Waters and the Wild by our own jo zebedee

kenubrion

Journeyed there and back again
#1
jo steps out of her science fiction world to pen a deeply dark and threateningly atmospheric tale of a young woman and her intense and unexpected interactions with the fey world. Her first exposure comes when she is a very young girl and the experience sets the course of her life thereafter. You never know whether what she experiences is real or something more sinister. Nor do her family members, who support her while being bewildered by it all. There is a sense of doom, but she and her family struggle to survive it. The effects on the family are pretty complex. Set in the world of Irish beliefs about the fey and the varied reactions of those touched by it, we become intensely involved in Amy's experiences and beliefs and struggles to survive it all.

The exploration of fey creatures and their worlds is the other major story told here, and much we don't know is revealed. The juxtaposition of real life with a heartbreaking experience while quite young and what that leads to as she grows creates a narrative tension throughout. It's a brilliantly created story of wonder, terror, familial love and ultimately survival and it is a unique and wondrous story that I could not put down, needing to know what happened to Amy. The surprising denouement pretty much cements in place my wonder and fascination for this girl and this world.

I rate this brilliant work 9.5/10.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#2
What a wild fun ride. Literally from the first line to the last it doesn't slow down. More than a dark fairy tale. It's also part mystery and psychological thriller. A romance as well.

The title is derived from a Yeats poem and fits the theme perfectly It isn't just a random line pulled from a book like you see so often. She incorporates a well known fairy tale on more than one level also.

The book is eerie and suspenseful. The fairies are not like Tinker Bell, Glinda or the tooth fairy. I may never eat Lucky Charms again.

It brought to mind Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Ocean At The End Of The Lane as well. I highly enjoyed getting lost in beautiful Northern Ireland.

I cared about the characters and the dysfunctional family dynamics were interesting to follow. The book is not very long and is just the right length for a fairytale .Great cover.

Good stuff. I am rating it a five on Amazon!
 
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Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#3
Well I'm sorry Jo. I checked five stars on my Kindle and that did not record on Amazon. Then I left a written review on Amazon and when I left it it showed that I had already voted five stars so it must have recorded somewhere but that did not show up on the page either. So I tried again and it would not let me leave a review for your book only other books that I had not reviewed popped up on the list. I checked last night and again this morning. I tried. :(I even went the extra mile and went back to the book and removed the five stars in the hopes that I could then write another review and it would not let me. :mad:
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#7
@jo zebedee

For a sequel, how about Amy marries and has a daughter and...and...

I didn't give up trying to post an Amazon review and tried even more things. No luck. Then I "accidentally" posted an abridged version under your Irish Carraig reviews.
Oh well. ;)
 

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
#8
@jo zebedee

For a sequel, how about Amy marries and has a daughter and...and...

I didn't give up trying to post an Amazon review and tried even more things. No luck. Then I "accidentally" posted an abridged version under your Irish Carraig reviews.
Oh well. ;)
It made me smile! Thank you so much. :)

I'm working on the sequel to Inish Carraig yet and I swore only a few months ago that it would not happen. And then, here we are.... so who knows. :)
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#9
It made me smile! Thank you so much. :)

I'm working on the sequel to Inish Carraig yet and I swore only a few months ago that it would not happen. And then, here we are.... so who knows. :)
I won't give up. But you know what's best and what you're inclined to write. So I'm 1/2 kidding. ;) The story about the lady or the tiger would'nt be famous if we knew what happened when the man opened the door.

Personally I would have just knocked and kicked a door. The lady would answer and the tiger would do nothing, roar, or jump at the door. All would suffice. But I guess the doors were thick enough to be soundproof and hold the tiger.

In your book, from my perspective, the tiger is actually the lady when you think about it...That's why I'm pulling for the tiger...because THAT means...:D

Hopefully this arouses people's curiosity. It would be fun to kick around.:cool:
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#10
Hey Jo,

a. It seems there are even fewer female SF authors than there are female fantasy authors. Is this true?

B. Regardless, it looks like most of your work is SF. What interested you in writing these?

C. Given that you mostly write SF do you also prefer reading it over fantasy?

D. Do you plan to write more fantasy books in the future?

E. Kind of shied off SF lately. It doesn't seem to do as much developing characters as opposed to fantasy and my eyes glaze over on the tech stuff Squirrel! *looks*. I feel that may not be the case with you. Tempted to check out Inish Carraig (Just realized it isn't Irish Carraig).
 

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
#11
A. It seems there are even fewer female SF authors than there are female fantasy authors. Is this true?

I think it is probably true, but getting stats or anything to support that is probably quite hard. What I do know is there are quite a lot more women sf writers than people often realise and that there does seem to be more and more emerging all the time. Publishers have the (erroneous) perception that sf readers are male and, for a long time, the industry was skewed towards that, with women finding it harder to get published. Now, with self publishing there are fewer barriers. Fantasy is also the bigger of the two genres with tons more writers, anyhow, so that skews things again.

B. Regardless, it looks like most of your work is SF. What interested you in writing these?

Yeah, most of what I write is SF (although I have just finished another fantasy). Abendau is Space Opera, Inish Carraig is a sf thriller, I have a hard-ish sf in the trunk somewhere that I suspect will see the light of day at some point, and a YA SF thriller to get back to at some point, that's really at the point of revision. And I'm working on the sequel to Inish Carraig. So, yes, my sf outnumbers my fantasy by about 2-1.

Abendau's been in my mind since I was a teenager. A few people have pointed out the story would have worked just as well in a fantasy setting - and it would have - but that wasn't the world that my mind was creating. I suppose, at that time, I was very into Space Opera: Blake's Seven was my favourite TV show as a kid, I was into Dune, I was starting to dig Star Wars and realising that I am fond of stories with blasters and sexy space pilots (not being sexist with that, it's more the feel that anything particularly about attraction. I talked about that here, on a friend's blog: http://emmy-j.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/sex-on-wings-by-jo-zebedee.html).

For me, the escapism of Science fiction is what I love. I'm not driven by the vast science fiction concepts, but more by the feel and the sense of wonder over what might be. Whilst I enjoy writing fantasy, I don't find it just as much fun as a good pew-pew scene. I also write pacier SF so that might be part of it.

C. Given that you mostly write SF do you also prefer reading it over fantasy?

Yeah, I have a slight bias towards SF, maybe about 60-40. Certainly, when I look at my bookshelves, the big series that dominate are SF (Vorkosigan, Jodi Taylor, Dune). But I read pretty much anything that moves so there is a spattering of crime through it, and general fiction, and Irish women's fiction, and a good dose of magical realism. Not to mention some horror - which isn't surprising as most of my books have some kind of darkly horrific edge to them.

D. Do you plan to write more fantasy books in the future?

Yes. The one I'd subbing at the moment is set in Donegal and is, I hope, the start of a series featuring a psychic detective. This one centres around the disappearance of a child, 30 years ago, which my detective is exploring (she's only coming into the knowledge about her abilities, so she doesn't entirely do this knowingly). Anyhow, in the estate, she encounters part of the mystery of the child's death: the Wild Hunt when the fairy horde rides out each Winter. Then, she encounters the child's ghost and we realise there's more to the events than just the fairies - and that all the elements are in place to endanger my daring detective, and imprison the child in the estate forever. So, a little more of a thriller than Waters and the Wild, but capturing similar senses of place (all my books are strong in that, I think).

I'll either get an agent for it, or I will probably go with an independent publisher with it as I mostly plan to self publish my sf and trad publish my fantasy, just because I don't have time to do everything myself.

I then have a duology about a group of storm mages that I keep meaning to get on with, but which isn't singing yet, and another YA one about a group of feral children, a winter garden and a witch. Don't know what else happens there, though....

E. Kind of shied off SF lately. It doesn't seem to do as much developing characters as opposed to fantasy and my eyes glaze over on the tech stuff Squirrel! *looks*. I feel that may not be the case with you. Tempted to check out Inish Carraig (Just realized it isn't Irish Carraig).

No, not Irish Carraig but Inish Carraig - which is the Gaelic for Rocky Island. In the book, the Inish Carraig is a prison off the coast of Northern Ireland (basically I took one of the most picturesque islands there is, and flattened it. I have avoided visiting Rathlin (the island) ever since!

I don't write for the tech. I mean, I have fun with it - there are some serious creepy walls in the prison, for instance, but I never go into what made them work as they did (although I'll have to for book 2 as that tech is pretty central to part of the plot). I write for the characters and that's what we have in Inish Carraig - some really good, real feeling (I'm told) characters.

I don't know why it ended up so popular (and it still really is, it just keeps ticking along and it gets lots of mentions in various places). It's such a simple context, I think that's part of it. We have an alien invasion (which I don't show, although I did a little in this little short story: http://jozebwrites.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/hunted.html. It actually was the prologue and then I decided to start with the main character instead), and we have a family trying to survive in the ruins of Belfast after the invasion. And then we have a cop who tries to help them, gets sucked in further than he means to, and then a prison that has to be escaped from. All familiar elements, nothing shockingly original (although setting it in Belfast does give it a certain feel, I think), and yet they came together well. It was only my second book but it still stands up pretty well, I think. It's certainly the one I find myself talking about in conventions, pretty much on every panel. It's the one people feel most drawn to. Which is lovely.
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#12
Thanks. Good stuff! Very interesting (why do I feel like a poor mans Artie Shaw...if you weren't around in the 60's, like most, just forget it). :)
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#15
So this made my week - a listing in Fantasy Faction's Top 50 books in 2017!

http://fantasy-faction.com/2018/fantasy-factions-best-fantasy-books-of-2017
Congratulations! Well deserved, IMHO. It was one of my favorite reads too!!

It took me a while to figure out their listing order. Seems bass ackward to me. Regardless, some great authors on that list. So many of these sites list the dumbest books but I can see that this site is on top of things based on many of their picks which match the majority of what people here say. :)

In all honesty, IMO, and I’m no reason to pump sunshine up your wazoo, the book is a winner. I’d describe it as an adult fairy tale, thriller, and mystery all in one. (OK, there was some romance-yuck-haha, but can’t have everything). It reminded me tad of Night Circus, a pinch of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and some Ocean At The End Of The Lane. Yet at the same time, while having some of these elements it was very different from all of them and unique.

I don’t know how many people here read it. Maybe you did and kept it to yourself because it didn’t float your boat. I rarely recommend books because people have such different tastes. HOWEVER, IF you like this type of book, since it is Jo’s, I think you should definitely give it a shot.

*I wonder if Jo is really going to send me $2,000 like she promised for this glowing review*. :hilarious:

But seriously, I’m VERY happy for you. Soon I will be able to say “I knew her when...”
 

jo zebedee

Journeyed there and back again
#16
The money's on its way ;) :D (and, seriously, thank you - and yes, all 3 of the books you mentioned are favourites of mine :))

I agree about the lists. I don't know if anyone appreciates how hard it is as an indie to get listed - the same books with the big publishers appear everywhere! As I was a bit lost in 1st draft woes, this lifted me so much :)
 

Darth Tater

Journeyed there and back again
#17
I know @kenubrion,@Peat, @Sneaky Burrito, and I read the Waters And The Wild book. Anyone else?

So I asked @jo zebedee a while ago whether the faeries were real or fake. Naturally she said she didn’t know herself. ;) To me there was no question they were real. It never even occurred to me (Ok, I’m slow and gullible) Amy who fell in the rabbit hole was on acid. Kidding about the rabbit hole and acid part.

This is why I say they were undoubtedly real. Unless police dog use is different in Ireland on this point which I highly doubt.

The police went to the trouble of getting helicopters, etc. So they must have had dogs! Jo doesn’t mention it but it doesn’t mean they weren’t there. Dogs would be even better than choppers with a wooded area nearby. There is no way in hell dogs wouldn’t be able to track her in that relatively small area. But the dogs didn’t find her. So obviously she was in another dimension or something. Right? Which means the faeries were real!!

As Sherlock Holmes said “Once you’ve eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

I rest my case. Obviously, I really liked the book or I wouldn’t still be thinking about it. I’m about to read another dark adult fairy take The Bear And The Nightengale so Jo’s book came to mind.

Does anyone agree with this or have a different perspective?
 
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