Exit Unicorns Series
Exit Unicorns is a beautifully told story of Northern Ireland during the 1960's, and the struggles its citizens endured in dealing with political, religious, and economic troubles that have wreaked havoc on their society for centuries. Northern Ireland's history is written in the blood of its people, who, although living side-by-side, were not equals.
The novel's main characters, Jamie Kirkpatrick, Pamela O'Flaherty, and the Riordan brothers, Casey and Pat, come from different backgrounds and walks of life, but through the drama that unfolds in and around Belfast, they are linked to one another in different but tangible ways. The backdrop of inequality, the detailed setting, and well-developed characters create a rich story where a violent quest for freedom comes alive. I found myself invested in each characters' struggles as they play their part in pushing back against social injustice, and as a result, end up suffering through their own personal fallout.
Cindy Brandner expertly weaves Northern Ireland's history into a book one can really sink one's teeth into. Her in-depth research into both the setting and the events that surround and shape her characters is very evident, and the dialogue and descriptions are a thing of beauty! If you enjoy an intelligent read that is entertaining, educational, and emotional, this book is a must read. It has everything: romance, intrigue, and violence, and when you finish, you'll want to read more!"
- Cate, Amazon reader review
If you haven't delved into the world of Exit Unicorns, then you are missing out on an epic work of art!! Cindy writes like no other person I have read. She is a master story teller, and you are transported into the story through beautifully written prose. I could feel and see everything she described as if I was there. I have fallen in love with the characters, and this story so much. I have always had a love for all things Irish, but as The Troubles started before I was born, I was never aware of Ireland's bloody past. This series has taught me history, it has taught me about passion, it has taught me about strength, and most of all it has taught me about true and passionate love for one's country. You will laugh, you will cry, you will feel joy, and such sorrow. You will feel love, and passion like no other. If you have a passion for all things Irish, then this is a series you cannot afford to miss out on! Read it! You won't be sorry. Bloody brilliant!"
– Jen Webster, Amazon review
Hauntingly epic love story that is wrapped around unforgettable characters: James Kirkpatrick, Pamela O'Flaherty, Casey and Patrick Riordan that lavishly evokes the land and history of Ireland during the Northern Ireland Conflict. Absolutely loved the book and was so excited to listen to the Audible version. I tend to read rather quickly, and the audio version helped me to really listen to all of the words, which in turn made me realized I had missed some important parts of the book. Gary Furlong has a wonderful Irish lilt to his voice, which draws you in. I thought he captured the essence of each character in a delightful way. I felt like I was sitting in the background of the scenes as a silent witness to a fantastic story. I could listen to Gary’s voice all day long! I can’t wait for Mermaid in a Bowl of Tears to come out on Audible.com."
- Audible review for Exit Unicorns
I was thrilled when I discovered that Cindy Brandner was creating a Mermaid audiobook. I have eagerly followed Pamela, Jamie and Casey's story throughout the Exit Unicorn series. As much as I enjoyed reading Mermaid however, having it read to me in the accomplished (and sexy) voice of Gary Furlong was a real treat. I didn't want to stop listening! Well done! Looking forward to listening to the next in the series when it's completed."
- Audible review for Mermaid in a Bowl of Tears.
All right, these novels tear your heart and soul to pieces. I've read Jane Eyre, Gone with the Wind, Hunger Games, Rebecca, Exodus, Tale of Two Cities, and Winds of War. These novels hit me just as hard. The squeamish should not enter this world. The Irish Troubles portrayed here devastate friendships and families.
Casey and Pamela escape to Boston, looking for safety. They don't find it. They flee back to Belfast, consistently under constant threat. The connections and confrontations between the British police, IRA, Mafia, MI6, and the numerous other groups are deadly; the ground beneath my feet felt like I was in an earthquake pretty much the entire novel."
- Goodreads review for Mermaid in a Bowl of Tears
This is such a well written well researched series! I couldn't recommend it highly enough. Her words just sing off the pages. I am an author too and I simply cannot heap the praise high enough for this writer. I have recommended her to friends to read, especially one that lived in Ireland during the Troubles."
- Goodreads review
I couldn't put this book down! Such beautiful writing. A wonderful combination of myth and reality, love and hate. Each character is so wonderfully complete and so essential to the story. I would definitely read this series a second time!"
- Carmen, Amazon reader review for Flights of Angels
Cindy Brandner brings it again with this collection of stories. Just four, but they do pack a punch. Lyrical, emotional, sweet and funny - I can never get enough of her writing. This particular collection gives us background on a few of the characters in the "big books" that we as readers have wanted to know more about. My favorite is a story about Brendan Riordan, Casey's grandfather, and his friend Terry. My second favorite is a heartbreaking story about Yevgena and her life before meeting Jamie's grandfather.
I highly recommend this collection to Exit Unicorns fans or anyone who would like to get a feel for Brandner's writing and her characters. No need to have read the other books in the series first. You can easily pick this up and read it - I promise you'll fall in love with her writing and her characters!"
- Lil, Amazon review for Spindrift
Spindrift is indeed a "must read" for fans of Cindy Brandner's "Exit Unicorns" series! Insight into characters' histories and the events that led them to become the people they became are a wonderful addition to the series and not to be overlooked. Cindy Brandner's story telling skill transports me to those times and places and makes me feel the love, the pain and the passion of each character. Spindrift gives us the stories of that love, pain and passion belonging to those characters we may not otherwise know as well as we know Jamie, Casey, Pamela and Pat."
- Maryalice, Amazon review for Spindrift
Love this look at a slice of life of one of her characters. Brandner's prose are beautiful, vivid and breath taking. I can see the water and sky and feel its soul when she describes them. Love her work and will continue to read all she writes."
- Amazon review for Bare Knuckle