‘Iago Wick and the Vampire Queen’ by Jennifer Rainey: Deliciously dark and twisted.
This book’s brilliant opening was just a taste of the vivid imagery and dark, ironic humour that characterises the writing. Before I had finished the first page, I knew I had found an author whose work I would truly appreciate.
This story is deliciously dark and twisted, full of varied and creatively crafted characters who each have their own motivations and desires that bring some surprising twists to the tale. The story moves at a very good pace, with lots of interesting plot and character developments.
The other aspect of this story that I really enjoy is that it delivers a wonderfully unique combination of steampunk, science fiction, historical fiction and paranormal elements.
There is absolutely zero chance of boredom while reading this book, and it is perfect for my subversive sense of humour. I definitely intend to read this entire series.
‘Iago Wick and the Vampire Queen’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.
Joseph Ferguson is destined to become recognised as a master poet.
This collection of poetic vignettes and observations is absolutely brilliant.
Ferguson writes with a very strong sense of realism and a degree of world-weariness in his profound poems that work like snapshots of different events and memories. He has a gift for creating vivid images that transport the reader to another time and place, and making it seem absolutely real. More than once I found myself completely mesmerised by the incredible writing in Ferguson’s poetry.
When Joseph Ferguson’s poetry is recognised as ‘classic’ and he is regaled world-wide as a master poet, it shall come as absolutely no surprise to me.
‘Reflections of a Scurvy Bastard’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.
This book is both a great story and a sensory pleasure for the reader.
A gifted writer takes the reader from whatever place and position they’re in and transports them to the setting of the author’s choice and creation.
In ‘Killer of a Mind’, Albermarle immerses the reader in the sights and sensations of various towns along the east coast of America before dunking them in the waters of the Mayan Riviera on the shores of Mexico, where the contrasts and conflicts of this story are heightened by those characteristic of Tulum, the Mexican town in which Ryan finds himself. Noise and quiet reflection, richness and poverty, sunshine and shade all reflect Ryan’s own mental and emotional condition.
Unlike Ryan, the reader understands that there is always more than one side to a story. Albermarle has woven the threads of this story together with craftsmanship and finesse, leaving nothing to either predictability or fate. The reader is not allowed to become complacent – as Ryan discovers, there is always a new challenge, a surprise or a revelation as a corner is turned or a hill is crested that shows the light shining on things differently with a change of perspective.
Albermarle’s writing is rich and vivid, developing magnificent scenery full of colour and sound, and complex characters that seem to have more shade than light to them.
Book Squirrel has awarded ‘Killer of a Mind’ one of his special Golden Acorns for excellence because this book is both a great story and a sensory pleasure for the reader.
Find your copy here.
Six stars out of five: an amazing book, magnificently written!
Every now and then, as a reader, I experience an incredible moment of revelation when I take in an expression or image of something that is so powerful, it takes my breath away.
No sooner had I started reading ‘Robin Hood: Wolf’s Head’ than I had to stop and experience the moment. I had just read an extraordinarily beautiful sentence: “The forest clearing was a web of moonlight and shadows.”
What perfect imagery! It is simple and direct, but powerfully evocative at the same time.
In that moment, I was there. I had been transported to that forest clearing and drawn into the world of the story, even before I knew anything else about it.
This is the magic a writer works when wielding the wand that is their pen.
Tanafon continues to cast these spells with magnificent imagery throughout this book. As tales are told and the various storylines develop, the author provides the reader with a feast of sensory morsels that both satisfy and delight the reader.
At times, such images can be consumed at speed. Others, like this one, demand more thoughtful digestion to fully appreciate the skill in Tanafon’s craft:
“The autumn day had dawned softly, with light mists gathered around the sun like a veil. In the late morning the forest was still sweet and moist, haunted by the ghosts of decaying leaves.”
As a writer, I lost count of the times I read a sentence or two and thought to myself, “I wish I had written that!”
Tanafon’s genius in reinventing the story of Robin Hood as a paranormal adventure is equally as enchanting as his writing. The stories of Robin Hood, his band of followers and of their enemies are interwoven, not as a braid but as a rich tapestry. Thus the old stories are retold, stripping back the gloss of legend and hero worship and offering the reader a far more thought-provoking and deeply engaging retelling of the famous tales.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It’s not just a fantastic read: this is literature absolutely worthy of the top shelf.