Category Archives: Fantasy

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.*

The Streets of Nottingham by Auckly Simwinga

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

The Streets of NottinghamThe Streets of Nottingham by the talented author Auckly Simwinga is a page-turning work of spellbinding fantasy and myth, a magical and fascinating first-person tale narrated by an adventurous and mysterious character only identified by his first name, Adam. It is a story that fans of fantasy will enjoy reading, because Adam goes on a quest that everyone thinks is impossible. There are gods and goddesses, wraiths, and creatures called demauglers, which are sort of like werewolves, but with bones showing here and there, as if they were zombie werewolves with attitudes.

Adam’s quest involves trying to find a city called Nottingham, a place that ancient scrolls describe in detail, but a place that is reportedly impossible for anyone to ever reach. He wants to travel there to find a healer that the scrolls mention, to try to save the love of his life, a beautiful young woman named Marika, and bring her back from the dead, after their village is attacked by wraiths.

The Streets of Nottingham begins with a Prologue, and has only four chapters. The Prologue is supposedly an excerpt from a scroll, specifically, the 11th. Scroll, verses 1-6, and it is from a book called – what else – the “great book.” The excerpt and what it reveals, Adam discovers, while he is on his quest, is basically the truth. At first, though, the language does not seem to him to be very straightforward, but more like a series of riddles. One example is when the excerpt mentions: “May the darkness be your guide.”

“The Breaking of the World” is referred to quite a lot throughout The Streets of Nottingham. The world that Adam and Marika live in has drastically changed from what it was once like, as if it has broken in pieces, and fiery rivers separate the chunks of land that still exist.

The explanation that is contained in the scrolls is that a goddess called Rain, who is ebony-skinned and looks quite a bit to Adam like Marika, is one of the ones responsible for the breaking up of the world. A god-king, who is Marika’s father, has had a major falling out with her, resulting in a “400-year war.” The war began because he was not happy with Caelemon, the god she fell in love with. He transforms Caelemon into a brutish monster.

Adam cannot bear to be in the village he has lived in all his life, when he learns that it will soon be time for Marika to be cremated. That is when he embarks on his quest to find Nottingham and the healer reputed to be there, riding off on his horse, Shadow. Adam has many adventures along the way, and he gradually works out the meaning behind the excerpt, all to save Marika and bring her back to life.

While The Streets of Nottingham by Auckly Simwinga is a work of fiction that deals with tragic topics, it is also filled with joyous moments and hope, and readers will find themselves rooting for Adam, hoping that he succeeds in his noble quest. If you are a fan of the fantasy genre, I highly recommend that you check out The Streets of Nottingham today!

Exhumation: An Epic of Existentia (Acts of the Sojourner Book 1) by S. A. Chapman

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

Exhumation – Acts of the Sojourner – Act 1, An Epic of Existentia Chapman is writing an epic series about a mystical land of creatures, humans and many beings in between. The premise is worked out in the Act 1 of the Acts of the Sojourner.

Pious is an officer and head of the organization that provides some of the warriors for one group of the large city, Sanctuary. Act 1 is apparently all about his adventures as he sees his life changed from one of order and structure to one of chaos, trouble and loss.

Sanctuary’s politics are very subtle, stressed and with many machinations going on in all levels of existence for the people who abide there. There are Four Focal Towers that rise above Sanctum the center of Sanctuary. There are many factions, many of which are basically at war with each other in and outside of the houses of government and throughout the districts of this city.
There are numerous maps, illustrations and sayings that flesh out a campaign environment. All of the action and plots come from almost random directions. The plots interweave and twist and turn without apparent guidance. This goes on throughout the book and this is the first Act. There can only be a sense of wonder at the imagination that spawns such a complex and convoluted tale.