#Book Review: Man on the Isle of Jura

I reviewed Man on the Isle of Jura for the May edition of Historical Novels Review magazine, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. As the final part of the process, reviewers are given a list of books (with descriptions) to choose from. This one jumped out at me because: √Time Travel, √Historical Fiction √Magical Realism. Those who have been following this blog know that historical fiction with a time travel sub-genre is my favorite thing to read. Throw in magical realism and I am definitely hooked. My review is below. There is also a link at the bottom of the page to an interview (Q&A) of me on Tom Maremaa’s website. Check it out! This time he was the one asking the questions. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Christopher Reed is with his family in an SUV in California when a devastating earthquake hits. His wife and daughter are killed and Christopher plunges into the Pacific Ocean. However, before he knows it, he is drowning in the Atlantic ocean on the Isle of Jura outside of Scotland, 1948. The village Christopher arrives in on the Isle of Jura is like many villages may have been in 1948–except some of its inhabitants are telepathic and some can see the future. Jack Wilson, who rescues Christopher from the ocean, can do both. Jack soon joins Christopher on an important mission to make sure a world-changing book (George Orwell’s 1984) is published, despite operatives from another timeline trying to erase it from existence. This is the second book in the “Of Gods, Royals, and Superman” series. It can be read as a standalone.

This interesting book combines historical fiction with time travel and magical realism in a most unique way. The extrasensory abilities of the villagers, time portals in 1948, and mythical creatures all make sense in this extraordinary novel that reminds us of the importance of great literary works and the magnitude of their impact on history. The characters are well developed and the action flows from one fantastical event to another. Fans of literature, time travel and magical realism will enjoy this historical nod to an important novel.

I received a free copy of this book via Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the book for free on Amazon.

As always be sure and post a review if you decide to read this book. Reviews are so important to authors.

BUY MAN ON THE ISLE OF JURA

BUY OF GODS, ROYALS, AND SUPERMAN (BOOK 1)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Maremaa

Tom Maremaa is the author of twelve novels, most recently Man on the Isle of Jura and Reynkaviik. His novel METAL HEADS from Kunati Books was nominated by the American Library Association (ALA) as one of the Notable Books of 2009. He has also authored short fiction, plays, and works of non-fiction. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he studied languages, literature and philosophy at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and worked on his Ph.D in comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives with his wife in Silicon Valley, California, and works as a software engineer in the Valley. He travels widely to learn about and understand as many cultures and languages as he can.

AN INTERVIEW OF ME ON TOM MAREMAA’S BLOG (Title is Gambler’s Luck)

MY AMAZON REVIEW (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

#Book Review and #Blog Tour: Time Ripper

*Book Review at the bottom of the page.

HTML

TimeRipper

Welcome to the book tour for time-travelling, sci-fi, TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey! Read on for more details and a chance to win an amazing giveaway– A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

516jOXX7aqLTimeRipper

Publication Date: February 25th, 2021

Genre: Time Travel/ Thriller/ Historical Fiction/ Sci-Fi

Publisher: Dammaged Productions

It is the year 2288, and Earth is reeling from the most horrific terrorist attack it has ever endured.The Quest, a pseudo-religious splinter group, have taken a stance against the Earth Alliance’s authority of the planet.It is down to Youssef Haseem, now the highest-ranking official left in the EA, to build a team to face the threat of total inhalation if he doesn’t stand down and bow to The Quest’s demands. Then the leaders of The Quest disappear, and a legend emerges in the year 1888. But just who is the mysterious stranger stalking and viciously killing women on the streets of Whitechapel, London?A mission is launched! A battle of wits against time itself. A fight to be played out in the present and the past, with the fate of humanity at stake.Legends can happen anytime…

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Author Photo

My name is David McCluskey, I am an author from Liverpool in the UK. I have written seven novels so far. TimeRipper is my latest. I started writing about 15 years ago, beginning with short horror stories for children that were written in rhyme. I enlisted the services of an artist and created my very first comic from them. Interesting Tymes is a great seller at comic conventions around the UK, as it offered something that a lot of comics these days don’t, something for the children to get their teeth into (so to speak).

I then began to create more comics, some for children, some for adults, before creating my own graphic novels. Doppelgänger is a dark psychological horror, Olf is a children’s graphic novel about Father Christmas and his reindeer, A Christmas Carol is a rewriting of the original tale, but in rhyme, and DeathDay Presents is an adult comedy based in Hell.

From there I moved on to writing novels. My debut novel The Twelve is still my best seller on Amazon.

I write under the name of D E McCluskey for my adult fiction, and I will be launching a children’s range of novels this year under the name Dave McCluskey (I don’t want children buying some of the other horror based stuff by accident).

I still live in Liverpool with my partner, Lauren, and our children, Grace and Sian. We have a sausage dog called Ted, who likes to leave little sausages around the house, just to remind us why he is a sausage dog.

Dammaged | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Giveaway: A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

BOOK REVIEW

This is a time traveling thriller that fans of science fiction will enjoy. Time travel novels are near and dear to my heart, and I’ve read a lot of them. The means of travel is very important in time travel fiction and to me as a reader. This book leans heavily on the scientific rather than fantasy approach to time travel, and the author makes it work. The Higgs Boson particle plays a big part. The timeline splits between 2288 and 1888 in Whitechapel, East London, as Jack the Ripper make an appearance. There is a completely new theory as to who Jack might be, but that is just part of the story, as there is a battle for the future of Earth between the Earth Alliance in 2288 and a strange movement called The Quest, who are in Whitechapel 1888 trying to change the future.

Fans of science fiction, murder mysteries, and thrillers should check out this gripping, time-traveling mashup.

I received a free copy of this book via R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary.

No Ordinary Thing

Diamond Level Read

No Ordinary Thing was #1 on my list of my Top 7 Books of 2020. At the time I made that post, I couldn’t post the review because I was required to wait for it to be published on the Historical Novel Society website. The time has finally come when I can post my review, which is below. The Historical Novel Society must have agreed with me on this one, because they made this book one of their Editor’s Choices. For this blog, I gave it my extra “diamond” rating because I think it’s over and above 5 stars. It’s historical fiction with a time travel twist, which is my absolutely favorite thing to read.

REVIEW

No Ordinary Thing by G.Z Schmidt is a delightful middle grade time travel fantasy. It is 1999 and Adam lives at his uncle’s bakery, the Biscuit Basket, in New York City. Adam is missing his parents, who passed away years earlier in a plane crash. Then a mysterious stranger visits, holding a snow globe. He tells Adam that adventures await him, and that he should go up to the attic. When he does, Adam finds the snow globe, which immediately takes him back in time to Times Square in 1935 and then later a candle factory in 1967. Adam soon realizes the people and places he is visiting are all connected, more magical objects exist, and a dark presence wants to control it all.

I adored this wonderful, enchanting time travel adventure. The characters are so well developed and the plot is very engaging. The author’s ability to connect characters from different backgrounds and time periods will leave you spellbound. Every time travel story has to have a means of or explanation for the time travel, and this one does it so well. The snow globe is sometimes curiously blank, but then the traveler’s destination will appear without warning and the holder will be whisked away to another time. This book is everything that fans of fantasy and time travel could wish for. It is a magical journey that will appeal to people of all ages. It is one of those books that I will read over and over again, and I will remember fondly the first time I read it. I can’t wait to share it with others and I sincerely hope I see this world and these characters again.

I received a free hardcover copy of this book from Holiday House via Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

G.Z. Schmidt

Gail Zhuang Schmidt was born in China and immigrated to the U.S. when she was six. She grew up in the Midwest and the South, where she chased fireflies at night and listened occasionally for tornado/hurricane warnings. She received her BA in Economics from Wellesley College in New England. After working for four years as an analyst, she began her new chapter in life by moving to Europe. She currently lives in Switzerland with her husband and their tuxedo cat.

She fell in love with reading after discovering the Arthur books by Marc Brown. Her first stories were written in a spiral-bound notebook in third grade.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys going to museums, playing the violin, biking, and eating pizza.

Buy No Ordinary Thing on Amazon

Link to My Goodreads Review

The Top 7 Books I Read in 2020

Here are my favorite books of this year. Everyone else is doing a Top 5 or a Top 10. I’m doing a Top 7, mostly because I couldn’t narrow it down to five. Although I have them numbered, those numbers could change on any given day and I just couldn’t leave any of them out. These are all books I read in 2020. Since I’ve been doing reviews for the Historical Novel Society, I’ve found some great historical fiction. I also found an Indie book that I really loved. Below is a list of my favorites with their Amazon links and Amazon book descriptions. Three of them were read for the February issue of Historical Novels Review, so I can’t post my reviews for them until they are published in the magazine. Look for my reviews of those three books in February.

7. Set the Stars Alight

This is riveting dual timeline historical fiction. My Review

6. Doing Time

Jodi Taylor is probably my favorite author. She writes the Chronicles of St. Mary’s, a popular time travel series, and Doing Time is the first in a new spinoff series, The Time Police. My Review

5. The Milk Wagon

This is a great book from an Indie author who wrote a fantastic 80’s thriller, mostly revolving around a group of high school boys. This book has not gotten the attention it deserves and is a hidden gem, in my opinion. My review

4. The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop

I can’t post my review for this title until it is published in Historical Novels Review magazine. For a book description on Amazon, click on the cover.

3. The Edge of Belonging

This is a moving story about adoption and family.

My Review

2. Things We Didn’t Say

I cannot post my review until February, but I will say this is an epistolary historical novel, done solely in letters and written communication. You can check out a description on Amazon by clicking on the cover.

  1. No Ordinary Thing

Again I cannot post my review until February, but this is a Middle Grade Time Travel Fantasy revolving around a snow globe! Click on the cover for the Amazon link and description.

Arriving Through Time

Arriving through Time by Heather L. Barksdale is a Young Adult time travel novel. Lizzie has been through a family tragedy and is having a tough time, but she is supported by her two best friends, Sam and Jeremy. They are currently navigating high school life and dealing with bullies Gary and Tiffany. Then a class project has Lizzie wondering about her ancestors, and a school trip ends with the three friends hurtling through time, along with their bullies and Lizzie’s secret crush. Although at first it appears to be a freak occurrence, the time travel seems very designed, as all of the teens begin to meet long dead ancestors.

What I loved about this story is that it combined time travel fiction and genealogy, two of my favorite pastimes, and it did this in a clever way. A class project and a DNA test have brought questions about Lizzie’s ancestors to the surface, and unexpected time travel gives her a chance to get answers. This book reminds us that our ancestors were living, breathing, people, not just names on a family tree. They blazed the way for us, good and bad, and everything they did enabled us to be alive today. We also learn something along the way as we visit people and places that are important to American history.

I loved the way time took the six travelers to locations that were pertinent to all of them and their ancestors and gave them both answers and surprises. I find that in my own genealogy research. 

If you are a fan of young adult novels, time travel, genealogy, and/or historical fiction, you will enjoy this book. I received a free copy of this book from the author. I also picked up a copy on Amazon, where Kindle Unlimited members can read it for free. My review is voluntary. 

Link to the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Arriving-Through-Time-Heather-Barksdale/dp/B08BDVN29C/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=arriving+through+time&qid=1604109793&sr=8-1

Link to Heather L. Barksdale’s website: https://heatherlbarksdale.com

Link to my review on Goodreads (Like and follow if you are so inclined): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3620451441?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Hard Time

Another amazing book by Jodi Taylor! I truly enjoy everything she writes. Hard Time is the second book in The Time Police series, a spinoff of Taylor’s wildly popular Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. 

A prominent politician has asked the Time Police to retrieve her spoiled daughter after an illegal time jump. Enter Matthew, Jane, and Luke (Team Weird), who are once again off on a chaotic and sometimes humorous adventure. And, as usual, they find more than they bargained for.

I continue to love reading about the adventures of this trio. Matthew is the son of Max and Leon from the St Mary’s series. He is a savant when it comes to the time map, but a little awkward in every other area. Jane was a victim of a lifetime of abuse, but continues to find her own way, and a new confidence is making its appearance. Luke is the disinherited, formerly spoiled, current playboy son of a powerful businessman. He has finally found something he cares about–Matthew and Jane. Follow this trio as they travel up and down the timeline–sometimes with permission, sometimes not. And the hilarious crew from St. Mary’s always makes an appearance.

I highly recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of time travel fiction, or to anyone who just wants to read a well-written, often funny series with great characters. I also recommend that you check out the series from which it was born–The Chronicles of St. Mary’s by Jodi Taylor. The first book in the Chronicles of St. Mary’s is Just One Damn Thing After Another.

I received the novel early after ordering a signed copy from the author’s website. So far, and to the best of my knowledge, she has done this with every new release since she started her website.

Link to Jodi Taylor’s website: https://joditaylor.online

Link to the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Time-irresistible-spinoff-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B0847JM5YP/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=hard+time&qid=1602719155&sr=8-3

Link to Jodi Taylor’s Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Jodi-Taylor/e/B00DOSKIHU/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Link to Jodi Taylor’s Facebook group “Fans of the Chronicles of St. Mary’s.” This is an awesome, fun group you won’t want to miss out on. https://www.facebook.com/groups/JodiTaylorFans

Doing Time

I am writing this review of Doing Time, which came out last year, because the second book in this series, Hard Time, is winging its way to me in the mail as we speak. My review of Hard Time will be along soon. I must preface this review by saying Jodi Taylor has become my favorite author. Her St. Mary’s Chronicles is an absolute must for Time Travel (Sorry Dr. Bairstow) Fiction Readers. I would be remiss if I didn’t advise you to drop whatever you are doing and buy the first book in the St. Mary’s Chronicles, entitled Just One Damn Thing After Another. You will not be sorry, and I envy you the experience of reading it for the first time.

Doing Time is a spinoff of the St. Mary’s series and revolves around Matthew, son of two St. Mary’s main characters. Now that I’ve set this up and advised you to check out everything the brilliant Jodi Taylor has ever written, on to the review!

EDIT: My copy of Hard Time (Book 2 in the series) has been received. The review will be posted on 10/13//20. Hard Time will be released on 10/15/20.

************************************************************************************

Jodi Taylor has done it again. A spinoff of her wonderful St. Mary’s Chronicles, Doing Time is the story of Matthew, Jane, and Luke, trainees in the Time Police. Matthew is of course the son of Max and Leon from the St. Mary’s Chronicles. There is mystery, laughter, and intrigue all rolled up in one story as the trio (Team Weird) become Time Police cadets, and are faced with opposition from the Albayans. The Albayans are leftover followers of the late Colonel Albay, the former Time Police leader and unapologetic fascist, who killed first and asked questions later.

Beloved characters from St. Mary’s make an appearance and provide a lot of hilarity during some stressful times, and we learn a tiny bit about what is going on in Matthew’s head. I hope more will be revealed in subsequent books. 

If you love Time Travel, history, and well written characters, you will LOVE these books.

Amazon link to Doing Time: https://www.amazon.com/Doing-Time-Jodi-Taylor-ebook/dp/B07TF5YS7N/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=doing+time&qid=1601598336&sr=8-1

Jodi Taylor’s Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/Jodi-Taylor/e/B00DOSKIHU?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Amazon Link to Jodi’s latest book: Hard Time: https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Time-irresistible-spinoff-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B0847JM5YP/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Hard+time&qid=1601598546&s=digital-text&sr=1-1