Watson and Holmes: An Edpool Review

This review is part of my judging effort for the SPSFC. For a little intro to the whole thing and an explanation of my judging style, see this practice review.


Next up we have Watson and Holmes, by E. B. Dawson.

I was honestly at a loss to review this story in my usual way, because I have been thoroughly immersed in the Sherlock Holmes universe (ie. London) for so long. While movies like the one with Robert Downey Jr. and TV series like the Cumberbatch one or The Irregulars aren’t exactly my cup of tea, I did enjoy them all in their own ways, and the original books as well as the Enola Holmes stories have long been favourites of mine.

Now please don’t misunderstand, I’m getting to the point here and the point isn’t that Watson and Holmes is unoriginal. It’s anything but. However, it is stretched very cleverly over the framework of Conan Doyle’s characters, settings and mysteries, and as such most of the “review” I could give boils down (or … Doyles down? No Edpool, don’t force it) to either listing the Sherlock Holmes references (Linden is London! That Leemex character is the pygmy! Lestrade is Lestrade!) or else listing the variations (Sherlock and Watson are women! Sharlotte’s violin is purple! Watson fought in a space war against shapeshifting [SPOILERS REDACTED] monsters instead of in Afghanistan which absolutely isn’t timely right now anyway so move on!) and that doesn’t do the story justice.

Because I really enjoyed the parallels, the divergences, and the Watson and Holmes narrative purely on its own merits. The sheer mass of human and alien cultures in Linden set the mega-city up as a character in its own right just as (see, here I go again) it is in the best Sherlock Holmes tales. The focus on Watson, who I (like many I’m sure) have always considered the more relatable and sympathetic character and therefore have always rather liked more than Holmes, was well done. I loved seeing Watson re-assume her army persona and resume the war she had previously left in turmoil and trauma. The plot twists and the action, all woven around a clever series of mysteries, were very enjoyable. The Falls, and Moriarty … it’s quite inescapable but damn it, it’s well done.

If you hate Sherlock Holmes with a passion, this book isn’t for you. Why would you even be looking at it? If you love Sherlock Holmes, or are otherwise kind of meh about the whole sub-genre but you like a good science fiction yarn with strong world-building, excellent characters and a rolling, highly entertaining plot, this is well worth a look. There’s just not much more I can say.

So let’s consult the meters, shall we?

Sex-o-meter

There’s a little bit of match-making, and you can always depend on Watson to have a relationship befuddlement or two, but Watson and Holmes generally doesn’t have time for that sort of bullplop. There are mysteries to solve, dastardly plots to unravel and, in short, the game being afoot to worry about. A Mrs. Hudson out of a possible Irene Adler (the saucy adaptations version of Irene Adler) for Watson and Holmes.

Gore-o-meter

Some solid battlefield, jungle and street mayhem in this story, a few grisly murders and such, as one would expect. But overall it’s not such a gory outing. Two flesh-gobbets out of a possible five.

WTF-o-meter

Again, it’s hard for the WTF-o-meter to quantify the raw WTFs per million in this book because of the interference we’re getting from the high levels of Doylian radiation coming off the source material. *whangs the WTF-o-meter a couple of times with a violin bow* Yeah … nah, it’s just giving a consistent reading of “Basil Rathbone out of a possible Rathil Basbone” and that’s – to be honest that’s just not a thing.

My Final Verdict

Watson and Holmes was a very enjoyable read. What else can one say? I had a lot of fun recognising the references and geeking out over the sci-fi construct they were slathered over. Cool setting and backstory, great aliens and tech, this has everything I like in a sci-fi combined with a lot of what I like in a mystery. And Dawson’s next trick was apparently doing the same for Moby Dick, so fuck it all. Four stars.


The Invisible City: An Edpool Review

This review is part of my judging effort for the SPSFC. For a little intro to the whole thing and an explanation of my judging style, see this practice review.


What was next on our list of books for the #SPSFC? The Invisible City by Brian K. Lowe, that’s what.

The moment I started reading this story I was reminded on John Carter of Mars. As the plot progressed, I felt the way I had when reading The Time Machine. Both of these things were certainly by design, and I salute Lowe for such dedication to the atmosphere.

We open on our protagonist, a fascinatingly written bloke named Clee who is in the middle of trench battle in World War 1, stumbling upon an anomaly that flings him into a crazy colourful adventure in space and time. Language throughout the story is really wonderfully used, easily passing for one of those old-school stories. Lowe walks the delicate line of giving our protagonist a readably and relatably modern sensibility, while still acknowledging that a dude who had been a kid in the 19th Century would definitely have some views about race and gender that make us flinch. Clee is unabashedly backwards without being gross, charmingly elemental without being Flash Gordon, and un-horn-tootingly progressive without making me go oh come the fuck on.

Indeed, I can remember only one point in the story where I was taken out of this very deliberate mind-set, and that was a scene where Clee says something about women being more emotionally prone to upset (or something of the sort) and a local character says “what century are you from?” And it wasn’t because of any flaw in the attitudes, rather a purely narrative / worldbuilding issue. I just couldn’t see that particular formulation being used to voice an objection. It was almost more anachronistic than “women be hysterical”. Clee’s statement, in my opinion, ought to have been interpreted more as a culture or species thing, or even a failure of his language ability, than as a statement out of time. But that was one little scene in the whole book, so that’s fine. It just shows how well done the rest was, is my point.

With such an interesting premise and complex, well-imagined setting, the action and overarching revolutionary plot almost seemed surplus to requirements. The under-plot, of the time travellers and their authority centre somewhere in the Twenty-Somethingth Century, even more so. But they added depth to a story that otherwise might only have been enjoyed by weirdos like me, who loved Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and think The Silmarillion is the best Tolkien book (come at me, I fought you about Dune and I’ll fight you again). The evolved animals are brilliant, the breen are great, and there is a fascinating new take on the idea of time travellers being susceptible to new or old viruses and bacteria that I won’t spoil, but it was really clever. The references to the Fifth and Sixth Age are just plain tantalising, slotted in amongst the rest of the deep history and years and dates.

I had a couple of moments where I was thrown by plot developments, or what looked like plot developments, that had already been revealed earlier in the story. Towards the end, the idea of a person without a datasphere presence being a “ghost” was explained in revelatory terms, as was Clee’s astonishment at the transparency-tech of Dure, and yet both of these concepts seemed like they were shown, and explored, quite a bit at the start of the story. If those were establishing instances and the latter mentions were the pay-off, it didn’t quite hit home for me. But overall that was a minor thing.

We were rewarded with a bittersweet ending and a John Carter-esque opening to possible sequels – I know there are more books in the series, but whether they follow Clee or some other facet of the story, I have not checked. I look forward to finding out!

Sex-o-meter

Our boy gets his time-Kirk on with impressive promptness with his Weena-esque sweetheart (but it’s not as creepy as a thing with Weena would have been), then all of the various relationships grow and develop in interesting ways. A little bit of potential pirate-rape but otherwise this is a fairly decorous outing, as one would expect given the style. One crisply-starched and uncomfortably-restrictive old pair of trousers, firmly buckled and belted and yet with a definite bulge, out of a possible pair of acid-washed jeans crumpled on the kitchen floor because when the horny strikes, it doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of making a bowl of noodles. Anyway what I’m saying is there wasn’t a huge amount of sex but there was some.

Gore-o-meter

Plenty of action and gore here, from the World War 1 weaponry face-shootings to the 900,000 AD monster gougings. Highly enjoyable but not overdone, and not to the point where it was really a defining trait of the story. I’ll award The Invisible City two flesh-gobbets out of a possible five.

WTF-o-meter

We were through the roof on WTF in this story. I’m heartily glad there are more books in the series, because unlike The Time Machine (which did end up getting a sequel, and it was actually great, but really didn’t need one), The Invisible City introduces such a series of worlds, and so much more than “and then the working and leisure classes split into two subspecies” into its near-million-year timescale, that it absolutely demands expansion. From practically the first page, the WTFs are just flying at us. The cultures, the technology, the creatures, all of it. The WTF is relentless. I give it a 2001: A Space Odyssey where the entire movie is just an endless loop of the Jupiter arrival sequence out of a possible just 2001: A Space Odyssey.

My Final Verdict

The Invisible City offers good old fashioned adventure, monster fights and plenty of action. This is one of those cases where I would happily have sat and read a thousand pages of Clee chatting with the Librarian and learning about the world of the 9,000th Century and all the shit that has happened and how it all fits together, though, with no plot or stakes really needed. The fact that there were plot and stakes was a bonus. I’m giving this one a very solid four stars.


Eden M51: An Edpool Review

This review is part of my judging effort for the SPSFC. For a little intro to the whole thing and an explanation of my judging style, see this practice review.


Next on the SPSFC list was Eden M51, by G. R. Paskoff.

I was immediately impressed and entertained by the great opening lines even if the prologue and characters therein weren’t necessarily vital to the story. It was still a really good hook. We also see an insufferable wife and a scheming ex-wife in the first few pages, which sort of sets the tone for a lot of the female characters in the story. Only one or two of them actually get to the end with integrity and body intact. I don’t think it’s malicious, though – and there are great characters in here, male and female and hero and villain alike. It’s well worth a look, so you can make up your own mind.

We are introduced to Commander Nathaniel ‘Nate’ Hawke, a good solid sci-fi action protagonist, and shown a nice slice of Earth and its culture and technology as he assembles his team (special shout-out to Dead Meat from Hot Shots!, who was never going to make it through this story alive but bless him) and prepares for the historic trip to the M51 galaxy and the potentially human-habitable world of Eden. They also take a whole bunch of people who are probably spies, a vile political lobbyist bureaucrat to represent humanity in any First Contact situations (this actually makes sense because if aliens see this cunt and still decide we’re okay, it’s all gravy from then on), and of course some army guys because you’ve got to have army guys. Also enough ammo to start an intergalactic war, although to be fair humans don’t need much fucking ammo to start an intergalactic war. Usually they just need the bureaucrat guy.

I am concerned that people will read almost half of this book thinking it is one thing, and either not make it through because they don’t like the thing, or be thrown for a loop when it turns out to be another thing (that they may or may not like). I noticed several reviews, not to mention the author’s note at the start of the book explaining why this was a new edition with some of those comments addressed, that confirmed this assessment. But given that I was pretty okay with Thing One, and very much okay with Thing Two, I was pretty happy throughout.

My first belly-laugh, in contrast to the appreciative chortle I got from the prologue, was Admiral Langolier. I just can’t get past langolier being a Stephen King thing and I kept expecting the Admiral to open his mouth to reveal row upon eternal whickering row of sharp, reality-devouring teeth. Anyway, that didn’t happen. Sorry. The story was still good but not as good as it might have been if Admiral Langolier had been an actual langolier. But look, you can say that about just about any story.

The future history of the Earth and solar system Paskoff writes of is at once gritty and dystopian, and filled with downright wondrous scientific advances. This is probably not far from the truth of how it will go. I just hope that if we do invent quantum tunnelling probes, teleportation hubs and the ability to fly thirty million light years in six months, we make use of it a little more effectively. But we’re humans, so I’m not holding my breath in the wait for us to miraculously not be shit. I mean, God gave up so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Some of the exposition about the world of the 23rd Century is a bit clumsy. Why did the boat skipper tell Hawke all that stuff about the climate collapse? It was valuable to the reader, and it was interesting that the skipper’s lived experience didn’t match what was taught in schools, but that fact was almost glossed over when it could have been an important plot point about Earthly politics and delusion. It might have risked further bloating and sidetracking of the narrative, though, so I do see the value in moving on. The Mars holocaust, in contrast, is tantalisingly mentioned and then later expanded on in a way that fits the story better, without becoming a big chunk of wait-what-I-want-to-know-more-about-that-come-back-skipper-come-baaaaaack for the reader to trip on.

My second belly-laugh was when I read about ‘chewbacco’. That was great. That was exactly where I thought Chewbacca got his name when I was a kid.

The political intrigue, murders and sabotage were all done really nicely, lending a sense of menace and stakes to the pre-launch and mid-flight plot. The characters were all distinctive and memorable. The story itself was solid old school space adventure on the way to and exploring a strange alien wossname, reminiscent of the Bowl of Heaven series by Niven and Benford. Only that had more interesting alien infrastructure, and this has more interesting humans. The plan for human colonisation as laid out by Snelling is instantly and catastrophically depressing, and it only gets worse. Don’t expect to come out of this feeling good about being a human. And if you felt good before now, you weren’t paying attention.

My third belly-laugh came when the aliens only wanted to talk to Hawke, and for a second it looked like it was because they were racist (or hair-and-eye-colour-ist). It was just such a fun and funny idea and scene, and although there turned out to be much more to it, I was left with a grin on my face. The aliens themselves, pacifist innocent-native communists of the most wonderful kind, were reminiscent (to my mind’e eye) of the Pearls of Mül, from Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

All of this adds up to a good, if troubling read.

Sex-o-meter

Hawke goes full Kirk really fast the second he sees a naked alien chick. And for some unfathomable reason, the first mission to Eden manages to sign on a man who straight-up tries to rape an alien child. This is solid true-to-form coloniser shit, but fuck if it isn’t depressing. Aside from that, and some shipboard romance and a lot of (literal) Frank banter, there’s little in the way of sex. Three slowly-opening dewy alien flowers out of a possible Pink Floyd music video.

Gore-o-meter

We get a bit of violence but it is large-scale and not very gory. We get a couple of excellent assassinations on Earth and some murders on the ship en route to Eden, but the latter at least are relatively clinical. Still, a solid body count. Three-and-a-half flesh-gobbets out of a possible five for Eden M51.

WTF-o-meter

I don’t understand how humanity has the technology to cross 30 million light years in six months, and this was the closest planet they could find. Aren’t there any in the Milky Way? Some lampshading about how hard it was to find one that was just right might have been good. Also, naturally, the big mid-to-two-thirds reveal was a huge and highly enjoyable WTF, but I was waiting for the connection to be drawn between ah’n-Ben and the mysterious power field around the planet. Maybe I just missed it? Was it implied? Was the power field even mentioned after they landed? Let’s award this one a 2001: A Space Odyssey out of a possible Star Trek V: The Final Frontier on the WTF-o-meter.

My Final Verdict

A really interesting take on higher powers and a harrowing look at colonialism and the general shittiness of humans. Four stars on the Goodreads / Amazon scale – I guess it would have been three-and-a-half since it was dragged down a little by some elements, but it was elevated by the philosophy of the second half. Excellent stuff!


Constellation: An Edpool Review

This review is part of my judging effort for the SPSFC. For a little intro to the whole thing and an explanation of my judging style, see this practice review.


This week I took a long, loving look at Constellation, by Robert Scanlon.

In this sci-fi action thriller, we follow India “Indy” Jackson, a sassy space pirate who I simply could not not picture as Merida from Brave, only in spaaaaaace. And shit, what the fuck’s wrong with that? Nothing, that’s what. Anyway, we follow her from planet to planet as she attempts to unfold the mystery behind and avenge the death of her father, rescue her brother, put up with her unbearably saucy ex-boyfriend and basically survive in a galaxy that, as I believe young people said back in 2010 or so, be cray. And it’s great!

My immediate thought on opening this book was uggghhh, not first person present tense – but that’s a me problem. It’s fine. Once I got used to it, I found it worked nicely.

The twists and turns and revelations just keep coming. I won’t go into them too far but very little is what it seems and the simple space pirate life of space heists and space deals (and spacetoast, I had a genuine LOL at that) soon turns into a struggle on an interstellar scale as whole civilisations square up and struggle for supremacy. And in the meantime the Blood Empire, headed by the very satisfyingly space elven (dare I say, sci-fae? I do. I do dare. Did I just make up a new sub-genre? A quick google assures me I did not. But fuck it, it’s great) warlord Oberon, is looming on the space horizon.

I really enjoyed the way human and alien cultures and characteristics interwove. The aliens were nicely alien, the humans were nicely human, and the comparative alienness of both was really cleverly handled in the story and dialogue. I would not want to be an alien forced to deal with humans. I was a little puzzled (okay, more than a little) by the idea that if you save a Rykkan’s life, they need to serve you essentially forever or else kill themselves. Aktip saves Indy’s life at least twice before they even get started, and it doesn’t cancel her debt until she damn near dies saving her life for the third or fourth time. Still, it all serves the story and I’ll allow it.

The stakes are always clear and the action and scene-changes are well-outlined. We know what Indy wants, what the Scorpion wants, what Aktip wants, what Sloper wants. I do want to brag a little about figuring out the real deal between Sloper and Indy’s father, at least in the broad strokes, from Sloper’s first appearance … but suffice to say, things are more complicated than we are led to believe and it’s a lot of fun getting from start to finish.

The Constellation itself is great, by no means a McGuffin – and I would even say a character in its own right. I dig that stuff. And like I said, Oberon and the Blood Empire represent a cool and mysterious big bad alluded to just enough to not seem extraneous in this first book, but posing a legitimate and persistent threat. The politics, espionage and corporate / cultural clashes are nicely balanced with character work.

I really did hope Indy and Plexi would end up as a couple, they really seemed to have cute chemistry on the page and you don’t see that very often. But oh well.

Sex-o-meter

This is another story where there wasn’t much sex because sex wasn’t the point. The Rykkan mercenaries have a strong gang-rape and sex trafficking subculture going on but (thankfully) we don’t see much of it. Indy is sexy and confident and manages to get herself into a skin-tight black leather outfit and sci-fi high heels (dare I say, sci-heels? Did I just create another subgenre? I’m not googling it) at least once, but it’s all in service of the plot and didn’t strike me as lascivious (for better or worse). Also since I was picturing her as Merida, her Scottish accent was hot. According to the sex-o-meter this books gets a Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen out of a possible Montero by Lil Nas X.

Gore-o-meter

Not a lot of gore in this sci-fi adventure. Some alien dismemberment and some shooting, but most of the violence was ship-to-ship with a little bit of mobster beating and torture and deprivation of liberty thrown in. But the Blood Empire is coming! Two flesh-gobbets out of a possible five for this one.

WTF-o-meter

This book delivers a lot of quality WTF for your buck. Quite aside from the Blood Empire and the considerable mysteries of Indy’s father and his creations, there’s the entire Rykkan species and their ability to basically read minds but then also apparently be completely vulnerable to an extremely compelling life-debt tradition that I’m frankly stunned more humans haven’t taken advantage of. In this story alone it is a major motivation for both Aktip and the Chief. I initially wondered if there was some kind of elaborate alien joke happening, or if there was more to it like maybe the Rykkan mercenaries were being ‘hired’ by use of this system, and there may still be more here to examine in later books, but … yeah, for something that Indy didn’t even know about at the start of the story, it sure does seem like a huge part of Rykkan culture and you’d think it would be more widely known. Furthermore, their lie-detector abilities are conveniently worked-around at some point and you’d think that would also have been a priority for shitty humans to learn about. Anyway, there was plenty of good WTF in here. I’ll give Constellation a Montero by Lil Nas X out of a possible Kiss Me More by Doja Cat.

My Final Verdict

Four stars for a very cool launch into new series! The SPSFC is doing terrible things to my to-read and to-buy pile, as I read the first books of so many great stories I want to see more of. This one is no exception, and well worth a look.


A Star Named Vega: An Edpool Review

This review is part of my judging effort for the SPSFC. For a little intro to the whole thing and an explanation of my judging style, see this practice review.


Next up on the SPSFC list was A Star Named Vega, by Benjamin J Roberts.

What a fun story! It somehow managed to take a pair of teenage protagonists, and an interstellar-scale bit of worldbuilding and future history on a par with the prehistory of Dune, and make it work in an entertaining and very readable way.

Now, when I talk the big talk comparing the Vegaverse to Dune, I know that’s going to raise some eyebrows. Dune is one of the Sacred Texts, how dare I?

Well, fuck it. Come at me, nerds.

Besides, what I’m mostly talking about here is the Dune prequels, which I really quite liked and an awful lot of purist fusspots didn’t – specifically the Butlerian Jihad phase and the AI overlordship of the old human diaspora. Also, look, Dune is amazing but I don’t hold it in such reverence that I can’t say so when another book deserves to stand on the same shelf as it and not get beaten up by the Culture books and have its wallet stolen by the Foundation series.

Where the main Dune series is gothic and the Dune prequel series is Tim Burton gothic, however, A Star Named Vega is as colourful as a Paul Verhoeven adaptation of a Heinlein story. You know the one I mean. From that Alice in Wonderland meets Maleficent cover to the joyous post-scarcity utopian opening – that’s a lot of spiders! – to the slow but creepingly inevitable revelation of the big, dark questions underpinning paradise to the explosive ending, this book delivers. It’s fast and bright and full of cool science-fiction shit, and it’s just plain fucking entertaining.

Also it has a character named Brännström who likes semlor. So we have a little Swedish nod to go along with the Finnish nod I enjoyed in Shepherds. It made this little Australian exile in the Nordics very happy.

Compared to the easy interactions between the main protagonists, the ‘villains’ of the story seem a little stilted and one-dimensional – but that seems to be by design, as we learn more about the tragic history and the complex webs of propaganda and ignorance surrounding everybody. And while there was a certain amount of needless drama-add by the admittedly thirteen-year-old protagonist and her failure to divulge certain information … ehh, we’ll let it slide. It was earned, and it all turned out nicely. Or did it? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The old philosophical dilemma of hardship vs. freedom; to remain primitive and in constant danger or to live safe as cattle; the idea that anyone who trades liberty for safety deserves neither … these are always timely questions for a global civilisation wading through the dark ages of social media and information technology and emergent ‘benevolent AI’ style advancement. While too much care and safety can be stifling – and in that, the glorious little seeds of chaos and the overall concept of the Arpex itself are very effective in dispelling such stasis – there is a lot to be said about well-meaning guidance and a nurturing, overruling vision. I don’t know, all I know is that humans are a savage species and something needs to domesticate us. We’re not going to domesticate ourselves.

Roberts does a good job walking the line between storytelling and soapbox-yelling, between drawing parallels to today’s news cycle and perpetual commercially-driven wars and making it all too much of an allegory. All the threads escalate and tie together, each character gets an arc of sorts, and you wind up caring about them all. Great job, and I want to read more stories from the Thirteen Suns.

Sex-o-meter

The main characters were kids, and not particularly horny kids. The story didn’t lose anything for not having sex in it, because everyone had slightly more important things to be getting on with at the time. I’ll give A Star Named Vega a dreidel out of a possible horga’hn.

Gore-o-meter

There was some fighting, some outright brutality, and one dude totally got cut just about in half by a femtoblade. Which frankly is what we like to see when Chekhov’s Femtoblade is introduced in the first act. Overall though, there’s not a huge amount of gore – just a suitable amount. Two-and-a-half flesh-gobbets out of a possible five.

WTF-o-meter

I really enjoyed the slow reveal of the AI seeds and the interstellar civilisation they had created and now watched over and enabled. It wasn’t so much WTF as a dawning realisation that there was some shit going on. Lots of fun to watch it all unfold. Oh, there were some references to human digital transcription and posthumanism that made me think there could be more to talk about … but there are always other stories. At least I certainly hope there will be!

My Final Verdict

A well-earned four stars on the Amazon / Goodreads scale for A Star Named Vega. I really enjoyed this and I want to see more stories from the Thirteen Suns as soon as possible. Thanks for an entertaining and enjoyable read!


The Awakening: An Edpool Review

This review is part of my judging effort for the SPSFC. For a little intro to the whole thing and an explanation of my judging style, see this practice review.


My latest #SPSFC book was The Awakening, by Adair Hart. Book 1 of the Evaran Chronicles.

Man, where to start? At the beginning, I guess. And bear with me because this doesn’t sound great but it’s crucial to remind you that it all works.

This book opens hard, and it doesn’t apologise for it. There’s a space thug named Jerzan Graduul, there’s Dalruns and Bilaxians and Greers, oh my! There’s a whole lot of information all at once – not so much an info dump as an info tommy gunning – and there’s a space anomaly, and…

And then, in a switchover that made me wonder if we were about to read the novel equivalent of Critters (or even worse [better?], Alien vs. Predator), we were whisked away to a sleepy little college campus on more-or-less-present-day Earth, where we meet mild-mannered Dr. Snowden and his niece Emily. Only it turns out they’re in a simulation of Earth after they were abducted by aliens, and the simulation is breaking down, and they’re pulled out of it and back into crazy over-the-top space by a mysterious alien named Evaran. As in Book 1 of the Evaran Chronicles Evaran.

Then, of course, we skip across to meet another couple of humans who were abducted and are in the same situation as Emily and Dr. Snowden. Including the real hero here:

I’m talking about Jay Beerman.

This army vet truck driver introduces himself to the reader by shitting his actual pants, pulling over at a truck stop to wash the clinkers off, then responds to the deactivation of the alien abduction simulation and the encroaching dark of utter existential negation by balling up his fists and shouting, “Well c’mon then, you pussy-ass darkness!”

Needless to say, I was smitten. Jay Beerman, the hero we deserve.

This book has a bit of everything. Alien monsters, cool tech, time travel and reality-hopping and worldbuilding on an incredible scale, and Jay Beerman. We circle back around to the characters from the prologue after a few chapters of complete, relentless immersion and the result is a very satisfying ohhhh, now I get what’s going on here. You suddenly see Evaran in a new light, and as the story fills out it is just very cool. I never did quite get the CrittersThe Last Starfighter imagery out of my head, even when I realised this was really more like the R-rated Doctor Who we could have gotten but we got Torchwood instead (and Torchwood was fine, I guess, but – and this is important – it didn’t have Jay Beerman in it so fuck Torchwood), but that’s okay. It’s all good.

You get a distinct, if a little hackneyed-slaver-pirate, sense of menace from the mercenaries, and the rest of the characters are nicely relatable and you definitely get invested in their fates. Oh, and the universal translator, with its “nearest available colloquialism” function? Nothing short of brilliant. It provides a perfect explanation for dialogue that might otherwise pull the reader out of the story. All in all this was a really enjoyable read.

Let’s get down to brass tacks.

Sex-o-meter

The space mercenaries were a bit on the rapey side, but it was mostly talk and soliloquy – there was not really any sex in the story itself. Which is good, because the gang-rape of lesbian character trope is pretty on the nose. I mean, rape of any kind but you know. Like I said elsewhere, I’m saving up for some grimdark here and I know what comes with that territory so I’m toughening up. Anyway, the mercenaries were gross but it was fine (as long as you’re “okay” with reading that sort of thing). Let’s give this story a single dried-out scrap of melon rind out of a possible five melons of assorted firmness and pulpiness, with a variety of different-sized and -shaped holes cut in them.

Gore-o-meter

Plenty of gore, lots of death and dismemberment and gross alien killing methods, severed limbs and stinky decomposing corpses. I was mildly disappointed the worm pit didn’t get used for one of the bad guys but I’ll cope. Can’t ask for much more than this without the gore becoming the point of the story, so nicely done. I’ll award The Awakening four flesh-gobbets out of five.

WTF-o-meter

The Farethedan and the Matter Mages, the timelines and alternate realities and the different variants of people, all of it, it’s very big and very cool and very WTF. Evaran fixes things in some cases but doesn’t undo or prevent disasters (like the massacre of Neoparene) … I wondered why that was, but the explanation holds up. We veered a little bit derivative particularly towards the end, with the sonic screwdriver and the TARDIS stuff Evaran was working with, but considering some of the incredible revelations Hart springs on us in the closing chapters of the book, I’m going to allow it. And the similarities are earned. Evaran’s couple of closing lines to the main bad guy are just brilliant, and just serve to add a juicy WTF cherry to the top of the WTF sundae. Which is what I will give this story, out of a possible same thing but with some sprinkles. And honestly, I don’t care for sprinkles.

My Final Verdict

The Awakening could use a bit more polish, there are still some parts that read more clumsily than others and Hart has some quirks that take a bit of getting used to. I admire the fact that this was a second edition and it was clear that a lot of issues had been patched up and re-worked and new scenes added. The improvement is somehow noticeable even without having seen the first edition. This story concludes with a nice lesson about not judging people on first impressions, and showing your emotions, but it doesn’t get preachy. The whole thing, I want more. And there’s a ton of these books, so it’s an absolute win! I can only assume Jay Beerman will continue to…

*Word-searches for Jay through the Evaran Chronicles product pages*

Aw.

Anyway, four stars for The Awakening. Great stuff!


BOOK SPOTLIGHT | KINGS AND DAEMONS BY MARCUS LEE

A massive thank you to the fabulous TheWriteReads for arranging this blog tour.

Hello EVERYONE!

I have been away for a while now, with several attempts at coming back that I have failed at miserably but I am now officially back so we can expect content from me again!

I won’t bore you with the details and so I will move swiftly on to this post…

Today we are participating in the book tour for Kings and Daemons, you may or may not have seen my previous review of this book, so today I will be posting a spotlight post. Now, this is the first spotlight post I have ever done so pardon me if it sucks ass!

ONTO THE BOOK…

KINGS AND DAEMONS BY Marcus Lee

THE GIFTED AND THE CURSED | BOOK ONE

A few facts about Kings and Daemons:

  • Title: Kings and Daemons
  • Author: Marcus Lee
  • Series: The Gifted and The Cursed (Book One)
  • Publisher: Self Published by Mr Marcus Lee
  • Pages: 416

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

If you like fantasy tales of conquest, dark kings, daemonic heroes, and magic, you’ll love ‘Kings and Daemons’ by Epic Fantasy author, Marcus Lee. This is a spellbinding Dark Fantasy novel which will enchant you with its plot of ambition, revenge, love, and tragedy. What the gods give with one hand, they take away with the other, for if you are gifted, you shall also be cursed.

—–

Over fifty years have passed since Daleth the seemingly immortal Witch-King, and his army conquered the Ember Kingdom.

Now, with the once fertile lands and its enslaved people dying around him, the Witch-King, driven by his insatiable thirst for eternal youth, prepares his forces to march on the prosperous neighbouring Freestates. It will be the beginnings of a conquest that could destroy nations, bringing death and destruction on an unimaginable scale.

Then, when a peasant huntress whose rare gift was concealed from birth is exposed, it sets in motion a chain of events that could alter the destiny of generations to come.


Sound good…I can confirm it is! If you want to pick up your own copy you can do so through Kindle Unlimited or treat yourself to a physical copy from Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com


A SNIPET OF MY REVIEW..

CONTINUE READING…

What Marcus had to say…

Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me … but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.

As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.

Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book. Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.

So, here we are. The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, and now I’ve started, I don’t intend to stop.

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

Head on over to Marcus’ website where you can see his upcoming books and also other version of his book covers.

Marcus’ Twitter:

Go and follow Marcus, he is a great contributor to the Book Twitter community and is great to engage with too!

Marcus’ Facebook:

What I just said! But for Facebook…

PRAISE FOR KINGS AND DAEMONS…

KINGS AND DAEMONS is a multi-perspective fantasy tale that takes the reader on an exciting journey that both entertains and gives all of the familiar traditional fantasy feels that made me fall in love with the genre to begin with…”

Nick Borrelli @ Out of This World SFF

“I wasn’t expecting such an enthralling and well written book. I was hooked pretty much from the start…”

Cassidee @ FanFiAddict

“Deliciously dark fantasy, and a spectacular debut…”

Rowena Andrews @ Beneath a Thousand Skies

“Marcus Lee managed to write an excellent debut and I am really looking forward to reading the following two books of the trilogy…”

Lily @ Lily Reads

“Grim and hopeful at the same time, Marcus Lee’s debut is an enjoyable tale of magic, possessed knights, dark lords and Daemons…”

FBN @ FantasyBookNerd

Well, as usual thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read about the book I am reading! I truly hope you pick this book up as it is such a great read!

Byee



BOOK REVIEW | LEGACY OF THE BRIGHTWASH, TAINTED DOMINION (BOOK 1) BY KRYSTLE MATAR

Good Morning, good afternoon, good evening!!

I’m Dan, and I am going to share with you my review of Legacy of the Brightwash as a part of the Storytellers on Tour Book Tour!

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law is wrong?

Tashué’s faith in the law is beginning to crack. 

Three years ago, he stood by when the Authority condemned Jason to the brutality of the Rift for non-compliance. When Tashué’s son refused to register as tainted, the laws had to be upheld. He’d never doubted his job as a Regulation Officer before, but three years of watching your son wither away can break down even the strongest convictions. 

Then a dead girl washed up on the bank of the Brightwash, tattooed and mutilated. Where had she come from? Who would tattoo a child? Was it the same person who killed her? 

Why was he the only one who cared? 

Will Tashué be able to stand against everything he thought he believed in to get the answers he’s looking for? 

ORDER HERE: Kindle (Free on Kindle Unlimited) | Paperback

Page Count: 655

Published by Imberleigh Book Company

Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The legacy of the Brightwash is described as a gas lamp, grim dark novel. The setting for this novel was inspired by the era of the 1890s in a time of huge economic depression, and within that time period, there were many social issues that inspired some of the darker subject matter within this novel. Krystle does not pull any punches when exploring these social issues and really gets down to core of it. So the inspiration for this work of fiction is taken from a very dark time in human history, really setting the tone for this novel. This is a hugely original fantasy novel, with some very new and innovative themes and concepts. This novel can be described as a very character driven novel and my personal favourite, a grim dark novel. I was totally sold!!!

This grim world unravels with each passing chapter, as you follow the masterfully crafted characters through the brutal and unforgiving reality that is life within the Dominion. I think what makes this a very unique world, is that, it’s a move away from conventional fantasy settings. Matar does an incredible job of painting a picture of a world from this era, from the humble working class neighbourhoods, to the glamour of high society, to the sinister Authority institutions, down to the gritty gangster underworld, its truly vivid and captivating. There’s also massive attention to detail, even down to the fashion of that era, so this world really does burst into life. So, you see it features excellent world building with a progressive approach and is achieved skilfully to really put the focus on our characters.

The plot is centered around our main protagonist Tashue. We watch as he’s drawn into the corrupt world of high society and the Authority. As he climbs the ranks, he becomes embroiled in their corruption, but at the same time the cracks in his world start to show and everything begins to collapse. Meanwhile his ongoing investigation of the mutilated girl found washed up on the Brightwash, leaves him few clues, she does bare a mysterious tattoo, but beyond that his investigation is fruitless. He’s forced to turn to the criminal underworld to find the truth. Using his connections he’s able to seek answers using unconventional methods which invites it’s own set of problem’s.The biggest weight he has to bare is his son Jason, who is tainted, who refuses to register and who is now imprisoned.The Authority is really at the core of all these characters struggles, it’s grasp on this world is truly sinister, and as you’ll find out, it harbours such dark secrets. The tainted are invaluable to the Authority, they acknowledge the dangerous nature of the tainted and claim to be the Dominions protector. But have enslaved the tainted to utilize their abilities for practical purposes, allegedly is to promote peace and harmony within the Dominion…. In amongst the chaos, the shining light in Tashue’s dark world is his love interest Stella, but as with all things in this world, nothing is simple.

As the first few chapters introduce you to the investigation, and his relationship with his son, it hooks you into the story very quickly and for readers like myself is essential. The dialogue between father and son is very emotionally charged and parents reading this novel, be prepared for those heart strings to be pulled. There are so many aspects of this book that’ll provoke powerful emotions, it’s usually down to the oppressive presence of the authority. The exploration of some of the social issues in this book, from that era, are genuinely engaging and you’re compassion for these characters will be overwhelming! But despite this being a very character driven novel, I think even for those more plot driven readers, you’ll be able to see those indicators of this series becoming more plot heavy as the series plays out. There is so much potential scope for this world. But its drawn out slowly so there’s a great deal of intrigue that warrants so many questions.This is a dark novel, but hope does bloom ….

The best aspect of this book without question is the characterisation. As a huge fan of very character driven novels I felt totally immersed in their stories and I was totally captivated by the complexities of these characters. I felt the five POVs we follow gave a very three dimensional view of the characters and the well placed inner monologues gave further insights into core of what motivates them. So you really felt like you know them intimately. The characterisation for Tashue our main protagonist was phenomenal, his existential crisis was captured so perfectly!! Not to take away any attention from Stella our leading lady because she has some of the best virtues any woman could have, but she harbors her own dark secrets, her vulnerability was so skillfully portrayed. When she meets Tashue you can fully understand their connection because of the depth of understanding you have about these characters. There really is a diverse cast who are brilliantly fleshed out, even the Villains in high society to our silver tongued mob boss. But it was the consistency with the character work that was most notable, I usually talk about maybe one, or two favourites, never have I been totally enamoured with an entire cast before, not to this extent.

The vast majority of characters that I’ve read previously play into those well known character tropes and don’t always present something new. This is one of those books that really shows the big paradigm shift in how characters are portrayed in modern Fantasy. It seems , that the term grim dark is a term that’s used to often! But this novel is the very definition of a grim dark!! I feel Matar has succeeded beyond my expectations in creating some of the most original, authentic, morally grey, unforgettable characters and totally achieved that sense of gritty realism.

The social issues effecting these characters within this novel are hugely emotive, there are examples of racism, social segregation, huge inequality and addiction. All of the subject matter concerning these issues is handled incredibly well and are completely relevant.

The majority of these social issues are born from the authority itself and the presence of the Authority seems to manifest in every aspect of these characters lives. As a result the majority of the characters within this novel have their own internal struggles and are forced to act under the weight of their oppressors, often acting in a way that’s necessary for their survival, which really carves out a very lonely and isolated world.

“Better to be lonely and feel the sharp edges of it, she thought, than to be empty and filled with nothing”

The romance was so stripped down, it wasn’t pretentious, it was very authentic and central to this books plot. It’s not often that I feel emotionally invested in this aspect of a book but the romance blossoming in such a dark world really did make it shine a little brighter. I think when a relationship is very much the path to salvation for two characters, to me, it really has substance, rather than something that’s very superficial. I also feel that Matar has done incredibly well to be very inclusive, a broad range of readers will be able to identify with many of the relationships within this book, giving it a very modern dimension, which is totally necessary…

So let’s talk more about the magic system, which is central to this books plot. Within this world there are individuals with magical abilities that are referred to as having the talent, and by some are referred to as the tainted, dependent on who you ask … The tainted have immense value to the authority, but inspite of this, they’re still classed as second class citizens, segregated, dehumanised and stripped of their humanity, not even afforded basic the liberties of normal citizens of the Dominion. But the narrative from the Authority is that they themselves are the last defense between the tainted and there unpredictable, dangerous nature. I really liked the way the magic system was portrayed, you know in basic terms what its capable of, what it’s limits are but all the while leaving some questions unanswered, so there’s definitely still some mystery, which I really liked. However it is taking the magic system into the realms of a technology, which is moving away from traditional magic systems,which totally worked in this instance. The element of mystery surrounding the magic system, keeps you intrigued and unlike a lot of modern fantasy books, is not there to over shadow the weaker elements of the book.

I found Matars writing style to be highly evocative and very engaging. The pacing and the technical execution of the this novel was pretty flawless. I think it was the consistency of the quality of the writing that was notable, in each chapter you can totally see the amount of work that went into this book. This is a glowing example of the fact that flowery prose is not a necessity for good writing. The skill in the writing was abundantly clear. I can definitely see influences from David Gemmel and Anthony Ryan in the writing.

I was really left feeling that I’ve just been privy to the beginning of a series that’s going to be very special. I think that once you’re taken by Matars characters, the emotional investment is so overwhelming that you’ll be following these characters for as long as Krystle is happy to write about them. I really feel that Matar has burst out the gate with this stunning debut and it’s my feeling that she will very quickly establish herself within the fantasy genre. Krystle has clearly worked incredibly hard to forge something that is really original, something that shows huge innovation and creativity.The passion behind this book is abundantly clear and shines through as every aspect of this novel.

There are elements of this book that Abercrombie, Pierce Brown fans will absolutely love!! It’s my belief that Mr Abercrombie should be concerned because there is a new girl in town!!

I’m hugely invested in this series and will eagerly awaiting the next installment!!



BOOK REVIEW | SNAKEWOOD BY ADRIAN SELBY

Hello Bookish Folk!

I am writing my review of Adrian Selby’s debut novel Snakewood. First off a huge thank you to Dan for putting this book and author on my radar back in October 2020!

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: Snakewood
  • Author: Adrian Selby 
  • Series: Standalone but he has to other books set in the same world
  • Published by Orbit
  • Pages: 544

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

This debut epic fantasy from a British writer of incredible talent tells the tale of the Twenty, a band of mercenaries hunted by an unknown killer. Filled with unique voices and incredible worldbuilding, this stunning novel will delight fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher, Joe Abercrombie or Mark Lawrence.

Once they were a band of mercenaries who shook the pillars of the world through their cunning, their closely guarded alchemical brews and stone cold steel. Whoever met their price won.
Now, their glory days behind them and their genius leader in hiding, the warriors known as the ‘Twenty’ are being hunted down and eliminated one by one.
A lifetime of enemies has its own price. 

ORDER HERE: Bookshop.Org | Audible | Kindle | The Broken Binding (Use code SAMBOOKINH for 5% OFF)

Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from this book:

  • A gloriously grim and dark mercenary fantasy;
  • An ambitious and unique world which you will love;
  • Fight brews and biological warfare;
  • Gruff, battered and grizzled mercs with quite the past; and
  • A risky but brilliant debut.

On to the full review…

I want to start off this review and just explain that this book a little bit of an epistolary, which if I am remembering correctly, is a novel made up of letters and accounts of others to tell a story. Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is an example of such works, but anyway my point is these types of books can feel jarring. I personally didn’t really have a huge issue with this in Snakewood, admittedly it did, at one point, seem a little disjointed and I had to think where I was in the timeline but generally I followed it well and the plot flowed well because there is a dominant POV to keep you grounded.

Snakewood is such a suspense filled story with so much tension and it is filled with all the intrigue and mystery you could ask for. I had such fun unraveling the twists and turns and Selby does an incredible job at redirecting your thoughts on things you feel fairly confident about. Selby writes really well and I had such joy reading his prose. The battles and the fighting in this book was so vivid and captivating to read. He also managed to create really unique and distinguishable voices for his characters which is even more incredible when you know this is a debut and in such a risky format.

Selby also did the whole ambiguous character really well, none of the characters in this have a a well-aligned morale compass. Some are bad yet still relatable, some are a mix and others your are rooting for but they by no means have a clean track record! But what they all are is utterly compelling, well written and complex. For some it is slower than others but you really begin to care for these characters and become totally invested in their journeys, relationships and more.

Also, the brews! The whole biological warfare in this book was just incredible, and that doesn’t even aptly describe this element. It was magic, well it wasn’t in the traditional sense but it was such a refreshing way to represent a magic in a new way, it had limitations and it had consequences both with a more immediate effect and a lifelong consequences of its use. It was utterly unique and incredible to see in action within this world and used by the characters.

Snakewood is also dark, I didn’t really see it until a certain way through it, yes it has dark elements but holy damn it gets grim. It is ruthless in parts.

I can understand a few of the critiques around this book, it does have a unique writing style and the author has created certain phrases that are completely new, but I really felt like he introduced you to them well and then explained them through their use.

Overall, this is a great debut and one I am so so glad I read it. Now a quick note, I asked Dan my go to Selby expert and he said to read these book in the order they were published. If you were to read Brother Red before this is spoils one of the biggest twists in Snakewood. Plus, after speaking to another friend they tried Brother Red and found the language confusing, so for several reasons I would say read this first.


THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

I really liked this book and I can not wait to read Winer Road and then Brother Red!


AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!


BOOK TOUR REVIEW | THE END OF DREAMS BY MARCUS LEE

Hello Bookish Folk!

How are we all doing today? I hope you are all well.

Today I am once again thrilled to be one of the many incredible bloggers coming together to review Marcus Lee’s final book in The Gifted and the Cursed trilogy! This tour is hosted by Storytellers on Tour, who I have had the pleasure of working with on a few previous occasions, so definitely check out their site!

I would also like to take this time to thank Marcus for sending me a copy of this book!

A few facts about this book:

  • Title: The End of Dreams
  • Author:  Marcus Lee
  • Series: The Gifted and the Cursed (Book Three)
  • Published by Marcus Lee
  • Pages: 403

Synopsis:

Add It To Your Goodreads!

‘What the gods give with one hand, they take away with the other, for if you are gifted, you shall also be cursed.’

The End of Dreams is the nervewracking and glorious conclusion to The Gifted and The Cursed trilogy.

—–

As Daleth the Witch-King and his horde ready themselves for the final battle, a small alliance prepares for a desperate last stand.

However, the alliance is weak and fractured, led by a king interested only in retaining his wealth and a lord commander consumed by his thirst for revenge. With a seemingly unbeatable army before them, invisible foes amongst them, and broken hearts between them, the alliance appears destined to fall.

Yet in these dark times, her light almost extinguished, a peasant huntress is soon to be queen. But if she can find what was lost, she might prove to be more powerful than two kings combined.

This war will bring about the end of dreams, but for whom, the gods have yet to decide

ORDER HERE: Paperback | Kindle (Free with Kindle Unlimited)


Review:

Here are a few things you can expect from this book:

  • A dark fantasy romance;
  • Epic battles;
  • A far reaching and magnificent world;
  • Deep, complex and nuanced characters; and
  • An utterly satisfying end to a great trilogy.

On to the full review…

I feel like I have been on such a journey with these books, from its characters and their journey all the way down to mine. I have the joy of saying that I have been able to participate in a book tour for each book from this series, and I am honoured to have been one of the many bloggers to have come together to share our thoughts on these books.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this series as a whole and this final book was not a disappointment. I have loved, throughout reading this series, the the detail Lee puts into his writing, it is the little things I wouldn’t think of like Kalas’ armour being to bright to give appropriate camouflage, and it just adds that little extra to his writing that makes all the difference to the readers immersion into the book. 

I also really enjoyed Lee’s knack for showing us the camaraderie amongst those who had survived Tristan’s Folly, and the introduction of new people into their ranks, though I did feel at times that anyone who wasn’t a part of their group were untrained simpletons and that at times felt a little unrealistic.

Lee manages to draw out some serious emotion towards the characters. Lord knows the moment I saw Yana’s name I was sighing at the bitch. Girl, please. He ain’t your man!! But then she surprises you and has you agreeing and appreciating certain aspects of the same damn character and it is such a real and human reaction. You don’t simply hate someone and instantly dislike every word out of their mouth and I like that Lee is able to showcase the complexity of several of his characters, especially within his darker less “good” characters. 

Lawdd, help me but I just cannot get enough of Lee’s ability to blur the lines between what is typically good and evil! It allowed for us to see so many shades to several different characters every time we saw it from their eyes. 

Damn, Daleth!

The man got darker in this instalment, suffering many near fatal wounds at the hands of Kalas he was bitter, showed slight signs of redemption, became even darker and more! I think that is what makes him a great villain, and while they were utterly despicable they were such a great addition to this character and story overall. I think Daleth was one of my favourite characters!

The characters that have filled the pages of this series are all great, some you love, some you hate and some you just can’t decide! But regardless of that I’m sad to see an end to their stories and happy because this was just such a satisfying ending!

It gives you everything!

It wraps up the tory brilliantly, it makes you sad, then happy, then sad again, then smug and so much more. It is simply one of those ending that is truly satisfying.

I don’t want to say much about the plot because you have so much to experience when you read this but know it is very satisfying, we travel and get to experience so much more of this incredible and vivid world Lee has created. It is a world that just keeps giving, I absolutely adored the insertion of the Horselords. I loved them, they are such a great addition to an already great book. It is the fear of their savage nature, the unknown and so much more that I enjoy about these elements and Lee managed to execute it so well, you were genuinely worried about the outcome of certain plot points surrounding them, so kudos to Lee for brilliantly weaving them into this story and with such suspense and tension.

I do have one gripe, and it is petty but the overuse of the word ‘for’ bugged me to no end. It was everywhere, I loved it in the other books because it wasn’t used nearly as much as it was in this book. I got to a point where I scowled each time I saw it.

However, despite my petty gripe this book and series in general is a fab one! When I think bak to the books of this trilogy I just smile, it is one of those trilogy that has a lot of scenes and moments that I love, I can pick out so many scenes that I LOVED and get excited about these books all over again!


You know the drill, On to the rating…

THE RANKS: 

BUY THE HARDBACK | BUY THE PAPERBACK | BUY THE EBOOK | LIBRARY RENTAL OR SALE PURCHASE

I am happy to say that Tristan’s Folly is a BUY THE PAPERBACK! Yayyy

  • As I said in my review, I enjoyed this book. I have book one and two so it would be rude t not have the complete set!

ABOUT MARCUS LEE…

What Marcus Lee has to say…

Writing hasn’t always been a serious hobby for me…but it has always been there, lurking in the shadows, serving me well when called upon.  

As I look back over the years, I realise I was guilty of writing many short stories, as well as poetry, and I’d like to think, that even if they were never intended to be published, they were nonetheless warmly received by the intended recipients.

Then in 2019, I was inspired to write not just a short story, or poetry, but a book.  Then, suddenly, one book turned into a trilogy and a labour of love, and it was a love I wanted to share with the world.  

So, here we are.  The pandemic that put my career in sport on hold also gave me the opportunity to lavish time on my alternative hobby, or if demand dictates my new career.

However, only you, the reader, will decide whether this trilogy, which is still a work in progress, will be my first of many.  I genuinely hope so.

Who knows, now these creative juices are flowing, I might just keep on writing anyway.

Epic fantasy has been my favourite genre since I first read The Odyssey and the Illiad as a seven-year-old.  Now it’s my turn to see if I can bring another world to life in the imagination of others. 

Ways to get in touch with Marcus…

Author Website:

Head on over to Marcus’ website where you can see his upcoming books, other reviews, artwork and more,

Marcus’ Twitter:

Go and follow Marcus, he is a great contributor to the Book Twitter community and is great to engage with too!

Marcus’ Facebook:

AGAIN Thank you for reading AND SEE YOU SOON!