Mara’s Awakening by Leo Flynn: #BookReview.

Space Opera/Science Fiction A short story full of action, and written in a style to keep that action moving. The title character is described on the cover as ‘half human, half machine, all badass’, and that comes across in the telling.Although I write science fiction, and read it, I’ve tended to stay clear of space …

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A Lullaby in the Desert, by Mojgan Azar: #BookReview.

296 PagesDiscrimination & Racism/Women’s Biographies/Adventure Stories & Action This is effectively an autobiographical novel, an exceptionally candid and affecting one, as the author followed the same dangers, cruelties and life choices as the fictional narrative subject, Susan. It is not an easy read. But it is a book everyone who can read should.It tells the …

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Bridport Prize 2020 Anthology, by Bridport Arts Centre: #BookReview.

147 pages Literary Anthology This is an anthology of the winning entries for the poetry, short fiction, and flash fiction annual contest held in 2020. It includes the ‘commended’ entries, too.The Bridport is a well-respected international literary competition. Along with other contemporary creative activities, what is considered ‘good’ is down to personal taste. We’ve all …

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The Defiant Spark, by Annie Percik: #BookReview.

346 PagesDark Fantasy Horror/Low Fantasy This work of intelligent imagination takes us on a journey with well-rounded characters into a world of mixed fantasy and science fiction. We’re not told when the story takes place, but that’s not an essential detail: we know we’re in the future, on a probable Earth, and that’s enough of …

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Finding Home, by Jackie Weger: #BookReview.

233 pagesWomen’s Humorous/Contemporary/Romance In this romance, we follow the progress of Phoebe as she attempts to find a new home for herself, her siblings, and her parents following their loss of employment. Set in America, it has the usual tendency to reference aspects of life that are familiar only to those who live there. In …

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A Welcome Ending: 2020 Goodbye!

Christmas is for the kids. But I love the idea of a new beginning, however random that may be, so the New Year is always special for me. Trauma, trouble, dispute, and the glorious heroics and kindness of millions. This has been a year that will be remembered by most for many reasons. The personal …

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Our Future Earth, by Curt Stager: #BookReview.

320 pagesGlobal Warming and Ecology/Ecological Pollution/Higher Education in Geography. Subtitled, The Next 100,000 Years of Life on the Planet, this book takes the view of that future as seen through the eyes of a paleoecologist, a term so new it doesn’t even appear in my edition of my usual go-to dictionary, the SOED. It describes …

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Childish Ways, by Fran Gabaldoni: #BookReview.

194 pagesFiction An interesting and relatively unusual approach to the novel, this story uses the format of first-person narrative from the point of view of a young boy, alternating with the emotionally charged diary entries the same person makes as the father of a young girl suffering from leukaemia. The contrast between the carefree and …

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The Beauty of the #Book Review

Sometimes a reader truly ‘gets’ our work. Even less rarely, that reader takes the trouble to express their admiration and understanding of the piece by posting a review. This common situation is even more true of authors, like me, who tackle controversial themes in their books. Since April of this year, I’ve been posting daily …

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2021 (The Galaxy Series Book 4), by Aithal: #BookReview.

141 pagesFirst Contact Science Fiction/Action and Adventure Fiction Having read book 3 in this series (Divided States of America), I was open to read and review this fourth book when invited by the author. The story is the continuation of a time-travelling group, involving another world in a distant galaxy and the interaction of the …

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The Book Review Companion, by David Wogahn: #BookReview.

212 pagesPublishing and Books/Writing Reference/Writing Skills Reference. Subtitled ‘An Author’s Guide to Getting and Using Book Reviews’, this is manual designed to do what the title suggests. Unfortunately, in common with a number of other books offering similar advice, it has little new to say about fiction, concentrating mainly on nonfiction. This isn’t a fault …

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Kos in a Time of Covid 19: 9th Day.

View from the road leading to the Asklepion Sunday was our 32nd wedding anniversary, so, naturally, we set out on a long trek up a hill. We’d decided early in the stay that we’d visit the Asklepion. It’s the most popular destination for tourists on the island, so we expected it would be quite busy. …

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National Cake Day in Ruritania, by Mark P. Henderson: #BookReview.

362 pagesSatire Fiction/General Humorous Fiction/Humour Humour is so personal. What makes one person laugh can make another frown or fail to respond at all. I’ve no wish to put readers off, but this book, included in the ‘humour’ genre, didn’t tickle my laughter muscles, I’m afraid. That doesn’t mean it will fail to stimulate yours. …

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Grenade Rain Dance, by Calibna J. Kerr (Junk Talk Poet): #BookReview.

Poetry is such a varied medium that a reader approaches any work with cautious curiosity. What will this piece say, will it be formal, contemporary, or simply chopped prose? The very fact that Calibna prefers his Junk Talk Poet handle may well put off a number of potential readers due to the propensity to pre-judge. …

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21 Lessons for the 21st Century, by Yuval Noah Harari: #BookReview.

416 pages Political History and Theory/Evolutionary Psychology This is an unusually truthful book, written in rational prose with a degree of honesty that will startle most readers. Presented in five parts, entitled, The Technological Challenge, The Political Challenge, Despair and Hope, Truth, and Resilience, with each section further divided, it does what it states in …

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