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review 2018-04-20 20:56
Colourful bawdy and bold!
Tomorrow - Damian Dibben

The word "Tomorrow" actually refers to the name of the dog in this story, who throughout the book is searching for his master "Vallentyne" a physician by occupation. As the story covers  many many years and many great events it must be accepted that the dog lives a very long time. The purpose of this novel and where it really succeeds is to describe events in Europe over a span of approx 150 years. It's a bold and bawdy journey and gives full reign for the author to explore the great happenings in a continent under constant change with many battles being fought.  From the Freezing of the river Thames in the 19th century to famous battles at that time (Waterloo) being present at the dramatic execution of Charles 2nd, and finishing at the dawn of the Industrial age with the first sighting of steam trains. And as we absorb the colourful and constant change of time and location we meet the players who will forever be associated with certain events namely; Napoleon, Franz Schubert, Duke of Wellington, James 1st and his successor Charles 2nd.

 

What drew me to the story was reliving events through a dog's point of view. As we move backwards and forwards in time from the palace of James 1st to the artful ambience of Vienna and Venice and the blood soaked plains of Waterloo the story telling is furious and very enjoyable with a constantly flowing descriptive prose...."The king lay down, positioned his neck on the block, trying to get comfortable. The executioner apologized as he tucked a few more stray hairs into the cap, then raised the axe and struck. Blood pumped from the boned neck and a groan went up"....."the trickery of it, the pointlessness, humans and animals born simply to suffer, for the pain to invariably worsen with age, for anguish to thicken and veins clog, until they were skidding down to death"......."Perhaps because decay is the most virulent form of life, or perhaps because nothing speaks more of the phenomenon of being, than the absence of it".........

 

The only downside of the back and forth time capture narrative is the confusion that can sometimes arise when trying to pinpoint a particular city and time. The is a very slight criticism in a story that I enjoyed told in a very colourful and bold manner. Many thanks to the good people of netgalley and publisher Penguin UK-Michael Joseph for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

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review 2018-03-22 01:41
Tomorrow by Damian Dibben
Tomorrow - Damian Dibben

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed by this book. I went into this book with incredibly high expectations so some of that disappointment is of my own making. When I first saw this book's cover, I knew that I had to read it. Then I read the book's synopsis and knew that I would love it. I ended up liking the book but I didn't love it. 

This is Champion's story and is told from his point of view. Champion is not just an any dog. He is immortal and has lived for 217 years. Champion was separated from his master in Venice over 100 years ago and has spent that time waiting for him as he was told to do. He has made connections with others and even rescued another dog, Sporco, but he never stops looking for his master. 

The timeline of this story does jump around a bit. We see Champion after waiting for more than 100 years for his master before going to search for him and we also see different points in the past before they lost each other. I never found the time sequence to be confusing. It really seemed like the points in the past were important to the story and felt more like memories. I really liked the historical setting of the novel which spans from the 1600's into the 1800's which I thought added a lot to the story.

I really enjoyed Champion's journey to find his master more than any other part of the book. Sporco was my favorite character by far and I enjoyed his love of life. I really felt like Sporco felt much more dog-like than Champion did. Champion has lived a very long time and is wiser than most humans. His most dog-like quality would be his loyalty to his master.

The book felt a bit uneven to me with some parts falling flat. I liked the parts of the book that were focused on what the dogs were doing the most. During the last part of the book, the focus seemed to shift more to the humans as witnessed by the dog which wasn't as enjoyable for me. There were times that the book felt like it was longer than it needed to be and dragged at points.

I think that a lot of readers will enjoy this one a bit more than I did. It is a really unique story set in a vividly described period of time. I didn't love the book as much as I had hoped I would but I am glad that I made the decision to read it. I would definitely read more of Damian Dibben's works in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Harlequin - Hanover Square Press via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I am a bit disappointed with this one. The last part of this book fell really flat to me. It seemed like things became more about the people than the dog and I liked the parts more focused on the dog. This was probably more of a 2.5 star read for me but I am rounding up for now. 

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quote 2018-03-07 13:05
“It’s the thing you’ve said about different—being different. People don’t want to deal with anyone that’s ‘different.’ They like their puzzles all nice and perfect like the images in this panel. They like their people in neat little boxes. Like coffins. For the living."
Trazer: Kids of Stolen Tomorrow - Joseph Olumide Adegboyega-Edun

-Darcen Carbo, Trazer: Kids of Stolen Tomorrow

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-05 12:43
Aanval, maar door wie?
Morgen toen de oorlog begon - Machteld van Gelder,John Marsden

Veel andere mensen hebben van dit boek genoten. Maar ik vond het net niet helemaal leuk. Het gaat over een group tieners (in Nieuw-Zeeland of Australië?) die lekker bezig aan het kamperen zijn toen hun land is aangevallen door buitenlandse soldaten.

 

De beschrijvingen van de platteland waren goed, met de vogels en de giftige slangen, het dornige stuikgewas, de plaatselijke rotsformaties enzovoort. Sfeervol. Ik heb ervan genoten.

 

Maar veel anders in dit verhaal lijkt me heel vreemd. De schrijver schijnt geobsedeerd te zijn door geweren en auto's. Ze zijn zo grondig beschreven. En ik vond het moeijik om de hoofdkarakter aardig te vinden nadat zij verbrandt iemand ter dood. Dat wordt ook in veel detail beschreven.

 

Het is niet zo de gebeurtenissen zichzelf - zij zijn in oorlog dus geweren zijn belangrijk, de hoofdkarakter moet zichzelf verdedigen. Het is de meningen van de karakters dat zit me dwars. Nadat de hoofdkarakter enkele mensen vermoordt heeft, bijvoorbeeld, (en het is echt gruwelijk) lijkt ze haar tijd te besteden aan het piekeren of het kussen van een jongen haar tot een slet maakt.

 

Sterker nog, hun ouders worden gevangengenomen, maar dat lijkt hem bijna niet te schelen - behalve als door een actiescène het is nodig voor ze plotseling veel zorgen over hun ouders te hebben.

 

Wat zit me meest dwars was dat de karakters nooit ontdekken uit welk land de vijandlijke soldaten komen eigenlijk. Hoe kan dat? Ze bespioneren de soldaten vele keren. Ze luisteren naar een radio-uitzending over de invasie. Ze vechten ook tegen de soldaten, oog in oog. Het is totaal ongelooflijk. Dat was mijn grootste probleem met dit verhaal, en ik gaf niet genoeg om de karakters om dit over het hoofd te zien.

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review 2018-02-17 12:44
The Other Side Of Dawn
The Other Side of Dawn - John Marsden

And then it is all over. The final episode of the Tomorrow-series by John Marsden. I've enjoyed reading them, it was an interesting story. I did like the first three books best, they seemed to be the most realistic, and this last book had a few points where I believe they were more lucky than possible. Just a bit too many coincidences and a feeling Marsden really wanted a happy end at the end of the series. Still loved it.


I would recommend this series to everyone, because I really liked it and wish there were more books than the seven I've read!

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