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Winter Squad [Paperback]

John Campbell Rees
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 7.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

13 Jun 2013
In an Universe as infinite in possibilities as it is in size, there is an alternative Earth where trees are mighty citadels towering for miles above the landscape. This world is Arbouron, where each tree is a sealed environment, these are the homes of the population of the planet. One apple tree lies on a weak point, where our reality and Arbouron almost touch. Events on one world have an effect on the other. In the Winter, when the Tree sheds its leaves, on Arbouron the population abandon the Canopy and its branches and spend the dark half of the year in the Roots. Only the Winter Squad, the dedicated team of maintanence engineers remain high above the ground, doing the repairs that are not possible during the Spring and Summer. Cadet Nevamar 331/29 is the newest member of the Winter Squad. Quick thinking during a crisis on the last day of Summer sees Nevamar promoted from the nameless ranks of the cloned Sprites. With three fellow Officer Cadets, Nevamar must become a part of the team and a rounded individual during a difficult and dangerous tour of duty in a world that is shuttered and silent. Growing up is hard enough, but Nevamar suffers from a rare condition that means that in a world where there are males and females, but the words "Man" and "Woman" do not exist, there is no way of knowing if life will be as masculine Anther called Nevamarant or feminine Style called Nevamarsya.

Product details

  • Paperback: 379 pages
  • Publisher: The TIMELESS Press (13 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957644418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957644410
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,021,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Lucinda
`Don't thank me yet. We have a difficult few months ahead of us, short of rations and with some difficult tasks to fulfil before the Tree can live again. There will be times when you wish you were down there sleeping through the Dark Time with your colleagues.'

Mythology maker JRR Tolkien's connection with forests and woodland {such as for instance the invention of Ents like Treebeard},is remarkably similar to John C Rees. The mind-blowing inspired concept of other worlds within worlds, through Tree `portals' is utterly magical and opens up so many possibilities. Like Philip Pullman's invention of Dust and parallel universes, this world {a very different Earth} is interesting with an in-depth background history. On the planet Arbouron, all kinds of intelligent entities dwell such as Sprites. What makes this novel even more supremely singular is the military `feel' to it and how the cloned Sprites are formed into ranks; with Cadets, Officers, and Lieutenants etc. as though they form one militia. Chris Evans `Iron Elves' trilogy contains slight similarities in terms of characters and camaraderie amongst the ranks of individuals.

"We live in a universe infinite not just in size, but infinite in possibility.
Anything that can happen, does happen within alternate realities throughout the endless cosmos. Some of these realities share so many similarities they almost touch. At weak points in the fabric of these realities, where events in one seep into the other, a special type of creature lives one life in multiple universes...
We call these creatures Apple Trees."

I was simply spellbound by this awe-inspiring work of epic premise and impressive imaginative vision.
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For the most part Winter Squad is a delight to read. It is a coming of age story which is just bursting with interesting ideas, and has a nice sense of humour and lots of feel-good factor. I liked the way the events in the main story are paralleled by events in our world. I liked the characters. I liked the way the author has obviously put a lot of thought into the weird life cycle and reproduction of the ‘tree people’. I hope his next book has the same level of imagination and cool concepts.

What jarred however, was that the female characters obsess endlessly about pretty dresses and looking beautiful. One instant they are being strong characters – military leaders, teachers, a nun with a faith crisis – and the next they have mutated into shallow fashion victims, wondering how good they’d look in that frock. It is particularly peculiar since the one of the main plot elements is that sprites are neuter until they reach ‘adolescence’ and have no idea what gender they will turn out to be.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Winter Squad works. 20 Dec 2013
The book is called Winter Squad and its an alternate reality tale where the universe equates to a very large Apple tree that crosses dimensions and realities. Its a thematic mash up of Brian Aldiss Hothouse and A Bugs Life with a large dash of Philip K Dick to top it all out.

A great debut novel with a fun and lively style that sets its themes in stone and wears its central conceit on its sleeve.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book. 2 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very easy book to read. Characters were well developed with great likeability. I would recommend it to science fiction fans who enjoy Terry Pratchett.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thought the book was a real easy read and I couldn't put it down. I wanted to find out the destiny of the little, brave sprite Cadet Nevamar,and I loved all the other characters. I thought the Idea of there being another civilization living and functioning in a tree really clever. I will never look at another apple tree or any tree for that matter in the same way
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