Tag Archive | Mining

Silver Thaw by Amy Rose Davis

SilverThaw
Source: Own collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

“The nameless girl sang, her voice cascading over notes and words as a brook over smooth river-rock….”

In a mining town filled with forgotten men and used up women, a handcuffed girl and her deaf guard arrive just as a blizzard descends. Lured by the girl’s singing and driven by an old obsession, one man releases an ancient spirit that could destroy the town and the estate it supports.

As the year wears on, the murderous spirit tightens its grip on the town and the estate, living on an ever-rising wind that descends from the mountain. Brave and holy men seek to destroy the evil, but few return alive. Those who do return have few wits left.

When others fail, a donkey handler named Clem must risk the simple, peaceful life he’s carved for himself to save it from destruction. Unfortunately, Clem knows that when the wind comes down the mountain, even the most steadfast men can’t resist its call.

When I was introduced to Amy by a friend, I bought this book, intending to read it ‘sometime’. I am now very glad that I did so, and more so now that I have read it.

This story is based on the myth of the siren, and is structured around the four seasons. It does not take long to read, being a novella, and the vivid imagery makes it a true pleasure. The words create the setting and the characters in such an unobtrusive way that one simply absorbs them as one follows the events depicted by them. I needed to put the book down several times – life intervenes – but each section drew me on to read more, until I had read the story through to its conclusion.

What amazed me most was that the present is skilfully interwoven with the past to create a rich tapestry that consists of the many lives, seasons and emotions that run through the story. This is one tale that is very well-written – in terms of language and grammar, as well as creativity and imagery – and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as an outstanding fantasy. What I loved was that the story made me imagine more about the world than was directly in the book, and ask questions about what the rest of this world looked, felt and smelt like.

Like the song of the siren, this book will keep you turning the pages until the very end.

It should be noted that this is a dark fantasy, so there are some… not so nice bits.

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Alone on the Edge by Patrick Stutzman

Alone on the EdgeSource: Own Collection
Format: Kindle ebook
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Laurel

After accepting a job as a robotic engineer that sends her to a mining station at the edge of explored space, Anna Foster finds that her position is not what she expects and must adjust to life as the only living being aboard, struggling to keep her freedom and her sanity while a relentless computer lords over her existence.

Hired by a company to maintain robots on a mining station, Anna is sent to the edge of the travelled galaxy. It’s only when she gets there that she discovers that she is the only human on the station, and her only company is the station’s computer.

This is a great story of the relationship between Anna and the station computer. Patrick captures just how frustrating it can be when humans and computers collide and how, ultimately, the two can work together to achieve a common goal. The shocking events that lead up to the poignant conclusion of the book will leave you thinking for a good few hours after you finish the book.

I enjoyed reading Alone on the Edge, and look forward to reading what befalls Anna next.