A fine WordPress.com site

Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Rose of Numen…official review

I am continuing today with Rose of Numen but actually want to share the official review of the book as rendered by the chairman Association of Nigerian Authors.

A REVIEW OF BIOLA OLATUNDE’S ROSE OF NUMEN
Rose of Numen is a 188 page fascinating novel published by IFNG Publishing Inc. Melbourne, Australia, 2015 by Biola Olatunde.

Rose of Numen is a sequel to Numen Yeye. It therefore continues Ife’s tale. Ife channels still the spirit of Numen Yeye, a princess from the kingdom of Light. Her mission, her purpose in life is now crystal clear and the extra-ordinary in her is still intact.
Rose of Numen begins in the prologue. The reader is afforded a glimpse into the past and into the metaphysical world of Rose of Numen, Ife herself. Princess Numen is prepared to embark once again on a journey to another world, the earth, which, however, is inextricably linked to hers. Her purpose, her mission is enunciated, and then the reader is jolted into the present.
Ife gets a scholarship from her old principal to study medicine at the University teaching hospital in a Nigerian city, Ibadan, and her life becomes “professionally fulfilling” afterwards, to borrow a phrase from the blurb, but that is not the end point. She must act out her predestined role on the planet earth.
Ife plunges headlong into her purpose, her mission, releasing the extra-ordinary locked up in her and effectively using the knowledge of her extra-terrestrial connection in the process. She begins with a gathering of a mini festival held at certain periods of the year for women of childbearing age by Yeye, the priestess. She focuses her lens on the culture and tradition of her people, wounding and healing at the same time. But she is not the only one in Rose of Numen whose fate has been predetermined. Babatunde her soul mate, has also been saddled with the responsibility of ruling and protecting his people, not as the chief medicine man nor as part of the inner circle of Ifa, but as a king. Not until towards the end, both the reader and Babatunde remain obvious of this truth. Just as Rose of Numen, Ife, immerses herself in her mission to humanity, stripping people of superstitious beliefs, pointing iconoclastic finger at the practice of human sacrifice, reuniting broken homes and restoring to them the cocoon of family love and care, opening the key to the riddle that dribbles many, with regards to whether reincarnation is a myth or fact, exhorting the woman to see themselves as carrying “a secret flame the man needs to grope his way through life, so also does Babatunde, the young lion preoccupies himself with the kinship issue.
Babatunde is a necessary part of the inner circle of Ifa priests. Based on this knowledge, Adewumi, one of the princes, and whose status is in doubt, approaches Babatunde, with the intent of bribing his way onto the throne, but he is disappointed. Following the latest in a spate of prince Adewumi’s futile efforts to bribe his way through; Ifa’s declaration of a missing prince and Babatunde’s firm refusal to be dissuaded, Babatunde is framed, accused of fraud and thereby suspended. A lawyer and close friend of Ife, Yomi, however shows up like a knight in shining armor and consequently, Babatunde is rescued.

Ifa, in the first attempt at selecting a king, declares that a prince is missing. The tale of the missing prince and potential king resounds around the village, even rending its air. Consequent upon this, prince Adejare, on the one hand, who had shown sign of promise decides and backs out of the kinship tussle. Prince Adewumi, on the other hand, seeks redress in a law court. The selection procedure is called to question. Babatunde, the young lion and an upholder of tradition however becomes victorious in the long run, but that is also not the end. The State Ministry of Chieftaincy Affairs requests for a fresh nomination and instructs that a representative of the ministry shall be asked to witness the selection process in order to give fairness a chance. At this point, the reader sees tradition and sacred secrecy coming face to face, clashing with civilization and openness. While still puzzled by the mystery of the missing prince, Babatunde dramatically encounters an old man through which he gains a fascinating insight into the tale of the first king and his missing son, and the two women who, before they could do anything were warded off by the roar of a lion. The day comes. The ceremony begins for the selection of the king. The procedure is simple: each prince is to step forward, mention his lineage and the spirit of the king his forbear will be called forth. Adewumi is the first to be called forth. He is asked probing questions. Answers fail him. The mask falls and it becomes patently obvious that his claim is false. He turns out to be a product of his mother’s shameless and senseless escapade with a farmer.
However, to the utter dismay of everyone, Babatunde turns out to be the missing prince during his first earthly journey. He has reincarnated as Babatunde. He has the symbol of kingship, a pointer to the identity of the sought-after prince and king.

While dissociating herself from the crops of feminists, who believe that the woman has been long conditioned in the environment of masculine dominance, hence the need to liberate her from the shackles and pands of male dominance, Olatune in Rose of Numen gives the woman a new focus. The woman carries a secret flame that she must light in man. Among others, she revisits culture contact, bribery and corruption, predestination, the link between the spiritual and the physical world (a theme which the farmland of African writers have ploughed appreciably), and dwell more on incarnation and reincarnation. She presents us in this work of fiction, with two interconnected and interrelated world, and with the characters we go many a time on foray from this earthly plain into the world beyond. 
Numen Yeye is an intriguing and captivating novel that is laced in flowery language, garnished with local idioms. Biola Olatunde indeed rises to the challenges of originality and creativity.
Like a meandering gentle rivulet, the well-etched words flow smoothly as it takes on issues of global concern that borders on emotions: pains, loss, joy and love, with a force. Also, we hear the resonance of love as it permeates through the thickest of hearts to produce a relationship that cannot be forgotten in time.

Book Reviewer:
Sola Owonibi, PhD: Chair, Department of English Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Nigeria. An award-winning poet and play-wright, he is the Chairman, Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Ondo State Branch.

I am really grateful for that review because for me , writing at the international level has been a learning process and I am sure I have not scratched the surface yet. I look forward to your comments and suggestions.
You can always get a copy of any of my books from ifwgpublishing.com as well as on amazon.com
Chat soon.

Advertisements

Numen Yeye Series

It is my new year. On the first Saturday of this month I turned 65. Nothing new in that as one day looks very much like another eh? For me though, birthdays are markers and I have a habit of looking forward to them. You know, do reviews and previews of my the past months and years sometimes. It was special for me this year because I had a chance to formally unveil to my own circle of friends my book two of the Numen Yeye series. Rose of Numen had been releases a couple of weeks before then.
I am using the instrument of fiction and facts to tell my people a story, and it is with a longing that we will dispense with the false façade we give the world. We are Nigerians, and I know that deeply ingrained in every Nigerian is a search for the Truth.
Why did I start these Numen series?
I spent my early years in the Northern part of my great country. I was used to walking wide open spaces in the blistering sun , the wild windy storms that will stop as abruptly as it had started.. We lived in Kaduna and I spoke the Hausa language instinctively with family and friends. I listened to tales of the dark south as I heard tales of rituals, dark medicine and held the southern peoples specifically my Yoruba homeland in dread.
When my policeman father was transferred South, we thought we had received a veritable death sentence. I had a sense of being closed in. Then I met my maternal grandmother and heard a story that opened a love for my tribe, a questioning of the very things that had kept me frightened. She was a priestess, a love and mystic that in the very simplicity of her life showed I had nothing to be afraid of. She told me about the pantheon of the gods of my ancestors and how it is I could find the same in any particular religion in any particular part of the planet Earth. Above all, these gods in a single thread led straight to Olodumare, the Supreme One.
So I wrote the Numen Yeye series first as a play, in the same trilogy as I later did in prose.
Last Saturday, I presented to my own community of friends and fellow authors, the second in the series…ROSE OF NUMEN.Rose of Numen front cover
Let me share one of the comments of Lloyd Weaver an African-American, when I gave him the book to read before coming to the presentation:” I am totally stunned. There is nothing more to be said. I thank the Mother of All.. You have put your soul on the line and rendered your life sacred.”

Lloyd Weaver

Lloyd Weaver


Quite heavy words for me but I understood what he meant for Lloyd is an Ifa priest of a reputation that earned him a chieftaincy title from the accepted cradle of Yoruba land, Ile Ife. I felt excited when he came to the launching and spoke glowingly about the book. His comments underlined the comments of the book reviewer, a head of the department of literature, Dr. Sola Owonibi.IMG-20151005-WA0029

IMG-20151005-WA0034
In the words of Dr. Owonibi, “I am a teacher of Literature, I should know about Literature and with all sense of responsibility, the book Rose of Numen, is a great work of Literature. It is a great work of literature, a book that I am proud to recommend to anyone. I congratulate the author on a well written book and the publishers for a great cover and layout.”
IMG-20151005-WA0033
I felt like I was floating on a cloud and listening to accolades for someone else. I will continue next week . I hope you will order for your own copy.
You can buy a copy from ifwgpublishing.com
Or at amazon.com

The Andromedans by Elizabeth Lang….A Review

The Andromedans make me mad. They make me want to get to the next jump gate, board a flight and knock heads. I was left gasping, my tongue out at the edge of the cliff askance at the abrupt end of 312 pages of heat, anger, agony and anxiety. It took a while before it sunk in that it was a story. It had come to an abrupt end. Now I know the meaning of cliff hanger! I am trying to uncurl my fingers, my muscles, and my mind. The Andromedans, the third in the Empire series holds you by the throat from page one and you are taken through at such a blistering pace, into the world of sci-fi and held by the throat until like Adrian you are left denuded of all emotions. At the end of the story I was left begging for more, angry with Elizabeth Lang for not finishing the darn book! I love Adrian Stannis, I even suspected if he was real I would have had a crush on him, and always imagined his reaction that if ever learnt that he would clip my wrinkled ears. That thought makes me smile at the power of the author in making such characters so rounded and compelling. There is however the portrayal in this particular series of Adrian as an object of admiration, exasperation Kali, I always saw as the saving grace of Adrian, her cool understanding of the human race or shall I say in her understanding of us. But there is the new revelation of learning she thinks us noisy. Wow. Ergh, excuse me Kali, was wondering if you were not a mite interested in Sester. Sester, who for me was a non person, annoying, frightening, and downright carries a label.”HANDLE WITH CARE” Just for a nanosecond, he was believable when he fell in love with Rena Dastrin, spring and dead winter affair. Elizabeth is one of my favourite authors, I always read with awe her ability to make fiction so real as for you to think she was reporting a real event that just happened in the neighbourhood. I would like to congratulate her on this one. It is a vast improvement on the series. I do have some questions though.

First of all, thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you liked the story.

1. The death of Venner seems tame considering his omnipotence in the Empire, is it to show the supremacy of the Andromedans?

It’s hard to answer that without giving away spoilers for the next book. Let’s just say that there will be a fourth and final book to the Empire series called The Vitarins.

2. Who actually is Sester? One senses there is much more to him .

There is certainly much more to Sester than meets the eye and we will be finding a lot more about him in the next book. In many ways, his life is, and always has been intertwined with Adrian and Argus.

3. Adrian showed almost the invincibility of the human spirit, but you seem to state in the way that the story has ended that , courage, loyalty and conviction though good qualities of the human psyche, may not win out as evil may ultimately win out. True?

I’m glad to say that while evil may take us to some very dark places, it will not, at least in my books, never entirely win out. In some ways, while the breaking of Adrian was horrible, it did have some benefits, although it may not seem like it. When the empire took Adrian as a child and moulded him into what they wanted him to be, he was never allowed to become who he could have been. What happens to him in The Andromedans, allows him to do that and we discover who Adrian is and always has been beneath that cold exterior.

4. The ultimate soldier Argus is proven at the end not to be a human being but an admixture of experiment and engineering, do you feel that the human being is too faulty?

The empire thinks that being human is not enough to fight the war and win so they try to ‘improve’ the original, making Adrian super smart but devoid of emotions and Argus a super soldier without a conscience, but in the end, what makes them strong is not these ‘enhancements’ but those characteristics which make them human, their capacity to love and their loyalty.

5. I have an anxious question, will Adrian be redeemed as a human being?

Stay tuned .

6. Andromedans contrary to impression are more evil than the Empire, so what is the raison d’etre for their war with the Empire? On a deeper scale the essence of this book paints a picture of Ultimate Chaos. Please enlighten

In this book we finally get to see the enemy, and while they may look different and have superior technology, their motivations are not unlike our own. I was inspired by an idea from a scientist (unfortunately, I don’t remember the person’s name) that aliens, if they existed and were more advanced than we are, that if they discovered our existence and saw what we have done to our own planet, they might think us a threat that they would not want to allow into the rest of the universe. That idea made me think of other things too, not just how we have used and abused our own world, but each other.

7. Kali as a protagonist for good has been ineffectual, preoccupied with Adrian could not use her potential gifts, did not save Adrian. Tell us why?

Kali has always been afraid of her own powers. She doesn’t want to make mistakes because she knows how much damage she can do. In some ways, she has always been afraid of herself, that darkness that makes her willing to do anything, justify any action as long as she feels there is a need. In any ways, she is a microcosm for the compromises that both the Empire and the Andromedans make in order to survive and do, what they think, is the right thing.

8. There is a dead hero Dain, a tantalizing Celia, and a Sam, in different formats, unfinished stories and mysteries to be explored, are you planning on unveiling them later?

We will find out a little more about Celia and Sam. As for Dain, as we get to know Argus, it is almost like knowing Dain because they are mirror images of each other. The humanity which made Dain strong enough to break the Empire conditioning is the same humanity that Argus is discovering, albeit reluctantly, about himself.

9. What is your next work in progress?

I am working on the fourth book, The Vitarans, and a new sci-fi/fantasy called Mrs. Beeston.

10. You are a very talented artist, and that is a gentler creativity, do you have conflicts of creativity sometimes?

I enjoy the different aspects of creativity, both in word and visual. The conflict comes when I never seem to have enough time for both.

11. The author sometimes mirrors himself/herself in one of the characters, which character speaks for you sometimes?

They all reflect different aspects of myself, except Sester. I don’t know where he comes from…though I do have a wacky sense of the ridiculous sometimes.

12. Which age will you recommend should read this book?

With the sophistication kids are exposed to these days, I would say at least young adult.

Thank you very much for sharing with us.

Thank you for allowing me to share the Empire universe. .

50 shades of Grey.. the confusion and Grammar

I had heard about the book in 2013 when my friends discussed it in one of our internet discussions. My friend Lisa was not impressed and could not understand the hysteria about it. That made me curious and I asked her how I could get a copy of the book.
When the first in the triology came, I read the first chapter and disgust, confusion rose in me. I kept it away from my children instinctively. Then we moved house and I started reading about the fact that it was going to be made into a film so I felt I needed to read it . I had a few reasons that impelled me to want to finish the book. If it came into a film I could not be sure how my children were going to come across it and I wanted to be ready. I went back to 50 Shades again, and it was like walking through a strange land.
I am Nigerian with a definite cultural background and thus was prepared to be tolerant of quite a lot of things about the Western culture. I always had to do double duty picking through aspects of the Western culture that best complimented my Nigerian youths.
The concept of pain as a sexual thing is very strange and frankly I had never read about BDSM, nor a submissive or a Dominant. I was bewildered like Anastasia for most of the time. I was horrified that they were humans who only had that way of sexual fulfillment. In my mother’s day, she could not even dare discuss the simple act of procreation with me and we had quaint names we gave the female monthly cycle and now I just dropped myself into something way beyond my concept. It was an education. I resolutely turned each page determined to read it to the very end and when Anastasia finally fled I wanted to box her ears for crying.
I have my reservations, I agree that everyone to his own poison as long as he recognized it was his own decision and he was very much aware of the consequences of his actions, his thoughts and what he puts out in creation for others to read.
I have always been very conscious of the written word, its effects that outlives the writer and I try to pass that on to my friends. What you write is like sowing seeds into minds you may never meet and you will have to answer for them.
That however was not my only problem, there was the style of writing which was very poor and then the grammar. It was quite interesting to learn that Grammarly also had their own take on 50 shades. Let me share with you. They called it 50 shades of grammar
Although it topped bestseller lists around the world, E. L. James’ erotic romance novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, was widely panned by critics for its poor use of language.
The Grammarly team reviewed the book for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, and learned that — although there were some mistakes — the errors were in alignment with similar gaffes in celebrated romances.
Below, check out some of the most frequent grammar mistakes from Fifty Shades of Grey, as well as some quotes from classic romances that also make these mistakes. The language of love really is a language of its own!
You may want to check this link to know all about the 50shades of Grammar.
I hope to chat pretty soon.
<a href="http://Grammarly: Fifty Shades of Grammar“>

PREDETERMINATION AND MAN’S EARTHLY MISSION…Numen Yeye review

BOOK: NUMEN YEYE
AUTHOR: BIOLA OLATUNDE
PUBLISHER: IFWG PUBLISHING, INC
REVIEWER: SUNMOLA OLOWOOKERE

This work of fiction by this seasoned writer, Biola Olatunde is not a novel for the ordinary man, it is for deep thinkers who are striving for higher and ennobling recognitions and the human link with the spiritual world.
The book opens with a scene from a level that is much different from ours, Terra firma, to use Olatunde’s words. Princess Numen in the place of light is getting ready to go on an earthly journey. The author’s display of emotions is explosive as the reader struggles to understand the identity of the narrator in the story.
With infinite care, she established a link between the spiritual world and ours in the characters of Jasmine and Fehintola, Lije and Ayo, Numen and Imole Ife. Hence the first lesson; our journey on earth is predetermined and nothing by chance.
Fehintola was an unlucky woman who was plagued by “Abiku”. In the Yoruba Mythology, Abiku simply means evil child that dies only to be born again by the same mother, and keeping on the evil and vicious cycle until it stops. She was desolate with the turn her marriage took as her husband took another wife.
An end is to come to her troubles as she was visited and favoured by the priestess of Numen. Her life took on a new glow and demeanor of quiet confidence was surprising to her detractors.
Fehintola’s journey in life and understanding of the mystical world around her evolves quietly as she became acquainted with the spiritual beings that were deteremined to help her once she found her own link with the spiritual.
Lesson Two, each human being has a link to a divine connection which once detected helps individuals in tackling life challenges.
Amidst guidance and extraordinary tranquility, Fehintola had her baby and the child grew and began school with her knowledge of her extra-terrestial link still intact.
In the society however, she was seen as “strange” Even her friends could not understand her strange gifts. However, the people around her were glad of the divine intervention they got in the time of distress through her special gifts.
Her father and maternal grand-mother understood her being partially while her mother who ought to understand her more due to the other-worldly experiences she had before giving birth to her was surprisingly uncomprehending.
Due to the divine powers she possessed, she has a running battle with her paternal grandmother who could not subdue her. In several scenes, the reader is shown the woman’s dark powers and how she attacks her victims mercilessly, even those with whom she had familiarities.
The novel “Numen Yeye” portrays two main forces, one of the light and the other of the darkness. The duo are tackling at loggerheads as their missions are as different as day Is from night.
I am mostly intrigues by the regal figure of Numen, the Priestess of the Rose. Her humanness and empathy with people she came into contact with shows when she observes them through her spiritual visor.
She came to the world to help some important figures that she perceived to be in distress. The novel’s setting is based on two plains; one, earthly and the other, esoteric.
On the esoteric, we have Princess Numen, Lije and Jasmine amidst other creatures. And on earth, we have Lije and Jasmine as couple with earthly names Ayo and Fehintola respectively.
Princess Numen came to the planet earth with a mapped out mission of how to help mankind especially those around her to fight forces of darkness that might want to destroy them.
However, once she was born, she had trouble linking to her spiritual world from where she came. She could not understand the sudden insight about happening around her that comes to her inner being at intervals.
She had difficulty in identifying her inner self and this made her uncomfortable as she wondered at the source of her sudden but steady insights. In her household, the family regarded her with a mixture of fear and respect.
However, her grandmother had no liking of her because of her wicked plan which were thwarted by the goddess that she sees as mere slip of a girl. Her several attempts to destroy Numen whose earthly name is “Imole Ife” failed and her hatred for her young granddaughter grew. However, she could not make mincemeat of her as she did with the other family members.
With her witchcraft, she had upended the destinies of her children and those who refused to bow to her whims had been destroyed in her anger. In short, Imole Ife’s grandmother had met her match in the mere slip of a girl who was her granddaughter.
Imole Ife who was known to her mother before birth became estranged from her when she was growing up because the woman could not understand the strange daughter that fate had bestowed on her.
She was called several names “Emere, with witch, Ogbanje” etc and she was disturbed by the beliefs until she found her true self.
On the earth plane, three people had been her mainstay, her maternal grand-mother, Yeye at the shrine and her father. Her rapport with these people had helped her stabilize until she found her true self by discovering her link to ther eternal roots.
It was only then that she found peace and she could easily tap into the power that she could use whenever she needed to help anyone in distress. Her understanding and insight was so awesome that people began to respect her and see her as the high priestess that she was.
She had come to terms with her mission in life; to be of help to humanity. Despite the knowledge of this mission, she studies to be a doctor with her father’s help and support.
The novel was set in an era when females were not encouraged to go to school. However, her father supported her in her desire for western education.
At long last, she discovered herself and accepted to lead the virgin dance that she had dreaded and scoffed at. Ultimately, she found a worthy companion to mate with for life in Babatunde, her friend.
The novel, Numen Yeye, is about intertwining worlds and it teaches about predestination. The novel also her satiric properties as the readers become aware of the ills of polygamy and extended families. It also gently scoffs at Nigerian’s show of religiousity which had not helped in solving our problems. It also encourages female education.
It is a work rich with cultural practices of the Yoruba people. While the author does not bore the reader with traditional numbo-jumbo, it has brought home to us that we cannot forget our roots and our links to what has been before our existence.
The author, in this work, has outdone herself. Her understanding of man’s existence and the importance of understanding his purpose in life is portrayed in Imole Ife and her desire to understand her mission in life.
Really, I want to say the readers who know Biola Olatunde and the richness of her prose could not have expected anything less that the dexterity she exhibited in “Numen Yeye”.

Tag Cloud