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2012: Midnight at Spanish Gardens by [Alexander, Alma]
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2012: Midnight at Spanish Gardens Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 352 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 808 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Sky Warrior Book Publishing, LLC. (31 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005FG1CJW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,356,823 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It does not look very Spanish. It certainly doesn't look anything like a garden.

There are two important things you should know about this book before you start. One, it is a decent chunk of bookness - this is not a slim volume that someone wrote while on holiday, you are getting serious bang for your buck here, this is a proper book-length book. I mention this because some e-books are just really short.
Secondly, this was written by someone who is an internationally successful author, who has been published in dozens of languages and countries around the world, who has been writing and publishing successfully for many years. I mention this for the same reason - buying an e-Book is risky because there are zillions of wannabe amateurs out there, so sometimes you end up with a book that is not quite up to scratch, written by someone who has no idea, but this is most certainly, definitely not one of those.
Oh, and if you are looking for an adrenaline-fuelled ride with some wisecracking action hero and lots of car chases, then you have come to the wrong place. Please leave. Now. This is not the book you are looking for.
"Midnight at Spanish Gardens" starts with an enigma. You are drawn in to a group of likeable friends who are simply having a pleasant evening meal together at their local bistro, the "Spanish Gardens".
Yep, everything looks fine, then something happens - (I can't say exactly what it is without spoilering, so I won't). This leads to each character travelling different paths into alternate lives. If you saw and liked the movie "Sliding doors" this will resonate with you, only there were only two paths in that movie while this book has more depth.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the pleasures of reviewing books on a blog is that from time to time an author will suggest you read their book, and as a result a little gem drops into your lap completely out of the blue, something that you would never, ever have found by yourself. This is one such book. It's rather a shame, actually, that the paranormal aspect will cause it to fall into a genre black hole, because it truly deserves a wider audience. Yes, it's paranormal fantasy, and perhaps it's technically urban, too, but it's not a romance, and there are no vampires or werewolves. It's about people, and the choices they make, and it's much closer to literary fiction than fantasy.

The premise is a simple one. Five friends from university days hold a reunion twenty years later on the eve of the predicted Mayan calendar apocalypse. During the evening, all five of them are mysteriously shown an alternate life and get to choose which one to stay in: the current life or the alternate. The five alternate histories are, in certain ways, like short stories, but they are all compelling and they fit perfectly into the overall story arc without feeling forced. There are some odd pacing choices - the earlier episodes are noticeably longer than the later ones, which puts them right on the edge of starting to drag. Quincey's alternate history in particular was both slow and overly schmaltzy, and I really wanted to hurry things along to find out how she would choose. Fortunately, the author's elegant writing style stops things from tipping over into overt sentimentality.

As the five step into their alternate existences, and decide which of the two lives they will choose, we learn a great deal about each of them, their personalities, the influences for good or bad on them, and their relationships.
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