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And so Began the War

Zoe Evelyn Lionheart – or Eve as she likes to be known – is a skilled roboticist for her age. Living in the capital of the Greater Continent, her whole world is working on robots until rumors of war begin to stir. Little does Eve know that she will be swept up into events that haven’t been seen since the time of myth and legend. Together, with a group of brave and clever friends, Eve must work to end this brutal war and discover the power she has within her. Through these perilous adventures, both robots and humans learn first-hand what it means to have a soul purpose. 

And So Began the War, by Ian Anthony Hollis, is a compelling science fiction novel that creates a fascinating world. The creativity embedded in this story is astonishing. It is highly emotional and the plot is uncovered like an excellent chess game. It also features a young woman in STEM, which is always wonderful to see. However, this epic sci-fi story can be quite dark as it delves into some serious and dangerous situations, but I found them to be absolutely riveting.

Eve goes through so much in this book. I would have loved to have read some of her inner dialog so that I can see the depth of emotion and decision making that she experiences, as well as the rest of the compelling characters. This felt like an epic science fiction adventure, even though this is young adult novel because there is so much going on, the scale is massive and the stakes are high. I enjoyed the characters and would have liked to have understood their motives a bit deeper. The plot has a great pace and is consistently entertaining. I felt that the reader only needs some puzzle pieces more explicitly explored – such as the character Amy and her storyline.

This is a world that readers will love to discover. It is vivid and fascinating and the authors descriptions make it seem like we are only scratching the surface of a much larger backstory. What rung true for me in this thrilling novel were the themes of sacrifice and identity – particularly in the exploration of morality.

Pages: 309 | ASIN: B08FCHJRF9

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An Exploration Of Daily Life

Ian Anthony Hollis Author Interview

In A Small, Quiet Village follows Adam, a stranger that arrives in a village before a disastrous storm is set to hit. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

“A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.” is what I was going for with Adam. While it’s only briefly alluded to in the book, Adam is trying to escape a sordid past, fearful that it may catch up to him eventually. The village seems like the perfect place for him to leave all of his troubles behind and start life anew.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The inactive, the mundane and the boring. An exploration of daily life, and doing my best to keep it engaging. Coming of age also plays its part in this book, particularly with Sabrina dealing with the permanent loss of her best friend, and learning how to carry on without him there.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m working on Village’s sequel. I mean, given the post-epilogue ending, I kind have to write one, don’t I? 😉 It should be available … um … several months after a few heavy edits. So probably sometime around late 2023, but no promises!

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

In a Small, Quiet Village 

Author Ian A. Hollis’ book In A Small, Quiet Village (Where Nothing Much Ever Happens) initially chronicles the low-stakes dramas and daily activities of the residents of a small, peaceful village. Readers are introduced to Jacob, a curious and excitable ten-year-old, alongside his friends and family. The story follows these characters as they go about their lives socializing, playing, and exploring. Invited to join in with the tranquil way of life in the village, readers grow to understand why its settlers so rarely want to leave. However, things cannot remain idyllic forever; with threats of potentially deadly weather on the way, readers will find themselves waiting for the moment the peace will shatter irrevocably.

The novel contains elements of mystery that begin to provoke unease in the reader that are effective and could be further explored. For instance, there is mention of people rarely leaving the village, and the inhabitants don’t seem to know where the train, which drops off visitors, actually comes from. This could be further developed to create a greater sense of entrapment and claustrophobia, perhaps by parents warning their children not to venture beyond the village’s borders or by displaying the villagers as being weighted by a fear of the unknown. The threat of Johnathon Storms, the harbinger of dangerous weather, is the greatest source of tension in the narrative, as both the villagers and readers dread his inevitable appearance.

The switch from a cozy, relaxed atmosphere to the action of the fateful storm is compelling; the build-up to the text’s more dramatic events sneak up on readers. The beginning plot of the story is sedate with a slow burn style allowing the climax to fall into place, giving readers a thrill. It successfully generates fondness for its characters and setting before striking readers with sudden tragedy.

In A Small, Quiet Village (Where Nothing Much Ever Happens) is an engaging, magical realism story that will captivate readers with solid character development and a beautiful tale of friendship.

Pages: 228 | ASIN : B09W2VR3SK

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