Review of The Realm Between Heaven and Hell

Sunday, December 16, 2012 9:00 pm

   Happy Holidays, everyone! I don’t do this very often, but this week my blog centers around a review of J.S. Turners, The Realm Between Heaven and Hell.

   I ran across Jessica Turner’s blog when she was recruited to be a stop on the tour for the launch of my own The Dragon of Doughton Park. Not that I’m one to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I checked out the bloggers ahead of time to make sure they would be a good fit for my novel, and I was very pleased with Ms. Turner’s. I was particularly impressed with how she did her interviews, and I noticed that she herself was a writer.

   I got side-tracked. Although I wasn’t particularly drawn to the cover (I would never penalize an author for that anyway. The original cover of The Draculata Nest sucked.), the premise of her novel intrigued me. I jumped on and downloaded it to my kindle immediately.

   I’m glad I did. This is J.S. Turner’s debut novel, and I recommend it. I also recommend a regular visit to her blog…Lost In Thought.
My Review
   Sometimes the concept behind a book is so good the writing and characters become secondary. Some of my favorite science fiction books fall into this category, such as Phillip Jose Farmer’s Riverworld and Larry Niven’s Ringworld. As a reader, this is magical, because no matter what happens in the story, you are still carried away by the world in which you find yourself. As a writer, well… I get jealous. Such is the case with J.S. Turner’s The Realm Between Heaven and Hell.
   Ms. Turner has taken some basic concepts from the Christian mythology and given them an intriguing twist. I will not reveal any of these concepts for fear of spoiling the story for future readers, but I loved it. I loved it so much so that I spent a good deal of time thinking of ways I could steal the idea and write about it myself. So far I haven’t come up with the perfect plan, but I am determined to sneak some element of it into my own work, down the road, you know, when nobody’s looking. I’m recommending the book to everyone and giving it four stars.
   It should be five stars. The concept is great. The story never drags. Turner hits the ground running from the start, and keeps up a pretty good pace throughout the book. The narrative is well written. There’s plenty of action. Not a dull moment, really. But there were a few things about the book (not counting the jealousy factor) that held me back from a higher rating. For one, it’s a little short. The print version is less than 200 pages. That’s not so bad in itself, but I wish Turner had padded it with a little more character development. Also, the lead character is a bit of a wimp, which is understandable considering her past, but her only signs of coming out of her shell are a couple of scenes where she yells at the people she feels are withholding information from her. That’s not all that empowering, from my point of view. Lastly, I felt the transition from scene to scene, and even emotion to emotion, was sometimes a bit abrupt. I still can’t believe how quickly she falls in love with Kale.
   But, all-in-all, there is potential in Turner’s first book for a great series. I will definitely read the sequel, because I really want to know what happens. And I am eager to be introduced to some of the powerful players who are behind the scenes in this first “episode,” but who will surely play a more prominent role in the books to come. Alas, the second book won’t be published for a while. (Sigh.) I am not a patient man. I am challenging this author to make it worth the wait.
   To purchase a copy, click one of the following links…
Realm Between... in paperback       Realm Between... for kindle

Holiday Giveaway
     My goal is to give away a book each week between now and Jan 6. But this week, I want to give away two books! All you have to do is leave a comment on my blog or email me at I’ll choose a winner at random from all the responses and send you the book of your choice in whatever format you desire, including, if you so desire, a paperback copy signed by me!
Not sure how to leave a comment? Here's how! Scroll down to the end of the blog, past all the links to my awesome books, to where I leave you with "Happy Reading!" The next line says, "Posted by John Hundley" and following is a comment count (No comments, 1 comment, 2 comments, etc - you get the picture). Click on the comment count and a comment box will open for you to leave your own comment.

Expanded Distribution for the Red Wolf Novels
  You can now get the first two Red Wolf novels in ebook form for Kindle, Nook and Kobo readers, as well as the standard print in paperback.
You can purchase my books through the following venues…

The Draculata Nest -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Click on the link to order:
ebook for Kindle     ebook for Nook      ebook for Kobo     in Paperback       in Charlotte

The Dragon of Doughton Park ----------------------------------------------------------
Click on the link to order:
ebook for Kindle     ebook for Nook     ebook for Kobo      in Paperback
Until next time… Happy Reading!


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