A Swirl of Purple by Jessica Scoullar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Swirl of Purple is a portal fantasy. Three Young children from a small town in Australia step through a magical portal into another world, in search of their brothers, who have been taken by a dark creature.
First off, I have to celebrate how cool it is to have Australia used as the anchor point in our world. Fun as it is to read about Americans and British people travelling to other worlds, it is extra special to see familiar Aussies entering into this kind of adventure.
The role of the children in this story was quite different than in the typical portal fantasy. Rather than the conquering heroes, they spent their time apprenticing, learning and growing. In that regard, they are not so much the heroes of the story. This book felt more like an origin story, for the heroes they will soon become.
Much of the internal conflict in this book took for form of misunderstandings between children and adults. The character points of view were very well written, which resulting in my identifying strongly with the frustrations felt by both parties.
A Swirl of Purple sets up some interesting possibilities, and raises some intriguing questions. Questions not often addressed in secondary world or portal fantasies, such as why do familiar animals like horses exist in the ‘other’ world.
The book delves into multiple societies, keeping you guessing who are the ‘good guys’, and wondering if perhaps there are no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys, but rather different groups who simply have opposing goals, as if often the case in real life.
This book opens up a series with a lot of potential. I look forward to seeing where things go from here.
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In my latest monthly reading wap-up video, I talk about all that I’ve read during May 2016.
The Above lead to Amazon Affiliate links
I’m doing a free promotion on my Medieval Mars novelette Lynessa’s Curse.
Get it free at http://www.amazon.com/Lynessas-Curse-Adam-David-Collings-ebook/dp/B013I7GY1A/ref=sr_1_1
Here is the first of my monthly wrap-up videos. I completed 5 books this month. These are discussed in the video below. You’ll also see a few glimpses of scenery from Launceston Tasmania.
In celebration of the release of the Glimpses of Light Anthology, I am giving away a paperback of one of my books. For full details see the post on my new website.
I’ve just crossed a milestone. My novella Lynessa’s Curse has been included in the Medieval Mars Anthology. This collection of nine stories by nine authors is available now for Kindle.
Learn more about the book at adamdavidcollings.com/books/medievalmars/
Amish Zombies from Space by Kerry Nietz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Kerry Nietz does it again. I was eager for a sequel to Amish Vampires in Space. It raised a lot of interesting questions and I hoped the author would delve deeper into the origins of the vampires. He does just that in this book. We get to see all the old familiar faces as they gradually come together. The progression of the characters’ lives is natural. Jeb and Sarah now live on an Englisher planet, straddling the line between their former world and their new one. Greels is out of jail, with no resources or purpose. Darly spends all her free time investigating those who created the vampires in book 1. Seal and Singer live together on their own ship, and the Amish in Miller’s Resolve have successfully rebuilt their lives.
As with the vampires in book 1, the zombies in this book were unique and awesome. The scientific basis that Kerry used to explain them gave the book a fun edge and set it apart from the usual fare.
This book explores both the light and darkness of humanity. Through one particular character we get to see the horrifying result when a person fails to value human life. Through others we see the hope and beauty of forgiveness.
Once again, this book explores the Amish culture in a very sensitive way. It pays great respect to them while not putting them on a pedestal either.
There are also a couple of fun Easter eggs in here for those who have read some of Kerry’s other work – hinting at a larger story universe.
The book brings the saga to a very satisfying conclusion – while still leaving room for a potential follow-up should the author decide to write one.
I heartily recommend this series to anyone who loves thoughtful science fiction mixed with a fun adventure and some monsters for good measure.
Watch my video interview with the author.
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Today I am very excited to be join by Kerry Nietz, author of Amish Zombies from Space, the sequel to the hit novel Amish Vampires in Space. In this interview Kerry and I talk about the controversy that sprang up around the title, and the themes of the books. Check it out!
By the way, the book is available as of today. See the below the video for purchase links.
Buy Amish Zombies from space
Today we farewelled my grandfather. He passed quite suddenly and unexpectedly last Friday night. Grandpa had just celebrated his ninetieth birthday. He had been looking quite frail recently, but to me he will always be the strong able man I knew all my life. He and my nanna were married for almost 67 years. They loved each other very much.
When I told my son the next morning he looked up at me and said “Oh, but I really liked him.” I think that sums up Grandpa very well. He was a likeable and well-liked man.
Since his passing was so sudden I didn’t get to say goodbye to him, but as I thought about it I realised my last words to him were “Goodbye Grandpa.” You see we were all together on Christmas day. As I left to go home I said goodbye to him. I find this a blessing – that we had that happy day as my last memory of him.
But thinking further, it’s not so important what the last moment was, or what our last words were. What matters more are the memories that we build over a lifetime.
I remember visiting him at his workplace one afternoon as a young child. He must have been babysitting for my parents. He asked me to count cable ties for him. I remember playing in the yard which had a very steep slope at their old house where my mum grew up. I remember many holidays at Bicheno. They had a block of land with a couple of caravans. I remember going out fishing with Grandpa and my dad.
My other grandfather (who passed away in 2011) once told me that he never knew his grandparents. I have been blessed to have had all of my grandparents well into my thirties.
The memories like the ones above are what I will treasure. My heart aches for Nanna who must now continue without him, but I am glad that she has a lot of support and many loved ones around her.
Goodbye Grandpa. I miss you.
Nanna & Grandpa on Christmas Day 2014