Tony Laplume blogs from A to Z in April.  One year he wrote a set of 26 character sketches which became a novella.  And so it came to pass that it arrived in my hands to review as part of the A to Z Book Review tour.  Read on for the interview afterwards, and also don’t forget to enter the giveaway, either on my blog or on the A-to-Z Challenge site.

Sapo Saga

a 13,000 word novella by Tony Laplume

Sapo SagaTwenty-six perspectives collide to present a portrait of an epic showdown between good and evil as the world of Zala proves to be the last stand of the Sapo Order. The human who would become known as Ulysses appears and deposes the tyrant Reeve, but things only get worse from there…

Soon, everything is lost, and blame is pinned on Sapo warrior Zuri. The truth is lost to history, Ulysses becomes legend, returns home to Earth, and finds that his family is a new kind of battleground. His son doesn’t believe his stories, his daughter does, and his wife may have reached her emotional limit waiting all those years for his return.

Time passes, and in space a scavenger named Drexel discovers the android Kindly, who may hold the key to unlocking the truth about what happened on Zala.

Twenty-six perspectives, and one big mystery: Who is Kindly? The truth will astonish you!

My Review

I didn’t read the blurb before I received this book, and I suspect coming to it cold is a good thing.  But now you’ve read the blurb so I’ve ruined that for you.

This is a fascinating novella takes characters from A to Z and presents an almost stream of consciousness narrative from each. It weaves a web of intrigue about other characters, since you are told who each character is at the start of their section. Everyone is connected to at least one other character. Most of the sections are around 500 words, so there is a lot of information in each, wrapped up in what sounds like reminiscence or confession. At one stage I felt in danger of losing track of who’s who. But each has a different voice, and slowly they started to make some sort of sense to me. The ending is excellent, and a lovely surprise.

add to goodreads buttonPuzzling, intriguing, and very clever—but satisfying too. Well worth a few hours reading!

A to Z Review Booktour


Twenty-six perspectives on an epic sci-fi saga! - Sapo Saga by Tony Laplume #AtoZChallenge book tour Share on X


An exclusive prelude.

I’m rolling my eyes because Dad’s telling one of his…tall tales again.  Ophelia’s loving every minute of it, as usual.  Maybe it’s because Dad’s actually kind of a good storyteller.  He really throws himself into it.  Maybe it’s because Ophelia’s too young to know better.  Maybe it’s because I’m too old.  Maybe it’s because I just wish…I remember when he wasn’t around.  Ophelia doesn’t.  She was a baby.  She doesn’t remember how horrible it was for him to be absent.  She didn’t spend every minute of it wishing he was there.  She didn’t build up resentment.  I wish I could just let them be stories.  The biggest problem is that even if they’re just stories for Ophelia, I know that Dad’s convinced they really happened.  I mean, he really believes he went into space and became a hero on some distant alien world.  When Mom’s not careful, when she doesn’t care enough, she says things like, “Well, your dad used to be a drinker,” things I can understand, but Ophelia can’t, because she hero worships him.  He’s everything a little girl would adore, because she only sees the surface, and all I see are the lies.  Maybe out in space, there really are aliens who, I don’t know, pick up the vibes of his obnoxious fantasies or something, and he really is a hero.  Maybe things work like that.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe those aliens exist, who know Dad the way I never did.  Maybe the resentment means I won’t let myself believe.  Maybe there’s some, I don’t know, black alphabet out there that sets the record straight.  And maybe someone will one day discover it.
Buy the book!

Interview with Tony Laplume

Why did you take part in the A to Z Challenge the year that your book was “given life”?I’d been participating for the four years previous and thought this would be an interesting way to do so again, as a serialized story.
Why did you start blogging?
Back in yon olden days before social media exploded, blogging was a natural extension of internet message boards that helped you establish an identity for yourself if, say, you happened to be an introvert and found it difficult to do so in the real world.
What other books do you have available?
Monorama, Terror of Knowing (poetry), The Whole Bloody Affair, Pale Moonlight, Metatron, Miss Simon’s Moxie, Miss Simon’s Brute, Miss Simon’s Dime Novel, Terrestrial Affairs, Monkey Flip, Reading Biblically (nonfiction)
Compare this book from the A to Z Challenge with your usual books.  Would you do it again? 
I hadn’t written anything like it before, a completely disjointed narrative.  The experience was interesting.  On the other hand, it was also designed to be a mystery, and in various ways I’ve done that before.  I toyed with writing a sequel in the same manner the following year, but the idea got away from me.<
Brief tip on writing:
Read the best available, watch the best available, discover what books speak to you, movies speak to you, TV.  And write what makes sense to you.
Where did the idea for this book come from, other than the alphabet and the challenge?
Some comic book scripts I’d written and subsequently repurposed.
What writing goal do you hope to accomplish this year?
I have a lot of projects I’m either working on already or would like to start.
As a reader, what most motivates you to buy a new book to read?
If the title is interesting, and if the book description is equally interesting, and if sampling the interior proves either the title or the description proves either of those first two as being accurate.  And obviously, if I’ve read the author before, and if that was a good thing.

Where to find Tony…

blog link:
Twitter handle: @TonyLaplume
Amazon author page:
Goodreads author profile:

and finally….
What would like the readers of this post to answer or remark on in the blog comments?
How often to you consider that everyone has a unique perspective on something, and that they are going to be right, even if those perspectives disagree?

An #AtoZChallenge Book Review – with Tony Laplume
Tagged on:             

7 thoughts on “An #AtoZChallenge Book Review – with Tony Laplume

  • 8 February, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Excellent post! Great getting to know more about this book and author.

  • 8 February, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Well, that title has me interested. Sapo is toad in Spanish–is there a connection? And the prelude–I have to say WOW! I’m hooked. I think this will be a book I check out!

    • 9 February, 2019 at 11:36 am

      There isn’t. I borrowed “Sapo” from Stieg Larrson’s Millennium Trilogy. The Sapo are Swedish law enforcement in the real world.

  • 9 February, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Thanks for spotlighting the book, and for enjoying it so much!

Comments are closed.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: