Official Review: Chanctonbury by Natasha Murray

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kimmyschemy06
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Official Review: Chanctonbury by Natasha Murray

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 30 Sep 2018, 22:44

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Chanctonbury" by Natasha Murray.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Chanctonbury is an exciting, suspenseful, and poignant fantasy novel written by Natasha Murray.

Six individuals, each deep into his/her own preoccupation fortuitously meet at Chanctonbury Ring, a circle of beech trees on top of a hill in South Downs. The hill is rumored to be haunted and inhabited by The Devil who either offers a bowl of soup to ‘his guests’ or takes it upon himself to grant them the greatest desires of their hearts.

Sarah Brunning is a kidnapping victim who just got back from Afghanistan after six months of captivity. Evie Merryweather has been travelling around Southern England for sixty years carrying a shopping bag searching for the perfect place to scatter the ashes of her lover. Tom Barns is a widower who is burdened by the weight of his guilty conscience. Michael McGrath is a mentally unstable former soldier who is running from a crime he is not sure he did not commit. Amy Warren is a victim of an abusive boyfriend. Nabeel Azizi escapes from Afghanistan hoping to seek asylum in England.

After recognizing Nabeel as one of her captors in Afghanistan, Sarah flees as fast as she can and comes across Amy. They are joined by Tom and Evie who are looking for a spot to scatter a tin can of ashes. When Nabeel catches up with Sarah, Michael comes out of hiding and manages to keep Nabeel in an armlock. Tom is about to call the police when a tsunami hits and keeps the six of them stranded on the hill.

The book is told in the third-person perspective and maintains a steady pace throughout the story. By presenting the main characters complete with their backstories early on, the author makes the book particularly intriguing and keeps the readers’ interest at a high level. The plot is unraveled through a series of fantastical and vividly described scenes as the author throws each character into his/her own story seemingly unrelated with those of the others. This technique heightens the excitement as the author expertly brings the scattered characters together in emotional and liberating sets of reunion.

The most important aspect of the book, for me, is the focus on human weaknesses. It makes the book very relatable. The author successfully depicts the fear, the longing, the guilt, the frustration, the disillusionment, and the hatred, among others, that people feel. It brings up the regrets they harbor for the wrong choices they made and the self-loathing they feel for being weak. It highlights the great desire of an individual for a chance to make things right.

The part I like most about the book is the unpredictability of the plot. The unexpected turns of events make the readers feel outwitted by the author time and again.

Overall, this is one enjoyable book. However, other readers may find the constant time-shift a little overdone and extremely confusing instead of stimulating. Moreover, there are noticeable grammatical and typo errors within the entire book.

I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is intriguing, exciting, suspenseful, and relatable. I recommend it to fans of fantasy novels.

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Chanctonbury
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Juliar252
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Post by Juliar252 » 02 Oct 2018, 18:12

Great review! I am very interested in reading this now as I love books that shift perspectives between characters.

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Post by Caylie_Cat » 02 Oct 2018, 18:46

Although this style of book would not normally interest me, you were able to express the emotions, intrigue and fast-pace of the story in a manner that might just change my mind about reading it! Thank you!

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kimmyschemy06
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 02 Oct 2018, 21:00

Juliar252 wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 18:12
Great review! I am very interested in reading this now as I love books that shift perspectives between characters.
Thank you very much. Though the shifts in time may be a bit confusing, it is no doubt an enjoyable book.

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kimmyschemy06
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 02 Oct 2018, 21:01

Caylie_Cat wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 18:46
Although this style of book would not normally interest me, you were able to express the emotions, intrigue and fast-pace of the story in a manner that might just change my mind about reading it! Thank you!
You're welcome. It is a very interesting book with relatable characters. I hope you get a chance to read and enjoy it.

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Post by LaurenHaupt » 03 Oct 2018, 21:43

I don't really like time shift books that well but I do like the plot. I like that each character has a unique story. Thank you for the review.
:techie-studyingbrown:

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Post by Espie » 04 Oct 2018, 02:50

Caylie_Cat wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 18:46
Although this style of book would not normally interest me, you were able to express the emotions, intrigue and fast-pace of the story in a manner that might just change my mind about reading it! Thank you!
Like Caylie, I'd also to thank you for your descriptive review. It made me feel the emotions and empathise with the dilemmas of the characters. It's also good that the plot is unexpected, or it would have been trickier to avoid giving out spoilers.
"Life has many different chapters for us. One bad chapter doesn't mean it's the end of the book."-Unknown
"To err is human; to forgive, divine."-Alexander Pope
"Put GOD first; He'll bless your efforts with success."-Proverbs

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kimmyschemy06
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 04 Oct 2018, 20:27

LaurenHaupt wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 21:43
I don't really like time shift books that well but I do like the plot. I like that each character has a unique story. Thank you for the review.
You're welcome, it's an enjoyable book.

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kimmyschemy06
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 04 Oct 2018, 20:29

Espie wrote:
04 Oct 2018, 02:50
Caylie_Cat wrote:
02 Oct 2018, 18:46
Although this style of book would not normally interest me, you were able to express the emotions, intrigue and fast-pace of the story in a manner that might just change my mind about reading it! Thank you!
Like Caylie, I'd also to thank you for your descriptive review. It made me feel the emotions and empathise with the dilemmas of the characters. It's also good that the plot is unexpected, or it would have been trickier to avoid giving out spoilers.
You're welcome. The plot is great and the unpredictability made it very intriguing.

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