Showing posts with label Max Power. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Max Power. Show all posts

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Little Big Boy by Max Power

What links my last and current weeks review together is the fact that they are both about a family from Dublin, but there all similarities end. Well, they were both five star reads, but that's it! If reviewed a book by this author before (Darkly Wood) and I think he is one of the great indie authors out there.
Little Big Boy by Max Power on

Little Big Boy is a bitter sweet, but mostly painful portrait of a young boy growing up in 1970’s Dublin. Childhood should be a happy and carefree time, but for many of us it is anything but and it helps us to empathise with the main character. For this seven year old boy things are especially hard as his father is a violent alcoholic. His Mother tries to keep him safe, but she has three other kids to care for too. School isn’t a safe haven either as our Little Big boy has to negotiate the perils of the playground and the sadistic Christian Brother teachers.
I’ve read Darkly Wood by the same writer and I think here, he has again masterfully created a sense of dread that builds throughout by cleverly hinting at events to come. (In Darkly Wood it was by tales from the past, but it sets a tone that makes the reader suck in his breath and move to the edge of their seats. You want to know what will happen, but you know it won’t be good. What stops this book from being sentimental is the little touches of humour and warm nostalgia. I think Max Powers has succeeded in bringing 1970’s Dublin to life for me. Max Power has a very distinct and readable style, I’d recommend it.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Darkly Wood by Max Power

As the Anthology is coming out on Kindle Tomorrow I thought I celebrate by posting a review of one of it's contributors; Max Power. You can already order your paperback copy. Here is the link to Max Powers book and it's 5 star review:

Darkly Wood by Max Power

Near the village of Cranby, you can find an imposing forest named Darkly Wood. Local stories retold from generation to generation speak of terrible things that have happened in this place, long before it was even known as Darkly Wood. The book starts with the story of Lord Terrence Darkly, who’s noble family the wood is named after and the tragic fate of his fiancee.
The book is a cleverly crafted patchwork of folkloric horror stories, a romance and a supernatural thriller. Weaving cameos of characters that were affected by Darkly wood, with the contemporary tale of Daisy and Benjamin and their budding teenage love story.
I must admit that I wasn’t immediately gripped by the start of the book, which just hinted at something evil in the woods, but then I was gripped by the story of Daisy, the young girl that moves to Cranby with her recently divorced mother. Soon she experiences a few spooky events and also finds a book in her new house named ‘Tales of Darkly Wood by J.S. Toner’. She also meets a boy named Benjamin who she feels very attracted to.
What is unusual about this book is the way it is narrated. We have three points of view from the writer, the initial scene setting that tells us about the wood and the village. Then the story of Daisy and Benjamin and their fateful entry into Darkly wood, which is interspersed with extracts from the Tales of Darkly Wood. Even though I found the interruptions to Daisy’s nail-biting story at times frustrating as I wanted to know what happened next, the individual tales are all strong. I think my favourite was the one about the man that fooled a whole village into thinking that he was a smoker. Max Power does know how to spin a good yarn.
I felt for the characters of Daisy and Benjamin; just as they are discovering their young love, they are put through the most testing of ordeals. Daisy grows from a normal impulsive teenager into a young woman that can muster up incredible courage. Her bravery comes from the love she is feeling for Benjamin.
I was in two minds at first about this book, but as I continued reading through the cracking second part and awesome finish, I made up mind and decided that Darkly Wood deserves 5 stars.