Saturday, June 4, 2016

Two great ways to pass the time

I've spoken before about fellow former South African and popular author, Dave Freer, who now lives on Flinders Island in Australia.  He's brought out two books in the last couple of months, one through Baen and one self-published.  Both are fun reads.

'Changeling's Island' was published by Baen Books in April.

Tim Ryan can't shake the feeling that he is different from other teens, and not in a good way. For one thing, he seems to have his own personal poltergeist that causes fires and sets him up to be arrested for shoplifting.

As a result Tim has been sent to live on a rundown farm on a remote island off the coast of Australia with his crazy grandmother, a woman who seems to talk to the local spirits, and who refuses to cushion Tim from facing his difficulties. To make matters worse, Tim is expected to milk cows, chase sheep, and hunt fish with a spear.

But he's been exiled to an island alive with ancient magic—land magic that Tim can feel in his bones, and sea magic that runs in his blood. If Tim can face down the danger from drug runners, sea storms, and the deadly threat of a seal woman who wishes to steal him away for a lingering death in the land of Faery, he may be able to claim the mysterious changeling heritage that is his birthright, and take hold of a legacy of power beyond any he has ever imagined.

"Living on a rundown farm on a remote island off the coast of Australia" . . . sounds just like where Dave lives!  Talk about writing from experience!

Dave's second book, 'Tom', was self-published just last month.

Tom is a cat in trouble. The worst possible kind of trouble: he’s been turned into a human. Transformed by an irascible old magician in need of a famulus -- a servant and an assistant, Tom is as good at being a servant as a cat ever is. The assistant part is more to Tom’s taste: he rather fancies impressing the girl cats and terrorizing the other toms by transforming himself into a tiger. But the world of magic, a vanished and cursed princess, and a haunted skull, and a demon in the chamber-pot, to say nothing of conspiring wizards and the wickedest witch in the west, all seem to be out to kill Tom. He is a cat coming to terms with being a boy, dealing with all this. He has a raven and a cheese as... sort of allies.

And of course there is the princess.

If you were looking for ‘War and Peace’ this is the wrong book for you. It’s a light-hearted and gently satirical fantasy, full of terrible puns and... cats.

Knowing Dave's love of cats, and his terrible ghastly funny puns, how could I resist this one?  The thought of a cat as a human is particularly entertaining.  Knowing the mischief our cat gets up to in feline form, the thought of her as a bipedal with opposable thumbs . . . shudder!

I've already bought both books, and I recommend them to you as well.  Dave's a good guy, and worth supporting - and you'll get two great reads out of it, too.  (No, in case you were wondering, neither Dave nor Baen Books are giving me any sort of kickback for mentioning his books.  I just enjoy his work, and I like to support my friends.)



Quartermaster said...

I used to have a Queensland Blue Heeler years ago. She was a cunning, mischievous sort. I didn't have to imagine her turning into a kid as I already the real sort in my son, who was also cunning and mischievous. Needless to say, they associated quite closely. Peas in a pod.

Uncle Lar said...

Dave is a lovely storyteller.
While technically a YA, Changeling is a good read in anyone's estimation, or so I believe.
Just don't start it and think you'll be able to put it down and pick back up later. The book grabs you and holds your attention to the very end.
And Tom is on my short stack of to be reads.

Old NFO said...

Got them!