Scrolling Covers

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nostradormouse By Chris Tinniswood

Blurb: A dormouse awakens & utters a mysterious prophecy. In the centre of The Great Woods, an ancient tree receives some strange visitors. Rumours abound. Change is in the air. This is the age... of Nostradormouse. 

Reviewed by Dale

I was hunting around on Barnes and Noble looking for something to read and saw the cover for this little charmer. Catchy I thought and since my coin purse is feeling the pinch I jumped at the chance to read something popular (its in the top 100 I think) and free.

First lets get the moaning out of the way so we can get to the good stuff. There were a few too many typographical errors. Direct speech not on new paragraphs and some truncated sentences and the likes. Also my pet peeve, using too much narrative to tell the story. In fact since this great little story only clocks in at around 15,000 words it could have almost doubled that it the characters had been aloud more time 'on stage' as it were.

Ok so now on with the good bits. What a fantastic story, great imagination at play here, a jealous pang struck me enjoying this one. I think somewhere I read another reviewer drawing parallels with Aesop's fables, and I can see similarities but this is no rip off of a classic. This is fresh and original and highly entertaining. I can see this being an easy favourite in the eight years and up category. An unpredictable storyline, a nice easy build up with lots of intriguing foreshadowing of things to come. While it was short I couldn't help bonding with the hero, the young mouse on the cover. I really implore Tinniswood to re-look at this story and rework it in a dialogue driven story and at least 25,000 words. It would be awesome.

So go grab it! its great, its free, its easy to read!

Age 8+
Format: eBook
Available from Smashwords
Link to DownloadHere
Price: $0.00c (at time of review)
Wordcount: 15,000 (appx)
Author:Chris Tinniswood

Monday, July 11, 2011

Realms of the Red Rabbit - Book 1 by Laura Eno

BlurbA spoiled, rich young woman is catapulted into an alternate universe because of an ancient legend. As she fights to find her way back home, she must adjust her way of thinking or remain trapped in the Realms for eternity. Along the way she learns the meaning of friendship, love and honor while struggling against the dangerous adversaries who are intent on keeping her there. 

Reviewed by Dale:

I guess it was the creepy emerald eyes that drew me to this as I shopped my way around looking for something to read. Another one of those books you collect on a whim and don't really know what to expect when you crack the spine and have at it. It was very early on in the piece that I realised I had discovered something out of the ordinary here. The writing was at once very fluid and prose like. Exceptional narrative that was almost a distraction in its elegance. I was amazed at how precise the writing was. 

The story develops quickly. Characters are immediately established with depth and personality. Hallmarks of great writing. Some words used in here threw me, I consider myself fairly well rounded in vocab, not up to Shakespeare's massive working catalogue but none the less I don't often see words I've never seen before. This novel got me more than once. I haven't seen the word miasma used this century in modern prose before. 

"The emotional buoyancy was a strong counterpoint to the endless days of trekking through unknown dangers." A classic example of the prose like narrative that flows throughout the book, making it a joy to read. I searched for information about this author but she hasn't got a bio posted on her blog or website that I found. I'm guessing she must have a classical or liberal arts background because the writing is just so polished.

"Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate" -  I'm probably not the first to draw parallels with the famous poem Dante wrote. But the connection is obvious. The Nine Realms a direct correlation to the nine circles that the author (Dante) descends through. Representing the deadly sins greed, gluttony etc. I wasn't paying enough attention whilst ready Eno's book to determine the exact nature of each realm and it matters not. Its a separate story that stands on its own. A great imagination that constantly meant my coffee went cold as i lost hours absorbed in the story. I'll never look at pretty little butterflies quite the same way again. Especially the creepy blue ones.

Another obvious conclusion is the similarity to Alice in Wonderland. I'm not really convinced about that. Carol supposedly wrote that as a parody of modern (at the time) mathematics. Imaginary numbers weren't something he accepted and the mad hatters tea party was a nice ridicule of the 'change' required to accept them. The closest I think Eno comes is the moral lessons that Allyson comes to learn as she descends through the realms, being her message to the world. I think that has more substance than taking the mickey out of essential mathematics.

The ending was possibly the only weakness. Endings can be challenging and some of the biggest criticisms I've had on one of my books is the abruptness of the ending. In my case it was part one of a three part trilogy.
So, I see with satisfaction, a second book is available to read in the Red Rabbit series. I will endeavour to read and review one-day soon.

Format: eBook
Available from Smashwords
Link to DownloadHere
Price: $0.99c (at time of review)
Wordcount: 88,000 (appx)
Author:Laura Eno