Book reviews, Science fiction

Guest Post from D. Ellis Overttun – Prophesy:Eve Of Darkness

I’m delighted to welcome D. Ellis Overttun to The Bookwormery today. David is raising awareness of his Terra Nova series. First, here’s some information about the background to the series….this instalment is Prophesy: Eve Of Darkness.

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The Terra Nova series takes the reader on a journey of discovery to solve a mystery. Book 1, Universe: Awakening, suggests a universe on the verge of extinction when viewed through the lens of geologic time. Book 2, Genesis: Vision of the New World, suggests a safe haven.

 

But how to get there?

 

Through a series of seemingly disparate clues, this instalment, Prophecy: Eve of Darkness, shows us how. Along the way, the reader will encounter several themes.

One of the themes in the Terra Nova series is evolution.

Prophecy introduces us to the Nephilim, a clan descended from the Great Father and banished to the subterranean world beneath the planet. We see how this environment changed not only their physiology but also their ideology, culture and language. A universe away, we see how a genetically engineered species called “ProtoGendu” gain a foothold on a planet called “Terra Nova”. Finally, the Celesti themselves seem to be evolving as a new form of procreation called “life from life” offers hope to a dying species.

The Nephilim speak in a tongue called “clanspeak”, a form of communication that has devolved into a compact vocabulary designed to convey only the most basic information. What does this look like? I relied on the work of evolutionary biologist Professor Mark Pagel of the University of Reading. There have also been other physiological changes that have evolved that allow them to survive in this lightstarved environment.

Stealth, secrecy and deceit are suggestive of the concept of hidden or unrevealed. In Prophecy, we learn the Nephilim have adapted to survive in the harsh environment of the underearth by stealth and concealment. Now, they will use this skill to try to regain the position they once held. We think that language is a way to communicate. 

However, Professor Pagel has argued that, in fact, one of the functions of language has been to keep proprietary knowledge within a defined group. It is language as a vehicle of secrecy. (How many times have parents lapsed into the language of their forefathers when discussing sensitive matters in front of their children?) The reader will see this demonstrated in the “tongue of Taru” and the “old tongue”. Finally, lies and halftruths abound, inspired by Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting.

Nativism is a philosophy of favoring the interests of incumbents over those of newcomers. It resists change. It is the ideology of “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke”. It is embodied in their philosophy of “purity and justice”. The antagonism of the Nephilim to the Celesti has been drawn from current events. Their response is not unlike the metaphor of the camel’s nose. The reader can see the parallels from today’s society as certain groups respond to their perception of being pushed out or already feeling they are outside the tent. Prophecy describes how this feeling can be exploited by one with his own agenda.

Who are the villains in the series so far? As author, I can tell you that it’s Theodor and the Nephilim. To me, their philosophies and motivations are reprehensible. But are they? (Yes, they are.) I read or heard an interview somewhere that a villain never really thinks he or she is the villain. (The only exception I can recall is the Operative from Serenity who said “There’s no place for me there…I’m a monster.”) Villains are motivated by what they believe is right, just like the protagonists of any story. This theme has been drawn from current events. Who are the heroes and who are the villains? It will be decided by history, and history is written by the victors.

Concepts from quantum physics feature as more of Auberon’s abilities are revealed. A quantum particle approaching a barrier can simultaneously pass through it (quantum tunneling) and bounce off it as long as no one is watching. This is referred to as “quantum nonlocality”. The concept of the connection between the observer and the observed was introduced to me when I read The Tao of Physics which explores the relationship between physics and eastern mysticism. Would this allow someone to walk through walls? This is sci-fi. So, the answer has to be “yes”. But how?

Prophecy finally explains the technology of the Intrepid/Phoenix. In Book 1, we learned matterantimatter annihilation powers the ship from particles that pop in and out of existence. Something from nothing also has its parallel in JudeoChristianity in the concept of “ex nihilo” from Genesis 1:1. We also learn the ship travels in subspace but we don’t know how. Book 2, tells us that subspace is opened by the convergence of two beams. Book 3 reveals more about this process and subspace itself.

The series draws heavily from JudeoChristian traditions. We learn the firstborn of the Great Father was a son named “Nephilim”. Clan Nephilim believe their birthright was unjustly taken from them by what was once Clan Artaxiad. There is a parallel in the story in Genesis of Esau and Jacob. The Nephilim, sometimes referred to by biblical scholars as “fallen”, has been directly reflected in their epithet in Prophecy as the “Fallen Ones”. The uniforms the Nephilim wear to protect themselves from the light and volume of sound of the surface world is reminiscent of the scales of a snake. This image was inspired by the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Intriguing that’s for sure…..Thank you to David for providing all this information and pictures.

 

Book reviews, Contemporary fiction, Womens fiction

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Everybody lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead?

Julian Jessop is living a lie. He’s lonely but refuses to speak to neighbours. He loved his wife when she was alive, but he didn’t tell her. (In fact, he wasn’t very kind to her at all.)

He feels invisible to the world but he doesn’t want to go out.

But now he wants to be honest.

So he writes his truth in a small green notebook and leaves it in his local cafe.

Monica gave up a high-flying career as a lawyer to open her own cafe,

but it isn’t going as well as she hoped.

On finding the notebook, she’s both inspired to write her own truth and to help Julian out of his loneliness.

Little does Julian know that his one small act is about to bring a whole group of people together as they discover the power, and the danger, of honesty.

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MY REVIEW 

This is the story of a little notebook.

Julian feels a bit jaded by life, he’s frustrated that no-one seems to be truly honest with each other any more. So he writes the truth about himself in a little notebook and leaves it in a cafe for someone else to find.

It is found and read by Monica, who adds her own thoughts and does the same….gradually a few people add their own worries and truths one by one.

With the anonymity comes a real honesty, but is there a cost? As these people gradually meet, friendships are made.

I found this to be a charming tale of home, dreams and friendships, with a gentle humour, great characters and some emotional moments too. A lovely, uplifting read and just what’s needed in these troubled times.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here: https://amzn.to/3aMz4Ne

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Clare Pooley graduated from Cambridge and spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time mum. She is the author of the hugely popular blog, Mummy was a Secret Drinker, under the pseudonym Sober Mummy and her memoir, The Sober Diaries was published by Hodder in 2017 to critical acclaim.

Her blog has had over two million hits and she recently gave a TEDx talk titled Making Sober Less Shameful.

Clare’s debut novel The Authenticity Project is inspired by the time Clare spent in advertising, a world where the line between authenticity and fiction is constantly blurred, and by her own experience of exposing truth about her seemingly perfect life in her memoir. 

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Nordic noir

Sister by Kjell Ola Dahl – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Oslo detective Frølich searches for the mysterious sister of a young female asylum seeker, but when people start to die, everything points to an old case and a series of events that someone will do anything to hide… Suspended from duty, Detective Frølich is working as a private investigator, when his girlfriend’s colleague asks for his help with a female asylum seeker, who the authorities are about to deport. She claims to have a sister in Norway, and fears that returning to her home country will mean instant death.

Frølich quickly discovers the whereabouts of the young woman’s sister, but things become increasingly complex when she denies having a sibling, and Frølich is threatened off the case by the police. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that the answers lie in an old investigation, and the mysterious sister, who is now on the run…

A dark, chilling and up-to-the-minute Nordic Noir thriller, Sister is also a tense and well-plotted murder mystery with a moving tragedy at its heart, cementing Kjell Ola Dahl as one of the greatest crime writers of our generation.

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MY REVIEW 

Frank Frølich is a private investigator, while investigating a case of purloined goods he meets Matilde. She has a friend, Guri,  who needs help finding the missing sister of an asylum seeker. 

Frølich takes the case as a favour, but is then contacted by an author who is working on a new book about the immigration system and wants him to check the motives of those searching for the missing girl…

But, then things get dark, the bodies begin to pile up and the tension builds.

With an incredibly taut plot, that really keeps you guessing, such likeable characters and the topical storyline, this really is a totally compelling read. Nordic Noir at its very best.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour,  for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

You can buy a copy here : https://amzn.to/3bHs9oJ

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.