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Rise From the Ashes, Part One: Lena’s Story – Laura Franklin

19 Jul

41d7AYuiidL._SS500_ Getting a new book is always a great feeling – one last experienced in May –  but to get a free book is better. Especially when the author has sent you a copy of her debut novel and asked you to do a review.  Which is always a rare but utterly humbling honour and one I greedily clutched with both hands and a foot, as you can imagine.

The scenario:  The Taliban have launched an attack and completely decimated cities and military installations across both coasts of America.  The survivors must now attempt, not only to seek safety but also contend with the terrorist invasion, biker gangs and some mysterious dreams…

This is a very brief outline of the plot but there are lots more narrative threads going on in this slick debut novel.  The previous sentence would have surprised me when I first received the book, which at first glance weighing in at only 161 pages, seemed a little on the short side.  I was pleasantly surprised however, at finding a lot more depth than I had imagined, there really is plenty to keep you entertained and the novel moves along at a good pace.

There is no build up to begin with, we are thrown straight into the action and gradually learn about the characters and their back stories – which intertwine neatly with the present – throughout,, .  Although this is billed as Lena’s story, there are a whole host of other main character Points of View that the author skips to adding variety and depth to her story, teasing us with hints of the bigger picture as regarding how bad the attack is and the state of the nation.

Fans of books like The Stand and The Day of the Triffids will enjoy with ghoulish delight the apocalyptic nature of the imagined world but where those books fail is the one-nation-centric view of the world, whereas, mirroring our global age, Lena’s Story is very much a book of our time…

Franklin not only mentions the nature of the outside world and all that is happening but throws in a more intimate exploration of the characters, how they react to events, to each other, to the lawlessness and overall threat factor.  Including an interesting take on getting back to basics with religion, politics and wealth, a more free from corruption society etc.

Not to mention some wonderfully teasing aspects for future storylines, in fact the open-ended nature of the overarching storyline, makes it difficult to see where things would go in the long-term but throw up plenty of short-term ideas for the reader to muse upon..at least until Part Two appears.

Due to its short nature the book can be read in a single sitting and is one of those novels that make it a pleasure to do so.   Whilst setting the scene it leaves lots of unanswered questions and things to ponder upon and really does lay down the foundation for a strong story, it has tension and there are many storylines and promises of epic encounters to come.  The beauty of this book is that it is ready to catapult you into what could be a pretty epic saga.  With a wealth of ideas that can bring in many different facets to the narrative, this is essentially an open-ended story….and it will be interesting to see where the author goes from here.  I await Part Two with interest.

Here are those Amazon links if you fancy a gander:

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-From-The-Ashes-ebook/dp/B00C1122BG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374177074&sr=8-1&keywords=laura+franklin

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rise-From-The-Ashes-Lenas/dp/148397233X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1374177082&sr=8-2&keywords=laura+franklin

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15 Comments

Posted by on 19/07/2013 in Fiction

 

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15 responses to “Rise From the Ashes, Part One: Lena’s Story – Laura Franklin

  1. Alastair

    19/07/2013 at 21:13

    That reminds me of Red Dawn; One of my favourite films with Swayze and Grey. Not seen the remake although I nearly brought it yesterday. But I digress. Your review has really piqued my interest, and I think I will pop over to Amazon to buy it now.

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    • Ste J

      24/07/2013 at 20:06

      A result indeed, good man…Red Dawn…I haven’t seen that, although my film viewing recently has included such underrated classics as The return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E, so that says it all, lol.

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  2. Letizia

    20/07/2013 at 00:42

    I’m a fan of The Stand so this looks like it’s right up my alley. Nice review!

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    • Ste J

      24/07/2013 at 20:01

      It is a lighter version but has the same epic qualities. As ever thank you for your comments I have a load more planned over an eclectic range.

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  3. Chelsea Brown19

    21/07/2013 at 16:02

    Sounds like a good read.

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  4. Robyn Lee

    22/07/2013 at 02:53

    Although I normally shy away from violence and the like — I really was intrigued by this part of your review: “Franklin not only mentions the nature of the outside world and all that is happening but throws in a more intimate exploration of the characters, how they react to events, to each other, to the lawlessness and overall threat factor. Including an interesting take on getting back to basics with religion, politics and wealth, a more free from corruption society etc.” … I like the idea of this layer! Quite fascinating Set J, thank you for such a wonderful synapsis of this latest read!! Sending Love across the pond!! x RL

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    • Ste J

      24/07/2013 at 20:21

      It’s a fine line between giving plot points away and not, so I always try and mention as little of the plot as I can get away with. There isn’t a lot of violence in the book, I think most is left to the apocalyptic imagination, although saying that there is some violence as to be expected. The chaos of the book is an interesting contrast to the hopes for the future, the chance to begin again which would be a gift if there were not so much peril in the world. Although the topics aren’t gone into in a lot of depth they leave a lot for the mind to muse on and that is always a good thing. Love back atcha my dear friend! x

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      • Robyn Lee

        24/07/2013 at 20:28

        Ok good – minimal violence is better for me. I like the idea of an opportunity to “begin again” so much… yes the peril – I wish that could reverse as well….sounds like an excellent little read then… I like to be able to extrapolate and muse on topics. The brain needs exercise too! 🙂 move love ~ RL

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        • Ste J

          24/07/2013 at 20:47

          True dat! The mind can take us such extraordinary journeys that our bodies could never even attempt. I can’t recall any “begin again” books off the top of my head but it would be interesting to read some of that genre. I bet the Scarecrow from the wonderful Oz books is happy he has a brain. xx

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  5. LuAnn

    24/07/2013 at 13:39

    I am not at all surprised that someone would approach you to do a book review. Given how much I enjoyed ‘The Stand’, I will be looking into getting this book. Thanks Ste J.

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    • Ste J

      24/07/2013 at 20:00

      Result, this pleases me…I’m not a shameless advertiser but if anyone else wants to send me free stuff, I will gladly accept it!

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