Book in a Blog: Mandestroy 5

We’ve reached the halfway point

So where are we?  Well, we are still in our young protagonist’s past – looking at his life growing up; where he has come from.  He’s no longer bullied, and he has a hell of a punch on him, but it still isn’t a life as such.  It almost was – after fifteen years he may have actually bonded with his father – but all that was ripped ruthlessly from his grasp by his jealous scheming brothers.  He was out on the streets once more, but now he is sleeping there too.

This whole life thing is not going great for our young protagonist.

But he does still have his gifted – or stolen – and impossibly valuable volume to keep him company, though he has already worn those pages dangerously thin.  But Queen Delfin was still there for him, wasn’t she?  At least, she had never spoken out against him.

Then again she was dead a thousand words, and Kantal only has her scrawled words.  It’s very possible that he’s going a bit crazy.  But maybe that is just what he needs – after all, you can’t beat a Mandahoi.  At least you can’t with your sanity intact.

Continue reading Book in a Blog: Mandestroy 5

Book Review: Coinman

An Untold Conspiracy

By Pawan Mishra

This is the first truly literary work I’ve read in a while. I like it.

The story is set in a small office in India and focuses on aCoinman_BookCover discriminated odd-ball called Coinman – so called because he habitually plays with coinage in his pocket, the sound of which drives his colleagues to distraction. What follows is a collaborative vendetta against the ‘tyranny’ of the coins and their unrelenting noise, and all the associated fallout with such a revolution. It is a comic and well written spin on something that will not be entirely alien to anyone familiar with office life. A very clever idea.

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Book Review: Deity’s Soulmate

Book One of the Goddess Training Trilogy

By Angelina Kerner

This is a very interesting concept – certainly not akin to anything I’ve Deity's Soulmate - Book Coverread before.  And strangely, this is the second book in a row that I’ve read with gods at the core.  But more than that – here we have dragons too; and lots of other classic fantasy creatures to think about.  Almost all of them in fact.  This is certainly a far reaching concept.

I would say that this is a peaceful and sedate read.  However, darker sub-texts do reveal themselves and are ultimately unveiled just enough to lead into the second novel, where it sounds like things are about to get a bit nastier.  Great!  Most of the book is told from Gardenia’s perspective, and being an adolescent goddess, the tone and the trajectory of the story feel very young adult to me.

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Book in a Blog: Mandestroy 4

We’re moving forward

It’s amazing how much time goes into crafting words, and yet how easily they can be devoured up.  I suppose it’s the same with anything really.  If there’s one thing that writing does give you, it’s an appreciation of just how much work goes into a book.  And yet the internet gives us the opportunity to offer bullet ratings and reviews – hours of effort appraised in a heartbeat.

Terrifying.

Anyway – I digress once more.  Let us pore over what has happened to our General Kantal.  Well, we’ve found out that his given name is actually Jossie – a girl’s name no less!  It clearly doesn’t sit well with our hard nosed general, and he was bullied too; bullied bad.  Bad he has broken free of those shackles, and the world is his playground.

Or is it?

So the bullies will keep away from him – so what?  He still has no purpose, and he still bears the blind indifference of his family.  What excatly is he supposed to do with his life?

Well, we’ve actually already seen flashes of his his future (as you’ll have worked out), but how does he get there?  Let’s find out. Continue reading Book in a Blog: Mandestroy 4

Book Review: Az – Revenge of an Archangel

By A.A. Bavar

This book is not like anything I’ve ever read before; a great premise. Az_BookCoverThis is (as the title suggests) about the archangels, and this works really well, especially the first half which tallies nicely with the Book of Genesis. Part of me wants to believe that this is how Genesis plays out, but I know that’s not true – this is a solid modern fiction novel with borrowed context. It’s great.

Without giving too much away (but nonetheless giving some away), this book follows Az, the Angel of Death, as he struggles to balance his duty to deliver mankind to heaven, with his distress at the depths to which mankind is able to descend – something that his archangel brother, Lucifer, is obviously keen to take advantage of. The ultimate question is thus: “is there enough ‘good’ in mankind to keep the grim reaper on the straight and narrow? What a great conflict. What’s not to like? Continue reading Book Review: Az – Revenge of an Archangel

Book in a Blog: Mandestroy 3

Is this story jumping about a bit?

Well, yes it is.  So far we have had “The Moment” which is as yet undefined (it is a moment in time, but that is all we know), and then we have “The Now”, where our key character is getting himself into sticky political waters – not his best colour.

And now we are about the enter “The Then”, which as you may have worked out, is in the past.  In particular, we are looking to General Kantal’s history for inspiration to help him in his sticky political waters.

But fear not – this is the end of the jumping about.  From this point forward there is a nice sequential trajectory.  Until we jump to “The Now” once more.

Damn – even I’m confused now!

There was a logic to it, and this is all documented on the Writing Mandestroy page, so give it a visit.  Hopefully it will clarify some things!  Anyway, let’s read on.

Continue reading Book in a Blog: Mandestroy 3

Book Review: The Midnight Land Part 1

Book 1 of the Zemnian Trilogy

By E.P. Clark

This is a very original and refreshing piece of work.  If pushed, I would declare it as somewhere between Tolstoy, Tolkien and CS PartOne_TheFlight_CoverLewis.  Make of that what you will!  I don’t think this is something I would naturally gravitate towards, but I’m glad I have read it.  It’s good.

To set the scene, what we have is a fantasy world which very closely resembles Russia.  I’m going to say it is medieval Russia from the environment, but that’s really rather irrelevant – it absolutely tastes, smells, and sounds Cyrillic.  This is somewhat of a deviation from many fantasy books I have read (including mine!) which focus on Western or Far Eastern societal regimes.  Hence this is a very refreshing read.

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Not the 9 O’clock News?

You may have noticed that I am going through popular television related news titles – don’t worry, they will run out pretty soon.  Sorry.

So – what have I been up to?  Well, I’m happy to say that I think thatMandestroy_Book_Cover the upcoming novella is in a pretty good place, and you may have noticed that I’ve started to blog the whole book.  I intend to do this with the main novel later on too, but just the novella for now.  More on that later.

And the novel has now been out for a month, and the sales have been stellar!  And what I mean by that of course, is that the sales tracker has largely been a void with the occasional blip of space debris (i.e. a sale).  But hey – this is a learning curve.  And I have learnt a great deal in the last month, so let’s look on the bright side.  I’ll give more details later.

And on the light side of the moon (I appear to have adopted a space themed style today for absolutely no reason, and for which I apologise), I was not voted out of the SPFBO#2 at the first hurdle: see here.  Though on the dark side of the moon (oh dear once more), the cover wasn’t a favourite.  So we’ll probably revisit that at some point then.

But to return to the matter at hand – on with the news.

Continue reading Not the 9 O’clock News?

Book in a Blog: Mandestroy 2

What has come to pass?

Well, we have met our protagonist, and more than that, we have interviewed him here.  He’s a prickly sort of character.  But then we’ve also witnessed his moment of revelation here, and let’s face it, he has to be half mad to do what he’s done.

But why is this General Kantal like this?  Well, that’s all in the past.  We will get there, I promise, but not quite yet.  First we must look to his present.  Who is this man outside the chaos?  And how does he fit into the world?  Let’s find out.

Continue reading Book in a Blog: Mandestroy 2