Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE FAMILY LINE by Laura Wilkinson @ScorpioScribble

Today’s Team Review is from Alison, she blogs at

#RBRT Review Team

Alison has been reading The Family Line by Laura Wilkinson


‘The Family Line’ by Laura Wilkinson #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT

Megan is a former foreign correspondent whose life is thrown into turmoil when her son is diagnosed with a terminal illness: a degenerative disease passed down the mother’s line. In order to save him, Megan will have to unearth the truth about her origins and about a catastrophic event from the past. She must confront the strained relationship she has with her mother, make sense of the family history that has been hidden from her all her life, and embark on a journey of self-discovery that stretches halfway around the world. Set in a much-changed Britain in the mid-twenty-first century, The Family Line is the debut novel from acclaimed writer Laura Wilkinson, now revised and proudly reissued by Accent Press.

This is a really clever idea for a novel. There are some diverse and very interesting themes going on here – the rather grim future in store for us if we don’t change our ways, the harm that secrets and lies can do, the consequences of thinking only of ourselves, and the strength there is in family and love.

The book begins in 2048, the world coping with the consequences of climate change and the aftermath of a terrible plague. Megan, a correspondent, is pregnant and returns home to her native Wales to live with her mother. The details of how the world has changed are subtly done, introduced through the way the characters live and their surroundings. This works really well.

We then move forward a few years to Megan finding out that her son has a degenerative disease. Megan needs to delve into her family’s past in order to find a way to save him. Her mother has always been secretive, but circumstances force her to tell Megan the truth, and what she recalls takes Megan to Romania to discover their true origins.

I did have a couple of issues with this novel. It was very slow to get started and did drag a little. I didn’t really engage with it until I came to Elizabeth’s story. It was here that the narrative seemed to come alive. The build up to the plague and the devastating consequences was brilliantly done and really gripping. Elizabeth is a fantastic character, warm, three-dimensional and relatable. I didn’t feel like this about Megan however, and found her very difficult to like. She seemed selfish and her lack of empathy or sympathy for Elizabeth made it hard for me to care about her. She was too hard and too cold and while she may have had reason to be so, those reasons didn’t come across clearly enough for me to like her.

I also felt that the storyline around her son was wrapped up too quickly. I won’t go into detail because of spoilers, but it just seemed too easy.

That said, there are parts of this novel that are absolutely brilliant, really page-turning and emotional. Elizabeth’s grief and suffering is harrowing to read and so well done. Laura Wilkinson is a great storyteller, and this book has a lot to commend it. She’s certainly an author to look out for.

Four out of five stars

Find Laura on Twitter @ScorpioScribble

Find a copy of the book here from or

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Terry reviews The Dead Lands by Dylan J Morgan

Today’s review is from Terry, she blogs at


Terry chose to read and review The Dead Lands by Dylan J Morgan


Right. I don’t like Sci-Fi. I have zero interest in spaceships and mutant beings. I do, however, love the whole post-apocalyptic thing, which is what made me want to read this book, as well as its excellent title. I am so glad I made that choice!

Basic plot: a motley crew of soldiers are sent from one planet to save the president of a second planet. President has lain in cryogenic suspension since an end-of-world nuclear war a hundred years before.

Dylan Morgan is one hell of a writer. Each character comes alive immediately; we are given no description, physical or otherwise, but I could tell EXACTLY what each person was like almost as soon as they were introduced – a rare talent indeed. The Deadlands is told mostly from the point of view of Lane, a former soldier and current bounty hunter, but also with guest appearances from other members of the team and connected characters, including one chapter from the point of view of one of the mutants. Very, very clever indeed, and actually put a different slant on the whole thing.

Morgan’s writing is clear, concise, never rambling. He understands dramatic impact, suspense, pathos, emotion, though I suspect all this is executed automatically, as it is with those who can write this well. If you like this sort of book you will LOVE this, and I think you will even if, like me, you suspect it might not be your sort of thing. Why? Because Morgan realises something important. A truly great novel is all about the CHARACTERS, not about the plot. The plot is terrific, too, but this story is about human nature: love, loss, greed, betrayal, despair, optimism, friendship, family and strength.

Highly, HIGHLY recommended. I suspect I might be raving about this book for quite a while! An easy 5 out of 5 stars from me.

Find a copy here from or

Land of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

Land of the Unaltered (Confederation, #1)Land of the Unaltered by Leti Del Mar

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced review copy of this book from the author and was delighted to read the story. A young adult romance set in a futuristic world where there is a liking to have repeated medical alterations. However there are people who don’t want the high life of the city, Rose goes to live with her aunt to escape the world that her parents live in. She meets Flynn, but he refuses to be friendly. A romance blossoms, but what will become of their future? A great story with the promise of its continuation in the next book.

View all my reviews

Guest Author JM Leitch

Today my guest on the blog is Jackie Leitch, please enjoy reading her replies.

Dear Rosie

Thank you so much for giving me the chance to be interviewed for your website.  Here are my answers to your questions.

My name is J M Leitch and I live in Bali, Indonesia.
I’ve always loved writing, and over the years I’ve written a great deal of non-fiction business material in the form of training courses, business proposals,
business reports, articles on training, technical manuals, the list goes on – but I didn’t start to write my first novel until 2004. It took me 7 1/2 years to complete!
It’s hard to put my debut novel into a specific genre.  I describe it as a futuristic thriller, but although it is set in 2068 the main action takes place in 2012.
One of the reasons it took me so long to write was that it required a huge amount of research because, in order to make the bizarre plot believable,
I had to ground everything – all the science, the New Age theory, the technology, the places, the organisations, the politics – everything, in reality.
I wanted to write something that would shock people… that would stretch their brains, so to speak, because this is the kind of books I most enjoy
reading. I like to think I achieved it with The Zul Enigma as many people have commented that they continued thinking about the novel long after they
finished reading it.
My 3 writing tips are:
1. Never stop a writing session at the end of a chapter or the end of a section. I ALWAYS continue to write the next few sentences or
paragraphs, and sometimes even stop in mid-sentence. I sometimes jot down a list of feelings, or emotions, or key words or ideas. This way, when I next
sit down to write, I can get my head in the right place to continue much more quickly. It’s like I never stopped.
2. When editing be ruthless. If a phrase, sentence, paragraph, section or chapter doesn’t reveal more about the characters, advance the plot, add
background detail or build tension, cut it out. Don’t keep it just because the words sound pretty.
3. Read your work over and over again. I’ve heard that a writer should edit his work at least 7 times. I know I did 7 drafts of my book, and even now,
after I published it, I know I could still improve on it.
The last novel I finished reading this month was Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and I gave it 5 stars. I love it. It is a complex book with many
underlying themes that made me question the consumer-orientated life we live in the western world. It has a great twist and a terrific ending that
rather than sewing everything up in a tidy package really made me think. I love Palahniuk’s stark style, his succinct imagery and the fact that all
his characters are wonderfully flawed and very real.
My book is The Zul Enigma and the link is:
(this is a link that will automatically open at the book page for the local version of Amazon wherever you are in the world)
Product Details

Once again, Rosie, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. I wish you all success with your novel, Talk of the Playground.

With kind regards

J M Leitch
Author of The Zul Enigma
Chuck Palahniuk rang a bell! Ages ago I went on the web site “I write like…”and submitted a piece of work from my book, they matched my style of writing with Chucks! At the time I’d never heard of him, so I looked him up. It felt very Bizarre.

“U” from the AtoZ Challenge

Today the letter on the challenge is “U”. My book today is “Under the Never Tree” by Veronica Rossi. As part of the daily challenge we are asking all readers of our post to leave a comment, thanks.



Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

Product Details

One reader wrote this about the book;

Despite the slow start, Under The Never Sky turned into a fast paced, thrilling ride which had me hooked. It’s tough, bloody and action packed at times with some heart stopping moments that kept me turning pages as fast as I could. Although I was baffled with the world to begin with, Rossi captures it so well that once you get it, it becomes believable, detailed and developed, so much so that while reading it I felt I was actually there. I would like to know what happened to make the world how it is in Under the Never Sky, as this isn’t
covered. Maybe that will come in following books in this series, which judging by the ending of this one promise to be every bit as good. If you like your
dystopia worlds bleak and ruthless with an action packed and fast paced plot, then I recommend Under The Never Sky.

Here are 5 randomly chosen links to other AtoZ Challengers;