Hi, I’m Susan Hancock
My name is Susan Jennifer Hancock PhD, and I’m a former University Lecturer who has written and published academic non-fiction over a number of years. I gave up teaching in order to concentrate on my battle with a cancer which is now fortunately dormant. Fingers crossed.
Last year I became obsessed with the idea of writing a novel for adults and ended up writing three – the Anstey’s Kingdom trilogy. In doing so I discovered that characters are hard taskmasters – determined that their stories should be told. It is not uncommon to find me in tears at the laptop when something dreadful happens to one or other of them (my husband says, unsympathetically, “you did it to them, you wrote it!”). But my characters, Kat and Thomas, and I, we understand that some things cannot be changed.
The latest review for Surviving Anstey: A Story of Love through Time and Space
5.0 out of 5 stars
Very Well Written, brutality vs. love!
Reviewed in the United States on 21 February 2021
This is a very well-written novel that bridges genres, which was definitely a plus for me! There is a great blend of romance, sci-fi, adventure, with a healthy dose of Elizabethan England thrown into the mix, and just enough erotic interactions between Thomas and Kat that it balances with the more violent moments. The story itself is brutal-the author pulls no punches here. Anstey is strictly evil. I would like to have seen the character of Anstey flushed out a bit further simply because he is so vile in this story. Perhaps in the second installment, we will learn what drove him to such madness. But the main characters will certainly capture your attention. Thomas, especially; I found myself really rooting for him to beat his demons, overcome the evil that he experiences, and find some semblance of happiness. His journey is a strong one. Kat’s as well, despite the contrast in their experiences and what they must overcome. At times, the story spends a bit too much time concerning our heroes worrying about their relationship and loses focus on moving the plot forward. The story itself, however, is so well written. I love a novel that reads like poetry at times; the word choice, the tone, the feeling of it all is so well done. Just beautifully written and a fantastic and unique concept!
The latest review for Anstey’s Revenge: Will Love be Enough?
4 out of 4 stars
Anstey’s Revenge: Will Love be Enough? by Susan Hancock is the second book in a trilogy, Anstey’s Kingdom, that expertly ties elements of history with sci-fi, romance, and suspense to produce a captivating read that is bound to keep you at the edge of your seat.
The characters, after the fight of their lives led by Thomas Alban and Kat Wrenn-Alban, have just gotten rid of Anstey, who enslaved them and executed all kinds of horrors on them. Now that they are free, they can just live happily ever after, right? Things are not even close to that, as there is still the fear that Anstey and his enforcers are out there plotting his return. There are issues surrounding the strict laws governing the central characters who came from a futuristic planet, Domum-Orbis, and the consequent segregation of humans due to the enmity between themselves and humans. Also, the trauma faced by Thomas at the hands of Anstey presents a stern test for his love for Kat. Amidst all these worries and threats, will love be enough?
Just like the first book, the story is set in Elizabethan times and is told from multiple perspectives, as Kat told her story in the first person while the rest of the story is told in the third person. The book can be read as a standalone, as Susan Hancock does well to include a quick recap of the story in the first book and introduce the characters and their situations at the beginning of the book.
The story mainly centers around Thomas and Kat, and we observe the intriguing dynamics between them while they struggle with intimacy after all they have faced. Kat is torn between worry for her husband and anger at the people that traumatized him, and Thomas is ever forgiving and goes as far as sparing the lives of his attackers, but he struggles with severe depression and blames himself for several losses in the first book. I have to say that following the strain on their relationship and wondering if they would pull through were my favorite parts of the book.
Numerous twists are also included in the story, which added a lot of suspense at different points of the book. I will not fully give out what the twists were to avoid spoilers, but I can tell you that one of them involved the paternity of two of Thomas’ and Kat’s children. So, you can imagine what they were up against. The elements of mind sharing, reading, and control are also explored here, and it excited me and gave me more to look forward to while reading.
There wasn’t much to dislike about this book. I would have appreciated a deeper exploration of the events of the era where the story is set, even though we meet the Lundye Pirates and their slave-trading activities and experience the floods that occurred in that time. I found a few punctuation errors while reading, but the book seemed like it was professionally edited overall.
All things considered, Anstey’s Revenge: Will Love be Enough? deserves a rating of 4 out of 4 for the author’s near-perfect execution of this suspenseful character-driven story. In the end, a few lessons that readers will relate to are learned. The book contains profanity and includes descriptive sex scenes; therefore, I would recommend it to mature audiences that enjoy romance and sci-fi novels.