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The following are reviews and comments written by people who have read
From Thine Own Well. Most are found on Amazon

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Fracking – how bad could it go? Check out Thine Own Well

Canada 2036

From Thine Own Well, a dystopian novel set in 2036, presents a fearfully realistic picture of what could be. The starting point for a number of worrying developments takes actual agreements and statutes in place in 2012, in particular the Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement, which sets out how foreign conglomerates are not compelled to comply with national legislation. Unconstrained fracking has led to the contamination of the water table and the fracking companies have reacted ruthlessly and greedily, controlling the only drinking water. The poisoning of a young girl then sets the scene for conflicts between horrified civilians and thuggish fracking company personnel.

This book has a wide range characters on both sides of the conflicts and I confess I was a little confused at first, but they are all well-drawn and each has his/her own distinct characteristics. I particularly liked the rough and ready “outdoor” guy Landon and there are a number of feisty female protagonists. There’s plenty of tension in the main story of civilians versus corporate conglomerates but there’s a further dramatic tension as story moves between the various groups of civilians and their different approaches – peaceful resistance or meeting violence with violence. The story also shows the viewpoints of several distinctly drawn bad guys (male and female).

Necessarily there is a fair amount of exposition, to bring the reader up to date with developments from the present day to 2036 – but rest assured, there’s plenty of excitement and action, from sinister threats through violence to the chaos of an earthquake. Enjoy
Lesley Lodge
http://tinyurl.com/pzse6gy

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A really great addition to the Dystopian genre

It is always exciting for a writer to take on a political, social or environmental issue in their work. Norm Hamilton does, just this, as he chronicles the struggles of the people of the Yukon against “The Agreement”—a contract that allows Chinese businesses to extract natural resources from Canada without regulation–and “The Coalition”—the group of people who protect this right.

Although it may seem to be a cautionary tale for the dangers of destroying the environment, there is much more to it than that. Hamilton highlights what “could” be the downfalls of society if “lust for money” becomes a motivation for people and countries to destroy themselves in pursuit of a fat checkbook and a prominent seat in the world market.

What is more important is that “From Thine Own Well” accomplishes all this while still being a really great story. It’s never slow, never boring and doesn’t at all feel “preachy” to me. All in all, I think this is a really great addition to the Dystopian genre and would recommend it to anybody who enjoyed reading “The Giver”.
A.C. Willis
http://tinyurl.com/m8kmh6d

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A Wonderfully Realistic Dystopian!

I really enjoyed From Thine Own Well!! When I saw that it was a dystopian, I just had to get my hands on it. As I was reading the description, I was expecting it to be overflowing with environmentalist propaganda, but I was willing to put up with it because… it’s a dystopian and I cannot get enough of those.  It was such a pleasant surprise to see that it was not environmentalist propaganda, but a well written dystopian. Sigh of relief!!  Yes, Norm Hamilton talks about the effects of illegal fracking, mining, etc. on the environment, but he also shows the downside of being totally environmentalist.  Society cannot function in extremes.

This is what I would call realistic dystopian.  You know, there are some stories that masquerade as dystopians, but you couldn’t really imagine the societies existing (Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, etc.). Then you have those dystopians that make you sit back and wonder not if they are possible, but when will they happen.  From Thine Own Well falls into the second category.  Set in the not too distant future, the Canadian government enters into an agreement for the betterment of business which leaves a loophole for the detriment of the environment.  We see examples daily of people using loopholes to their own advantage, even when there are catastrophic consequences for those actions.  Hello BP oil spill.  So it is not a far leap to see that the events Hamilton describes could feasibly take place.

There are a lot of characters to focus on in From Thine Own Well, but they each serve a unique purpose.  You cannot get rid of any one of them without there being a hole.  Some you will fall in love with, some will fall in love with each other, some you will simply love to hate.  But they all are woven together perfectly with the story and match perfectly with the dystopian society that Hamilton has drawn.
Kathryn Romeo
http://tinyurl.com/qcxet2p

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An Interesting Read

The story is well written and focuses on how the general public was able to bring about a change without having to resort to violence. This really caught my attention and kept me going. The author has paid special interest to the drawbacks of mining techniques and has beautifully explained and highlighted the relevant points.

The characters are interesting and well crafted. They have diverse interests and the way everyone comes together to fight for what they want is wonderful. For once in this story, the public is not against The Agreement and The Coalition but instead they just want to set some things right. Polluting the environment is one of those things which is against the agreement as well. The people are able to make a valid case and bring their points across to everyone else and the government.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I am quite sure that fans of dystopian fiction will enjoy this and those who have not yet ventured into this genre give this book a chance.
Namrata Ganti
http://tinyurl.com/mumb6uj

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From Thine Own Well

From Thine Own Well is a pertinent piece of eco-fiction that deals with the aftermath of unrestricted mining and hydraulic fracturing. In 2012, Canada’s government signs “The Agreement,” a 31 year lease on Canada’s land that gives Chinese businesses the right to sue the Canadian government if anyone tampered with their ability to make profits on their natural resource extraction. No thought or regulations were put in place concerning the environment. Instances of disease, unsafe drinking water and even deaths pile up with no way to stop “The Coalition” that now ‘protects’ them.

We follow the story of several people in Whitehorse, Yukon who want to change things. Though “The Agreement” and “The Coalition” have damaged the environment and affected each character in a different way, they find each other and band together to fight in any way they can.

While I hope that nothing as extreme as “The Agreement” will happen in any country. The same effects of fraking, mining and otherwise irresponsible collection of natural resources are happening throughout the world today. This novel shows how even a seemingly small group of people can create change. The build of the characters finding one another, realizing that they have the same goal in mind and finding a way to do something about it was all very logical and realistic. I could also empathize with many of the characters that were fighting against the agreement and their personal struggles.

A wonderfully relevant book, great for anyone who enjoys eco-fiction, dystopia or post-apocalyptic type reads.

This book was provided for free in return for an honest review.
Stephanie
http://tinyurl.com/lncvr9h

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Salutary warning call for today’s citizens

From Thine Own Well could not be timelier. Fracking schemes all over the world only increase the gloomy threat over our planet.

The plot of the book is well balanced and never slips into excess. The writing is simple and concise. The characters are well described. We feel sympathy for many of the characters that could be our neighbors, our friends, our family. Bad guys are interesting too. Their cynicism and brutality are believable and entertaining at the same time. Strong emotions like fear, anger, threat and frustration are very well conveyed and contribute to a compelling and tense story.

The book is said to be a “fiction”. But for me it is about prospective. The year does have to be “2036”. This story could happen tomorrow and maybe it is even happening today.

In summary I would say that From Thine Own Well explores with finesse and humanity a sinister but plausible future. Highly recommended.
Ytman

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An attention-getting look at the future

“In Thine Own Well” by Norm Hamilton is an attention-getting novel about the evils resulting from the Canadian government signing “The Agreement” to encourage foreign investment in 2012, and by doing so, allowing corporations to decimate the country’s environment over the next twenty years. This is where the story begins.

A group of well-meaning citizens come together to fight the evil “Coalition”, a powerful band wrongdoers bent on benefiting from the further destruction of Canada and its citizens. Multiple personalities evolve on both sides, and the author does a good job of building the characters and highlighting their individual roles and causes.

The story brings focus to the ills of corporate greed and the environment hazards associated with unbridled harvesting of natural resources, but I found the plausibility of the Canadian government allowing such a rapid decline to occur as highly unlikely. Still, it is fiction, and fiction allows freedom of imagination and extrapolation.

The story is well-told, fast-moving, and the characters are well-developed and interesting. It’s a good read and a great start for Norm Hamilton’s fiction writing career.

I was given a digital copy by the author in exchange for this fair and unbiased review.
Donn Shoultz

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Environmental call to arms

It’s 2036 and Canada has gambled away its mineral rights in a series of missteps and bad business agreements. A parastatal entity called The Coalition all but runs the country, with a militia that keeps citizens in line with a combination of force, intimidation and restrictions that have severely eroded Canadians’ quality of life. The worst restrictions relate to water: people can only purchase water from designated sources and cannot grow their own food. Why? Because fracking has ruined Canada’s water supply.

In the Yukon city of Whitehorse, a disparate group gradually comes together to oppose The Coalition and the lack of government accountability. Their efforts are given urgency by a local mine that is dumping cyanide as a byproduct. Nearly everyone knows someone who has died of cancer or by symptoms akin to poisoning–although scientists are no longer allowed to publish medical findings and investigative reporting is rarely seen because news outlets are nearly all controlled.

The novel builds nicely, with action scenes paced by dialogue. Members of The Coalition aren’t all aligned, making for another layer of tension as they play their own power games with each other as well as try to figure out what to do about the growing activism. The rebel numbers grow in fits and starts, as various Whitehorse citizens come up close and personal to environmental damage.

The core of the book is a primer on environmental damage and the bad things that happen to humanity when the environment is sacrificed for monetary gain. It’s also a futuristic story, but doesn’t cross over into science fiction. Recommended for anyone interested in the environment and those who like a good dystopian tale. Would make an excellent movie.
C.A. Reviews

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Great new addition to the genre!

This fiction debut by non-fiction author Norm Hamilton is an excellent addition to the dystopian/post-apocalyptic eco-thriller genre.

Although at times the narrative seems to bend to the theme and some dialogue is stilted, on the whole this book is well-written and the devastating ecological disaster and its repercussions are described in such vivid detail and realism that I had to remind myself regularly that Hamilton is writing about a possible future, not the present.

In a sense, this book reminded me of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, one of my favorite books by Philip K. Dick. From Thine Own Well is a more realistic book and–while Hamilton has quite a few witty passages–the message is unequivocally bleaker.

Reading this book might make reading the newspaper a much more ominous endeavor. While this book is firmly set in the future, we can see the signs in the present, and Hamilton’s future might become the present sooner than we think.

Recommended reading.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
M. van Halm

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Tense and thought-provoking

In 2012 the Canadian government signed an agreement aimed at encouraging foreign investment. Twenty five years on and the catastrophic effects of this contract are felt far and wide, and it becomes clear that the government has effectively sold out on its people, offering outside corporations the chance to plunder the country’s vast natural resources, polluting the ecosystem in the process.

We are introduced to a band of friends, brought together by a common aim to end the dangerous mining practices which are ravaging their country, who elect to fight back against ‘The Coalition’, an oppressive regime abusing its power over Canada’s citizens.

The characterisation is compelling, with the small but determined friends each given an appealing depth of personality and individual traits, which makes their fight against the Coalition all the more engaging. Relationships are cultivated and resolves are tested under the weight of violence and tragedy.

The villains of the show are the various members of the Coalition and their supporters, including the menacing Chong and the hateful band of militia at his disposal. These antagonists are not your usual clichéd bad guys, but a disparate band of personalities, all flawed in their individual ways. Some are power hungry, some are weak-willed, others, at times, are invested with an ounce of benevolence; such interesting variations ensure the board meeting scenes are ever tense and gripping – there is always conflict, and without fail that conflict manifests itself as bad news for the small gang of heroes whose role it is to defy the Coalition and seek the salvation of their country.

The author manages to evoke a setting with an almost post-apocalyptic flavour; life as we know it seems to have changed irrevocably, and the population, as well as the environment, are under grave threat. Perhaps pre-apocalyptic would be a better definition then…there’s certainly that tension, the foreboding that a great and catastrophic disaster is about to befall the country. The only question is: can this tiny group of friends, against the might of an all-powerful regime, fend off the seemingly inevitable? You’ll have to read From Thine Own Well to find out, and if you like political thrillers, eco thrillers, pre-/post-apocalyptic themes, you’ll like this. For all I know though, since I am not familiar with Canadian environmental issues, it might just be up your alley if you’re from that neck of the woods!

A sensitive topic, spiced up and delivered with insight and originality, as tense as it is thought-provoking.
Matt Kruze

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From Thine Own Well

An extremely believable book that should make us all stand up and take notice. Refreshing not to be set in the U.S. for a change. Each chapter introduced more and different characters and I wondered how they would all come together and how I would remember them. Happily this wasn’t a problem. Very enjoyable and thought provoking read.
Dewey

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Gripping fiction environmental story

I believe this is the first attempt by the author to write his first fiction book and I have to say he’s done a great job and put together a creative novel. Although I don’t generally read fiction, I was gripped throughout with his futuristic writing of a 2036 story line. What I particularly found interesting and commend the author for was that he managed to stay away from science fiction and keep he’s story fiction – thus making it believable.

Gripping novel and I recommend anyone interested in a futuristic story with an environmental storyline to pick this one up.
Louis Dunmall

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Good Morning Norm – I have just finished From Thine Own Well. My idea of a good book is when I can’t stop thinking about it and whatever I am doing I just want to get it done quickly so I can get back to my book! Your book had me in that state – The characters were real and being a Yukoner it was fun reading about all the different places that we all know so well. It was a great read – the outcome of what is going on in todays world seemed very real and scary!Well Done Norm . Congrats on your first novel hold your head up high you have nailed it.

Patricia Anne Shearer

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I just finished your latest novel and I enjoyed it a lot.  I don’t read much fiction, and rarely mysteries but I found this story compelling and I congratulate you on capturing the Yukon so vividly.  I liked your characters and I liked the way you tied the current environmental problems into the story.  I might revisit it again in 10 years to see if you were prescient or not, I hope not.  However, the scenes you describe will keep me active in Yukoners concerned with Oil and Gas Development.  Thanks for a good read.

I have also had “The Digital Eye” for some time.  I have used many of your hints in my own photography and the photos you used as illustrations are inspiring.

Thanks for the good work.
Gordon Gilgan

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One for the political thriller crowd

This is an extremely competent political thriller. Self publishing is littered with poorly-written literature, but there’s no fear of that here. As well as being crafted well, the plot is engaging and relevant, covering a topic that should be at the front of everyone’s mind in these changing times. Although this isn’t a book littered with explosions and tanks, it derives its tension from the process of democratic debate and journalistic revelation, an achievement in itself that the author should be proud of. Pick up this book and give it a try–you won’t regret it.
Andrew J. Morgan

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