My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Black Sparrow is a thrilling adventure that completely surpassed my expectations… and that’s only because the plot was so tightly woven and the characters were so incredibly complex, it just floored me in a super positive way. This was the second book I’ve read by A.J. Griffiths-Jones, and while I really enjoyed the first one, this was truly a fantastic and memorable read of a different level. I definitely recommend this to those who like international connections, religious beliefs buried in character’s logic, and tons of surprises in the story.
There are several main characters that connect to two primary travelers on a flight to Paris. One is a young Muslim girl who longs to be with her French boyfriend and to escape the clutches of her very religious and overprotective parents. Another is a man nearing retirement who must finish one last contract before he can decide where to spend the remaining years of his life. They notice one another at the airport and again on the plane, but what they don’t know at the time is how connected their lives will be for the subsequent week. Throw in a hotel owner, the young French boyfriend, the extended Muslim family, and a couple of other people who fill out the story, and you will truly not know what to expect. This is an adventure I will not forget anytime soon!
This wouldn’t be a proper review if I didn’t tell you how much the Muslim girl’s family thoroughly annoyed me beyond any reasonable expectation. I understand different religions have different beliefs, and I respect it. I recognize that there are extremists who fail to understand the delicate balance to a successful life. I get that there are still men in this world today who think they can control women. But all of it can still develop an intense hatred for the way some of these people behave — and thanks to the phenomenal style of delivering these character’s emotions and motives, Griffiths-Jones successfully pulled that utter frustration and anger from me. She created such tension and drama, I wanted to leap into the book to hurt these people.
As if that wasn’t enough, the torture of some characters was simply brilliant. After several chapters of thinking someone will suffer a certain type of pain — BAM — you’re thrown for a loop and down a different awful pathway. I hated it and loved it at the same time. Hated it because of the end result, loved it because I didn’t want to put the book down. All-in-all, this story will take you up and down several peaks only to slap you with the truth in the end. It’s often difficult to keep things under wraps for voracious readers, but this time I didn’t see the end coming.
Part of me believes that I was so engrossed in the story and the wonderful writing tone that I didn’t want to think about what would happen… I just wanted to experience it as the words hit each page. That’s the kind of story and book that makes you thrilled by an author’s talent. A strong recommendation for me on this novel. Be prepared, there are some extremes, and while the author is merely choosing characters and beliefs that aren’t always the reality, it definitely happens and represents the truth of what some people experience even in today’s modern society. Sit back and enjoy it… and let your passion develop for a multitude of reasons. It’ll be the kind of read that prompts you to shake the book or tablet like a madman at times!
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For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are four books: Academic Curveball, Broken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.
The Seasiders is a light mystery novel written by A. J. Griffiths-Jones in 2016 and published by Creativia, the same press where I’m published. I like to sample different authors’ books throughout the year to see what everyone’s styles are like. I always end up enjoying the books and this was no exception.
At first, the story is very simple. A husband and wife, Dick and Grace, own and operate a small b&b in the UK. Grace’s family originally ran the place, but once they retired the business transferred to their daughter. Dick does very little to help out. He does his best to build the foundation for an outdoor patio, but he breaks the cement all the time. He can’t use the booking system, and he is possibly afraid of the washing machine. Grace loves him, but part of her wants an escape. We meet a few of their guests and neighbors all the while knowing something weird is going on, just never quite certain what it is. By the end, the truth comes out in quite a twist and we are left wondering what really happened along the way. I’m being purposely vague so readers won’t feel any spoils nor try to guess for themselves. It’s a very different kind of mystery book, but still a good one to experience.
Griffiths-Jones relies on typical encounters between a husband and wife, neighbors, and guests at a hotel to tell this story. Through preparing a meal, checking in/out, running errands, or overhearing conversations, the plot unfolds and thickens. A guest goes missing. Money has been stolen. Police are investigating but they won’t say for what. It’s in the hidden details that readers must find the actual events that have occurred. It’s a careful and deliberate writing style to balance facts and missing facts. When a writer can do this and achieve a wonderful ending, it’s a sign of talent.
On the shorter side, probably more of a novella, it’s easy to digest in a couple of hours. Grab a cup of tea, perhaps a tasty snack, and sit by a fire this winter. Immerse yourself in each new character and try to figure out the connection to the plot. Sometimes it’s clear, others it’s not until the end. The author drops several red herrings, but there’s also a few solid clues you might miss. I enjoyed the descriptions as it painted a mostly clear picture of the setting, scenery and characters, but left enough for me to fill in the blanks as I saw fit in my connections to the book. That’s always my favorite style — not too detailed, but not too vague.
A lovely story, a few surprises, a good afternoon read to get familiar with the author’s styles and talents. I’m definitely glad I took this one and look forward to checking out her other books in the upcoming year.
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.