Dead Man’s Hammer by Christina Engela – Review

Suspense, drama and modern issues all of which are tackled in a fun but important way…

dead mans hammer

As the Quantum series unfolds, it grows more and more impressive. Dead Man’s Hammer is proof that Christina Engela can build an established world and insert so many genres into it along with retaining a unique style of writing that not only tributes her influences but has a way of confiding in readers. We are back on the quirky planet of ‘Deanna’ home of the rather ominous sounding ‘Obsidian crows’ and more specifically ‘Atro city’ a place this time around we get to know a bit better while referencing the previous stories of the ‘Quantum series’.

Someone is targeting my favourite characters; an assassin enigmatically named ‘Villainessa Tittel’ who is after one person in particular and series regular; Cindy Mei Winter. ‘Villainessa’ proves to be quite a force in her field of work and does everything in her power to draw in ‘Mei’ whom share an interesting history. It is in this history where readers will find the true message and meaning of the story. While ‘Mei’ has moved forward in life she must face what is essentially a demon of her past and a life before she became ‘Cindy’ and it’s trying to torment her. This is a massive nod to modern issues that many people face in the transgender community and in life as a whole, sometimes it isn’t about who you were, but what you are now and what you truly feel. This concept is galvanised by another character ‘Danielle Grauffis’ who is in a process of transition in her young life compared to ‘Mei’. 

Of course other returning regulars such as ‘Beck the Badfella’ – who we get a name origins story from and special branch ‘Fred’ the arborian make appearances along with an extended appearance from ‘Sheriff Peggy Ann Muller’ who makes quite a team with ‘Mei’ and this is where a crime mystery element of the story truly shines.

Suspense, drama and even tragedy are ways that I would describe the journey this story represents not to mention that crime mystery theme along with some more important issues that these books are not afraid to tackle; as much as this sounds heavy, it’s a fun read. Throughout Engela’s writing style naturally flows and is fun to read. Revenge is a dish best served cold, you could even say as cold as ‘Winter’ but that’s only something ‘I heard through the grape vine…’ 

5 Stars

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Time to change: More like it’s about time we changed

Never before has society of the free world ever been so aware of mental health. We know so much more about the human brain that we used to but still there is a rather taboo stigmatism towards the whole subject.

If we look back some years, let’s say 1950. A time where cars were on the road (although fewer than today) but the concept has been left unchanged since. You fill up with fuel, you fight traffic, get new tyres, avoid costly maintenance bills and repeat. But recently the electric car has begun to emerge, we have hybrids and more people opt to cycle. Research and development is happening and the world is very much aware of the pollution most standard vehicle causes. People are beginning to think and want to do something about it.

The car is a luxury but the human mind isn’t. After years of medical research we can pretty much diagnose and tell when somebody’s mental health is not so good. But why is our approach so bad?

I don’t want to start a war between two perfectly viable contingents (that being the whole green issue vs mental health). But they seem to care about the long term effects of the planet and not what is happening now in society, that being the wrong perception of mental health. Whether that is depression or any other condition somebody has, back in 1950 you were locked away for the most treatable conditions.

Look how far that has come on.

Having never suffered from any mental health issues I am outside looking in. But I have been mistreated and discriminated at some level. We all have. That’s a part of life and that’s what is happening to people with mental health issues. I have close friends who do suffer with depression, but I have found it’s handled better if you just talk about it. Even asking them about what they are going through helps.

It isn’t difficult to say something nice and if you haven’t got anything nice to say, treat people with a level of respect that you wished to be treated with. That shouldn’t be any different towards people who have mental health issues in any degree. They are people just like us.

The Hall of information is open to anyone and everyone, that includes people who thinks it’s time to change.

There is a campaign currently running for a better work capability assessment. Rethink Mental Illness, the National Autistic Society and Mind are all working in association with each other. Courts have ruled that the WCA is unfair and puts people with mental health issues, autism and learning disabilities at a ‘substantial disadvantage’. So check it out and help change happen.

You can treat and pioneer in medical care as much as possible. But my philosophy as of recent is simply to have the right attitude. If that changes then everything else will follow!

time to change