Review

Review – Born in a Treacherous Time

Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when they are relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, their own people, and the next iteration of man. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She is their leader’s new mate and they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.

 

The world building in this novel is incredible, and the descriptions are spot on. It was like taking a virtual tour, where the surroundings, creatures and characters all build so vividly in your head, your senses go into overdrive and you can hear, smell, taste, and (almost) touch. I swear, if I’d looked up from the page long enough, I’d have seen a mammoth at one point!

It’s a total immersion in prehistoric times and you get what it says on the cover, because those times were treacherous indeed! The pace is fitting the time period because, let’s face it, there were dangers at every turn, so your only choice is to hold on tight for the ride. I love this kind of adventure, where you get so caught up, you find yourself holding your breath as the characters do. I was right there beside Lucy as she laid upon the hard, unforgiving ground and ignored the creatures trying to use her for a snack as she waited out the chance to claim her own food.

I loved Lucy as soon as she was introduced. She’s strong, loyal and heroic; a true role model. She is also a healer, and her natural empathy reflected in the way she dealt with others (even those I would have been tempted to offer up to a Saber-tooth as a tasty snack). Her ability to adapt, a necessity within an unpredictable terrain and facing constant peril, was inspiring.

I was also enthralled by the methods of communication Lucy and her group used. It probably won’t surprise you, given my love of sign language, but this area in particular was a fascinating aspect of the tale. In such primitive times, as communication methods developed and evolved, group members relied on facial expressions and body movements to convey a message. They were so attuned to one another, a slight twitch could speak a dozen words. Jacqui expressed this incredibly well, highlighting the fact that we should look beyond words in order to gain the bigger picture.

There is something in the novel for everyone. Jacqui has clearly done a great deal of research in order to bring the world to life, so it was an education. Born in a Treacherous time is a journey into the past that highlights a number of human traits; our need for connection, the primal instinct to mate and survive, the bonds we form and the sacrifices we make for the good of the group.

The characters are diverse and relatable, and engage the reader every step of the way. I was sad when the journey came to an end, and am eagerly anticipating the next adventure.


Thanks for stopping by

Mel

 

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Saturday Book Club – 19 March 2016

Hi, how was your week? Mine was a little crazy, so I’m thrilled it’s the weekend – more so because I get to catch up. So let’s talk. I have a pretty comfy couch, so we’re good here for a while.

Cover Art by Jon Hunsinger

I’m currently reading Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First, I promised a summary of my thoughts on Crossing Bedlam by Charles Yallowitz, which I finished last week. I wrote a review, and you can find it by clicking here.

So, back to Grisham. I actually read a review on  Don Massenzio’s blog, and as I used to be a huge fan of Grisham’s books, after reading what Don had to say about Rogue Lawyer I couldn’t resist. So far, so good. I think I might actually be hooked again. I’m a faithful reader, so I tend to stick by my favourites. Unfortunately the last couple I read of Grisham’s made me hesitate when considering his latest release. I would have got to it eventually, put it on my ever growing reading list. I’m glad I didn’t wait. There are so many authors I enjoy at the moment, it’s not easy to choose. Unless it’s Lee Child (because I have a serious weakness for Jack Reacher), I tend to read them in order.

Rogue Lawyer

Going back to the crazy, as in week, that would be crazy busy, I’ve only read a couple of chapters. I expect I’ll have more to say about it next week, though. If you’ve read it, feel free to share your thoughts.

Writing wise, I’ve mostly been editing. I’m working my way through episode 2 of the Collective, and trying to make sure the characters have a unique voice. It’s written in third person, but each episode is told from multiple points of view – changing characters depending on the scene. Again, it’s different to my novels, juggling so many characters (and plot lines), so the challenges just keep coming! Not that it isn’t fun. I’m having an absolute blast. In fact, I’m so excited about this project, I had to pull over to the side of the road yesterday to jot something down (safely).

One of the things I love about getting to know my characters is that, even when I know their background, think I know all their secrets, bam, out of the blue they share something with me and I think ‘No! Really?’ I know I’m not alone in that – even the most explicit of planners get caught by surprise. I mention this because it’s the reason I had to pull over (safely).

I will be releasing a sneak preview of the first episode next week (Chapter 1) on the website, so I’ll share a link with you. I already posted it to Watt Pad, so if you want to check it out, you can do that here. Just a note, if you read the post I wrote for Writer’s Quote Wednesday, you will recognise the first part of the chapter, so you’ll need to scroll down for the continuation – to find out how the scene ends.

But that’s it from me. I’ve rambled enough. I want to hear about your week. Are you reading anything new? If it’s still the same book, how’s that going? What about writing, blogging, creative outlets in general – do you have anything to share?

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

 

 

Character Study: Scott Lang (Ant-Man)

I enjoy discussing characters, and so I wanted to point out my recent post at Comparative Geeks today. I went to see the Ant-Man movie on Friday and I loved it. So much it seems, that I can’t stop talking about it! I wrote a review on Sourcerer, and I plan on reviewing the latest comic featuring the delightful Scott Lang. But I’d love to know your thoughts – on Scott, or on superheroes in general. Stop by and join the conversation!

Comparative Geeks

Ant-Man armyReal Name: Scott Lang

Powers: Thanks to Pym Particles, Scott (Ant-Man) can shrink to the size of an ant. He can also communicate telepathically with insects. When he shrinks, he retains his human strength.

Abilities: Scott has expertise in electronics.

Background

Scott Lang is the current Ant-Man, though he achieved the title by unorthodox means. He stole the Ant-Man suit from Dr. Henry (Hank) Pym, in order to save his daughter’s life. Not the first time Scott stole in order to support his family. He turned to crime when he was no longer able to support his wife and daughter, and became a skilled thief as a way to make ends meet. Of course this path didn’t end well, and Scott spent a time in prison.

After his release, he worked in the design department at Stark International; trying to turn over a new leaf. When he discovered…

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Supernatural – An Overview Part 1: The Heroes

Are you a fan of Supernatural? Of course you are, who doesn’t love the Winchester Brothers! I’m over at Comparative Geeks today and tomorrow giving an overview of the show, so pop on over and let’s have a chat. If you didn’t catch my reviews of Daredevil, you can find them here.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Comparative Geeks

supernatural logoSupernatural has been running for ten years, and remains one of my favourite shows. Fact is, there’s a lot to like. Let’s start with the array of supernatural creatures; wendigos, witches, ghosts, vampires, demons, werewolfs, killer clowns – you name it, they’ve had it. The Winchester brothers have come up against urban legends, creatures from folklore, biblical dieties, and have even ventured into an alternative reality or two. Who can forget the time they fell into a world where alternate versions were actors playing the Winchesters in a television show called Supernatural – yep, it takes a moment or two to get your head around!

But it’s about more than the creatures. What we have are two brothers who would die for one another (and have more than once!). They ride around in a kick-ass car, and are thrust into delicious adventures, which keep fans entertained week after week. It’s…

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Arrow: Season 3, Episode 15 – Nanda Parbat

I decided to reblog my Arrow review here today because, even if you’re not a fan of the show, there’s some amazing content on Sourcerer – you’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy 😀 Happy Friday.

Sourcerer

arrow-header-5So much happened in this week’s episode that I don’t know where to start, so while I want to jump right to the end and the rather explosive cliff-hanger, let’s start at the beginning instead and take things one step at a time. Not literally, since that’s hardly my style, but there is a method to my madness!

Nanda Parbat opens with Ra’s in the Lazarus Pit, and there really is no question that this is the regenerative pool from the comics. Despite the fact Ollie didn’t get to swim in the mystical waters, I’m convinced the pit has its part to play, so I’m being patient.

ra's

Anyway, Nyssa makes a dramatic entrance, bringing news of Ollie’s miraculous recovery (she’s obviously never heard of the herb-induced brand of penicillin tea). Obviously Ra’s is aware that Ollie didn’t perish, and isn’t overly concerned. We all know that he didn’t buy into…

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Exciting new development for 2015

Arrow -- "The Climb" -- Image AR309a_0397b -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen -- Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW -- © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Arrow — “The Climb” — Image AR309a_0397b — Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen — Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

I can’t believe I kept this in for so long, I’m usually terrible at keeping secrets. But *drum roll* from January 2015 I will be regularly contributing over at Sorcerer run by the talented and hardworking Gene’O. Primarily I will provide a weekly review of the show Arrow, but there are other treats in store and I’ll tell you more about those in the new year.

It’s something I’m particularly excited about. I enjoy reviewing, adore the show, and am really looking forward to a new challenge. Plus I get to contribute on a pretty awesome blog, so it’s a win win 🙂

Happy Holidays everyone and, to steal a line from Keith Lemon…if I don’t see you through the week, I’ll see you through the window!

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Hands of Evil Book Tour – Day 1

MBS-HOEvil Kit Final

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, depending on where you are in the world. Welcome to the first day of my blog tour for Hands of Evil. It’s also my 200th post, so it seems an apt way to kick us off!

Kathryn Jenkins and her team over at Dragon Knight Chronicles have organised up a storm and we have plenty of interesting things lined up for you over the next week. I’ve included a copy of the schedule at the bottom of the post. A huge thanks to James Jones, Laura Standen, Sierra Carrillo, Julius Principe and Renee Scattergood for hosting on the tour. Speaking of Renee, she recently hosted a Blog Blitz for Shadow Stalker: Episode 1. It’s a series I’m sure you’d enjoy. If you click on her name above, you’ll find more details at her site.

To get us started, I’d like to share a review of Hands of Evil, by Kathryn Jenkins.

Kathryn Jenkins Review

Contest Graphic

 

 

I will be running a giveaway this week, so for your chance to win a signed copy of Hands of Evil, click on the image. Good luck 🙂

To sign up for my newsletter, click here.

 

 

 

 

 Schedule

Monday September 1st, 2014

Tuesday September 2nd, 2014

Wednesday September 3rd, 2014

Thursday September 4th, 2014

  • Sierra Carrillo @ http://permashift.wordpress.com (10am)-(UTC-06:00 Central Time U.S. and Canada) Interrupted Part 1 *short story*, Character Biography and Interview

Friday September 5th, 2014

Saturday September 6th, 2014

Sunday September 7th, 2014 (Final Day)


 

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

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