Book Review: The Departed

Book 1 of the Departed Series

By Kristy Cooper

The world wakes up to find that three hundred thousand people have simply vanished overnight.  Where did they go?  Speculation is rife, but no-one can explain it; the scientists are scratching their heads.

That is, until an evangelist reveals the answer.

Gwen’s friend is one of those to go missing, and Gwen is desperately worried for her lost companion.  Is she dead?  If not, where is she?  She is left to wallow in the unknown, until an email pings through.  From her friend.  She’s alive!  Or is she?

The world is gripped by the only logical explanation, and great divides appear as people ready themselves for what is coming.  But is it really as it’s been told?  Gwen has ideas to the contrary, but to uncover the truth, she must put herself in great danger.  But she’d do anything for her friend, wouldn’t she?”

This is a young adult story set against a pre-apocalyptic back-drop – the end is coming!  It’s a really interesting premise, and one that I think has lots of legs; hence this is the first part of a series.  The characters are classically YA without having too much about them, but there are some interesting side-characters too.  I particularly liked the dynamic between Gwen’s parents – very thoughtful.  Overall I enjoyed this, but it didn’t captivate me, though that is most likely because the genre is not mine.  If you like the younger end of the YA spectrum, then I highly recommend this book.

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Do I need deep POV?

Last month I promised to talk about the reviews I’ve had so far, and to share my thoughts on where I’m going next.  Well, apologies for this, but I changed my mind!  That’s the self-published author’s right, I suppose…

But instead, I am deeppovcovergoing to talk about deep POV.  It’s interesting – honest. But where’s this come from? Well, I’ve been doing a bit of writing research – trying to tighten up my craft following feedback I’ve had so far – and the first step I’ve taken is to buy this little beauty here: Deep POV in Fiction by Marcy Kennedy.  Brilliant.

But what on Earth is deep POV I hear you cry?  Well…

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Book Review: Sullen Falls

By Frank Julius Palumbo

The town of Sullen Falls will be home to the Second Coming; but it is not the Second Coming of Christ’s light.  No indeed; darkness has come to town.

 Seth is a man with his own dark past, but he has trodden a path to the light.  He arrives at Sullen Falls on the cusp of the Second Coming, but will it be enough?  And Sullen Falls holds more than just danger for Seth.  His love still lives in town, but when he left, he left suddenly.  Will she be able to forgive him?

And will it matter?  Because it is not just this small town at risk.  The whole world is threatened by the Second Coming.”

If I had to pigeon-hole this, where would I place it?  Fantasy horror probably.  It’s fantastic and it’s horrible!  Perfect.  With an early caveat that this book is definitely certificate 18, I will declare my hand; I really enjoyed it.  It was a book that I wanted to keep on reading, and that really is the key.  Perhaps a bit much in places, and lacking some depth in others, but overall this is a cracking read simply because of the pace, imagination, and the simple gory horror.  Not a book I will forget (or be allowed to forget) in a while.

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Book Review: Genesis (the Battle Within)

Book 1 of the Pillars of Creation Series

By David Tucker

“A thousand years in the future, mankind has been saved by the inception of a powerful religion.  Genesis, an anomalous, immortal and sacred warrior, is sent to crush a band of rebels who oppose this religious authority.

 But things go wrong, and a portal is opened, awakening an ancient alien power.  Genesis is battled hard, but even as he faces death, he is unexpectedly liberated.  A prophecy that his master once told him surfaces, and Genesis begins to wonder.  Could it be true?”

Genesis is a sci-fi book with an interesting premise.  We ultimately have a stable galaxy, policed by super-soldiers, but with an equilibrium that is about to be blown apart by some dark and ancient power.  Sound familiar?  But familiarity is not a problem, especially when the author gives that premise an interesting and well thought-out sheen.  There is a solid plot and a rich world behind this book, but unfortunately, I found that I had to search for the plot a bit too hard.  There is an awful lot of what I would call info-dump here, and perhaps even more introspection (maybe I should have expected this with the sub-title ‘the Battle Within’.)  Overall, this cut didn’t work for me, but a slimmed down version certainly would.

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Author Newsletter September 2016

It’s been another busy month, but I feel like I’ve reached some sort of plateau, which is nice.  This is what I’ve been up to:

  • Sorting out free goodies for newsletter subscribers;
  • Getting Fear’s Union published in other retailers;
  • Getting Mandestroy priced for free on Amazon;
  • Reading and reviewing more books in exchange for reviews of Mandestroy;
  • Blogging book reviews and writing experiences; and
  • Thinking about where to go next.

So, where does this all leave us?  Well, I’m quite proud of where I’ve got to – the website has come along nicely, and I’m comfortable with the maintenance and blogging.  I have two books “out there”, including a free one, so I am officially an author and people are reading my work.  Hurrah!  And I’ve had some interesting feedback which really helps with forward momentum.

But now it’s time to stand back and think about that forward momentum.  At the end of the day, this is all about the writing, and so I’m going to get back to it.  Read on to find out what I have up my sleeve…

Continue reading Author Newsletter September 2016