Official Review: The First of The Boardwalk Parades

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mmm17
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Official Review: The First of The Boardwalk Parades

Post by mmm17 » 17 Aug 2019, 08:40

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The First of The Boardwalk Parades" by B. C. Battle.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Who is Joshua Hill? Is he a pragmatic American detective who works in Paris? Or is he Connor Shaw – the passionate American adventurer and archeologist who disappeared in South America? Is he a brave hero with supernatural abilities or a mentally disturbed murderer with suppressed memories? These questions lure readers into the plot of The First of the Boardwalk Parades, a science-fiction/fantasy novel written by B.C. Battle.

The book begins with Joshua having to flee Paris because he was framed for murder by a mysterious man wearing “a high-end plastic yellow rain poncho.” He finds solace in the idyllic and magical village of Val-ashoth, under the protection of a witch named Elizabeth. But he wants “revenge for his diaspora,” and goes back to the real world in search of answers and justice.

The strength of this novel is its myriad of layered characters, fuzzy identities, and enigmatic worlds. In the book’s alternate timeline, George Washington got murdered during the American Revolution, and the US remained a British colony. Napoleon conquered most of Europe, and his generals – called barons – were put in charge of most of the European dominions. Also, the British Isles disappeared after massive storms, and a deadly virus decimated most of Africa, China, and India, which are referred to as wastelands. France and Russia are the world’s political and technological superpowers; they are rivals who observe each other’s every move.

The author’s writing style is vibrant and gripping, and he skillfully constructs settings that are imaginative and unique, using elements from history, mythology, and science. He creatively mixes swords, humanoids, beasts, avatars, demons, airships, and titans. I particularly liked the part where Joshua travels to Russia with the Marquis de Lafayette (yes, akin to the historical figure), as well as the depiction of LeCeleste – the floating city.

I enjoyed the book’s language; it is elegant, poetic, and full of symbolism and metaphors. Each chapter has a one-word title beginning with the letter r, such as rescue, ramshackle, ravage, reverie, and requital. Above all, in this tightly spun yarn full of engaging twists and turns, Joshua undergoes an almost Kafkian metamorphosis, and the ending is pleasantly surprising. But no spoilers are allowed!

Lastly, I rate The First of the Boardwalk Parades 3 out of 4 stars. The book is not in its most polished form; another round of editing is necessary. If it weren’t for this, I would surely give it the maximum score. It will certainly appeal to readers who enjoy fantasy sagas with a touch of science fiction. In my opinion, only those who are not fond of the genre might not like this book.

******
The First of The Boardwalk Parades
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Rachel Lea
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Post by Rachel Lea » 20 Aug 2019, 04:48

This sounds like a very interesting novel with a unique and captivating setting (as a side note, I love how you began your review by asking questions--it really drew me in as a reader). Scifi/fantasy stories that explore alternate timelines always fascinate me. Thank you for your engaging review!
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Post by Nyambura Githui » 20 Aug 2019, 11:34

The book sounds very intriguing. Battle seems to have done a really good job at it. I like the intro to your review, it's so captivating.

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Post by esp1975 » 20 Aug 2019, 15:57

I love it when author's are great at language. It's my favorite aspect of Jonathan Barnes's writing. This definitely sounds like something I would like.

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Post by mmm17 » 20 Aug 2019, 17:42

Rachel Lea wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 04:48
This sounds like a very interesting novel with a unique and captivating setting (as a side note, I love how you began your review by asking questions--it really drew me in as a reader). Scifi/fantasy stories that explore alternate timelines always fascinate me. Thank you for your engaging review!
Thank you for reading the review. I appreciate your kind words.

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Post by mmm17 » 20 Aug 2019, 17:43

Nyambura Githui wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 11:34
The book sounds very intriguing. Battle seems to have done a really good job at it. I like the intro to your review, it's so captivating.
Thank you! The book is intriguing, indeed.

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Post by mmm17 » 20 Aug 2019, 17:44

esp1975 wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 15:57
I love it when author's are great at language. It's my favorite aspect of Jonathan Barnes's writing. This definitely sounds like something I would like.
Yes, I agree! I'm also fascinated by an elegant use of language in a book. Thank you for commenting.

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Post by Kathleen Wolfe » 20 Aug 2019, 21:20

I love fantasy. The story line is very interesting, but I'm confused, does the main character have a multiple personality disorder or does he have amnesia? I like that the book seems to have a bit of mystery to it, and I like the way you began your review. Thank you for a well written, thought provoking review.

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Post by Nisha Ward » 21 Aug 2019, 03:10

Wait. How is the Marquis alive? Why is he alive?

Also, this sounds like a magical version of The Bourne Identity combined aith Indiana Jones. In other words, amazing.
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Post by Wanjugush » 21 Aug 2019, 09:17

I'm not a fan of Sci-Fibut this one sounds interesting and it's a thriller. Great review.

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Post by kdstrack » 22 Aug 2019, 08:19

I was also enthralled by your description of the author's writing style. It feels like you were truly intrigued by the story. Thanks for this amazing recommendation!

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Post by OuKoyoo » 22 Aug 2019, 14:19

This sounds like a captivating book. I love the way you described book’s language; "it is elegant, poetic, and full of symbolism and metaphors." I would love to read the book. Thank you for the great review.

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Post by mmm17 » 22 Aug 2019, 17:59

Kathleen Wolfe wrote:
20 Aug 2019, 21:20
The story line is very interesting, but I'm confused, does the main character have a multiple personality disorder or does he have amnesia?
That is actually the suspense of the story! I kept asking myself the same thing. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by mmm17 » 22 Aug 2019, 18:01

Nisha Ward wrote:
21 Aug 2019, 03:10
Wait. How is the Marquis alive? Why is he alive?

Also, this sounds like a magical version of The Bourne Identity combined aith Indiana Jones. In other words, amazing.
He is kind of immortal in this alternate timeline. :o

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Post by Wyland » 23 Aug 2019, 11:33

It will be interesting to read how Joshua deals with being framed with murder. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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