Cold Angel Days

The Dica Series

Fiction - Fantasy - General
216 Pages
Reviewed on 04/11/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Clive was born in the mid-1950s in Bradford, in what was then the West Riding of the English county of Yorkshire. Mid-way through the 1970s, he found himself lured away by the bright lights of Manchester to attend Salford University.

In addition to getting a degree in electronics, he also had the good fortune of meeting Maureen (Kit) Medley - subsequently his partner and recent Editor. Manchester retained its lure and has thereafter been his hometown.

Torn between the arts (a natural and easy artist) and the sciences (struggled with maths), youthful rationality favoured science as a living, leaving art as a pastime pleasure. Consequently, after graduation, twenty years were spent implementing technologies for mainframe computer design and manufacture, and being a Group IT Manager for an international print company.

The unearthing of one of his late seventies manuscripts - during loft improvements - resurrected an interest in storytelling, and one thing led to another. A naïve and inexpert seed finally received benefit of mature loam, and from it Leiyatel's Embrace eventually blossomed - what became the first book in the Dica Series.

Currently, he has five novels published, Cold Angel Days being the fourth in the series, but one that can be read as a standalone story, or as an introduction to the realm of Dica.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite

Cold Angel Days takes place in a place called Dica, complete with maps lest you get lost through this fantastical journey. We are first introduced to a man called Falmeard, who has no memory of his previous life, yet he refuses to let his past become something that holds no value for him. After a trip to Star Tower, Falmeard slowly begins to drift away from his beloved Geran, leaving her confused and devastated. This is where Clive Johnson introduces us to the imitable Prescinda, who decides she is to be the one to help her sister by getting Falmeard back to his lovable self. The journey, however, will be neither quick nor easy as secrets are uncovered that may never allow Falmeard and Geran to reunite in Dica.

There are just so many unique aspects to Cold Angel Days which I think is a real testament to the skill of author Clive Johnson. The Olde English style of writing flows beautifully, making it worth the effort of acquainting oneself with the language in Dica. From the descriptions of castles, towers, and scenery you will find yourself lost in this mystical land held together by the tough Leiyatel. For a fantasy, this story is surprisingly free of sword-wielding warriors or clearly defined lines of good and evil, but instead a battle of an internal nature. To be sure this is a battle about survival, however not in the traditional sense. Prescinda’s journey takes us on wild highs and lows that bring this story right off the page and straight into the reader’s imagination. Clive Johnson has created a thing of beauty in Dica and a truly amazing adventure in Cold Angel Days.

Cardmon

Pure enjoyment, 15 Jun. 2013
By Cardmon on Amazon.co.uk

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (Dica Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)
Cold Angel Days

To say that this was unexpected is an understatement, but a very welcome surprise indeed. The Author Mr Johnson asked if I would like to read a preview of number 4 in the Dica series, well that was a very easy question to answer. Yes was the prompt reply.

Even though this could be read as a standalone, seeing familiar characters again gave me a buzz & a good feeling, which if your reading about the World of Dica for the first time you will not be able to experience, but you will quickly realise that this is a World of surprise which could be an even better feeling. The writing as ever is excellent, complex, surprising at times and rich in atmosphere. Every time Dica has been visited new levels have been revealed as well as new characters, in fact the main character is new, but within an existing family group. Precinda the new main character is surprisingly liberated, and very astute. She provides a nice new edge & perspective, fitting in quite seamlessly to the storyline. As in the other books, you find that the story provides another layer into the already multi-layered proceedings. Juggling all these layers is a hard task, but one that the Author makes to look easy, and one that lifts the story. This book has all the elements that the earlier books have, and to keep it going over four books and still make it fresh is a wonderful skill to have. I can't say much more without giving anything away, so all I can say is that with this & the earlier books, Mr Johnson is now in my top ten Authors, which is something I have not changed for a few years. Keep up the good work, highly recommended, so I have no hesitation in giving this 5 stars.

J Tommo

And the lawn had to wait..... 30 May 2013
By J Tommo on Amazon.co.uk

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (Dica Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)

So my copy of "Cold Angel Days" dropped into my inbox and I stared at it in silent confusion. Then it dawned on me and I shouted for my wife. Well, a few taps on the keyboard--some fiddling with my I-Pad and this strange file was transferred to my screen. And yet I still wasn't ready to enter Dica once more--for Dica takes some preparation you understand. A lit fire, my favourite chair and a nice cool beer by my side and I was nearly ready. Ahh she knows--a rug over my cold knees, she looks sad. She knows soon I will be lost for a day or so....

As before a curtain slowly surrounds my imagination as Clive draws me into his novel so subtly. Falmeard, Geran and Nephril are busy once again with their lives and I am a mere observer in the corner. This time Prescinda is taking a lead role and that makes this novel all the more refreshing.

The machinations of this tale means that utmost concentration is needed and I signal for another beer--greeted by a resigned huff.

This is the fourth book in the Dica series and at 55k words (approximated by the author) certainly the shortest. If you are thinking of dipping your toe into the words of Mr Johnson then why not give this a try? It can be viewed as a stand alone novel and it is a Dica story in its own right. My only concern is this--will you feel for the characters as I do? Any who have read some or all of the Dica books will already have a kinship with these folk and the way the books are written that affection is strong. That however is your choice.

In "Cold Angel Days" Clive once again nails it, not only in character and plot, prose and mystery, but in the subtle interaction of emotion and love. I recommend it highly but then I am already converted, will you join me?

I sigh, book done, beer empty, blanket off. Time to mow the grass--the real world beckons--but it can't take away my fond memories of what has passed in front of my eyes.

GAA

Delightful New Entry in the Series, 11 Jun. 2013
By GAA on Amazon.co.uk
Verified Purchase

This review is from: Cold Angel Days: Volume 4 (The Dica Series) (Paperback)

Cold Angel Days is the fourth book in the author's Dica series. I find the fact that there IS a series quite fascinating as Johnson has wrapped up all the loose ends at the end of each of the earlier books so thoroughly that there never seemed to be an obvious sequel waiting to be written. Despite this, he has managed to find a fresh and intriguing direction to take the series each time he sits down to write, and the latest entry in the series is no exception.

In Cold Angel Days, which I understand the author has written with a view to it being capable of being read as a standalone, favourite characters from earlier in the series are very much in evidence, but new chracter Prescinda takes centre stage for much of the book. Prescinda is a wonderful character with a mind of her own and it's a great pleasure to be in her company. The book is a shorter, faster-paced read than the earlier books in the series so I think it may work well as an entry point into the series for new readers. I have, however, read all the others so it's hard to judge.

There's some great scenes in this book and the world of Dica is, once again, very evocatively brought to life for the reader through the author's strongly characteristic style. I strongly recommend it.

Jenny Lloyd

***** A truly gifted writer, 6 July 2013
By Jenny Lloyd author of Leap the Wild Water on Amazon.co.uk
Verified Purchase

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (Dica Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)

I haven't read anything quite like this since I read Gormenghast by Mervin Peake, many moons ago. Like Peake, Clive S. Johnson is not only an author but a highly skilled artist, and it shows in his writing. That said, Johnson's world is unique and like no other you will encounter.
Johnson sees and imagines with an artist's eye, adeptly describing the fantastical land of Dica; a world which is bound only by the imaginations of its inhabitants; a land where other times, places and memories continue to exist 'a hair's breadth away'; a place where collective wishes are made real and love has the power to overcome all obstacles.
This author's prose is music to the soul. So many passages were so resonant, so poetic, so exquisite, I wanted to read them again aloud.
Reading is believing. Even if this is not a genre you usually read, if you appreciate fine prose, this author will not fail to delight.

Stefano Scaglione

At home again, May 31, 2013
By Stefano Scaglione on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (Dica Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)

Every time I start one of Clive's books I am impressed by his evocative and rich prose. This new episode in the castle realm of Dica is no exception. The beautiful landscapes have the power to make you feel at home. The characters are so well described that at the end you'll miss them and really hope the author will find a pretext to write a new adventure to be in their company again.
As I said before Clive's prose is so rich that it has to be read at a leisure pace, take your time, savor it and you will not regret to be a citizen of Dica.

Tahlia Newland

A unique and magical world, May 30, 2013
By Tahlia Newland on Amazon.com

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (Dica Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)

Cold Angel is set in the world of Johnson's Dica series, a series I haven't read, so I figured there would be things about the world that I wouldn't understand, and there were, but nothing that stopped me enjoying the book or understanding the story. The relationship of Leiyatel, a kind of formless goddess figure, to the world of Dica appears to be a subtle one that would take reading the other books in the series to truly understand. Here it's a bit of mystery. I think it's a good introduction to the series actually, because it makes you curious to find out more.
As for the story; it's very different. It's a traditional fantasy but without a single sword or other weapon and without a single battle. There isn't even a bad guy, and yet, Mr. Johnson kept me reading. After a journey to a tower, Falmead, loses himself. It's as of he's forgotten who he is, and he draws away from Geran, the woman he loved so adoringly at the beginning of the book. Geran's sister Prescinda decides to sort out the problem for her dear upset sister, and so begins a journey to get Falmead back to his old self.
It seems that he has become possessed by a Cold Angel whose very presence threatens the stability of Leiyatel who holds the world together somehow. Nephril, an old friend of Falmead, who the poor man no longer recognises, has dire predictions for Falmead, but events conspire to provide a more amiable solution.

The most noteworthy thing about this book is the beautiful prose. Cold Angel is written in a richly poetic old style English, a delight to read, but probably an acquired taste. It's the kind of book you can amble through, without wanting to speed, just rolling the words around in your mouth and enjoying their flavour. The read is somewhat akin to a very rich desert.

Falmead remains a shadowy figure and I didn't feel that I got to know Geran very well, but Prescinda is the star of the book and is well fleshed out. I did enjoy Grog too. The book is well paced, but not dramatic, more like a steady journey, and comes to a satisfying and somewhat surprising conclusion.
The world of Dica is worth visiting just for the scenery, tall towers, castles, steep slopes and huge walls and of course, the usual kind of villages you see in any traditional fantasy - except that there are some basic mechanical vehicles, ones that come across as rather clunky, bad tempered and somewhat amusing.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves beautiful prose, a rich imagination and a story free of battles. I particularly enjoyed the mystical quality of the book and the descriptions of the inside of the tower. Somehow, Mr Johnson has created a solid world with an ethereal underbelly, a unique and magical world.

I received an advance copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Angela Mortimer

Wondrous Realm, May 30, 2013
By angela mortimer on Amazon.com

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (Dica Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)

I was honoured to get a sneak preview of Cold Angel Days; but the author knew I was a fan AND that I was hungry for more and I'd been resisting the urge to read the series again. I shouldn't, I kept telling myself, other books are waiting patiently on my Kindle for me to take a day off and read them. However I couldn't resist this new adventure. I said sorry to my queue but I must read this, I am addicted and happy to once again enter that wondrous realm of Dica, which seems feel strangely familiar, if not always comforting
And what joy it is to enter Dica again, to meet old friends and new, and linger over the ancient vistas. Dica, always the same and yet changing and so I am never sure where I can plant my feet (or imagination) safely. Will it disappear and take me with it? Isn't that one of the pleasures of Dica; the uncertainty, the desire to know everything about it, and then just when you think you sense the making of it, it changes or disappears and you can only wonder and mark time. While you wait, you must find a shelter away from the rain and wind and linger as you anticipate will the clouds lift or fall further, perhaps the sun will shine, or the stars will come out, or not?
I love Dica, I feel part of it, I hope that I never find the meaning of everything that is Dica because then my quest will be over and I never want my time in Dica to end.
If you haven't read the Dica series, I recommend that you do, or read this one first and then find out how we got to this point, the order doesn't really matter, after all Dica is ageless, and constantly rewritten, right in front of your eyes. It is well-written and beautifully described. For serious Sci-fi readers and anyone who likes to be intrigued and look beneath the obvious....

Helen2011

A stand alone link of joy, September 17, 2013
By Helen2011 on Amazon.com

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (Dica Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)

This book is a stand alone novel in the ongoing Dica series, created by Clive Johnson. In it we meet many old characters and also encounter new and appealing ones. I always enjoy reading these books in complete peace and calm, preferably on a Sunday with a fire, as they need concentration on the some times complicated plot, but in addition the peace enables the evocation of another land and another time.

This book can be read as a stand alone book, but it definitely benefits from some familiarity with the Dica Series so far. It explains things that an astute reader of previous volumes may have guessed, but it makes the interaction of time and place apparent. More importantly it seems to focus on the very human emotions of family, life, love and death more than the other novels. It has a surprising and in a way joyful ending, providing one of our favourite, but perhaps more mysterious, characters with context and a future.

Definitely worth a read. Especially on a Sunday with a glass of wine and a fire!

Rabid Readers

A psychological fantasy novel.... August 22, 2013
By Rabid Readers Reviews on Amazon.com

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (The Dica Series) (Paperback)

There is an elevated quality to the way Clive S. Johnson writes. It's not quite Joyce and not quite Tolkien but it is a love of language conveyed. The phraseology of the book was a bit of a hindrance in really becoming enmeshed in the story until this reader acclimated to her new fictional environment. One the story started to flow the unique brilliance of the usage is revealed. We are in a new world. One different from any other we might have encountered before.

"Cold Angel Days" is a character driven fantasy novel. There are no baddies dogging our hero's steps. The conflict is within themselves. The ultimate war of self-interest vs. the greater good which sucks you in and doesn't let you go. "Cold Angel Days" is not for everyone. It is a novel that requires focus to follow the story. If you, like I was as a new mother, are someone who needs to be able to put a book back down to pick it up perhaps hours later, this is likely not the novel for you.

There is a sense of something lost coming into the series with the fourth novel. Perhaps a knowledge that might have enhanced the reading experience. Despite this small sense of loss, "Cold Angel Days" is a novel that stands perfectly on its own

KimPitbull123

Out of this realm and into Dica, cold, mysterious , warming of the heart, May 31, 2013
By KimPitbull123 on Amazon.com

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (Dica Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)

love being back in the realm of Dica, with all of its cold walls, castles, mystery, sci-fi and intrigue. I’m back with Falmeard and Geran. This is a series that’s always changing, you never know what’s around the corner or up the stone steps. It’s the fourth book in the series and I wasn’t disappointed. Cold Angel Days puts Falmeard and Geran and her sister prescinda to the test of family and love. Clive writes a tale in his own style of writing. Grab a cold drink or hot one sit back and relax and dig in to this poetic like story. I say poetic because Clives words are in a world all their own. If you haven’t read one of his books, please do so. The Dica series is one of mystery, sci-fi and a love story like no other. Clive has a map that’s actually a work of art, but it’s meant to help understand where your looking and traveling through this series. Once again I’m impressed Clive

REgina

A Wonderful Journey, May 30, 2013
By REgina on Amazon.com

This review is from: Cold Angel Days (Dica Series Book 4) (Kindle Edition)

I was given a wonderful opportunity to read an advance copy of Mr. Johnson's fourth book in his series about the Realm of Dica. Cold Angel Days is everything I was expecting it to be. This novel is beautifully crafted with its deep thoughts, questions and there's even answers for the true seekers of truth.

Cold Angel Days is a story of profound love and what it's capable of achieving.

I'm always amazed by Clive Johnson's unique ability to look behind the world's complex multi-layers and see the naked truth. He creates a colorful new realm with characters I have come to feel as if they are close friends. When they're in trouble or in pain I feel it deeply. That is what a good book does and the sign of a true master crafter of words.