Hey everybody! I’m here today with something that I haven’t done for a looooong time… A review! Specifically, a review of Wormwood by DH Nevins.
I have missed doing reviews so much, but with how crazy my life has been lately, it was easy to push it to the side. I also almost always had my nose stuck in a book because of #TheReadingQuest and I had told myself that I wanted to do reviews for the books that I read during that challenge after it had ended. Well, here we are in the aftermath of it and I’m finally ready to put my thoughts together about these books.
This review also contains an author interview, and if you want to skip the review, the interview will be in the second half of this post.
Here is a link to the Goodreads synopsis, but I’m also including my own that might explain or entice you a little bit more.
Wormwood is about the end of the world as told by the bible, that there is going to be a final judgement day where all humans are judged on their actions and sent to the correlating place based upon them, heaven or hell. This judgement day is begun by a group of half angels half humans known as Nephiliam. In the book they are a group of 100 brothers who have been given a special mission or assignment from God. The main character, Kali, is hiking through the woods when this horrible, world ending event occurs. She’s a frequent hiker and survivalist if you will, and she manages to get to a safe place, away from the destruction. She finds Tiamat who she ran into on a previous hike ten years ago and has feelings for. This story follows her around while she tries to navigate her feelings for Tiamat and survive on this now barren planet.
Let me just say, that Ms. Nevins is the queen of “just one more chapter.” I found myself saying this throughout the book and sometimes would accidentally be reading until 2 in the morning. Wormwood is also her debut novel with a sequel hopefully soon have an announced publishing date! This was a heck of a debut. I also want to say that the imagery and world building is amazing. At times I would forget that I was sitting in bed or at Starbucks reading and would feel as if I were really with Kali, actually watching this unfold. The only other thing that I will say without spoiling this book is that the ending made me think and was so unexpected. I also felt like it was the kind of twist that I would take and I was so proud for some reason.
Beware, there might be spoilers ahead. So if you want to read this book, pause, go read it, then come back. If you’ve already read the book or just want to keep reading and don’t care about spoilers, then by all means, please continue on.
The only aspect of the book that I didn’t like was how difficult of a character Tiamat was in the beginning. In the end, all of his reasons made sense to a point and were justified, but it didn’t make me any less mad at him. He gave off the vibe of a very arrogant and annoying person to be stuck with in the end of the world situation and I personally want to slap him. Maybe that’s the beauty of his character though. He is supposed this strong male figure who holds so much power, but yet he is weak in lack of humanity, and by being around Kali and developing feelings for her, he becomes flawed and all of his brethren mock and shame him for this.
Kali, on the other hand, is strong and independent. I’m surprised that any guy actually wants to try to fight her because she seems like such a badass and with everything that she’s been through throughout the story, she probably would have some pent up anger that could only be released by beating a person up. And it’s beautiful when it finally happens.
It was a post-apocalyptic world, and I really enjoy that whole genre. I don’t understand why I am so morbid, but I just kinda am. Since it was set in a post-apocalyptic world, there are a few tough situation and religious references that are dealt with. The biblical and religious piece of this work was extremely important since it relied on the final judgement days according to the Bible or the interpretation of it. I was raised in a religious household, but have since realigned my views. I was able to used the knowledge that I was taught years ago to reflect on this book. It was religious without preaching to you or being annoying. A person with no religious background could easily pick up this book and understand what was happening because throughout it was explained, which was also a nice refresher for me.
I will give Wormwood 4.5./5 stars because it is so beautifully constructed. The characters blend together quite nicely, the situation actually seems possible if the world would end that way, and it taught me quite a bit about writing, reading, and myself.
The exciting stuff.
Now, here is the part of this review that I was most excited for. I really enjoyed this book and would have done a review on it regardless, but Ms. Nevins was so sweet and kind enough to do an author interview for me.
(I want to point out that this is the first author interview that I have ever conducted and hope to do more in the future. Please be patient with me because I am still learning.)
Before we start, I just want to explain to you all how I found this book and a little bit of fun info.
I really enjoy using Twitter to just Tweet about my life and my bookish adventures, and I believe that Nevins liked one of tweets or started following me. Being curious, I looked at her profile and saw that she is a writer of a unique sounding book. I looked it up on Goodreads and immediately bought the book. She began messaging me and I told her that I had bought her book and hoped to read it. Throughout my reading experience, I felt as if she were a friend sitting next to me because I would sometimes message her and talk about which part I was at or what I thought of a certain scene, and even when the end was near and my heart was broken. It was so cool! I loved interacting with her like that and it just built on the reading experience.
You can also go check DH Nevins out on her website here!
Q: How did you come up with the idea of Wormwood?
A: “I essentially wrote the kind of book I wanted to read—a story I had been craving… I really love a good tormented-love story, then there are the paranormal elements. The other thing I absolutely had to have was at least one big surprise or plot twist.”
Q: You’ve mentioned that you’re writing a sequel to Wormwood. What should readers expect in it?
A: “I would LOVE to answer this question, but I simply can’t do it properly without potentially spoiling the first book. I suppose I could say that Angel of Shadow continues right where Wormwood left off… This next one has a lot happening in it, so it’s fast-paced and action-packed.”
Q: What made you choose the ending that you did?
A: “I wanted the main issues from this first book to be resolved, but I didn’t want the ending to be tied up TOO neatly, so I had to leave a little bit of a question hanging in the air. Plus, because this is a trilogy, there needed to be something to show the story was continuing.”
Q: Do you put yourself in your characters at all?
A: “Kali is very much based on me—same interests (backcountry hiking and camping, kickboxing)… However, I don’t think I’m quite as tough as Kali (physically or emotionally), so I guess she represents how I wish I could be.”
Q: How do you select the names of your characters?
A: “Because Wormwood deals with the Apocalypse, a lot of my names come from myths about the end of the world. Tiamat is a monster in ancient Babylonian Mythology who represents primordial chaos… Merodach (Marduk) kills Tiamat in the myths and then installed himself as Babylon’s new leader and god. Kali is the Hindu goddess of death and destruction (but she also represents the darkness from which everything was born).”
Q: I am personally a big snacker. Do you have a favorite snack to eat while reading or writing?
A: “You name it: chocolate, potato chips, candy, popcorn, cookies… I’ll snack on anything around me while I read or write! At this very moment, it’s Chicago Mix popcorn, and I keep trying to push the bag out of reach. Hmmm. I really need to exercise more self-control… ”
Q: What does your writing process or writing notes look like?
A: “Messy! Ha, ha!”
Q: What does your writing space look like?
A: “Our newly-renovated office area is for my writing. My dad built the bookshelves and desk for me and I love the space (I ALWAYS wanted a rolling library ladder!), but you know what’s funny? I still do most of my writing on the couch. Go figure.”
Q: What do you do in your free time when you’re not writing?
A: “I like to get into nature for hiking and camping as much as I can. I also love to travel and explore. In fact, every 5 years, my hubbie and I take off and backpack around the world. Our last trip was 8 months long and we got home in May. Our longest trip was 1 ½ years.”
Q: What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
A: “Any time a reader takes a moment to reach out and share their emotions or responses with me, it’s so incredibly rewarding. Every time. I’m not sure if fans know how much this truly means to me. I am so grateful to have any of it shared with me: the tears, the anger, the late nights, the rereads, and incredibly… the Wormwood-inspired art—from drawings, photography and computer images (Wormwood’s new cover is actually a fan creation) to original music (thanks, Orca Flights!), any and all of it completely floors me. Wormwood is just a small-time, indie book that’s been read by so few people, especially when compared to similar books that have a big publisher behind them. I am honestly so thankful simply to have my work read… but to hear from fans who actually loved Wormwood? Well, that means the world to me.”
I just want to say a huge thank you to DH Nevins for doing this interview and working with me. It has been so much fun. If you haven’t read Wormwood yet, please go pick up a copy, and I promise that you won’t regret it.
Go check out my review of Wormwood on YouTube also (LINK). I’m hoping to have that published in the next couple of days.
See you all soon!