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WALKING WITH SUMMER DREAMS – BOOK REVIEW

I recently had the pleasure to read and review a new piece by author WILL ENGLISH entitled WALKING WITH SUMMER DREAMS. It is a series of seven short stories bundled into one convenient package.

First off I want to say that English has a vivid imagination, and as his skills grow, he will be one to watch out for. That is not to say that his story is not worthy of your attention, far from it.

From the outset, this is not a book for children, and due to the language and sexual references, I would state that this is an adult oriented book.

THE LOVE OF THE FATHER centres on a boy who is invited by his friend to visit a Great Tree, larger than any on the planet, and once home to fantastical creatures called dragons, sadly extinct. English explores in depth the relationship of the boys at the start of the story and is substantially detailed.

English deliberately leaves some descriptive text out of his narration, much like a witness to a crime scene reciting what happened afterwards. This had the added benefit of fuelling my imagination further, rather than explaining every minute detail which can bog down some literary works.

I was able to fit the pieces together like I would a jigsaw. Quite clever, and can be off-putting if you aren’t expecting it. English does explain the reason for visiting the tree, but the outcome is unexpected.

But I did feel the main characters anger wasn’t explained clearly at the start, and it was only until the end, the reasons for it were given. I felt this was too late, as I kept wondering all the way through, why this character was angered.

THE T.V. GIRL focuses on a new found relationship between two boys. Paul is obsessed with games, and the other, Roy, is intrigued by the former. They get to know each other over a number of weeks, and things are okay, until the day Roy finds a series of drawing drawn by Paul. This upsets Paul and Roy is asked to leave.

Over the next weeks, Roy tries to apologise and make friends with Paul. Eventually the two do meet again, in tragic and supernatural consequences.

I found this story to be quite homo-erotic despite the  obvious desire for female flesh. My reasoning may be flawed, but I sensed Roy had some conflicting desire for Paul. I can’t think why else he would be so worried for a friend he hardly knew.

KISS THE COOK The story starts in a restaurant in America, where a customer refuses to leave. A restaurant worker, Ralph confronts the man and is bound by magic to listen to a tale he wishes to impart for Ralph’s school report.

The man, an American, Adam Foreway, tells of his search for work in Paris in 1979. He is called to work for a wealthy family in Scotland as a cook.

There he meets the new family, and the voluptuous young daughter, and events take a decidedly sexual turn.

I found this story to be missing some key information, particularly why Adam was as an important person as he claims, and who the Norn really were, and why that is important to the world. I sensed no motive why Adam wanted the world to know his secret. Additionally, I felt that English’s characters seemed to fly off the handle too easily, and for me, this detracted from the enjoyment a little.

CONFESSIONS OF A SUCCUBUS is another tale of desire from two perspectives. The main character, caught up in the Succubus’s spell, and the Succubus herself who desires something other than sex to survive.

The tale ends as one would expect.

A really good tale, well told. The characters and the dialogue were believable and direct.

A LIE TELLS THE TRUTH is another really well told story. A spin on armageddon theories and interpretation. The Devil stops by a random house for a cup of coffee and a chat, and for once the devil was truthful.

I enjoyed this story, but wondered why the author chose to make the main character, a random male, so arrogant. Yes, he was tired and talked with the Devil, and that’s not something that happens every day, if anything, I would say the scenario would be frightening if anything.

But none of this ruined the tale for me. I am torn between this and the last story as my favourite.

GIANT’S COUNTRY The tale of two weddings, and an alien visitor, at least that’s what I got from this story. I felt this was the least polished version.

There is no explanation why the second of the weddings was happening, or why a random alien visitor stopped by to visit with our main character.

Well written, and descriptive enough for me to keep reading, but also wanting more.

TALES FROM THE UNIVERSE TREE: THE SONG ATTRACTS MANY is set in a fantasy land just after a great battle. The two main characters, guards on duty, are sent to investigate a mysterious light that appeared to them in a forest.

The heroes separate and we follow Joseph who meets a beautiful woman in the forest. This fairy is revered by the religious as Mother of the world. Things take a sexual turn, which would see his head on the block if discovered.

Some time later an unexpected package arrives on his doorstep, one that will ease the loss of his parents.

Very well told, the characters popped out of the (e-ink) page as ones that I could relate to. The world, thanks to English’s descriptive talent came alive, and this is one story I would like to see continue, perhaps not with the same characters, but a full length novel dedicated to this world.

All in all, you won’t be disappointed with this series of stories. There are some improvements I’d like to see in a future revision, such as the author needs to use less exclamation points (!). You can show a character is angry, or emphasise a point without their use.

I think the author skips ahead of himself at times, and assumes that his audience is on the same wavelength as he. He misses sections of explanation at times, and it is left to the reader to fill in the gaps. It’s not a bad thing necessarily, just mildly annoying.

My final word to the author is when writing a new scene, STOP, turn 360 degrees, take in everything you see and feel in your minds eye, and write about it before moving on. Do the same with how your characters feel and react. Think, “Why do they act this way?” and then convey that to the audience. Most of all don’t give up on the dream, you have a wonderful voice, use it to it’s full.


I gave it 3.5 stars out of 5, due to the sheer descriptive talent this author has.

WALKING WITH SUMMER DREAMS is available on Amazon and Lulu NOW!

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