Colleen’s #Book #Reviews – “The Termite Queen: The Speaking of the Dead, Vol. I,” by Author, @TermiteWriter


  • Title:  The Termite Queen: Volume 1, The Speaking of the Dead
  • Author: Lorinda J. Taylor
  • File Size: 998 KB
  • Print Length: 404 Pages
  • Publisher: Self Published by the Author
  • Publication Date: January 2, 2014
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007RFYSWC
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy

*I won a copy of Volume I and II of the Termite Queen in a contest and enjoyed it so much that I am providing an honest review which follows.*

IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:

“In the 30th century, an off-world expedition returns to Earth with a specimen of giant termite whose behavior suggests intelligence. Kaitrin Oliva, a strong-willed and ambitious young linguistic anthropologist, is charged with finding a way to access its unique form of bioelectric communication. However, the insect dies, and the team members realize too late that they have unintentionally murdered an intelligent lifeform.

A second expedition is mounted with the purpose of making first contact and reparations. Griffen Gwidian, the entomologist heading the expedition, is a complex man with a dark personal secret. He falls in love with Kaitrin, and against her better instincts, Kaitrin responds. The result is a love story by turns turbulent and funny, passionate, tender, and troubled.

Meanwhile, civil discord is brewing on the termite planet. Mo’gri’ta’tu, the Queen’s Chamberlain, resents the power of the Holy Seer Kwi’ga’ga’tei and plots to assassinate her. She has engaged the services of an outland Champion, Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head, to fight this terrifying entity which has descended on them from the skies, murdered one of the fortress’s citizens, and abducted another. This alienates the aging Commander Hi’ta’fu the Unconquered, who is lured by the word-crafty Chamberlain into joining the conspiracy.

At the very moment that the murder is about to be committed, the second expedition arrives at the planet…”

MY RECOMMENDATION:

The Termite Queen is the first volume in an epic science fiction fantasy series that begins in the 30th Century on planet Earth. The story centers around Kaitrin Oliva, a xenolinguist (linguistic anthropologist), who is called in to examine a specimen of termite who appears to display intelligence, retrieved during an off-world expedition.

Kaitrin examines the insect and witnesses the creature’s attempt to communicate with her by touch. The termite is in bad shape and dies in her arms during the time frame when a recording of its brain wave activity was taken. Shaken by the encounter, the young associate professor Oliva has a hunch that the creature did indeed communicate with her.

Katrin surmises the language of the termite is transmitted to humans much like that of radio wave frequencies. By examining the brain wave recording at the time of the giant termite’s death, she establishes the beginnings of a rudimentary language. The discovery is so fantastic that Kaitrin insists another off-world expedition should be taken back to the termite planet to learn more about the species and their amazing language.

Professor A’a’ma (a bird-like alien) the head of the linguistic department at the University where Katrin works, and xenoentomologist, Professor Griffin Gwidian agree to embark on another mission to unlock the mysteries of the termite language.

In the meantime, while preparing for their trip, Professor Gwydian falls head over heels for Kaitrin Oliva. Their early relationship results in moments of humor that will have you laughing till you cry. But give it a moment, and you will feel the deep abiding love and passion that erupts as their relationship transitions to marital bliss.

There is much to learn on the Termite planet, and the insects prove to be strange and exotic. Yet, there is a mystery that revolves around Katrin and Griffin, and also between Katrin and the Holy Seer, Kwi’ga’ga’tei. The two story lines intertwined and drew me deeper into the machinations of the story. The writing was propelled forward by the dialogue which I found to be fitting since Katrin studied languages.

Of particular interest, were the skillfully written chapters that dealt with the termite kingdom, written to read like a play. The termite characters were easier to relate to when presented in this manner. I couldn’t help but notice how similar the politics of the insects were to those of their human counterparts. At times, I had to cringe at the thought of “bugs,” but the termites were portrayed in such human terms, I grew to appreciate their differences.

Ms. Taylor has created a grand scheme for the future of humanity by her creation of the Mythmaker Precepts. She does occasionally pause to discuss past Earth history to bring the reader up to date with the time frame portrayed. Be prepared to be emersed into a future culture of an entirely different world than we live in today.

I loved this novel and have added it to my “Me Time,” category. The book is long, and some of the Termite language is tedious, but the story was so engaging I couldn’t put it down. I took my time and immersed myself in this future world created by Ms. Taylor. Stay tuned for my review of Volume II:

MY RATING:

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



About the Author – Lorinda J. Taylor

“A former catalogue librarian with two graduate degrees, Lorinda J. Taylor, was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worked in several different academic libraries before returning to the place of her birth, where she now lives.

She has written fantasy and science fiction for years but began to self-publish only in 2011. To this point, she has published twelve science fiction/fantasy novels, including seven volumes of a series retelling myths in terms of her intelligent termite civilization. Her writings combine many aspects of science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, future history, off-world adventure, psychological fiction, and even a love story. She always strives to engage readers emotionally and give them something to think about at the end of each book.”

WHY BUY TERMITEWRITER PAPERBACKS?

If you buy a paperback from Amazon, you can get the Kindle version FREE! And the paperback gives you several bonuses, like a full-color cover, plus extra illustrations on the back cover and (for the Ki’shto’ba series and Children of the Music) maps!

Author contacts:

Blog – Ruminations of a Remembrancer at http://termitewriter.blogspot.com

Twitter – Lorinda J. Taylor @TermiteWriter

Facebook – Lorinda J. Taylor (Termite Writer)

Google+ – Lorinda J Taylor

Thanks for stopping by to meet Lorinda Taylor. ❤

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Colleen’s #BOOK #REVIEWS – “Yellow Hair,” by Andrew Joyce

book-review-background

  • Title:  Yellow Hair
  • Author: Andrew Joyce
  • File Size: 1092 KB
  • Print Length: 498 Pages
  • Publisher: William Birch & Assoc.
  • Publication Date: September 28, 2016
  • Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN:  B01LXOXHBI
  • ISBN-10: 0998119318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0998119311
  • Formats: Paperback and Kindle
  • Goodreads
  • Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Biographical

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*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book*


“Through no fault of his own, a young man is thrust into a new culture just at the time that culture is undergoing massive changes. It is losing its identity, its lands, and its dignity. He not only adapts, he perseveres and, over time, becomes a leader–and on occasion, the hand of vengeance against those who would destroy his adopted people.

Yellow Hair documents the injustices done to the Sioux Nation from their first treaty with the United States in 1805 through Wounded Knee in 1890. Every death, murder, battle, and outrage written about actually took place. The historical figures that play a role in this fact-based tale of fiction were real people, and the author uses their real names. Yellow Hair is an epic tale of adventure, family, love, and hate that spans most of the 19th century. This is American history.”

Yellow Hair is an action-packed epic saga sharing the life story of a man coming to grips with his destiny. From the first page of this book, the reader is thrust inside the life journey of Jacob Ariesen, a young man whose family was looking for a better way of life in California. Leaving Massachusetts behind, and heading west on the Oregon Trail, the Arisen’s meet up with a wagon train headed to California in the mid-1800’s and set out toward gold country.

Most of the travelers were Eastern businesspeople, and they weren’t prepared to face the hardships on the trail. Careless errors of judgment by the pioneers results in the deaths of many family members. The people were greenhorns and had no clear idea what they had gotten themselves into. Throw in a crippling bout of cholera, and you have a clear picture of the tribulations suffered by the brave folks who traveled West looking for a better way of life. In the blink of an eye, Jacob’s entire family is wiped out, and he becomes the sole survivor.

With the dead and dying all around him, Jacob Ariesen becomes infected with cholera, and his days are numbered. Help is at hand, when a prophetic Native American woman, named Suni, finds her destiny with the fair-haired Jacob. Suni nurses him back to health, and she calls him, “Yellow Hair.” With no family of his own, Yellow Hair embraces the Dakota tribe who adopts him. He learns to speak the native languages of the Great Plains Indians and lives his life as a member of the Dakota tribe.

Jacob Ariesen, a.k.a. Yellow Hair takes his place in history framed by the U.S. government’s policy of placing the Dakota Sioux Indian tribes onto reservations after breaking treaty after treaty with the native peoples. The rest of the story belongs to Yellow Hair, told from his point of view.

I felt both sides (Native American and Whites) were portrayed as accurately as history could allow. The difference is in perspective, when you the reader, have the chance to witnesses the historical events through the eyes of a white man who considers himself to be an Indian.

I thought the author, Andrew Joyce, was entirely fair in his depiction of all the events. I never felt one side was glorified over another. The historical facts are woven in between the author’s interpretation of the events making history come alive.

History has a way of repeating itself, and I was quite moved with the parallels between the novel, and real life events unfolding at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the Dakota Access Pipeline. I must admit I shed a few tears at the brutality of humanity on both sides of the spectrum.

I enjoyed this book from start to finish and could not put it down. And, as the author reminds us, “This is history,” which means many of these happenings are hard to swallow from a humanitarian point of view.

This is one of my favorite books from my expanding library of Andrew Joyce novels. If you love historical fiction set in the American West, you will love Yellow Hair.


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

5gold-star3

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Author, Andrew Joyce

About Andrew Joyce:

Andrew Joyce left high school at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until decades later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written five books, including a two-volume collection of one hundred and forty short stories comprised of his hitching adventures called BEDTIME STORIES FOR GROWN-UPS (as yet unpublished), and his latest novel, YELLOW HAIR. He now lives aboard a boat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with his dog, Danny, where he is busy working on his next book, tentatively entitled, MICK REILLY.

You can find Andrew on Twitter @HuckFinn76 and on Facebook at Andrew Joyce (Yellowhair1850) and you can connect with Andrew on his author blog at andrewjoyce.wordpress.com

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