blog tour · book blogger · Book Review

#BlogTour! #Review of The Song of the Stork by Stephan Collishaw (@scollishaw) @legend_press

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Fifteen-year-old Yael is on the run. The Jewish girl seeks shelter from the Germans on the farm of the village outcast. Aleksei is mute and solitary, but as the brutal winter advances, he reluctantly takes her in and a delicate relationship develops.

As her feelings towards Aleksei change, the war intrudes and Yael is forced to join a Jewish partisan group fighting in the woods.

Torn apart and fighting for her life, The Song of the Stork is Yael’s story of love, hope and survival. It is the story of one woman finding a voice as the voices around her are extinguished.

What does TWG think?

Stephan Collishaw’s blog tour bus comes to a stop at TWG HQ today, as we round-up his tour for ‘The Song of the Stork! Here is my review:

Reading ‘The Song of the Stork’ took me completely out of my comfort zone as, whilst having read historic novels previously, I had never read one where the storyline felt completely black and white. Set during one of history’s most distressing times, WW2, Stephan Collishaw took the storyline up yet another notch by incorporating the life of a Jewish person. If you know your history, you’ll know that Jews were constantly looking over their shoulders in fear and just like the main character in this novel, Yael, they were forever on the run.

Yael, a fifteen year old girl had to find a safe haven away from the Germans, preferably somewhere where they wouldn’t even think to look (she hoped). Thankfully Yael found a gentleman who finally agreed to take her under his wing and, despite the fact that he was mute, Yael and Aleksei’s relationship began to blossom. However, the war continued around them…

A new author as well as a rather different take on historical fiction that I have grown to love, it didn’t take me long to realise that I had to keep my mind incredibly open with this book. It was intense due to the topics it covered, obviously, and I would have been a bit miffed if it hadn’t had that intensity flowing through it. However, I felt as though there was something missing from the overall book and I could not work out what it was. It just didn’t warm to me as much as I thought it would, overall. I think I was a little bit irked that I had to keep re-reading a few sentences to gain more clarity of where the storyline was heading. I dislike having to do that!

That said, the content itself was poignant, powerful and incredibly intense, which I rather enjoyed. For me, The Song of the Stork was a promising read with the bare bones of the storyline showcasing the authors intellect in regards to a devastating and memorable situation.

I didn’t dislike the book at all. I enjoyed the overall concept of the storyline; I just wanted more.

I am glad that I was given the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and embark on a journey with a new author. Despite my reservations, The Song of the Stork was a risk worth taking.

Thanks Legend Press.

Buy now.

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blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · Crime/thriller

#BlogTour! #Review – Dangerous To Know by Anne Buist (@anneebuist) @legend_press #thriller

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I have the pleasure of welcoming Anne Buist, and Legend Press TWG today! Over at TWG HQ, I have been given the honour of kicking off Anne’s blog tour for her latest novel, Dangerous To Know, which is published today (15th/01/17)! Huge congratulations, and I hope you enjoy the tour!

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Natalie King is back: back from a stay on the psych ward. Her reluctance to live a quiet life has contributed to a severe depressive episode, and now it’s time for a retreat to the country, and a low-key research job at a provincial university nearby.

But Natalie and trouble have a strange mutual fascination. Her charismatic new boss Frank is friendly, even attractive. But it turns out his pregnant wife is an old enemy of Natalie’s. And when Frank’s tragic personal history is revealed – then reprised in the most shocking way – Natalie finds herself drawn deep into a mystery. And even deeper into danger.

What does TWG think?

I had a little bit of a school boy error with this novel, as I didn’t realise there had been a book before it also containing the forensic psychiatrist, Natalie King, until after I had read the book. Would I say that it can be read as a standalone? Yes, if you’re prepared to spend the first 30% trying to work out what you have missed. However, I did manage to read the novel fine, but it might be a good idea to get the first Natalie King book read beforehand just in case (buy here).

Before I received the e-mail from Legend Press, I had seen the cover of ‘Dangerous To Know’ make its way across several social media channels, piquing my interest almost straight away. The cover is striking and most certainly unique, yet it still is quite secretive in terms of storyline clues like some other covers. As I mentioned above, I found the first 30% a bit of a slog to read as I couldn’t seem to work out what was going on. Not only that, I found Natalie King’s personality quite tricky to gauge. I know she’s poorly and she’s doing everything she can (well, almost) to keep her life calm, but it felt as though we were bouncing here, there and everywhere with her and the storyline. I did get a little bit frustrated I’ll admit.

However, I found that the storyline started to get more of a rhythm from the halfway point. There had been a slight shift within the storyline, the characters became a bit more gritty and things started to get more interesting. I felt as though I was reading a completely different book from the one I had originally started, and it was from that moment when I knew that the book wasn’t going to leave my hands until I found out what had happened.

When Frank became more involved with the storyline I had already marked his cards. Something just wasn’t sitting right with him and his past and weirdly enough, I didn’t feel too edgy about it although I probably should have. Natalie was meant to be living a life of peace and serenity, taking on a research job as to not overstretch herself, but instead she had involved herself in a spikey situation that she shouldn’t have done. Whilst I can see WHY she involved herself (her job), I couldn’t quite understand why she was spending a lot of time asking questions about the situation, even asking strangers. It was constant!

I’m no Detective, but I tried so hard to piece things together as I went through the storyline, feeling quite proud of myself when I had managed to narrow it done to one person in particular. And, judging by the fact my conclusion wasn’t correct, I am rather glad that I am no detective otherwise I would have been fired by now haha.

Overall, I didn’t find the storyline as chilling as I would have expected, which surprised me. Don’t get me wrong, the storyline is full of enough question marks to keep you interested and puzzled, but I couldn’t find that goose bump feeling. What I did feel though was physically sick when I ‘saw’ the completed puzzle. It felt as though I was looking at completely different characters to the ones I had been reading about for however long! ‘Severely sick and twisted’ sums this book up for me, and weirdly enough, not in a negative way. Yes, the finished puzzle piece was horrific to read and vile, but Anne Buist has obviously done what she set out to do as I had absolutely no idea that that was going to be the ‘image’ of the completed puzzle.

‘Dangerous To Know’ is a rollercoaster ride of ‘who dunnit’, with enough red herrings to keep the sea birds happy. Despite the storyline taking me a while to sink my teeth into it, ‘Dangerous To Know’ completely caught me off guard, creating a  new meaning to the word ‘twisted’. Busy, gritty, sick, twisted and eventful, Anne Buist’s novel is incredibly memorable in its own right and I am looking forward to go back and read her first book!

Huge thanks to Legend Press.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US