Indie book a month - Things We Didn't See Coming

23 January 2013 / 2 comments
Things we didn't see coming Steven Amsterdam book review

Steven Amsterdam's Things We Didn't See Coming was published by Sleepers Publishing in Melbourne in 2009. Shortly afterwards, it was added to the VCE English reading list for senior high school students, securing a captive audience, and hopefully opening the eyes of a number of students who otherwise may never have read a book like this.

Steven's road to publication is every wannabe author's dream. He had two short stories published in The Sleepers Almanac and the publisher actually asked him if he had anything else. Well, it turned out that he did, a collection of short stories, weaved together in a post-Y2K dystopia.

The book starts on Millennium Eve, when the unnamed main character is just a teenager. Each chapter jumps a number of years, allowing the novel to span decades in this boy's life. In the beginning, he is an innocent adolescent in the loving care of his parents and grandparents, but we watch as his world is turned upside down and he has to scavenge and outsmart others to survive.

It is a confident first novel, the character's voice is raw and engaging and his journey is gripping. Steven maintains the suspense throughout, and the main character continually finds himself in sticky situations where his morals are challenged. There are some scenes that would have some parents crying out to the purveyors of decency and good taste, but it is also rich with important issues surrounding the environment and health and the use of pharmaceutical drugs.

Four-starred on my latest social media fixation Goodreads, almost a five!

View Things We Didn't See Coming on Amazon

And I'm excited to have just started my February indie book a month - N A Randall's A Quiet Place to Die. Featured last year in my approaches to writing series by other unpublished writers, the good news is Neil's debut novella has just been published and he has another book coming out later this year. After trudging through the mud of rejection for the past few years, he received two publishing contracts within 11 days of each other. Now that's some golden inspiration for all of us ...

Follow his news at


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