#BlogTour Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin.

About the Author

Jo Harkin studied English Literature at university. She daydreamed her way through various jobs in her twenties before giving in and becoming a full-time writer. She published four real-world literary fiction novels under a pseudonym, before deciding to follow her passion and move into speculative fiction. Her focus is ‘what if’ stories with an emphasis on human lives. She lives in Berkshire.

About the book

Across the world, thousands of people are shocked to receive an email telling them that they once chose to have a traumatic memory removed. Now they are being given the chance to get that memory back.

For Mei, William, Oscar and Finn there is a piece missing, but they’re not sure what. And each of them must decide if the truth is worth the pain, or better left unknown.

For Noor, who works at the memory clinic Nepenthe, the process of reinstating their patients’ memories begins to shake the moral foundations of her world. As she delves deeper into the programme, she will have to risk everything to uncover the true human cost of this miraculous technology.

An exploration of secrets, grief, identity and belonging – of the stories we tell ourselves, and come to rely on, Tell Me An Ending is a sharp, dark and devastating novel about the power and danger of memory.

Review

I thought this was a fascinating concept and there are so many places to take it. The entire premise is a tightrope of black, white and fuzzy areas of boundary crossing. Is it a good thing? Does it create worse scenarios than the bad memories it purports to erase. Is the erasing or extraction merely a band-aid that in actual fact becomes a timebomb? A bomb that can cause mental health, general health issues, the breakdown of relationships and mistrust in self.

Imagine getting a letter telling yourself you had made the choice to erase a memory, however you have no actual memory of doing so, which of course makes it a Schrödinger’s Cat situation. Do you retrieve to find out what it is, and end up with a memory you would rather not have. Or live with the niggle that you have experienced something worrying enough you felt the need to erase it.

I am legit interested in which decision people would make if this were the future. I think I would need to know, then probably ask for it to be taken again, thereby creating an endless repetitive loop of actions and behaviour. What if it was used against your will – a Big Brother tool, the possibilities are endless.

Told through multiple character narratives, who all have something in common, the fact that they have had a memory removed and know about it or did it and wanted to remain oblivious to that decision. Of course there is also the aspect of them being consciously or subconsciously aware of this fact. The subconscious element of the story is quite fascinating. Are our brains hardwired to restore information it thinks is relative and pertinent to our wellbeing and survival? An innate response to flight or fight?

Which memory would you pick, if any at all? Would you choose to erase pain or a secret, but what if that put you at risk at a later date. This a self induced black hole moment, the ethics and moral aspect of this story are intricate. I can’t wait to discuss this book with fellow readers. It’s absolutely fascinating, and a great story to boot. I can’t wait to read more by this author.

Buy Tell Me An Ending at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Hutchinson Heinemann pub date 12th May 2022 | Hardback | eBook | Audio | £12.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Abdication by Justin Newland

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Abdication by Justin Newland.

About the Author

Justin Newland is an author of historical fantasy and secret history thrillers – that’s history with a supernatural twist. His stories feature known events and real people from history which are re-told and examined through the lens of the supernatural. He gives author talks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Bristol’s Thought for the Day. He lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

His Books – The Genes of Isis is a tale of love, destruction and ephemeral power set under the skies of Ancient Egypt. A re-telling of the Biblical story of the flood, it reveals the mystery of the genes of Isis – or genesis – of mankind. 

The Old Dragon’s Head is a historical fantasy and supernatural thriller set during the Ming Dynasty and played out in the shadows the Great Wall of China. It explores the secret history of the influences that shaped the beginnings of modern times. 

Set during the Great Enlightenment, The Coronation reveals the secret history of the Industrial Revolution. His latest, The Abdication (July, 2021), is a suspense thriller, a journey of destiny, wisdom and self-discovery. Follow Justin on Facebook, Visit justinnewland.com

About the book

The town of Unity sits perched on the edge of a yawning ravine where, long ago, a charisma of angels provided spiritual succour to a fledgeling human race. Then mankind was granted the gift of free will and had to find its own way, albeit with the guidance of the angels. The people’s first conscious act was to make an exodus from Unity. They built a rope bridge across the ravine and founded the town of Topeth. For a time, the union between the people of Topeth and the angels of Unity was one of mutual benefit. After that early spring advance, there had been a torrid decline in which mankind’s development resembled a crumpled, fading autumnal leaf.

Following the promptings of an inner voice, Tula, a young woman from the city, trudges into Topeth. Her quest is to abide with the angels and thereby discover the right and proper exercise of free will. To do that, she has to cross the bridge – and overcome her vertigo. Topeth is in upheaval; the townsfolk blame the death of a child on dust from the nearby copper mines. The priests have convinced them that a horde of devils have thrown the angels out of Unity and now occupy the bridge, possessing anyone who trespasses on it. Then there’s the heinous Temple of Moloch!

The Abdication is the story of Tula’s endeavour to step upon the path of a destiny far greater than she could ever have imagined.

Review

For me this was a dive into speculative fiction with a strong slant towards spiritual elements, fantasy and moments of magical realism. Like many premises with an undertone of spiritual or perhaps even religious elements, I wonder if the interpretation often lies solely with the readers frame of reference and experiences. Whilst I can imagine it is certainly that way for the author, the question is whether the individual reading experience and interpretations of the story that will be echoed back have been calculated into the expected response.

Sounds convoluted? Probably, but I know what I mean, especially in regards to what I took away from this story. It’s a story of parallels or perhaps it’s easier to describe it as a story full of analogies. The bridge representing the threshold Tula feels when it comes to giving up or continuing. The aspect of freedom and freefalling in connection with letting go or not feeling strong enough to confront either side of the bridge and what each represents. The idea of crossing being synonymous with entering the folds of the demons who wish to oppress, suffocate and devour. The other side being synonymous with angels, humanity, which is of course an image disturbed by the shattered image of humanity man has created.

It’s a multi-layered read with depth. It’s also one that can be compared to someone reading a layer at a time or some not at all – it depends on the reader. What I’d like to see is a clearer path. Be bolder and more frank in the premise, as opposed to trying to outthink the reader. It’s an ambitious and creative read full of parallels and analogies, and yet simultaneously also storytelling that crosses and bends boundaries.

Buy The Abdication at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Matador pub date 4 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order. Click here to subscribe to his newsletter

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit karldrinkwater.uk  

About the book

Welcome to Tecant. Nothing ever happens here. Until today.

Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.

Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower. He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity. Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero. And if he fails, he’ll be dead.

Review

This is the fourth book in the Lost Tales of Solace series. The books can all be read as standalone novels and yet they all connect on different levels. The same universe and systems viewed through the lens of individual characters and their experiences.

Interesting how the two parallels of the series, the technical and the human side, sort of come together in the character of Ruabon. He finds it difficult to connect to his colleagues and human counterparts. Instead he finds comfort in his drones, and creates a pseudo barrier of social interaction and connection  between himself and the inanimate objects by injecting them with their own personalities. He is very much the reluctant protagonist of this story. 

This story links into the Big Brotheresque nature of the surveillance noted throughout the series. In fact the planet itself, Tecant, is the link in the network of The Cordon. It’s what makes the planet so important.

The speculative nature of this genre bending and mixing series is intriguing, the creativity and vision is extraordinary. Interestingly the books have a variation when it comes to their centre of gravity, which swings between human element and inanimate object element. This time I took a moment to wonder about the greater picture, which possibly either goes undiscovered in the vast creativity of the plot or only exists in the perception of my own frame of reference.

Are there correlations to be drawn between the our reliance on and the advancement of AI,  the egotistical assumption that we are the only life, the surveillance we allow to dominate and control our lives  – on a more base note the relationships that bind, support and keep us going. Solace – the gift that keeps on giving.

Buy Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ Organic Apocalypse pub date 1 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Clarissa: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order. Click here to subscribe to his newsletter

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit karldrinkwater.uk  

About the book

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped. Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up. Now I’m a prisoner on this spaceship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going. I hate them.

And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us. My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old. And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.

Review

This is the third book in the Lost Tales of Solace series, but it is part of the bigger Solace universe – pun fully intended. It’s a bit like solitary planets having their own stories and yet being connected by the fact they are all part of one universe. For readers who have read the rest of or part of this series they will recognise the connection for instance between Clarissa and her sister Opal, who is featured in previous novels.

What begins as a story that seems to be one of a young girl being kidnapped and separated from her sister, soon wanders into an entirely different realm of fear and uncertainty. Clarissa doesn’t know why she has been kidnapped and her two guards play good cop and bad cop, but she knows enough not to let them know certain things. Like the fact she can see things they can’t or what they perceive to be innocent objects are actually a way to facilitate communication. They clearly can’t see what is coming straight at them – but Clarissa can.

It’s speculative science-fiction that really does veer off into worlds, scenarios and experiences previously unknown. The melding of genres, possible storylines, of science, space, travel and the unknown, then pushing the boundaries to see where it takes both the readers and the author – trademark Drinkwater. 

The result is an individual experience each time. As if the challenge were to envision and give the reader a different perspective each time. Not of the same scenarios or the characters, but of the speculative nature of the unknown. Definitely a series I would recommend, perhaps more so because you just never know where the story will take you each time. It’s creative and visionary.

Buy Clarissa at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Organic Apocalypse pub date 1 Jun. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Sadeiest by Austrian Spencer

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Sadeiest by Austrian Spencer.

About the Author

Austrian had an unfortunate trauma aged eight, when a truck drove over him and his ‘Grifter’ bike. This made him bedridden and a captive of books for too many years. The habit persisted throughout his life (reading books, not staying in bed), to the extent that his daughter’s first painting was of him holding a book, rather than her hand. He has the picture framed in the upstairs toilet, to look at whilst feeling vulnerable.

He is the ‘glass-half-full’, an eternal optimist and believes passionately in you. You are doing exactly what you need to be doing at this moment in your life. He often thinks this, while staring at his daughter’s first painting.

Austrian does not watch horror films, though enjoys horror books.  His influences include Alan Moore, Dave Sim, Neil Gaiman, Frank Miller, The family King, Iain M.Banks, from whom he wishes to learn. Be inspired. He owes them everything, despite their beards. The Sadeiest is Austrian’s debut novel.

Follow @SpencerAustrian on Twitteron Instagramon Facebookon Amazonon Goodreads, Visit austrianspencer.comBuy The Sadeiest

About the book

Is today a good day to die? Death – a walking skeleton armed with a scythe, a rider of the apocalypse, it has always been assumed – is a man that brings the souls of the dead to wherever they are destined to go.

But what if we got that wrong? What if he were a ghost that, instead of moving your soul on silently after you had died, actually did the hard part for you? Death has to die, again and again, to pay for his sins, and to free trapped souls before their bodies perish – only to replace those souls, to die for them.

A Death whose existence is a curse, where the other riders of the Apocalypse are not his allies, but his enemies.

Armed only with his morals, his memories and the advice of a child teacher, Williams, a Sadeiest, travels through the deaths of other people, on his way to becoming something greater. Something that will re-define the Grim Reaper.

Death just came to life, in time to fight for a child hunted by the other horsemen of the Apocalypse. How do you want to die today?

Review

The read is intermittently broken up with graphic novel illustrations and helps to cement the feeling of violence and uncertainty, whereas the words drive a wedge between what we think we know and an alternate reality. It’s a dark hole that might make you feel uncomfortable, because what if all the other theories about death and souls are just an attempt to gloss over the horrific truth. Death becomes the victim, the sufferer instead of the looming figure everyone fears.

‘Passionately believes you don’t have to lead the reader by the nose. Let them think, dammit.’

Hmm good point and I agree to a certain extent, however it depends on what the reader is looking for in a read and perhaps even the genre. When it comes to a read like this one, which I would put in the Speculative Fiction or Speculative Horror genre, often the aspect of speculative may not allow for the reader to do the above.

Trying to outsmart the reader may not let them interpret the premise in the way the author thinks they will. Case in point – the blurb reflects an interesting idea, however the story itself reflects a different one entirely. At least it does for me, which is of course the crux of a reading experience – it’s subjective one. Maybe a little more leading and a little less assumption about interpretation or that the reader will walk the intended path. 

I like a walk along the speculative road. It crosses boundaries, it’s a way to experience creativity on another level and it opens up new worlds and ideas for readers. Spencer does that and I look forward to experiencing more of his ideas.

Buy The Sadeiest at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: darkstroke / crooked cat, pub date 27 Nov. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Stonechild by Kevin Albin

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Stonechild by Kevin Albin.

About the Author

I served 25 years with the police in the UK, eight years of which were with a tactical firearms team. In 2002, I took a career change, and retrained as an International Mountain Leader working across the globe guiding on mountaineering trips and expeditions. 

I have led many trips to the jungles of Borneo, my favourite destination, an enchanting place that has sadly seen much deforestation. My trips were based on education and conservation.

In 2011, I won the Bronze in the Wanderlust Magazine World Guide Awards for my work..

It was whilst working on a corporate training day in London, when I pictured a statue coming to life to give my clients the answer to the clue they were working on. The rest grew from there. 

My hope is that my writing will continue to spread the word on conservation and protection of all species. – I live in France.A word puzzle for the readers of Stonechild and with a prize to be drawn on the 10th December, which is Human Rights Day. Here’s the link with all the details https://kevin-albin.com/book-kevin-albin/puzzle-time-for-readers-of-stonechild/

Follow @KevAlbin on Twitter, on Facebookon Amazonon Goodreadson LinkedInon Instagram,Visit kevin-albin.comBuy Stonechild

About the book

Where do we go to when we die? Imagine human consciousness embedded in the molecules of a statue. So, when the statues of London come to life, it is a spectacle like non other, and they come with a specific message, and an offer we cannot refuse.

As the world reels in this wonder of science and religion, Molly Hargreaves has other plans and she sets out to prove that things are not as they seem. 

Chased, captured and confined, Molly confronts the statues and her own fears. But who can she convince? The people are welcoming, the Government has succumbed, and the police try to act, but how do you shoot stone and metal? Be prepared to be run ragged around London on a mystery worthy of the great Sherlock Holmes.

Review

It’s an interesting question – where do we go when we die – does some part of our energy or consciousness go somewhere. In this case the people worthy or not worthy, depending on the historical context, of having a statue created in their honour, their consciousness is embedded at times inside the statue. One kind of wonders where everyone else goes – no?

When they suddenly come to life and start spreading the word about an important message they have for humanity, everyone around them is scared at first. Then the implications of these important historical figures demanding time and change is astonishing and then becomes sinister.

Young Molly has had a connection with them for many years ago, some of them recognise her and some of them try to warn her. Things are not as they seem, but she can’t seem to make people believe that these statues aren’t all equal and don’t all have the same goal.

This story fits in the YA category, however I would also recommend it to younger more advanced reader. It’s a combination of speculative fiction, magical realism and adventure. The sense of menace and the unexplained Albin weaves into the read suggests a larger picture we might be reading about again at some time. Who is pulling the strings and why? Is the reason they gave the real one or is there something more nefarious going on?

Like I said, the author leaves plenty of unanswered questions and threads which could lead to another venture into the world of Stonechild. It’s a concept with plenty of potential, especially if Albin explores that interesting sentence between representation via a symbol not always representing the reality of the person in question.

Buy Stonechild at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Helene: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater

Today its my turn on the BlogTour Helene: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.

He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit karldrinkwater.ukBuy Helene

About the book

Dr Helene Vermalle is shaping the conscience of a goddess-level AI. As a leading civilian expert in Emergent AI Socialisation, she has been invited to assist in a secret military project.

Her role? Helping ViraUHX, the most advanced AI in the universe, to pass through four theoretical development stages. But it’s not easy training a mind that surpasses her in raw intellect. And the developing AI is capable of killing her with a single tantrum.

On top of this, she must prove her loyalty to the oppressive government hovering over her shoulder. They want a weapon. She wants to instil an overriding sense of morality. Can she teach the AI right and wrong without being categorised as disloyal?

Lost Tales of Solace are short side-stories set in the Lost Solace universe.

Review

The Lost Tales of Solace are short stories set in the Lost Solace universe, this one occurs just before the events of the first novel in the series, Lost Solace.

Helene finds herself surprised by ViraUHX, who has been expanding her own horizons, despite the fact it shouldn’t even be possible. In fact Vira has thought a lot about what she can, can’t do and what she should keep secret, and therein lies the crux of the matter. The AI shouldn’t have the ability to hide, to think, to joke and go beyond the programming.

This is speculative science-fiction that wants to expand horizons and question evolution, especially when it comes to technology. Drinkwater draws you in with the debate of morality. When it comes to AI when does their right to existence start or even their right to have rights? When you create something that is supposed to not only be equal, but surpass human capabilities, and to do so the AI has to be given certain aspects or elements that are incorporated into humankind – where does AI stop and evolved humankind begin?

Or is that exactly what an evolved humankind is going to look like – an human enhanced with AI or vice versa? See what I mean about the dialogue and the author creating a conversation. The topic is really interesting, which when driven by a fictional scenario is even more so.

Buy Helene (Lost Tales of Solace #1) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.  Publisher: Organic Apocalypse; pub date 3 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at books2read.

The Red Book by Davide Cortellucci

The Red Book by Davide Cortellucci is speculative fiction that bends the boundaries of what we think is possible and we are capable of.

About the Author

Davide Cortellucci is a writer and the author of The Red Book. He has spent the last few years working on an unnamed trilogy, friendly referred by him as Little Yellow Rubber Duck. The Red Book is the first book in the trilogy. He was born on the 25th of July 1978 in Belgium, to Italian immigrant parents. He grew up in Belgium, Italy, and in London, UK.

Davide has done several jobs, from waiter to inventories, from sound engineering in shows to events manager, and many more. Davide is a college dropout with a couple of creative writing courses on his back. He has spent many years travelling around Europe, learning about cultures, and keeping an interest in the power of the mind. Davide loves writing stories that awaken the epic feeling within the reader. He now lives in South East London with his partner, he’s curious about life, and he also makes a great pasta sauce.

Follow Davide Cortellucci on Goodreadson Instagramon FacebookBuy The Red Book

About the book

Martin is a young man living in London. His life is suddenly turned upside-down by the death of his best friend, Sofia. He’s destroyed and feels lost. After a few days, he is given a small red book and he decides to go on a solo trip through Europe. In the journey, he meets Chuck, a big and funny young American-Canadian man, and they decide to stick together for the rest of the trip.

Martin experiences strange and terrible events during the trip, and the idea in him that he possesses mental abilities above the ordinary strengths. He starts to link similarities with the story written in the book, and he discovers a hidden message inside it, which takes him to the author of the book, Caesar.

Martin learns that Caesar and Akiko, her daughter, are part of a group of people with out-of-the-ordinary mental capabilities, and he joins them to learn how to handle the powers of thoughts and he discovers how his mind can produce and modify the structure of matter.

Suddenly, the Sinisters, a group of extremely dangerous individuals, capable to induce psychological fear into people and of obliterating matter, appears on his path.

Review

Martin is just a young man living in London with a brilliant best friend and great family. When his friend dies suddenly Martin feels desolate and as if he has lost his place in the world. He can’t see the meaning in life – in his life, so he just ups and leaves to explore the world and find himself again.

Not long into his journey some chance encounters change the way he perceives the world, himself and others. He experiences love at first sight, he meets a travelling companion, and he is given a handwritten journal that changes everything.

One could argue that the traumatic event makes Martin more open and vulnerable to suggestion. If he were to read something mind-boggling and unbelievable, the odds are that he would be more likely to believe it. Enter the unbelievable power of the mind stage left.

Martin starts to believe that he has the mental capabilities to make things happen, think things into existence and when he finds out he is only one of many others, every action and reaction seems to link together to make one complete picture.

‘Your thoughts have been contaminated’ – now that sentence threw a spanner in the works for me. It shrieks of cult manipulation and good old tin foil hat conspiracy theories. On some level, despite the whole good and evil aspect of the story, this made both groups equal. Suspicion, competitiveness, the need to control and manipulate – they have all of these things in common.

It is speculative fiction that bends the boundaries of what we think is possible and we are capable of. It’s all about the power of suggestion and thought. Or is it?

Buy The Red Book on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Independently published 9 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Something to Tell You by David Edwards

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Something to Tell You by David Edwards. It’s a smorgasbord of speculative fiction, science fiction, philosophy and theology.

About the Author

David Edwards previously published two anti-romance books under the pseudonym of Jack George Edmunson. He then published the historical novel, The Ebb & Flow, before moving over to children’s fiction with The Black Hand Gang. He currently lives in Switzerland. For more information visit davidedwardsauthor.com.

About the book

Something to Tell You follows the two families of Bert Leinster and his best friend Sam Murray, as the earth comes under bombardment by a Higgs Boson particle storm. The Central Control of the World council insists that survival depends on living underground, protected by The Envelope. As CCOW persuades humankind to hide in the Deeps, Bert cannot challenge CCOW nor comprehend why people cannot see the truth behind the lies.

Everything changes when he meets Her. Lily, a plant who becomes his enemy in the battle to save humankind, to save you… although 99.9% of you is empty space. Do you deserve saving?

Review

Speculative fiction can often be a marmite kind of read. It depends on how much a reader is willing to ride with the author whilst they bend boundaries, re-imagine the known norm and spread tentacles into every area of the universe and beyond. Expect your grey cells to be bounced around like flubber on a freefall from space in this read.

In essence it’s an end of the world scenario from the point of view of Bert, his family and friends. The way those who control the world, or rather those who own the media, manipulate the people in an attempt to console and defraud. To what end? To lead the flock like lambs to the inevitable slaughter.

Positive and negative – good and evil – god and the devil. All of these are two sides of the same coin. Energy and reactions equal the actions of both good and evil. God and the devil co-exist in some screwed up semblance of what we regard largely as life. To kill one is to automatically also extinguish the other and we are destined to repeat this cycle ad infinitum.

It’s a smorgasbord of speculative fiction, science fiction, philosophy and theology.

One could argue that less is often more and that clarification is better than an assumption of understanding. It depends on what you want to impart, how you do that and whether or not you are interested in the emotional resonance.

I can imagine quite a few readers walking away from this read and asking themselves, especially after reading the ending, what was the intention and/or what did I take away from this read.

For me it was the sense of powerlessness, because fate is dictated by an ever-turning and self- regenerating cycle, This also means we are programmed, whether by scientific fact or theological premise to make the same choices. mistakes or take certain paths over and over again – fifth, sixth or seventh world..

Buy Something to Tell You at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in hardcover and ebook formats by troubadour Publishing in May 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Troubadour. Buy at WHSmithBarnes & Noble.

#BlogTour The Beautiful Side of the Moon by Leye Adenle

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Beautiful Side of the Moon by Leye Adenle. This is speculative fiction with moments of magical realism and told in part as an ode to African storytelling.

About the Author

Leye is the winner of the first ever Prix Marianne in 2016, and is a Nigerian writer living and working in London. His short story, ‘The Assassination’, in the anthology Sunshine Noir, was a finalist for the 2017 CWA Short Story Dagger award. Leye comes from a family of writers, the most famous of whom (to date) was his grandfather, Oba Adeleye Adenle I, a former king of Oshogbo in South West Nigeria.

Follow @LeyeAdnle on Twitter, on Facebook, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit leyeadenle.com

Buy The Beautiful Side of the Moon

About the book

Marking an exciting new departure by award-winning Nigerian author Leye Adenle (Easy Motion Tourist, When Trouble Sleeps), The Beautiful Side of the Moon raises an entirely unexpected and intriguing question – what would happen if God went on holiday?

In order to get a better understanding of what it’s like to be human, and to taste humanity’s joys and sorrows, God decides to have a holiday as a human being. During the course of his time off, though, he completely forgets that he’s God, which leads to some utterly unpredictable outcomes…

A delightful, playful, thoughtful adventure in speculative fiction by one of Nigeria’s most exciting new writers.Review

If I had to make a comparison, which many don’t like or agree with, however I feel sometimes comparisons help to explain certain reading experiences. It isn’t about suggesting an author is equal to or the same as an author with a better known writing career, well for me it isn’t. Sometimes it helps to show correlation between ideas, styles and creativity, in this case because the story may divide opinions.

Saying all of that, for me this definitely had a Gaiman and American Gods vibe to it, in a sense that it uses mystery, folklore, satire and poetic prose. However Adenle also uses theology, spirituality, magical realism and actual onstage magic to create and expand upon the premise.

Part of me can’t decide whether it is better to know who Osaretin is going into the read. It’s in the majority of the blurbs. Or whether the reader should be allowed to come to their own conclusion, regardless of the conclusion they come to, because based on their own frame of reference, experiences, spirituality or lack of it, they could come to a different one.

In essence this is about the loss of faith, the discovery of faith and whether it can exist without the premise of the persona the faith is based on. On a more visceral level is it asking if the world is in such chaos because of a lack of faith?

Clearly an interpretation of the story or reading experience will depend on the reader and their personal relationship with faith and whether they believe in the concept that faith is based on.

This is speculative fiction with moments of magical realism and told in part as an ode to African storytelling. Combining all these aspects, genres or sub-genres will perhaps explain why it doesn’t fit it any pre-manufactured boxes. It asks for the reader to look beyond the norm and embrace the more elusive elements of the read, for them to become the visionary, as opposed to the author being presented as said visionary.

Buy The Beautiful Side of the Moon at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Hoatzin Books; pub date 21 Feb. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.