Saturday, January 28, 2017

Duma Key by Stephen King - A Review

Amid the lulling noises of the ocean waves rushing onto the beach are the clicking of shells under the pink house that reaches out over the water . . . or is that sound, voices? No, it's only shells, only shells. . .

elsewhere in the Florida Keys. . .

This is a suspense story woven into the deceiving background of palm trees, island beaches, and shells that 'talk' beneath a house reserved for artists. In this story by Stephen King, master of the horror genre, we learn about an artist who seemingly reaches the peak of his talent after a traumatic accident. 

Edgar Freemantle has suffered from a construction accident which takes his right arm and some of his memories. He is left with a scrambled mind and a throbbing rage as he begins rehabilitation. After the accident, his marriage falters and ends, leaving Edgar wishing he had not survived.

He moves to South Florida in the Keys, those islands that extend from the mainland outward into the Gulf of Mexico. His therapist tells him to get a hobby he enjoys and try to come to terms with his new life. Edgar begins to draw and paint. . .at times feeling a driving force he cannot identify. The results astound him. Now he has a purpose, but he wonders at what is driving him. Perhaps it's the need to do something, anything. Perhaps not.

As he settles in to the Pink House, he begins to meet his neighbours and others who live or do business on Duma Key. One elderly lady who owns part of the island, including the house in which he is staying, has a few quirks of her own. She takes a liking to Edgar, as does her hired helper, called Wireman. Between trying to get his work into a gallery for an art opening and trying to determine what is real and what isn't, Edgar has his hands full. His past life intervenes when one daughter who is closer to her father, comes to visit. Everyone is praising the work that Edgar is creating, especially as he has suffered the loss of one arm. That arm occasionally feels as if it's still there. . .

Edgar realizes he must find out 'what' happened to the original family that settled here. One of them is still living. The deeper Edgar and his friends investigate, the more the paranormal activity increases. Relationships between the characters, secrets about the past and the strange behaviour of plant life and the ocean near the Pink House will keep you wondering what's next. The pace in Duma Key is much better than the pace in The Stand, which I found too drawn-out in the middle. 

I recommend Duma Key to readers who are fans of Stephen King, love paranormal stories or suspense, or those who have an interest in art. It didn't take me long to get through it, it's a page turner. 

Are you a fan of Stephen King's writing? Have you read Duma Key? What would you do if you thought the house you lived in or rented was haunted?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and I'll respond. I have several upcoming book reviews about books by: Jack Kerouac, Agatha Christie (2), and Diana Gabaldon. Hope you drop by to check them out, especially if you're looking for a change of pace. 


NOW in the news (Jan 28/17): Sanctuary Cities

Update: Canadian cities follow American counterparts in declaring Sanctuary for undocumented immigrants: Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, with others discussing and voting on joining the move to resist following Trump policies on the Canadian side of the border.  See CBC news Feb 21/17.

Original news: Jan 28/17
Many of the great cities in the USA are putting up resistance to the current protectionist policies of the new president, in particular, immigration. The following article is from our Canadian news. CBC News, Sanctuary cities in the USA. Egalitarian policies still prevail in some smart humane cities, managed by smart mayors! Bravo!!


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Roland Yeomans - The Not-So-Innocents Abroad Novel - A Review

Steampunk, Floating Airships, and new inventions, oh my, with an entourage of characters who are invited for a one-of-a-kind cruise. Wouldn't you like to come along?

The Not So Innocents Abroad -Cover. by Roland Yeomans

The Journey begins

Sam McCord, Meilori, Meilori's henchmen, Ada, Abigail, and a young Tesla cross paths with vampire politicians, Captain Nemo, and other assorted villains in this adventure set in a time of exploration and new inventions. The original stated purpose is to take the guests to the great world exposition in Paris, with a few side trips.

However. . .

All is not what it seems. The airship is powered by new technology and Meilori's control. Sam McCord does what a Texas Ranger is hired to do, keep the peace or control the mayhem. Somewhat. This is a cruise meant to impress and to explore, but at the same time, it is a venue where Sam McCord and Meilori can rein-in certain revenants-the undead-and others who plan their demise.

Will the tour survive? Will Captain Nemo get his way? Will Sam McCord and Meilori be able to deter the plots set in motion by those who have gone to the Dark side? This is a book which makes you want to look over your shoulder for those souls lurking in your own past. . .

In Not So Innocents Abroad, Roland Yeomans has crafted another tale of a world we can only imagine, yet one which mirrors the real world in some aspects - one in which good and evil battle for control against known and unknown enemies. Plots and sub-plots entangle our hero and his heroine, but the demon alien goddess (Meilori) paired with her solid Texas lawman with a deadly right hand manage to survive, so far. . .This tale continues in Roland's next novel, The Not So Innocents at Large.

Underneath the tension of the adventure runs the never-ending, time-spanning romance of McCord and Meilori. I recommend this novel for those who like steampunk, adventure, history and the magical world which the author has created. This is a book which will transport you to those realms where anything is possible.

To learn more about Roland Yeomans, the prolific author, please visit his website, Writing in the Crosshairs, where you can view some of his other titles. 


Are you a fan of steampunk tales? Have you read Roland Yeomans novels? Do you like adventure with a fantasy twist?

Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and I'll respond. Thanks for dropping by! Hope 2017 will bring us better news and events than the past year! 


Roland's website 

More info on Roland Yeomans as Author (from the A-Z authors list)