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Moondust is a collection of fast-paced short stories full of imagination, suspense and thrills. The tales include dragon-slaying, magic and other fantasy elements. Cleveland W. Gibson’s storytelling has drama, tension and cryptic qualities. The scenes are filled with conflict and energy. Some of the conclusions left me wanting more. The author has a fresh, original approach and writes in a concise manner. I recommend this book for youths as well as adults.

Some of the settings are based on Faringdon and the surrounding areas in the UK, where Cleveland resides. Local legend may have fueled some of his stories.

The opening story, “The Trophy Room” and “The Indian Rope Trick” are favorites of mine. In the first story, Peter Cosford tells Dr. Leo Harper how he discovered his friend could transform into a crocodile with a magical potion. (Incidentally, the real Peter Cosford lives in Canada.)

This story and other themes in Moondust parallel concepts in his new book Billabongo.

Dr. Leo Harper and Peter Cosford appear again in the first chapters. Cosford tells Harper about the events leading up to an alleged murder in the Trophy Room of his house, concerning a stuffed crocodile, his friend James Walton and a mysterious bottle of white liquid that has shape-changing properties. Others hear gunshots and a scream coming from the Trophy Room but when the police break down the door, no dead body is found. Cosford ends up in an asylum. Legend describes him as a madman and a self-confessed murderer, but could there be truth to his tales of the occult?

The plot takes a twist. Jarge Benson, who is a reoccurring character in both books, and three children vanish from the Trophy Room and must travel through Billabongo to get home again. They face many obstacles and riddles along the way.

The pacing is good. The language is well-written and easy to read. I sensed a British phraseology in the vocabulary and sentences as if the author was reading it aloud to me. His writer’s voice shines through. Later on, more characters are introduced as Jarge, Indian Nakota Towa, and the children make their journey. If one buys into the premise, it becomes a really incredible adventure.

Moondust is currently available as a paperback or e-book through www.lbfbooks.com. Billabongo is available through Amazon. These stories are worthwhile to read.








Comments

The following comments are for "Moondust and Billabongo by Cleveland W Gibson"
by sandra

The Lure of the Fantasy Novel
Hi Sandra for reviewing my two book. The collections of short stories are dear to me as are the characters.I've grown up with them and the situations that have evolved around them. Think of a wolf seen only 100 years ago in Russian and already the tension starts. That's how it goes with the horror or surreal type of story.
But you've also given me a review of Billabongo. Here I've written a fantasy novel that has been deliberately clipped to keep the word limit down. I've tried to add an urgency t th story and stuck to the plot. No readers wants distractions that remove him from where the action is. The reader wants to know what is happening. Action is everything.
There is one point to be made about the fantasy novel and that it is probably the hardest novel to write. I don't believe any writer can write a fantasy novel on their own. I feel it takes a certain amount of talking with writer friends , and much blood and gore before the final novel makes it onto the bookshelves. Every detail must stand up in the cold light of day. Everything must have a purpose and meaning. Without those rules the whole plot falls to bits.
So why do we bother? I guess we love to write. And who knows anybody reading this might decide that they'd like to move from being a reader to becoming a writer. Then it 's my good wishes to them. Come and wow us with your words on this site. Set the sky on fire and have fun.
I think I took over your review Sandra but there we are. Thanks for writing it and maybe you'll have a go at writing a fantasy novel. We wait to read it. All of us.
Cleveland

( Posted by: Cleveland W. Gibson [Member] On: April 6, 2009 )

to Cleveland
Very interesting to hear your insights on writing fantasy books. Making choices around character, action and plot are decisions we make in any genre. But I think writing fantasy really pushes the limits of the writing, the writer and the reader's own imagination. Writing fantasy needs continuity or an arc that is credible to some extent in the 'rules' for that world or place. You are successful in that the events in your book are linked by the motivation of the characters. For the reader, there's a certain 'suspension of belief.'

Congrats and good luck with your next fantasy novel!

Sandra

( Posted by: sandra [Member] On: April 6, 2009 )





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