Shelter in a Hostile World

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
121 Pages
Reviewed on 08/08/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

Shelter in a Hostile World by Mack Little is a suspense-filled split timeline short story that follows the riveting tale of an Igbo man sold into slavery in Barbados. The intrigue begins right from the start as Badu Obosi battles to prove himself in the eyes of Lotachuckwu, the mother of the girl he loves. Badu is mesmerized by the beautiful and witty Ekemma and will not be deterred by anything, even the fury of his ancestors, in his quest to marry her. However, he faces powerful forces that are bent on keeping them apart. In 1651, twenty-three years later, Badu was a wanted man for leading a slave revolt in Barbados and was determined to keep his family safe even though this could cost him his life.

Little skillfully recreates the scenes in seventeenth-century Igboland and Barbados, weaving exciting details about Igbo history and culture into the layered and captivating plot. I was transported to the settings in the story as their sights and sounds came alive. Badu’s present and past lives are seamlessly interlaced, which helps form a complex, compelling main character who struggles to reconcile his two lives. The difficulties Badu faces, and the threat of losing his life as the militiamen in Barbados hunt for him heightens the tension in the story, creating an absorbing read. The supernatural elements included further enhance the thrilling tale. Shelter in a Hostile World by Mack Little is a swift, entrancing novella that blends Igbo culture, history, and a man’s resolve to succeed in an unforgiving world.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Shelter in a Hostile World by Mack Little relates to the 1600s, focusing on Badu, a man in his late thirties with a long past. His daughter was captured and raped, so he led a revolt to rescue her. He and his wife, Saoirse, must flee. After a ceremony of raising duppies, vengeful spirits bent on revenge, one haunts him. As he moves through his days, the duppy follows him, and Badu is reminded of the wrong he did in a series of flashbacks. Badu finally comes to terms with his physical and spiritual predicaments and receives help from an unexpected source.

With velvety language that conjures up vivid images of the period, Mack Little expertly illustrates the hostility of Badu’s environment. Even though evil forces darken his doorstep, Badu falls into a beautiful love story, one of passion and then another of enduring trust and commitment. Little relates the superstitions, culture, and traditions of the period, paying special attention to the beliefs that shaped the Igbo culture. Readers will be fascinated by the way Badu switches between dialects as needed, and the author's craft of consistency shows a gift for storytelling and research. Little’s United States military service gives an expert edge in the graphic fight descriptions as the story moves along at a heightened pace. Shelter in a Hostile World is an intriguing book, and it’s a great selection for readers interested in learning about other cultures through fiction.

Pikasho Deka

Shelter in a Hostile World by Mack Little is the story of an enslaved man fighting for his family's freedom. The narrative switches timelines between the years 1628 and 1651, following the life of Badu, an enslaved person from Igboland, Africa, captured and brought to the island of Barbados by the Spanish slavers who put him to work in the plantations. Now, with an Irish wife named Saoirse, an indentured servant serving a life sentence, and two children, Badu wants to get off the island. After his daughter's rescue from the Admiral's clutches, Badu sets off on a bloody quest for freedom, leading to carnage and mayhem. In between, he is haunted by his past nemesis Lotanna and his former lover's tragic fate. Will Badu ever find his freedom?

Filled with heartbreak, romance, and action, Shelter in a Hostile World is a captivating tale that showcases the strength of indomitable will and the resilient nature of the human spirit. Mack Little takes readers on a wild journey back to 17th-century Barbados, where human cruelty knows no bounds and misery can be only overcome by a thirst for rage, blood, and vengeance. The author perfectly captures the vocabulary of the enslaved men and women of the historical period, which adds to the atmosphere and brings authenticity to the narrative. Badu suffered horrific losses in his teenage years and found comfort in Saoirse, someone with a tragic past. Their relationship was the primary highlight of the book for me. All in all, a treat for historical fiction readers.