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Noir

Noir: [Or, When the Night Comes] by [Derek R. King]

Noir is the French word for “dark,” and in his first poetry book, Derek R. King takes us on a chilling and deeply emotional journey through the different forms of darkness. Using the French term as a metaphor for the less desirable but unavoidable elements of life, King paints a picture of what it feels like to be plagued by these entities. He explores the depths of depression, loneliness, grief, heartbreak, and despair.

King communicates his themes using a mixture of verve and solemnity. This combination strikes several emotional chords and ensures his words reverberate in your mind long after hearing them. It’s the sort of feeling you want to get from poems that touch on the aspects of life that are shrouded in darkness. This feeling helps us acknowledge that these dark elements exist. And instead of running from them or repressing them, we challenge them.

The beauty of King’s work also lies in the simplicity with which he writes. His words are not only vivid and piercing; they are also easy to grasp. King obviously paid attention to Hemingway’s reply to Faulkner’s criticism: “poor Faulkner, does he really think big emotions come from big words?”

Apart from King’s apt choice of words, he applies thoughtful figurative expressions that add color to his dark themed poems. He brings the concepts to life by pulling the emotions out of the dark corners of the mind and into the light where they can be properly felt and understood.

The authenticity with which King writes is also worth mentioning. He supplies an honest appraisal of the emotions which lurk in the crevices of our hearts. He’s raw, direct, and brutally candid, as he makes us feel what we feel but cannot acknowledge. There’s a dark side. It’s not pretty, but it exists, and King isn’t afraid to point it out.

I believe King’s book helps us come to terms with several unpleasant emotions. His work is an interesting read if you want to take a deep dive into the sea of self-awareness that few venture into.

Pages: 154 | ASIN: B08HSKJLGX

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Winter Chills: Ghostly Tales for Cold Nights

Winter Chills: Ghostly Tales for Cold Nights by [Lomas, S.J., Carter, D.B., King, Derek R., Reeves-Billing, Natalie]

Winter Chills is a collection of provocative short stories. The greatest thing about this compilation is how every story is distinct and consistently entertaining. Every author wrote wonderfully, creating captivating characters and engrossing stories. In any collection of short stories there is a balance between brevity and detail. Winter Chills is able to balance conciseness with intrigue through the use of excellent writing. Every author is engaging and great when narrating events. Winter Chills is an exceptional book that is perfect for short bouts of reading that will awaken your curiosity about ghosts and how humans relate with them.

‘Departures and Arrivals’ was the first story I read. We follow Holly as she goes to the train station. The beauty of this story was how raw the author was. ‘Departures and Arrivals’ by D. B. Carter is that kind of story that makes you feel every emotion the main character in the story experiences. The text is fresh, and the events are authentic. Holly went to a train station that was anything but a comfortable place. The reader stays with her as she waits for the train to come. Something happens, and spirits from the past surface while terrible events get exposed. The story is chilling and scary. I enjoyed the narration regardless as I found the plot to be freakish and genius. The first story in the book sets the right mood for the other stories.

The third tale, ‘The Holiday Party’, was my favorite of all stories. I enjoyed this particular story the most because of the combination of suspense and a little action in the story. Nick and Marcy are headed to a Christmas party where, like any other typical party, everything was expected to be pleasant. I anticipated the party to go well as friends and acquaintances get together, have fun and make merry. The story flowed well, with compelling conversations and a supposedly happy tale. I was not ready for the twist that would come when Marcy took a break from the party, only to get back and find something else going on. The author had me with the new development. S. J. Lomas ingenuity and imagination had me completely fascinated.

‘The Carolers’. ‘Go With The Wind’, ‘The Christmas Card’ and ‘Defying Convention’ were equally captivating stories. The reader gets drawn into the characters’ lives, and I found myself completely engrossed.

Each author bring their own style and inventiveness to the book. I especially appreciated how diverse the authors are, even when narrating somehow similar stories. Reading this book was an enjoyable experience. I recommend Winter Chills to readers who love short and exciting stories with some macabre themes.

Pages: 156 | ASIN: B07ZTT5KTR

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The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard

The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard by [King, Derek R.]

Many are remembered and revered for their contribution to the civil rights movement–some are more easily named than others. Clyde Kennard is one man among the countless individuals whose quiet contributions are often overlooked in history books, lectures, and museum descriptions of the most famous civil rights events of the 1950s. Clyde Kennard, a man with a right to an education in the United States, found himself in the throes of a battle to gain a college education in Mississippi while at the same time battling the oppressiveness of segregation, racism, and the fears of rural white America.

The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard, by Derek R. King, is the moving account of Clyde Kennard’s life and significant but virtually silent contribution to desegregate the South. King invites readers to absorb the details of Kennard’s life from his early days through his years serving in the United States Army. By establishing Kennard’s willingness to defend his country, King makes it clear to readers that Kennard is a man we should not slight in discussions of desegregation.

I am sure I am not the only reader surprised to hear of the part Kennard played in desegregating a southern college. King explains, in no uncertain terms, the exceptional number of obstacles placed in Clyde Kennard’s path as he attempted to apply and enroll in Mississippi Southern College near his own home in Mississippi. Authors like King are almost single handedly responsible for providing readers with otherwise hidden facts about heroes like Clyde Kennard and those who championed his cause.

In addition to telling Clyde Kennard’s own personal story of struggle, King includes details about the deaths of Reverend George Lee, Lamar Smith, and Emmett Till. While Emmett Till’s tragic story is one I had heard, I was completely unaware of the viciousness of his death and had no idea that his killers were so brazen as to later proudly admit their actions. These are the stories we all need to be told so history does not repeat itself. I, for one, am grateful to authors like King who continue to tell these stories.

Clyde Kennard was harassed and underwent one accusation after another as he fought to further his own education. I am horrified at the level of leading questions Clyde Kennard was asked by prosecutors when he was accused of robbery. Nowhere during his proceedings was he treated fairly. King has included the testimony within his story which makes the truth of Kennard’s battle that much more gripping.

It is and will forever be through books like Derek R. King’s that citizens of the United States see and feel the truth of where our country has been and the place we should all fear returning. Clyde Kennard’s story is one that should be told far and wide and given its rightful place alongside all other well-renowned heroes of the civil rights movement. Derek R. King has made a significant contribution to literature indeed.

Pages: 384 | ASIN: B07JPL1SBD

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