#BookReview THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD by ZOE SOMERVILLE #historicalfiction



ABOUT THE BOOK


An atmospheric literary thriller set in north Norfolk in the shadow of the Cold War, in which a love triangle turns murderous.

Her heart beat hard. There was a crazed beauty to the storm. It was almost miraculous, the way it took away the mess of life, sweeping all in its path…

No-one could have foreseen the changes the summer of 1952 would bring. Cramming for her final exams on her family’s farm on the Norfolk coast, Verity Frost feels trapped between past and present: the devotion of her childhood friend Arthur, just returned from National Service, and her strange new desire to escape.

When Verity meets Jack, a charismatic American pilot, he seems to offer the glamour and adventure she so craves, and Arthur becomes determined to uncover the dirt beneath his rival’s glossy sheen.

As summer turns to winter, a devastating storm hits the coast, flooding the land and altering everything in its path. In this new, watery landscape, Verity’s tangled web of secrets, lies and passion will bring about a crime that will change all their lives forever. 


PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW


This was a wonderfully intoxicating novel, set around the real life flood that hit the East coast of England in 1953. It merges the before, during and after of the events while looking at the lives of local characters who are all dealing with their own issues and insecurities.

It’s set in Norfolk, and centres around the goings on of a family living on a farm. Verity lives there with her father and brother, Peter, and they are all still coming to terms with a loss that impacted on them dreadfully. You get the impression that they all feel trapped by past events, and seem unable to fully move on and dream of a life away from the area. Verity especially has ideas of going to University, but that dream is always squashed by her father who wants her married off to a neighbours’ son as times are tough and the financial standing of the farm is more important.

The Americans are in town due to the local airbase, and when Jack shows up in all their lives it seems to shake things up. He’s a character not short of confidence and makes them all sit up and take notice – in good and bad ways!

I loved how the story plays out – the build up to the night of the flood showing life carrying on as normal, with the characters having no idea what was just around the corner for them all and that would impact the area so devastatingly.

I found all the characters so interesting to read about – the secrets, the emotions – and the impact that a change of personality added to the mix had on them all! It was a very atmospheric read and I was totally captivated by the setting, the impending disaster awaiting them and the angst they were all feeling due to their lives not being what their hearts desired and had left them feeling unsettled and regretful, but aware of responsibilities that were holding them back.


★★★★★

#BookReview YUANYUAN’S BUBBLES by CIXIN LIU – Graphic Novel #4



ABOUT THE BOOK


The fourth in a new series of graphic novels from Hugo Award-winning author Liu Cixin and Talos Press

Ever since she was a child, Yuanyuan always dreamed of blowing big bubbles. But her father worries about her fascination—he wants Yuanyuan to be as responsible and devoted to a calling as her mother was. As an adult, Yuanyuan creates a multimillion-dollar business out of the technology she developed for her doctoral thesis. But she still dreams of blowing the biggest bubble she can. When his daughter uses her high-tech methods to blow a bubble big enough to envelop a city, Yuanyuan’s father thinks back to the dreams he and Yuanyuan’s mother chased when they were young. In the end, Yuanyuan’s bubbles bring her father’s dreams to life.

The fourth of sixteen new graphic novels from Liu Cixin and Talos Press, Sea of Dreams is an epic tale of the future that all science fiction fans will enjoy.


PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS

PURCHASE LINK


Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

This is a beautifully illustrated book, that tells the story of Yuanyuan and her obsession with bubbles! She dreams of blowing the biggest bubble, but her father is always there in the background to puncture her dreams. A classic tale of a realist vs a dreamer.

Their city is dying, times are tough but there’s something about Yuanyuan that keeps her dreaming and, like her mother, she won’t let up on her dreams of finding a way to use her bubbles to save the world. Her mother died following her dreams so you can understand her father and his attitude towards her vision and her pipe dreams.

The illustrations are stunning! They are a beautiful earthy tone throughout that really connects with the story and really amplify the message of hope v despair. It’s a beautifully simple story that I adored and I look forward to reading more from this series as the pictures really do help add depth to the story.

★★★★★

My thanks to the team of Head of Zeus for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

#BlogTour A SONG FOR A NEW DAY by SARAH PINSKER #BookReview @HoZ_Books

Delighted to be with you today to share my thoughts as part of the blog tour for A SONG FOR A NEW DAY by SARAH PINSKER. My thanks to the author and publisher for letting me be part of it all!


ABOUT THE BOOK

An unnervingly prescient, Nebula-award-winning novel explores life in a world permanently locked down in the aftermath of a pandemic.

BEFORE

.Luce Cannon is on the road. Success is finally within her grasp: her songs are getting airtime; the venues she’s playing are getting larger. But mass shootings, bombings and now a strange contagion are closing America down around her. The gig Luce plays tonight will turn out to be the last-ever rock show as the world’s stadiums, arenas and concert halls go dark for good.

AFTER.

Rosemary is too young to remember the Before. She grew up, went to school and worksin the virtual world of Hoodspace. Working for StageHoloLive, which controls what is left of the music industry, her job is to find new talent, search out the illegal backroom jams and bring musicians into the Hoodspace holographic limelight they deserve. But when Rosemary sees how the world could actually be, that won’t be enough.


PRAISE FOR A SONG FOR A NEW DAY….

‘Sarah Pinsker has written a wonderful epic about music, community, and rediscovering the things that make us human’ Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky.

‘The combination of technothriller, rock-and-roll novel, and rebellion in a dystopian world make for a riveting, sweet, funny, angry, gorgeous read’ Cory Doctorow, author of Walkaway.

‘A compelling book about the importance of music – and any sort of art – in a world where it seems like the least essential thing. This is an expertly drawn post-catastrophe world peopled by compassionately written characters’ Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Mercy.

‘An all-too plausible version of the apocalypse, rendered in such compelling prose that you won’t be able to put it down … A lively and hopeful look at how community and music and life goes on even in the middle of dark days and malevolent corporate shenanigans’ Kelly Link, author of Get it Trouble.

‘Woven through Pinsker’s meticulously crafted future of technology-enabled isolation and corporate-consumerist powerlessness is a stirring anthem against the politics of fear. A dazzling tale told in multiple voices, with not a single note out of place. This is the lyrical protest song that we have always needed, perhaps more so now than ever’ Ken Liu, author of Grace of Kings.

‘Cements Pinsker’s status as a rising star in the world of speculative fiction … A gorgeous novel that celebrates what can happen when one person raises her voice’ Kirkus.

‘This excellent debut novel by Nebula winner Pinsker establishes her as an astonishingly impressive writer of day-after-tomorrow SF … This tale of hope and passion is a remarkable achievement’ Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW*.

‘In A Song for a New Day, liberty and creative endeavour are compromised by political and socioeconomic reality. Pinsker presents a frighteningly real near-future US … Pinsker movingly charts Rosemary’s coming-of-age story as her world and Luce’s collide’ Guardian.

PUBLISHED BY HEAD OF ZEUS

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Pinskeris a singer, songwriter and author. Her short storieshave won the Nebula, Sturgeon and Philip K. Dick Awards.Currentlyfinishing her second novel and fourth album, she lives with her wife in Baltimore, Maryland and can be found online at Twitter and Author Website

MY REVIEW

Imagine a world in Lockdown! A world without live music!  After our experiences in 2020, this concept is our reality – hopefully for not much longer though! – and in this book it explores that life where people have to access a virtual world to ‘experience’ music.  For those brought up in the ‘lockdown’ world, they see this as a great invention, but for others who lived and worked in music beforehand, you just cannot beat the real thing of seeing concerts in the flesh and they try to bring back that world.

In the before world, Luce is just hitting the big time in music! Sell out concerts, music played on the radio – all her dreams are coming true! And then the world shuts down and her life is changed again. She struggles to find meaning in the world without music, so she’s driven underground.

For Rosemary, her only experience of ‘live music’ is online via the virtual world and she finds herself working for the company that has to search out new talent, so their ‘gigs’ can be put online for people to watch and pay for.  As she crossed the country she begins to get the buzz about ‘real music’ and she finds herself in the company of Luce and her new band and begins to understand why so many are unwilling to ‘sellout’.

I loved the passion and energy in this book.   It really captures that love people have for hearing live music and being part of a crowd in a room where the energy is electric. That cannot be replicated in the virtual world and Rosemary gets to see this for herself and changes her viewpoint of the company she is working for.  

This is a book that will resonate with so many of us after our experience of the past year – all that you worked for taken away from you just like that, and there’s nothing you can do about it! Be grateful for the humans who continue to create and won’t be silenced!!

★★★★ 

#NonFictionNovember Unquiet Women by Max Adams #BookReview

About the book

Wynflæd was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who owned male slaves and badger-skin gowns; Egeria a Gaulish nun who toured the Holy Land as the Roman Empire was collapsing; Gudfrid an Icelandic explorer and the first woman to give birth to a European child on American soil; Mary Astell a philosopher who out-thought John Locke.

In this exploration of some remarkable – but little-known – women living between between the last days of Rome and the Enlightenment, Max Adams overturns the idea that women of this period were either queens, nuns or invisible. In a sequence of chronological chapters, a centrepiece biographical sketch is complemented by thematically linked stories of other women of the time. A multi-faceted and beautifully illustrated study of women’s intellect, influence and creativity, Unquiet Womenbrings to life the experiences of women whose voices are barely heard and whose stories are rarely told.

Published by Head of Zeus

Purchase Links

hive.co.uk  £13.79

waterstones £20

book depository £18.70

MY REVIEW

I found this to be a thoroughly captivating look at some of the forgotten women of history, throughout the ages. 
 
The achievements of many were only really appreciated long after their deaths, and this book does a wonderful job of bringing their names and contributions back to life and to a wider audience.
 
When I read books like this it makes me mad that I never really appreciated history when I was back at school! I think all I can remember being taught about was about The Tudors, so to read these stories of such remarkable women from around the world, and from wide backgrounds had me enthralled and interested in searching out more about these women. So much has been learnt about them from archeological digs and that was another fascinating aspect of these stories. How important discoveries had been made over the years and how many interesting items had been buried alongside seemingly normal women, but through these objects it was made clear that they were highly respected at the time of their deaths.
 
There is a great range of subjects discussed, from impacts that women had on certain periods in time, the battles and barriers they faced while they were alive and how their determination saw them achieve their aims – even if it was only appreciated at much later times!
 
Highly recommend this as a wonderful read for women, and men!, of all ages – and the stunning cover just adds to the enjoyment!

 

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