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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review and Giveaway The Newstead Project (Newstead Trilogy, #1) by Melanie Schulz

And all the others together with them took unto themselves wives, and each chose for himself one, and they began to go in unto them and to defile themselves with them, and they taught them charms and enchantments, and the cutting of roots, and made them acquainted with plants. 2. And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: 3. Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, 4. the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. 5. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood. 6. Then the earth laid accusation against the lawless ones.

And from the apocryphal Book of Enoch people's imagination began to work at full power. How can angels, even fallen ones, to give birth to monsters? Told and retold the stories of giants, of the Nephilims, always intrigue and occasionally it’ll appear a work that will attract fantasy readers’ attention. Newstead Project deserves to be one of them.
Joel, the main character, is a guy who could have easily everything, from popularity to the power that it is given by it. It could have been a guy that impose himself to others, and not just by brute force, but who prefer solitude and the peace that it brings. Moreover, he doesn't want to change himself even when the change was offered to him. Having the advantage that is new in the Newstead world he doesn’t fall into "superior being" temptation and does not deviate from his humanity, although it always felt about himself to be rather a monster. He reacts immediately to correct an evil doing and doesn’t change his decision when the consequences turn out to be a fatal risk. Facing these tests he evolves, he begins to discover himself and he’ll engage in the Newstead Project ... in his own terms. He still doesn’t know what he is and from where he comes, but he reconfirms his choice. To be as he wants he must confront his own kind (but are they his kind?). 
"I took a deep breath. It felt like freedom to me. I don’t know why; it wasn’t like I was a prisoner or anything, but for some reason there was a difference."
I appreciated that the author allowed us to find good guys among the "bad" ones. They (or he for you to don’t know at whom to expect) deserve to be more admired as they don’t have Joel’s genetic heritage or his trump to be kept away from the mysterious "school".
The augmentation of the conflicts and romantic tension arise with Rachel. A girl about we find too little, though enough to understand her fears and reactions. Usually, the answers we get about her just raise new questions, new secrets to discover. Everything can change, for better or worse, at any time.
The relationship between Joel and Rachel acquires deepness encountered perhaps in the old couples where love was enriched over time. No need for words, no need for physical interaction. The other's presence is enough. However, uncertainty, secrets of both and changes that they seem to go through, the danger that comes from Newstead test their relationship. If they manage to stay together you will see by yourself, but I warn you, do not dream about because everything can fall apart at anytime.
“I thought about nothing, I cared about nothing. I was nothing. It was the only way I could stand to live and work around people I knew were monsters.”
Alternating points of view from which a book is written usually gives to the reader "the big picture". But Melanie Schulz uses them to emphasize unknowns, to make you raise more questions.
Melanie also brings something different about the chapter’s motto. For Joel's chapters the author used - Sun Tzu - The Art of War or Mei Yao-Ch'en. For Rachel’s she has used various authors, even AA Milne - Winnie the Pooh. That doesn’t mean that they are not equally important, but that the author has used them to describe the characters. I liked it.
If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you. —AA Milne, Winnie the Pooh

In three words I can sum up what I’ve learned about life: it goes on. —Robert Frost
The action is meticulously built. You don't get major direct confrontation, but it doesn't matter because here the tension and the unknown are the important accents. And they are in full.
I liked the book a lot and I recommend to you.
I received the book for review as part of Book Tour - Thank you
Romanian:
newstead tour
2. Şi atunci, când îngerii, copiii Cerurilor, le-au văzut, s-au îndrăgostit de ele; şi ei şi-au spus unii altora: să ne alegem femei din rasa oamenilor şi să avem copii cu ele. [...]
10. Şi ei şi-au ales fiecare câte o femeie, şi s-au apropiat de ele şi au convieţuit cu ele; şi ei le-au învăţat vrăjitorii, farmece şi însuşirile rădăcinilor şi arborilor.

11. Şi aceste femei au zămislit şi au născut uriaşi. […]

2. Nelegiuirea s-a întins; depravarea s-a înmulţit, creaturile încălcau orice ordin şi distrugeau tot ce le ieşea în cale.
Şi de la Cartea apocrifă a lui Enoch imaginația oamenilor a început să lucreze la putere maximă. Cum pot îngerii, chiar şi căzuți, să nască monştri? Spuse şi respuse, poveştile giganților, a nephilimilor intrigă mereu, iar din când în când apare câte o lucrare care atrage atenția cititorilor fantasy. Newstead Project merită să fie una dintre ele.
Joel, personajul principal, este un tip care ar fi putut avea foarte uşor totul, de la popularitate la puterea pe care aceasta ți-o dă. Ar fi putut fi un tip care să se impună celor din jur, şi nu doar prin forța brută, dar care preferă solitudinea şi liniştea pe care i-o aduce aceasta. Mai mult, el nu acceptă să se schimbe nici atunci când posibilitatea schimbării i se oferă special. Avantajat de faptul că este nou în lumea Newstead, el nu cade în ispita „ființei superioare” şi nici nu deviază de la umanitatea lui, deşi s-a considerat mereu oarecum un monstru. Reacționează imediat să îndrepte un rău şi nu-şi schimbă decizia atunci când consecințele se dovedesc a fi un risc letal. În fața acestor încercări el evoluează, începe să se descopere pe sine şi ajunge să se implice în Proiectul Newstead... în proprii lui termeni. Nu ştie încă ce este şi de unde vine, dar îşi reconfirmă alegerea. Pentru a fi aşa cum doreşte trebuie să-şi confrunte semenii (dar oare sunt semenii lui?).
 "I took a deep breath. It felt like freedom to me. I don’t know why; it wasn’t like I was a prisoner or anything, but for some reason there was a difference."
Am apreciat faptul că autoarea a permis totuşi ca printre cei „răi” să se găsească şi personaje ce se dovedesc bune. Acestea (sau acesta – aşa ca să nu ştiți la cine să vă aşteptați) sunt cu atât mai mult de admirat cu cât nu au nici zestrea genetică şi nici avantajul lui Joel de a fi ținut departe de misterioasa „şcoală”.
Acutizarea conflictelor şi tensiunea romantică apar odată cu Rachel. O tipă despre care aflăm prea puțin, deşi suficient pentru a-i înțelege temerile şi reacțiile. De regulă, răspunsurile pe care le primim despre ea nu fac decât să ridice noi întrebări, noi curiozități. Totul se poate schimba, în bine sau în rău, în orice moment.
Relația dintre Joel şi Rachel capătă o profunzime întâlnită, poate, la cuplurile vechi în care dragostea s-a îmbogățit în timp. Nu e nevoie de cuvinte, nu e nevoie de interacțiune fizică. Prezența celuilalt este de ajuns. Totuşi, nesiguranța, secretele ambilor şi schimbările prin care par a trece, pericolul ce vine dinspre Newstead le pune la încercare relația. Dacă vor reuşi să rămână împreună veți vedea voi, dar vă avertizez să nu vă faceți iluzii, totul se poate destrăma oricând.
“I thought about nothing, I cared about nothing. I was nothing. It was the only way I could stand to live and work around people I knew were monsters.”
Alternarea punctelor de vedere din care este scrisă o carte, de regulă, oferă cititorului „imaginea completă”. Melanie Schulz însă le foloseşte pentru a sublinia necunoscutele, pentru a-ți pune şi mai multe întrebări.
Melanie mai face ceva deosebit. Fiecare capitol are câte un motto. Pentru capitolele lui Joel autoarea a folosit – Sun Tzu - The Art of War sau Mei Yao-Ch’en. Pentru Rachel a folosit diverşi autori, chiar AA Milne - Winnie the Pooh. Asta nu înseamnă că nu poartă adevăruri la fel de importante, ci doar că autoarea le-a folosit pentru a caracteriza personajele. Mi-a plăcut.
If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you. —AA Milne, Winnie the Pooh

In three words I can sum up what I’ve learned about life: it goes on. —Robert Frost
Acțiunea este construită meticulos. Nu ai parte de confruntări directe majore, dar nu contează pentru că aici tensiunea şi necunoscutul sunt accentele importante. Şi acestea există din plin.
Mi-a plăcut mult cartea şi v-o recomand.

About the author:
I live in Upstate New York with my husband and three children, where I’ve pretty much been planted my entire life. Which is fine, because it’s beautiful here. My only complaint is that most people assume that New York means NYC, which it doesn’t. There. I’ve done my part in exposing the truth. Truth. The truth is I’m not a writer; storyteller maybe, but not a writer. It wasn’t something I spent years dreaming of, or even what I went to school for. I’m a nurse. I love being a nurse. So why write? I don’t know. I do know when it started, though. September 3, 2010. I know this because I nature journal, and on that day Joel made it into my notes. I guess that’s fitting. Someone like him needed to be birthed out in the woods. If you were to meet me, and I hope someday you do, you would not connect me with this story. I’m a wife, a mother, a nurse. The person who wrote this should’ve been a guy, first off, secondly he should be some militaristic strategist; that’s who you’d expect to see if you were to come to a book signing, not me. But I’m there, in every line. So if I don’t have the good fortune to meet you in person, I hope to see you in THE NEWSTEAD PROJECT.

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1 comment:

Andreea said...

Interesanta poveste :-?