Monday, 7 July 2014

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Forager by Peter R Stone

I received a copy of Forager in exchange for my review.

Ethan lives in Newhome, a city walled off from the rest of the people living close to the ruins of Melbourne. Ethan knows that he has to be careful, particularly as the rules of Newhome are extremely strict, especially surrounding interaction between men and women. It was never really a problem for Ethan until Nanako turned up, and the petite Japanese woman from a nearby town breaks down some of his walls but still seems disappointed that he can't remember more of the year that he suffered from amnesia. Ethan also has to live with being on the radar of King, a Custodian who seems to have it in for him.

I don't normally go for books with a first person male narrative, simply because I find that it is an automatic barrier between myself and the character, and so makes it harder to get into the story. I really didn't feel that with Stone's Forager. In fact, I found that Forager was engaging and enjoyable on both an emotional and an action level, which is quite difficult to do anyway, without adding the narrative barrier (which I would like to point out is no reflection on the author at all, but rather is a reflection on how my brain works).

There is actually very little romance in Forager, it is there but is definitely not a straight forward, or expected romance. In fact it took me by surprise for the most part. Though I had figured out the link between the romance and Ethan's amnesia before the big reveal, but didn't get it until some pretty big hints were dropped!

The main thing that I really really liked about Forager was that I was constantly taken by surprise, there were several events, both major and minor in terms of the plot, that I just didn't see coming, and am impressed by the ingenuity of the author in that sense. Also the ending was another surprise, I really couldn't work out what was going to happen.

There was also quite a big focus on the friendship between Ethan and his foraging team, which was good to see, quite often authors forget about friendships when there are a lot of other exciting things going on! I really enjoyed Forager, and will be keeping an eye out for a sequel.

Eighteen-year-old Ethan Jones lives in Newhome, a town built upon the decaying ruins of post-apocalyptic Melbourne, ruins haunted by the ferocious Skel, a nomadic tribe of degenerate savages.

The Skel are ramping up their attacks on Newhome's foraging teams and infesting Melbourne's ruins in ever greater numbers. Is this part of a larger plan that could spell the town's doom?

Meanwhile, the last thing Ethan expects when he and his companions rescue a two-car convoy from the Skel is a Japanese teenage girl with an outlandish dress-sense, who after they take her back to Newhome, goes to great lengths to ingratiate herself into his life. But is it in gratitude for saving her life or is she seeking something more?

And what a quandry she places him in, for he knows the rules, that no man is permitted to be alone with an unmarried woman. But how can he drive such a gentle soul away when she touchs his heart so deeply, even though she clearly carries the pain of a broken heart.

At the same time, Newhome's police force, the Custodians, are suspicious of Ethan's foraging team's successes and are pulling out the stops to find out which member of his team has the illegal mutant ability that gives them an edge over the other teams. Should these peacekeepers discover Ethan is the mutant they seek, they will haul him away and dissect him like a frog.
Peter Stone, an avid student of history, was reading books on Ancient Greece from the age of four. His periods of interest include the ancient world, medieval era, Napoleonic times, and the Second World War. He still mourns the untimely passing of King Leonidas of Sparta and Field Marshal Michel Ney of France.

A child of the Cold War Generation, Peter Stone studied the ramifications of a nuclear missile strike when he was in his senior year of high school, learning the effects of nuclear fallout and how to (hopefully) survive it. He has ever been drawn to post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels and films, and eagerly devoured The Day of the Triffids and John Christopher's Tripod Trilogy when he was a child.

Peter Stone graduated from Melbourne School of Ministries Bible College in 1988. He has been teaching Sunday School and playing the keyboard in church for over twenty-five years. His wife is from Japan and they have two wonderful children. Peter Stone has worked in the same games company for over twenty years, but still does not comprehend why they expect him to work all day instead of playing games.

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