Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #SouthAfrica Drama The Wilderness Between Us by @PennyHaw

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading The Wilderness Between us by Penny Haw

The Wilderness Between Us by [Penny Haw]

4 stars

A close-knit group of friends set off on a hike in the remote, mountainous Tsitsikamma region of South Africa. Three couples, one father and his daughter. From the beginning there are problems; one person falls ill, and another takes no notice of the rangers’ weather warnings, leaving them stranded in various locations.

This interesting and highly readable drama centres around Clare, the daughter, who has anorexia, and Faye, the wife of Derek, whose own insecurities manifest themselves in the psychological abuse he bestows on Faye; he uses a version of the ‘gaslighting’ technique, lying to her about things she has said and done in order to make her doubt her own emotional stability. Although I understood the situation, I did find it frustrating that she was such a complete doormat and appeared never to have stood up for herself about anything in her entire married life.

Clare’s story was most compelling; how the anorexia began, the reasons behind it, the way in which it took hold and the repercussions. Clare’s self-awareness made her likable, and I thought the whole subject was dealt with sensitively and intelligently, while still making for a good story in which I was totally engrossed.

I liked that this was set in South Africa, not a part of the world I know much about, and I enjoyed the occasional South African/Afrikaans word, even when I wasn’t sure what it meant. I thought there could have been more of a sense of desperation, fear and hunger, considering the precarious situation everyone was in, but the intricate emotional dynamics kind of made up for this, from a reader’s point of view. I particularly liked Faye’s feeling of connection with her environment, near the end.

I had a few issues with some of the content (such as a few instances of the word ‘convince’ that should have been ‘persuade’ – it’s one of my pet peeves!), but nothing major. I enjoyed this book; it’s a thoroughly good read – and the cover is gorgeous!

Desc 1

Faye Mackenzie and her friends’ anorexic daughter, Clare are thrown together when a flood separates them from their hiking group in the remote, mountainous Tsitsikamma region of South Africa. With Clare critically injured, Faye is compelled to overcome her self-doubt and fear of the wild to take care of the younger woman, who opens her heart to Faye.

As their new friendship takes the women on an unexpected journey of discovery, the rest of the group wrestles with the harrowing aftermath of their own near tragedy. When the hiking party is reunited, their number is reduced by one.

Juxtaposing physical and psychological suspense, The Wilderness Between Us is a tale of two fragile women who unexpectedly find clarity, independence and renewed purpose as they fight to survive. It is a vivid, moving story about family, friendship, adventure and the healing power of nature and compassion. It also expounds the author’s love for animals and the outdoors.

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The Wilderness Between Us by [Penny Haw]

Historical Adventure In Borneo. @TerryTyler4 reviews The White Rajah by @TomCW99 For Rosie’s #Bookreview team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading The White Rajah by Tom Williams

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5 out of 5 stars


I read the third in this series (the Williamson papers), Back Home, five years ago, and adored it – they’re all stand alones.  I read Book #2, Cawnpore, shortly afterwards, liked it but in a 4* rather than a ‘5* OMG’ way, and never got round to reading The White Rajah. Then I watched the film Edge of the World, starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as James Brooke, and thought, I know of a book about this…

In short, it’s a fair bit different from the film, in that it’s written from the fictional John Williamson’s point of view – he is cast as an interpreter who went with Brooke to Borneo.  However, I recognised the atmosphere and the chain of events, but even if I hadn’t, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Tom Williams is a fine writer and a most engaging storyteller, his style perfect for the time period, and I was engrossed from the first page.  His characterisation is subtle and clever, and the narrative is not without humour (the earlier Governor of Sarawak’s military strategy).


I loved reading about the different tribes in their long huts and the traditions; I would have liked to read more about them.  Of course, the attitudes of the British men are of the time, and at first they see it as their God-given right – nay, duty – to bring ‘civilisation’ to the natives, though there is a rather nice passage in which Williamson observes a tribe and considers that they seem quite happy and efficient as they are, thank you very much.  About the Dyaks: ‘These were a people who knew not the poorhouse nor the lockup, whose lives were not blighted by working in great factories.  They knew nothing of steam locomotives or spinning machines but led a simple life at one with nature.’  


Highly recommended:  ‘A tale of adventure set against the background of a jungle world of extraordinary beauty and terrible savagery’.

Desc 1

Invalided out of the East India Company’s army, James Brooke looks for adventure in the South China Seas. When the Sultan of Borneo asks him to help suppress a rebellion, Brooke joins the war to support the Sultan and improve his chances of trading successfully in the area. Instead, he finds himself rewarded with his own country, Sarawak.Determined to be an enlightened ruler who brings peace and prosperity to his people, James settles with his lover, John Williamson, in their new Eden. But piracy, racial conflict, and court plotting conspire to destroy all he has achieved. Driven from his home and a fugitive in the land he ruled, James is forced to take extreme measures to drive out his enemies.The White Rajah is the story of a man, fighting for his life, who must choose between his beliefs and the chance of victory. Based on a true story, Brooke’s battle is a tale of adventure set against the background of a jungle world of extraordinary beauty and terrible savagery. Told through the eyes of the man who loves him and shares his dream, this is a tale of love and loss from a 19th century world that still speaks to us today.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Shortstories Backstories by Simon Van Der Velde

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Backstories by Simon Van Der Velde

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3.5 stars


This is a novel idea – a series of easy-read short stories, each one an imagined snapshot of the early years of well-known person, but ‘the reveal’ doesn’t come until the end, so you can have a good time guessing the identity of the main character as you read.  


They’re clearly well-researched; I guessed all of them except one (Past Time), which was about someone I’d heard of without knowing anything about their life; however, I was able to do ‘swapsies’ with another member of the review team, as I knew a couple that she didn’t!  


Slight downsides – I found some were made too obvious; I’d have an idea who it was, then instead of there being a more telling hint at the end, it was given away too early or spelled out in black and white, and then underlined (metaphorically).  Not all of them, just some.  Also, the nature of the theme does rather tempt one to rush through to spot the clues, rather than just reading the story at a normal pace.  They’re all nicely written but, for me, lacked that ‘X’ factor.  This is, of course, only down to personal taste.


My favourites were The Blank Face, Preserved in Amber and Tonight’s The Night.

Desc 1

Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth? These are people you know, but not as you know them.Peel back the mask and see.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #HistoricalFiction Fireflies And Chocolate by @AilishSinclair

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

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4.5*


I very much liked Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel, The Mermaid and the Bear, so was looking forward to this, and I was pleased to see it’s about the same family, a couple of generations on – this time the main character is Elizabeth Manteith, whose family is going through difficult times. Her father is caught up with the Jacobite rebellion, and Beth spends most of her time with the servants.


A ghastly accident of circumstance leads to her being imprisoned on an Aberdeen slave ship, taking children and young people to the tobacco plantations of North America. A round of applause to Ms Sinclair for using fiction to highlight little-known history – I knew nothing about this. Once in America Beth’s life remains hard, though not as hard as one might have feared for her. She longs for word from home, and strives to find out the location of Peter, a boy she became close to on the ship.


Beth is an engaging character, as is Michael, in whose house she works. I’m not a romance reader (not least of all because I always know exactly who is going to end up with whom, as soon as they meet!), but in this book the romance aspect is subtly threaded through the main story, an undercurrent rather than centre stage. I loved reading about life in the mid 18th century; it’s a very ‘easy read’, just flows along, while being quite a page-turner. I enjoyed the whole book; the pace is just right and there were no boring bits!


Ms Sinclair has chosen to write Beth’s first-person narrative in Scottish dialect. Normally this would drive me nuts, but the way she has executed this is perfect for the book, absolutely right. She concentrates on the Scottish words Beth would use (‘dinna’ rather than ‘didn’t’, ‘fit’ rather than ‘what’, for instance) rather than trying to write dialogue in a Scottish accent, which would have been tedious in extreme – from the beginning, I found myself reading it in Beth’s voice. 


I was most interested to read, in the Author’s Notes at the back, that not only was it based on a true occurrence, but some of the characters are based on real people. This always adds a pleasing dimension to a story. 


It’s a well-researched and delightful book, as was the last one. The only reason I’ve given it 4.5 rather than 5* is that I tend to like books that are a bit darker than this, but that’s only personal preference, not a criticism. It’s a story to curl up and escape with. A definite recommendation, and I look forward to the next.

Desc 1

Elizabeth craves adventure… excitement… love…

For now though, she has to settle for a trip from her family’s castle, to the port in Aberdeen, where her father has promised she’ll be permitted to buy a horse… all of her own.

Little does she suspect this simple journey will change her life, forever. And as she dreams of riding her new mount through the forests and glens of the Manteith estate, she can have no idea that she might never see them again.

For what lies ahead is danger, unimagined… and the fearful realities of kidnap and slavery.

But even when everything seems lost, most especially the chance of ever getting home again, Elizabeth finds friendship, comfort… and that much prized love, just where she least expected it.

Set in the mid eighteenth century, Fireflies and Chocolate is a story of strength, courage and tolerance, in a time filled with far too many prejudices.

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT American #Histfic THE COTILLION BRIGADE by @glencraney #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading The Cotillion Brigade by Glen Craney

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4*
This novel is quite an achievement, and I so appreciated how much it taught me about the American Civil War, a subject about which I knew very little before.  


The Cotillion Brigade tells a fictional version of the true story of the Nancy Hart Rifles of Georgia, begun by former debutante Nancy Colquitt Hill, who lived on a plantation.  Her chapters alternate between those of Hugh LaGrange from Wisconsin, on the side of the Abolitionists; he and his men’s aim is, initially, to make sure that the territory of Kansas remains a free state when it joins the union.

The novel is intricately researched, and the characters are clearly defined.  I liked the way in which the author wrote the characters authentically, using (some of) the dialogue they would have used at the time, rather than sugar-coat it too much, so as not to offend the sensitive ears of the 21st century.  He has walked a successful middle line between the two possible extremes.


Nancy was an interesting character from the start; she dived into her new role with the same gusto and impulsiveness that she displayed when all she had to think about was her standing in society, and her love life.  Hugh’s side of the story contains all the gritty atmosphere you would expect, and I felt the author had really got into the heads of the people of the time.


My only complaint is the length – I think it could have been chopped down by 20% to gee up the momentum a little.  The first third sets up the lives of Hugh and Nancy in great detail; I thought this, in particular, could have been edited down, though I did love Nancy’s wrangles with her rival in love!  As the story progresses into the war itself, and the conditions under which the army fought, the pace did ramp up somewhat.


At the end is a most fascinating author’s note, telling what happened to the people after the end of the book – and, best of all, photographs of the characters within and some of the actual places mentioned.  If you have a particular interest in the American Civil War, I would recommend buying this straight away!  As it is, I’m interested in reading another of his books, either The Yanks are Starving (set in the Depression), or The Spider and The Stone set in 14th century Scotland.

Desc 1

1856. Sixteen-year-old Nannie Colquitt Hill makes her debut in the antebellum society of the Chattahoochee River plantations. A thousand miles to the north, a Wisconsin farm boy, Hugh LaGrange, joins an Abolitionist crusade to ban slavery in Bleeding Kansas.

Five years later, secession and total war against the homefronts of Dixie hurl them toward a confrontation unrivaled in American history.

Nannie defies the traditions of Southern gentility by forming a women’s militia and drilling it four long years to prepare for battle. With their men dead, wounded, or retreating with the Confederate armies, only Captain Nannie and her Fighting Nancies stand between their beloved homes and the Yankee torches.

Hardened into a slashing Union cavalry colonel, Hugh duels Rebel generals Joseph Wheeler and Nathan Bedford Forrest across Tennessee and Alabama. As the war churns to a bloody climax, he is ordered to drive a burning stake deep into the heart of the Confederacy.

Yet one Georgia town-which by mocking coincidence bears Hugh’s last name-stands defiant in his path.

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Rosie’s #BooKReview Team #RBRT #SpeculativeFiction HER MAD SONG by C.J. Halbard

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Her Mad Song by C.J. Halbard

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3.5 stars

I admit to struggling a bit with this book, although it was well-written in many ways. A look at Goodreads half way through told me that Her Mad Song is not the first in this series, and I did feel as though I needed to understand more about the world the author has created, to fully ‘get’ it. An introduction tells us that Tempest Bay {a remote coastal town in New Zealand where the series is set} exists in novellas, podcasts and interactive experiences.

The story begins with an unnamed man and a twelve-year-old girl, Lucia, arriving at Tempest Bay, and moves on to curious relationships with the people they meet there, including a meteorologist they’ve sought out. CJ Halbard certainly has literary talent and has produced some fine atmospheric prose. The characterisation and dialogue are both fairly good, though the experimental style didn’t always work for me; the predominance of the subordinate/dependent clause became irritating after a while. The subordinate clause in place of a full sentence can have such impact, but it needs to be used sparingly. Then there’s that lack of speech marks thing … writers such as Cormac McCarthy manage to get away with it by leaving you in no doubt when a passage or line is speech rather than narrative, with minimum use of he-said-she-said, but it’s not the easiest of skills to master. Breaking ‘the rules’ tends to work better once you’ve worked within them for a while.


Readers who appreciate poetic writing and like something a bit unreal and outside the box may absolutely love this, but I thought it could do with the hand of a good developmental editor to give it better structure and definition; the story seemed a bit ‘all over the place’. There is much to commend, but I’m just … not sure. 


I read the information at the back, hoping to get a bit more insight. Much of it appears to be allegorical; an ’emotional climate change’, an ‘external imaginative environment that connects us all’, in which we could be ‘causing permanent lasting damage’. The concept seemed rather vague, without much substance or explanation, though I took a look at the excerpts from the other stories, at the end, and I liked them well enough. Could be that I’m just the wrong audience; the website is enticing and well-presented, for anyone who is interested; it’s HERE.

Book description

The strange and haunting story of rediscovering yourself in a time of madness.

A man and his adopted daughter come to Tempest Bay seeking a mystery. The world outside is aflame with anger and turmoil, but here in this tiny coastal town the old ways still hold. They take shelter with an obsessive meteorologist, in the shadow of a dark tower on the clifftops. From here they must navigate the labyrinth of small-town secrets and their own fears as a long-awaited storm approaches…

Her Mad Song imagines a world on the cusp of emotional climate change: a profound shift in how our inner lives connect to the places around us. The warring forces of this world are kindness and cruelty, creativity and death, history and memory and possibility and the deep primordial terror that echoes from the ocean to the stars.

Welcome to Tempest Bay.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Noir #Mystery BLACK IRISH BLUES by @andrewcotto

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Black Irish Blues by Andrew Cotto

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4.5*
Black Irish Blues is a long novella (or possibly a short novel) featuring Caesar Stiles, a man whose childhood was spent in a rough area of a small town in industrial New Jersey.  His father left the family when Caesar was thirteen, and his two brothers are now dead; he loved the older one who died in a tragic accident, whereas the middle brother was a vicious thug. Caesar spent most of his life travelling all over the country, but returned when his mother died, moving into the family home and buying the local inn.


The story centres around blasts from the past, friends reunited, mysterious disappearances and the local gangsters.  Written in the first person, much of the narrative details Caesar’s observations about small town life and his impressions of the town and people in which and with whom he grew up.

The plot is perfectly paced and structured, and fits well into the shorter length; although the story itself is fairly standard, I loved Caesar, the writing itself is as good as that of any classic American novel, and the characterisation is outstanding, making it a real page turner.  All the side characters are beautifully observed, the dialogue is spot on, and the atmosphere is vivid and so well described without ever being wordy.  I could tell by reading this that the author really knows his subject, along the place, time and people about whom he has written.  I’ll definitely read something else by him, probably the book before, which I’ve already had a look at.  Highly recommended.

Desc 1

Black Irish Blues is the return-to-origin story of Caesar Stiles, an erstwhile runaway who returns to his hometown with plans to buy the town’s only tavern and end his family’s Sicilian curse.

Caesar’s attempt for redemption is complicated by the spectral presence of his estranged father, reparation seekers related to his corrupt older brother, a charming crime boss and his enigmatic crew, and – most significantly – a stranger named Dinny Tuite whose disappearance under dubious circumstances immerses Caesar in a mystery that leads into the criminal underbelly of industrial New Jersey, the flawed myth of the American Dream, and his hometown’s shameful secrets.

Black Irish Blues is a poetic, gritty noir full of dynamic characters, a page-turning plot, and the further development of a unique American character.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Scifi THE RINGS OF MARS by Rachel Foucar

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading The Rings Of Mars by Rachel Foucar

About a 500-strong crew on a year-long mission to Mars, to establish a society that will, it is hoped, be part of the solution for all the troubles on earth.  But there appears to be a saboteur on board ship…


I liked the premise very much, and Ms Foucar has a most readable, flowing writing style.  I was drawn in quickly; the beginning, with Jane Parker leaving a dying country, held great promise, and there is an excellent part early on in which a maintenance crew member gets killed.  Around a third of the way through, though, my interest began to lapse.  There are a lot of main and secondary characters, all with unmemorable names like Pat, Pamela, Jane, Mark, Frank, Beth, Sam, which wouldn’t have mattered so much if the POV didn’t change so often, and most of them didn’t talk in the same way.  It was okay at first, and I had a clear picture of Jane, Mark and Pat, but after that it all got a bit hazy.  Having said that, most of the dialogue is basically good; natural, convincing.  

I wasn’t sure how old they were all supposed to be, but they gave the impression of being in their early twenties, and sometimes seemed more like students running around a campus than people especially selected to go on this important voyage; I didn’t have a sense of them being on a ground-breaking mission into space.


For a scifi thriller, there was a lot of talking but not very much tension or drama.  I also felt that the plot itself wasn’t very clear, as if there hadn’t been enough thinking through – having said that, it didn’t help that the mobi copy I was sent for review was badly formatted – on (literally) every other page there was a gap in the narrative, sometimes breaking a sentence in two, with the title and the words ‘ARC Not for Sale’.  Obviously I would not mark down the book itself for this, and I tried not to notice and just read the story, but it became off-putting, and made me lose concentration.  Also, early on, there were a few punctuation errors – simple ones, like apostrophes in plurals.  


This is a first novel – the author definitely has talent, and this story is a great idea.  I would suggest a) working with a good editor to pull it into shape, b) instructing her publisher to make decent review copies before she sends out any more! and c) having a re-think about some of the character names – perhaps make some of them more unusual, and more 21st century.  To sum up – it’s good, and has the potential to be very good, but it felt a bit 3rd-draft-ish, and needs more work to make it publication-ready, in my opinion.

Book description

For most people, colonising Mars is the opportunity of a lifetime. A chance for adventure. But for Jane, it’s a chance to escape her old life.

As the Earth grows more inhospitable, humanity’s best hope for survival is to start again on Mars. Jane Parker was lucky enough to be chosen from millions of applicants to join the first ship of colonisers. But before the crew of the Sleipnir can begin taming the red waste, they have to survive the voyage over. And there are those who would rather they didn’t reach their destination.

Trapped on a ship with a deadly saboteur, Jane will be forced to use her unique skills to keep the crew of the Sleipnir and her new friends safe. But will Jane be able to get the ship to its destination and keep her past a secret?

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #TimeTravel Neander: Exploitation by @AuthorHarald

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Neander: Exploitation by Harald Johnson

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5 out of 5 stars
I read the first book in this series, in which Tom Cook first ends up back in Neanderthal times, and of course his first realisation about what had happened was so good to read, but I actually liked this book more.


In Neander: Exploitation, Tom has a family back in those ancient times, but must travel back to the 21st century to get medical help for his daughter.  The book just flowed along, all the way through, with no dreary bits to wade through, and was oddly convincing despite the subject matter being so bizarre!  I constantly found myself unwilling to put the book down because I was so looking forward to seeing what happened next.

The elements of this book that interested me, in particular, were the idea that a time traveller could enter another era only to find that time has moved more quickly, and the way in which Tom’s actions back in prehistoric times alter the world for millennia to come.  I would love to see more of that in book 3, which I notice is being written at the moment, and about how Tom feels about the 21st century versus his pre-history life, which was touched on at the end.


Anyway, top stuff.  Looking forward to Book 3, and if you’re a time travel addict, get it now!

Book description

“What kind of world is this?”
It’s five years later, and Tom Cook is living a “normal” life with his Neanderthal family 40,000 years ago.
But when a life-threatening crisis strikes his daughter, Tom decides to carry her to the future for the medical help she desperately needs. And in the process, he’s entangled in a modern world very different from the one he left behind.

Now, caught up in a secret plan to exploit his daughter’s unique Neanderthal DNA, Tom must find a way to save everything he loves and cherishes.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #SpeculativeFiction TOKYO MAYDAY by Maison Urwin

Today’s team review is from Terry. She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

#RBRT Review Team

Terry has been reading Tokyo Mayday by Maison Urwin

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4.5*
The human race.  Migrating here and there for centuries, back and forth, whilst objecting to the influx of others.  Like migrating birds.  Like herded sheep.’


I love to read other authors’ view of the near future, and Tokyo Mayday is a clever and inventive slant on the subject.  In the 2050s, climate change, political/civil unrest and technological advancement have turned the US and the European states into third world countries, with poverty and lack of jobs.  The world’s greatest superpower is now Japan.  Outside the cities, economic migrants are kept in holding camps, hoping for work, but now many of these migrants are white Europeans and Americans.  

Jordan May and his family are offered the chance to live in Tokyo, which means a good job for Jordan at Matsucorp, the top car manufacturer in the world.  When they arrive there from England, however, they discover that all is far from utopian.  They are to live in a shared house, and both Jordan and his son, Alfie, immediately become aware of the opposing factions in the country – the far right who want to keep Japan for the Japanese, headed by the mysterious Yamada, and the movement for better treatment of migrants, more equal wages and fairer treatment for all, which grows in popularity amongst idealistic young people and the low-paid workers from the West.  As a skilled worker, Jordan sits between the two.


Manipulating all players is the mysterious Stepson Struthwin, advisor to the owner of Matsucorp.


It’s clear that the author is well-versed in Japanese culture; the detail provided by his insight is an added point of interest while reading this highly original and probably plausible look at the future.  His writing style is spare, which I liked very much, and the characterisation works well, throughout.  The picky might complain about a certain amount of ‘telling not showing’, but my view is that if it works well, who cares – and in Tokyo Mayday, it does.  


The book held my interest all the way through, with some good twists near the end that I hadn’t anticipated.  No complaints; this is a definite ‘buy it’ recommendation, for anyone who loves this genre as much as I do.

Book description

This is Maison Urwin’s debut novel, which follows the ordeal of a family’s economic migration from the Federal Republic of England & Wales to Tokyo.

The power is in the East.

The Federal Republic of England & Wales is in crisis.

Western economic collapse has led to mass economic migration to China, Korea and especially Japan. Jordan May is offered a transfer with Matsucorp and takes wife, Shaylie, and son, Alfie, to a new and bewildering life in the Orient. The book is set in the 2050s when, following the end of capitalism in Europe, the Far East is now considered the developed world. Society in the West has fallen apart and the East Asia is the destination of choice for economic migrants who are prepared to take risks and endure prejudice in the search for a better life.

The May family emigrates from Harwich, England to Japan and husband, wife and son battle discrimination, are embroiled in political activism and forbidden romance, are targeted in racist attacks and are endangered by unwitting gangland involvement. As the climax approaches in a violent political demonstration on the streets of Tokyo, we begin to discover the extent to which a mysterious, wiry Englishman has manipulated each of them.

This work of speculative fiction sees the Mays thrust into industrial politics, illegal unionisation and hostessing. Teenage love and the organisation of a mass demonstration take place against a backdrop of racial tension and the rise of the far right.

Could Shaylie’s life be in danger? Is the mafia involved?

And just who is the Machaivellian Stepson Struthwin who sits on Matsucorp’s board and has such a hold over the lives of those around him?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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