Riverlands - photo Lorraine Dziarkowska 1

Riverlands feat. Jo Bell and Jo Blake Cave (Oundle International Festival, 12 Jul 15)

reviewed by Jayne Stanton  THE VENUE: Oundle Wharf, on the bank of Northamptonshire’s River Nene.  Few sites could be more apt to stage this river’s stories.  And what stage could be more fitting than a landing stage? THE VIBE: The Wimbledon Men’s Final conveniently done and dusted, festival-goers crossed the river bridge equipped with folding…

Lost Art Sinking

The Lost Art of Sinking by Naomi Booth

– Reviewed by Bethany W Pope – Naomi Booth’s The Lost Art of Sinking is a complex, deeply psychological novella focused on the futility of turning away from the terrors that warp the mirror of your past. Esther Freestone is a troubled girl. When she was twelve her mother had died under mysterious circumstances and she has…

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Silents by Claire Crowther

– Reviewed by Bethany W Pope – Claire Crowther’s Silents is a near-perfectly executed conceptual piece focused on recapturing the feel and poetry of silent film. The palm-sized pamphlet is designed to be reminiscent of a movie-magazine, and that design is effective, though once you see past the stark black and white colour scheme you realize that it…

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Humfrey Coningsby by Jonathan Davidson

– Reviewed by JPL – Among a plethora of worthy poetry publications, Jonathan Davidson’s Humfrey Coningsby – loosely based on the life of a sixteenth-century Shropshire lord – really does stand out. In the crucible of paradox, even hypocrisy, there is in the curmudgeon a curious independence of spirit, authenticity to the point of downright courage, and a touching if…

Nothing is Strange

Nothing is Strange by Mike Russell

– Reviewed by Elanor Clarke – Nothing Is Strange is a very apt title for this short collection of short stories. None of them are strange. Promising readers mind-expanding, otherworldly, unique stories, the collection sadly does not deliver. That is not to say that there is nothing good about this collection, or Mike Russell’s writing…

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The Devil’s Tattoo by Brett Evans

– Reviewed by Stephen Payne – I am a Facebook friend of Brett Evans, as well as his publishers, so that in the time I’ve been reading The Devil’s Tattoo, I have learned about other reviews, and have been unable to resist looking. The reviews are strikingly positive and consistent: this is a very well-received…

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The Forgotten and the Fantastical: Modern Fables and Ancient Tales ed. Teika Bellamy

– Reviewed by Bethany W Pope – The Forgotten and the Fantastical: Modern Fables and Ancient Tales, edited by Teika Bellamy, is a complex and largely entertaining compilation of literary fantasy. Though a few of the stories are reworked classics, most are all-new creations, and the majority of the stories are incredibly entertaining. The stories are illustrated…