Friday, April 1, 2016

Coexist by Anna Tan - #review #giveaway

About the book:

Jane Hays has been told all her life that it’s dangerous to be out in the forest past sundown. At fifteen, she’s quite sure that it’s all old wives’ tales... yet, why does her village bar the gates every night? Why do they even have gates? When she is caught in an unexpected rainstorm on her way home, Jane ignores all the warnings and seeks shelter in a cottage in the middle of the forest. Soon, she is caught up in a world of magic and beauty – and in the storm of the Fairy Queen’s wrath.

The Fairy Queen is out for blood. There have been intruders - human intruders - in her domain and she will stop at nothing to find them and kill them. After all, it is only fair. She is only seeking retribution for the death that humans leave in their wake.

But Jane isn’t all that she seems to be. And the events of the night aren’t as innocent as they appear.

A tale of magic, fairy creatures and family, Coexist is a novella for the young and the young-at-heart.

Get Coexist on Amazon or Smashwords.


My Review:

Coexist is a place where beings of multiple sentient species can live together - can being the operative word.  Past, present and a little future can also occur in the same place.

There are humans, fairies, elves, wood spirits and a whole cast of characters in this fun making-the-fantastical-seem real book.  

The humans tell their children many cautionary fairy tales, designed to gain their obedience and maybe a little out of concern for their safety.  What they don't know at first is that long ago, a pact was made between the humans and elves to have no contact with each other - and the means by which that was accomplished was that the humans would have access to the forest during the daylight hours and the elves could be out at night.  You see, the elves didn't much care for the humans (did they ever)?

So, good daughter Jane goes out to gather some herbs for her mother, who was creating some sort of tonic.  Unfortunately, she got caught out by a sudden thunderstorm (cue the ominous movie music), and had to spend the night in the woods.  Luckily she did not have to wait without shelter, as a young part-man-part-dog, took her in and said he would guide her back to the village after the rain stopped.  Well, the rain didn't stop that night.

Imagine, being young, alone in a place you are not supposed to be after dark, and a thunderstorm comes up and your rescue comes from a being only half-human?  Jane seemed to take it in stride.  Most of us, with our 'logical' brains would try to convince ourselves that we were hallucinating, I think.

A theme of tolerance runs through Coexist.  Not many characters get along with many others at the beginning.  Threats pass back and forth amongst the species as well as within each group.  Later, several long-held secrets are revealed in an entertaining denouement.

We have our different countries, religions, skin colors, genders, social or financial classes, and many other variables that seem to separate us.  But we are all human.  Everyone should just Coexist!


About the Author:

Anna Tan grew up in Malaysia, the country that is not Singapore. In 2015, she traded in a life of annoying other bean counters for one of annoying the online world with questions about life and death and everything in between. The answer is sometimes 42.

When she is not writing or nitpicking over other writers' copy, she can be found reading a book or attempting to organise her room.

She can be found lurking at the following places:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Special Notice!

During the month of April, I will be offering my readers a 50% discount coupon on purchases of Coexist via Smashwords. The coupon code is "ZM78D" and it's valid from the launch day until 7 May. I'm extending this coupon to your readers as well - I'll leave it up to you how you want to handle that. 


Also sharing with:



This book helps me complete the following 2016 reading challenges:

2016 Read Harder Challenge (SouthEast Asia)


  1. I love the idea of a Fairy Queen.

    1. She was an interesting character, Mary. At first, it seems like everyone is afraid of her and, while she's not a softie she's not all that evil and a bag of rancid chips eitiher. :p

  2. That is a good review LuAnn, and how nice for the author to comment. It is fun to go off into another world and read about such things for awhile. It is good to have you share this on The Blogger's Pit Stop

  3. I haven't read a book with the theme of tolerance running through it so profoundly before. It sounds like it would be an interesting theme to center a book one, and I would love to read this to see how it manages to do it.