Once again we drop in toe Juno and the Lady series with Petra and the Sewer Rats. This Novella takes place a few years before Juno and the Lady, well quite a few years, following the mother of the titular character of the first book Juno’s mother Petra as she discovers that her isolated life in a safe home within Fairacre has been kept safe from the dark and violent goings on of the homeless girls of the city. When Petra sees how dreadfully these children are being treated, she tries and find a home for these disowned girls.
Naturally, this does not go as planned, or else it would not make for a good story now would it? Following Petra, we see where Juno gets a determination and grit. Petra’s story is sad, and I will not go in to particular detail as this is a novella so it is a fairly short read. That in mind, I would suggest you pick up Petra and the Sewer Rats if you had an interest in learning more about the town’s background after reading the last two books in the series!
Yours and Mine by A.E. Bennett is a novella that ties in to the author’s Serrulata Saga series, which I have not yet read, my introduction to being one of the blog tours I take part in. This steamy novella followed Octavia Dorchester and Gerald Verte as they stumble in to a young romance and attempt to reconcile their feelings even though their families want them to have nothing to do with one another. While you walk with the characters through their complicated relationship and enjoy their young love, you are also given bits and pieces of the authors over all world which leaves you wanting to explore further in to the Serrulata Saga as a whole. I know I am looking forward to picking up more by A.E. Bennett.
Now, as discussed above, this is a steamy romance. There is sex in this novella and some very blunt wording for male anatomy. So if you are uncomfortable with reading sex scenes or the used of rougher language, even though it only happens once, I suggest you avoid this romantic tale. However, for anyone else, I strongly suggest you pick this up, particularly if you are a fan of fantasy romances, there is both and delightful hints to what we may discover in the series.
I have another surprise for you. The lovely people at Traveling Pages Tours were able to get a few questions answer for me by the author! It was great to have this opportunity, the Q&A follows.
How do you come up with your stories?
I came up with the initial idea for The Serrulata Saga way back in 1997. I was a teen devoted to sci-fi and the Hale-Bopp comet appeared in the sky. I soaked up as much knowledge as I could about it. It comes around once every 2,000 years or so and when it was here, there were a lot of articles printed about what life had been like the last time it arrived. The gears in my head started turning and I began thinking about when the comet arrives again—in the year 4385.
In terms of Yours and Mine, I have to credit an editor who took a look at an early version of Gathering of the Four, the first book in the series. She gave me a great deal of feedback and constructive criticism, but she also made a comment about how she loved reading about Octavia and Gerald and was curious about how they got together. After that, I couldn’t not write their tale!
What genre do you like to read yourself?
I pretty much read what I write: sci-fi, fantasy, and romance. I also enjoy horror and am going to attempt to write a Serrulata Saga horror story when I’m finished with my current work in progress.
Do you ever get writer’s block and how do you cope with it?
You know, I actually don’t. I’ve had a few times where I’ve sat down to write and known that what I was writing was garbage that would eventually get discarded, but thankfully I’ve never had the crippling sensation of sitting down to write and being unable to. I worry I’ve doomed myself by admitting this out loud, but it’s the truth!
Yours and Mine by A.E. Bennett is a novella that ties into the author’s Serrulata Saga series, which I have not yet read, my introduction to being one of the blog tours I take part in. This steamy novella followed Octavia Dorchester and Gerald Verte as they stumble into a young romance and attempt to reconcile their feelings even though their families want them to have nothing to do with one another. While you walk with the characters through their complicated relationship and enjoy their young love, you are also given bits and pieces of the author’s overall world which leaves you wanting to explore further into the Serrulata Saga as a whole. I know I am looking forward to picking up more by A.E. Bennett.
Now, as discussed above, this is a steamy romance. There is sex in this novella and some very blunt wording when it comes to the male anatomy. So if you are uncomfortable with reading sex scenes or the use of rougher language, even though it only happens once, I suggest you avoid this romantic tale. However, for anyone else, I strongly suggest you pick this up, particularly if you are a fan of fantasy.
Kolkata Noir is another fantastic story by Tom Vater. In fact, it is three great stories tying in to a forty year long tale of unrequited love and international intrigue. The story follows a female Indian police inspector and a British photographer as they go about finding the murderer of a wealthy man. In the process of solving the case, they deal with a variety of social and political issues which eventually end up separating the two. However, they meet again in twenty years, and then again in forty!
Told in three novellas, Kolkata Noir takes place in 1999, 2019 and 2039, telling the story in the past, present and future, giving this tale both a contemporary and speculative feel to it. We get to see the lives of the two main characters change as they go from hopeful youths to complicated older people aiming for a safe retirement in a world that is slowly drowning.
In short, the story of Kolkata Noir is amazing, a lot of story is packed in to these three short pieces of writing. Vater does a good job of tying up all the loose ends in each novella, so they do not leave you wondering, as can often happen with shorter stories. The characters are well written and interesting. Having different needs that make them feel like individuals instead of just characters.
So, is Kolkata Noir worth reading? It is a definite must read for fans of classic crime and noir dramas. Pick it up and you will have a blast!
The Numbers Game by Miles Watson is a novella following Maurice a RAF pilot during World War II. While he is a capable pilot, Maurice is more interested in numbers and figures. A mathematician to an almost oppressive point, he takes comfort and depends entirely on these numerical facts. Disregarding the other variables in life, such a luck.
Feeling himself secure in knowing when everyone, even himself, will finally die in the complicated war, he finds himself in an odd place when things do not work out exactly as expected.
The Numbers Game is a great novella, worth picking up if you have a few hours to kill, or just in general looking for a great read. The main character’s obsessive fascination with numbers feels real. Who would not be clinging desperately to whatever they can hold on to during one of the bloodiest wars in history? Even in times a peace, people in hard times need something to cling to.
Pick up The Numbers Game if you are interested in historical fiction. This WWII tale will keep you interested till the end.