The Beautiful Side of the Moon CoverI think part of my development stopped somewhere at teenager. My husband is no longer surprised when I announce that the latest dinosaur movie, combined with a trip to an American style burger bar is my ideal birthday treat. He merely rolls his eyes when I’m enraptured by an episode of Dr Who which has dinosaurs on a spaceship. He defies attempts to introduce him to the Discworld fantasies of Terry Pratchett, where magic is real and Death speaks in capitals and rides a white horse called Binky… I was well past the target audience for Harry Potter but like many adults, I read and loved the books anyway.

Somewhat at odds with this, is a lifelong disinterest in magicians and stage show magic acts. Maybe I don’t like the knowledge its all a trick and I’m being conned or misdirected in some way. I can admire their skill and theatricality, but I think I just would prefer there to be a little bit of real magic in the world. This leads me to this month’s first book review its The Beautiful Side of the Moon by Leye Adenle and published by Hoatzin Books (  on the 21st February.    .

Oseratin, the central character, is living a modest life as an IT guy in Lagos. One day he receives a mysterious letter informing him that he is the son of a famous magician and that a friend of his late father plans to instruct him in said magic. He thinks it is a joke but then a number of strange events start to happen. He meets the beautiful Adesua and can’t believe his luck that she seems to find him attractive. Adesua introduces to him to her Brother Moses, his father’s friend. Shortly afterwards there is a strange storm which effects the Earths electrical equipment. Soon Oseratin, is in a race against time to save the earth and the women he loves from powerful magicians, intent on dominating the human race.

Mixing magic, aliens, extra sensory perception, time travel and space travel this story is an out of this world experience. The cover blurb says the author has used age old African story telling traditions combined with science fiction and contemporary thriller writing.  I’m not familiar with African story telling but I guess there are worldwide similarities in what attract readers to a story. Elements such as mystery, some romance, a dilemma, a fight, an underdog who finds they have special powers and becomes hero, are to name but a few. All have been used to good effect by many authors and directors.

This novel, despite being a mish mash of genres still felt fresh and exciting. Sometimes, I felt  Adenle was giving a nod to other contemporary science fiction fantasy such as the Men in Black arriving to detain Oseratin , the notification of the main character’s secret lineage and potential via letter, the reliving of events to correct mistakes. These didn’t feel cliched but somehow anchored the reader to the story.


Leye Adenle (Daily Trust)

The plot was fast paced and occasionally momentarily confusing to me. I got a bit lost on the moon for example! Oseratin himself, questions events and statements in the book, to provide explanations and to make the reader consider the philosophical conundrums offered here. Who is Oseratin? Is he a part of a greater plan? Who is moving the pieces in this game?

This is the third novel by Nigerian writer Leye Adenle. His other books are Easy Motion Tourist (2016) and When Trouble Sleeps (2018). His short stories have been included in a number of anthologies including Lagos Noir and Sunshine Noir. He lives and works in London and comes from a long line of African writers and storytellers, the most famous being his great grandfather Oba Adeleye Adenle I , who was King of a south western region of Nigeria.

This is a great book for those who have enjoyed fiction such as Dr Who, The Matrix , Westworld and Inception. I read it over a couple of days. I felt initially that reading it more slowly would make it confusing, However, I will be giving it a second reading as I think it’s a book you can get a better understanding of with each re reading. Maybe I have matured after all?  LOL

Reviewed by Georgina Murphy


This book is part of a Random Things Blog Tour. If you wanted to see what the other reviewers thought, stop by their blogs listed below and if you get a copy yourself, comeback and tell us what you thought. We all love feedback.

Beautiful Side of the Moon Blog Tour Poster



The Uninvited CvrWhere were you in 1977? Okay so if you are under the age of 38 then it’s a redundant question, me I was in my last year of residing full time in the UK, before my Irish parents decided to return home to Dublin taking myself and my two sisters with them. It was the year of the Queens Silver Jubilee; people were celebrating with nationwide celebrations and street parties. Not to far up the road from where I was living in Buckinghamshire, a family in Enfield in North London where being terrorized by a malevolent spirit. While in South Wales another family where being terrorized an altogether different entity or entities. This is the subject of this month’s book; it’s The Uninvited by Clive Harold.

First published in 1979, by the W.H. Allen Publishing Company which eventually went on to become Virgin Publishing. The book tells the story of the Coombs family, who live on Ripperston Farm on the south Wales coast over looking St. Brides Bay between Pembroke and Fishguard. What started as a close encounter with a large glowing orb which chased Pauline Coombs home in her car one cold clear January night, escalated to shorting out numerous TV’s and a couple of cars, finally culminating in a numerous visitations by men in silvery glowing space suits. There are also ‘Men In Black’ who drove around in a mysterious large silver car  and the strange, almost hysterically funny,  frequent mass teleportation of nearly one hundred cows over a distance of almost mile. That’s not forgetting the radiation burns suffered by the family members and the abductions too. This all took place over the course of a year between January 1977 and January 1978.

The book is written by journalist Clive Harold who was commissioned by an English magazine in 1977 to write a feature on UFO stories to coincide with the release of the film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I came across the book last week while on a well deserved holiday in Devon. I’d brought a couple of books with me to read and review, but while casually perusing the bookshelves of our rented cottage in the town of Colyton, I stumbled upon this book. It was the blurb which caught me straight away, with its opening line “It began with a bright light high in the night sky…” and “This story is true, you’ll wish it wasn’t”. Now being a bit of a paranormal fan and a believer in the unexplained, it didn’t need much more to get me to pick it up and dive right in.


This book is the scariest thing I’ve read in ages and had me jumping at the slightest noise, while reading it late at night in a deathly quiet house in the middle of the East Devon countryside. For all I knew I could have been 200 miles away in South Wales. One thing that occurred to me was, why has this not been adapted for TV like other strange occurrences from this time such as the recently aired Enfield Haunting on Sky, starring Timothy Spall and Matthew McFadden. Having read this book, I’m convinced it’s an ideal candidate for a TV adaptation.

As for the Author Clive Harold, my research claims he wrote other books, but there is no record anywhere of any other book. As to what happened to Clive, there are uncorroborated reports that he was at school with HRH Prince Charles and that they met up when the prince visited the offices of The Big Issue in 1997 where  Clive was working as a seller.

Pauline coombs and daughters

Pauline Coombs and her two daughters Layann and Joanne, looking out of a radiation burned window – image from book

Also very little is known of what became of the Coombs family – Billy, his wife Pauline and their four children, Clinton, Kieron, Layann and Joanne in the intervening years. It’s over 35 years since the events of this book and they come across in the book as being rather innocent and publicity shy for fear of being made laughing a laugh stock of.  Their names and images pop up on UFO and Unexplained forums and sites to this day but as to their whereabouts, that’s almost as big a mystery as to who or what visited them and their neighbours in 1977.

There are two types of people in the world, the believers in the unexplained and the skeptics, If  you are a believer like me, then you’ll immediately go on to Amazon to buy one of the few remaining copies out there. While the skeptics may scoff and walk on by.  However, those liberal and open-minded persuasion will enjoy this well written and utterly convincing story from yesteryear, which takes a very serious and non judgmental look at a topic which even today produces evidence which begs the question is there life beyond the stars and have we been visited by aliens?

So if you suffer from nightmares easily, this may not be your cup of tea as this will keep you awake long after you’ve put it down or in my case finished it  in one sitting. Once you have, then definitely  phone home to make sure everyone is okay.