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Part coming-of-age story, part wilderness survival epic. I found The Rising of the Son to be an exciting read that took me by surprise and made me think. The prologue hints at something life-threatening having taken place. The tension was built, I was intrigued and so I read on. Told from multiple perspectives, Jonno and his dad, James, attempt to climb Mount Casharaqu without a guide. It doesn’t go quite to plan and they are put in a situation where they are struggling for survival and in need of rescue. The Rising of the Son looks at themes of identity, grief, loss, acceptance, love, masculinity, tourism and growing up. Putting it all in a list that seems like a lot, but the use of different perspectives, from Jonno and James in Peru to Macie and Mum back home, taxi drivers and villagers help this book deliver on a number of different levels in a way that seems authentic. I like Jonno, I was endeared by his confusion and struggle to work out where he was in life and what it means to grow up and be a man. Throughout it seemed that everyone was looking for, or missing something. It would be a good read for fans of literary fiction as well as those interested in survival stories as it looked past the tension of a hiking expedition gone wrong to comment on the human condition. I was intrigued by the “outside” perspectives of the airport worker, the taxi driver in Lemur, and the villagers. I think that the author effectively raises a valid point about the real impact of tourism and tourists, even in countries that rely on this industry. The author, Giles Dawnay has extensive experience working in the expedition travel industry and his knowledge from living and working alongside local people create a second side to this book that stops you in your tracks and makes you think deeply about how you travel. All this while also enjoying the story of the expedition. As an occasional and admittedly fairly ignorant tourist myself, I know these narratives will ensure that this multifaceted book will stay with me for many years to come. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
A well-crafted story, beautiful language, a mystery and a wild cat with a sense of humour. What's not to like about this book? It grabs the reader's attention from the start and holds on to it throughout the story. I also love the information about Wild Cat conservation which appears before the story starts: hopefully this will encourage readers of all ages to take an interest in the conservation of this beautiful animal. I normally clear my downloads after reviewing a book, but I will be keeping this one to reread and I can't wait to read about Catastrophe's next adventure Pauline Braisher, A LoveReading Ambassador
Pegasus Falling is part one of an epic and heroic story jam-packed with emotion and some light-hearted moments along the way. There is a foreword at the start of this book by William Thomas’ grandchild which is well worth a read before you embark on this tale, as it tells of a family history as endearing as the story itself. This historical fiction is filled with well formed characters that are likeable despite their flaws. Captain Sammy Parker of the British Parachute regiment is sent with his platoon into an unwinnable battle in September 1944. Despite fighting bravely, they are captured and transported across Germany. Sammy’s rash actions lead to him being separated from his men and sent to a concentration camp. This story not only covers the horrors of WWII but also the human aspect of how people react to war and the problems and obstacles that remained after the war is over. I think this look at the challenges left at the end of the war was new to me and I found it a very interesting perspective. The idea that the end of the fighting isn’t the end of the troubles is not something I’ve seen developed in WWII fiction. I enjoyed seeing the relationships between Sammy, Naomi and Lesley develop and I am looking forward to finding out what happens in the next volumes. All in all I think that Pegasus Falling is an example of brilliant storytelling and I would recommend it to fans of historical fiction.