Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle The Grand Tour Prize Draw Learn more Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
9
4.6 out of 5 stars
The Forgotten Stars (Havensea Book 1)
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£1.31

on 25 October 2012
Lecturer Jim Glass takes himself to the island of Havensea for a sabbatical year, after a disastrously received book and an extremely unsuccessful marriage, and finds himself immersed in the life of a seemingly idyllic village, self-reliant and friendly. But this self-contained little paradise is thought to contain something very important and before long its peaceful existence, or indeed its existence in any manner or form, is threatened.

The great success of this book is to create in Havensea such a reality, such a warmth that its trials and tribulations (and they get both, big time) really affect you and you care deeply about the place. A haven it undoubtedly is. Similarly the forces that threaten it are truly horrible, and this is where I have to put in a caveat. Seven years before the start of the story, a woman is viciously beaten up by an impotent would-be rapist. This is graphically described at the very start and is truly shocking, but it is not gratuitous and it does have great resonance later in the story. Don't be put off by it: this is not by any stretch of the imagination a misogynistic book, and the violent sequence really is essential to the development of the story.

So - is this a thriller? Yes, and more. The interweaving of the characters and the lifestyle of the village into a totally believable tapestry makes the possibility of upheaval correspondingly extremely disturbing - and you're absorbed in this right to the end. Without giving anything away, I should just say there are flashes of imaginative brilliance, and one character's exit is so spectacular even Shakespeare balked at putting it on stage!

There are two further novels coming from the pen (or keyboard) of Alby Stone - I'll be buying them the minute they're released.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 October 2012
Lecturer Jim Glass takes himself to the island of Havensea for a sabbatical year, after a disastrously received book and an extremely unsuccessful marriage, and finds himself immersed in the life of a seemingly idyllic village, self-reliant and friendly. But this self-contained little paradise is thought to contain something very important and before long its peaceful existence, or indeed its existence in any manner or form, is threatened.

The great success of this book is to create in Havensea such a reality, such a warmth that its trials and tribulations (and they get both, big time) really affect you and you care deeply about the place. A haven it undoubtedly is. Similarly the forces that threaten it are truly horrible, and this is where I have to put in a caveat. Seven years before the start of the story, a woman is viciously beaten up by an impotent would-be rapist. This is graphically described at the very start and is truly shocking, but it is not gratuitous and it does have great resonance later in the story. Don't be put off by it: this is not by any stretch of the imagination a misogynistic book, and the violent sequence really is essential to the development of the story.

So - is this a thriller? Yes, and more. The interweaving of the characters and the lifestyle of the village into a totally believable tapestry makes the possibility of upheaval correspondingly extremely disturbing - and you're absorbed in this right to the end. Without giving anything away, I should just say there are truly brilliant flashes of imaginative brilliance, and one character's exit is so spectacular even Shakespeare balked at putting it on stage!

There are two further novels coming from the pen (or keyboard) of Alby Stone - I'll be buying them the minute they're released.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 October 2012
An off beat, highly absorbing, character driven thriller which I really enjoyed and read in one sitting. I am not normally a fan of the type of books which contain strange inscriptions and carvings revealing age old dark secrets etc. but the author really seems to have genuine knowledge of what he is writing about and for once this stuff is fascinating.

The characters seem like real people and the island of Havensea a real place and this makes the story all the more exciting and believable. After a shocking and violent opening the story takes a little while to get going but once it does it moves along at a cracking pace building to a dramatic and unexpected climax.

It is also very funny.

The book is self contained and could be read on its own but there is clearly more to be revealed about the island and I think anyone who reads this would want more.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 November 2012
I've read some of Alby Stone's non-fiction and was surprised to come across a novel. Having read it, it now seems that he can cross over. He has transferred his knowledge of the occult and `weird stuff' into the world of Havensea. The first few pages are uncomfortable to read but push on and you'll understand the reason for it. I look forward to more novels (although I hope that Alby keeps up his non-fiction work). BTW - love the music references!
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 November 2012
The Forgotten Stars is set on the Island of Havensea, situated just off the coast of Kent. Academic Jim Glass goes there on a year's sabbatical to escape a professional and personal scandal. Far from providing a relaxing environment to recharge his batteries and start work on his next academic project, he instead soon finds himself on the frontline defence of the island's entire way of life.

This book starts out as a classic outsider-in-a-close-knit-community story, as Jim tries to find his place within the island and unlock various mysteries, not least the constitutional position of the island. The book slowly broadens out into a pacey political thriller, as Glass is drawn into an establishment intrigue he cannot extricate himself from thanks to his previous personal difficulties. The islanders draw him into their confidence, relying on him to help them steer a way through the external threats that buffer islanders traditional way of life.

It is the characters and the sense of humour that sets this book apart. None of the inhabitants of the book are as conventional as they first seem and they are all well drawn, with the result that Havensea not only feels like a real place but somewhere I want to visit. The book is well constructed and Stone's writing if frequently very funny. Ultimately this is a quirky, off beat thriller that is definitely worth reading.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 February 2015
I think as this is a self published book the first thing to say is that; my prejudices were not confirmed. I spotted one typo in the whole book, which is fewer than many traditionally published Kindle books. It also seemed to have been professionally edited, I didn't notice continuity errors or plot holes. Do not let preconceptions about the quality of self-published works put you off giving this read a chance.

It's hard to describe what genre this falls into - but if i was giving an elevator pitch I would say it's like Fortean Times meets Dick Francis meets H Franklin W Dixon (writer of the Hardy Boys in case you forgot) with a dash of Passport to Pimlico and Whisky Galore and a sprinkling of Time Team. It would have to be a tall building, but I'm not sure you could do it justice with fewer words.

If you like cosy mysteries with an element of bone crunching graphic violence, loving descriptions of people preparing and eating food ( I got hungry quite a lot while reading this) and engaging protagonists up against spectacularly dislikable bad guys - oh and their black helicopters, then read this.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 March 2013
A well written novel that starts with a shocking first chapter that leaves you grabbing for more. This intelligent thriller keeps you engaged while introducing the reader to a myriad of realistic characters - both delightful and despicable. The pieces gradually fall together surprising the reader along the way.

The characters are endearing evoking sympathy, pity, and a good few laughs. Both alarming and entertaining, this novel could stand alone, but enchants the reader and leaves you wanting to investigate the entire trilogy.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 January 2013
Alby Stone really knows his stuff, so this isn't the kind of novel that revolves around entirely synthetic places & mysteries, like so many genre tales. It's also a thoroughly entertaining read! Good characterisation, a lively tale & (very important for me) a real sense of place. There are moments of wry humour & some great tension building, not to mention the occasional bit of horrific violence. All in all, IMHO the mix is just about right.

I can't wait to read more.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 January 2013
A thoroughly enjoyable read, The opening paragraph although disturbing immediatly made me want to continue with the book. The story is well structured and gradually builds to a tense climax. The characterisations are strong and drew out feelings of both sympathy and extreme dislike, and best of all left me thinking "how would I feel in that situation". I for one will be reading the whole trilogy.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse


Need customer service? Click here