Whispers of the Past
Sam is employed by the Department of Conservation (DOC) with his two mates helping out. Their task is to clear out as many feral pigs as they can in the Tongariro National Park, which is located in the North Island of New Zealand.
There are three major volcanoes within this park, so the culling of the pigs has to be done with great care as there are an abundant amount of thermal pools, mud pools, and of course, volcanoes.
In the high country of New Zealand, the weather can be very fickle, going from warm to cold within minutes. The three friends draw even closer as they get caught up in a weather pattern with a difference. Mist, sulfur, and rain envelop them and propel them back to the start of the New Zealand Wars of 1863.
Three modern blokes, with all of the paraphernalia of the 21st century, running around in the past, lost, confused and trying to stay out of harm's way, once they realise where they are.
Will they get home? Will they change history? Experience a former era of New Zealand in an exciting story of the past and the present.
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WHAT PEOPLE SAY
"Well, I have just finished this fabulous book written by my very own uncle... OMG, it is the best I have read in a long time... I have laughed and cried!!! I am looking forward to the next book in the trilogy... Well done Uncle Owen.. 10/10"
— Donna Maree Clough-Beauchamp
I picked up your book this weekend – I confess I’ve had it for a couple of weeks but have been too busy to start it. The first thing I’ll say is that the day I picked it up is the day I finished it – I couldn’t put it down!
I LOVE the way it’s written – like you’re talking to me, telling me a story! I can almost hear your voice and see your expression. I love how there’s a big intro/backstory before getting into the nitty-gritty of the time travel.
It’s a very real, very intriguing book which kept me gripped until the end. I can’t wait for the next book to come out, I want to know what happened to Sam!
- Trish Chapman
What a wonderful book Owen. Can’t wait for the next one. It would make a great movie. Loved the way you included the invasion of Auckland and the censorship.
I have taken the trouble to promote it to a few groups and describe it as a bit of Barry Crump mixed with Diane Gabaldon. Will pass it on to the grandsons next week."
- Murray Reid
I bought Whispers the day your email arrived and had read it from cover to cover in three days. I have to admit that after the first dozen or so pages I raced through section one as I'm not really an outdoor 'Good Keen Kiwi bloke', so 'the bush' and the brutal art of "pig hunting" are not my thing. But that's a minor point. Once we arrived in the late 1800s, you really captured my attention, particularly as I had researched that whole Road to War period. And like your reviewer quoted in your email, I too became quite emotionally involved in the return home.
All in all, very well done indeed. I'm sure you're well on the way to stardom, at least in New Zealand. And no doubt you got a huge kick the first time you picked up your own book. The greatest pay day of all, I say.
Incidentally, I appreciated your even-handed approach to the land grab's cause and effect. I have to repeat myself: congratulations on a job very well done. Mate! I'm also mightily impressed how you so accurately remained onsong in spite of the before, during and after time warps. Your imagination and concentration are truly exceptional.
- David Hanger
(Author of "Gold Rush")
I have awarded it five stars on Amazon, and it is worth it in my humble opinion. Reminded me of why I miss home.
- Mike Ohare
I didn't want to put it down but I had to go to bed... It was like 4am!!! Can't wait for book 2.
- Donna Maree Beauchamp-Clough
I'm two chapters in and I'm hooked. I love your writing style. It's as if I'm sitting next to your characters as they're telling the story with a beer in hand. Can't wait for the next instalment. My full review will be on Goodreads as soon as I have finished.
Good storyline that had me reading one chapter after another. Has some very interesting twists and turns of events. Ever wanted to travel back in time? Well here's your chance!
- Denise Price
I enjoyed this book immensely, found it hard to put down, recommended it to everyone.
- Mary Drummond
Most enjoyable read, recommend this book to all who enjoy a book with twists.
I could not put it down, I cannot wait for the next instalment. I brought another one for my son.
I haven't got a lot of time to read at the moment, but I've managed to get up to Chapter Eight, and I think your book is AWESOME! To be honest, I wasn't sure that it would be a genre I would want to read, but have since changed my mind! I will promote it as much as I can and I hope it does well for you
Whispers of the Past was a great read - looking forward to your next instalment
- Michelle Payne
I enjoyed the book & will look out for the next one.
- Christine Madsen
I thought this book was bloody good. I felt that I was there in the story as I read it. A great read and I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.
- Peter Michie
I brought your book from The book Depositary in the UK. This is the first New Zealand book I have ever read and I must tell you that it was thoroughly enjoyable. The Maori words I googled and of course some of the words in your speech are different, but it never took away the enjoyment of the read. I went onto your website and looked at the synopsis of the next two books and I'll be waiting first in the queue to buy them. A wonderful story that has given me an incite even if it was fiction to New Zealand's past
- Pat Tobin
I enjoyed this book immensely, parts of the story I could relate to as my grandfather was fighting at that time in the Waikato. I cannot wait for the next installment which I'm to believe will be out this year. Keep up the good work.
- Val Cash
Amazing book. Looking forward to reading the next one.
Just finished your book Whispers of the Past, I enjoyed it and was wondering when the next one in the sequel is due out. Not often I worry too much about reading but this got me hooked so I cannot wait for the next book. Is the name of it Shadows of the Mind? It will have to be good to beat the first book.
- Neil Abbott
It's a really good book
- Shane Clough
'Whispers of the Past' pulled me in and took me on a much-needed journey through to my present and past then back again. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am waiting impatiently for your next! Thank you for such a wonderful book!
- Michelle Payne.
I thoroughly enjoyed your book and likened it to a cross between Barry Crump and Diana Gabaldon who would be among my favourite authors. I can't wait for the second book.
- Sandy Wickman
Owen, I have just finished reading Whispers of the Past. Mate 10 out of 10 for that one. That was one of the best books I've read for a very long time. Thanks heaps for the opportunity to partake of it, I'm looking forward to the next one
- John Howard
This is an amazing book. Sent shivers down my spine and made me laugh and cry. I loved every bit of it and actually learned a lot from it too which was a bonus.
- Linda Purvis
This isn't a genre I've read before, and I wasn't sure if I'd like it, but as soon as I got to the part where the hunters start seeing extinct birds and trees, etc., I was hooked! This book would appeal to those who read a wide variety of genres and anybody who enjoys NZ history and Maori genealogy will thoroughly enjoy it."
- Amazon Customer
Don has read your first book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Cheers.
- Don and Jeanette Hanley
Love your first book.
- Frances Wrigley
Three average kiwi guys who have been good mates for years head bush on a hunting trip. They've done it many times before. Simple, right?
This story looks not only explains what happened to these three men, as they slip back in time but also explores the emotional and psychological effect their journey had.
With believable characterisation and natural dialogue you get to know these men; their thoughts, their feelings, strengths and weaknesses.
Dive into this story, it will take you on an incredible journey.
- Richard O'Hareon
Dear Mr. Clough
I sat down pushing myself into the cushions on the couch, a cup of coffee in hand as I picked up your paperback edition of Whispers of the Past. I had bought it online through Amazon.
A gloomy day which was ideal for me to give your book my full attention. I did not know what to expect as this is the first time I have read any novel by a New Zealand author.
I read your book in one sitting, I could not put it down, I even missed lunch. What a wonderful story you have written Mr. Clough for a first-time novelist you are to be congratulated. I know nothing about New Zealand's past, but your book has made me think it's time to look at your part of the world. I loved the way you described your bush the strength of your characters. Your story just flowed and for those of us who do not live in your country the glossary and map in the back of the book was a help to understand the Maori words making it easier to grasp the meaning of the story.
You built up your story from the beginning and then bang the mist arrives, and the men are back in their past, crossing in turn long dead relations and hoping that they will not change their futures. All the time trying to work out how the heck do they get back to their time and home, also to stay out of the conflict. The start of the New Zealand Wars, to Maori education and the way they spoke some with British accents. We just don't think about that side of history
The end brought a few tears, and it was with reluctance I put the book down it was finished. I read the beginning of the second book In the trilogy the teaser at the back of the novel. I cannot wait to read the continuing story of Bob, Shane and Sam.
- Alisha Yorkton
We really enjoyed your book. Well written and full of interesting information about the era it is set in. We are hoping the work on your sequel is going well and we are waiting in anticipation
- D Willson
I wasn't sure that this was my sort of story I would like but I must admit I really enjoyed it. Generally well-written excellent plot, there were a few areas that were hard to pick up on other than that, well done.
- Billy W
Three New Zealanders go out into the bush on a government sponsored pig cull. While trapped in a rain storm, they take refuge in a cave. When they come out, they find that they have traveled back to the 1860’s. Now they must attempt to get home without damaging the future.
Whispers of the Past is one of those books that succeeds because of the author’s knowledge of the past, present, and the differences between the two. Clough plants the reader in the New Zealand bush, painting the landscape with confidence that only comes from first-hand knowledge. The trees, the pig hunt, the characters all come alive and fill the readers mind vividly. And this doesn’t change when the book transitions to the past. 1860’s New Zealand, teetering on the edge of war, the unsanitary medical conditions, the customs, clothes, the building material materialize with each turn of the page. But what is really admirable about the book is how Clough incorporates New Zealand terminology into the narrative without providing definition to the terms. It is seamless, and yet a reader from another part of the globe knows exactly what he’s referring to without needing a glossary.
Whispers of the Past is highly recommended for anyone interested in historical fiction. An enjoyable read.
- Ben Adams
Your book, Whispers of the Past, was a great read.
- Eileen Smith
The book is a fantastic read. I really did enjoy it, it is a subject that I enjoy.
- Steve Smith
Read the book again and it brought tears to my eyes I don't normally read a book twice cannot wait for the next one to come out.
I really enjoyed this book.
As an ex-military man myself, I could so relate to the comradeship between the three main characters.
The initial expedition to hunt pigs was so full of rich detail, it could have been a book all by itself.
I was lucky to receive this book as a gift and I am so happy I did.
Residing in the South Island of New Zealand, the descriptions of the beautiful countryside of the North Island make me want to get up there and see it all.
This author took me on a journey through some of New Zealand’s history that engaged me more like a Hollywood movie than some kind of text book.
The stories within this book also created lots of suspense.
Like most fiction readers I like to predict where a story will end. I have to confess that my own predictions of the endings weren’t all correct.
If you like genuine heroes with a conscience, like me you’ll love these main characters.
- G. F. Cusack
5.0 out of 5 stars.
Such an original idea, and really well written. Was made more relevant by knowing the layout of Auckland, from Tongariro, north, and the lower South Island and being able to visualise where some of the story played out. Don't want to give too much away, but would recommend this book to anyone with even a slight interest in NZ history, and who enjoys a really good yarn.
I'm looking forward to the next one.
- Linda Pierce
I bought your book from Amazon as a curiosity. I have never read a book from New Zealand, and you cover looked interesting as did the synopsis, and I thought I would give it a go. I'm pleased I did, what a wonderful story. I enjoyed the theme of the book slipping back in time, the characters felt so real, the bush, lush and dripping in the wet, the story kept my attention from page one. I loved each page, and I will definitely be on the lookout to the other books in the trilogy. I recommend this book to all those who like a fast pack adventure. Thank you for a great story.
- Ane Willis
(Cape Town, SA)
Good afternoon Mr. Clough,
I thought I would write to you and tell you how much I enjoyed your novel. I'm certainly looking forward to the next one after reading the teaser at the end of Whispers of the Past.
As a first time writer you did very well, there were a few times when I thought you spent to much time on everyday activities but the story as a whole was exciting. The characters were believable and it was though I was with these young men through their journey.
Keep up the good work and I'll keep my eye out for your next installment.
- June Morrison
I read the book I purchased for my college library a couple of months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, Job well done, I would say.
I had looked forward to reading Owen's book and I was not disappointed. I enjoyed the descriptions of New Zealand and the friendship between the main characters and I loved the concept of meeting and interacting with one's ancestors. I was genuinely sad when the friends parted ways and delighted with the story's ending when Brill meets Tui and brings the story full circle. Well done.
- Rebecca Clough Harpole
Hi Owen, I read subject book after finding it in a BB house in Wellington. Great yarn and I've placed a review on Amazon. Put me on the distribution list for second of your trilogy. Enjoy your book immensely.
- Tony Rogers
I finished the book, it was fabulous!
- Lyndell Jones
I enjoyed how the personalities of the characters you could relate to a typical kiwi personality. It flowed well and kept me interested in wanting to know what they would talk about next without giving away the story I thought it was a book that most of the country could and would relate to I am looking forward to reading more.
- Sheridan O'Donnell
A very enjoyable story. Nice work Mr Clough!
- Fotoula Reynolds
Hi Owen. Just letting you know I've finished reading your book. I rather enjoyed it once the trio got to the military base before the pig hunting. Looking forward to the next 1.
- Adam Johnson
This was a great read, thanks Owen. It's not often I finish a book within few days but this one was great. Looking forward to the next one.
- Debbie Tinsdale
I enjoyed this book, Even though it was written by my remote cousin I thought I might be a bit dubious. To my surprise, I enjoyed the book very much. Well done cousin, let me know when the next one is out as I would like to find out what happened to the two main characters. In my opinion, If you enjoy a good old fashion time slip into NZ's past this book is a must to read. I would have to give this yarn a 5 star.
- Charlie C.
(Auckland, New Zealand)
Hey Owen. I finished Whispers of the Past today. I have posted reviews on Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada, and Amazon Australia. If you want to post the review elsewhere, or have me do it, I will be happy to do so. I also posted it on Goodreads. I think you will like the review. I enjoyed the book a great deal. I offered one criticism. What I said was there was a bit too much minutiae as to city streets, the names of places perhaps only one reader out of ten thousand might recognize or care about. I don't mean by saying that to denigrate your writing. Far from it. As I said I thoroughly enjoyed the book and if I had not I would not have reviewed it. Take good care mate and keep writing.
- Berk Rourke
For Shadows of the mind:
I've had the pleasure of knowing Owen for a short time, but in that time, we've shared some gratifying work together due to the man's story-telling talent. My wife and I are both proofreader/copy editors and have felt privileged indeed to be able to give a bit of input to his Whispers of the Past series. the second book Shadows of the Mind. Owen's characters are engrossing, adventurous and endearing, much like the author himself! Even in the trials and tribulations faced by the story's characters, there is a pervasive warmth and humanity continually felt. And terrific imagination! Time-travel, true love, shenanigans and more--all delivered with an earthy, good-humoured Kiwi wink:) You'll wind up wishing you personally knew these characters and will want to read Mr Clough's writing again and again. Good on ya, mate -- keep yarning, and God bless!
Listen, Owen, when I am reading your creations, I either have a grin on my face or get very moved by your writing. Your words/storytelling/yarning give me a glow inside. The reader can tell that your experiences, as well as your knowledge, are woven in there, and you put a lot of heart into it – I am honoured to honour your excellent, people-pleasing writing.
- Terry and Paula Grundy
Hi Owen, We would like to let you know that we have finished your book and had been meaning to let you know what we thought. We enjoyed it immensely and found it hard to put down. We both are looking forward to the next one.
- Dave & Carolyn Gebby
When is book 2 due out? Loved book one.
- Rachael Broomhall
If readers have never considered the possibility of time warps, or do not believe such a thing exists, this detailed day-to-day account will provide much food for thought! American Indian tribes in the Southwestern United States believe in time warps to the extent of claiming to know the location of the portals. Regardless of belief or non-belief, Whispers of the Past is a detailed account of a "Tramp" into the bush of New Zealand. This tale is so detailed it could be used to plan an extended "Tramp" into the wilds in any location. This book is a "Page Turner." Readers will be tempted to turn to the final page to learn the ending long before they have finished reading the book. Highly recommend this book!
- F. L. Hudkins
(West Virginia, USA)
I have to say this really pulled me in, especially once they found themselves in a century and a half time-warp. Owen did a fine job of dealing with the "can't change history" dilemma with a variety of twists and turns through the discovery of their various ancestors. Very curious how the story ebbs into book two. Well done, Owen!
- James Paddock
I have given it 5 stars Excellent.
- Matt Pollock
I just finished your book Whispers of the Past. I loved it, I just love it. Did I tell you I loved it Owen well I did love it I'm looking forward to the next one?
- Tim Atkins
Thank you for the read
- Bradlee Burton
Owen has to be one of the most imaginative story tellers l have had the pleasure of reading in a long, long time. His characters have a flesh and blood realness. Somehow he made the unbelievable believable. I think his approach to the story and keeping it together and fresh by using a native‘s perspective with time jumps was apt. As a Yank reader, I admittedly was somewhat put off by the nuances and colloquialisms of New Zealander English. I almost put the book down. What a terrible mistake that would have been! Owen, good job on this story, mate!
- Michael J Schroeder
I received my copy Whispers in the past from Goodreads. I really like this book.
Very interesting, well written, easy to read. So enjoyable!
Three friends on a trip to New Zealand bush going back in time to 1863. Lost and confused all they have to do now is go back to the present.
The story is beautifully written. It contains wonderful descriptions of New Zealand landscapes and history.
The book also has a really nice cover.
I adore this book, highly recommended to all my friends.
I would like to thank the author for my free copy.
Hi Owen, hope you are well. Really enjoyed Whispers of the Past - a great book!
- David Holman, Author
Amazing story, mind blowing
- Farooque Sk Quadri
I absolutely loved the first book Owen, a really good read and completely different to my normal reading material, looking forward to the second!
- Alison Beale,
I'd thought I would let you know that I have finished Whispers of the Past a couple of weeks ago and saw the second book was up online Shadows of the Mind. I just finished that yesterday. I have to tell you that those two books were very enjoyable to read. I have never read anything about New Zealand before, and you left me with wanting to find out more about your country. Whispers was intriguing and Shadows continued on from the first book and was easy to pick up the story. I loved the idea of Bob looking for his friends in a genealogy way as I'm a keen on genealogy myself. It kept me flicking the pages as quickly as I could read the books.
Well done I will have my eye out for the final book in the trilogy Clearing of the Mist. Keep up the good work sir.
- Jack Dempsey
Hi Owen, your book was great I felt like I was there in person within the story I enjoyed the book very much. I would recommend this book to all readers of historical fiction
(Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, NZ)
This came out of the blue.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the trilogy, Whispers of the Past and have been waiting patiently for the second book to come out in print. I see now that Shadows of the Mind is now published and I cannot wait to find out what happened to the men in the story.
(Lower Hutt, Wellington. NZ)
Whispers of the Past is a special treat for lovers of historical fiction, his first book in a trilogy Owen Clough takes you on a surreal journey through the bush clad past of New Zealand before farms are established in the 18th-century Waikato.
Three modern men slip back from the 21st-century through a time warp of mist to just before the start of the New Zealand land wars of 1863
"Historical fiction is mostly smoke and mirrors. We don't know what it is like to live in the past no matter how much research is completed on the subject, so the success of the novel relies heavily on creating a convincing illusion. Clough rises to this challenge with a tremendous skill in this accomplished endeavour and well thought out story. Giving his characters strength of purpose and very believable. Once I started this book, it was tough to put down.
- Mason Turner
A thrilling read. I enjoyed this book immensely. The fast moving plot, slipping back into the lads past and trying to stay safe. The characters are believable, and it has given me an inside on New Zealand's history. If you want a superb read, that has an adventure, timeslip, war, romance, bush, history, then this is for you. Even though this is a work of fiction, the author has brought together certain aspects of the 1860's that happened. I could not put the book down; I felt as though I was there with them. My wife enjoyed it as much as I did, so it is not a gender book, it is for everyone. Recommend it for 14 years to old folks.
- A Kobo Reader
I received this book as a review copy. I loved this book. After enjoying the Outlander series and the books by Traci Harding, this was right up my alley. Delving into New Zealand's history, Owen Clough makes you ask yourself how would you survive if it had happened to you all the while spinning a tale that you just can't put down. I can't wait for the sequel.
Hi Owen, I just wanted to let you know I have just this minute finished your book, and what a two-hanky job it was at the end. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next one. Once they went back in time, things seem to move a bit quicker, and it became quite difficult to put down. Although there is a lot of reading there, so it still took me a few weeks. Knowing Auckland (and some of the North Island) made it all that more real. For me, it just got better and better, and the ending was very satisfying, even with the tears.
So thank you for all your hard work
- Cathy Sweetman
Hubby loved it and then I gave it to George Coppard, my father in law last night and he said: "I finished that book you gave me (a bit croaky) you know the one you didn't read cause the book looks new and no pages have been opened." "What are you talking about George?" I said. "You know the one", and read it out, "Whispers of the past by Owen Clough." "George, that's my cousin I told you about, did you enjoy it?" "It was bloody good, in fact, I see there is more coming." Owen, I think my 93yr old father-in-law was nearly in tears.
- George Coppard
I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderfully written saga of three mates who started out on a pig hunt to cull the swine from the national forest and finding themselves back in the early history of New Zealand and the Maori Wars of 1863. It has many amazing twists and turns that kept me turning the pages for many hours of interesting events and also kept me enthralled throughout the book. I had some trouble with the pronunciation of the Maori towns and landmarks but being born in New Zealand, it was and extra bonus to remember many of the places of my childhood many years ago. The family aspect of the story was also interesting especially having Bob meet his "own" Tui after he returns to 2014. I can't wait for the next issue to arrive so I can continue the saga once again.
I highly recommend this to all readers looking for a good story and pleasant hours of the best entertainment. Thanks Owen for a job well done.
- Wayne Betham
It's a book that you can't put down, but I had to go to bed. I could have read it all night. I haven't read a book like this for yonks. Thoroughly enjoyable, cannot wait until the next one comes out.
- Keith Potter
Loved reading this book. Can't wait for the next book
- Sandra Coppard
I highly recommend this book to all my friends and family. Owen Clough is a distant cousin of mine and this book is awesome.
- Barbara Leach
Well, Owen, I have just finished your book. I still cannot believe a Kiwi author wrote it. I have never enjoyed a book so much. You kept me so enthralled right throughout and I even cried at the end. It was such a compelling story. I can't wait until the second part of the trilogy
- Judith Woods
Greetings Owen, I enjoyed your historical novel. Good reading gave faces to the dry history of textbooks. Looking forward to reading the next one in the trilogy.
- Martin Bonny
$1.99 on Amazon. At that price, it is a steal. In my view, it is worth much more than that. It is a well-written book with a good storyline, Not Wilbur Smith, but not Africa either. And in my humble opinion, far superior to Wilbur's later offerings. Spend your savings and have a good read
- Mike O
Dear Owen, I received your book from Fishpond Australia last month and have just finished it with a tear in my eye. I had to write and let you known that I enjoyed your story immensely and hope that you will keep in contact with me when the follow-up comes out. An exciting read.
- Dolly Richards,
What a yarn. Hawke’s Bay (Takapau) author Owen Clough has come up with a rip-roaring Boys Own-style story about time, traveling back to the New Zealand Wars, the first in a trilogy.
Sam is a DoC employee who, with two mates, has been assigned to clear out feral pigs in the Tongariro National Park. It’s a job the three former army friends relish.
Their story is told by ‘Brill’ Bob Kydd and is first set in modern times.But in the high country, the weather can go from warm to cold within minutes. Mist, sulfur, and rain envelop them and propel the lads back to the start of the New Zealand Wars of 1863. The trio, with their cell phones, camera, and lighters from the 21st century, have to come to terms with a new life where our history was made. Great story, but Clough really needs an editor badly. Way too much information about killing pigs, far too much about food and daily ablutions, and dialogue that sounds as if it comes straight from the 1950s. Still, I read to the very end wanting to find out what became of these lads and the rest of the trilogy could be interesting.
- Linda Thompson
(Rotorua Daily Mail)
My Book Whispers of the Past 5 out of 5 stars
A beautiful book. Thank you
- Tiaana Kumeroa
I read Whispers of the Past and finished a week ago. I wasn't sure at the beginning, but as I got further into the book I just couldn't put it down. It kept me glued until the end. I was sorry the book had to finish and I'm looking forward to the second book in the trilogy.
I received this book as a gift.
If you are looking for adventure, with more than a smattering of history, I highly recommend Whispers of the Past. Author and exceptional storyteller, Owen Clough has woven a story and a history lesson about New Zealand that will take you into the wee hours of the morning, reading. His characters are strong and believable, with dialogue that makes the story flow and comes to life. I'm looking forward to his next book.
Really enjoyed your book, Owen, looking forward to the next one! All the best.
- Leonie A'court
Mate, I just finished reading your book. Enjoyed it very much. Is the next one out yet? Shadows of the mind.
- Nik Pukeroa
I enjoyed Whispers of the Past very much and I'm sure looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.
- Mark English
New Zealand author, Owen Clough, has created a historical fiction that kind of straddles the border between thriller and fantasy as three friends set out to carry a cull of feral pigs in present day New Zealand, only to find themselves thrust back in time over a hundred years after encountering a strange golden mist within a dense fog bank. Unsure if they will ever be able to find their own time and their families, their confusion is confounded when among the people they meet in the past turn out to be their own ancestors, complicating things greatly as they ponder on whether their actions in this past century will affect their lives in what is now the future. The author concentrates greatly on historical facts, especially the land wars that affected 19th century New Zealand and there is plenty of opportunity for the northern hemisphere reader to become lost in some of the language and localised dialect of the time and of the Maori people, though help is at hand as the author thoughtfully provides an extensive glossary at the back of the book that helps everything make sense.
I loved the descriptions Clough provided of the land of his birth, which helped to bring this book to life It was also greatly interested in the interactions between the Maori and Europeans who had settled in the country. There are some terrific characters in the book, and I was especially taken with the Maori, bought up and schooled by upper-class English settlers, who speaks with an accent more Sandhurst than Outback. There are plenty of action in the book, which also manages to include a large dose of romance, plenty of pathos and a more than a hint of tragedy. Told in a very easy, colloquial style, very much of the antipodean Southern Hemisphere, I could myself caught up in the three men's quest to find their way back to their own time. Whether they succeeded or not, I must leave for other readers to discover for themselves, as I have no wish to spoil the enjoyment of reading this very good debut novel by Mr. Clough.
I thought your book was amazing and I rate it 5/5
- Alissa Fowler
Fantastic Book, Setting in Central Plateau Area of New Zealand.
- Linda Savage
Thanks, Owen, bought on Amazon great read made me homesick keep it up, mate.
- Paul Walsh
Would love to go into l the draw for your book.
Got it from the library and thought it was fantastic, reminded me of Diana Garibaldi's books in an NZ setting.
Learned lots about our early history and can't wait for the next two
- Jeanette Ellen
I just read your book Whispers of the past, Owen, and let me tell you it brought tears to my eyes. Living a while in Germany I forgot how much I miss NZ. Your book made me think so much of home, your story was wonderful the pages full of exciting facts about home and the characters I felt I knew them as the book continued at a fast pace. I read it over a weekend and struggled to put it down. I can hardly wait until the second book in the trilogy comes out. Well done, Owen, well done indeed.
- Adrian, nee Oldham,
I truly enjoyed this book but never quite knew whether I was reading science fiction, historic fiction or a history textbook masquerading as a fiction thriller. I finally decided to forget the genre schizophrenia and focus on the story which was informative and drew me in for a variety of reasons.
The plot revolves around three friends on an extended hunting trip that runs afoul of a naturally occurring time-warp and finds themselves one hundred-fifty years in the past. By itself, that may not have been a terrible plight…but in their case it slam-dunked them into the middle of the Waikato War of 1863 including the burning of Auckland and the battle of Rangiriri. The author uses a wonderful technique to create interest since each of the three friends’ families are from New Zealand and had relatives with roots deeply embedded in both sides of the Maori Wars. Much of the story involves the characters encountering and engaging their ancestors from a much earlier time in history.
The story is well written and the characters are well developed. Probably too well developed, since the story has a surplus of detail normally lacking in similar thrillers. I accepted this detail as the author painting a photograph of a time in history in which he was particularly interested, rather than the water colour sketch most authors may have painted. I found it a little tedious to read, but because New Zealand’s conflict with England is a part of world history with which I was unfamiliar, I read it eagerly ignoring the more tedious descriptions. Besides the history lesson, the story itself is unusual enough and contains enough conflicts to interest the most avid adventure reader.
Those who love historical fiction, action/adventures, even Sci-Fi fans, will find this book an entertaining and educational tramp in the bush.
I'm not a big fan of mixed genre fiction, but I found this one entertaining. The opening chapters with the slaughter of the animals was hard for this animal lover to take. Pigs and possums, like deer and rabbits, were brought to New Zealand to be exploited, then deemed pests and subjected to open season. A small quibble.
Three men head off into the bush to cull pigs and end up being transported back in time to the colonial period where the land is being wrested from its indigenous people. The modern perspective they bring to these events provides food for thought and highlights the caveat that all history must be viewed through the prism of prevailing attitudes and circumstances of the times.
Clough handles his material with a confidence that feels right at home and achieves a good, solid Kiwi adventure yarn with credible characters and plenty of action to keep the reader involved. The index of words peculiar to New Zealand is a thoughtful addition for foreign readers. Recommended for young adult and upwards.
- E. G. Eldridge
I won this ebook, and really enjoyed it. I don't usually read historical fiction, but this started in the modern day, which was a good start. Really interesting characters and the relationships to the present day were well done. Was interesting learning of the Maori Wars history, in an entertaining way had humour as well, which was appreciated? Would definitely recommend it
- Loretta Bush
Just finished reading your book, bloody good read , roll on number two.
- Colin Newburn
I am sorry that I have not told you about your book yet. However, when I read it, your book reminds me New Zealand and I am happy! I wish you a very successful your second book!
I just finished your book. It took a while as the beginning of the book with it's hunting was hard for me to get through and I kept putting it down. I persisted in the end and once the young men slipped back into the past I could not put the book down at all. It was exciting and kept me enthralled the whole time. I now cannot wait for your next book in the trilogy.
I passed it on to my son who, like me, enjoyed it immensity. Well done.
I enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to your next book. Take care and Happy Holidays.
The author uses his knowledge of history and genealogy to relate three mates adventures in the past while still maintaining a thread to the present. With what they hope will be a minimum of alteration to history, the three friends finish this first of a trilogy in differing times. I enjoyed this tale very much and look forward to the next book. Will Sam be found?
Dear Mr Clough,
My brother bought me your book Whispers of the Past for Christmas. He knew I liked Historical Fiction and I put your book aside to read at a later date.
I should never have open it late on Christmas night, but I did, and I could not put it down. Once the men slipped back into their past, I was hooked. An enjoyable read, the characters where very believable and the hero was not infallible which is a nice concept.
Tears at the end of the book and a yearning to know what happened to Sam. I read the teaser for the second novel at the back of Whispers so please let me know when it is due out.
Thank you again for the ride. I'm waiting in anticipation.
- Sharon Ly
I really enjoyed your book, Owen.
When’s number 2 going to be ready?
- George Langton
Owen, I just finished your book. It took a while as the beginning of the book with it's hunting was hard for me to get through and I kept putting it down. I persisted in the end and once the young men slipped back into the past I could not put the book down at all. It was exciting and kept me enthralled the whole time. I now cannot wait for your next book in the trilogy. I passed it on to my friend who, like me, enjoyed it immensity. Well done.
- Sofia Hassounia
I enjoyed it very much.
- William Reynolds
Hi mate, well my thoughts on your book; I was very intrigued as I could not put it down. It was a great adventurer and book to read. I would recommend your book to everyone. I am amazed you had the vision to write the amazing story. Well done Owen.
I thought I would let you know that it took me four days to read your book. I couldn't get my head out of it , really good book I enjoyed it immensely. I'm now looking forward to the second book in the series.
- Elizabeth Bassett, Author of The children’s story, "Hippity Hopsit",
(Hawkes Bay, NZ)
As I read closer to the end of this book, I couldn't put it down. Just had to know who made it home and who didn't. I was hoping they would all get home but it became obvious that wasn't going to happen. Parts made me giggle like the Maori gent speaking the Queens English. I don't normally read NZ authors. This book is great and well worth the time to open it up, settle down with your favourite drink and enjoy the adventure.
(Northland, New Zealand.)
I loved your first book. it should be a movie!
- Sarah Clough
An interesting concept of time travel. Three young men find themselves transported back to 1863 and have to adapt to life in a hostile time. With the benefit of hindsight, they manage to avoid several skirmishes, find their family roots, and eventually one manages to return to present day. Some of the historical facts may not be as presented, but that doesn't hinder the story. Unfortunately, I found this book difficult to enjoy because of the way the speech was portrayed which made for very stilted narrative. Otherwise interesting, and I look forward to the sequel when published.
- Merv W
Hi, I enjoyed the book very much. Thanks
Thoroughly enjoyed Whispers of the Past -- please Owen, hurry up with the rest of the trilogy!
- Molly Bowditch
Hello Owen Clough, I enjoyed your book which I bought in January. Got into it after the somewhat slow start and couldn't put it down. You had announced a while ago there was a sequel. I haven't looked at Amazon lately. Maybe it's up for purchase now.
- Eleanor Gamarsh.
(Retired at Ele's Designery)
I read your book (kindly loaned to me by Beverley) and enjoyed it and I look forward to reading the next one.
- Val Mayer
Reading it right now! It is one hell of a book! I've never seen anything quite like it. The detail of the main characters day-to-day movements and experiences are exceptional. Will likely finish reading it today -- maybe, after which I will write a review. I recommend this book to all!. It is a page turner!
- Forris Hudkins
(West Virginia, USA)
I liked It, 5 stars!
- Kamahele Rojas
Mate, I always enjoyed your tram commentaries, so I was pretty sure your book would be a good one. How wrong I was...it is a great one! I absolutely loved it and was engrossed from the first chapter. You made Brill, Sam and Shane really come alive on every page, and your descriptions of the historical vents were superb. The moment you've printed Shadows, send me a copy and payment will be immediately made to your account.
- Barry Corbett
Hi Owen, I bought your book and it was a good read! I sense a good follow up to continue Sams story. To think that when we were mates at CTB you must have had ideas swirling around in your head for stories. I look forward to next book.
- Kevin Tomes
This is a very unusual story set in New Zealand beautifully written by Owen Clough in loving detail. I can safely say that I have never read a book like this! It was certainly very insightful as well as enjoyable. It has history, time travel, fantasy, adventure. The reader can sense the author's love for his homeland through his detailed descriptions.
"Whispers of the Past" starts with a detailed account of a "Tramp" into the bush of New Zealand.Sam and his two mates are trying to clear out as many feral pigs as they can in the Tongariro National Park, which is located in the North Island of New Zealand. This is a difficult job as the weather conditions are very hostile and fickle in the high country of New Zealand.Suddenly,mist, sulphur and rain envelop them and propel them back to the start of the New Zealand Wars of 1863.
The New Zealand Wars were a series of armed conflicts that took place in New Zealand from 1845 to 1872 between the New Zealand government and the Māori. Though the wars were initially localised conflicts triggered by tensions over disputed land purchases, they escalated dramatically from 1860 as the government became convinced it was facing united Māori resistance to further land sales and a refusal to acknowledge Crown sovereignty. In essence, Sam and his mates find themselves in a century and a half time-warp. The time warp took the three men from 2014 to 1863 in New Zealand where they lived. Their adventures, their hopes and desires, the marriage of one of them to a Maori woman, are all recounted in detail. Will they get home? To know this one will have to read this exciting yarn. The characters are well developed. Kudos to the author for his brilliant imagination. Waiting for the next part of the story - perhaps as a next book?
- Sharmishtha Shenoy
It was amazing.
I finished the book, it was fabulous! And what surprised me was there were 196 reviews on his web page www.owencloughbooks.com a great effort for a great story. The first in a trilogy now I'm waiting for the next book.
(Christchurch, New Zealand)
Just finished your book..Whispers of the past..a great read OC..looking forward to the next one.
- Lesley Smith
I thought this book was very good.
- Sharon Sharpe
Owen Clough, the New Zealand author informs the reader about the history of New Zealand in a delightful manner with wonderful descriptions of New Zealand landscapes as well as history. I enjoyed reading this book from beginning to end. An amazing book! A great read, in fact, one of the best books I have read. The book is illustrated with an attractive and nice cover.
- Arundathie Abeysinghe
Have just finished Whispers Of The Past, and really enjoyed it. Needed to reread the first book, to remember it all again, which I did, and liked. Such a good premise, and so well done. So looking forward to the next book.
- Loretta Bush
It‘s Christin and Daniel - the German couple from the Woodville Ferry Reserve Campground. I‘m pleased to tell you, I just finished your book today and hand it now over to Daniel to read.
First, if all it was such a nice experience to read it, as our own travel matched the places that Bob, Shane and Sam visited.
For example, we just entered Waiouru as I read the chapter about it. Yesterday we drove through Auckland seeing the signs of Papatoetoe etc.
I‘m looking forward to seeing all the other places, especially on the south island.
I really enjoyed reading your book and I have the feeling I would never so much learnt about NZ, if we hadn‘t met you. So thank you for that!
The last few chapters really had touched me, you made me cry reading Shanes letter...
I will let you know when Daniel finished reading your book and we will definitely go for the second one.
So I would be happy if you let me know when you finished the last book of the trilogy.
We will keep you in mind whenever thinking about New Zealand. It was a real pleasure!
Love from the Germans,
Christin and Daniel