Category Archives: Fantasy

Monsters Are Afraid of Babies by Nicholas Tana

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Living in a home with a big brother can be difficult. The older sibling expects a playmate who obeys their older sibling. There is usually a disappointment when the baby does not fulfill this role. Instead, the family member is a screaming, messy, smelly creature who demands all of the attention. The parents now are more tired and cranky than before the baby appeared. Resentment is common.

Now someone brilliantly discovered a way to enjoy the babies for older siblings. The baby keeps all the monsters and things that make noise in the dark away. With quiet nights, a cry frequently annoys everyone in the household. What if those screams scare away all the monsters hiding either in the closet or under the bed?

Wouldn’t you almost welcome those loud noises to cover the usual thumps and bumps in every house? What sounds are unnoticeable during the day, seem to draw attention at night. From a dripping water faucet to the warmth of a furnace, clicking to turn on the night seems mysterious with noises. Due to natural occurrences, monsters hiding in the dark crevices are believed to be creating the sounds of those creaks and bumps in the night. They hide under beds and in dark closets. This reality has been a problem for eons. Darkness and house sounds scare small children, especially ones who don’t fall asleep quickly. Young children tend to believe in monsters making the noise of a furnace clicking on or a clock ticking. Can you imagine the response to a baby’s cry when being abruptly awakened in the dark?

Monsters Are Afraid of Babies is an enchanting story about a young boy adjusting daily to a baby sister into a family. The few words along with a story that perfectly matches the illustrations makes this an intriguing read for children of all ages, particularly three-year olds. The book is perfect for pre-readers because the story can be easily followed through the colorful pictures. Author, Nicholas Tana is a writer in every sense. From writing feature documentaries, comedy-horror series, songs, comic books, a movie, commercials, and now this special children’s book. The illustrations are phenomenal. The night with shades of blue and olive green is perfect with the monsters colorfully hiding in the closet. The warmth of family love penetrates each page enriching everyone’s lives.

Zintara and the Stones of Alu Cemah by Dominic Bohbot and Michel Bohbot

Reviewed by Ray Palen

The debut novel from brothers Michel and Dominic Bohbot is a dynamic fantasy tale inspired by the love of speculative fiction instilled in them by their father. This is seen not only in the dedication of ZINTARA AND THE STONES OF ALU CEMAH but also throughout the narrative.

We are taken to another world, one that contains mythical and imaginary creatures alongside human characters. There is a synopsis of many of the characters at the start of the novel and I admit I had to turn to it several times during the reading as there are a lot of names and relationships for the reader to juggle. The Prologue finds a young Zintara, human in all features aside from the great black wings that thrust out from her back, being sent away by her mother as her family and their empire falls in a violent manner. The antagonist of this tale, Korban — human warrior and sorcerer — is on a quest for the three Stones of Alu Cemah which will purportedly bring him the ability to rule over all.

The Ashorne’s Ingress by Seamus Eaton

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Truly a prolific read, Seamus Eaton’s The Ashorne’s Ingress excites the imagination with a multifaceted, and complex fantasy epic which proffers to readers an enticing narrative rich with the craftily blended elements of fantasy, horror, gore, magic, science fiction, and sex.

Initially, events start out on earth, the year is 2020 and we are introduced to the focal character William Gentry, who is in the midst of a softball game when his whole world comes tumbling down as he receives the news that his family was severely injured in a freak kitchen accident, that leaves his wife and son dead, and his daughter’s life hanging in the balance. Meanwhile, as he struggles with his emotions and the devastation of the loss, William finds himself approached by two beings claiming to be ambassadors from a land called Arba, located on another world. Claiming to have knowledge of his true identity and legacy, they extend to him a very odd offer, that if accepted would lead to saving his daughter’s life, and possibly more, they only catch is he has to drown himself in a specific river, at a specific time and carry with him an odd triangle they left with him called the Germ of Reismyl. Distraught, in disbelief and teetering on the edge of insanity, he initially misses the opportunity to take the plunge, resulting in the unfortunate death of his daughter.

The Persistence of Memory Book 1: Déjà Vu by Karen Janowsky

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

The Persistence of MemoryThe Persistence of Memory Book 1: Déjà Vu plunges readers into an intriguing novel that is a blend of mystery, romance, suspense, supernatural, and thriller. Karen Janowsky captures and keeps readers’ attention from the first page all the way through to the last page. Locations vary from Germany to Yemen to the United States with the majority of the story taking place in Washington D.C.

This compelling story revolves around Daniel Hecht and Nina Asher, who are struggling with issues that affect their personal and professional lives. Imagine being used as an experimental subject for Nazi scientists, being transported through time to the future, facing the challenge of dealing with decades of memory loss, and no longer living your life as a sickly person but as one with an extraordinary physically enhanced body. This is exactly what has happened to Daniel, the team leader of a clandestine group of people with various superhuman abilities. However, Daniel is not the only one with memory issues. Imagine suffering from amnesia with no idea of your own identity or any memories of the past. This is the predicament Nina faces as she wonders what kind of person she was in the past. Both Nina and Daniel experience visions transporting them elsewhere, which are smoothly incorporated into the story.

Where Dragonwoofs Sleep and the Fading Creeps by A.J. Massey

Reviewed by Diane Pollock

The snow burns! Ben has slipped into another world in his sleep, a very odd and magical world indeed. Fairies are mean, snow is hot, humans are referred to as weeds and the whole place is fading away. He embarks on a quest to save this land and meets fellow weeds along the way, as well as a myriad of other fascinating creatures.

Reminiscent of the Oz books, this land is peopled with creatures that are at once familiar and strange, like dragonwoofs. Small dragons that are very doglike in their devotion and culinary tastes! Friendly robots, cruel fairies, translucent elves and more.

Heir of Ra (Blood of Ra Book One) by M. Sasinowski

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Heir of RaAt the Giza Plateau during the year of 1913 in Egypt, Lord George Renley explored under The Great Sphinx enters a dark chamber with an unusual carving on a door. The legendary Hall of Records is believed to be located at this location. Is it legend or fact? Soon after, Hazim, his Arab guide, started bleeding from his nose. Lord Renley became dizzy and collapsed. The only reminder of the event was a notebook that a young Arab boy stole from the dying hands of Hazim.

Alyssa is not your typical 17-year-old girl. She spends her time working with her father, Kade, who is an archaeologist. Her education is working as one of his assistants. Currently, she is left in charge of a dig in Peru while her father is on a dream assignment in Egypt, exploring a room under The Great Sphinx and is only allowed this privilege for 24-hours. Leaving Alyssa in charge in Peru, is a great responsibility for someone so young. She feels honored, but also deprived. Why can’t she be on this once-in-a lifetime dig with her father?

Her father, Kade follows the steps of Lord George Renley in searching for The Hall of Records. Just like his predecessor, he also became ill. Nothing seems to help him, every day leads him one step closer to death. No one seems to be able to medically help him. Will he die?

Bollywood Invasion by Ricardo Alexanders

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

Bollywood InvasionAt once engaging and cleverly creative, Ricardo Alexanders’ Bollywood Invasion enrapts readers with a fun and fantastical coming of age story, set in a well posed merging of reality and fiction which surpasses the reaches of time and continents.

Instantly the story draws you in, as initially, we meet John Palmieri living in modern times in Brooklyn; he’s a nerd and Beatles lover in high school and unsatisfied with his lower middle class existence. Things start with him in the throes of a dream, once again being bested by his arch-enemy Frank Castellano. He loathes Frank, who seems to have so much more than John; smarter mouth, bigger house, more friends, better stuff, including, the attention of the girl he secretly loves -Samantha.

The real adventure begins when fate crashes into his life, via an accident, knocking John unconscious. When John awakes, he finds himself in a parallel existence, where he has been transported back in time to late 1950’s, India. He wakes up as eighteen year old Raj Scindia, a prince in the Indian royal family. Naturally, he’s initially confused by his sudden transportation to a completely foreign life and culture with many humorous moments ensuing as he tries to wrap his head around what has happened to him.

The Steel Queen (The Silk & Steel Saga Book 1) by Karen Azinger

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

The Steel Queen

NOTE: The Steel Queen will be on sale on Amazon for 99 cents (regularly $4.99) from July 24 to July 30.

Endowed with the markings of an unforgettable debut read, Karen Azinger’s The Steel Queen, draws readers into Erdhe, a fantasy imbued realm ripe with intrigue, knights, bravery, swords, sorcery and pure evil. As the premier novel in her Silk and Steel Saga, this novel serves well as an introduction to the medieval type lands of the kingdoms of Erdhe, along with its various engaging inhabitants.

Author Azinger provides a filling fantasy read built with a satisfying integration of action, intrigue and fantasy elements. The story engages instantly immersing the reader in a complexly woven storyline, which houses an abundance of varied and unique characters. The female characters bear particular appeal because of their determination and cunning in a world where their place is limited by male dominance.

Foremost, the story, particularly follows the paths of several focal characters; Katherine/Kath, a young princess whose deepest desire is to lead and wield a sword. Blaine, son of a pig farmer who earns a seemingly impossible knighthood. Steffan, a dark character who seeks power at any cost and Liandra, queen of Lanverness who looks to preserve her wealthy kingdom. Meanwhile, events unfold, with the story told from their multiple perspectives with the narrative changing viewpoints frequently, as each moves toward their destiny. As well, furthering the character woven storyline, are brief appearances of additional engaging characters. Although, initially, it seems the characters are on separate paths, with their own goals to achieve, destiny dictates otherwise as a malevolent force at work threatens all of Erdhe.

The Book of M: A Novel by Peng Shepherd

Reviewed by Diane Pollock

The Book of MWhat if you had no shadow? What if in losing your shadow you lost yourself?

This mysterious apocalyptic fantasy tale draws you into it’s world and holds you there, shivering.

Ory and his wife Max have been hiding out in an abandoned hotel, scavenging for supplies and avoiding both the shadowed and the shadowless. But, then Max loses her shadow.
With the shadow, she will lose her memories over time. And she will gain a power to manipulate reality that is dangerous to her beloved husband. So she decides to leave him before she forgets.

The Savior’s Game (The Daniel Byrne Trilogy) by Sean Chercover

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

The Savior's GameDaniel Byrne has left both the Vatican and the Foundation to fight the Council for Peace on his own. The plague they have spread robbed him of his uncle and nearly killed the love of his life. Now he is showing symptoms himself. He now has visions of a world outside of, yet connected to, our own. The Foundation has plans to upend society and take it over, using the AIT plague they now possess. In order to stop them, Daniel must learn to harness the new powers this other-worldly place gives him.

The Savior’s Game by Sean Chercover, is the concluding volume of the Daniel Byrne trilogy. While Chercover did a great job with the first two books, the third book isn’t as good. I found the plot to be somewhat rambling and disconnected from the previous books. It was almost like the author tried to take the story in a completely new direction while forgetting he was writing a trilogy. There are large portions of the book that seem to have no connection to the primary story line of the trilogy. Honestly, this book was a disappointment, which is why I can only give it 2/5 stars.

*A copy of this book from BestsellersWorld was the only consideration given in exchange for this review.*