If anyone reads through my reviews they will find quite a few for novels written by Carmen Webster Buxton. She was one of the first Indie Authors I evIf anyone reads through my reviews they will find quite a few for novels written by Carmen Webster Buxton. She was one of the first Indie Authors I ever read and I have consistently found her books to be well written, enjoyable and entertaining. So when she offered me the chance to read her latest novel, a young adult Sci-Fi adventure called "Turnabout" I couldn't say no.
The story follows Jason, a young teenager who discovers that he can teleport himself, although it seems to only happen under very specific circumstances. Luckily for Jason, it turns out that one of his teachers also has this ability and explains to him how the process works. What Jason is basically doing is travelling to a parallel Universe and then travelling back to our own but in a different location. His teacher explains however that if he is not thinking clearly when he makes a jump then the process will not work completely and he could find himself stranded in this other Universe. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens which results in Jason trying to survive in a place where men are outnumbered by women to such an extent that they have no rights and are treated almost like stud bulls. Whilst his teenage brain thinks that a constant supply of sex must be a good thing, he soon realises that this comes at a price of his own freedom and he then embarks on an adventure with the aim of getting home.
I was glad that the novel was mainly based about surviving in the alternate universe as I was worried initially that the novel was going to end up being another standard teenager teleport story. Luckily this wasn't the case and I found the book thoroughly enjoyable to the point that I pretty much read it all in one day. Buxton's writing was also excellent as always, with the action and adventure being well supplemented by the exploration of the matriarchal culture which exists in the other Universe. The various well developed characters helped to enhance this cultural exploration and assisted the reader in understanding what it would be like to live there as a local rather than just as someone new to the society like Jason.
I suppose my only issue was with the ending as Jason's return home was a little bit to easy and neatly tidied up for my liking. Basically, Jason returns to his own Universe and manages to get back to his family in the space of only one chapter even though he has been missing for quite a while. This is only a minor problem but I do wish that there had been a few more chapters used to extend his return and create a more structured ending.
Overall, this was an entertaining read with a creative and engrossing story which had me hooked very early on. Don't be fooled by the initial chapters on teleportation, this novel is much more than that and I think it would specifically appeal to those who like Sci-Fi novels which explore dystopian alternative societies. Personally, I really hope that there is a sequel in the future as I want to know more about the interaction between our own world and the alternative one....more
“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is another one of those classic novels that I have managed to avoid reading. To be honest, I am no“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is another one of those classic novels that I have managed to avoid reading. To be honest, I am not a big fan of the various movies either as I found them all to be a little bit random for my liking so I wasn’t sure how much I would actually enjoy reading this. However, as the ebook was free on Project Gutenberg I decided to finally take the plunge and give it a try.
For anyone living under a rock who doesn’t know the story, it follows a young girl named Alice who follows a rabbit down a rabbit hole into a fantastical and magical world. Whilst undertakes a mad cap adventure in which she encounters talking animals, potions that change her size and a royal court made up of playing cards.
If the plot above sounds rather silly and nonsensical then this would be because it is. There really is no distinct plot and the characters are quite weakly developed. I suspect children may enjoy the various random leaps from one crazy event to the next as it would stop them getting bored. However, as an adult it meant I found it hard to get engrossed or feel something for the characters, especially when you consider the rather cheap method Carroll uses to end the story. None of this was helped by the fact that I also didn’t like Alice as a character; she irritated me with her obnoxious tendencies and bouts of temper tantrums. For a young child like Alice this type of attitude can be par for the course but it really didn’t endear her to me at all.
I did still find the book quite enjoyable however as some of the various events Alice encountered on her journey were imaginative, colourful and at times rather amusing. In addition Carroll does a great job in portraying the entire adventure from Alice’s viewpoint even if she as a character annoyed me. The way in which she reacts and tries to rationalise what she is seeing against the black and white way she has been taught does come across as something a child would do. Then of course we also get to see Alice’s mind wander off in various tangents which reminds me of how my own young daughter can sometimes act.
Overall, I did enjoy finally reading this classic and for all the randomness and strange events, I managed to understand and follow it a lot easier than some of the movies. At times the book is varied and fun but it is let down by the weak and at times rather cruel characters in addition to a disappointing plot and finale. Personally, I will probably give “Through the Looking Glass” a read in the future just to see if Carroll can create something that captures both his imagination alongside an entertaining story. ...more