Hello everyone and welcome to another Sunday Summary weekly update from me! I really appreciate you guys taking time out of your day to have a read my posts, so thank you very much! So what have I been up to this week?
On Wednesday I shared my first discussion post in a while. The particular topic is one I have debated for a while now – Book Subscription Boxes – Yay or Nay? If you haven’t already checked out my post, please have a read and let me know your thoughts! Then, on Friday, I shared a review of Freedom of the Creed by Nicholas Coleridge has part of the recent blog tour. If you are a fan of Western novels, this is definitely one for you to take a look at!
I started the week by reading a bit more of Lord of the Flies by William Goldberg. I had to set this aside in favour of reading Freedom of the Creed for my blog tour post on Friday. Since then, I haven’t picked it up again though. It was okay to read, but not exciting enough to draw me back to it again. I have a lot of other books to read that I’ll probably enjoy more, so I decided to DNF this one.
As mentioned above, the next book on my list was Freedom of the Creed and I read this almost in its entirety this week. I had just started Freedom of the Creed last week, but with the upcoming tour this was my focus for the majority of the week, finishing it on Thursday.
For the first time since July, I listened to part of an audiobook this week! I haven’t picked up any in a while. Honestly, I think I almost listened to them too much when redecorating and I wanted a break. Now I’ve had that break, and rather ironically I might add, I started listening to Jack the Ripper: Case Closed yesterday when I started doing some more decorating! I have listened to the first few chapters now, so made a solid start. I’ll be chipping away at more redecorating this week so I expect I’ll listen to more of this as I’m going.
Nothing to add again this week! This has to be a record by now, surely?!
I’m going to share a Top Ten Tuesday post this week, with a superficial subject. This week, I’ve decided to share my top ten fantasy novel book covers. This won’t just be limited to books I’ve read either, so I could be featuring a lot of different books in this post!
On Thursday I’m taking part in yet another blog tour for The Rue Stone by Janet Stock. It’s a short fantasy novella, around 80 pages. Naturally, this will be my reading focus over the next few days.
As always, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary post to update you all on my week and all things bookish!
That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post, however. I hope you have had a great week, enjoy the next one, and I’ll see you again for another catch up in a week’s time!
Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour post for Freedom of the Creed by Nicholas Coleridge. In today’s blog tour post, I am featuring my review of the book. Thank you for checking out my post and also a huge thank you to the author and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour.
If you enjoy western-themed novels then saddle up and read on, as this book (and review) should be right up your street! Don’t forget to check out the other blogs that have featured in the tour as well. The details can be found at the bottom of my post.
It was Freedom of the Creed’s western theme that appealed to me. It’s not a genre I pick up very often, but when I do, I really enjoy them! I suppose the most recent read that it reminds me of is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series.
Saoirse (pronounced Sur-sha) is by far the character I loved best. She is a wickedly smart and fierce young woman. Her motivations are largely unclear for the majority of the book, making her passion and drive in the chase an intriguing mystery. I’m glad the pronunciation of her name is clarified early on in the book – I couldn’t even have made a guess! It is unusual and makes her doubly stand out as a unique character.
The plot is full of deceit, subterfuge and layers of depth that make it easy to immerse you in the detailed storyline. Exciting clues and revelations to further developments of the story are timed perfectly for maximum impact. The pace of the novel is well balanced and allows for full, detailed setting of the scene whilst still including plenty of action to drive events forward. It’s a steadily fast-paced novel but equally doesn’t come across as rushed in any way.
The author really captured the essence of old-fashioned attitudes in small communities very well. Each individual character has their own distinct personality, but they also gel together as a community. There is enough commonality between them that implies years of co-existence together in a desolate, now derelict town. I could picture the characters and their interactions in the town of Kites Run so clearly! The Woe-Be –Gone boys are a sort of community in themselves and I enjoyed the dynamic and power struggle within the group. They’re also the seedy types of human beings that you love to hate; routing for Saoirse in her hunt for them couldn’t be easier.
I really enjoyed the conclusion of the book and there is a lot of potential for the remainder of the series. I can’t wait to see where Saoirse and Wolfe find themselves in the next chapter of their story. Given how well the book has been written, I am amazed this is the author’s first novel!
N.J Coleridge finds time to write when he is not performing his official duties as his daughter’s “royal servant.”
He has always had a passion for the frontier and the old-west. Freedom of the Creed is his first novel.
For more adventures featuring Saoirse be sure to read the novella “A Prayer for the Dying”.
Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary weekly update post! I hope you have all had a good week as well?
At the beginning of the week, I shared a promo post for a book I read last year. It has been re-written and published as Escaping Demons and has been re-launched with another blog tour. If you are interested in the sound of the book, you can check out my promo post linked above and in that post is also a link to my review of the previous edition.
Next, I shared my Reading List for September. I still can’t believe it’s September already; this year seems to have flown by. This month I am reading a couple of books for blog tours, one at the request of an author and the rest are all on my Beat the Backlist challenge. If you haven’t already, you can check out my reading list linked above.
On Friday I shared my review of a recent read as part of the organised blog tour. I read Mindworm last month in anticipation of the early September blog tour date. Fans of the supernatural should definitely be interested in this novella, so if you are, please check out my review.
As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I was around halfway through Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. I had read the previous half over the course of a week, and put my reading progress for that week to shame as I finished the rest between Sunday evening and Monday alone! I really got into the ending and did NOT want to put the book down. Without a doubt, I’ll be reading the rest of the series before long…
After that, I started reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding. So far I am around 22% of the way through. I have actually borrowed this from my library electronically and as a result, I am reading this book on my phone. It’s not my favourite method I have to say, but I’ll make it work. The book itself is okay – perfectly readable. I’m not loving it, but not hating it either. I just need to give myself a nudge to read a bit more of it sometimes.
Lastly, I started a book I am due to be reviewing soon for a blog tour yesterday. I signed up to review Freedom of the Creed by Nicholas Coleridge and I’m enjoying it a lot more than Lord of the Flies. I’m 13% through this one, so I’m only a few chapters in, but it’s a lot easier to read. Reading this western-themed fantasy novel is going to be my priority for the next few days.
I’ve been good again this week and no new books to report!
Since I have a review towards the end of the week I want to publish an opinion post at the beginning of the week. I’ve been thinking about a topic for a little while now and I think it’ll be fun to not only share my opinion but also hear back from you guys on it. The topic? Book Subscription Boxes: Yay or Nay?
On Friday I will be sharing my thoughts of my current read, Freedom of the Creed, as part of the upcoming blog tour. My first impression of the book is great, so I can’t wait to finish reading and publish my review for you all to check out. I hope you can join me for that.
Last, but certainly not least, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary post.
That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary! What have you been reading this week?
I can’t believe it’s September. Where has this year gone?
Given the current circumstances I don’t suppose it’s a bad thing that this year is flying, but still… shortly we’ll be 75% through with 2020 and it doesn’t feel like it should be at all!
Regardless, it is the beginning of a new month, and you know what that means. It’s time to share my TBR for the month ahead. This month’s list features a couple of books that I am reading for blog tours. Another is a request from the author and the rest are all from my TBR and contribute towards my Beat the Backlist challenge I set earlier this year. 8 months ago.
Again, where has this year gone? That barely felt like five minutes ago!
Anyway, shall we check out the books on this month’s reading list?
The Woe-Be-Gone boys, a vicious gang of outlaws rushes south through the American frontier, leaving desolation in their wake.
On their trail is Saoirse Creed, a bounty hunter with a debt to pay. Her only chance to pay that debt rides with the gang, but what depths will she sink to achieve her goal.
Now, as she tracks them down to a town on the precipice of despair, Saoirse must overcome the final hurdle in order to capture her man and return to a life that she thought was all but lost.
I am reading this particular book for an upcoming blog tour. The first thing that caught my attention when reading the synopsis is the chase through the desert. Might sound daft, but that combined with the western vibe reminds me of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. If you’ve read the book I think you’ll get it.
I haven’t read anything like this in a little while so I’m looking forward to it!
The rue is a mysterious and rare being who is rarely seen, so Janna is amazed when one arrives at the inn where she works, looking for a room. The next morning, her life changed forever, she is left wondering whether she will ever see him again. Only time and the rue stone have the answer.
The Rue Stone is a fantasy novella that I’m squeezing into my blog tour schedule. It’s only around 80 pages, so a nice short read. I’ve enjoyed picking up some shorter books lately and I’m sure this will be no exception. Janet has published four books to date but this will be the first time I have tried anything of hers. Novellas are a great way to try a new author and I’m looking forward to giving this a go. The synopsis doesn’t give much away, so I’m intrigued to find out what happens!
Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.
A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.
But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.
Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.
Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.
In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.
Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?
And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?
Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.
Despite not really taking on many ARC’s at the moment, I’m glad the author Michael Ward contacted me to ask for a review of Rags of Time. It’s a historical/crime fiction novel which is right up my street! It’s not too long a novel either, so should fit perfectly into this month’s TBR with my other reads. It’ll also be nice to have a bit more variety in genre as there’s a high proportion of fantasy in this month’s list.
The Psychology Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained – Various authors
Clearly explaining more than 100 groundbreaking ideas in the field, The Psychology Book uses accessible text and easy-to-follow graphics and illustrations to explain the complex theoretical and experimental foundations of psychology.
From its philosophical roots through behaviorism, psychotherapy, and developmental psychology, The Psychology Book looks at all the greats from Pavlov and Skinner to Freud and Jung, and is an essential reference for students and anyone with an interest in how the mind works.
Regular readers of my blog will have picked up on the fact that I’m a huge psychology fan. I studied it back in school and loved the lessons since I had a great teacher. I added this book to my TBR a good few years ago as a refresher to some of the things I have learnt already. I’m hoping there are also some new and different things in there as well though.
I have picked up this book before so I have an idea of its formatting. Its chapters are quite short and there is a new one for each ‘idea’. This will be a good book to pick up here and there as these chapters are very short and digestible.
Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender’s Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.
Melange, or ‘spice’, is the most valuable – and rarest – element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person’s life-span to making intersteller travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.
Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.
When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis’ second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands.
In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them.
And his journey will change the universe.
It’s only taken me three and a half years since being gifted my copy of this book to get around to reading it…
I’m finally going to read an iconic sci-fi novel and I can’t wait to see if I agree with all the reviews. I have actually picked it up and flicked through the first few pages before now. I think I must have been bored one day and needed a change of genre. I’ve only really read enough to sample it so I know I like the writing style. It’s the longest book on this month’s list at just over 500 pages. Fingers crossed it lives up to its reputation as a brilliant book.
I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.
But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.
Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…
I couldn’t tell you how old I was when I last picked up a book by Mark Lawrence. I’d quite safely bet that I was a teenager, but that’s as specific as I could guess.
The only series of his I have read to date is The Broken Empire series; I loved it! I’m surprised it has taken me so long to read another of his books. Red Sister has been on my TBR since April 2017 and it’s one of the books on my Beat the Backlist challenge. I’m not sure if I’ll get to finish this one before the end of the month, but I’ll try my best!
So, that’s my reading list for September! Have you read any of these books? What are you reading?
Hi everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. You may be a bit confused as to why this post is going live today given that I said it would be published first thing tomorrow morning in last week’s post. Well, long story short, I got my days mixed up. I have already had a blog tour this week and I have one next week; I knew what dates my posts were but completely got my days wrong! Perhaps I should have checked before I published, but never mind! I blame the bank holiday weekend throwing me off…
Anyway, let’s get into what posts I shared this week. My first post of the week was a review of The God Game by Danny Tobey. I read this book back in March this year following receipt of an ARC copy courtesy of Gollancz. If you enjoy or think you’ll enjoy a combination of science-fiction, thriller and YA then I definitely recommend giving my review a read. Then, on Friday, I shared my thoughts on a second book I’ve read – Grubane by Karl Drinkwater. This post was shared as part of the ongoing blog tour and I really enjoyed writing the post and the feedback I received from it!
This week I’ve read around half of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. I’m hoping to get to around 75% before turning in tonight though. It’s only about 180 pages so far, but it is progress. I’ve actually spent a lot of time doing other things this week – crochet, watching TV (a rare occurrence in my house!) and even working late. Thankfully not too much of the latter! I’m really enjoying the book and it’s proving easy reading. I shouldn’t be surprised by that – I haven’t disliked a single book of his… and I’ve read a few!
I still have a couple of books on this month’s TBR to read. Thankfully both are short, so although I might just creep over into the beginning of September it shouldn’t set me back at all.
Glad to say that once again, there are no new additions here this week! I would say that I should be thinking of the money I’m saving, but unfortunately, that’s not the case – it’s just getting spent on other things!
My first blog post of next week is a feature post in the ongoing blog tour for Escaping Demons by Killian Wolf. I would have signed up to review, but since I had already committed to taking part in a couple of other tours with reviews, I couldn’t this time. I’m still looking forward to featuring this book on my blog and hopefully, the book catches your eye!
Midweek I will be sharing my TBR for September. I was just saying to my parents today that I can’t believe this is rolling around next week already. It doesn’t seem fair! The not being able to do anything thanks to ol’ corona makes it feel like we haven’t really had much of a year so far.
On Friday I will be foregoing my regular Shelf Control post (already on hold from this week thanks to my mix-up) and sharing another review. This week’s blog tour review is for another recent read, Mindworm by David Pollard.
Last, but not least, I’ll be sharing my Sunday Summary post as expected.
Don’t worry, I’ve fact-checked this all this week, so I’m not unintentionally lying to you!
That’s all from me in this week’s Sunday Summary post! I hope you have had a good one and enjoy the last day of the weekend tomorrow.
Hello everybody and welcome to today’s blog tour post for Grubane by Karl Drinkwater! I’m glad you could join me to hear my thoughts on this fun, entertaining sci-fi short story. You may remember that I read another Lost Tales of Solace story earlier this year. If you haven’t already checked that review out and want an introduction, you can find my review of Helene here.
As always, I would like to take the opportunity to thank both Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and the author Karl Drinkwater for the opportunity to take part in today’s blog tour. If you enjoy today’s review post be sure to check out some of the posts by other bloggers taking part in this tour as well!
Major Grubane is commander of the Aurikaa, the most feared cruiser in the UFS arsenal.
His crew is handpicked and fiercely loyal. Together, they have never failed a mission, and their reputation precedes them.
But this time he’s been sent to a key planet that is caught up in political tensions at the centre of the freedom debate. What he thought was a simple diplomatic mission turns out to be the hardest choice of his career. His orders: eliminate one million inhabitants of the planet, and ensure their compliance.
Grubane has also rediscovered an ancient game called chess, and plays it against the ship AI as a form of mental training. But maybe it could be more than that as he finds himself asking questions. Can orders be reinterpreted? How many moves ahead is it possible for one man to plan? And how many players are involved in this game?
Whether or not you have read any books in the Lost Solace universe, Grubane is easy to pick up and enjoy. It can be read as part of the series or as a standalone book; the narrative isn’t dependent on knowledge of events in the others. I read the first book of the Lost Tales (Helene) back in March having not read the main series. It didn’t matter in the slightest! I read Grubane with an idea of what to expect with the author’s writing style and the universe the story is set in, in general terms, but the storylines are different and are independent of one another. In addition to these shorts, have some of the main series books to read. It will be interesting to see how these all tie together later.
You might think that the narrative could come across as clinical given that the tale is told from the perspective of an AI. That isn’t the case at all! The AI’s featured in the books I have read so far are really quite special. They are highly intelligent and through human contact, they learn a lot about humans and go on to develop personalities of their own. The dynamic between Grubane and Aurikaa12 is one that emphasises the point that humans and technology can learn a lot from each other.
Through Aurikaa12 we learn a lot about the prestigious Major Grubane and there is plenty of character development. The difficult scenario he finds himself in and how he responds to such tells us a lot about him as a person. The chess component of the novel is very interesting as it proves that the Major is an excellent strategist. I also liked how the events in the book were analogised to a game of chess as well!
There is no shortage of action in Grubane and the fast-paced narrative makes this very easy to pick up and become immersed in. I read Grubane in just a couple of sittings. The narrative packs in plenty of plot twists and unexpected moments despite being just over one hundred pages long. It’s the perfect length to still be long enough to invest in the characters and storyline but also accessible and a relatively quick read. Personally, Grubane struck the perfect balance on the length to have the best of both.
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.
Hi everyone! I’m glad you can join me for today’s book review of The God Game by Danny Tobey. I was very kindly sent a copy of this book for review by Gollancz. The synopsis caught my eye immediately and I knew this was a book I was going to really enjoy – I wasn’t disappointed! Thanks to Gollancz for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for a review. As always, the opinions stated below are honest and my own.
For fans of Stranger Things and Ready Player One, The God Game is a brilliantly plotted science-fiction thriller about a VR game in which the stakes are impossibly high: if you die in the game, you die in real life
Five best friends in a high school computer club get sucked into an underground hacker’s game run by a mysterious A.I. that thinks it is God. It’s all fun and games until people start to get hurt.
And the stakes keep getting higher. As the Game pits them against each other and turns their high school upside down, it offers the ultimate promise – win and learn the meaning of life; die in the game, and die for real.
The God Game cleverly combines its sci-fi/fantasy genre with thriller to keep readers on the edge of our seats.
The most chilling part of the narrative is that, if such a game existed, I honestly think some kids today would buy into it. I graduated school a good few years ago now, but recently enough to remember what it was like. Peer pressure would definitely do its part in egging kids on to push the boundaries and do something they would regret later.
I enjoyed how well the sci-fi elements of the novel were written to be accessible to all. I didn’t find the language too technical or difficult to read. Anyone could pick this book up and understand what is going on.
I enjoyed the variety of characters in the novel. The dynamic of the group and the individuals within has a significant impact on the narrative and how each character responds to the circumstances they find themselves in. By the end of the book, I felt I knew them all well as if friends of my own. They aren’t the crowd I would choose, but the narrative is so immersive that you come to know them well by the end. The difficult and moral decisions they have to make give us an intimate knowledge of where their boundaries lie.
Sci-fi is one of those genres where I might not pick it up for a while, but then I’ll read a lot at once to make up for the fact. I read The God Game at the end of March this year and that was the fourth sci-fi book of the year. After reading it, I read another two books immediately after this. Despite this, the storyline of this particularly prominent and memorable. It’s a unique story and one that I think will be popular with a YA audience.
Good evening everyone and welcome back to another Sunday Summary post! I can’t believe it’s the end of another week already! I hope you are all keeping well?
This week I began with a fun Unpopular Opinions Book Tag. Having looked around for inspiration, I figured this would be an entertaining read and would give you the chance to learn a little more about me and my reading tastes. I certainly enjoyed writing it anyway.
Then on Friday, I shared my latest First Lines Friday post. This week’s theme was crime and I shared the opening to a brilliant crime/psychological thriller novel I read and reviewed last month. If you haven’t checked that post yet and you love that type of fiction I recommend you give it a read.
This week I have been devoting my free time to reading Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. It’s the only book I have picked up so far this week, but I’ve really enjoyed it! In last week’s Sunday Summary post I talked about the book (having just started it) and how I liked the chapter formatting as interviews. This continued throughout and it made a refreshing change from the continuous narrative prose that is a more typical format.
I’m hoping to start my next book, Steelheart tonight with a cup of tea before bed.
Aside from reading, I’ve taken some time out to work on an ongoing crochet project. I was also asked by a work colleague to help teach her daughter how to crochet. She had taken an interest in learning herself but needed help with the names of stitches and reading patterns. I’ve enjoyed spending the time doing that as well this week, which is why I have only read the one book.
I’ve been pretty good again this week and there are no new additions to the TBR! Not a bad thing, given the size of it…
I want to share another book review with you first thing next week, and the particular book I have in mind is one I received a copy of from Gollancz to review. The God Game by Danny Tobey an entertaining YA sci-fi thriller novel I read and enjoyed earlier this year. It’s definitely time to share my thoughts with you on this book; I hope you can check out that post when it goes live!
On Friday I’ll be sharing my next Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book on my TBR is a non-fiction book, which is a rarity! It dabbles in psychology, which is why I think I’ll enjoy it, but it’s also supposed to be humorous as well.
Next Sunday I am taking part in a blog tour for Grubane by Karl Drinkwater. With that in mind, that post will be going live on Sunday and my usual Sunday Summary post will be shared on Monday morning.
That’s all from me in today’s reasonably short Sunday Summary post! Have a great week and I’ll see you in the next one.
Good evening everyone and welcome back to this week’s Sunday Summary post! I hope you have had a good weekend, whatever you have gotten up to.
In terms of blog scheduling, mine has been a little busier than usual! At the beginning of the week, I managed to drag my poor attempt of a review of Days of Blood and Starlight out of the dump. I was really disappointed that I struggled with this a couple of weeks ago, but I think I’ve done it justice now. On Thursday I shared a spotlight feature post and author interview for Justice Gone by Nicholas Lombardi Jr. Since publication last year the book has gone on to win an impressive 5 awards! Friday’s was a Shelf Control post and I have finally come to the end of my classics run! This week features a book whose main character is book lover – someone I definitely relate to!
After finishing Grubane last week I moved on to the next book on my TBR. I didn’t actually start Mindworm by David Pollard until midweek, but it was quite a short read and I finished the book on Saturday evening. I didn’t really know what I expected from the synopsis as it was quite vague, but it was an interesting short story. At just over 100 pages it didn’t take long to read at all.
I then moved on to my current read, Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. I’m only a few chapters in but I’m really enjoying the format of these chapters. They’re written as case file interviews and we are only just learning who the characters are. It’s refreshing to read something in a different format and there’s a good plot developing. Sleeping Giants is one of the longer books on this month’s TBR, but I don’t expect it will take me long to read!
There aren’t any new additions to the TBR this week thankfully. I’m trying to cut the list down a bit as I have managed to creep over 200 books – oops! Thankfully this month’s TBR has quite a few books that will come off this list.
I have decided that I feel like starting the week with a book tag. They’re fun to write and through them, you get to know a bit more about me and my reading tastes etc. I haven’t read many tag posts lately so I ended up doing a bit of searching on the web for inspiration. I found one called the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag and having read the questions, I think it will be fun!
On Friday I’m sharing another First Lines Friday post. This week I am going to set another genre theme as the last one, non-fiction, was fun. It was also a bit of a challenge as I haven’t read much non-fiction. This week’s theme of crime will be a bit easier as I definitely read a lot more of those!
And last, but not least, another Sunday Summary post will be coming your way this time next week. I’m reverting back to my usual 3 posts per week schedule as that’s manageable. I struggled a little bit to do four and keep up the reading.
That’s all from me in this week’s Sunday Summary update. What have you been reading?
Today’s blog post is a spotlight feature for a fantastic legal thriller novel that is very relevant to a lot of discussions ongoing at the moment. I actually read and reviewed this particular book back in April 2019 as part of a blog tour shortly after its publication. Since then, the book has gone on to win many awards, with its fifth and latest just recently.
To celebrate the occasion, I spoke to the author about his inspiration to write the book, how it relates to current events and what more we can expect from him. Before that though, here are the details for Justice Gone: –
NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCY AWARD – Best Legal Thriller of 2019
SILVER MEDAL WINNER 2019 READERS’ FAVORITES AWARDS
Chosen by Wiki.ezvid.com among their list of 10 Gripping and Intelligent Legal Thrillers
The courtroom scenes are wonderfully written…the characters are well described and the author paints a picture of each in the mind of the reader…Strong plot, strong characters and a strong writing style that I really enjoyed. This one is a definite “thumbs-up.” Strongly recommend! I look forward to reading additional works by N. Lombardi, Jr.
Kim M Aalaie, Author’s Den
One of my favorite suspense novels of the year. It will make you question the legal system.
The Eclectic Review
The courtroom action is excellent, trimmed to the most gripping parts of the trial, with plenty of emotional impact…a fairly realistic portrayal of the way small-town US society works…a fast-moving story with plenty of dramatic moments, and a big twist in the final pages.
An act of police brutality hurls a small town into a turmoil of rage and fear, igniting a relentless witch hunt and ending in the trial of the decade.
“When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.
A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.
Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.
Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?”
I can’t recall exactly how I came across this story: a homeless man beaten to death by police in a small town in California, but I do remember a series of YouTube videos that documented this event. There was a video recording taken from a closed circuit TV camera at the adjacent bus stop showing the beating, a silent witness to a brutal act. What was more appalling to me than the impending assault, was the exchange of two of the police officers with the soon-to-be victim, a harrowing display of sadistic provocation. The fact that the officers were indicted and brought to trial at all was a precedent – up to that time no police officer had ever been prosecuted for excessive force in the history of Orange County, a tradition that likely imparted a sentiment of immunity on the part of the accused officers when they were partaking in their vicious act.
In addition, videos of street protests decrying such police violence illustrated the collective shock of a small town. The town was Fullerton, California; the man was Kelly Thomas. The year was 2011
This case was the seed from which my novel, Justice Gone, sprouted.
How do you think it could contribute to the currently ongoing discussion?
The incident of excessive force in Justice Gone is not an isolated action, but occurs within the context of local politics and a flawed legal system, where outcomes are determined by the attitudes of people. I feel that a discussion of the violation of civil rights by law enforcement should include these elements, as they may be responsible for any sense of impunity the involved officers may have.
Are there any personal experiences that might have (inadvertently) made their way into the book?
Fortunately, I’ve never had an encounter with a police officer, nor was I ever trapped in the unfeeling machine of the legal system, but then again, I’ve lived most of my life outside of the United States.
In the current call for books by own voices, how do you feel as a white person narrating the viewpoint of an African-American person?
Well, I’ve never attempted to do that. I don’t think it would work. Justice Gone is written in a show, not tell, style of narrative. Essentially, these are the characters, this is what they do, this is what they say, and this is what happens in the story.
The book was published in February 2019. You must have worked on it for a while before then. Anytime during that process, did you expect the turmoil to reach the pitch it has now?
I expected the rage against abusive police actions to be sustained, and suspected that it might grow with time, but I wasn’t certain, because sometimes people forget until the next time it happens.
Stepping back from the book itself, what is your writing process?
Basically to relax and let my mind wander over the story – that’s the way my ideas come, usually with a glass of wine.
Is there anything else you want to convey to your readers?
To the few readers I have, I would like to say that we haven’t seen the last of Nat Bodine, the blind lawyer, nor the last of legal fiction that encompasses social issues. The matter of the death penalty, instances of racial discrimination, legal representation for the mentally disabled, and the sentencing of juveniles to life without parole are among a host of topics that can be explored through fiction. Although tragic, I intend to write about such inequities while infusing a note of hope in the stories.
About the Author
N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).
In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net
His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.
His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.