Friday, September 29, 2017

Book Review: 'The Sandman Cometh' by Stuart G. Yates

British author Stuart G. Yates lives teaches and writes in Spain. His professional literary life is bifurcated as 1) Glenn Stuart, the author of Young Adult paranormal novels and 2) Stuart G.Yates, author of adult historical novels and thrillers. Though his output suggests a man of grimaced forehead his description of his life and his photographic image is exceedingly inviting. He describes his course: `Originally from Merseyside (on England's Wirral), I've sought out various paths in life, all of which have led me to who I am now - author. I am a teacher, and I really enjoy it, but my first love is writing - helping me to fulfill my dreams, create worlds, and entertain those who read my words. Those words have always been my friend. I submitted my first novel in 1979. I was first published in 2009. In between, I never gave up believing. Most days I write. Inspiration comes from anywhere, at any time. A memory, an event, a half-listened-to conversation, or any combination of these and a thousand other things. My imagination is never stagnant, and I've never had what is called `writers block'. Stories stack up in my head, a traffic jam of tales, some complete; some not. They vie for position to be the next one in my word-processor. My dream now, of course, is to write that best-seller, to break through, to become a full-time writer. Perhaps if you like what you see in here, you'll join me on the journey. I would like that very much.' These thoughts bring the reader to Yates' works with an eager mind to see how he manages to convey his tales.

Stuart writes in the grand manner as curtain raising words prove – ‘I dreamt of Sandmen last night. In the darkness, I heard them as they came ever closer, the steady pounding of their feet upon the gravel, in perfect unison, an army, each step a death knell for those who dared to venture out after the last peel of the curfew bell. My garden was nothing more than a dark smudge, the paraffin lamp from the kitchen too weak to make an impression upon the deep, oppressive shadows. Gripped by cold, I stood motionless, trying to still my breathing, listening out for his approach, knowing I was late, knowing there could be only one outcome. And I heard him, his great legs eating up the distance between us. The garden door swung open and in he came, eyes huge under the peak of his cap, maniacal grin set upon his silver-grey face, and those arms swinging ever closer. He threw back his head and screeched, that awful, mechanical voice filling me with dread and I knew death had come to embrace me in its cold, steely grip. I woke, sitting up, heart banging against my chest and picked out shapes in the gloom of my room, wondering if my dream was real. Holding my breath, I dared not turn away lest the Sandman loomed over me and ended everything I ever knew. Such dreams often came to me and as I lay with my head pressed into my pillow, their fearful marching dominated every sense, every thought. The steady, relentless beat, drumming hard in my ears. Every night they came and every time I dreamed, I dreamed of them. The Sandmen.’

Having read with great satisfaction Stuart’s other books, this new one comes as an expected gift. His synopsis outlines where he will be taking us: ‘Amazon: in a cold, insensitive future, Simeon Allis struggles to come to terms with an existence he doesn't understand. Every decision is made for him, and his family and loved ones no longer have a place in the world. The State provides everything, and the Sandmen ensure conformity. Hideous inventions, the Sandmen ensure obedience of the citizens of the clinical world in which Simeon lives out his controlled life, alone. But he is different than the others... for he has memories. One terrible night, lost in the deserted streets of the crumbling city, he stumbles upon the hideout of those sworn to overthrow the ruling elite. After he joins in their mad scheme to overthrow the State, Simeon slowly finds out the truth... and discovers exactly who he is.’

As this small sample proves, Stuart G. Yates is one of the most important historical novelists of the day. And he is very addicting! Grady Harp, March 17
This book is free n Kindle Unlimited

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right

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