Book reviews, Supernatural, YA fiction

Catalyst by Tracy Richardson – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Dallas, TX – There is more to this world than meets the eye in science fiction author Tracy Richardson’s newest installment in her young adult series, Catalyst (releasing on June 2, 2020 from Brown BooksPublishing Group). 

The story features returning characters from the series’ first book, The Field, but centers on Marcie, who has a sixth sense. She feels a sort of knowing about certain things that can’t be explained – an intuition that extends beyond normalcy.

This summer, Marcie is spending time working at Angel Mounds, the archeological dig her mother heads, along with her brother, Eric, and his girlfriend, Renee. The dig is the site of an ancient indigenous civilization, and things immediately shift into the paranormal when Marcie and her teammates meet Lorraine and Zeke. The two mysterious dig assistants reveal their abilities to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds – something Marcie knows, only vaguely, that her brother has also had experience with. Marcie learns how our planet will disintegrate if action is not taken. She and her team must decide if they are brave enough to help Lorraine and Zeke in their plan to save Mother Earth, her resources, and her history. It looks like the summer just got a lot more interesting.

“[Catalyst is] based in present-time Earth dealing with the real issues we face while also exploring the possibilities of what and who might be out ‘there’ and what our relationship with them can be,” said Richardson. “It also explores our evolution as a species.”

Inspired by a desire to protect and sustain the planet, Richardson wrote Catalyst not only to entertain readers but to encourage them to think. “We can make the world a better place,” Richardson also said. “We don’t have to go with the status quo. Each and every one of us can be a catalyst for positive change.”

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MY REVIEW 

Catalyst is a difficult book to categorise, yes it’s YA, and it deals with environmental issues such as fracking, and the deeper meaning of human consciousness. Is there more to this world than that we see?. It’s also about relationships between the characters and how they interact.

It has science, archaeology, telepathy and spirituality in a complex mix. The thought provoking plot makes this a intriguing and interesting read.

Thank you to The Write Reads for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour, for the promotional material and a ecopy of Catalyst. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

TRACY RICHARDSON wasn’t always a writer, but she was always a reader. Her favorite book growing up was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. In a weird way that book has even shaped her life through odd synchronicities. She has a degree in biology like Mrs. Murry, and, without realising it, she named her children Alex and Katie after Meg’s parents.

 

Tracy uses her science background in her writing through her emphasis on environmental issues, metaphysics, and science fiction. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her doing any number of creative activities — painting furniture, knitting sweaters, or cooking something. She lives in Indianapolis, and, in case you’re wondering, yes, she’s been to the Indianapolis 500. 

Book reviews, War fiction

Patrol by Fred Majdalany – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB 

Patrol

Fred Madjalany

 

IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUMS TO PUBLISH TWO MORE NOVELS IN THEIR WARTIME CLASSICS SERIES

 

“When a man has been a soldier and seen action, he writes of war with true understanding, and with authority. When that man writes with wit, elegance and imagination, as Fred Majdalany does in PATROL, he produces a military masterpiece.”

ALLAN MALLINSON

 

“If poetry was the supreme literary form of the First World War then, as if in riposte, in the Second World War, the English novel came of age. This wonderful series is an exemplary reminder of that fact. Great novels were written about the Second World War and we should not forget them.”

WILLIAM BOYD

 

In April 2020 IWM will publish two more novels in their Wartime Classics Series which was launched in September 2019 to great acclaim. The novels were all written either during or just after the Second World War and are currently out of print. Following the IWM’s commitment to tell the stories of those who experienced conflict first hand, each novel is written directly from the author’s own experience and takes the reader right into the heart of the battle.

Set in 1943, Patrol is a short, intimate novel following a small group of men on a night-time patrol in the North African desert. Major Tim Sheldon, close to battle exhaustion, is unexpectedly asked to carry out the mission and this atmospheric, tense novel puts this so-called minor action centre stage, as over the course of the day and during the patrol itself, Sheldon reminisces about his time as a soldier, his own future, and what it means to confront fear.

 

Patrol was a bestseller when it was first published in 1953. Clearly autobiographical, it is based on Fred Madjalany’s own experiences in Tunisia as part of the North African campaign, in particular his command of a night patrol and his time in hospital when wounded. The fictional battalion in the novel is based on 2nd Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers into which Madjalany was commissioned in 1940. Infantry battalions such as this were constantly in action with little respite, and the officers were very young by peace time standards. The stress of battle aged them considerably. Madjalany’s wife Sheila Howarth wrote, ‘I believe in Patrol he was writing his epitaph’. He suffered a stroke in 1957 and died ten years later when the specialist commented ‘the war killed him.’

 

Alan Jeffreys, (Senior Curator, Second World War, Imperial War Museums) has written an introduction to each book that sets them in context and gives the wider historical background. He says, ‘researching the Wartime Classics has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on in my years at IWM. It’s been very exciting rediscovering these fantastic novels and helping to bring them to the wider readership they so deserve’.
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MY REVIEW 

This is the story of men who fought in WWII. 

It’s not all guts and glory, but about the monotony of day to day life interspersed with the terror of a nighttime patrol. It tells of their thoughts and dreams of the men while they wonder if they will ever see home again.

The author really brings the tale to life and the experiences of the men are thoughtful and moving.

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

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Frederick Majdalany (1913 – 1967) was the son of a Manchester- based Lebanese family. His original first name was Fareed, which he changed to Frederick or Fred. He was also known as ‘Maj’. He worked as a journalist, drama critic and theatre publicist pre-war. He volunteered in 1939 and was commissioned in 1940, serving in North Africa and Italy. He was wounded at the Battle of Medjez-el-Bab, returning to the battalion five weeks later with the rank of captain, later promoted to major, and commanded a company. His unit landed at Taranto in September 1943, where he was awarded the Military Cross during the Italian campaign. In October 1944 he returned home to become an instructor at an officer cadet training unit, which he later commanded, until demobilization in November 1945. After the war Majdalany resumed his career as a journalist and also worked for the BBC on historical scripts for radio and TV. He published novels and military histories, all of which were very well received. He was also involved with International PEN. He died in 1967.