Even as a novella, Ough has written a satisfying story that will make readers wish for more stories from this world.

THE SPACES IN BETWEEN

A NOVELLA

In debut author Ough’s fantasy adventure, a young thief with a special gift is forced into a dangerous adventure to save his mother, his lover and his homeland.

Despite growing up in the poor part of Palandine, the capital city of the kingdom of Trathlain, Gremlaw had a happy childhood. That is, until his father dies in a work accident, causing his mother to withdraw emotionally and leaving Gremlaw to fend for himself. As the youth becomes a thief, he discovers that he has a special ability. He studies crowds in the markets and trains himself to see the “patterns of people and the spaces that flowed between and around them.” Spotting the “spaces in between” allows him unnatural success in eluding capture. It’s early in his career as a subsistence thief that Gremlaw befriends an orphaned street girl named Huleta, who quickly grabs the growing boy’s attention. But no sooner has a new normalcy been established than Gremlaw is forced into service by Duke Wattiern DeLarouge, a ruthless patriot who’ll do anything to protect Trathlain, including blackmailing Gremlaw. With the lives of his mother and Huleta in the balance, Gremlaw has no choice but to accept the duke’s mission. The neighboring empire of Lavash has a new plot to conquer Trathlain using a drug known as Forever. Addictive at first use, the drug robs people of their wills and leaves them incapable of defeating their new addiction. Though he’s never been beyond the walls of his city, Gremlaw is sent out into Ough’s well-designed world to uncover the details of the plot and discover how the drug is being distributed to the border garrisons that protect Trathlain from invasion. Through many trials, Gremlaw must use his wit and his abilities if he hopes to return home and save the lives of the women he loves. With strong writing and characters to match, from Huleta’s staunch independence to the duke’s ends-justify-means attitude, Ough has penned a remarkable adventure. Though the very end of the second epilogue feels a little too pat, this is a journey worthy of readers’ attention.

Even as a novella, Ough has written a satisfying story that will make readers wish for more stories from this world.

Pub Date: July 31, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615987736

Page Count: 152

Publisher: Serealities Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT

A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Did you like this book?

more