul into this one. It looks fantastic, both on the cover and with the interior layout, and it’s easily in the top 10% best produced indie books that I come across. The writing itself was probably in the top 20%, which is still a decent result, and I’m pleased to say that I didn’t spot any errors. Cam’s Australian English wasn’t jarring either, and so it was easier to read than half of the American books that I read.
As for the plot, we have plenty of twists and turns as our asshole protagonist starts to learn a few lessons about karma. A storm is approaching, and it brings strange things with it. Knowing that Cam is a Joe Hill fan, I feel like some of that might have been inspired by Strange Weather, but it also has elements of Groundhog Day and the same cloying, insular tower block feel that I liked about J. G. Ballard’s High Rise.
It’s not a perfect novel, but it is a pretty promising start to Wolfe’s publishing career and it definitely left me keen to see what he’s got up his sleeve for his next book. I think that you can tell when you’re reading this that it’s an indie novel, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You can also tell that it’s been edited, which is an unfortunate rarity in the indie publishing scene.
Overall, it’s a decent little read if you’re into that sort of thing, but it’s probably not going to trouble my top books of the quarter. That’s not saying too much though, because there are plenty of books from big name authors that don’t manage that, and Cam’s working without big budgets. I enjoyed it for what it was.