Tag Archives: Ann Gimpel

Gimpel, Ann: Earth’s Blood (Earth Reclaimed II) (2014)

Artist: Kelly Shorten Interior book design: Cera Smith Editor: Angela Kelly Line editor: Jenny Rarden
Artist: Kelly Shorten
Interior book design: Cera Smith
Editor: Angela Kelly
Line editor: Jenny Rarden

First of all I am going to talk about going off on tangents. My thing is words – Autism is part of me. That means that sometimes the sound of a word in my head or the way it feels in my mouth sets me off on a chase. One of the words in Earth’s Blood that set me off was Lemurian. The Lemurians are also called the Old Ones and are hated by both the Celtic gods, of which Fionn is one, and Aislinn. But the name Lemurian. It keeps on going round and round in my head. Part of it has to do with lemurs. Lemurs are soooo cute/adorable/sweet (maybe not) and all of those adjectives that we give animals that look like them. The other part was when I started looking for things to do with Lemurian on the net. Wow, there is actually a whole belief system centered around the concept (see links below). People are fascinating.

Sometimes when I read a novel one of the characters begins to annoy me. Once I realise what is happening I stop and ask myself why. This time it was Aislinn’s way of handling her situation that got to me. I was getting more and more frustrated with her until I finally stopped and looked at what it was I was projecting. Surprise, surprise. Thinking is problematic to my imagined self.

One of the things that bothered me was all of the sex between Aislinn and Fionn. This is coming from the woman who claims that she wishes there was as much sex (vanilla kind) in novels as there is action. In Earth’s Blood there is. But it bothered me and here is why: Conditioning. My child-hood religion is very orthodox. Sex is no exception to the rule. That in itself makes the whole concept of reading about it – even when it is as well written as Ms. Gimpel writes it – problematic. Oatmeal has a really great poster on the subject. It is funny and incredibly sad at the same time.

My other problem with descriptive sex was my childhood. I was sexually abused by some of my relatives and that scarred me and made sex less than fun for a long, long time (my poor husband). Once I realised what was going on in my head and emotions I could let go of the pain. Sex is good for me now. I got so turned on by some of the scenes that I dragged my husband upstairs and had some adult playtime.

The other thing that annoyed me was how volatile Aislinn was. Once again I had to stop myself from reacting and instead looked at what on earth was causing such a strong emotion in me. One of the things going on between Aislinn and Fionn was a whole lot of insecurity about their relationship from Aislinn’s side. No wonder, considering how it all came about and all of the challenges thrown their way (an understatement if there ever was one). I looked at my own insecurities when it comes to people and especially my husband. Being an autist is a challenge when it comes to a relationship – both for me and my non-autistic husband. My husband is the kind that shows his love through action and not through words. For me that is incredibly cryptic. My thinking muscles are severely challenged when trying to interpret what is going on in our relationship. We have been together 25 years, so I ought to have caught on by now, but you know – some people are just slow.

The other thing that caught me was what happened when Aislinn discovered she was pregnant and the following abortion. The myth about pregnant women being volatile is no myth. Sometimes our hormones take over completely and there isn’t much we can do about it. Add to that the new relationship between Aislinn and Finn and Aislinn just beginning to open her sealed chest of grief over her many losses in life thus far – and my feelings about Aislinn changed.

Is there action in Earth’s Blood. I realise that the above might have made you think otherwise, but there is plenty of action. Plenty, plenty, plenty. And like the sex it is detailed but not explicit (if that makes sense). The dark gods (another concept that sent me off on a tangent) and the old ones used to fight each other. But in their craving for control over the earth they have pooled their resources for the time being. Power is such a seductive thing and power is what both the Old Ones and the Dark Gods want. Power over the people and power to consume the earth’s resources.

By destroying anything to do with technology they have handicapped humans. And by killing off people without magic they have reduced the population and the potential number of people who could rise up against them. These are the creatures the Celtic gods and Aislinn and their bond animals have to fight. But when one of those Celtic gods is a dragon there is hope. Especially when that dragon does what she does best and goes off on a mission of rescue. I like Dewi. She is a cranky, self-important, stubborn, independent and insecure dragon who is terribly lonely as the only dragon left on earth. I believe she is my favorite character.

Anyways, Earth’s Blood affected me and helped me realise something about myself. That is probably one of the more important things an author can achieve. My imaginary hat off to Ann Gimpel.

I have to add one comment here. If you are one of those who struggles with talking to your teenagers about sexuality, I recommend letting them read this series. There is a lot of action and a whole lot of wholesome and fun sex in it. Sexuality is shown as something fragile in new relationships while also showing how turned on by each other people are at the beginning of a relationship.

I’ve reviewed an ARC copy, so Earth’s Blood is not out on the market yet. For a description:

My review of Earth’s Requiem

Lemuria/Lemurians (not connected to the Lemurians of the novel but I got off on a tangent.):

Gimpel, Ann: Earth’s Requiem (Earth Reclaimed I) (2013)

earth's requiem

Earth’s Requiem is the first installment of the serial Earth Reclaimed. Being a serial, it did what all proper installments of a serial should – ended on a cliff-hanger.

I should probably tell you that there is explicit sex in Earth’s Requiem but no explicit violence. The sex was consensual and safe. Here in Norway teen-agers read this kind of stuff. Other places have other rules.

If you check out Ann Gimpel’s blog, you will see that she has been writing fiction since 2009. She has generally written urban romantic fantasy. Earth’s Requiem is my first meeting with Ann Gimpel and it was sent to me as a reviewer’s copy.

Earth’s Requiem is not urban romantic fantasy. Instead it could be called apocalyptic romantic fantasy. I’m calling it fantasy because we are dealing with the old gods of celt mythology but it might also be deemed science fiction because of the Lemurians who have entered the Earth through gates opened by – you guessed it – humans. We humans are stupid and curious little monkeys. If there is a lever to be pressed, a ritual to be performed or aliens to be contacted we will do our be to do the deed. I’m that dumb myself. When I was a kid I would put a knitting needle into the wall sockets just because my dad had warned me not to. I’ll still do really stupid stuff just because I wonder what would happen if …

Once I started looking for info on the gods in Earth’s Requiem, I became fascinated with Celtic mythology. The celtic gods we get to meet are:

  • Fionn mac Cumhaill: God of wisdom, protection, and divination. A warrior-hunter and god of the wood-lands.
  • Bran the blessed / Benedigeidfran: God of prophecy, the arts, leaders, war, the sun, music, writing.
  • Arawn: God of the underground kingdom of the dead. Revenge, terror and war.
  • Gwydion: Greatest of the enchanters, warrior-magician. Illusion, changes, magics, the sky, healing.
  • Dewi: Dragon goddess

As this is a romance novel all four human-like gods are devastatingly good-looking. Fionn mac Cumhaill is the god we are particularly interested in. He is the paramour of our main protagonist, Aislinn Lenear, whose mother was Tara MacLochlainn. Tara MacLochlainn was thrown into a vortex by one of the new rulers of the Earth when her sanity was insufficient to please the Lemurians. Aislinn’s father had already been killed by one of the Dark gods. The Lemurians and Dark gods fight each other for dominance of the Earth and humans are being used as their tools.

While Aislinn has realised that all she is to the Lemurians is a tool, she has been so wrapped up in her grief that she has been unable to see past that. The compulsion that has been laid upon her and all humans under the thumbs of the Lemurians might have something to do with that inability as well. But after three years, Aislinn meets the above Fionn and he manages to rescue her from that compulsion. Together they spear-head the resistance that includes humans and celtic gods.

It wouldn’t be a romance novel without some pretty complicated inner dialogue about whether or not to love a person, how to love them and all of that other stuff. I always tend to zone out when romance comes along and that is a pity because Ann Gimpel writes well enough to deserve a romance reader that can appreciate romance. I enjoyed the action and the premise of the resistance group and the fascinating stuff this story led me to on the net.