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Wednesday Book Review: Environmentally Friendly + The Praying Nun

I’ll be reviewing two short books for today. Support indie authors!


Title: Environmentally Friendly

Author: Elias Zanbaka

Genre: Thriller

Book procurement: Author contacted me for an honest review.


Out of seven billion people, one man has declared war on Mother Nature and plans to bring it to its knees.

Out of all the criminals in Los Angeles, he’s the number one target being hunted by the LAPD tonight.

And out of the entire LAPD, one officer is hell-bent on helping him complete his mission.



Schaefer is an officer with intention. While a mad man wreaks havoc upon mother nature, Schaefer hopes to control the chaotic situation regardless of the hazard it is to himself. While the flamethrower-handling, chainsaw doting maniac rages against the world, Schaefer puts in motion an act of redemption.


A really short but brilliantly written piece. You really get a sense of the mood and setting, slowly unraveled to reveal a rather clever ploy in the end. The characters are realistic and believable, while the action keeps the story moving forward swiftly. Albeit short, Elias Zanbaka does a brilliant job nonetheless and I can only hope for more from this self-published author.

Rating: A decent 4 out of 5



Title: The Praying Nuns

Author: Michael Smorenburg

Genre: Thriller

Book procurement: Author contacted me for an honest review.


Based on Facts – “The Praying Nun” is a 2-part novella that details the first attempts to identify an unidentified shipwreck from cannonball, cannons & artifacts found just behind the waves of one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

In 2015 the Smithsonian institute identified that wreck as the only slave shipwreck ever found. She went down in 1794 – half of the 400 slaves chained in her holds were drowned – and the other half who were ‘saved’ were sold 2 days later on the block.



The novella is broken into two sections. The first is a memoir of sorts where Michael and Jacques (not his real name) dive along the coasts of Cape Town, South Africa, specifically at Camps Bay and the surrounding beaches. They find a wreckage that may have been carrying bullion, a possible sunken ship carrying treasure that has been dismissed as a coal barge. However Michael has his own little treasure he hopes to uncover, buried deep in the reef.

The second part of the novella is a fictionalized telling of the floundering of the São José de Afrika on the reef of 2nd Beach in Clifton. It follows the slave Chikunda and his wife. They are newly wed, and experience the harsh life of being slaves on the ship. As a wedding gift, Chikunda had whittled ivory into the shape of his wife as a Nun, a praying nun. When the ship crashes, they hope to escape from their owners and Chikunda’s wife hopes to salvage her ivory gift but knows she cannot and drop it into the waters.


This is one of my favourite works by Michael. The first part anyway. It’s written with in-depth details that speak of a true first-hand experience. His account as the second person to ever dive the São José, is a rich comprehensive unfolding of his real life discovery of a Praying Nun statuette. A similar one to the rock feature located on the beach of Maidens Cove. The description put me right there in the water with Mike and Jacques, allowing me to experience the frustrations of the changing tides, and to feel the apprehension of making a major discovery. Really fantastic writing.

A riveting read I swept through in one sitting.

Rating: A compelling 4 out of 5

Have you read an indie authors lately?


About Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi is a South African published author. He has short stories appearing in both international and local anthologies, and has published his first book, Beneath the Wax, which opens his three-part novella series "Wax". He is an avid reader, blogger and writer.

2 responses »

  1. These both sound excellent!


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