Disclosure. This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.
I have received a free e-copy of the book Once Were Brothers by Lance Morcan to review. You may find out more about the author on his website.
Here is the book blurb.
The Thomas family’s lives will never be the same again when seven-year-old Daniel Thomas is abducted from the family farm in New Zealand’s Far North by Maoris opposed to the presence of white settlers. Daniel’s father devotes his remaining years to searching for his missing blue-eyed, blond-haired son. Until his death a decade later, he’s assisted in his search by Daniel’s identical twin brother Benjamin. Like his late father, Benjamin believes Daniel is still alive. Twenty years later and now a family man himself with children of his own, Benjamin receives a tip-off that could confirm one way or another whether his brother is alive or dead.
This is a short story of just 60 pages, so ideal during lockdown whilst I’m struggling to concentrate on full-length novels.
This story is set in New Zealand, and starts in 1880. Nathaniel and Ingrid Thomas and their 8 year old identical twin sons Daniel and Benjamin live in the Far North of New Zealand. Whilst the twins are playing in the woods near the cottage, Maoris abduct Daniel, but Benjamin evades them and raises the alarm. Nathaniel rushes to search but although he finds tracks, he fails to find his missing son. He visits the Maori chief of one tribe to try to enlist help and also ropes in other settlers. But they search in vain, and as months pass, help dwindles and Nathaniel’s health deteriorates.
In part 2, the story fast forwards to 1910. What will ensue?
Once Were Brothers is available on Amazon, currently priced at £1.99 in Kindle format. An enjoyable short story, although I did feel the ending was rather abrupt. Also I can’t decide whether I like the cover or not.
Lance is a very versatile author as this is quite a different genre to the brilliant Silent Fear full-length novel that I absolutely loved, which he wrote with his son James, plus they write non-fiction and novellas too.
This is the third of Lance’s short stories that I have reviewed and last time, I mentioned how I thought they would be better in an anthology. Well guess what, that is exactly what has happened. Lance has re-released five of his short stories in a compendium.
5 Short Story Gems: Once Were Brothers / Mr. 100% / A Gladiator’s Love / The Last Tasmanian Tiger / Brooklyn Bankster
I’ll certainly be reading the other two titles. And I’d love to hear about your favourite books.
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I love to read all lengths of stories. I find something can be learned or taken out of all of them. I think the cover of the booK looks very interesting! There’s something sinister glaring in their eyes. This was pin worthy and I shared on other Social Media platforms. Thank you for sharing!
yes it was the eyes why I couldn’t make up my mind whether I liked the cover or not
Short stories are needed sometimes aren’t they #readwithme
certainly at the current time
This sounds like just my sort of read, but I would want 400 pages rather than 60! I never read anything short.
Try Silent Fear instead, fab full length novel by this author and his son
Sounds like an interesting story and I want to know what happens after reading your review. I find the brothers’ eyes on the cover look quite sinister…
Yes it was the eyes as regards why I couldn’t make my mind up whether I liked the cover or not
Readers may be interested to know my short story Once Were Brothers was inspired by a true-life event that occurred in 19th Century New Zealand when one of two young, blonde, identical twin girls was kidnapped by Maoris. My wife’s aunt Miriam Macgregor wrote about that in her compelling non-fiction series titled Petticoat Pioneers. Here’s the link to book 1 in that series. It’s well worth a read! https://www.amazon.com/Petticoat-Pioneers-North-Island-Colonial/dp/0589011340/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=petticoat+pioneers&qid=1589320852&s=books&sr=1-3
I definitely would like to read, but £88 is well above my book budget
Yes I believe Petticoat Pioneers is a collector’s item now and only available in hardback form (no ebook) and so is pricey unfortunately.
Another great read for me
Dont tend to read short stories but im liking the theme
I usually prefer longer reads, but short stories are ideal right now for me as finding it hard to concentrate on my reading
A book based on my neck of the woods and a short, read, too. Sounds excellent. Thank you!
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Yes a nice little read