TITLE: The Other Side of the Whale Road
BY: K.A. Hayton
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
PUBLICATION: 2nd September 2021 by Lightning Books
NOTES: I received an e-copy of this book from the author, publisher and blog tour host in exchange for an HONEST review.
First of all, a big thanks to Dave @The_WriteReads and Lightning Books for letting me join this Blog tour. To be honest, when I first saw the cover, I wasn’t so excited to read this book. I don’t usually include a comment on covers but I think it’s okay to mention here that I don’t like this cover. I’m not saying it’s ugly, I just don’t like it. LOL. But then, I read the book, and I forgot about the cover. And now, I can’t wait to share my thoughts about it.
How dark were the Dark Ages? Joss is about to find out…
‘The Vikings are better armed than we are. They have long, heavy axes that can take a man’s head from his shoulder. I know this because I see it happen.’
When his mum burns down their house on the Whitehorse estate, sixteen-year-old Joss is sent to live in a sleepy Suffolk village.
The place is steeped in history, as Joss learns when a bike accident pitches him back more than 1,000 years to an Anglo-Saxon village. That history also tells him his new friends are in mortal peril from bloodthirsty invaders. Can he warn their ruler, King Edmund, in time?
And will he ever get home?
This book surprised me because, like I said, I don’t like the cover. Aside from that, this is a debut novel. So I wasn’t really expecting so much from it. But I’m glad that I didn’t let those factors stop me from joining this blog tour.
The Other Side of the Whale Road features Joss. He was forced to move when his mum burned their house. Things got interesting in Joss’ life when an accident took him back more than 1,000 years to an Anglo-Saxon village. I am not familiar enough to this part of history to comment if it was properly referenced so I’m just going to give opinion to the fictional world that the author created. I think the author did a great job at showing the two timelines. It was also very realistic. I love how different the two time periods and how appropriate the scenes are, especially how Joss acts and interacts with people in each timeline. It’s so fascinating to see.
Joss is a very likeable character. I thought he’s brave and resilient, given what he’s been through. But I feel like his character needs more development. Maybe it’s because the book is too short so the character didn’t get the chance to develop. I can say the same to the other characters. I think there are more stories to tell for the characters and I hope the author use these characters in other books. But still, I liked everything that the author chose to tell about the characters.
The plot is what really surprised me. It’s been a while since I read a time travel story and reading this book made me so happy. It’s started a bit slow but the pace picked up eventually. There was no boring part, which I knew was possible because there are history elements in the plot. This tells me how much I love the writing style of the author. I’m excited to read her next books.
RATING: 4 blissful pages with lilies
The Other Side of the Whale Road is really interesting book. If you love fantasy and time travels, and a peek in history, this book is for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
K. A. Hayton was born in Lincolnshire and read English at Sheffield University. She lives in Suffolk with her husband and has two daughters. The idea for The Other Side of the Whale Road came from her study of old English poetry at university, and from living in a place where Anglo-Saxon history feels very close.
Have you read this book? Or planning to? What do you think of it? Let’s chat.