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Category Archives: Novels + Books

Writing Update: Of Metal and Magic + Beneath The Wax: Cover Reveal

It has been an enduring couple of months, and yet at the end of it all, writing continues to be both a savior and a form of catharsis that pulls me back from the murky depths. Well that, family, and good friends. Nonetheless, and despite my abhorrent absence, the writing cogs continue to go on. Much like life.

Of Metal and Magic

Facebook cover image of Fiction Vortex's Of Metal and Magic

For the last few months I’ve been working alongside a couple of authors from Fiction Vortex, specifically in the realm of Of Metal and Magic (OMAM). JM Williams, an international author currently enjoying Comic Con Seoul, with much grace allowed me to be part of the team, and as an effort to bring more readers to this amazing universe, created the OMAM Facebook Page.

All things related to OMAM, including the authors, upcoming works, and announcements (photos of JM Williams enjoying Comic Con without us haha) can be found there. Please join us as we embark on a journey through an epic-shared universe of dragons and unicorns and magical stories.

OMAM Facebook Page

JM Williams Author Page

Ashley Rothrock Author Page

Nthato Morakabi Author Page

Beneath the Wax – Cover Reveal

Book cover of Nthato Morakabi's first novella, Beneath the Wax

1723: Constantine Bourgeois is a man of many secrets. Artisan by day, killer by night, he turns his victims into wax figures for his shop.

2045: Richard Baines works for the renowned Anthony Garfield Historical Museum. His mundane existence is a stark counterpoint to his fascination with serial killers and science fiction.

Constantine’s nightmares drive him to undertake a journey to uncover a long-forgotten secret. Richard’s research uncovers a company secret and the mystery of Madame Bourgeois.

Two men, two timelines, and truths that will only be revealed when they look Beneath the Wax

With much thanks to Chasing Dreams Publishing and the amazing Nico Venter whose gorgeous artwork was featured in the Jozi Flash 2017 anthology, I am very proud to present the cover image of my first novella in my Wax trilogy. All details about where you can buy the book will be made available soon.

International Giveaway

Chasing Dreams Publishing is also running an international giveaway, offering a lucky winner-reader free eBook copies of Beneath the Wax, Dim Mirrors and Sketches. Competition runs until the end of August so you got plenty of time to enter!

Enter Here

Book covers for Beneath the Wax, Dim Mirrors, and Sketches for an International Giveaway

Dim Mirrors by Carin Marais

Dim Mirrors is a collection of 39 flash fiction stories that open windows into worlds of fantasy and nightmare. Interwoven with images from mythology and folklore are the themes of love, loss, and memory. The comical “Not According to Plan” leads to more serious and introspective works like “Blue Ribbons” and “The Destroyer of Worlds”, while mythology and folkloric elements come together in stories like “The Souls of Trees” and “Ariadne’s Freedom”.

Sketches by Nicolette Stephens

Like art sketches, flash fiction stories are fleeting moments captured in a few hundred words.

In a world without men, the first boy child is welcomed as the saviour of his race; a cuckoo clock holds death and destruction in its beautifully carved figures; and a snowman holds a silent vigil of peace during war.

In this collection of 50 stories, illustrated with her artwork, the author delves into worlds of imagination and reality inspired by words and drawings.


I apologize for the radio silence these last couple of months. Expect me to be very active and bringing lots of exciting new stories, book reviews, recommendations, and a couple of event articles too.

PS: I’m going to Comic Con Africa too. Expect pictures and geeking out haha.

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Shrike – Joe Donnelly #BookRecommendation #Horror

Blurb

When old spiritualist Marta Herkik gathers together a group of lost souls, each hopes for a change of luck that will help them. But during the séance, the old woman taps into something dark, something with a hunger.

Policeman Jack Fallon, investigating a series of killings, can find no logical reason behind the violence that has visited his town. The killer seems to like high, dark places, but it leaves no clues. The investigation leads him to Lorna Breck, a young highland woman who is gifted, or cursed, with a kind of second sight. She seems to know what is happening, and often knows before it even happens. Only she can unlock the mystery, and only she can lead Jack Fallon to the Shrike.

But the thing brought into the world in a séance gone wrong, is waiting for them.


Joe Donnelly is the author of eight horror chillers and the Jack Flint trilogy for young readers.  Joe was born in Glasgow, in Scotland, close to the River Clyde, but at a very young age he came to live in Dumbarton, which is some miles from the city and close to Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond and the Scottish Highlands. At the age of 18, he decided to become a journalist and found a job in the Helensburgh Advertiser, a local paper in a neighbouring town where he learned the first essential of writing: how to type. Quickly.

During his career he won several awards for newspaper work including Reporter of the Year, Campaigning Journalist and Consumer Journalist. It was while working in newspapers that he wrote his first novel, Bane, an adult chiller, which was followed by eight other novels, mostly set in and around the West of Scotland and loosely based on Celtic Mythology.

Recently he completed the Jack Flint trilogy for children, although he says his books are aimed at “young people of all ages…those with some adventure in their soul.”

vN – Recommendation

Amy Peterson is a von Neumann machine, a self-replicating humanoid robot.

For the past five years, she has been grown slowly as part of a mixed organic/synthetic family. She knows very little about her android mother’s past, so when her grandmother arrives and attacks her mother, little Amy wastes no time: she eats her alive.

Now she carries her malfunctioning granny as a partition on her memory drive, and she’s learning impossible things about her clade’s history – like the fact that the failsafe that stops all robots from harming humans has failed… Which means that everyone wants a piece of her, some to use her as a weapon, others to destroy her.


Now that is both a cover and a synopsis that will get me to pick up a book even if I don’t know the author. As I don’t in this case but it’s definitely on my To-Read list.

Battle Royale – Recommendation

Koushun Takami’s notorious high-octane thriller is based on an irresistible premise: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill one another until only one survivor is left standing.

Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan – where it then proceeded to become a runaway bestseller – Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world.

Made into a controversial hit movie of the same name, Battle Royale is already a contemporary Japanese pulp classic, now available for the first time in the English language.


Koushun Takami (高見 広春 Takami Kōshun) is the author of the novel Battle Royale, originally published in Japanese, and later translated into English by Yuji Oniki and published by Viz Media and, later, in an expanded edition by Haika Soru, a division of Viz Media.

Takami was born in Amagasaki, Hyōgo Prefecture near Osaka and grew up in the Kagawa Prefecture of Shikoku. After graduating from Osaka University with a degree in literature, he dropped out of Nihon University’s liberal arts correspondence course program. From 1991 to 1996, he worked for the news company Shikoku Shimbun, reporting on various fields including politics, police reports, and economics.

The novel Battle Royale was completed after Takami left the news company. It was rejected in the final round of the literary competition for which it was intended, owing to its controversial content. It went on to become a bestseller when finally released in 1999 and, a year later, was made into a manga and a feature film.

He is currently working on a second novel.


Vicky (booksandstrips) or I think it was Jen (fictionalJenn) recommended this movie and then said it was actually based on a book, which I found and want to read. The movie was fascinating!

Any movies which were initially books are you interested in watching? Have you read the books?

Character Backstory Woes

I made a terrible discovery yesterday. The minor character in my novel who dies in the first chapter (well supposed to anyway…suddenly undecided) has a better backstory than my protagonist. This minor character has a rich beautiful backstory that won’t be part of the novel while my protagonist has nothing interesting at all. I figured it was time for a little Extreme Makeover Novel Edition *cue music

extreme_makeover_home_novel_edition

Meet the Character

Protagonist is a fluffy poodle of wasted potential badly planned and written even worse. He’s been living as an incomplete in the First Drafts Section for over three years with no hope of ever coming to the fore. However, in a dramatic turn of events, he’s found a new home in Second Drafts which is being renewed and refurbished. However, will that be enough?

Back to Basics

We’ll be crafting a new identity for this quagmire oozing latent aptitude to be the a great Protagonist. First we must consider their traits:

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  • Who are they: Name. Last name. Nickname. Age. Race. Language. Height. Weight. Imagine them fully fleshed out as a walking, talking real person. If Protagonist is not alive to you, they won’t be alive to readers.
  • What are they: Human? Orc? Pizza-slice animated to life and seeking the purpose of life? Are they working or students or mage or detective? Are they the Chosen One or the stable boy or a passing wind offering fruits of wisdom to strangers? What Protagonist is, defines social life, goals, aspirations, challenges, advantages. Paint the details that specify Protagonist.
  • Past|Present|Future: Who was Protagonist before the start of the novel? Who are they during the course of it? Who will they be at the end of it? Has the “Who” and “What” changed during these transitions? For good or bad? In short, does the wise wandering old mentor turn out to be a random man who found fortune cookies in the dumpster behind the Chinese restaurant. How does that change your character?
  • Choices: Choices made by the protagonist, antagonist, and other characters affect the protagonist in some way. These also after the story being told. Don’t forget that story and character are deeply intertwined like the flavouring of your 2 Minute Noodles and the bottom of your pot/plate/microwave.

After careful application of these concepts, Protagonist should come out shiny and new, with purpose and depth sure to stun readers into swooning stupors of joy.

Backstory Vs Back Story

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One is the history of the character and the other is a story about the character’s back (or a command to tell the story to back-off). Same thing. Whatever. Either way, a character is defined by their history and what’s behind them (see what I did there?), much like we are. Look back (ha more puns) into your own past at a choice or decision you or someone else made that could have changed who you are today.

You can start with a character and who you want them to be, and fit a matching backstory as you see fit. Alternatively you can define the world or history around them and let that define the character.

Protagonist is now ready to delve into the story. You know who they are, what they are and where they come from. You know how they walk and talk, and importantly where they are going. It’s time to match character to story.

Novel Reveal

Following this intense procedure of revamping the character and their backstory, the story may or may not change. What does change, is the revelation about your character that will drive your story forward.

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Junk Yard Angel, which is the novel I am currently working on, has seen some dramatic changes in its story. While keeping the original idea intact, the character improvement has also restructured the sequence of events. This means new characters, new settings, new technology and more importantly, a deeper, richer story to tell. It also added more links to my mind map which have spawned a new idea for the novel: side stories.

Side Stories will be the untold arcs that won’t appear in the novel but will add a profound depth to the world where Junk Yard Angel takes place. Worldbuilding added to much of these untold stories. It’s a really exciting time ahead and I look forward to completing my novel.


Have you realized any profound changes to your novel WIP and had to re-work the characters/world/story? How did it work out for you?

JYA Novel – First Drafts and Mind Maps

junkyardangel-anovel

Today I skimmed over my first novel attempt – Junk Yard Angel. Although I’d written this close to 4 years ago, I’m pleasantly surprised by the writing in this first draft. I see a lot of places where improvements can be made and some places I’m going to delete, but there are a lot of pieces I will definitely include in the second draft. It’s a relief to know I was not a completely terrible writer, and that I’ve improved over the years. It can only get better from here right?

Mind Your Novel

Mind maps are like my thing now. They used to be when I was far younger, encouraged by English teachers to use planning, then I stopped when I found the joy of discovery writing, but now I see the value of them once again and have become an official Plantser. Mind maps allow me to contain all my ideas, plots, characters, and general thoughts into one document, divided into pages for each topic.

  • Main Story: Details the overarching theme. Lists all significant plot points and any side arcs.
  • Characters: Lists every character, role, character arcs,growth points and anything else related to the character.
  • World: Maps out the world and the continent/countries. Detailed descriptions for each location. Points out key locations and how they tie in to characters, main story and anything else significant.
    • Also includes details regarding culture, religion, technology, weather, people, economy, fawn, flora, etc etc
  • Technological Advancement: Explains where the world is technologically, and what the current world utilizes in day to day activities.
  • Resources: All links, references, pictures etc used to form the novel.

First things First

I’ve been reading the Mammoth Book of Steampunk for a number of months now. Steampunk is one of those sub-genres that fascinate me. It requires a lot of research to keep it authentic, while inventions need plenty out-of-the-box thinking.

the-mammoth-book-of-steampunk-adventures

For Junk Yard Angel, the first thing I will be tackling is the in-depth research. I’m exploring current trends in technology and wondering how they would work in an alternate Earth where there’s no electricity but steam. How it would have come to fruition. What technology in real life was invented during the pre-electricity era, and what could have propelled those inventions forward had electricity failed.

The story is also set in various locations, which means each place has technology unique to them. Different people and cultures will also have varying needs. Weather and temperature will affect requirements. Weaponry. Living space. Lifestyle. Religion. All of these aspects have to be explored and meted out in order to build a believable living world.

Onward!

I’m genuinely excited. My mind is already creating images and scenery inspiring me forward. Mind maps are starting to shape up. World building is also one of my favourite parts of writing a novel before the real hard work begins.

I hope you continue with me on this journey towards writing my novel.

 

Wednesday Book Review: Tales from Alternate Earth

talesfromalternateearths

Title: Tales From Alternate Earths

Author: Jessica Holmes, Terri Pray, Brent A. Harris, Ricardo Victoria, Rob Edwards, Cathbad Maponus, Leo McBride, Daniel M. Bensen, Maria Haskins.

Publisher:  Inklings Press

Book procurement: Received from publisher because they are an amazing bunch.

Release Date: August 19, 2016.

Synopsis:

Our world could have been so very different…

Eight stories take us on a journey into how our world could have been. What if the nukes had flown that day over Cuba? What if Caesar had survived? Imagine the Tunguska meteor with a different outcome. What if there was a true story behind HG Wells’ most famous tale? See the world as it might have been if China discovered the New World first. And what if all of this was never meant to be and dinosaurs ruled the Earth?

Authors Jessica Holmes, Daniel M. Bensen, Terri Pray, Rob Edwards, Maria Haskins, Cathbad Maponus, Leo McBride, and collaborators Brent A. Harris and Ricardo Victoria show us the world that might have been – if the butterfly’s wings had fluttered a different way, if the world changed between heartbeats, if a moment of decision saw another choice.

This is the fourth anthology from Inklings Press, aiming to provide a platform for new and upcoming authors and to open the door onto different worlds.

Review:

I was never a fan of history at school. I think when you’re younger, those things seem irrelevant and pointless. Now that I’m a little bit older I find history fascinating. Watching the world change around me. I visited my old neighbourhood and drove past my previous house to find that nostalgia was not forthcoming as I would have expected. Things had changed so drastically that I had nothing to reminisce about; even the tree I had spent days pretending was a giant robot, was gone.

Now imagine if we hadn’t moved out. How different would my life be now? Would I be seeing that tree as a sentimental token to my youth, or a nuisance in my front yard? Tales From Alternate Earths doesn’t explore such trivialities, but pushes the boundaries a bit further. In it, cutting down that tree myself may have led me to find a time capsule from the 1500s telling me where I can find an ancient medallion that makes me president. Or something.

The writing by each of the authors is brilliant. There wasn’t a story I read where I was put off by the writing style, tense or anything. Flowing freely between scenes, building up to the great reveal that changes the world as we know it, and all while keeping the suspense high. These are the history lessons that never were, and could never be, and make for compelling history nonetheless.

Of the eight stories, I would pick out Twilight of the Mesozoic Moon, a collaboration by Brent A Harris & Ricardo Victoria where sentient dinosaurs rule the planet. The Secret War by Leo McBride with a fantastic twist regarding the famous HG Wells. Lastly, Tunguska, 1987 by Maria Haskins has an ending that deserves an entire novel!

I was also able to read through these short stories in a single sitting. I enjoyed them so much I wanted to get into the next story rather than take a break and at the end I wanted more. Great work by the authors and a wonderful collection by Inklings Press. Keep up the great work!

Rating:  A fantastic 4 out of 5.


About Inklings Press

We are a group of friends that share a love for many interests, be it comics, rpg’s, anime, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, alternative history, wargames and literature. But above all we are a group of like minded friends that decided to create our owned e-publisher in order to provided us with an outlet for our stories, novels, anthology and blog/ezine projects related to those interest. Working as a team we hope to create and share good quality work with our readers.

Our purpose is to provide a new offer when it comes to fantasy, science fiction, mystery  & alternative history tales.

We are still building up the content, but he hope that when it is ready, it will be to your liking.

Website: InklingsPress.com

Twitter: @InklingsPress

Author Interview: JD Woodson – A Space Between Worlds Vol 1: Conception

interview

I had the awesome privileged of speaking to J.D Woodson, author of A Space Between Worlds Vol 1: Conception. You can read my book review here. This what he had to say.

Q: An enchanting tale combining a number of interesting characters and pertinent questions. What inspired you to write A Space Between Worlds: Conception?

A: Loss, regret, self-loathing, the lack of identity, introspection and comprehension: those ideas would suffice in the reasoning of the creation of the A Space Between Worlds: Conception. All of those things, I’ve experienced and were deeply seeded into my heart ever since I was young. Not until I grew older, I had the inkling of tackling such questions. Terrifying and painful, liberating and refreshing. I wasn’t singular in facing such concepts. Those around me, people I knew and who I didn’t, struggled with the very same. I wrote the story, not only to soothe myself but others as well. Many of us don’t have the opportunity to face ourselves; it’s almost as if we refuse to. Many of us don’t know who we are. I knew someone who had the thorough understanding of those ideas but unbeknownst to me, I hadn’t an inkling of her suffering. After she departed from this world, that was the spark for me to compose this story. After three years of writing this story, it changed drastically from draft to draft, however, what I needed to express had to be pulled out of me by my own hands.

Q: Are the questions and concepts your characters work through something you consider deeply? Do you question the truths of life and death as deeply?

Inner worlds, reincarnation, cycles both broken and whole? Yes, I ponder those concepts with care. They are depthless and without shape. And because of this, there isn’t a universal answer. Some characters in the story have their own interpretations while others are trying to find their answers. I’m still seeking mine too.

Yes. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t’ve been write a story like this. I questioned life and death starting very young. The reason for that was the departure of my eldest brother not long after I was born. For some reason, I thought I wasn’t meant to be alive. I thought I stole my brother’s life. So because of that I wore a mask that wasn’t mine in order to keep my brother’s presence here, I suppose. I didn’t have an identity and I was constricted by regret. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I removed that mask and since then, I’ve been piecing together my identity. I started my life at death instead of the other way around. But this enabled me to question what those things meant to me. I can’t say I have any answers yet, much like my characters. Shanti is on one side of the cycle and Reno is on the other, but neither of them can see beyond what they do and don’t know. My true feelings on the matter are expressed through the story.

Q: This is only volume one. I am assuming you’ve got a series in the works? Will they all be related?

A: Yes, I can confirm there will be more volumes to come. Though I originally intended for A Space Between Worlds to be a duology; the change came about during the outlining of the next book, I noticed there was more of the story wanting to be told and if I confined those ideas into one last book, the execution would’ve been sloppy and what was to be covered wouldn’t be fully realized. I’m currently writing volume two and there are plans for future books. While volume one and volume two will be directly related, the others will be a separate arc in a sense. With that being said, you can expect majority of the characters to return in the next one. I wonder how they will change?

Q: Your writing style is flowery. Poetic. I know you gained a love for poetry but is this how you have always written or has there been something or someone who influenced you?

A: Wow. Flowery, huh? The majority of authors in this day and age would cringe at hearing that term affixed to their writing, indeed. As for I, I find it to be flattering. Flowers are pleasant, fragrant, and comforting. But an overabundance of flowers can be overwhelming to the senses, no? Since poetry was my background, my first love, my style transitioned into my storytelling. There was a time were my storytelling was as pungent as a perfume section of a department store when I was first starting out but I would like to think I found a proper balance and flow of what is considered flowery.  My style was influenced by Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks in terms of poetry. As for storytelling, Haruki Murakami would probably be my deepest influence in the way of storytelling and Carl Jung, Frederick Nietzsche, and Indian Philosophy as whole are some of my philosophical influences.

Q: Do you have works of poetry out there (or in your drafts folder) that we can look forward to?

A: Now that you mentioned it; I do desire to publish a collection of poetry. I’ve put all of my focus on A Space Between Worlds for the last few years so I can’t say I’ve written any poetry outside of the ones within the story. Integrating my first love into my second, I’ll continue to do that but maybe one day soon I’ll write a traditional poetry collection.

Q: I infer from your style that you are an emotive writer. Do your feelings and emotions always guide your writing? How do you manage when you’re not feeling any particular way?

A: Naturally, I’m a sensitive person. In everything I do, I go by feeling. For myself, there isn’t any other way to live but to go by what my heart tells me and that carries into my writing. If I can’t express myself without clarity, I abstain from writing until I’m enraptured by the emotion I’m trying to convey. If what I am writing doesn’t have meaning, there isn’t any reason why they should be written.

Q: Do you have any favourite authors? Music that inspires you as you write?

A: Haruki Murakami, Franz Kafka, Ray Bradbury, Natsume Soseki, and Yu Godai are some of my favourite authors of fiction.

Nobuhiro Watsuki, Masamune Shirow, Hiroyuki Takei, and Tetsuo Hara are my favourite manga-ka (authors of manga).

Yoko Shinomura, Yasunori Mitsuda, Yuki Kajiura, Shoji Meguro, Masashi Hamauzu, and Uyama Hiroto are the composers I listen to thoroughly. Symphonic, Jazz, Rock and Synth, interesting combination, huh?

Q: What does your writing process look and feel like?

A: To keep it simple, it’s a lot like gardening. Peaceful and relaxing, meticulous and intensive. I adore writing, but it can be painful. I’m mentally and physically exhausted after it’s all said and done.

Q: Who is J.D. Woodson? To the world and to yourself?

Obtaining those answers are the very reason I write.

Q: Where to from here?

A: If I had every map devised, it’ll leave nothing for me to discover. I can only continue to live and express myself moment by moment. Whatever is in store, I’ll accept and move only by what my heart tells me. All I know for certain, I’ll never cease to write.


giveaway

Click here or visit Royal James Publishing’s Facebook page to enter to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card and a signed copy of A Space Between Worlds Vol.1: Conception by J.D. Woodson.

Wednesday Book Review: A Space Between Worlds Vol 1: Conception

Wednesday Book Review: A Space Between Worlds Vol 1: Conception

aspacebetweenworldsconception

Title: A Space Between Worlds Vol 1: Conception

Author: J.D Woodson

Publisher:  Royal James Publishing

Book procurement: Received from publisher in return for an honest review.

Release Date: October 17, 2016.

Synopsis:

Songstress Shanti’s final performance is no different than any other. Gazing into the mirror, the Songstress laments her faceless curse. To hide her unsightliness, she dons a beautiful mask. She knows she doesn’t belong in the darkness. Her desire is to live in a world of eternal light, to be seen for who she truly is.

An enigmatic man who calls himself Avidia beckons Shanti, claiming to know how to conceive the world of light sleeping inside of her, and escape her current world of darkness, Cauraaha. Avidia poses the question that will be the key to her desire, as well as an unresolved pain:

“What is your first memory?”

Reno, a gentle florist, has his own stigma, a translucent coil of thorns wrapped around his arm, draining him of life at the utterance of the word “Promise”. Hidden away in his heart is the knowledge of a past he doesn’t wish to face, one that connects to Shanti, Avidia, and her curse.

A dual narrative of introspection and self-discovery, A Space Between Worlds eloquently questions the truths of life and death, timeless bonds, and regret through lyrical imagination, philosophy, surrealism, and a journey through the unconscious mind.

Review:

We are thinking, feeling beings currently experiencing the ebb and flow of life. Guided by our past, driven by the prospects of our future, and engaging in the instance of our present. We question our existence, the banality of day to day life, the adventure of hope, regret, love, friendship – and the inevitability of death. Do we remember our first memory? Do we know what happens when we die? Will we cease to exist? Will we live eternally in the presence of the Creator? Will we return to the world in an endless cycle of life and death?

These are the questions JD Woodson explores in this poetic narrative A Space Between Worlds: Conception. We follow the mysterious songstress Shanti, and her faceless existence seeking to be seen. We follow the emotive Reno with a dark past coiled around his arm in living, life draining thorns. The story flits between these two characters as they seek to figure out who they are and what secrets theirs pasts hold – and the space between worlds where the enigmatic Avanti continues to unravel.

The writing is poetic, story cryptic, and although occasionally difficult to figure out, A Space Between Worlds makes for an evocative tale.

Rating:  A stirring 3 out of 5.


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J.D. Woodson was born Chicago, Illinois in 1992. He grew up in Palos Park, a quiet suburb southwest of Chicago. During his early years, J.D. gained a fondness towards poetry and continued to writing it through primary school and high school, winning small awards for his work. He would attend Columbia College Chicago with intent to major in poetry, however he shifted his focus and major to Fiction Writing due to his love for storytelling. After his sophomore year, he would take a leave of absence to study outside of the workshop method he was taught and gained experience as a ghostwriter which his projects spanned from fiction to non-fiction. To read more about J.D., you can visit him on his website.

Website: JDWoodson.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/authorjdwoodson

Twitter: @Woodson_JD

Instagram: @author_jdwoodson

Wednesday Book Review: Thr3e

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Title: Thr3e

Author: Ted Dekker

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

Book procurement: Bought at a little secondhand book store in Melville.

Release Date: December 10, 2006.

Synopsis:

Enter a world where nothing is what it seems. Where your closest friend could be your greatest enemy.

Kevin Parson is alone in his car when his cell phone rings. A man calling himself Slater offers a deadly ultimatum: You have exactly three minutes to confess your sin to the world. Refuse, and the car you’re driving will blow sky high. Then the phone goes dead.

Kevin panics. Who would make such a demand? What sin? Yet not sure what else to do, Kevin swerves into a parking lot and runs from his car. Just in case.

Precisely three minutes later, a massive explosion sets his world on a collision course with madness. And that’s only the first move in this deadly game

Review:

A friend of mine introduced me to Ted Dekker ages ago where I procured The Circle, which didn’t appeal to me much. So I tried Heavens Wager and that was a great book. Thr3e was in the backseat of my car for some weird reason, probably didn’t take it out since I bought it 6 months ago, and I decided I might as well read it. I’m so glad I did.

It begins with quite a philosophical question regarding the nature of man/humans/people. Is man good or evil? Does our capacity to do evil make us inherently evil? How do we deal with our inner duality of good and evil? In the bible sin is sin (sin is overstepping the boundaries set by God), which leads to asking if someone who gossips is as bad as someone who murders since both have overstepped the boundary – committed a sin.

Kevin Parson is a seminary student who poses this question to his professor. Almost as though to immediately lead him towards the answer, he receives a call from a man called Slater.  Solve this riddle and confess your sin, or you die. What follows is an explosive action packed adventure with Kevin Parson revisiting his childhood, solving riddles posed and trying to figure out who Slater is.

The writing is fluid. It moves along at a fantastic pace almost as though I’m watching a movie and everything is unraveling splendidly. So refreshing to enjoy a book that keeps me turning the pages and shouting out in agony as I try to figure out who Slater is. As much as Ted Dekker falls into Christian thrillers, it’s not a book trying to convert you into Christianity. There’s hardly any reference to it and when there is, it’s linked to Kevin, Slater and the ongoing battle between them. Expertly handled from beginning to end.

Let’s not forget that amazingly mind-blowing hair-tearing-from-suspense conclusion that had me talking to myself in traffic and uttering profound praise to Ted Dekker for messing with my mind!! Whoa. Loved it.

Rating: A MINDBLOWING 5 out of 5. (edited)


ted-dekker

Ted Dekker is known for novels that combine adrenaline-laced stories with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good and evil. Ted lives in Austin with his wife LeeAnn and their four children.


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