Archive for March 29th, 2018

The Book of Air


The Book of Air by Joe Treasure

 Retreating from an airborne virus with a uniquely unsettling symptom, property developer Jason escapes London for his country estate, where he is forced to negotiate a new way of living with an assortment of fellow survivors.

Far in the future, an isolated community of descendants continue to farm this same estate. Among their most treasured possessions are a few books, including a copy of Jane Eyre, from which they have constructed their hierarchies, rituals and beliefs. When 15-year-old Agnes begins to record the events of her life, she has no idea what consequences will follow. Locked away for her transgressions, she escapes to the urban ruins and a kind of freedom, but must decide where her future lies.

These two stories interweave, illuminating each other in unexpected ways and offering long vistas of loss, regeneration and wonder.

The Book of Air is a story of survival, the shaping of memory and the enduring impulse to find meaning in a turbulent world.

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Author’s Bio

Joe Treasure currently lives in South West London with his wife Leni Wildflower. As an English teacher in Wales, he ran an innovative drama programme, before following Leni across the pond to Los Angeles, an experience that inspired his critically acclaimed debut novel The Male Gaze (published by Picador). His second novel Besotted (also published by Picador) also met with rave reviews.

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My Review

4 stars

This story is told by two people. Agnes talks of a time that has moved on from our own. She lives on a country estate with several others that use items left over from the prior owners. No one really knows how some of the stuff works or even how to keep it from breaking down. This world is based on one of four books that they found on the estate, Jane Eyre.

Jason is from our time. He is a survivor from an airborne virus that has killed most of the population. He barely gets out of London with a few other survivors and heads to a country estate. They form a community and try to keep alive in this new world.

This is a story of discovery and survival. I like how you bounce back and forth between Jason and Agnes and how different their worlds are. You do come to learn that Agnes is in a world about one hundred years from Jason’s.

This is not a high action story, more of a telling of how both worlds have changes from ours and what these people have done to survive. It a good read and I find it interesting how Agnes’ community to have been created around Jane Eyre. I’m not one for Bronte but I have read this one. Although I’m not really fond of it, I liked how you could pick up different parts of this story. I enjoyed this book and recommend everyone check it out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Authoright for the opportunity to read and share this book. Also for being able to take part in the Clink Street Spring Reading Week 2018.

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The Elf King


The Elf King by Lorraine Hellier

Lorraine Hellier’s children’s book The Elf King follows the story of a family of elves. Bay Leaf is the new Elf King. In this fantasy tale his sister, Sweet Pea, demonstrates her love and devotion for her brother. In the story, the elves go on a perilous journey to the Mountain Shrine where Bay Leaf must take his ‘Oath of Allegiance’ to the ‘Moon Lake Elves’. An enchanted book offers advice and guidance from their ancestors and warns Sweet Pea to take care of her brother several times during the journey. Bay Leaf almost loses his life… Sweet Pea supports Bay Leaf throughout the journey, but will her interference bring resolution to Bay Leaf’s heartache on their return? This traditional tale of love and loyalty will appeal to children aged between 7-9 that enjoy fantasy tales. Lorraine uses The Elf King to raise issues surrounding family loyality and the importance of supporting each other in difficult times.

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Author’s Bio

Lorraine writes from her canal-side home near the cathedral city of Lichfield, Staffordshire. She visits local schools offering Author Visits and Creative Writing Workshops.  She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators supporting and encouraging other members.

Lorraine loves to travel, a visit to New Zealand inspired this novel.

The sequel “The Elf Quest” will be published April 2018.

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My Review

4 stars

Bay Leaf is the new elf king of the Moon Lake Elves even if he is not ready for this responsibility. He needs to travel to the Mountain Shrine and take the Oath of Allegiance to the Moon Lake Elves. But he is not ready to be king and he has others matters on his mind. Thankfully his sister Sweat Pea is there to help encourage him and help him use The History of Moon Lake Elves on his adventure. Together Bay Leaf and Sweat Pea have a huge challenge ahead of them.

This is a wonderful fantasy story for mid-grade readers or anyone that loves fantasies. You have a young king that is not really ready to rule and has a forbidden love. His sister s still trying to get used to him being a king instead of her big brother, but is there to assist and support him on this journey. Of course you have action, adventure, and a great way to build a true leader.

This is a wonderful story and one that I recommend that you check it out. The sequel should be out shortly and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

A Note from the Author

Thank you for inviting me to visit your blog.

When I began writing Children’s novels I hadn’t anticipated I would be embarking on a series. The reason can only be because I didn’t want to let go of my characters! I get so attached to them they become my friends.

Prior to this book I published a series of five. These were inspired by my time living and working in Guernsey, Channel Islands.

“The Elf King” is the first of a trilogy. The sequel “The Elf Quest,” official publication date is April 2018 but copies are available now. I am presently writing the third book.

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I began “The Elf King” with the characters. I chose to name the female elves after flowers and the males after herbs. The novel is from Sweet Pea’s point of view but it is about her brother, Bay Leaf, the new Elf King, and the perilous journey they take for him to take his Oath of Allegiance. This first book centres round Sweet Pea and Bay Leaf’s family and friends and their love and loyalty.

It is important when writing a series to remember to be consistent. You need to make sure you don’t change a character’s appearance, habits etc. For example Bay Leaf has a habit of tugging his earlobe when he is nervous or anxious.

All writers have different methods of keeping track of characters and settings. For “The Elf King” I used brainstorming for the characters and a roll of paper with relevant information of family tree, the journey from their Moon Lake home to the Mountain Shrine, the generations of Elf Kings and details about the Enchanted Book.

In 2015 I had the opportunity to visit New Zealand. I had just started the first draft of “The Elf King.” The spectacular scenery inspired me to take the elves on a journey. The lakes, mountains, waterfalls and rivers offered me settings for their expedition.

In the sequel Sweet Pea leaves the security of her clan to search for another clan of elves to trade for moonstones.

In the third novel readers meet with the three Elf Clans they are familiar with from book two. Moon Lake Elves, an affluent clan, Wood Elves, an ecological clan and the Wilderness Elves, rough and brutal elves.

I have enjoyed writing this Trilogy. I wonder which of my list of ideas I will use next and if it be a series?

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