An Other Place By Darren Dash: Book Review

An Other PlaceAn Other Place is a brilliant twisted trip down Alice’s rabbit hole for adults. A trip like none other I’ve experienced!

Darren O’Shaughnessy is an idol of mine, under the name Darren Shan he’s one of the leading horror writers  for young people. I first came across his Demonata series when my brother was reading the books in his early teens, I would steal the books as he finished them. lordlossukfullThe Demonata character Lord Loss is still a favourite of my brother’s and I was delighted to get a copy of it signed for him at the West Cork Literary Festival in Bantry in July. It was at the festival that I first heard of Darren’s books for adults under the name Darren Dash. He read an excerpt from his work in progress and it intrigued me. When I was offered the chance to review An Other Place, I was ecstatic and desperately hoping that it was the WIP he’d read so passionately from in Bantry. It was!!

About the Book

There is An Other Place… where time and space are fluid… where the moon changes colour and savage beasts run wild… where love is a perilous proposition and the dead are swiftly forgotten.. where sandmen offer sanctuary and the Alchemist rules over all.

When Newman Riplan’s flight into the unknown turns into a nightmarish slide between worlds, he must explore an unnamed city where unpredictable terrors are the norm. By the end of his first day adrift, his life has spun completely out of his control, but the most mind-twisting and soul-crushing revelations are only beginning. As he desperately searches for a way out, he starts to realise that the city isn’t in the habit of releasing its captives. And it seems to have a plan for him.

My Thoughts on the Book

An Other Place focuses around an unlikable character called Newman Riplan. He hates his life, his friends, women and even himself. The early scenes were dirty, gritty and realistic. I read some of the book while on an plane making the scenes on Newman’s own flight even more realistic and funny. From one moment to the next I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, which I loved. There is nothing worse for me than a book where I can predict every coming scene! Newman is stuck in another world, similar in ways to ours, but very strange and different in others. In this world people are unquestioning and accept everything. Humans in this “other place” enjoy and worry about only the present, surely that’s a lesson for us all?

I’m hesitant to go into too much detail as one of the main joys of this book was the constant surprises. Newman undergoes many quests and adventures, both physical and personal. Despite Newman not being the most likable character, I was invested in him throughout. His character reached his full potential by the spectacular and shocking ending. I had to sit there and digest it for quite a while after finishing. Various parts of the book seemed like a warning tale of what could happen to humans in the future. There were many brilliant and scarily accurate observations on mankind near the end of the book. One statement that stuck with me  “ambition and inquisition are the whip-cracking, back-riding scourge of humanity.”

Weird and wonderful, this book was like nothing I could ever dream up in my head! An Other Place has cemented Darren for me as an accomplished writer for both adults and younger people.

I’d recommend this to anybody looking for something gritty, wacky and different to anything you’ve ever read. Fantastic and original, An Other Place gets a big thumbs-up from this Corpse Bride.

To purchase An Other Place on Amazon click here

About the Author

http://eldarro.wixsite.com/darrendashbooks/bio

 

Darren Dash was born in England in 1972, but has spent most of his life in Ireland, where he lives with his wife and son. In his day job, under a different name, he has sold over 25 million books worldwide, mainly in the YA market. But he feels much more at home in the nights of his adult worlds…

To find out more about Darren click here

My return to writing

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This time last Summer I started to write again and  I’ve started working on  a YA (young adult) novel. When I was younger I wrote constantly, I even wrote a book when I was 11! Thankfully I don’t have a clue what happened to that gem! It was a tragic tale of a boy and a girl who live next door to each other and fall in love. The girl has an incurable form of cancer and dies, leaving the boy heartbroken. It doesn’t sound unlike a popular YA novel from the last few years so maybe I was on to something 🙂

I wrote on and off since then but never made proper time to for it; study, college, work and life in general took over. When I took a year off work to travel the world I recorded all my travel adventures in two journals with plane tickets and postcards from different countries, it’s a great keepsake.

I had many creative outlets such as painting and life drawing classes down the years. Yes, life drawing nude people, that one wasn’t for me. The same man in his 50’s was in different poses every week, it must be the Irish prude in me but I just couldn’t relax in that class!

The one thing I never stopped is reading and I devour books. I read absolute anything! I continued to dream about writing a book and shared the dream with one of my best friends.

Dawn moved back to Cork for the Summer and suggested joining “Writing Inside Out” a writing group in the City. I had nervous butterlies in my tummy before the first group meeting in Camden Palace but going along with a friend made it easier.

Joining this group reawakened my creative side and I’m so grateful to Dawn, the facilitator Ann Heffernan and the other group members for motivating and inspiring me.

The writing group was a safe place to share our stories, memories and inspirations. There was no pressure to share and no criticism of our pieces. Each group member had a different writing style and Ann brought along different books, stories, poems and graphic novels – anything that might bring inspiration. Every week we wrote something to bring to the class, thus forcing me to write. The more I wrote the more I enjoyed it. We had two four week courses over June and July and I’ve continued writing.

If you want to try something but you’re scared, just go for it! Life is too short not to and you never know you might even like it!

#Justkeepdreaming

#Justkeepwriting

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