Book reviews TuesdayBookBlog

#TuesdayBookBlog THE THIN BLUE-YELLOW LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE: A WAR DIARY FROM UKRAINE by Anton Eine (@AntonEine) , Simon Geoghegan (Translator) #RBRT #Ukraine

Hi, all:

I bring you a book that needs no introduction. Not a book I’ll ever forget. Thanks to Rosie and her team for the support.

The Thin Blue-Yellow Line by Anton Eine

The Thin Blue-Yellow Line. Between Love and Hate by Anton Eire (trans.) Simon Geoghegan

A diary chronicling the hopes, pain and fears of ordinary Ukrainians collected during the current war. Frank, emotional and straight from the heart.

This book is about the first 100 days of fascist Russia’s perfidious and unfounded invasion of Ukraine. But it is not an account of the war and its battlefield engagements. It’s about people. About their feelings and emotions, their experiences, fears and pain, their suffering, hope and love.

I started writing this book one sleepless night in Kyiv when I had been kept awake all night by the roar of our aerial defense system and explosions nearby, listening out for approaching rockets and bombs and wondering whether I should take my wife and young son and run for the air-raid shelter. That night, I realized that I had a duty as a writer to act as a voice for those whose stories desperately needed to be told to other people in the world.

I wrote about what I saw and felt. About the stories, my relatives and friends shared with me. It became a chronicle, memoir, diary and confession. I set down our stories so that the whole world might know and understand what we have been through. So that the whole world might share our experiences of this war alongside us – in our trembling buildings, in our freezing cold basements, underground parking lots, bomb shelters and metro stations and in the ruins of our burning cities. So that the world might be given a glimpse into our hearts through the lacerated wounds that have been inflicted on them by this cruel and barbaric war.

Author Anton Eine

About the author:

Anton Eine is modern sci-fi and techno-fantasy author from Kyiv, Ukraine.

He has published ‘I, Jesus, Rock Star’ novel, techno-fantasy cycle “Programagic”, Sci-Fi short stories collection “Human Kind” and superhero series “Maze City Stories”.

After building his successful carrier in marketing, he decided to let his creativity write fantastic fiction books to actualize numerous ideas he had in his mind for years.

Anton is passionate about food (and some drinks of course!), photography, animals (especially wild cats), and rock music. He likes embedding his hobbies into the fantastic canvas of his writings and to share that passion with his readers.

Anton Eine officially can’t stand any limits and boundaries, so his books usually step out of the box of traditional genres, crossing the edges of conventional storytelling and blurring the borders of common thinking.

My review:

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (author, check here if you are interested in getting your book reviewed) and thank her and the author for this opportunity.

This non-fiction book (it might seem incredible and over a year ago we wouldn’t have imagined it could happen, but this is not a fictional dystopian story) is one of the most difficult books to review I’ve come across. The author explains how difficult it was for him to write. He is a writer of science-fiction and techno-fantasy, and he hadn’t planned to write a non-fiction book. In fact, he was supposed to be working on several of his fiction books, including one that he has been working on for many years when events took an unexpected turn. We have all lived through events that seem to have come right out of a horror book in recent times, but for the people of Ukraine, things got even weirder and more dangerous on the 24th of February 2022.

Anton Eine felt he had to write about what was happening, and make sure that people all over the world could get a first-hand account and hear the stories of the people who were living through the nightmare of the war. An author who speaks and writes in Russian, who lives in Kyiv, and who shares his experience of all the gamut of emotions throughout the first 100 days of the war. I’m writing this review when the war has passed the mark of 300 days, and what can one say? If we had a hard time believing it when it started, what can we say almost a year later?

This is a raw book, where the author bares his soul and shares his thoughts and feelings. It is painful, it is ugly at times (if you don’t like name-calling, dehumanising others no matter what they do [although he would counter that the ones doing the dehumanisation are the enemies], and people freely expressing their anger, do not attempt to read this book). The author explains that he decided to write the book as things were happening and capture the impressions and feelings, rather than letting them cool down and being rational about it because that is not what it was about. He didn’t attempt an analysis of the situation, and he does not talk about military campaigns. He feels that kind of books should be written by others. What he wants is to share the stories of many who might never be inclined to share them outside of their own circle of friends and relatives, and also his own.

This is not a straightforward collection of stories. This is the story of the writing of the book as well, of the circumstances of writing it; trying to be in touch with relatives and friends displaced by the war, fighting, volunteering, or missing; worrying for his wife and young son; trying to decide how to explain what is happening to a three-year-old; wondering if they should have left, as they did, or stayed in the city. Of jumping out of bed with the alarms; getting sidetracked by a song, an update, an intercepted message between a Russian soldier and his wife, a show of solidarity, the result of a poll revealing what Russians think about the war, a request for material from his brother, who has joined the Territorial Army, accounts of destruction, cruelty, and massacres…

Eine writes poems, refers to favourite songs, singers and groups, books, and stories. (I must confess I am not a big reader of fantasy or science-fiction and was only familiar with some of the musical references. I don’t think our tastes are too similar, but that is neither here nor there). The book follows a more or less chronological order, although sometimes the author might backtrack to talk about a memory or an episode that he couldn’t include as it happened. Eine mentions the Kübler-Ross model, the one we associate with the five stages of grief, and there are some similarities he acknowledges at times. He cannot believe what is happening at first, especially in XXI Century Europe (although, of course, not that much time has passed since WWII, which he often refers to, and many other wars had taken place since, some in Europe as well), and this quickly becomes anger, an anger that doesn’t go anywhere, although there is some modulation and questioning at times.

I think many of us have learned more about Ukraine since the war started than we ever knew before, but that still is pretty limited in most cases. We get the news here, sometimes live connections with people in situ, but many of the things mentioned in the book haven’t reached us here, at least in Spain where I am. What we hear is more than enough to horrify us, but the stories the author shares make it all more vivid and more difficult to look away from. They highlight the fear, the confusion, the not knowing what to do for the best. Whatever the protagonists of the different stories decided to do (stay, leave the country, join other members of the family, enlist, hide, volunteer to help…), they are always wondering if it was the right thing, if they should have done something else. The ones who were (or have been, so far) lucky, keep thinking about those who weren’t. There are many stories of women running away with their young children, sometimes ill and in dire need of help, having to face terrible ordeals, and luckily, in many cases, eventually finding help and kindness, in their own country or a neighbouring one. Those stories are a drop in the ocean if we think of the number of refugees from the war, and as Eine explains, many people don’t want to talk about it, at least at the moment, and are trying to forget and get on with their lives as much as they possibly can, but they do paint a horrific picture of what it must be like for many people in that situation.

After the stories, and when the book reaches day 100 of the war, the author renders an homage to just a few of the many heroes, men and women, young and old, who have put the lives of others before their own survival, and who have gone above and beyond what most people would expect, as the writer says, not out of patriotism, but out of love for humankind. As the author concludes, “We are all Ukraine”.

The proceeds of the book will go to help Ukrainians in need, and the author also has other suggestions, for those who want to do more, as to how to help.

This is not a book I would recommend freely to everybody, because people know what their limits are when it comes to reading, especially non-fiction, and I cannot even think of trying to list all the warnings (probably anything bad you can think about, you’ll find here). On the other hand, even if you don’t feel up to reading it at the moment, you might know of somebody who wants to read personal accounts or even people who would be happy to buy the book simply as a way to help the people of Ukraine. Do your best. Spread the word.

Thanks to the author for providing us with this account, especially in such difficult circumstances, and I hope he and his family remain safe and his country’s nightmare comes to an end very soon. Even after reading the book, it is still difficult to fully comprehend what it must be like.

Thanks to all of you for reading, and if there is anything you can do to share, please do.


#Newbookrelease #ProjectRenovaSeries @TerryTyler4

via NewRelease! Terry Tyler’s UK2, Book #3 Project Renova Series #PostApocalyptic #Dystopian @TerryTyler4 | Rosie Amber


#NewRelease #PostApocalyse #Dystopia #FamilyDrama – Tipping Point by @TerryTyler4 | Rosie Amber

Terry Tyler’s new book TIPPING POINT is now available. If you love dystopias and post-apocalyptic dramas, you should not miss this one.

Published Today! The latest book from Terry Tyler A big thank you to Rosie for inviting me onto the blog to talk about my new book, Tipping Point, which is released today. I’ve been wanting t…

Source: #NewRelease #PostApocalyse #Dystopia #FamilyDrama – Tipping Point by @TerryTyler4 | Rosie Amber

Blog Tour

Blog Tour #Willem-of-the-Tafel by @hans_hirschi. A future and a past eerily recognisable

Hi all:

Today I’m really pleased to be taking part in the Blog Tour for the new novel by Hans Hirschi. If you remember I already brought you another one of his books ‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka‘ and I jumped at the chance of bringing you his newest novel. We have a character profile (a truly enlightened character. If only our politicians were like him) and I’ve had the pleasure of reading it too, so I leave you the review as well. And don’t miss the fabulous giveaway.

And now:

Willem of the Tafel by Hans M. Hirschi

Willem of the Tafel by

Hans M. Hirschi

Published by

Beaten Track Publishing

Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, LGBT, Post-Dystopian, Young Adult

194 pages

Release Date:  May 28, 2015


The world we know is gone, destroyed by greed and ignorance. On a post-apocalyptic Earth, centuries into the future, few have survived the Great War. Some have taken refuge deep inside a mountain. One of them, Willem, is exiled to the surface… Alone and struggling to survive, Willem embarks on an epic journey, making a discovery that could once again alter the future of humanity. Willem of the Tafel is an epic tale of survival, second chances, hope and undying love.


Check out the trailer for Willem of the Tafel




Follow the Willem of the Tafel Virtual book tour here


Hans M Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years.
A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and had previously published non-fictional titles.

The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with the opportunity to unleash his creative writing once again. With little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he indulges it, going with the flow.

A deeply rooted passion for, faith in a better world, in love, tolerance and diversity are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. His novels might best be described as “literary romance, engaging characters and relevant stories that won’t leave you untouched, but hopeful.”

Hans is a proud member of the Swedish Writers’ Union and the Writers’ Center in Sweden.



The giveaway for Willem of the Tafel has 11 randomly chosen winners; 10 will receive $15 Gift codes to the author’s shop, but the grand prize winner will receive a free ticket to GayRomLit retreat 2015, in San Diego, CA, happening October 15-18th, 2015. Ticket value is $175, but if you win the grand prize, you’re responsible for travel and accommodations. Please notify the author in advance should you win and be unable to attend, so we can choose another recipient to enjoy the prize! 

Character Profile from Willem of the Tafel 

Adrianjaka, Chief of Madagascar

Gender: Male

Age: late forties when we first meet him

Occupation: Chief of Madagascar and one of the four leaders of the world

Adrianjaka is an interesting man. Born into a powerful family with royal roots, he is used to being in charge, making decisions. He is the elected leader of the Malagasy people in the 26th century when the story begins. He was mated to a white woman of Kiwi descent, whom he lost to cancer, one of the many diseases plaguing a world that has no modern technology. His daughter, mother to one of the main characters, Hery, dies giving birth to Hery, which leaves Adrianjaka devastated, as he was very close to her, and it strains the relationship to his grandson for years. Hery eventually attends a school in the north of the island, a school dedicated to kids with disabilities (Hery is deaf) and meets the fisherman Stephane on who’s boat he begins to work as a sailor, further alienating him from his grandfather who had different plans for him.

However, the stubbornness and dedication of Hery slowly wear down the old man and when they meet at a crucial point in the story, Adrianjaka realizes that the path Hery has taken has prepared him for the future.

Adrianjaka is a crucial secondary character in the book. He is wise, he is powerful, but he’s not blinded by it, unlike his counterpart in South Africa, Mavuto.

I, personally, love Adrianjaka, because he’s not perfect but has a good heart and is able to recognise his mistakes, move on and accept. And he has the well-being of his people as his main interest. As I said at the beginning, if only…

Here, my review:

Willem of the Tafel is not an easy book to classify. The main protagonist, Willem, is quite young at the beginning of the action, and the novel follows his journey towards independence and adulthood, so it has elements of a Young Adult story. It portrays a future post-nuclear catastrophe, where environment takes its toll and pays humanity back, with most of the population being wiped-out and the few survivors taking some radical decisions. It’s a dystopia/utopia (depending on each person’s viewpoint) whereby whilst some groups of humans have decided to abandon technology to avoid further catastrophes, others depend on it for their basic survival. So it could be a science-fiction novel. It’s a novel with a strong pro-environmental message, and it reflects upon the human condition (fear, power struggles, and race relations). It is also a beautiful love story between two extraordinary young men, as different from each other as they could be, but as compatible and similar in their outlook as would be possible.

The author uses third person alternating point of view to make the reader share in the feelings of those characters that, although initially might appear completely alien to us once we move past their circumstances, they are not that different from all of us. Both of the post-apocalyptic societies that are shown have their problems. The people living on the surface who have renounced technology see their lives shortened but their lack of science and experiment hardship without any relief in sight, although they live a much simpler life and enjoy human contact. The society of the Tafel has developed a model of life where the main goal is survival and nothing that does not increase its likelihood is considered worthy of pursuit. Reproduction has become mechanised, society divided and dying due to lack of new blood and light, and each individual is only a cog in a machine. And there are huge division and differences according to race. Neither model is shown as perfect although the Tafel seems, by far, the sadder of the two (and perhaps the closer to where we are going).

Willem is and extraordinary character. An individual part of a system who is wonderfully unlike anybody else and whose punishment for an accidental death becomes his (and humanity’s) salvation. Willem brought to my mind Herman Melville’s character ‘Billy Budd’, the beautiful and innocent sailor who kills another sailor (unintentionally) and pays dearly for it, not only for his crime, but because he represents what the captain can’t be or have. Thankfully, in the case of Willem, this young man goes on to become the link between the two societies and a symbol of hope.

A joyful and optimistic read that affirms the human spirit. Suitable for all ages. A character and a novel I won’t forget.


Willem of the Tafel Tour brought to you by…

Happy Geek Media

Thanks to Amberr for organising the tour, thanks to Hans Hirschi for another fabulous book, and thanks to you all for reading. And don’t forget to like, share, comment, participate in the giveaway, and of course, CLICK!