Of Beasts Made Of Night: A Review

Beasts Made Of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

Beasts made of midnight

For the fantasy lovers

Beasts made of night is a book set in a strange world where mages can cast sin out from people and the sin takes the shape of a beast:

“Sin made into living, breathing flesh by dark magic”

The Aki or Sin Eaters either devour or die trying, to absolve the sin so royals, nobles, and those who can afford, get to walk around pure and free; while the Aki carry the permanent marker of the sin they devour, as a tattoo of the beast on their skin. Sins are written on their bodies until the pain becomes too much and they go mad or crossover.

“Sin-beasts are shadows, beasts made of night. And an aki is like a ray of sunlight that comes down from the sky and shatters the sin, kills the shadows.

This fantasy novel explores dynamics of society, the difference between those with and those without and how some customs and beliefs, are simply a tool to keep those rich richer and those without, well less without…….

And in between all that drama the book is also a coming of age story, the main characters are simply young people trying to find their way and maybe love or at least somewhere to belong.

And why it wont score a perfect hundred, first of all it’s rather slow paced, (well it could be because of setting up the awesome world building so you get to understand the land of Kos) and then the time-frames sometimes get blurry, time passes and it’s a bit hard to figure out if it’s been a day a week or months after. Then when the pace picks up everything starts rushing to The Ending. The book ends, just when everything finally starts to get really interesting, this book feels like drawn out intro for the real fun which begins in the next book, maybe………

~B

PS the sequel is coming out October 16 2018…………
Crown of Thunder

Crown of Thunder

 

Photo Credit PenguinTeen

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Of Kintu: A Review

Book Review

Kintu By Jennifer Mukumbi

Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi

Kintu is a novel by Ugandan author Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. First published by Kwani Trust, Nairobi Kenya in 2014 after winning The Kwani Manuscript Project in 2013 then published by Transit Books in 2017; then in March 2018 awarded (alongside seven others) for the Windham-Campbell Prize for how Kintu:  “opens up a bold and innovatory vista in African letters, encompassing ancient wounds that disquiet the present, and offering the restitution to be found in memory and ritual

“This prize for me is like having been working without pay for a long time and then someone comes a long and says, ‘Will a salary for the past ten years do?‘ Then you’re left speechless.”

~JENNIFER NANSUBUGA MAKUMBI

Kintu by Jennifer Makumbi

The name Kintu (pronounced with a soft ch sound as in chin; ChinTu) might come from the legend of the first man to walk in Buganda just like Adam in the garden of Eden yet it passes down to the fictional central character in the book, Kintu and lives on in various forms, as we follow several generations of his progeny from precolonial times to the modern day.

Kintu is a fictional novel but the history, culture and traditions portrayed are as real as any tale a grandparent has told, around a warm fire in the cold night; tales of our ancestry, tales never forgotten, because to forget is to lose your roots…..

The book is unapologetically Ugandan, written in context for Uganda and reading it one gets offered, a rare perspective, of how the past, becomes the present, real and imagined.

If you are not Ugandan, this is book won’t be an easy read. There are phrases whose meaning you won’t quite understand, you will get names wrong and trying to navigate this epic multi-character African story; where siblings can be cousins and parents not parents; through several generations of lineage, in which some of the same names keep coming back and others have more than one name….. (I would suspect even if you are Ugandan  keeping track of the storyline) is quite a chore but in the end, it’s a worthwhile journey, you finish the book with a rich understanding of Uganda and by extension Africa’s complicated journey.

Reading this book reminded me somewhat of reading Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell the way souls are linked across time and space.

Though Jennifer Makumbi says her book is not a feminist work, her book delves into aspects of patriarchy and paternity; showing up its fragility, illusion of control, and the roles society imprisons itself.

The book also explores mental health, characters battle depression, schizophrenia, and psychosis. If mental health problems were caused by the supernatural, then in this book mental illness seems to travel along Kintu’s kin like its a blood curse…..

…badly wired, short-circuited, fuse-blowing mental kind of madness….

Kintu is a story about how far you will go to find your roots and sometimes your roots find you no matter where you travel.

From the Kintu Introduction by Aaron Brady:

History as it’s written down in books is one thing, but history as it’s lived is another.
how the past recedes into the background as we race irrevocably forward….

This is Kintu: the story of how the old pasts are forgotten so that new pasts, new families, and new nations can be remembered into existence…..

Kintu was written, then, for people for whom the name Kintu means something. Now you are one of those people.
Good travels. Kulika o Lwera.
-Aaron Bady

~B

PhotoCredit: Brittle Paper

Of Bare: The Blesser Game. A Review

Book Review

A book review: Bare

#TheBlesserGame #TheBreedingOfAnUnderDog

The breeding of an underdog

Bare: The Blesser Game is a coming of age fairy tale, no it’s not a fairytale, it’s about how the real world eats and spits out naive souls…

The Blesser Game follows the as yet unspoken of fundamentals of The Blesser, Blessee relationship. You know, when a rich usually an older male, spoils rotten a younger usually female (also known as Slay Queens), in return for a life of pampered luxury in exchange for sexual favours, maybe even dignity and before you know it your soul……

Jackie Phamotse Bare

The novel Bare follows the story of Treasure Mohapi’s journey from the her childhood, in the turbulent post apartheid era, hailing from mining town of Westonaria where her father has sweated to move them from Soweto.
Treasure’s father barely makes ends meet and carries around a dark temper with his wife being on the receiving end. Treasure dreams of one day living “The Dream” like in The Devil Wears Prada. Well be careful what you wish for, sometimes the devil wears a million dollar suit and might be a government minister even.

There is no fairy Godmother in this story but there’s a character who could easily be a Godfather, or a minister of finance as Blessers are known.

Being blunt about it The Blesser phenom is just a way to put lipstick on the pig that is predatory behavior by the privileged.

Jackie Phamotse’s Bare is a novel reminiscent of Jackie Collins novels but instead of being in the larger than life Hollywood drama, Bare is set in the glitzy Sandton streets of Johannesburg, with its the shadowy world of The Hockey club, a League of the filthy rich.

Jackie Phamhotse has a story a tell and she tells it in this book which is a fictionalised biography, she mentions during book launch pressers that aspects of this book are from her real life experiences and others loosely based on the lives of all the victims of sexual predators to whom this book is dedicated:

“You are nobody until someone kills you, then you become a story that others
call history.”

Jackie Phamotse #TSAON3 Trending SA

Each chapter in the book begins with a different quote, sometimes they are a clue on how the story unfolds, other times, seem just like a wise quip the author picked up from her family and friends.

you see a girl dressed to say…
No one tells me what to do!
You know someone once told her what to do.
– Jennifer Michael Hecht

The Blesser Game is not the best written book I’ve read neither is it the worst, Jackie gets my points for graphically telling a story,  an elephant in the room, the things that happen behind the closed bedroom doors of the rich and powerful. At a book launch interview Jackie even hinted that a government minister, whom she would not name, tried to block the publishing of the book.

I feel the book has some awkward sentence construction and expressions which jar one away from the story, but overally its a book one must read and get one’s fellow females to read especially those who want to be slay queens, live jet setter lives with flashy social media pages where they flaunt their swag.

The book feels incomplete, like there so much more left unsaid and guess what Jackie is working on sequel, maybe then will get to learn more of the infamous Hockey Club which is only given a glancing mention. The Hockey Club is a gentleman’s club of millionaires and not really about hockey or sports; although golf seems the interaction medium for initiation…… Is it a cult? Who knows; I don’t know?

WOMEN, FIND YOUR VOICE AND LIVE WITHIN YOUR POWER!
You are enough.
Jackie Phamotse

~B

This might not be the best Mother’s Day gift but its a story every mother must read and get for her daughter, her sister, her niece her aunt and her friend

 

Photo Credit: Trending SA #TSAON3

Of A Book Review: Children Of Blood And Bone

My go to book genre is Epic High Fantasy. Why? Because it’s an escape and I love how it addresses “issues” without actually calling a spade a spade… In the way folklore stories teach you about humanity whilst telling you of talking animals……

Just as I got to the end of my last fantasy book series The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson:

I happened to ask suggestions on what to read next and Mable suggested Children of Blood and Bone. Coincidentally a friend who was also reading the Stormlight Archive was going to read that book next…..

If you know me by now you’ll know when the universe seems like its sending me a signal I go where it leads….

Right now the universe is telling you if you haven’t read Tomi Adeyemi’s book what are you waiting for?

My favourite thing about Children of Blood and Bone is that, well, it’s fantasy but not only that, it’s set in Africa, with African characters based upon the author’s own Nigerian roots and Yoruba lore.

On the surface, Children of Blood and Bone is the story about a quest to bring back magic to the mythical kingdom of Orïsha.

“One day magic breathed. The next, it died”

The Divîners who have distinct white hair are left without their magic, powerless to defend themselves from a King determined to eradicate the whole lot of them…….

If I was asked to name the story I would have called it: The Prince, The Princess and The Reaper. The plot unfolds through three different character viewpoints whose perspectives you get to be intimately familiar with and come to understand their actions…..

Children of Blood and Bone is a story of survival in an oppressive system, when the difference between upholding the rule of law and tyranny is simply the uniform your enforcers wear, when the colour of your hair changes whether people fear you or hate you and how all that fear and hatred turns to violence.

This book is about way more than what it is about, as you journey 500+ pages across the land of Orïsha with Zélie

Children of Blood and bone is a story of hope and perseverance.

They killed my mother.

They took our magic.

They tried to bury us.
Now we rise.

From the author’s note

Although riding giant lionaires and performing sacred rituals might be in the realm of fantasy, all the pain, fear, sorrow, and loss in this book is real.

“Abogbo wa ni ọmọ rẹ nínú j àti egungun.”
“We are all children of blood and bone.”

~B
PS Children of Blood and Bone, is the first book of three in the Legacy of Orïsha Series by Tomi Adeyemi, when you get to the end you start looking up the author to see how soon the next book is out because……. I went out of my way to not include spoilers in this review 😂

Also there’s a movie coming along!!!!!!!

Of A Book Tour: The Curse Of Time

GuestPost:

The Curse of Time M. J. Mallon

If you were having coffee with me, we would have a quick chat with MJ (whom is neither Michael Jackson nor from Spiderman)  and a sneak insight into the characters from her up coming book Bloodstone Book 1 The Curse of Time……….

Bloodstone Book 1

Book 1 – Bloodstone

Thank you to Beaton for inviting me to guest post on his blog today.

It’s a delight to be here, I have enjoyed following Beaton for a good old while and I think we seem to share a similar sense of wacky humour.

I’m delighted to share with you my novel The Curse of Time – Book 1 – Bloodstone a YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, UK.

If I was to pick a character or two that Beaton would enjoy I’d guess I’d start with Ryder my male protagonist, a narcissistic fellow who prefers to hang about in the shadows. He’s charismatic, beguiling, a curious young man with a mysterious side.

There are several young ladies in the story who might engage his interest too: Amelina, the main character is artsy, and magical, the mirror girl Esme will pull at his heart strings. Super confident Jade, jokey Ilaria, or serious, thoughtful Joselyn could capture his heart. Don’t forget gossipy Aunt Karissa who will undoubtedly make him laugh, as will her daft dog Toby.

Surely he will love the sleek black cat character: Shadow?

I expect he will be intrigued by The Grasshopper of the Chronopage?

If he’s a family man he will be curious to find out more about the terrible fate that has befallen Amelina’s  mum and dad…

There are a whole bunch of characters in The Curse of Time – I love them all and hope you will too.

Bio:

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: A-Z of my book reviews

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In Bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

MJ.JPG

You can find MJ on various pages of the interweb

Amazon Author Page

Website mjmallon.com

Facebook Group to help support traditional and indie writers. #ABRSC: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Instagram: mjmallonauthor

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and Twitter: @curseof_time

Facebook: M J Mallon author

Tumblr: MJMallonauthor

She has devoted the past few years to writing over 100 reviews on Goodreads Review Account

~B

PS I must confess to being super curious and cant wait to read this…. its like being regular curious but I wear a cape

 

 

of some weekend coffee and On The Other Hand: a book

coffee and a book

If you were having coffee with me we would be trying something different, we would be trying iced tea. The weather is stifling hot so a hot beverage would be all kinds of  awkward…. I have never tried iced tea, but the golden colour is so rich (maybe I should drink my tea in a clear glass mug more) and the ice cubes  a nice cooling touch ( but if you think about it ice cubes are kinda hard core imagine floating around in a mug the size of a bathtub  full of your own blood…)

I do apologise for the visualization, but yes my mind is a scary place sometimes, and I like to broaden its horizons, see where my thoughts lead me.

If you were having coffee with me, I would be telling you of my review of one of the last books I read On The Other Hand The Little Anthology of Big Questions, by  Renée Paule

Good Book + Iced Tea

If you were having coffee with me I would ask you what sort of books you read and what was the last good book you read. I would tell  you that I like fantasy, I read to escape, you see, to world of fictional characters  and at least for a little while forget how cruel we as a race can get  to each other all the war, pain and suffering we inflict on each other, all in the name of freedom, justice and even religion.

On The Other Hand is not a fictional book, it’s a self help book, actually no its not even that it’s a book of questions, it doesn’t even have the answers, only questions. Through the Author’s journey to learn who they are we also ask ourselves challenging questions about the things we have always accepted without question.

I am a fast reader it takes me little time and effort to zip through pages of a book, especially when I like the story I go through it faster, I mean to slow down and enjoy the plot, but I cant help myself I rush through gouging on every page, like its my last supper, sometimes forgetting to sleep. But this book it’s a little book with a  modest number 216 pages, it took me almost a month to read and in between reading it I finished four other books.

Its not the easiest book to read, its true “He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.” – Lao Tzu

According to this book:

We are happy to wait until we die to find out answers to questions we have forgotten how to ask.

Human beings are diligent when it comes to searching for something they dont really want to know or see; we know where not to look….

The truth is there we just have trouble facing it.

We are given a blank sheet of paper to create our world on and we have scribbled all over it in the most horrible way; now we cant read our own writing..

 Who were we when the paper was blank? Where did the piece of paper come from?

So many questions and no answers well I didn’t have them (the answers) but asking them to oneself puts things into perspective, you don’t ask whats wrong with the world (because whats wrong with world is we happened or maybe we let happen) what you ask is how do you save yourself and others, because we are worth saving.

It was challenging to read this book but I am glad I did.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that I don’t think I like iced tea, (maybe its an acquired taste) you can have the rest of it I will fix myself a nice cold beverage perhaps add a dash of something slightly intoxicating just for laughs and lots of ice. The weather is stifling the heat is oppressive, I cant help wonder if the rapture occurred and now we are left here to burn, for failing to save ourselves or is this a prelude of things to come if we do not change….

That is why we pray for rain #RainMustFall

iced beverage

a lil what what

~B

Ps I just heard a clap of thunder and I smell rain *cheers*