Just finished reading my first book on Kindle – thought I would announce that as it’s a rather special book, written by a friend. Check out my Amazon review Unusual and provoking to see some other reviews and also to purchase it for a mere £2. But let me give you a taster of this cracking fantasy story – the heroine, Nan, has just recovered from a serious setback, but she is not yet out of the frying pan, and she knows that the enemies she has been battling have indeed returned:
The universe changed around Nan. A world of permanent twilight awaited her. The island, the mainland and the sea were visible, yet they appeared to be made of a substance like glass and lit by the fierce moonlight from a netherworld. It was as if some dim lens had suddenly dropped in front of Nan and the whole of creation was now cast in some darkened palette of light and shadow. Almost all the colours were muted or gone entirely but the unearthly light made everything appear as if finished with an exquisite silver trim.
It was a beautiful, if eerie world. The bulbous strings of cloud hanging in the sky like swollen vertebrae stretching to eternity seemed to pulsate as if with the heartbeat of a living creature. Above them were drifting smudges and smears, shifting into luminous bleeds and spears of ghostly light and faint colour like an aurora. But the most extraordinary feature of the scene was that Nan could see through all natural and man-made structures to gaze at the little rainbow lights shifting in and among them, the only bold colours in the entire landscape.
The story begins in a normal town in England, with a family struggling to cope with life, the father, Russell, desperate for a job, the mother just having walked out, and the twins, Tristan and Nan, and little brother Hartley, surprisingly but believably resilient in the face of many setbacks. If you thought the above was a little too serious, there is plenty of lighthearted humour and enjoyable characterisation in the novel:
Even though their father enjoyed cooking breakfast for everyone when the mood took him, he had never been very good at it and it came as no surprise to either Nan or Tristan to find their kitchen looking like the mouth of a smoking volcano. Their father soon emerged from the billows of smoke, triumphantly holding two plates as if they were trophies he had wrestled from the heart of the inferno. On these plates were the charred remains of things that might have been sausages, eggs, bacon and toast before he had started cooking them. The eggs could never look another egg in the eye with self-respect – they were in trauma, as were the sausages, bacon and the crumbling black coasters that had once passed for bread. The twins looked from the ‘food’ to their father’s beaming face and his twinkling grey-green eyes. He simply had no clue that he ranked high as one of the world’s all-time worst cooks.
If you visit Amazon you will find a generous portion of the opening chapter is given on ‘search inside’ which will give you a good sense of what kind of book you’re reading. For me, it gives me hope, because I know this person wrote this novel literally in their spare time, with two kids, a full-time job and goodness knows what else. The quality, the depth of imagination, and the integrity of the whole story, are all inspirational. What is more, he is currently working on the next volume.
You read it first here, before it becomes more widely known!