Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “The Land of Look Behind” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
*Note: This novel came with a happy small surprise: the Marketing Manager enclosed his card within the pages of the book and I thought – how clever! On two counts: to have a calling card for a publisher I appreciate reviewing for and hosting their authors, and secondly, it makes a curiously portable ‘bookmark’! I spy the bookmarks for the novels on author blogs and social media feeds but this is as good as that for me! Plus, all the imprints at Cedar Fort are listed and it’s a nice bit of memorabilia for a book blogger who appreciates the publisher.
Why I was curious to read this one:
Mr Blaylock pitched his novel to me before I caught sight of it myself, and through his initial contact with me, I learnt a few insights about how an author reads my Review Policy. In other words, he gave me a lot of lovely compliments and he genuinely understood my selection process as a book blogger! I was quite chuffed to have seen the ‘other side’ of my blog and how what I am leaving behind in this niche of mine is being translated to both readers and authors alike. It was the kind of note your thankful to receive as it introduced you to a new author and allowed you to receive feedback on your own ‘pitch’ to authors who may be seeking a book blogger.
Sharing a portion of my response where I began by explaining why I would be open to reading an LDS focused story-line:
As you might have inferred from my previous Cedar Fort reviews, I’m a non-LDS Protestant but this doesn’t affect how I approach reading LDS Fiction or Non-Fiction as I review both styles on my blog. Quite happily so, as I am finding some of the best fiction today is coming out of Cedar Fort, not just for the discernible adult reader but for young adults and children (as reflected in my Story Vault; you’ll find many CF authors spilt through the genres).
I’m happy to make your acquaintance and I was especially surprised you’ve pitched me your book by going through my Review Request page! That spoke volumes to me on how your approaching your career and your willingness to interact with book bloggers and reviewers. It’s a compliment to you, in other words! Well done.
What drew my eye to CF in the first place was knowing I would be seeking out a wide spectrum of fiction wherein I would find stories that were writ with a gentler voice than most contemporary releases. Herein I refer to my discourse in highlighting the unnecessary need to use vulgarity in telling stories for today’s audience. I never felt I was a ‘clean fiction’ reader until I started to see such a surge of overt instances of both vulgarity and explicit violence (another no-no in my opinion) in stories for young adults and adults alike. For YA I’m quite particular about what I will accept as far as visuals, tone, voice and expression of story even moreso than adult because I believe YA should spare certain inclusions that are rampant in Adult Lit.
I personally love adventure novels, one of the last ones I’ve read was Ian Quicksilver by a fellow CF author; it re-established my desire to read more of it’s kind, as who doesn’t want to jettison off on a quest? Previously it was Uncovering Cobbogoth that set my sails for seeking stimulating worlds where characters have to overcome an adventurous oft arduous journey.
At first glance, I love how the symbol or crest attached to your world is a watermark addition behind the overlay of text for your title. It’s a very cleverly pieced together book cover, which I will mention on my review.
Ooh! You’ve given me a time slip narrative where I can soak inside two timescapes at once? I love discovering parallel stories where there are two folds to the context of where we’re taken! Hence why I was so very appreciative of reading A Fall of Marigolds (review).
I was quite chuffed realising this novel is centered around your own personal experiences in Jamaica and how you were inspired by the country which hasn’t left your heart. I can relate to this, as I have a personal connection to Mexico and the Mayan ruins, of which I have blogged about on different reviews; giving out a bit of information about my adventures on each one. The latest was on the cookbook Daily Tortilla. (review)
It should be mentioned Uncovering Cobbogoth was my first blog tour with Cedar Fort and my entrance into wicked sweet adventure fiction for Young Adult Lit! It set the bar high and gave me a new standard of what I was personally seeking inasmuch as what I hoped to find in the genre as a whole. So much of what I loved about Cobbogoth has directly influenced me to understand what I’m looking for the most in other works by authors who are focusing on a young adult audience. Upcoming this year I will be a new contributor to a Steampunk blog wherein I will be reading a heap of Steampunk spilt between my new venture and Jorie Loves A Story. The ones I am hand selecting for the new blog will have a specific list of ‘must haves’ I will be disclosing at a later point in time. The rest I’ll populate on my blog but will save the majority for Sci Fi November and the Sci Fi Experience where I purposely showcase a heap of science fiction loveliness each year (since I started in 2013).
The reason I remain transparent on my blog about my choices of what I read for review and the reasons behind what goes into my process to make a selection is to help my readers understand what first draws my attention first and foremost, but also, to a lesser extent to keep an open dialogue with my readers about what keeps us curious about the books we’re reading and the authors we continuously are discovering who are attempting to inspire us to such a level of an experience we will all but beg for more of the same to continue to enlighten us in their future releases.
As I move further into 2016 and beyond, you will find my selections growing more select as I enter into my Renaissance stage of Jorie Loves A Story. Hence why when an author takes the time to reach out to me via my blog’s Contact Form, by email or directly on Twitter (or through DMs) I take stock of how well they understand my reading life and the way in which I blog my literary adventures. If your an author following a book blogger, don’t shy away from talking to us. We’ll all bookishly geeky in our own ways, why not take the chance to open up a convo with us and see where that conversation might lead?
Notation on Cover Art and the symbolism of The Land of Look Behind:
On the cover and back cover copy is an embedded symbol which follows into the story itself as it’s on the Chapter Headers (whilst alternating with a second symbol just as important and pertinent to the story-line); the way in which the publisher had it as a textural raised (although subtle) symbol is what originally stood out to me about the cover, as it’s three in one: the image of the adventurer in the cave’s opening going into the light of; the typography of the title of the novel; and this symbol that nearly looked like a watermark from afar. In person it has more of a presence and isn’t flat. As it exists in it’s own dimensional space and draws your eye into being pensive of it’s significance.
It took a bit of digging around the internet but I learnt one important bit of trivia: ‘the land of look behind’ is a direct reference to Jamaica as soldiers used to keep their advantage whilst travelling through the country best by never yielding a look-out point in any one direction. They went so far as to ride horses where both riders were never facing forward as one looked forward as ‘one looked back’. This is gives a bit of new insight to the titling of the novel as I personally did not understand the title at first glance, second look or the third reading of it when I sat to read the story outright.
The Land of Look Behind
Subtitle: A Jamaican Treasure Worth Dying For
Jarvis tried to collect himself.
He needed a plan of action.
Captain Willard had given him strict orders -
but what weight should he give the orders of a dead man?
Three hundred years ago, a soldier named Jarvis journeyed deep into Jamaica and discovered a land of myth, treasure, and danger. Now Gideon, who served in Jamaica as a missionary, returns armed with Jarvis's journal to follow the enigmatic clues with his best friend. But they quickly discover there are forces who would kill to keep the treasure secret.
Travel into Jamaica's treacherous cockpit country in this spine-tingling thriller.
Places to find the book:
Borrow from a Public Library
Add to LibraryThing
on 1st February, 2016
Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook
Converse on Twitter via: #LandOfLookBehind
Don’t forget to read my *special announcement*
at the end of this review! Read More