On the sci-fi online website, Charles Packer has written a 10/10 review of Douglas Thompson’s latest novel The Rhymer. He starts by pointing out that the book defies genre pigeonholing “being many things, a puzzle, contemplation on the follies of art and artifice as well as a comic look at civilisations”, although he subsequently suggests the “the nearest description would be that the story falls into the category of existential surrealism”.
Having described Douglas as a writer of “almost unparalleled skill”, he says that the “first thing which really strikes you about the book is the beautiful prose” and goes on to say “This is an extraordinarily gifted writer whose lines are infused with poetry”. In fact, he says, “The beauty of the prose drags you into the tale and holds you there”.
He concludes by saying “I’m not sure what more a reader can ask for than a thought provoking provocative plot, written in such skillfully poetic prose. Buy it, your brain will love you forever.”
You can (and should) read Charles’ full review on sci-fi online here.
On Murder Mayhem & More, there is an entertaining review of Douglas Thompson’s latest novel The Rhymer, an Heredyssey by Rowena Hoseason (who is also an Amazon Hall of Fame top 50 reviewer). The title of her review says it all – “The Rhymer: outstanding. Original. Odd”
On the one hand she suggests that readers may be bamboozled, baffled and bewildered, but on the other hand she suggests they will also be spellbound, bewitched and, like her, “enjoying the sensation of being swirled along by the author’s imagery”. She goes on to say “So while The Rhymer contains myriad moments of well-crafted word-wrangling – the like of which most writers couldn’t hope to accomplish if they digested a thesaurus before breakfast – it’s not a pompous publication. There are plenty of laughs crammed in between its stylish covers.”
Her conclusion, before giving it a score of 8 out of 10, is as intriguing and complex as the book itself, and I hope she won’t mind me quoting it below. However you should really read the whole review here. Rowena’s conclusion:
“Even now, having left The Rhymer to settle a while after finishing it, I’m not entirely sure what I think about it. Admire it? Immensely. Enjoyed reading it? Enormously. Like it?
I’ll get back to you on that.”
Which, to be fair, is probably exactly what Douglas was aiming for 😉
The final part of the Dandelion Trilogy by Mike French is now available as an eBook. If you enjoyed the lyrical and surreal The Ascent of Isaac Steward and the satirical Blue Friday then you will find the conclusion Convergence just as lyrical, surreal and satirical. But it can be read as a standalone novel too – if you have only read one of the others (or even neither of them) Convergence will still amuse, entertain and thrill you.
On the British Fantasy Society website, there is a review of Sanem Ozdural’s debut novel LiGa™. After a brief description of the setting of the story, the reviewer, Richard Webb, explains how the LifeGame of the story (for which LiGa™ is a branded abbreviation) is bridge and goes on to say that bridge “is a social game, built on double-guessing your partner’s hand as much as your opponent’s and what Ozdural does well is to expose the brutality under the veneer of the somewhat genteel pastime.”
Richard describes the diversity of the players who are competing as a cornerstone of the book, with “none of the group clearly the one to root for. This makes for intrigue and nuance in their interactions, layered with complexity as at different times they are paired with, or against, one another, all with their eyes on the ultimate prize.” The review goes on to consider the philosophical questions at the core of the story, and why anyone would participate in such a game: “Understanding the reasons why each participant was willing to take this risk what it would mean to them was one of the slow-burning joys the story yielded.”
On the Risingshadow website, Seregil of Rhimini has reviewed Mike French’s debut novel The Ascent of Isaac Steward, republished by Elsewhen Press as an eBook in April and in print last Friday. Seregil starts his review by saying “I can honestly say that The Ascent of Isaac Steward is one of the most imaginative, extraordinary and challenging novels I’ve ever read.” He goes on to say that “One of the best things about this novel is that Mike French writes beautiful prose.”
He describes how Mike manages to balance reality with fantasy, he “fluently combines reality and fantasy” and as the story unfolds the “reality blends strongly with fantasy”. The inner struggle of the protagonist reveals “interesting” and “disturbing visions of love, violence, death and destruction. The images that the author conjures up from Isaac’s subconscious are both touching and horrifying.”
He concludes by noting that readers will be “rewarded by a beautiful and touching story of a man who tries to find reconcialition. I think that readers who are familiar with magical realism and surrealism will like it very much. If you like literary, unique and experimental novels, you should read The Ascent of Isaac Steward. It’s a powerful novel that won’t be easily forgotten.”
On The View From Here website, Grace Read has written her review of David Colón’s novel The Lost Men. In her witty introduction, she says she read the book while suffering from morning sickness so it may have affected her clarity of mind! Nonetheless she says that she found it thought-provoking, placing concepts popular with philosophers into a family life setting and presenting “complex ideas about destiny in a digestible form”.
Her favourite elements of the book were the dialogue and she says she found the last part of the book “gripping”. Although she concludes by saying that The Lost Men would be “a perfect read for a philosophy student” she doesn’t suggest that it wouldn’t appeal to non-philosophers.
In his review of LiGa™ by Sanem Ozdural, Finnish reviewer Seregil of Rhiminee recommends this “entertaining and well written book” to all science fiction readers, because he enjoyed it very much. He praised the way that Sanem “explored human weaknesses and strengths” making the “reader think about what it would be like to live forever and never age”. He finishes by saying that Sanem Ozdural is “an author to watch”. You can read the full review here.
In his review of The Lost Men by David Colón on the British Fantasy Society website, Chris Limb says that David “conjures up a realistic deserted future world and the day-to-day existence of Mann [,the main protagonist]”, and his home “is meticulously and convincingly portrayed using rich description”. He adds, later, “The account of the pulverised remains of an unnamed town in Nebraska … sticks in the mind”.
Sanem Ozdural, author of LiGa™, will be appearing on JOYRadio on 8 October at 10:00. Sanem and Moira Crone, who will together be discussing the Aesthetics of Literature at the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Words and Music Festival in New Orleans at the end of November, will be interviewed by Pattie Welek Hall as part of a series of radio programmes promoting the festival.