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July 2017

*BLOG TOUR BOOK REVIEW* Discoucia by Nicholas Lovelock

*BLOG TOUR BOOK REVIEW* Discoucia by Nicholas Lovelock

Discoucia: A Victorianish Fairytale
‘Revolution, romance and technological wonders are all in a day’s work for the decorated hero of Alavonia, Sir Arthur Pageon.

An acclaimed explorer and inventor, Sir Arthur Pageon takes his unofficial role as defender of the realm of Alavonia very seriously. A fantastical world, Alavonia is home to the Discoucian Monarchy, as well as monstrous creatures and secretive academies for the highly gifted.
Upon returning from his most recent exploits aboard on his personal flying galleon The Nostradamus, Pageon is treated to a hero’s welcome and celebratory procession through the streets of Alavonia’s capital, Evermore. Little does Pageon know he’s being followed by a mysterious group known as the Purple Guard, whose devious leader is his estranged sister, Queen Lily Pageon of Harrha Island. Fiercely intelligent, Lily specialises in dastardly technological inventions with the aim of bringing down the Discoucian Monarchy so that she may reign as its dictator. However, the heir to the throne is one Princess Josephine Olandine, whose youth and royal position masks her role in the Discoucian Secret Service.

Joining forces, Princess Josephine and Sir Arthur’s adventures will take them across the whole of Alavonia — from the fog-bound shores of Karga, to the secret underground shanty town beneath the frozen prison of Icester, south to the verdant city of Proceur and from there to the affluent Starfall Academy — in their quest to foil Lily’s revolutionary plans.’

First of all let me just say, this book is  a little bonkers! But that’s what makes it so unique. The characters bounce off each other really well and the author has a good grasp of what he wants from each character in each scene which makes for interesting reading.

One thing about this novel that will make itself clear yo the reader from the very first page is the author’s style of writing. It’s quite frenetic and almost un-punctuated – obviously it isn’t but still feels like it. This isn’t to the point of excess or tot he extreme of being unnecessary but it does take some getting used to. The dialogue is delivered quickly and incorporates even the smallest of small talk, again, something that takes a little getting used to. Once you’ve read the first 100 pages or so, you start to get a real feel for the author’s writing and style, at this point the book becomes sooo much better!

The characters throughout the book are varied and fun, they also have detailed back stories which help when identifying and rooting for them. the author has done this well and I found myself caring about the characters and what happened to them, an absolute must for me as a reader. My favourite character though was Sir Arthur Pageon, he’s a real beauty. I found him to be funny’ quirky, and the type of character every book should have. His relationship with Princess Josephine is great and the author does a good job of contrasting their personalities.

The real gem within this book, for me, is the world created by the author (he was also kind enough to do a a guest post for me about his process of world building, you can read it here). Alavonia is a world that just feels absolutely massive and has places like “Icester” that just feel so British but also so…fantastical(?) it is just brilliant. Alavonia has a lot more to give and hopefully the author will write more within this world in the future.

There is a slight steampunk theme throughout the book and the mot glaring is the flying galleon, The Nostradamus, that is owned by Sir Arthur. Overall though, this is not overbearing and doesn’t rely on trying to market itself to this niche, it’s just about right.

I liked this book and I think there are a lot of readers out there who have been waiting to read something like this.

About the author: Based in a small village in Oxfordshire Nicholas Lovelock is the author of the Alavonia series. As well as a passion for history, Nick holds a keen interest in Numismatics —the study and collection of coins, banknotes and medals— counting a 200 year-old 1826 half-crown and coinage of monarchs like Queen Anne, Elizabeth the First and Henry the Eighth as part of his collection.

 

 

Thanks for reading, I hoped you enjoyed this stage of the blog tour for Discoucia. Please comment on and share this post if you enjoyed it. And remember that every time you share, you’re not just helping out a lowly blogger, but also an author who’s spent a load of time creating/developing/nurturing their story.

Thank you

Danny

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This is not a drill!! Oathbringer is here! (Well, soon)

This is not a drill! Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive Book Three) by Brandon Sanderson is now available to preorder!

It has a release date of November 16th 2017 and is sure to be the fantasy book of the year. Oh yeah, I’ve called it!

There is no blurb released for it yet but I know that it is going to blow my head off! I don’t get this excited often but now I know that Christmas has been rescheduled for November; I am now!

If you haven’t read the first two books, nay, TOMES, they are absolutely fantastic and a must read for any fantasy lover! Get involved, you won’t be disappointed.

The link to preorder the book is here

The countdown starts NOW!

ENJOY 😊

Building New Worlds and Writing in a Different Time by Nicholas Lovelock

The blog tour for Discoucia, a Victorianish Fairytale, started on 10th July (YAY!) and for my part – as well as providing a review – I requested a guest article on world building and writing in a different time, and guess what?! Mr Lovelock duly obliged and put together a great piece with mountains (literally) of sound advice! See below…

Building New Worlds and Writing in a Different Time

It may not seem like much of a task to create a world out of imagination as many of us go through this scenario on a daily basis, but to make a truly believable world an awful lot of work must go in.

Using my world of Alavonia as an example, you begin with a name that you will use throughout your narrative and from there you move to continents or countries. Alavonia is a planet four times the size of Earth and has 11 main continents. They are Discoucia, Lesiga, Neo Firmania, Tela Bilega, Caparonia, The Fire Islands, Capari, Insatia, Colsolia, The Ice Islands and Immoratia.

This works like Inception, as you have to go further in at every step. You have the world, and now you have the continent. For this we shall use Discoucia itself which has sixteen main counties, all with different identities and customs. They are Evermore, Elowe, Yande, Fina, Ervie, Icester, Adlin, Ashin, Chene, Harrha, Proceur, Gard, Cesta, Thorisea, Tanalos and Sorro.

The county we will focus on is Chene, which needed its own identity to make it different from the rest of the counties and became the commercial centre of Discoucia. It gained sovereignty from the rest of Discoucia so it could avoid all the extra taxes from the empire and became a sort of Victorian New York with skyscrapers and massive streets. It couldn’t be surrounded by water so I gave it a massive wall that backed on to the mountains, and allowed the use of sky-ships to be used in the plot as more of a necessity.

To make your science-fiction more appealing, you need to come up with a plot device that is different and makes your writing interesting and remarkable. For instance the average Alavonian lives for 1000 years, and to put it in perspective Arthur is 220 which would be 22 in our world. The age that people live to explains how so much technological accomplishments could be made, from subterranean tunnels to underwater research laboratories like Infinica that appears later.

As far as writing in another time, you have to pick which one you want. If you are going to write it in the future then you need to think about how people would live. It is all fine to create fantastical spaceships and futuristic cities, but you have to consider if that is how people would live. However if it is simply a pure fantasy you wish to create then let your imagination run wild. The constraint of writing in the past is that it is set in stone; then again alternate fiction allows history to be distorted for the sake of plot.

In a film like Django Unchained, historically it was highly unlikely for there to be a freed slave becoming a bounty hunter, but the idea was plausible enough for it to fit into the contemporary history of the time. The plot still works with historical accuracies like the feel of the time and the setting, but takes liberties with other things such as the two main characters actions.

Going back to Alavonia, once you have the setting you need to have characters that are likeable or dislikeable to the audience. In the instance of Chene the rulers are Princess Amberlia, who will take over the throne when she reaches 180 and seems to be as evil as any Dickensian villain. She is assisted by her weak sister Princess Sophina in getting rid of her other sister Princess Mona, all while a festival is taking place where the main characters are unaware of what is going on above.

Amberlia represents a spoilt child about to be put in charge, but sees her sisters as enemies that in her paranoid mind she must get rid of. I hoped to achieve what so many authors have done successfully, which was making a horrible villain that has a reason for doing what they do but it still doesn’t condone what they do, but at the same time is interesting because you have to wonder when she is going to suddenly think that what she is doing is wrong and change her mind.

In a sense building a world is just as much about the people as the landscapes, however when it comes to the landscapes it does help to have high mountains or giant caves since they have become so synonymous with the science fiction and fantasy genre.’

A big thank you to Nicholas for that, I know I got a load from it and hopefully you did too! My stop on the blog tour is on July 19th so please share the hell out of it for me and let me know what you think.

I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I did, feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts 🙂

*Novella Review* Rend the Dark (Rend the Dark #1) by Gelineau and King

*Novella Review* Rend the Dark by Gelineau and King

‘The great Ruins are gone. The titans. The behemoths. All banished to the Dark and nearly forgotten. But the cunning ones, the patient ones remain. They hide not in the cracks of the earth or in the shadows of the world. But inside us. Wearing our skin. Waiting. Watching.

Once haunted by visions of the world beyond, Ferran now wields that power to hunt the very monsters that he once feared. He is not alone. Others bear the same terrible burden. But Hunter or hunted, it makes no difference. Eventually, everything returns to the Dark.’

‘Dark’ is the operative word here because with comes in tons!

I’ve previously reviewed some of Gelineau and King’s works and they are fantasy-lite. Not in a bad way (they were very good stories) but a way that a novella should be, short, interesting, and leave you wanting more.

Rend the Dark had all of these, but also something more; horror. 

 That’s right, there is some scary scenes in this story and the creatures are actually damn frightening! There is no levity to be had throughout and it left me with a sinking feeling. And you know what? I actually really enjoyed it!

Character-wise, it’s quite good, although the creatures take more of a front seat, leaving the human characters less evolved. Having said that, Ferran is bad ass! He’s one of those characters that is skilled, strong, but not invulnerable. And he has a face tattoo, I mean, what’s not to like?!

Gelineau and King do it again. Great stuff!

3.5/5

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