Blackthorn by Terry Tyler

Blackthorn
By: Terry Tyler

Blackthorn

The UK, year 2139
One hundred and fifteen years ago, a mysterious virus wiped out ninety-five per cent of humanity.  Blackthorn, the largest settlement in England, rose from the ashes of the devastated old world. It is a troubled city, where the workers live in crude shacks, and make do with the worst of everything.  It is a city of violent divisions, crime, and an over-populated jail block―until a charismatic traveller has a miraculous vision and promises to bring hope back to the people’s lives.  Blackthorn falls under Ryder Swift’s spell, and the most devoted of all is the governor’s loyal servant, Lieutenant August Hemsley.  Twenty-one-year-old Evie has lived her whole life in the shacks. She and disillusioned guard Byron Lewis are two of a minority who have doubts about Ryder’s message. Can they stand against the beliefs of an entire city? – Goodreads

Blackthorn is a story about beliefs and cults in a dystopian future where the balance has been offset. In the current state of the world, calculating back the years of how this story is sets up its future scenario, it almost hits a little too close to home. However, much like the other book that I read Hope from Terry Tyler, this author excels in building immersive dystopia worlds. In Blackthorn, its one that works thoroughly from the society’s lowered population built up and almost driving everything back to the basics in older times with different societal classes doing different jobs and someone ruling over the different cities/districts by richer families and the concept to carry on the family name by passing it on.

This brings in all kinds of characters that weave together a story of bringing back the concept of faith in the Bible and having the community come together to be better in order to reach the Light. With that, it brings up questions of how truthful the situation actually is as well as the motives of different decisions by the different characters that manage to bring in some deeper characters. Characters is where the story is executed well as it bounces between the perspective of three characters: Lieutenant August Hemsley, a lower class baker Evie and guard Byron Lewis. Their different perspectives of the different elements of the society completes the picture in many of the scenarios and fills in those blanks to connect the dots while at the same time, having perspectives from different characters also creates enough gaps of the unknown to have their own secrets and msyteries in the story that slowly unveil in the third part. With that said, the book is divided into three parts plus an epilogue, giving it a progression of time and shift in time and events as well as Blackthorn’s position.

If there was something to criticize about this book, its that the pacing at times felt lacking here and there. It had to do with its length perhaps and that some moments were made to create a link between the perspectives of the three. Provided that most of the time, the three views did work very well together but at times, it did make some situations a little longer to read. Plus, with three characters, it also needs to create enough dilemmas to solidify their purpose, push and feelings towards the society and predicament. Although, I say this, overall Blackthorn is a satisfying read. Its world-building and dystopian future plus the intricate details of putting all the three characters together from little events popping up in their passing at the beginning to having the three characters’ path intersect was done really well. Despite its little moments, its still well-executed in the scope of the story that it wants to tell.

Score: 4.5/5

Check out my review of Terry Tyler’s other book, Hope HERE.

Blog Tour: Hope by Terry Tyler (Review/Giveaway)

Hope

HOPE
BY: TERRY TYLER

Hope

Publication Date: May 24, 2019
Genre: Dystopian/Psychological Thriller

SYNOPSIS

Terry Tyler’s nineteenth published work is a psychological thriller set in a dystopian near future – the UK, Year 2028.

Blogger Lita Stone and journalist Nick Freer live and work online, seeing life through soundbites, news TV and social media. Keeping the outside world at bay in their cozy flat, they observe the ruthless activities of the new PM and his celebrity fitness guru wife, Mona (hashtag MoMo), with the mild outrage that can be quelled simply by writing another blog post.

Meanwhile, in the outside world, multinational conglomerate Nutricorp is busy buying up supermarket chains, controlling the media, and financing the new compounds for the homeless: the Hope Villages.

Lita and Nick suspect little of the danger that awaits the unfortunate, until the outside world catches up with them – and Lita is forced to discover a strength she never knew she possessed.

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REVIEW

Hitting quite close to home as the main character Lita is a blogger who talks about fairly touchy subjects in a future dystopian UK that results in rather dire circumstances, Hope is a gripping psychological thriller. Its dystopian setting is one that has similar goals to those familiar with movies like The Purge, where the government schemes in their own way to thin out the non-working class which is seen as being a burden to the society and disposed of in whatever way possible. “Out of sight, out of mind” kind of deal. This dystopian future is always a nice topic to look at as it also refers to different events that has happened in our current day and age and how it has affected the future of the UK (such as Brexit). This setting opens up through the eyes of Lita about the levels of governmental control, its manipulation of technology, the lies and secrets as well as its schemes to push the non-working class or the poor/less fortunate to these camps called Hope Village in the middle of nowhere and working to live there for credits while having a lot of underlying issues that the three soon discover for themselves.

Separated into a few parts in the book quite cleverly, the situation of Lita and her two friends, Nick and Kendall end up in different locations as they move from one place to the next trying to maintain their bond and stay together as they view each other as family. Each location creates a new section of the story which gives it structure. In each phase, it moves from the struggle to stay afloat as things go sideways for each of them one by one and how it leads them to live in a Hope Village which makes them desperate for change and their actions to this puts them in a much worse situation.

Its these situations that also give Lita the hard times that give her character a lot of development. It shifts from each location from the honest blogger to a much more toned down version that treats situations a little smarter through her many losses throughout the story and shifts her character trajectory. While a few of these situations, from the reader’s view is quite easily predictable and doesn’t quite do any out of the left field. Its really the combination of all these events that make Hope quite an intriguing read.

The finesse of crafting  each of the characters and the hardships they encounter each lead to their own outcome. The setting of this dystopian future UK also is one that has lots of discover. It manages to touch on a lot of the different angles from the government motives to the characters reactions and how to face this situation and find their ways to uncover the secrets trying to be hidden. There’s also a little to think about this dystopian future as the society going backwards as these Hope Villages feel very similar to restrictive camps in history. As thrilling as this might be, where it falls short just a little is that it was fairly predictable and I like thrillers to be slightly more shocking. While I say that, there is no doubt a lot of really great writing and story execution done here. 

Goodreads: 4/5 

Where to Buy:

Amazon UK
Amazon
Universal Link

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler is the author of nineteen books available from Amazon, the latest being ‘Hope’, a dystopian, psychological drama set in the UK, a decade into the future. She is currently at work on ‘Blackthorn’, a post-apocalyptic stand-alone story set in her fictional city of the same name. Proud to be independently published, Terry is an avid reader and book reviewer, and a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team.

Terry is a Walking Dead addict, and has a great interest in history (particularly 14th-17th century), and sociological/cultural/anthropological stuff, generally. She loves South Park, Netflix, autumn and winter, and going for long walks in quiet places where there are lots of trees. She lives in the north east of England with her husband.

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GIVEAWAY

 Win 1 of 4 digital copies of Hope in format of choice

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

October 14th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com
Just 4 My Books (Review) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com
Lisette Brody (Guest Post) http://lisettebrodey.com/
Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

October 15th

Lunarian Press (Spotlight) https://www.lunarianpress.com/
Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/
Tommye Turner Talks (Review) http://tommyeturnertalks.com

October 16th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com
The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com
Books Teacup and Review (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

October 17th

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/
Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/
Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

October 18th

I’m All About Books (Review) https://imallaboubtbooks.com
The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com
Crossroads Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Blog Tour organized by:

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What’s Up 2019: Week 41

Tranquil Dreams (45)

Festival mode is back for this week’s recap! It was a busy week of a few things that came up and had to get added into the crowded to-do list, not to mention the other little things in the offline reality. Either way, I elevated the multitasking to a whole new level and here we are!!

READING

Hope

Currently reading: Hope by Terry Tyler

Deciding between writing festival reviews and reading has been the most part finding its own balance to make it all happen. Hope is luckily progressing well and probably still in the last push before the blog tour post needs to go up. It has an intriguing plot and setting and for the most part, its not the lack of a good plot thats stopping me from being more on track on the whole reading front.

PLAYING

A Life in Music

  • A Life In Music

Having finished this free mobile game just recently, nothing is in progress. A Life In Music is categorized as an educational game which looks at Italian Opera as well as meshing in a story about two strangers who meet spontaneously and separate as they follow their passions. Mixing visual novel story telling with a little rhythm is quite a nice little twist. I’m playing some more of the long form mobile games lately to clear out some of the downloaded games on my phone to eventually delete and free up some space.

WATCHING

Diner

  • Adam Devine: Best Time of Our Lives
  • The Ranger (2018)
  • Little Joe (2019, Review)
  • Evil Dead (1981 rewatch, Review)
  • Evil Dead II (1987 rewatch, Review)
  • Army of Darkness (1992 rewatch, Review)
  • Color Out of Space (2019, Review)
  • Family Romance LLC (2019, Review)
  • Evil Dead (2013, Review)
  • Diner (2019, Review)
  • Adoration (2019)

Kicking off the week with the Netflix stand-up comedy by Adam Devine which was better than I expected and then being called up as the backup for The Lambcast podcast for The Evil Dead franchise brought on a sudden rewatching to add into the schedule while managing to shift my Festival du Nouveau Cinema to make it all work out. Its been a busy first few days trying to make the most of the long Thanksgiving weekend. Clocking in 5 movies at FNC 2019, the standout film for this week goes to Diner which is the movie I’d foresee myself gladly rewatching  and having a blast every single time although Color Out of Space definitely has its really great elements also.

BINGING

Well-Intended Love

Currently binging: When I Grow Up, Relation Ship, Dream Space 2, Well-intended Love, Soft Memory

Nothing is quite finished this week. Between these currently binging ones, Netflix series Well-Intended Love is nearly done although definitely nothing too crazy and might have gone a little long. I’m not sure yet as I’m in the final few episodes. Mango TV’s Dream Space 2 is also reaching its final episode in the next week so that will wrap up soon as well. The newly started one is Soft Memory currently on Tencent (available on Youtube), its alright right now but I’m having some logical issues with some of the plot. I’m only 4 episodes in so who knows how it will go!

That’s it for this What’s Up!
What have you been reading/playing/watching/binging?