Map of Blue Book Balloon

1 July 2022

#Blogtour #Review - Six Lights off Green Scar by Gareth Powell

Cover for book "Six Lights Over Green Scar" by Gareth Powell. The cover is seen both on a physical book and on a phone screen. We are above a planet, rising over the horizon ahead is an intense green light. All around is the darkness of space.
Six Lights off Green Scar 
Gareth Powell
Books on the Hill (BOTH), 2022
Available as: e
Source: Gifted copy

I'm grateful to Love Books Tours for a gifted e-copy of Six Lights off Green Scar to consider for review.

Gareth Powell's novella Six Lights off Green Scar is one of eight dyslexia-friendly books for adults that Books on the Hill plan to publish this year. They are raising money for this via Kickstarter, and I hope you'll support that venture - see link and pitch below, but first, a little about this book.

Six Lights off Green Scar is a taut, focussed space adventure that hits all the right notes. Sal Dervish is a washed-up spaceship captain ekeing out a miserable, down-at-heel existence on a remote moon while his ship rots in dock. Dervish is notorious for what he got wrong, shunned by all who know his history, living from day to, regret to regret, bottle to bottle, girl to girl. 

Ripe, in other words, for an offer of redemption - if he can face the consequences.

Powell gives us all this, and more - the 'roulette ships' with their devil-may-care crews jaunting into the unknown, the ambitious reporter who wants to known What Happened, the sinister figure in the shadows - in his dynamic first few pages, which set up a mystery, pose a challenge and point towards adventure. 

He follows up with action, danger and the need for choices. It all cleverly plays on notes and imagery we may be familiar with from the best of crime and adventure stories, but which are transformed here, the noir hints remaining but reborn in a new world, a new universe, in which those choices - and their consequences - may be much larger than we imagine.

A perfect, riveting narrative that you'll want to gobble up in a single reading, I think - so... make it so!

Dyslexic friendly fiction for adults by BOTH Press

Following their successful "Open Dyslexia" Kickstarter in 2021, which led to publishing eight dyslexic friendly fiction titles, BOTH Press is launching on June 7th 2022, their second Kickstarter "Open Dyslexia: the sequel" with more high-profile authors than ever before, lasting 30 days and finishing on the July 4th 2022

The Kickstarter aims to publish eight more titles of high-quality fiction from bestselling authors: including household names such as Bernard Cornwell and Peter James. 

The line-up is full of many front-list authors such as Gareth Powell, J.M Alvey (aka Juliet Mckenna), Scott Oden, Snorri Krisjanason, and James Bennett.

Peter James will also be doing an introduction for the 2022 collection.  

There are very few initiatives for reading for pleasure for adults. The eight titles BOTH Press has already published are the only readily available dyslexic friendly fiction for adults in the UK and can be found in libraries and any bookshop. The scale of accessibility is not nearly enough, as around 10% of the UK population deal with some form of dyslexia.

Despite Jay Blades's (the Presenter of ‘Repair Shop’) unique telling of his own learning to read on the documentary ‘Learning To Read At 51’, which the BBC recently aired. There are still few or no resources for adult dyslexia. A glance at Adult dyslexics charity websites and reading charity websites indicates there are few resources on reading fiction for pleasure for adults with dyslexia.

The dyslexic blogger Suzy Taylor who writes for Dyslexia Scotland, said: 

"It is frustrating that we now have children's books in dyslexic friendly formats. As adults we apparently do not require books in the same form."

There needs to be a choice for people to read for pleasure, where there are books designed to be friendly to them and are not dumbed down, are high quality and enjoyable fiction, which people can chat and socialise about with friends and family.

Darren Clarke, the director of Succeed with Dyslexia, said:

"This books shop is doing incredible things and helping people to fall in love with reading again" [and] "I love the fact and the thought that has gone through on these [titles] with the spacing, the font, with the colour of the paper and the way that the book just flows."

BOTH Press has had many heart-warming responses of how the books have impacted their lives. 

Dr Alistair Sims said: 

"Many individuals who have told us their stories do not want to be mentioned due to fear of stigma about their struggle to read. For example a man in his 50s is Scotland had not read a book since he was a child. His partner found us and bought him one of our titles. He read it. Then called us up to order another. He was so happy to actually read. In fact the partner wrote us a letter explaining how much of difference it is making and then ordered the four more for a Christmas present." 

BOTH aim to raise £16,000 to publish eight titles. Though looking to the future, they will need more than £20,000 a year to keep publishing eight titles regularly. All funds go toward the book production/ life cycle to make them readily available. The bookshop Books on the Hill and their manager Alistair Sims, who created BOTH Press, receives no profits from the project.

To support the Kickstarter, go here.


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