The Unaffected Resolve – A 254Comic

The Unaffected Resolve

by Humphrey Osoro

The Unaffected Resolve is an ongoing fantasy/actionunaffectedresolve_1 graphic novel series that takes you into the mind of Lisa Sagini, a lieutenant in the Kenyan army, her apprentice ,Orville Mukau, and the mysterious cat creature that accompanies them through their adventures as they try to survive the horrors thrown against them, and to do that, they must have a resolve stronger than steel. It must be …Unaffected. Follow the saga to find out what happens.

Available on : 254comics.com

Cost: Kshs. 250

 

Thoughts:

unaffected-resolveHumphrey draws a tale about Lisa Sagini, who is in the Kenyan Army.  The story starts with a bang, a cat creature carries Lisa on it’s back, and that had me going what’s next.  Very strong strokes on the art, Osoro clearly defines each of his characters.  The tone is a bit darker than I’d like, but still it does not take out from the story, which leaves me waiting to see what more is in store for Lisa Sagini.

I have mad love for the otaku culture!  There was a time I thought I might start drawing a manga, but writing is more exciting for me.  Instead, I read comics and manga avidly.  I was excited to get to know this little gem, and from our 254 region.  I hope to see more from Humphrey, soon!

Follow Humphrey’s Blog to learn more.

The Virgin Journey – Book Review

The Virgin Journey

Book Review

51i7-ZqqunL._SX313_BO1,204,203,200_Gary Stokes is a struggling young American, who then lands a job with a press bureau based in East Africa and an expatriate is born.  Gary moves to Kenya, meets a fellow reporter, Guy, who helps him adjust to his new life.  Cue in intimidating government officials, unmovable landlords, and incidents unfolding in snooty exclusive membership clubs left behind by settlers—, Gary and Guy become lifelong friends.  In this new life, Gary soon discovers that life in East Africa requires an abundance of open-mindedness, patience and caution.

The Virgin Journey is an interesting perspective on life for an expatriate living in East Africa in the eighties.  Through Gary, Wampamba takes us through heavy issues present in the eighties and even now, like the first HIV epidemic, unrest in Uganda, bribes in government offices and racism in South Africa.  The change of perspective is refreshing, because she manages to make Gary’s immersion into these issues effortless, without seeming contrived, through experiences in Gary’s life.

At the core of Gary’s new life, is love: for his old home, his new home, his old girlfriend, and a new one.  The struggle to reconcile all these parts of him is real, and Gary’s character emerges as just a man, doing what he can to earn a living, and find happiness…albeit in the real jungle that is Africa.

 

What did I love about this book?

The change Gary goes through from the negative mess he starts out as at the beginning.  His quite uninformed view on our beloved East Africa made me remember a question I was once asked by an acquaintance…,

Do I live next to Lions in Africa?  Are they right next door?’  No, they’re not right next door, thank you.  They’d have me for dinner otherwise

Gary’s character had this annoying factor at the beginning for me.  However, that changes through the story, as he travels from one city to the next, experiencing the joys and beauties…as well as the bittersweet parts of East Africa, you find yourself sympathizing, rooting for him.

In all, this story is a great start to an unforgettable adventure in East Africa.  Two reporters work to tell the East African story, the best they can.  Wampamba stays true to the culture while adding her own zest into a growing love between two expatriates and their strong African princesses.

4.0 Stars

Get Your Copy: The Virgin Journey

Between Death and Heaven – Book Review

post

Exciting!

This blog now has 100 posts!

I have had a hundred things to say apparently.  I can’t wait to reach 200 posts, but for today, I celebrate the small victories.

And the Hundredth Post is…..

A book Review!

Between Death and Heaven cc17c55e97afe22d62da713a34496872607b649f

by Annemarie Musawale

What happens after we die? A vindictive ex-girlfriend (maybe, who knows?) is responsible for the death of happy lovers; Phil and Lillian. One minute they’re celebrating the possibility of a long life together, the next they’re contemplating eternity in the hospital where they die. Shenanigans ensue as they try to fit in with post-death society. What are the norms, who makes the rules and who can they ask about being taken to the leader. Can they still love each other and remain lovers in this brave new non-world? These are just some of the questions that Phil and Lillian are confronted with. Oh if only they’d appreciated contemplating their navels more when they were alive! Now there’s no choice, danger approaches and they must be in with the right people before it comes…or else.

Book Review

Between Death and Heaven is a paranormal novel tackling the afterlife.  Phil and Lillian find themselves in a new world when they end up in the hospital after having severe food poisoning. In this new world, they are ghosts without a clear path as to where they should go, who they should be, certainly what they were doesn’t matter so much anymore. 

Lillian is eager to break through the barriers she and Phil face, and her courage sends them on a wild adventure to deliver an important message.  Well, it’s certainly a challenge, consider these two are dead, and therefore they are ghosts.  The use of cell phones, email, all manner of technology becomes obsolete. But not to worry, Musawale writes a great solution.  Plunging the reader into dramatic plots to obtain ingredients for spells, and witches who know it all.

Between Death and Heaven has an innocent charm to it, even while tackling heavy issues like revenge and murder. The fact that the afterlife is unknown allows Musawale to take advantage of imagination and create a world that manages to captivate.

The novel does introduce an array of characters, each one playing a role in Lillian and Phil’s adventure.  Each one with a mysterious background, or a legacy they can’t control or escape.  One thing’s for sure, the afterlife in Between Death and Heaven is not what you expect when you imagine death.

My only complaint was that it took a bit of getting used to Lillian’s lingo.  I understand Musawale was staying true to Lillian’s roots, and after a while, reading got easier, and I expected it from Lillian.  This is an interesting complaint, as it really depends on the reader’s preference.  Lillian does turn out to be a strong, young woman who loved a man enough to make a dramatic change in her life.  I liked her for that, and her amusing perspective on people and life in general.

But it here: Between Death and Heaven

4.0 Stars

About Annemarie Musawale:

Her Blog

The Bachelorette Diaries : 2012 – Book Review

The Bachelorette Diaries : 2012 frontcover

Shiri Golan has found the perfect man at last, but one day skeletons start crawling out of his closet hauling with them betrayal, a dark past and deadly secrets.

Hurt, betrayed and seeking vengeance, Shiri finds herself caught between forgiveness and justice. As she lives on, she discovers that, oblivious to her, she is a commander of some secret movement whose ultimate aim is to control the whole world.

From the sensational love poet and author of Holy Innocence and Holy Crimes, Elove Poetry, comes the story of love, hate, betrayal and secrets.

Book Review
“I’m a bachelorette, happy and enjoying it,” Shiri says at the start.

These words bring out the picture of a confident woman living in the city of Nairobi. She’s comfortable in her own skin, and knows what she wants in life. The Bachelorette Diaries: 2012 starts out as a personal recount of a woman who has it all, except for one thing. She wants to find herself a good man to love and who’ll love her. That right there brought Shiri upfront and center.

There begins the search for the ‘one’. The chapters where Shiri is combing through her social media account for that male friend that could turn into the one, were revealing…I wondered if Elove Poetry had CCTV at my area code. How many times do self-declared bachelorettes spend their nights stalking their male friends on social media, during that lonely period that strikes at low times?

Valentine’s Day draws near, and Shiri’s desperation goes in to high gear. I couldn’t help laughing when she contemplates that TV Ad….”Are you lonely? Do you want someone to talk to? SMS the word “Love” to 5454…” I know you wonder if that would work out if you tried it. So does Shiri…you know things are getting desperate if it’s come to thinking about that Ad.
Coming from that thought, Shiri jumps on to the first lifeboat that appears in the Village Market Mall. Smooth sailing ahead…not….when desperation blinds you to all but what you want, things are bound to get dicey. This moment starts a journey of a betrayal of her heart.

The adventure in The Bachelorette Diaries: 2012 came from the mysteries that crop up after months of bliss in one man’s arms. Suddenly, Shiri is confronted by questions that so often find us in real life. Do we really know the people we claim to love? How can we trust what they say about themselves? Perhaps it has become mandatory to get a friend like Gwen, as Shiri has, who is good at digging out those dirty little secrets hidden behind pretty words and intoxicating love.

Shiri finds herself in a mystery that includes murder, a secret ‘let’s take over the world’ club, and a disease she inherits from a distant relative that might shock you. She gets her heart broken, over and over, from the people she loves. In the end, I think the best relationship she had in this novel was the one she had with her three friends.

Reading through this novel, you get a glimpse into the life of an independent woman living in sunny Nairobi. The highs and the lows she goes through to carve out her position in the work environment, in business, as well as finding that partner she can accept and lean on. There are unexpected moments of impulsive behavior that lead to pleasant surprises, or rather nasty ones. And I find myself agreeing with Shiri when she seeks out an outlet for her many lows through her writing hobby.

The final chapters are filled with rapid action that at times is quite distracting as Shiri works to explain the mystery. For the most part it’s interesting trying to unwind the web, but I confess to getting bogged down just a little bit to the many twists and turns. However, I applaud Elove Poetry for having me glued to my reader for a solid three hours. The Bachelorette Diaries: 2012 is definitely a fascinating read.

Purchase it Here: The Bachelorette Diaries: 2012

4.5 Stars

For more on the author of this book: Elove Poetry books

Elove Poetry

website: https://elovepoetry.wordpress.com

Fire by Dora Okeyo – Book Review

419OY5W4jgLFire

by Dora Okeyo

A boy is born in the land of Leo. As the sound of the cattle horn is heard, everyone in the Kingdom celebrates the birth of not only a boy, but the Crown Prince. His name is Ustawi.

The hands that hold him foretell a prosperous future, but just like every dream has it’s valleys, so has Ustawi’s birth. One man has seen the evil that’s to befall the kingdom under the boy’s reign, his name is Ukweli. He is the Seer.

Fire begins the story of the Prince’s life and as you read through a story rich in culture and customs you can only ask yourself, can the Seer fight the gods? Can he avert the impending doom that’s to come?

Book Review

Fire is a unique literature story, that focuses on East African folklore.  Ms. Okeyo names her characters using the Swahili language.  Each name, symbolizing what the character should be, what they could or should stand for.  For example Ukweli in Swahili means Truth.  I found this characterization quite insightful. 

The story is quite simple, a Crown Prince is born into the land of Leo, the heir to his father’s throne, but instead of joy, the Seer, Ukweli is tormented by dreams of doom and darkness as he foresees the worst.  According to Ukweli, the land of Leo is going to face hard and dark times under the rule of Crown Prince Ustawi.  Tormented by this dreams, Ukweli goes on a journey hoping to find a solution, and on his journey, he finds more questions, and proof that Prince Ustawi’s reign will cause pain to the people of Leo.

Ms. Okeyo paints a great folklore tale, weaving in East African’s own culture into her story.  You’re treated to scenes of palatial huts, cloaks made with animal skin, and elders in a circle, and that just made me smile.  The genre is a different approach for Ms. Okeyo, I’ve only read romance stories from her before, but this is different and she’s set herself apart with Fire.

It did take me a lot longer to read.  You really need to settle down and get through each page to understand why Ukweli is moving from one place to another, and enduring so much torment.  This is not a complaint, more of a judgment of my own reading capabilities, I think.  I need to hone them, or something…^_^! It reminded me of reading a literature set book, you gotta keep your focus to understand what’s going on.  This is not your fast romantic tale, definitely requires undivided attention. Once you get going, Fire is a captivating read!

Get a Copy today!

About Dora Okeyo:

I am a full time wanderer for now. You’ll find me within the pages of a book.  I have written some books, why don’t you read them and get a glimpse.

Connect with Dora:

Facebook: Dora Achieng Okeyo (like her page)

Twitter: @herhar (Follow her)

Her Books: Dora’s Books

The Zanzibar Affair – Book Review

The Zanzibar Affair - Book Review

The Zanzibar Affair

The Zanzibar Affair

Author: Samantha Ford

Publisher: Moulin Publications (April 26, 2012)

Buy it Here: The Zanzibar Affair on Amazon

An enduring, sophisticated love story spanning decades and three continents.

Set against a spectacular backdrop of Safari Africa, New York and France, the love stories from Africa are the very essence of this remarkable debut novel. Love, betrayal, passion and death are woven into this romantic novel with exquisite skill. A book to read and to relish. Samantha Ford is destined to become a contemporary romance bestseller with her stories from Africa on this form.

Love and Betrayal
A letter found in an old chest on the island of Zanzibar reveals the secret of Kate Hope’s glamorous but anguished past, and the reason for her sudden and unexplained disappearance. Ten years previously Kate’s lover and business partner, Adam Hamilton, tormented by a terrifying secret he is willing to risk everything for, brutally ends his relationship with Kate leaving her devastated and feeling totally betrayed by her former lover .

A woman is found murdered in a remote part of Kenya, bringing Tom Fletcher back to East Africa to unravel the web of mystery and intrigue surrounding Kate, the woman he loves but hasn’t seen for over twenty years. In Zanzibar, Tom meets Kate’s daughter Molly. With her help he pieces together the last years of her mother’s life and his extraordinary connection to it.

The Zanzibar Affair Review

The Zanzibar Affair is a different view from mine, so far removed; I feel that I might not quite understand what Africa means to other people. This is the thought that filled my mind at the ending of this story. For Kate Hope, Africa is a place where she found love, lost it, lost it again, and then it found her. Love found her in the most unexpected person.

This book is a jaunt into the life of an expatriate living life from one African Country to the next. It spans a lifetime of life in Lagos, Swaziland, Cape Town, the beautiful Diani beach, and ends off the coast of Tanzania. Kate lives an adventurous life exploring the lush wildness of the continent. She has three loves, in the space of the three decades, but her second love damages her soul, so much that her last love almost loses her entirely.

This story is about Kate’s quest to find happiness and love. She has a passion for tourism, and the tourism business in Africa. This passion made her successful in business and in her career, but this same passion brought her the most pain. She has three loves. Her first love gave her a daughter, Molly, but he wasn’t strong enough or committed enough to stay with her. Adam, her second love, was the one she lost herself in. He broke her heart and her spirit so deeply she might have died. She found great joy with him, but he broke her heart so deeply she never found happiness until the last minute, and from someone she thought she’d lost. Her third love was probably her first love, but he’s the one who cared enough to go chasing after her at the end. This is the reason he is her third love, and the last one.

When I was reading this, I kept hoping for relief for Kate, just a sense of hope or light at the end of the tunnel. Tom, her last love, quickly became my favorite character, to me; he was the beacon of hope in the entire story. I kept wishing he’d find and rescue Kate. Therefore, the ending relieved me.

This is a story of a woman who has lived, and lived hard. She made tough choices, survived great tragedies, and endured the most heart wrenching love stories. It’s all very realistic and heart wrenching. It is definitely a revealing view on what life can be like for an expatriate living in Africa.

 Check it out!!

(I got this book through Moulin Publications, thank you Brian ^_^)

Somewhere Else by Mathew Shenoda – Poetry Review

somewhere elseSomewhere Else

by Mathew Shenoda

From the river Nile to the teeming streets of Cairo, from the indigenous, pre-Islamic Egyptian Coptic civilization to an America struggling with its fear of the Arab world, Shenoda’s poems recall the sacred traditions of an ancient, enduring culture as they widen the political conversation surrounding ethnicity, pan-Africanism and pan-Arabism. This notable collection spans generational, political and cultural divides, providing a nuanced perspective virtually unknown in the West.

Publisher: Coffee House Press, Minneapolis

Purchase Here: Somewhere Else on Amazon

 

Favorite Poems from this Book:

Excerpt of Somewhere Else

...
There will come a day when they say: 
who do you think you are 
and another day will come 
for you to tell. 

On that day the story will appear 
but do not tell of yourself 

tell the story of the staff that blossomed in the desert
or the one about your enemy’s greatest victory

tell the story of somewhere else...Read This Poem

Excerpt of New Cairo

…I stand on the balcony, staring

Withdrawn from this poverty by a mere Generation,

Then I remember

Great Grandmother used to say:

“If you throw salt away

God will make you

Pick it up

One grain at a time

with your eyelashes”

Take a moment and just imagine what it would take to actually collect salt one grain at a time with your eyelashes.  Yes, there would be tears, what an impossible task, you’d say.  At first, I laughed at the idea of Great Grandmother’s statement, but then you think about it and it’s eye opening. If you’re desperate you’ll do it, right?  You’ll find a way to collect that salt with your eyes, but what a painful process that would be.  So, don’t throw away a good thing…hmm…

Mathew Shenoda’s thought-provoking Poetry = Stunning, Effortless Truths

Elly in Nairobi Thoughts

Mathew Shenoda writes poetry with a deep love for heritage and culture.  There is always that sense of go back, think about where you come from, how it has shaped you, why you are this person today. I think this book reminds me to remember where am from and where I belong.  Where is home? What does that word mean really?

Time changes, as it must, we all change, but even with change, stop and embrace what your past is, how you’ve gotten here.  What were your ancestors’ hopes, one day you’ll be the one they’ll call ancestor.  What do you want them to think of you?

Meet Mathew Shenoda at the Storymoja Hay Festival:

  Matthew-Shenoda-profile-Masterclass: Critiquing & Editing Poetry
  With: Matthew Shenoda (Egypt/USA) & Ladan Osman (Somalia/USA), Keguro Macharia (Kenya)
  Time: Thur 18th September 2:30pm – 5:30pm
  Venue: Nairobi National Museum @ the STORYMOJA FESTIVAL
 About the Masterclass: POETRY DOCTORS
One of the most essential elements of poetry writing is the process of editing alongside self critique and peer critique. In this workshop we will examine various ways of conceptualizing work as a writer engages the writing process and as a way to gain a critical understanding of one’s own writing. We will then look at a rubric for editing and critiquing that helps the poet reach the aims they set out to achieve in their writing.