Some books leave a lasting impression on your heart and mind. Recently I happened to read another such book and therefore have to share my review here too.
Subject A36 by Teri Polen is a brilliant take on futuristic experiments that could allure many ambitious scientists who live in their self-created bubble of plucking everything from nature to manipulate it for the mighty and the rich. It is harrowing to imagine that “The Colony” kidnaps children to strip them of their coveted genes to create “perfect humans” for those who could pay the price!
This book engages you from page one and keeps you on the edge of your chair to read – what next? I couldn’t put it down and each time it revealed something new, I muttered wow! Written in a simple but eloquent style, Polen doesn’t waste a word in unnecessary descriptions; she focuses on the story and the outcome of action.
“Harvesting” – a shuddering term in connection with human beings but it lies at the center of this book, which gets darker as it proceeds.
Despite its theme, this book draws its strength from the emotional aspect of the story, which keeps you assured with the conviction that goodness can never be rooted out; there would always be kind people like Brynn, Noah and Paige. Love would remain the ultimate conquering force. It’s the love of Asher and Brynn, the friendship and benevolence of Asher, Noah and his team, the goodness of Garrett Solomon that shines in the abyss of darkness. I detest “The Colony” and there lies the success of Polen in crafting the perfect villains that live in it. I am eagerly looking forward to its sequel.
Never have I read any fantasy series faster than D. Wallace Peach’s ‘Unraveling the Veil’ trilogy. Too much fantasy doesn’t humor a realist like me, who likes to blend both but subtle realism in these three books amazed me. Lords of Chaos is the third book in the series. I’ve enjoyed all three.
Lords of Chaos, as the name suggests, acquaints us with “the First of Chaos,” who unleashes unspeakable devastation and despair in the fantasy world created by D. Wallace Peach. The story unravels deeper deceptions, as nobody could figure out who had robbed whom of his body and who was a changeling. Even so-called leaders couldn’t be trusted. Elves, changelings and goblins – all have to pay a heavy price as their world falls apart. Jungles are burnt, chaos rampage through their lands and innocent people drown in floods. Truth, compassion and kindness are thrown to the winds.
This book is a subtle comment on the world of today, hinting at the cunningness and selfishness of the people who hold authority. It seems to suggest that those who ignore their blessings, those who conspire against their own people and don’t respect each other are bound to face dire consequences.
The highlight of this book is the exquisite description of war scenes, so rare in modern literature. I marvel at the poetic prose, in the midst of war: “Colossal chunks of sculpted stone, the elegant art of master manipulators, smashed against the sheer walls and plunged into the silver river far below.” “Braced within the trees, she screamed and shifted. The air rippled with heat. Leaf litter withered. Twigs smoldered and erupted into flames.”
This book remains unpredictable till the last page but the trilogy must be read in order, if you want to understand the values embedded within it. Highly recommended.
I have to share Cathleen’s review as her in-depth, succinct analysis of her favorite poems has touched my heart. She begins with the title:
“Magical Whispers is a promising title, especially if you’re a fan of all things hobbit-y, like I am. And if you like poems and fantasy—for example, if you actually read the poems in The Hobbit and LoTR—then Ms. Singh does not disappoint.
First of all, just reading the table of contents is more interesting than is usually the case. It reads almost like a chain reaction of ideas, loosely associated yet meandering steadily to a desired destination…” Click for more
Today, I have the pleasure of featuring talented poet, Balroop Singh, as my Treasuring Poetry guest. Balroop has shared some lovely thoughts about poetry and her favourite poems. My review of her latest book, Magical Whispers, is included at the end of the post.
How can you have one poem as a favorite? They have been changing with my growing years. From Rumi to Rudyard Kipling to Maya Angelou, poetry has always evoked images of romanticism, realism and Sufism and I got carried away with those images depending on the phase of my life.
As a youngster, I liked ‘Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening’ by Robert Frost. It acquainted me with the beautiful images and simple style of writing a poem, inspired me…
I am delighted to welcome Jacqui Murray, my blogger friend, who has just released her third book in the Crossroads Trilogy:
Xhosa’s extraordinary prehistoric saga concludes, filled with hardship, courage, survival, and family.
I have read and reviewed all three books, which record a fabulous history of tribes of those times, (850,000 years ago) about which there is no conclusive evidence. So the arena is open for writers to explore and Jacqui has made a brilliant effort.
Title and author: Against All Odds by Jacqui Murray
A million years of evolution made Xhosa tough but was it enough? She and her People finally reach their destination—a glorious land of tall grasses, few predators, and an abundance that seems limitless, but an enemy greater than any they have met so far threatens to end their dreams. If Xhosa can’t stop this one, she and her People must again flee.
The Crossroads trilogy is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.
From prehistoric fiction author Jacqui Murray comes the unforgettable saga of a courageous woman who questions assumptions, searches for truth, and does what she must despite daunting opposition. Read the final chapter of her search for freedom, safety, and a new home.
A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!
Against All Odds concludes the Crossroads Trilogy – an enthralling story of Xhosa and her People, the prehistoric inhabitants who possessed astonishing abilities to create tools out of stones and twigs, developed a communicative bird language and could face unknown hazards fearlessly. They were smarter than other tribes, as they could share their ideas and thoughts through hand gestures, facial expressions and sounds. They learnt from other communities, were adaptable and their intuition was stronger than others.
It is interesting to note some innate emotions amongst early dwellers. Despite the challenges they had to face and develop confidence, strength and ferocity, Pan-do considered himself more than just a father, a protector and food provider. He knew what is love, which he described as “caring for another beyond logic and reason.” He could even see a similar emotion between his daughter Lyta and Seeker. Hope too finds a mention many times. Each time somebody went missing or was captured by an enemy, they hoped that they would be reunited. Mbasa knew she would surely meet Xhosa again. Ngili hoped that he would be reunited with Hecate.
Jacqui’s research shines through out this book too and her foreword answers many questions about tribes and their ways of expression. Her characters have grown with the passage of time and remember their leader Xhosa’s advice to be “strong like Mammoth, patient as Eagle, leery like Gazelle, cunning as Wolf or lacking that, wise enough to mimic someone who is.” Murray has created awe-inspiring female characters who never give up in adversity, never look back and forge ahead with renewed vigor after each battle. If you like prehistoric fiction, you must read the Crossroads Trilogy. Though this is a stand-alone book, with references to earlier ones but they should be read in order.
Meet the Author:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also an adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Laws of Nature, Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, Winter 2021.