COLLEEN’S 2020 #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer, Book One” BY AUTHOR, Paul Andruss, @Paul_JHBooks

Featuring Your Next Weekend Read!

About this Book

Fairies took his brother…

When Jack sees a sinister woman kidnap his bother Dan, he knows his parents will never believe him. Nor will the police. Not when he says Dan vanished into thin air. If Jack wants to see Dan again, he has to save him. And not just him …

If he ever wants to find Dan, first he must save Thomas the Rhymer from a wicked enemy.

Bravely embarking on a rollercoaster adventure into the dark fairy realm, Jack and friends face monstrous griffins and brooding tapestries with a life of their own, learn to use magic mirrors and travel on ley lines that whip them off faster than sound

Even if he returns Thomas the Rhymer to his selfish fairy queen, she might make Jack her prisoner. With the odds stacked against him, can Jack succeed in finding and freeing Dan?

Or will he lose his brother forever?

MY RECOMMENDATION

The trilogy’s written, so I’ve reread “Jack Hughes and Thomas the Rhymer,” to reconnect with the characters. Stay tuned, because I’ll be reviewing the other two books soon. Now, forget everything you thought you knew about faeries!

This fantastic story delves into one of my favorite subjects, faeries! Not only was it geared toward the YA genre, but it also included a fair amount of historical facts to make the story shine. Those historic details make this book unforgettable.

When Jack’s older brother Dan disappears before his very eyes, he’s stunned by the mysterious circumstances of his departure. That Jack witnessed the strange abduction and doesn’t tell his parents only adds to his troubles. Jack’s mother is suffering from a chronic illness and his greatest hope is that the situation will rectify itself, and Dan will come home on his own.

One night, Jack receives a cell phone call from Dan, and when he answers, there’s no one on the line. He tries to tell his parents and the police the truth about what happened, but every time he opens his mouth to speak, his throat closes up and he’s unable to utter a single word. Faery glamours? Could be!

In the meantime, Jack notices a dirty tramp hanging around his house who only speaks in rhyme. It becomes apparent that no one can see the tramp but Jack and his friends, so he enlists them to help him solve the mystery behind his brother’s disappearance.

Jack, Ken, and Catherine become entangled in the magical kingdom of the faeries. They learn about traveling by ley lines on faery roads. They also experience firsthand the deterioration of the faery kingdom. At one point, Catherine disappears into a living faery tapestry. Soon, the truth about the land of faery is revealed to the kids. Believe me, there’s plenty of magic and suspense to keep you reading long into the night! At least, I did!

Let me just say that this is one of the most imaginative books I have ever read about the good neighbors. There are some special scenes involving one of the faery queen’s and the female character, Catherine, that captured my imagination! The author’s attention to detail and the world-building in faeryland is worth drawing your attention to. Andruss writes as if he has first-hand knowledge of how to deal with faery royalty!

Jack’s friends are reminiscent of the characters in the Harry Potter series, and I had no problem connecting with their personalities. The plot is brilliant, although I had a hard time separating fact from fiction. That’s what I call good writing!

You will find this book on Amazon.com and soon to be listed (along with the sequels) with the independent Scottish publisher, Black Wolf Books. You will find a delightful musical rendering of characters and places from the book HERE. I’ve included my favorite for your reading pleasure below featuring the mysterious Elphame Wood.

Elphame Wood.mp3

“Elphame Wood—speaks for itself, really. The dissonant chords and drum-beats are interrupted by fanfares to remind you that you are in Queen Sylvie’s kingdom. In the first chapter, Sylvie calls Jack ‘Frere Jacques’ and her rhyme has the same syllable scheme as the song. I used an incomplete, minor-key version of Frere Jacques as a recurring bass theme to add to the sinister mood.”


 Music  for Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer, by Patrick Hartnett

I think children and adults of all ages will enjoy this magical tale. Do you love magic and all things faery? Then have a read, because this book will keep you entertained for hours.

MY RATING

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

About the Author

Paul Andruss was born and raised in Liverpool. The city’s legendary Scouse wit and dogged stoicism left its mark. Keen to get out into the world, Paul dropped out of college at 17. A year later he was taking exams at Night School, while working in the local Tax Office. On the grounds that anything was better than work, he applied to study Psychology at Liverpool University. Considering his grades (just plumb lazy) no one was more surprised than he when they accepted his application.

After graduation, Paul worked near the romantic Lake District, so beloved of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. No, not Harry’s mum, Peter Rabbit, and Jemima Puddle-duck’s. He worked in Manchester and London before moving to Bodrum in Turkey. 

To finance a passion for exploring the heartland of the Ancient Greek Empire, Paul wrote short travel articles focusing on the history and myths of ruined cities and temples. He began illustrating the pieces, using Photoshop to remove power lines and the odd Esso sign from his photographs of ancient sites.

Returning to the U.K. to focus on writing and illustration, he settled in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons. Paul is the author of the Young Adult magical realism trilogy, the Jack Hughes Books, and the forthcoming (very adult) Finn Mac Cool – a gritty, raunchy mythological saga. He has also written a number of short stories and novellas. All scheduled for release with exciting new, independent Scottish publisher, Black Wolf Books.

For more information, visit http://www.jackhughesbooks.com
Follow the plot: jackhughesbooks.com/story-of-the-book
Download posters: jackhughesbooks.com/art-gallery
Listen to music the novel inspired: jackhughesbooks.com/music

How to Connect with the Author

BLOG: paulandruss.com

TWITTER: @Paul_JHBooks

Paul Andruss, Buy: Amazon UK And: Amazon US 

Follow Paul: Goodreads 

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The Old Gods, #Garland Cinquain

This week for the poetry challenge, I want to share a garland cinquain. This poem is created with a 2/4/6/8/2 syllable count for each of the five stanzas. The last stanza is where it gets interesting. You take line one from the first stanza, line two from the second stanza, etc. until you’ve created the last refrain.

I especially like this form because it combines the brevity of syllabic poetry into a longer verse poem that tells a story.

(The cover image credits are: Roger Kidd, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dryad%27s_Saddle_Fungus_-geograph.org.uk-_552410.jpg).

Image Credit: Dustin Hemingway, My Michigan son from another mother

The Old Gods

old Gods
guard the river
where fast water runs deep
a far northern estuary
rushes

coastland
weathered heartwood
reveals the mystery
of the dryad’s saddle parasite
mushrooms

white-rot
weakens the host
maple, elm, box elder
united wood nymph sentinels
protect

the core
symbiotic
connection to the tree
If one falls, they die together
fungi

fairy
air, earth, water
powers drawn from the trees
ambrosia from the other world
enshrined

old gods
weathered heartwood
maple, elm, box elder,
if one falls, they die together
enshrined

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Years ago when we lived in Great Falls, Montana, Dustin lived next door to us where he served in the Air Force. Now retired and married to the love of his life, Molly, the two returned home to their beloved state of Michigan. Our friendship has endured for many years and we talk often. When Dustin sent me this photo from a spot near his home, I knew I had to write about the dryad’s saddle. These fungi are edible, believe it or not! Click the link to find out more.

Give back to the mother goddess… plant a dryad tree!

Colleen’s 2018 #Book #Reviews – “Thomas the Rhymer (Jack Hughes Trilogy Book 1),” by Author, Paul Andruss

book review logo

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

‘Fans of Harry Potter and Narnia will love Thomas the Rhymer’

‘Thomas the Rhymer leaves you feeling like a child curled up in a comfy armchair on a wet and windy afternoon, lost in a good book’

‘Spellbinding! An ideal Christmas read for young and old alike!’

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

When Fairy Queen Sylvie snatches his brother, schoolboy Jack is plunged into a sinister fantasy world of illusion and deception – the realm of telepathic fairies ruled by spoilt, arrogant fairy queens.

Haunted by nightmares about his brother and pursued by a mysterious tramp (only seen by Jack and his friends) Jack fears he too will be stolen away.

The tramp is Thomas the Rhymer, who only speaks in rhyme. Lost and frightened Thomas needs Jack’s help to find his way home.

The race is on for Jack and his friends to save Thomas from the wicked Agnes Day (who wants to treat Thomas like a lab rat). And save Jack’s brother from Sylvie.
To do this they need the help of Bess – the most ancient powerful fairy queen in the land.
But there is a problem… No one knows where Bess is… or even if she is still lives.
And even if they find her… will she let them go?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + +

What’s been said about Thomas the Rhymer

“This is a terrific story, beautifully written with great imagination and gentle humour. The plot is well crafted and cleverly interweaves fantasy with reality. The momentum is maintained throughout the book, with action on every page. The human characters are solid and believable and the fairies are cleverly portrayed as being powerful while at the same time vulnerable”

“A real page-turner – full of excitement and wonder”

“The climax is absolutely brilliant, not only magic, imagery, spells, and incantations, but gives a feeling of real danger too. And there is a terrific sting in the tail”

“The story is written in such a way that it is easy for young readers to follow – without being patronising – while at the same time older lovers of fantasy will appreciate its subtlety, vividness, and comedy”

Find out more about Thomas the Rhymer @ http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/

Read Jack’s fairy poem @ http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/fairy-poem.php

Download Artwork Posters @ http://www.jackhughesbooks.com/wallpapers.php

Title: Thomas the Rhymer

Amazon Author Page: Paul Andruss

Publication Date: January 20, 2014

Formats: Paperback & Kindle

Genres: Teen & Young Adult, Fantasy, Coming of Age

Goodreads

MY RECOMMENDATION:

I stumbled across this book one day while reading a historical piece written by the author. He had included an image of this book cover at the bottom of his article which immediately drew my attention. This author often writes long historical dissertations so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I took a chance and purchased the Kindle edition. What a delightful surprise! I couldn’t put the book down!

What I found was a fantastic story about one of my favorite subjects, faeries! Not only was it geared to the YA genre, but it also included a fair amount of historical fact to make the story shine.

When Jack’s older brother Dan is abducted before his very eyes, he is stunned by the mysterious circumstances of his disappearance. The fact that Jack witnessed the strange abduction and doesn’t tell his parents only adds to his troubles. Jack’s mother is suffering from a chronic illness and his greatest hope is that the situation will rectify itself, and Dan will come home on his own.

One night, Jack starts receiving cell phone calls from Dan, and when he answers, there’s no one on the line. He tries to tell his parents and the police the truth about what happened, but every time he opens his mouth to speak, his throat closes up and he is unable to utter a single word. Faery glamours? Could be!

In the meantime, Jack starts seeing a dirty tramp hanging around his house who only speaks in rhyme. It becomes apparent that no one can see the tramp but Jack, so he enlists the help of his friends to help him solve the mystery behind his brother’s disappearance.

Jack and his friends are thrust into the magical world of the fey where the kids experience the light and the dark, of a failing faery kingdom. They learn about ley lines and how the fey evolved beside mankind. The story progresses with plenty of magic and suspense until you reach the satisfying end.

Let me just say, that this is one of the most creative books I have ever read about the fey. Jack’s friends are reminiscent of the characters in the Harry Potter series and I had no problem connecting with their personalities. The plot is brilliant, although I had a hard time separating fact from fiction. That’s what I call good writing!

I enjoyed this novel and will read it more than once. I feel children and adults of all ages will enjoy this book. Do you love magic and all things faery? Then, have a read because this book is reasonably priced and will keep you entertained for hours.

MY RATING:

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 Faeries

5 fairies

*I follow the Amazon Rating System*

Colleen's Book ReviewsRating System

 

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About the Author:

Ever since being a child I was fascinated by the phantasmagorical and strange. Blessed with the type of mind that squirrels away peculiar facts, I supposed it was only natural these should become a central feature in my novels.

As I got older I often forgot where I found these oddities in the first place. Odds and Sods: A cabinet of Curiosities was born as an online notepad and sort of grew from there. Now it showcases the curious stuff I come across when researching my novels. I also get a tremendous kick from sharing it with friends.

The blog includes stories from science, history, myth, miracles, occult objects & fabulous beasts.  Sample Posts:  History – Bonfire of the Vanities / Myth – Philemon & Baucis / Miracles – The Lady at Lourdes / Occult Objects – The Turin ShroudFabulous Beasts – The Horse Cock / Science – Alma (Are Neanderthals still alive?)

I am a guest Writer in Residence on ‘Smorgasbord- Variety is the Spice of Life’ where you can enjoy exclusive extra articles: Still Waving – the poet Stevie Smith / Marc Bolan’s Millions / Who were the Proto-Indo-Europeans?The Truth of the Cottingley Fairies / Venus in Furs & Justine in Tears- De Sade & Masoch / Rosabelle Believe – Did Houdini return from the dead?

Why don’t you subscribe to both?

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How to Connect with the Author:

Blog: Odds n Sods: A cabinet of curiosities – Paul Andruss.com

Facebook Author Page: (Paul George Boylan) https://www.facebook.com/paul.andruss.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_jhbooks

Colleen This book is FAERY #RECOMMENDED!

Follow-me-on-Bookbub-300X121-300x121 If you have your book listed on BookBub, I will add my review there also! ❤ Click HERE to follow me! (Colleen M. Chesebro) Let me know in the comments.

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