🪑#psychologicalfiction Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehehardt. Reviewed by Terry for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Today’s team review is from Terry.

Terry blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Orange rose and Rosie's Book Review Team
Rosie’s Book Review Team

Terry has been reading Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

Book cover for Pride's Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt, set against a background of a couple in silhouette at a coffee tabel from a free picture from Pixabay.
Pride’s Children: Purgatory by Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

4 out of 5 stars

Kary is a writer with more than her share of emotional baggage.  Andrew is a charismatic leading man, while Hollywood princess Bianca fears that her star might be fading, and hopes to keep it shining alongside the presence of Andrew.
Kary suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and this novel certainly gives the reader an insight into what this debilitating illness involves, and the restrictions it imposes on the life of the sufferer; also, I felt it gave the story an unusual slant.  Kary can’t afford, emotionally, to fall in love, but she reckoned without meeting Andrew on a New York talk show – and then the New Hampshire town where she lives is chosen as the venue for Bianca’s new film; here the three lives become emotionally entangled.
Ms Ehrhardt has such an entertaining writing style, easy and conversational.  The narrative is presented in alternate points of view of Kary, Andrew and Bianca, enabling the reader to immediately connect with each of them – my favourite structure.  Pride’s Children: Purgatory is the first of a trilogy, but is complete in itself.
At times I felt the book could have used a tighter edit, to remove some of the detail that slowed the story down, and just to make the narrative more succinct, but it’s still well-written and a jolly good story.

Orange rose book description
Book description

Reclusive ex-physician Kary Ashe transmutes personal tragedy into beloved best-selling novels. Actor Andrew O’Connell revels in the enviable status of leading man, with a reputation for perfectionism, an Irish temper, and broken hearts in his wake. Reigning Hollywood princess Bianca Doyle fears she’s already past her peak, and schemes to cement her position in the pantheon with Andrew as mate.

When Kary appears on a NY talk show to support a cherished cause, and becomes obsessed by fellow guest Andrew, movie star, she thinks she’s safe because she will never see him again. While Bianca, watching the show from far-off LA, is confident she can offer Andrew her own coveted insider rank.

But his next movie is filming near Kary’s Sanctuary, with Bianca as costar. Can Kary risk friendship with this intriguing man? Or will Bianca seduce him and meld her star to his? And will either ultimately satisfy Andrew’s twin lusts for fame and love?

Pride’s Children PURGATORY is a powerful literary debut. You don’t read PURGATORY, you live it. A deeply psychological experience, without flinching, from the driver’s seat right behind the eyeballs of three passionate people who can’t all get what they want. The choices, the devastating decisions, the consequences are all presented with the intimacy of a conscience. Ehrhardt conveys to you the gut-wrenching secrets of a disabled writer at the peak of her powers, a charismatic actor waiting in the spot where lightning strikes, and a ruthless woman who sees a golden future if she can but stick the Hollywood landing once and for all, as if you were wearing their skin.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

🛸’A fine example of the #postapocalyptic genre.’ @TerryTyler4 reviews What Was Once Home by @B_K_Bass, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog🧟‍♂️

Today’s team review is from Terry.

She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading What Was Once Home by B K Bass.

Book cover for What Was Once Home by B.K. Bass set against an orange sky and a green bridge
What Was Once Home by B.K. Bass

4.5 out of 5 stars

Jace Cox is a young teenager when the ‘twigs’ invade – and after one August day in 2034 his life will never been the same.  Fast forward a few years and he’s part of the militia fighting against them.  A few more years, and the town of Lewisburg has been reclaimed by its inhabitants, with Jace as its the sheriff – but the troubles are far from over.

Although I’m first in line when it comes to a post apocalyptic book, I wasn’t sure I’d like one about an alien invasion, thinking it might be too comic book-like.  But this isn’t.  B K Bass has made the subject totally convincing, and I really enjoyed it.  It’s got a great structure that kept my attention throughout – although the main story is told from Jace’s third person point of view in the early 2040s, there are occasional flashbacks to earlier, and also excerpts from the autobiography he wrote as an old man.  Aside from this, I loved the ‘interludes’ – sections told from other points of view in other areas, for a wider look at the situation.  These diversions from the main story were perfectly placed, and I could see how well thought-out the whole book is.

Bass has an easy writing style, creating good dramatic tension with a feeling of foreboding.  Every aspect of the book feels feasible, from the people who take charge in the new Lewisburg, those who want to be guided and given instructions, the fighting force, to the independent who want to do their own thing outside the walls – and, of course, the opportunity for the power-hungry to take over.

One small aspect I appreciated was how Jace, having been so young when the twigs arrived, knew little about life outside his immediate environment.  At one point an older person referred to a settlement as a ‘hippie commune’, and Jace didn’t know what he meant.  I loved that!

This book gives food for thought about war versus murder, what is ‘right’ when it comes to defending your home and your people, what it takes to live in harmony alongside those who are different from you, and leaves a couple of unanswered questions, which made me think that another book, perhaps after Jace’s time, would be most welcome.  I’d most certainly recommend What Was Once Home as a fine example of the post-apocalyptic genre.

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

When his world is suddenly torn apart, one man must learn to survive in What Once Was Home.

Jace Cox’s life is changed when an overwhelming alien force invades the Earth with no warning or provocation. In the years that follow, he must not only fight to survive, but also learn what it means to be a man and a leader. As the situation grows more dire and the weight of loss bears down on Jace, he realizes his greatest challenge isn’t the alien invaders or even his fellow man.

It is holding onto his own humanity despite living in a world gone mad.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

📚Set during the 1970s. Terry reviews #HistoricalFiction Fortunate Son by Thomas Tibor, for Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT.📚

Today’s team review is from Terry.

She blogs here https://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Fortunate Son by Thomas Tibor.

4 stars

Reed Lawson has a lot on his plate – he’s juggling college and membership of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), and his much revered father has been MIA in Vietnam for three years.  Then there are the droves of anti-war demonstrating hippies on campus, calling people like himself and his father ‘warmongers’.


When circumstances lead him to volunteer at a community project giving help to people with drug and emotional problems, he falls for Jordan, a strident feminist and peacenik.  His life also becomes entangled with a younger girl with serious emotional and family problems.


I enjoyed reading this; the storytelling itself is fine, the characters are clear and three-dimensional, and the author certainly knows how to write convincing, appropriate dialogue, a talent I believe is innate – I didn’t wince once, which says to me that the knack probably comes naturally to him.  Reed’s conflicting emotions about his father, and his reaction to discoveries about his parents, were extremely well written.  Also, there were a few excellent passages about the time and feel of the era:


‘The interstate had opened a few years ago.  Motels, fast food joints and gas stations mushroomed at each exit, sprouting garish oases in the rural countryside.  His mother hated the trend, predicting the country’s regional charms would be bulldozed in a few decades to make way for chain stories and restaurants that peddled the same brand of blandness in every state.’


‘He felt a kinship with all who’d travelled before him on thousands of miles of highway, which had replaced dirt roads, which covered trails hacked from raw wilderness.  Generations of restless Americans, forever on the move.  Pushing west, pushing south, yearning to go anywhere that promised to be better than where they came from.’


Although it’s a good book and I liked it, I thought it could have been cut down by about ten per cent to make it tighter; it’s quite long, and a fairly slow unfolding.  Also, the reminder of the era’s culture was a little over the top – the frequent indication of what song was playing on the radio or floating out of a student’s window, the way everyone’s conversation revolved around drugs, Vietnam, feminism and their own existential crisis, constantly.  It became a little repetitive after a while.
Having said that, I would most definitely recommend it as a solid human interest novel and a good story, particularly if you remember or have an interest in the era.

Desc 1

Fortunate Son is a coming-of-age story set on a southern college campus during the turbulent spring of 1970. Reed Lawson, an ROTC cadet, struggles with the absence of his father, a Navy pilot who has been Missing in Action in Vietnam for three years. While volunteering at a drug crisis center, Reed sets out to win the heart of a feminist co-worker who is grappling with a painful past and to rescue a troubled teenage girl from self-destruction. In the process, he is forced to confront trauma’s tragic consequences and the fragile, tangled web of human connections.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

3 #Horror Novellas. Terry Reviews Undead by Mark Brendan, For Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT.

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Undead by Mark Brendan

3.5*

In the first of these horror novellas, a man falls foul of the Spanish Inquisition and finds himself on a curious island where he comes under threat from unhuman terrors.  The second tale is about a necromancer in the eighteenth century, and the final one about some members of Napoleon’s forces stationed in Northern Africa, who are looking for a way out of their situation.


All three stories are highly inventive, and I very much enjoyed some aspects of all of them.  My favourite was the last one, about the French deserters; this one really kept my attention and I was engrossed.  The atmosphere of the time was so well written, and I particularly liked the early scenes at the site of the battle.  I also liked the sections of the first one where the hero is a galley slave. The stories are fairly gory but not unnecessarily so; it worked.


I felt that the book, as a whole, could have done with a better copy editor/proofreader, as there were a few wrongly used/spelt words and many punctuation errors, mostly missing vocative commas.  The content editing is fine; the stories flowed well and were told in a way that kept my attention. It was just the incorrect punctuation and other errors that should have been picked up, that distracted me.  Also, I felt that on several occasions the dialogue was too modern for the relevant periods in history.  Not horrendously so, but I think an experienced copy editor could polish them up to something first rate.

Desc 1

A collection of the author’s previously published pulp horror novellas, gathered for the first time in a single volume, Undead features three macabre tales of blood, terror and the living dead. In the first story, Exuma, a convicted seventeenth century heretic is shipwrecked along with his galley slave companions on a mysterious Caribbean island, where worse things than the surviving guards haunt the shadows. The second, The Worm at the Feast, is a darkly comedic, Gothic account of the life and misdeeds of an eighteenth century alchemist, who is also by turns a murderer, grave robber, bandit and necromancer. The final tale of historical horror, Temple of the Hyena, follows the exploits of a crew of deserters from Napoleon Bonaparte’s army in Egypt, lured into the deep desert by an ancient treasure map that promises riches beyond their dreams of avarice.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

‘Early 14th Century territory wars between Scotland and England’. @TerryTyler4 reviews #HistoricalFiction Dark Hunter by Fiona Watson.

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Dark Hunter by Fiona Watson

This novel’s background is factual; it centres around the early 14th Century territory wars between Scotland, led by Robert the Bruce, and England with its ineffectual King Edward II.  

Squire Benedict Russell has joined the English-held garrison of Berwick-on-Tweed, but soon finds that his attention is taken up by the murder of a young woman from a good family; he is given the task of finding her killer.

Rather than the murder mystery, it was the setting and the era that made me choose the book, as I love reading about both Plantagenet history and wars, and have been to Berwick several times. I did guess the identity of the murderer early on, but this did not matter because, for me, Benedict’s sleuthing activities came second to the book’s greatest strength: the intricate detail about the people and how they lived, their customs, beliefs, every day life, all woven so seamlessly into the narrative, which flowed so well. I’ve rarely read a piece of historical fiction that put me so much in the place and time.

There are a lot of characters, many with similar names so I admit to getting a tad confused at times.  I didn’t know which were real and which were fictional; a short ‘afterword’ might have been useful, so that the reader could discover which fictional characters were based on actual historical figures, etc, and what happened afterwards (though I did hit the internet for more information after I’d finished the book!).

F J Watson must surely be something of an authority on the history of the town; I’d say this book is a must-read for anyone who lives in Berwick and is interested in its past.  Fascinating; one of those novels that makes you want to go back in time and see it all. 

Incidentally, I discovered on my first visit to Berwick that most consider themselves staunchly English, to the extent that some pubs and shops have the English flag in the window, though everyone I spoke to behind bars and shop counters had a Scottish accent!

Desc 1

The year is 1317, and young squire Benedict Russell has joined the English-held garrison of Berwick-upon-Tweed after the spectacular Scottish victory at Bannockburn three years earlier.

Serious and self-doubting, he can’t wait for his time there to come to an end. Living on the disputed territory between Scotland and England is a precarious existence, and as the Scots draw ever closer and the English king does nothing to stop them, Benedict finds himself in a race against time to solve the brutal murder of a young girl and find the traitor who lurks within Berwick’s walls.

AmazonUK

‘A light-hearted romp through Norse mythology’. @TerryTyler4 reviews Why Odin Drinks by @bjornlarssen

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Why Odin Drinks by Bjørn Larssen

4 out of 5 stars

I read the first episode of Bjørn Larssen’s (very) alternative Norse mythology, Creation, which is now incorporated into this book – this is good, because I was able to re-read it before embarking on the confused All-Father’s further adventures.


I think I would need to know a lot more about Norse mythology than I do in order to fully appreciate this, though I did look up bits and bobs here and there, which helped.  The idea of portraying Odin as rather hesitant and not quite sure of his role as ultimate creator, is inspired.  Problem is that he and all the other gods (and versions of Odin in the past, present and future) know about everything that will be (which seems logical, what with them being deities), but are not always sure whether items or concepts actually exist yet.  Like Odin’s wife Frigg not being sure what a miniskirt is, but knowing she wants one. 


‘What sort of tea will you have?”They haven’t discovered it yet,’ said Urðr.  ‘He looks like the lapsang souchong type to me, though.’One of my favourite aspects was the occasional presence of ‘literature’. 

She is an entity that whispers to Odin’s mind a piece of information pertaining to something that has just been said, such as ‘Loki is foreshadowing‘, but Odin cannot see her; he just hears the sound of her sneakers as she sprints away.  I love that.


In parts 2-4 we meet many more gods – Loki, Freya and Freyr, and Frigg.  Freya, goddess of love, beauty, fertility, sex, war and gold (pretty much all the most important things to a Norseman, one imagines) is portrayed as a sort of Paris Hilton type, which I thought was genius.


‘As he travelled, Odin thoroughly investigated people of all shapes and sizes, casually letting it slip that he was the All-Father’.


Some of the time the references went over my head because of my lack of knowledge of the subject, though other times I felt the prose needed a bit of tightening up; it seemed to career away with itself now and again.  However, the good is very very good, and I also liked the pertinent observations about life and death, time and war, woven amongst the ridiculousness.  And the ending.  Clever.
A light-hearted romp through Norse mythology, and a fitting development for Bjørn Larssen’s comedic talent!

Desc 1

Ever woken up being a God, but not knowing how to God properly?

Poor Odin must restrain his brothers, who create offensive weapons such as mosquitoes and celery; placate his future-telling wife, Frigg, who demands sweatpants with pockets; listen to Loki’s Helpful Questions; hang himself from Yggdrasil for nine days with a spear through his side (as you do); teach everyone about nutritional values of kale (but NOT celery); meet a Wise Dom, Sir Daddy Mímir, in order to outwit those who outwit him; and, most importantly, prove he is The All-Father, while his brothers are, at best, Those-Uncles-We-Don’t-Talk-About.

This nearly (except in Vanaheim) universally acclaimed retelling of the Gods’ first millennium answers way too many questions, including ones on Freyr’s entendre, horse designing… and why Odin drinks. 

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

‘What a wild, dark and dangerous place 16th Century Scotland was.’ @TerryTyler4 reviews #HistoricalFiction Rizzio by @DameDeniseMina

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Rizzio by Denise Mina.

5 stars

The first word that came to mind when I was thinking how to describe this book was ‘enchanting’, though the story itself is the very opposite. The way in which it is written, however, is a delight indeed, even down to the off-the-wall chapter headings. The shocking story of the murder of David Rizzio, servant, advisor and friend to Mary, Queen of Scots, bounces along in page-turning fashion, with a whisper of almost humorous cynicism as the author narrates the appalling events of the few days in question.

It is a chilling irony that the hornéd demons who stormed the Queen’s apartments in Holyrood Palace claimed to be motivated partly by divisions in the Christian church – this grisly moment in history could have come straight from an anthology entitled ‘The Devil and his Work’. Also that the unborn child the demonic lords were so keen to write off actually became James VI of Scotland and James I of England – named by Elizabeth I as her successor.

Spoiled wastrel Lord Darnley – Mary’s husband who threw his toys out of his pram when he didn’t receive his ‘Crown Matrimonial’ (the sharing of the reign and the authority to rule in his own right if he outlived her) – was beautifully portrayed, while background information about the activities of his father and some of the other lords who took part in the brutality sent a chill up my spine that remains with me. This novella brings home what a wild, dark and dangerous place 16th Century Scotland was – every scene is atmospherically perfect, and one is given the feeling that in aristocratic and ‘noble’ circles, one’s life was hanging by a thread pretty much all the time.  

I loved what Denise Mina did with the insane Henry Yair, and the ‘afterwards’ section, when we read what happened to Mary in the years to follow and, most interesting of all, what happened to the Queen’s apartments at Holyrood Palace. Fascinating. I have to look up more about this!

Excellent.  Loved it.

Desc 1

From the multi-award-winning master of crime, Denise Mina delivers a radical new take on one of the darkest episodes in Scottish history—the bloody assassination of David Rizzio  private secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots, in the queen’s chambers in Holyrood Palace.

On the evening of March 9th, 1566, David Rizzio, the private secretary of Mary, Queen of Scots, was brutally murdered. Dragged from the chamber of the heavily pregnant Mary, Rizzio was stabbed fifty six times by a party of assassins. This breathtakingly tense novella dramatises the events that led up to that night, telling the infamous story as it has never been told before.

A dark tale of sex, secrets and lies, Rizzio looks at a shocking historical murder through a modern lens—and explores the lengths that men and women will go to in their search for love and power.

Rizzio is nothing less than a provocative and thrilling new literary masterpiece.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

‘A modern retelling of an ancient story about lost soldiers who can never go home.’ @TerryTyler4 reviews #Thriller An Idle King by Andrew Paterson. #TuesdayBookBlog

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading An Idle King by Andrew Paterson

‘An Idle King is a modern retelling of an ancient story about lost soldiers who can never go home.’

Callum King, a former army officer, is trying to come to terms with civilian life, including family difficulties and the depressing veterans’ meetings. Following news about one of his soldiers who was involved in the incident that led to Callum’s discharge, he joins a team employed by a private security company, going back into Afghanistan for a chaotic, dangerous and mysterious mission.

That the author has a military background is clear from this book, not only in the practical detail but the way in which he describes the emotional state rigours of his characters. The book is extremely well-written and certainly kept me turning the pages; Andrew Paterson has a good deal of understated talent.

The secondary characters are a fairly stereotypical bunch that one would expect in a story of this genre, whether in a book or a film – the naïve newbie, the brute, the big fatherly guy who doesn’t talk much, the one female officer who becomes his right-hand-woman, the psychological wreck … but because they’re so well-drawn they didn’t feel clichéd at all. Callum himself is complex and confused; although the book is written in the third person, it still manages to show us inside his and others’ heads rather than coming from a detached, omniscient narrator.

The revelation about the true nature of the mission comes as a shock to the reader as well as to Callum – it says a lot about this world, and none of it good. There were so many quotes I loved, that spoke about the wider world as well as the country that Paterson clearly has great feeling for:

‘Your people have been coming here for thousands of years trying to conquer our country. You might as well throw sand against a mountain.’

‘Habs spots a caravan of Kuchis trundling along the dried out riverbed … mostly men in long wool coats, shepherding goats and sheep. But some women, too, riding on the backs of camels or walking with small children in their arms … together on some ancient migration, following routes seared deep into their forgotten histories.’

Nation states are finished. The future is the market state. Instead of parliament and politicians, now the world’s run by hedge fund managers and venture capitalists.’

‘Callum knows all these men even though he hasn’t met them before … the scars on their faces, the missing limbs, the suffering in their eyes. They’re the children of war, soldiers in name only. Boys who grew up without fathers. Boys who were handed a rifle or the trigger to an improvised explosive device by old men who live far away … and when the old men were finished with them, they were tossed aside like spent shell casings.

‘They’re two old soldiers who went away to fight wars in far off places started by fat men for petty reasons.’

The ending is one of those that offers some resolution but not too much; it’s sad and kind of mournful, but so right for the story. It really is a very good book; I’d most definitely recommend.

Desc 1

Imagine fighting a war no one wanted you to win. Imagine never wanting to leave.

Afghanistan has been abandoned by the international community. Left to the ravages of warlords and mercenaries, vying for dominance over the new Silk Road.

For Callum King, a former officer who was discharged from the army, his past remains very much tied to that forsaken place. When he receives an offer from one of his former soldiers to work for a private security company in Kandahar, the contract represents an opportunity to make amends for his failures as a soldier and a leader. But the cost would mean walking away from a family that he’s tried so hard to put back together.

An Idle King is a modern retelling of an ancient story about lost soldiers who can never go home.

AmazonUK AmazonUS

‘It’s clear that the author has a passion for this period of history’ @TerryTyler4 reviews #HistoricalFiction The Unveiling Of Polly Forrest by @CWhitneyAuthor @steffercat

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading The Unveiling Of Polly Forrest by Charlotte Whitney

4 out of 5 stars

A book about America’s Great Depression always piques my interest; this suspense-filled story of sisters Sarah and Polly, living in farming country in Michigan in 1934, certainly conjured up the atmosphere.  Elder sister and vicar’s wife Sarah is dutiful, industrious, a tad self-righteous and bitterly jealous of Polly;  Polly is stunningly pretty, stylish (with a penchant for glamorous hats), and newly married to the mysterious Sam.


It’s clear that the author has a passion for this period of history and really understands the hardship people lived through, with no knowledge of how or when it would end, and I so appreciated all the detail of the every day lives.  As for the characters, I found that at first I sympathised with Sarah and wasn’t so keen on Polly, but as more insight was given, I soon felt the other way round, and felt the claustrophobia of Polly’s life, while disliking Sarah’s attitude.  I very much liked how the truth about Sam and Polly emerged so gradually; a slow ‘unveiling’ indeed.


The book is told from the POVs of Sarah, Polly and Sarah’s husband Wes; I did feel that Sarah and Wes’s ‘voices’ were too alike, and I’d sometimes have to flick back to remind myself whose chapter I was reading.  


I didn’t realise straight away that I’d read another book by this author for the review team, a while back; I refreshed my memory about it, and think this is a much more interesting novel, with a more complex and intriguing plot.  Aside from the start being a little exposition heavy, to set the scene and give background information, I enjoyed the unfolding of the story and was completely taken by surprise when the ‘reveal’ came – that’s always a real bonus!  

Desc 1

– Rural Michigan, 1934

When her new husband Sam perishes in a bizarre farm accident, would-be milliner Polly soon becomes the prime suspect in his murder. As she digs for evidence to clear her name, Polly falls into a sinister web implicating her in a nefarious crime ring being investigated by White House Police. Polly’s life and those of her family are at stake.

Narrated by Polly, her self-righteous older sister, Sarah, and Sarah’s well-meaning, but flawed husband Wesley, a Methodist minister, the story follows several twists through the landscape of the rural Midwest.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

‘Science journalist Tom finds himself back in prehistoric times’ @TerryTyler4 reviews Neander: Evolution by @AuthorHarald

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

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Terry has been reading Neander: Evolution by Harald Johnson

4 out of 5*

Evolution is the final book in the highly original and well-researched Neander trilogy, in which science journalist Tom finds himself back in prehistoric times, and develops a life there, whilst keeping the portal to the present (and, as he discovers, the future) open.


His journeys between the worlds have not remained a secret, and scientists dedicated to genetic modification are anxious to milk this opportunity for all they can – while Tom, back in pre-history, wants to strengthen and educate the Neanderthal people he has grown to love, so that they will not be rendered extinct by the Sapiens.


The portal between the worlds is becoming unreliable, with Tom returning to the present and finding it to be the future – there is also an instance of a return to times much longer ago.  I loved this idea, and wished there had been more of it; I would have loved to see the world through Tom/Rusty’s eyes before man, or, say, about five thousand years ago.  As with the other books, the narrative flows well and I read it quickly, anxious to know what was going to happen.


This is a great idea, the books are well-written, though I think it could have been explored still further – Tom talks about changing the present by actions he takes in the past, a most fascinating concept, and I would have loved to see more of this.  However, these are Harald Johnson’s books, not mine, and as such I am not telling him what to write!  Suffice to say that if he decides to return to this world, I will be happy to read the results.

Desc 1

“Can I save my daughter . . . and them?”

Time traveler Tom Cook has settled into his prehistoric life among the Neanderthals, but it’s not without its challenges that include a burning desire to see his future-dwelling daughter, Pook, again.

When a growing threat from hostile neighbors turns into an attack, an old contact from another world comes to the rescue and leads both Tom and his Neanderthal wife, Brassy, back to that future through an increasingly unstable time portal.

Now, after traveling to and from two different worlds, Tom must find a way to defeat his enemies in both, reunite his family, and save his adopted band of Neanderthals.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS