Tuesday 27 February 2024

BLOG TOUR: New Gillion Street - Elliot J Harper


Straight-laced and content with the comforts of his home on politically-neutral Neo-Yuthea, Albert Smith leads a quiet and unremarkable life. His days are filled with sipping tea with his beloved wife and tending to his cherished garden—a picture of tranquillity in an otherwise chaotic universe. Little does he know that destiny has extraordinary plans in store for him.

When Mr. Zand, an agent of extra-terrestrial chaos, launches his mayoral campaign, the once peaceful colony faces uncertain and unsettling times.  Striking deaths attributed to mysterious forest creatures, forced arranged marriages, and a looming threat of suppressing secret garden meetings propel the community toward the edge of turmoil. In the face of this encroaching darkness, Albert and his neighbours must band together to resist oppression and fight for their freedom before their world collapses.

What did I think?

Well you don't get more escapism from a book than one set in a fictional world and, although New Gillion Street is a little outside of my reading comfort zone, I really enjoyed my virtual visit to Neo-Yuthea.

The Odds and the Evens of New Gillion Street have been living in relative harmony until one of the Odds decides to appoint himself as mayor.  Mr. Zand is an evil little man but he seems to have the Odds wrapped around his little finger and he wins a landslide election.  Then the full extent of his tyranny is revealed...

Albert Smith just wants to live a peaceful life with his wife and children but he stands up for what he believes in, even if that means disagreeing with Mr. Zand.  Good on you, Albert!  Albert's willingness to accept other beings, whatever their appearance, stands him in good stead and also introduces the reader to a fabulous talking gnome.

The world of Neo-Yuthea is beautifully portrayed through Elliot J Harper's vivid prose and I had a clear picture in my mind of New Gillion Street and the unknown area beyond its boundary.  It took me a little while to get into the story as I don't read a lot of speculative fiction but I really got behind Albert's fight to save his community.

Highly original and incredibly imaginative, New Gillion Street is a very entertaining novel with a strong sense of community at its heart.  A recommended read for fans of fantasy or science fiction and anyone looking for something a little different.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Elliot J Harper is a speculative fiction writer who lives in Leeds, England with his wife, Naomi. His short story, In the Garden, won The Molotov Cocktail magazines' Flash Vision 2021 contest. 

He has short stories in print as follows:
The Curious Case of the Speaking Telegraph in the Spirit Machine: Tales of Seance Fiction & Into the Forest in The Wild Hunt: Stories of the Chase by Air and Nothingness Press, There's a Dead Bear in the Pool in Black Telephone Issue 1 by Clash Books, and Blackout in The Protest Issue of Popshot Quarterly Magazine. He has various short stories online in Maudlin House, Storgy, Neon Books, Coffin Bell, Horrified Magazine and Idle Ink. 

His monthly blog, A Brief Chat, hosts interviews with publishers, magazines, authors, and other creatives.

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