Indie Book Review: Misfits and Heroes- West from Africa by Kathleen Flanagan Rollins

Misfits and Heroes Kathleen Flanagan Rollins- Misfits and Heroes: West from Africa

 Format- Paperback

 Source- Review copy provided by author

 Synopsis: Naaba begins it when he releases Asha from her bonds and they head off to the river, together, two misfits with a dark past and an uncertain future. But many others will become part of it before the journey is through: strangers and friends joining forces as they face their enemies, without and within, and the perils of the journey will test them all, so that their actions, even their failures, will shape their new identity in a very different world, as friends, as lovers, and as individuals”–

 Review: I was pleasantly surprised by this read. I don’t think the title and cover really captures the depth in this story and the unique tale the author has shared. It was described to me as an epic prehistoric adventure novel and I suppose in some ways that does reflect this story. But it is also a story that explores war, family, community, love, loss and grief.
Misfits and Heroes: West of Africa is set in 12,000 BC and follows a group of friends on their adventures downstream where they are swept out into the ocean during a hurricane.

The story begins with Naaba, a man known as the son of the leopardess escaping his past and Asha, a young woman who has experienced trauma and the betrayal of her family. Naaba releases Asha from the bounds of a man who bought her and together they leave the village behind and follow the river in search of a better life. Many characters are introduced from various villages as a war is brewing between leaders of the clans.

Asha and Naaba join a small collection of friends who become the only true family they have ever known. Ayo an artist, Naro who succumbs to envy, Dashona the story-teller, Afutu the crippled champion, Sokho the chief and his wife Aminata the nurturer. Together they must overcome many challenges and face life and death adventures. Each individual undergoes an existential crisis and it is a delight to see them grow and prosper in the face of adversity.

The author displays her solid knowledge and research skills of ancient Africa and I could vividly picture the setting, place and times and i was fascinated by the spiritual influences, superstitions and storytelling in this tale. It’s a character driven novel, but there’s also plenty of adventure and sub-plots.

I don’t know if i am giving this novel justice, but if you looked at the cover and read the blurb and it didn’t strike your fancy, i urge you to have a closer look and read some of the reviews available because you might be quite surprised by what you find. I have never read an epic prehisstoric adventure novel before but now i can say i have and i loved it!

4/5 rating

Purchase book @

Amazon/ Book Depository

* Not yet available in ebook as the book contains diagrams

About the author: After receiving her Masters degree in English, Rollins taught composition and literature, including World Literature and Latin American Literature, and became fascinated by the extraordinary wealth of ancient Mesoamerican culture, which is often overlooked in history books. This research, as well as travel to ancient sites in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, provided the inspiration for this book. It deals with early explorers in the Western Hemisphere – amazing people who dared to leave everything they knew behind and create a new life in a new world.

Kathleen maintains a blog which was originally intended to provide background material for readers of the novel but has since morphed into a discussion of all things ancient and their echoes in the present.

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