Clouds In The Wind

  • 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards 


    Entry Title Clouds In The Wind

    Author: Ian Mackenzie

    Judge Number: 61

    Entry Category: Mainstream/Literary Fiction  


    Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. This scale is strictly to provide a point of reference, it is not a cumulative score and does not reflect ranking.   


    Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4/5


    Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4/5


    Production Quality and Cover Design: 4/5


    Plot and Story Appeal: 5/5


    Character Appeal and Development: 4/5


    Voice and Writing Style: 4/5 



    Judge’s Commentary*:


    CLOUDS IN THE WIND; by Ian Mackenzie.

    The book’s   title, Clouds in the Wind, is an expression that means futility, and nothing is more futile than war.  In the 1970s  in Southern Africa, successful business man Andrew Mason is drawn into the Rhodesian bush wars. With great narrative energy and a keen visual sense of detail, Ian Mackenzie guides us into the fray. He describes skirmishes with blood-curdling accuracy where the Rhodesian side wins every battle, but as we all know, they eventually lost the war. White supremacy is defeated.

    The characterization in this book is excellent. The protagonist, Andrew Mason, is a respected and decorated soldier, but his personal life is a shambles, mostly due to the war.  After his relationship with Merryl and her daughter is ended through an attack on their convoy, he goes through a series of wanton relationships until he meets Alyson Carstens. 

    The fragility of life is brought home to him, and to us, as one by one people he is close to and cares about deeply are lost to him

    This story has a number of plot twists and exceptional drama that makes it a compelling read.

    In the end we are left with the question: What will become of Andrew Mason, a soldier without a war?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested is a good solid read with compelling characters and an excellent plot. It finishes with an ending that suggests a sequel, which would be welcome.






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