Wishing a very happy publication day to Rachel Churcher and book six (!!!) set in her Battle Ground world, Balancing Act. I am delighted to be a part of the publication day festivities and to be sharing my review of Balancing Act with you all. Many thanks to Rachel for providing me with a copy of the book.
Corporal David Conrad has life figured out. His job gives him power, control, and access to Top Secret operations. His looks have tempted plenty of women into his bed, and he has no intention of committing to a relationship.
When Ketty Smith joins the Home Forces, Conrad sets his sights on the new girl – but pursuing Ketty will be more dangerous than he realises. Is Conrad about to meet his match? And will the temptations of his job distract him from his target?
The Battle Ground Series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence. Spoiler warning: Balancing Act is a tie-in novel in the series, revisiting the events of Darkest Hour, Fighting Back, and Victory Day. It is suitable for older teens and adult readers.
When I heard that Rachel Churcher was writing a Battle Ground book telling the story of Corporal David Conrad, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. He is not a character that I liked in the previous books, in fact he is an awful human, and his attitudes and behaviour are indefensible, but yet he is utterly compelling and it wasn’t long before I was as far under his spell as the women he uses.
The focus on Conrad and Ketty, and on Conrad’s behaviour gave this book an older feel than those based on Bex and her friends, and I would say it seemed more suitable for a new adult, rather than young adult audience, although older teens would love it.
It’s no secret that Ketty is my favourite character from the Battle Ground series and seeing her through Conrad’s eyes was absolutely fascinating. In Conrad’s eyes we see a different Ketty to how Bex sees her, different to how she sees herself, someone strong and in control, and I loved getting to see this view of her.
Even though I already knew what the future held for Conrad, I was so tense reading this book, desperate to see him brought to his knees. He is misogynistic, arrogant, careless with others’ feelings and it was a joy to see him brought down by his underestimation of multiple strong women.
On the surface, Balancing Act is a story about a hateful man, but underneath it all lies a story of amazing women fighting back, and this makes it a powerful read.
To promote the launch of Book Six, Battle Ground (Book One of the series) will be FREE to download on May 28th. The universal/worldwide Amazon link for ‘Battle Ground’ is http://getbook.at/BattleGroundBook1
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.
She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.
Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.