Book Review: Archie, Volume 6 by Mark Waid

Archie, Volume 6
By: Mark Waid & Audrey Mok (Illustrator)

archie vol.6

After the events of Volume 5, this next volume sees the last book that is written by Mark Waid in this revamp of the Archie’s comics as a more graphic novel style. Volume 6 sees everyone trying to sort themselves out in time for homecoming whether its Archie trying to find a date, Veronica and Betty finding a friendship together or the Blossom siblings dealing with their family issues, things all coincide into the homecoming having a major event that shakes everyone up.

The art style and the change in its direction of the Archie comics has definitely been the highlight of this revamped story. It works on many levels and for fans like myself, who grew up with the much more comic-looking version, these books have been a joy to have matured with my own tastes. Suffice to say that this volume takes a much more drastic and dramatic end game with homecoming having a lock-down with a gun man ready with his own family issues to do some pay back. Its a much darker turn of events that somehow has its space because this version is more of a graphic novel and allows for something with that sort of flair and danger elements and changes the game from the more lighthearted and somehow binds the tone of Archie and the series Riverdale into the darker area.

However, this volume did bring in a lot of other elements. Somehow, its focus on Archie seems to have faded a little in the midst of the set-up of the whole situation making it fall a little short of the normal good pacing that it would have but giving it more on the other characters as well. It is nice to see that all the characters have their spotlight in the midst of this story as everyone scrambles to do what they need to do for the dance. In the world of high school students, it does feel like the little things like finding a date that will come through while letting the characters remain true to their nature. This time, all the characters do have their individuality especially as Betty and Veronica find themselves and their friendship while getting over Archie and as Archie tries to find a date, his usual clumsiness gets in the way with everything. There’s still a lightheartedness to the story throughout up until the big final dramatic bit.

There’s a lot to love with what Mark Waid has achieved in this volume (and the previous 5) which does have so much of a different feeling while still managing to use these wonderful characters from the original Archie comics and breathing new life to them. Of course, Archie by Mark Waid may be done but the revitalization continues in Archie by Nick Spencer and its all up in the air how that will be as the art style seems to also have changed.

Blog Tour: The Weighing of the Heart by Paul Tudor Owen

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The Weighing of the Heart
By: Paul Tudor Owen

WOTHCoverfront

Publication Date: March 22, 2019 (Obliterati Press)
Genre: Literary Fiction

SYNOPSIS

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall – and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem.

Paul Tudor Owen’s intriguing debut novel brilliantly evokes the New York of Paul Auster and Joseph O’Neill.

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REVIEW

The Weighing of the Heart is a wonderfully written novel by Paul Tudor Owen. Its one that essentially follows the main character Nick who truly starts off as a very likeable character and appealing to all of those people around him. However, throughout the slender length and with that, a well-paced storytelling skills, Nick’s character starts to fall apart. His character becomes the central focus as it seems that there is a lot more than what is shown with a lot of questions of his past and the little details that pop up. Its because Nick is such a character that it makes the story develop in a way that when the decision to go through with a wrong act leads both him and his girlfriend Lydia start showing their division. Their characters span out to how they cope with the whatever guilt they have.

As charming as Nick’s character is drawn out, its the central focus on a piece of artwork called The Weighing of the Heart that dives into Egyptian mythology and becomes something that, in some ways, haunts Nick and with that, it further emphasizes on the elements of this picture that builds up the story and how the choices that Nick and Lydia make actually matches up to the whole Weighing of the Heart ceremony (I had to do a little research here to clear some things up). It ends up corresponding to the issues of different values as well as the concept of right and wrong. This is a refreshing element to use.

Overall, The Weighing of the Heart is a good read. It starts off fairly lighthearted and quickly becomes something of a romantic story but takes a turn into something more of a thrilling mystery as the possibility of success gets thrown into the equation and how far someone will go to meet an end. At the same time, the thrilling elements intrigue as Nick’s character starts showing more and more of the lesser side and he starts viewing his world in a comparison to this obsession over The Weighing of the Heart. Its a very unique reading experience.

Score: 4.5/5

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Pic (2)

Paul Tudor Owen was born in Manchester in 1978, and was educated at the University of Sheffield, the University of Pittsburgh, and the London School of Economics.

He began his career as a local newspaper reporter in north-west London, and currently works at the Guardian, where he spent three years as deputy head of US news at the paper’s New York office.

His debut novel, The Weighing of the Heart, was shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize 2019 and longlisted for Not the Booker Prize 2019.

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BLOG SCHEDULE

January 13th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com
Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com
Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/
Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
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January 14th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Guest Post) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com
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January 15th

Viviana MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/
Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com
The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/ Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

January 16th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
My Bookish Review (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com
Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/
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January 17th

Port Jerricho (Spotlight – Review to Follow) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com
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Blog Tour: Death in Smoke by Barbara Elle (Review/Giveaway)

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Death in Smoke (The Cape Mysteries #2)
By: Barbara Elle

Death in Smoke

Publication Date: December 5, 2019
Genre: Psychological Thriller

SYNOPSIS

*Each book in The Cape Mysteries can be read as a standalone novel*

A bloodied body buried in a snow bank on a remote island off Cape Cod.

A cold case in Kansas.

What’s the connection between two unrelated murders over a thousand miles away and decades apart?

In Death In Smoke, the thrilling sequel to Death In Vermilion, artist Leila Goodfriend unravels the truth about two brutal killings.

From Cuttyhunk Island to a Native American casino in Kansas, Leila tracks a trail of blood and revenge, littered with smoke screens and stone relics of a faded past.

Once again, Leila has to trust her instincts, which puts her at odds with Detective John Grace—a relationship of attraction that, in the end, reveals a tragic secret from her own past.

Despite the detective’s warnings, Leila puts her life at risk, obsessed with proving her friend’s innocence, at least of murder.

Death In Smoke, the new psychological thriller from acclaimed author Barbara Elle, takes readers on an inner and physical journey across clashing cultures and time, challenging assumptions about what is truth—what remains a mystery.

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REVIEW

Death in Smoke is the second book in the Cape Mysteries Series and yet, while the main sleuth carries forward from the previous book, this mystery is pretty much a standalone with only a little bit of reference to the previous book and it makes to effort to fill in those spaces for new readers (like myself). At least its the feeling that I got here which is always good to not feel like starting in the middle of a series is an intrusion and it stands alone as it promotes itself.

Psychological thrillers are always tricky business. Death in Smoke does a relatively good job. It starts off on a strong note in its set up its foundation with the discovery of the body and the well-described scenario and the forensic and detective work that follows. While the story does seem to a bit deliberate in some of its leads and the discoveries making it seem a bit predictable in certain plot progression, it does redeem itself in the second half when it shifts its scenario from the murders on an island, which is always an intriguing setting, to the link to another case in Kansas and brings in the Indigenous American elements. This brings in the unique angle for this mystery.

Looking at the characters of Death in Smoke, the main sleuth is an artist called Leila who has unexpectedly been around for this and in this story, feels the urge to follow the leads and help solve it as she finds the body and therefore responsible to follow through (or at least it seems that way). There’s a nice little bit of what would probably be a link to the previous book in terms of the little love tangent it goes on but done in a classy way. All these elements build up on Leila’s character.

Overall, there are some small pacing issues where with Death in Smoke. However, the book is well-written with some vivid descriptions and a decent main character Leila leading the mystery. The mystery itself also is well structured with gradual layers that eventually build up to the finale. The ending isn’t hard to completely figure out but it does redeem itself also with finding a unique twist. Plus, the grand finale shares a little on the origins of dreamcatcher which a lot of people know about but never the art of it or the different elements and the meanings. I’m not sure if it was meant to end to give Leila some more depth in its ending or to give it a little informative moment for the readers but whichever the reason, the ending does add to the experience.

Score: 3.5/5

Available on Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

BARBARA ELLE

In her stunning debut thriller, Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries Book 1), acclaimed author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a Cape Cod town. Who can you trust?

Now, Death In Smoke (The Cape Mysteries Book 2) asks what’s the connection between a bloodied body buried in a snow bank on a remote island off the Cape and a cold case in Kansas? Can artist and amateur sleuth Leila Goodfriend solve this new mystery?

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing chops as a copywriter at major publishers and as a freelance journalist.

Growing up in Boston, but she became a New Yorker as an adult. Her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting The Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories.

Barbara Elle continues collecting characters and plots, often travelling the world with her touring musician husband, the musical director for rock and roll icon Cyndi Lauper. In her travels, Barbara has explored Buddhist temples in Beijing, crypts in Vienna and Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.

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2020 Upcoming Plans!

2020 is already among us!

For new readers, welcome to Tranquil Dreams. I’m a blog that doesn’t quite follow the successful route of blogging (meaning to focus on one topic), instead I’m a fan of doing what I like and just using this as an outlet of doing the things I love. They primarily make up 4 categories: Movies, TV, Books and Food. There are weekly and monthly segments and a whole bunch of random spontaneous things going on. Now that the introduction is done for anyone new here!

Let’s check out plans for 2020! Note that a few little changes but not too many. I’ve indicated where the main changes are. 🙂

READING

2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge: 25 books

Last year, I set a bunch of books that I wanted to read and then didn’t get around to reading 90% of them, I’d say. Its probably because I forgot about it at one point being busy with everything else. This year, I already have about 5 books set for the first 3 months which is a great start as it all goes towards blog tours and such. I’m not going to say which one and will leave it as a surprise. The goal is to participate in blog tours and then work through a ton of TBR books on my bookshelves and Kindle. I won’t change the 25 books this year and if I exceed, then so be it. In general, its been a struggle to find reading time especially in the second half of the year.

MOVIES

Movies are staying relatively the same. I’m hoping that I will still be able to get the media accreditation for film festivals like in 2019 as that is always a lot of fun and brings in some really nice film discoveries. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it always brings in a nice refreshing change to the normal fare on Netflix.  Fingers crossed on that, right? 😉

As for movies, we will be keeping the double feature usually around 1-2 per week, depending on time. Full single reviews are for theatre viewings and festival screenings. The normal themed months still apply:

  • February: Valentine’s Romance
  • October: Halloween Horror
  • December: Holiday Films

This year, I’m thinking of doing some themed months randomly so that I can catch up on various genre of films. Its still in the air whether I’ll do it as A-Z or simply as random screenings.

As for any other things, I’ve neglected my Sunday Lists in general and will hopefully be aiming to get one a month. I’ll set a Sunday per month for that.

TV

TV has really turned into a Chinese drama series deal since middle of 2018 and that will continue this year. I’m hoping to get a few of the TV binges that I didn’t do last year done this year as I didn’t do any for my Top 5 shows last year and that seems sad as they were all very accessible on Youtube and/or Netflix.

Aside from that, Netflix series are the other focus and perhaps Shudder depending how long I keep the subscription. A short little no change section at all: TV binge for Chinese dramas will keep the normal format I have and may actually use a part of that format for any other series I watch as well.

OTHER RANDOMNESS

After getting through the top 3 categories of focus here, its time to take a look at the random other segments at weekly or monthly frequency.

  • [change] Wine Recap will wrap up with its final one with December 2019 and it will be over. I’m no wine connoisseur and the whole 2 year experiment of doing it has really helped me appreciate wine better but its becoming more of a chore to write it up. I’ll share some of it on Instagram instead so feel free to follow me over HERE.
  • My Adventures: I’ve already changed it to a monthly segment in the middle of 2019 and it will remain that way. I’m finally happy with the structure so we’re keeping this as the fun and more personal post.
  • What’s Up 2020: will remain a weekly segment set on every Wednesday to recap the previous week.
  • [change] Baking Through Disney: has been a neglected segment over here that I’ve tucked away but never forgot about. As I aim to get back into baking, its the project that will hopefully be revived on a monthly basis. One baking day a month seems fairly reasonable.
  • [change] Goodfood recaps: have been no more since the middle of 2019. It was due to a few bad experiences that Goodfood has finally fixed on their end. I didn’t talk about it at the time and won’t go deeper into it. As I’m not paid to do this and I have to pay for the experience, its becoming a convenience choice for our life so its become less frequent as well. I’ll share some of the meals on Instagram whenever we do order.
  • Battle of Ingredients: has changed its structure since its beginning. We’ve been talking about how to get things back on track to fit its name but we are also enjoying taking the time to highlight some recipe trials as well as using local Quebec products in our cooking. This one is really supposed to be monthly but we have random hiatus due to our busy schedules.
  • Ultimate Decades Blogathon is coming back in 2020. We are currently in production phase of getting things together. If you are interested, remember to check back here. We should be announcing it soon.
  • Music Obsessions: almost got cut but this segment was saved by a recent comment. I enjoy the segment but its the one that does the least well out of everything here BUT at least its a fairly fun and easy post to put together. So its staying without any change, on a monthly basis on the first weekend of the month.

I know we cover a ton of stuff here including Restaurant recaps and other event coverage including shopping hauls and such. It shouldn’t change much on that front. I’m hoping to get some more DIY going on and other things, if possible. However, time is scarce so I’ll do what I can.

I think that generally covers everything for 2020 plans!
Its not a ton of changes but I will work on being more organized this year!
Happy 2020 and all the best to all of you lovely people!

Happy New Year: 2019 in Review!

2019 is finally wrapped up. It was an overall okay year. Some good, some bad, some average stuff happened. I made some decisions about personal changes in habits and other general life things that I want to do in 2020 for my own sanity and sake. However, we’re all about being positive here and the blog has definitely kept me through a lot of that even if its been so long and some months are much busier than I expect.

Before I get to housekeeping the blog and 2020 plans (coming up in a later post), which should last a good few days, its time to take a moment to reflect on the blog going-ons in 2019 and take a quick look at some stats, faves, and of course successes.

2019 in Review

2019 was something of a crazy year! I covered a few film festivals: some first time ones and then watched a reviewed a ton of movies. The views had some incredibly huge growths and then also had some very low days. At so many years on, stats really is just a number but does make me wonder what makes it grow sometimes. A look at some general stats without digging too deep.

  • Total views: 57,244 (decrease from the previous year but then 2018 was the best year in blogging for me)
  • Top 5 countries reading
    • United States
    • India
    • Hong Kong SAR
    • Canada
    • United Kingdom
  • Top 5 posts written in 2019
    • TV Binge: Rush to the Dead Summer
    • TV Binge: Who’s The Murderer (Season 4)
    • TV Binge: The Inn 2 (Season 2)
    • Restaurant: Yunnan Rice Noodles
    • Announcement: Ultimate 2000s Blogathon

Definitely some interesting stats as I never realized that my TV Binges, especially for Chinese dramas and variety shows did so well. I’m just wondering who is reading them as they are definitely a slow accumulation over time. I do those mostly for my own enjoyment and not thinking that many people will read it.

2019 also has some other challenges and overviews in films and Goodreads Reading Challenges.

Goodreads Reading Challenge

  • Goodreads Reading Challenge was increased from the beginning of the year halfway, which resulted in my failing to reach the goal. I did log a book collection which was 4 books considered as 1 read. Technically I reached the goal, right? The total books read was 27 books! According to the My Year in Books 2019 from Goodreads.
    • I read 7024 pages over 27 books
    • Shortest book: The Princess and the Peacock
    • Longest book: Obsidio
    • My favorite books read in 2019 (not necessarily 2019 releases)
      • A Series of Unfortunately Events Collection: Book 10-13
      • The Dragon Head of Hong Kong: The Ava Lee Prequel
      • Obsidio
      • Always and Forever, Lara Jean
      • Hope
      • Proximity

In the reading department, I actually skewed away from a lot of what I had intended on reading at the beginning of the year probably when I did the 2019 plans. However, I did discover quite a few good reads and caught up with some reads sitting around that was way overdue.

Movies & Letterboxd

While Letterboxd’s Year in Review hasn’t come out yet, I’m going to start a little look over with the help of its stats to see how the movie watching thing was. Do note that my viewings were bloated by short film viewings but also lost some of the films that were premieres at film festivals and wasn’t listed yet but most likely forgot to go back and add them back later on.

  • Total movies watched: 249
  • Out of 249:
    • 80 films were from 2019
    • 5 Netflix Stand-up Comedy Specials
    • 3 Theatre viewings
    • 29 short films
    • 42 rewatches (including Harry Potter franchise, Evil Dead franchise)
  • Favorite 2019 movies (in no particular order – not surprisingly all festival viewings)
    • White Snake
    • Daniel Isn’t Real
    • Dead Dicks
    • Riot Girls
    • Paradise Hills
  • Favorite non-2019 movies (in no particular order)
    • Snowpiercer
    • Us and Them
    • The Hate U Give
    • Murder on the Orient Express
    • Anna and the Apocalypse

TV Binging in Review

Last thing to look at before we wrap up this much longer than expected post (causing me to change the original structure) – TV! Suffice to say that I watched a lot of Chinese dramas and variety shows. Much more than the English stuff. Its been a nice change in pace overall and there’s some really nice Chinese dramas out there, which are also getting acquired by Netflix or released as Netflix series. As I’m a ton of TV binges behind, this is where the What’s Up segment is going to help a ton in compiling this portion (although I have a clear idea of my faves already).

Top 5 TV Seasons of 2019

  • Le Coup de Foudre
  • Go Go Squid!
  • The King’s Avatar
  • River Flows To You
  • Put Your Head On My Shoulder

Honorable Mention: Love, Death + Robots; Umbrella Academy; The Brightest Star in the Sky

Overall, 2019 was a pretty decent year. I had some nice little fun successes like getting a few festival media accreditation and some rather fun little screener links offered for review. Its been rather busy starting from Montreal Comiccon in July then jumping straight to Fantasia International Film Festival, followed by a first time accreditation for Toronto After Dark Film Festival covering short films, then went on to a first time press pass for Festival du Nouveau Cinema and then finally a remote coverage for Blood in the Snow Film Festival. There was a lot of fun little movie discoveries as well as an appreciation for short films. A lot of originally planned things (from what I remembered) wasn’t all that achieved but at the same time, it went relatively smoothly.

That’s it for this 2019 in Review!
We’ll be planning out 2020 later today (or maybe tomorrow).

Love Potions and Other Calamities by Charlie Laidlaw

Love Potions and Other Calamities
by: Charlie Laidlaw

love potions and other calamities

Rosie McLeod, pub proprietor and a gifted herbalist of local renown, is thirty-nine and holding, but only just. The talons of her fortieth birthday are in her back and her bloody, bloody husband hasn’t laid a lustful hand on her for months.

Rosie sets out to discover if her husband is having an affair, using deductive powers based solely on the careful preparation of plants and herbs. But as her well-laid plans entirely fall apart, the sighting of a large black cat sets off another chain of events.

Rosie now realises that a psychopath is on the loose and that she’s been selected as his next victim. – Goodreads

*Book received in exchange for honest review*

After reading two novels by Charlie Laidlaw, there is no doubt that he is a writer with a lot of creativity as he mixes genres and adds in very unique twists. It is usually those sharp ideas that makes his books such a pleasure to read and also why Love Potions and Other Calamities was one that I wanted to read. Blending mystery, romance and humor is a risky move especially the last third of the equation as humor is such a subjective element. Luckily, the humor does deliver most of the time especially with some of the outrageous things that do happen and the fact that a lot of the doing wrong things with the best intentions actually do backfire a lot and ends up creating some right especially as it highlights some of the elements of mystery.

Let’s start with the positives! Love Potions and Other Calamities is a charming little book. One of the main elements of charms is the characters that truly do come to life through the words. There’s a heavy focus on Rosie, a woman awaiting her 40th birthday like its her death bed and really having a heavy hit of self-esteem issues about her attraction to her husband Jack due to lack of intimacy. Her solution is to make him drinks and food that she believes that he likes to build up the urge and motivation at the very least. However, things go awry when he doesn’t really like those things and it ends up somewhere else and consumed by someone else. As we read these parts, its truly a “Oh no” moment over and over again as things go really awkward and at times bad, creating situations that eventually have more misunderstandings and it all propels to have even more funny and awkward and weird moments.

On the other side, the story also focuses on another couple with Mara being a younger girl and waitress at Rosie and Jack’s pub (I think, its a pub) and the events ends up turning out better for her as her relationship with her cop boyfriend Richie improves. Richie becomes the center of the mystery as he starts working hard to connect the dots of the mysterious events happening. Richie and Mara bring in some elements of intimacy and younger relationships but also bringing forward a character like Richie from outside that helps have that connection to explain some of the beliefs and history that hangs in this town.

While at the same time, there is some political issues with voting around the corner and all kinds of characters that pop in the scene. They all have their own charm and intrigue as it all adds to how the situations are blown up to incredible proportions and Rosie starts to wonder whether what she did is right and the issue with the black cat being a sign towards witches and bad omens. There’s a lot of little bits and pieces that work well together. The little description of different types of herbs at the beginning of each chapter actually did bring a lot of fun elements to this as it was the extra bits of knowledge and gave it a lot of substance.

With that said, one element that wasn’t done was well was the execution. The pacing was a bit odd at times. At the same time, the separation of chapters and the abrupt jumps from one scene to the next sometimes made it slightly hard to follow especially as the situation got more complex in the middle section. Its really the one issue that was a tad annoying but as the characters became more familiar, the issue in the second half becomes less of an issue.

Overall, Love Potions and Other Calamities is a pretty decent novel. The idea of using potions and witches and a little town with their own beliefs and history gave it a lot of character. Not to mention the characters here were also rather charming and had its unique elements that made them a lot of fun to read. Sure, there’s some execution issues but its still a fun book with some unexpected twists to the outcomes of the misdirected potion (or poison?) attempts, misunderstanding and other sudden scenarios. This one is a fun read.

Check out reviews of other books by Charlie Laidlaw:

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead
The Space Between Time

Blog Tour: Proximity (iMe Series, Book 1) by Jem Tugwell [Review]

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Proximity (iMe Series #1)
by: Jem Tugwell

Proximity

Publisher: Serpentine Books
Genre: Techno Thriller/Procedural

SYNOPSIS

You can’t get away with anything. Least of all murder.

DI Clive Lussac has forgotten how to do his job. Ten years of embedded technology – ‘iMe’ – has led to complete control and the eradication of crime. Then the impossible happens. A body is found, and the killer is untraceable. With new partner Zoe Jordan, Clive must re-sharpen his detective skills and find the killer without technology, before time runs out for the next victim…

Leading the trend in speculative crime thrillers, Jem Tugwell’s thrilling and thought-provoking debut sits alongside Black Mirror and The City and the City in a compelling exploration of our near future. Proximity draws on Jem’s 20 years of professional experience as a software developer in the city to give an unnerving insight into how our world might be transformed by the rapid advance in embedded technology and fitness trackers.

What if the cash-strapped public healthcare system can be given a second life by using tech to regulate our health and behaviour?

What if we can eradicate gun, knife and other proximity crimes by tracking everyone’s activity?

What if civil liberty is seen as an acceptable sacrifice for the greater good?

What if the convenience of technology is used for control?

“Proximity is inspired by the fascinating possibilities of technology, AI and the law of unintended consequences. From my own experience, technologists are often amazed or horrified about the other uses that people imagine for their products. Clive and Zoe’s world might be closer than we think, but is it heaven or hell? How do we decide the perfect balance of free will and greater good?” – Jem Tugwell

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REVIEW

Proximity is set in a future where technology of override the lives of society as one technology as made everything so functional that it takes away any risks while controlling the every lives of the people which is a foolproof way against crime and tracking the citizens every step of the way. In a world with this technology, the police has also over-relied on this technology, making it hard when an anomaly happens. Of course, that exactly happens. On one hand, Proximity emphasizes the dangers of a society over-reliant on technology but on the other hand, it always shows how sometimes the untraceable element and the part of life that isn’t controlled makes some balance that may work and is needed.

In this sense, the futuristic world and the technology design and how it interacts with the characters is one of the most fascinating part of the mystery. The technology itself has its own life which adds to the characters here who is a team of two detectives: one of which has gone through the old-fashioned, before iMe technology investigation while the newbie is learning how to do this. The story also chooses to let the readers be the third party and see the efforts of this serial killer but never quite reveal who it is but rather the mindset behind its choices, slowly converging the big reveal in the final few chapters. One of the parts that usually work very well to character-building is using different characters’ point of views as a focal point. In  this case, the three main characters all have their own chapters that shift between each of them to see their own views and opinions of what is going on and how each of the character develops.

Proximity is a solid page-turner with a lot of potential to build up this new future. Technology is such a key element in the current day that its not hard to imagine a future that could possibly turn out like this one. Its only a matter of time, making this feel rather realistic. At the same time, the plot is executed very impressively, giving it so much room to guess who is the serial killer but never revealing too much too early. Its hard to grasp the pacing in thrillers and Jem Tugwell handles this very well. Proximity sets a great foundation as the starting novel of a series. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.

Score: 4.5/5

Purchase Links:

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Amazon (Canada)
Amazon (Australia)
Barnes & Noble
Kobo (USA)
Kobo (Canada)
Google Play

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JEM TUGWELL

I am a crime fiction author with a Crime Writing MA from City University. Proximity is my thrilling debut novel, inspired by the fascinating possibilities of technology, AI and the law of unintended consequences. Available on 6 June 2019.

In a past life, I had a successful career in investment management, and now live in Surrey with my wife. I have two great children and dog. Outside of my family and writing, my loves are snowboarding, old cars and bikes.

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Details: A signed copy of the book for each week

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

November 17th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://rrbooktours.com
My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com
Rea’s Reads (Review) https://reasreads.wordpress.com/

November 18th

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks (Review) https://quirkycatsfatstacks.com/

November 19th

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

November 20th

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

November 21st

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/
Eclectic Reviews (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

November 22nd

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com
Crystal’s Book World (Spotlight) https://crystalsbookworld.com/

November 23rd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com
Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

November 24th

Tehben Dot Com (Review) https://tehben.com/category/teh-bens-book-club/

November 25th

Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

November 26th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Review) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

November 27th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

November 28th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

November 29th

Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

November 30th

Sab Reads Books (Spotlight) http://sabreadsbooks.blogspot.com/
A Garden of Books (Review) http://agardenofbooks.com

Blog Tour Organized by:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours