The first book of Orna Ross’ Irish trilogy, After the Rising tells the tale of a family, with the vivid backdrop of Ireland’s struggle for establishing its identity as an island nation. As Jo returns to her native land and unravels the past, the readers get a glimpse into the Irish Civil War. The story covers multiple generations, detailing the involvement of her family in the war, a cold-blooded murder, her lost love, and the repercussions of revolution.
Now coming to the second installment Before the Fall, the story dives deeper into the family history of Jo. The grief-ridden past of her foremothers gets uncovered before her, as she goes through the letters left by her grandmother and great aunt. The unpleasant family secrets take up a large chunk of the novel, while the other sections deal with issues like AIDS, immigration, and other social issues. The book raises significant questions about the consequences of freedom and the heartbreaking truths that lurk in the past. With these discoveries, Jo finally realizes that perhaps it’s not possible to detach herself from the haunting past that her family has been carrying across generations.
In both these parts, author Orna Ross’s brilliant storytelling brings this historical romance story to life. This compelling family saga reaches great heights with the author’s careful characterization. Ross explores humanity through a unique lens and unravels the bitter mysteries and secrets of Jo’s family with wonderful literary flair. While the first book brings up the question of love, the second book delves deeper into it. The pain and agony of discovering and carrying along a painful truth have been brilliantly portrayed in this work.
These novels take place in Jo’s homeland of Ireland, and others in the U.S.. The author clever and skillfully handles these multiple settings, with each having its own feel.
The gripping narrative and powerful storytelling makes After The Rising and Before The Fall a fantastic historical fiction novel that was hard for me to put down. This is a thick book, because it comes with both novels, but it ensures that readers will have a much richer and fuller experience by the end. If you’re interested in learning about Irish history through a riveting fictitious account, you would thoroughly enjoy Orna Ross’s enthralling story.
Pages: 544 | ASIN: B08JY91NW5
Tags: After The Rising and Before The Fall: Centenary Edition: Two books in one, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, historical romance, history, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, nook, novel, Orna Ross, read, reader, reading, romance, story, writer, writing
Spies of the Deep is riveting and timely because it has so much to do with today’s political climate and current tensions with Russia. When Valdimir Putin came to power a torpedo sends a Russian submarine to the bottom of the Barents sea. All of this occurs a decade after the cold war. Twenty three people survived but were not rescued and ended up dying after the incident. The Russians refused to get aid from the west. Evidence of collusion with a spy submarine from the United States revealed by Russian naval officers eventually lead to them being fired. This all leads to rising tensions between adversarial governments.
W. Craig Reed reveals a little known naval incident and unveils it with an impressive understanding of the events. There are different facts and opinions that the author bring into light, but the manner with which the information unfolds made me feel like I was listening to a true crime story podcast. The story is told with a sense of intrigue that permeates the entire book. I had to double check to ensure this was indeed a nonfiction book. The story itself is absolutely captivating, but the way in which author W. Craig Reed presents the information makes it feel like we are reading an international espionage novel by Tom Clancy. While international relations between superpowers that don’t trust each other can be complicated, W. Craig Reed ensures that everything is easy to understand and fairly straight forward.
I found the Russians deeply interesting in this book and I appreciated the depth of the authors knowledge on the subject and found myself feeling better educated, not only on this subject, but about Russian and international politics as well. I also found myself terrified by the superiority of Russian and Chinese torpedo technology. While I heartily enjoyed reading this book, and felt that it was well researched overall, I felt that sometimes the book dipped into conspiracy theory territory that, while fascinating, pulled me out of the deep trench of reality the author places readers in.
Spies of the Deep is an enthralling military history book detailing a grim event in naval military history that changed the world. The skill with which the story is told will appeal to any fan of political thrillers or anyone seeking to expand their knowledge on history and politics.
Pages: 273 | ASIN: B088VQJ9DP
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, government, history, kindle, kobo, literature, military, nonfiction, nook, novel, politics, read, reader, reading, Spies of the Deep, story, W. Craig Reed, writer, writing
The Light From Darkness follows Teddy Miller who, after years of sending unanswered letters to his father, decides to break his father out of Fort Jefferson, a behemoth of a prison. Author John W. Bebout has written a fast-paced action-adventure novel with lots of sharp twists as Teddy gets himself into more trouble than he anticipated.
The Light From Darkness is a short novel but suspenseful historical adventure novel that captures the heart of the reader and guides them Teddy’s emotional turmoil. Readers are provided with a quick section at the beginning of the story to know what Teddy sets out to do and from there the adventure begins, many things open up to Teddy and challenge him which makes him feel guilty, unsure, and lost. Most of these moments will pull at readers heart, if not fully allowing them to empathize with the character.
This is a fast paced story of the Civil War that sets a quick pace early on that rarely stops for details. The charm and humor embedded within the story provides a nice contrast to the emotionally-charged adventure that Teddy sets out on. Numerous times I found myself chuckling or grinning. This made the atmosphere a bit more light-hearted and fun in contrast to some heavy moments. This all paired well with the prose which was simple and easy-to-read, which works especially well with short novels.
The author effectively made the setting both grounded and vibrant even with the tense undertones of opposing cultures and peoples existing. This was achieved through the side characters being fun and lively while also making clear how uncaring and, at times, destructive nature can be, especially when at sea for long periods of time. Even when Teddy was not at sea, he seemed to stay close enough which allowed for new characters to be introduced while still holding love for the ocean.
The Light From Darkness is a riveting historical fiction novel that follows an intriguing character on an unforgettable journey that readers will certainly enjoy.
Pages: 193 | ASIN: B08SHTPCSP
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, civil war, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fantasy, historical fiction, history, John Bebout, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, The Light from Darkness, war, war fiction, writer, writing
Searchers by Stephen Finlay Archer is the first book of the series The Irish Clans, a historical fiction that follows some of the events that occurred after the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. The book starts with the tragedy of the Lusitania and from there, it follows the lives of our main characters. There are many aspects about the lives of the Irish that are shown in the book: poverty, immigration, colonialism and the pursuit of freedom. The characters presented offer a way in which the reader can immerse into their lives and their struggles, thus giving a better understanding of some of the history behind the Irish revolution, which surely will be dealt with in more depth in the next books in the series. There are two different stories that are being told in the book. Collin O’Donnell is an Irishman living in Canada, he meets Samuel Finlay, who helps him leave behind the bad life that he was living after losing his family to find his place in the world. Tadgh McCarthy is a sailor living in Ireland and a revolutionary, his life takes a turn after meeting one of the survivors of the Lusitania, through him we get to see the oppression of the English over the Irish, and get a better background of the first steps that were about to be taken to free Ireland.
It was hard to understand the story that was being told in the beginning of the book, but halfway through the novel everything started to make sense and it was then that I was truly gripped and enthralled by the dramatic turn of events and the intriguing characters. It took some time to warm up to the characters, but as the story progressed they start to show more of themselves and became more real. Once I could empathize and connect with the characters the story became truly riveting, and I appreciated the methodical build up of tension.
I felt like Searchers does a fantastic job of setting the stage for the upcoming novels because we get to meet the characters and understand the background of the revolution. My favorite story was the one set up in Ireland, Tadgh and Morgan became my favorite characters and I desperately want to read the next books to find out what happens to them. I enjoyed how the author was able to mix different themes into the story: although he gives many details that surround the revolutionary history of Ireland, he also cares to show the humanity of the characters, giving importance to the family dynamics and showing themes of love and romance, a guiding light through the dark periods that surround every war.
I highly recommend Searchers: The Irish Clans to readers that enjoy dramatic historical fiction novels and to anyone who wants an authentic dive into the history of the Irish revolutionary period.
Pages: 578 | ASIN: B01L1V35BC
Tags: adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fiction, historical romance, history, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, Searchers: The Irish Clans, Stephen Finlay Archer, story, writer, writing
The Seventh Circle follows a university student in Nazi Germany who is persecuted for his sexuality and faces the perils of a concentration camp. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I was inspired reading a memoir of a camp survivor entitled The Men with the Pink Triangles by Heinz Heger.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
I was disturbed by the present climate of hate and division in our country and across the globe and felt a lesson in man’s inhumanity to man was needed to remind us all of potential results of extremism.
I appreciated how historically accurate your novel is. What kind of research did you undertake to ensure the story was accurate?
Although the literature on the subject is scant, I read every primary source I could get my hands on. Most survivors have been reluctant to recount their struggles. I depended a great deal on Heger’s memoir and information I found about the two concentration camps most of the story takes place in.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I have just published Sundays at Simone’s, a satirical look at Los Angeles aristocracy as well as a tale of a young musician’s loves and struggles to find his niche in the musical world.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical, historical fiction, history, kindle, kobo, LBGT, lbgtq, literature, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, The Seventh Circle, Thomas Bauer, writer, writing
Having just lost her mother, Alison realizes just how lonely she is in the world. Her frustrations are compounded by the pressures at work as she struggles to keep her investors happy. While she tries to navigate these turbulent waters of grief and anxiety, another deeply unsettling situation crops up. Fragments of the last known aircraft flown by her grandfather before he went missing more than 70 years ago turn up in Norway. As the last known relative of the ex-Royal Air Force pilot, she chooses to link up with the investigative team trying to find out what had happened to her grandfather. For Alison, this soon becomes more than just a chance to find closure. The mystery surrounding the case brings back the familiar feeling of having nagging questions but finding their answers painfully elusive. This case must be solved because Alison wants some answers for a change.
Dave Mason’s EO-N is a thriller in every sense of the word. The Canadian author serves up a delightful cocktail of mystery, suspense, and excitement in his debut novel. To tell his story, Mason simultaneously narrates the events of the past and present. The switch between the different but connected periods adds extra intrigue as you anticipate their point of convergence. The structure is great, and the language is so apt that it helps you really experience the story.
EO-N is an engaging story where Mason relies on familiarity and resonance to keep his readers engaged. I found myself nodding in agreement as certain characters reflected and talked on several occasions. In case you’re wondering what familiar and thought-provoking ideas the book holds, I’ll share a bit. It reminds us that despite our attempts to make sense of the world, we never seem to settle the questions that really matter. I’m referring to those pesky queries that gnaw away at our minds in the dead of night, like “why are we here”, “why do we have 7 billion intelligent beings roaming a planet”, “why’s life so darn hard”, and “why do we have to lose the ones we love?” The book also alludes to finding purpose and how even the littlest sighting of something worth living for can pull us out of a rut, energize us, and set us on a new path.
EO-N is a thought-provoking, emotionally resonant, historical fiction novel that is consistently entertaining and has a depth to the story that will appeal to anyone looking for a meaningful story.
Pages: 298 | ASIN: B08LBRVL7B
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Dave Mason, ebook, EO-N, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fantasy, historical fiction, history, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, war fiction, writer, writing
Sarge made a promise, but he isn’t invested in keeping it. His men do not hesitate to remind him that he once told them that the Seventh Cavalry had made its last mission. Yet, here they are preparing again and listening to the list of orders to which they have all grown accustomed and about to set out on a rescue mission after which they all plan to rest, regroup, and recuperate. Once the group manages to agree on a leader for the mission, the wheels begin to turn and they are off on a path that will lead them again into the unknown.
The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry: Book Two, by Charles Brindley, picks up where Book One of the same name left off. Sarge, the fearless leader of the aptly named Delta Platoon, Alpha Company, Second Battalion, Twenty-Second Division of the Seventh Cavalry, U.S. Army, and his unique group of characters inhabit the lush home of the late Consul Lucius Aemillus Paullus. Their needs are more than met, and they are living their best lives. Duty, however, calls. They are needed immediately on a rescue mission that may take much longer than any of them expect.
As with Book One, Brindley does a brilliant job of making fantasy feel like a part of history. His characters are all stand-outs with well-developed backstories he shares with readers in this installment. Getting to know each one right out of the gate helps readers understand each and every idiosyncrasy and how they relate to the mission at hand. Again, I am in awe of how Brindley manages to make his writing come across as realistic while giving it all the elements of a full-blown epic fantasy.
Humor is a large part of Brindley’s work. As serious as the mission is, the characters never fail to include quips and jabs at one another that make the reading less heavy. Not a scenario passes where the characters don’t insert humor and cutting remarks aimed at keeping the overall mood light and the characters more relatable.
I highly recommend The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry: Book Two to any reader who enjoys fantasy adventure as much as they crave well-developed storylines. Fans of strong female main characters will find Brindley’s work especially satisfying–nowhere else will readers find a more diverse and intriguing group of leading females.
Pages: 291 | ASIN: B08STJTJBL
Tags: adventure, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Charley Brindley, ebook, epic fantasy, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fantasy, historical fiction, history, kindle, kobo, literature, military fiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, science fiction, scifi, story, suspense, The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry, thriller, time travel, writer, writing