Posted in reviews

The Moonlit World (Worldshapers 3) by Edward Willett Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Shawna and Karl find themselves in a brand new world filled with untold horrors and unspeakable truths in author Edward Willett’s “The Moonlit World”, the third book in the Worldshapers series. 

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The Synopsis

The third book in the Worldshaper portal fantasy series by an Aurora Award-winning author, in which one woman’s powers open the way to a labyrinth of new dimensions.

Fresh from their adventures in a world inspired by Jules Verne, Shawna Keys and Karl Yatsar find themselves in a world that mirrors much darker tales. Beneath a full moon that hangs motionless in the sky, they’re forced to flee terrifying creatures that can only be vampires…only to run straight into a pack of werewolves.

As the lycanthropes and undead battle, Karl is spirited away to the castle of the vampire queen. Meanwhile, Shawna finds short-lived refuge in a fortified village, where she learns that something has gone horribly wrong with the world in which she finds herself. Once, werewolves, vampires, and humans lived there harmoniously. Now every group is set against every other, and entire villages are being mysteriously emptied of people.

Somehow, Karl and Shawna must reunite, discover the mysteries of the Shaping of this strange world, and escape it for the next, without being sucked dry, devoured, or—worst of all—turned into creatures of the night themselves.

Beneath the frozen, gibbous moon, allies, enemies, surprises, adventures, and unsettling revelations await.

The Review

What a gripping fantasy and sci-fi world this author has crafted. Although I’m new to this series, I immediately felt enthralled by the larger than life mythos of this series and the wonderful world-building the author has done here. 

The story takes readers into it’s most horror-centric form yet, finding a world inhabited by werewolves, vampires, humans, and war. Dark truths and hidden secrets are uncovered as the search for this world’s shaper take the heroes into situations they could never have predicted. 

The character development of Shawna and Karl was well-conceived in this novel, and readers will be shocked by some of the twists and turn each character undergoes throughout the narrative. The imagery of the world the characters find themselves in feels very cinematic in its approach, crafting a visual in the reader’s minds all the while. 

The Verdict

A powerful, lengthy yet entertaining sci-fi and fantasy epic, author Edward Willett’s “The Moonlit World” is the perfect third chapter of this engaging series. With a major cliffhanger and new characters that readers will fall in love with, this is one of those fantasy books that fits in perfectly with the upcoming fall season. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than sixty books of science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction for readers of all ages. He won Canada’s Aurora Award for Best Long-Form Work in English for Marseguro (DAW), and a Saskatchewan Book Award for his young-adult fantasy Spirit Singer (Shadowpaw Press), and has been shortlisted for both awards many times. His podcast, The Worldshapers (www.theworldshapers.com), featuring conversations with other science fiction and fantasy authors, also won an Aurora Award for Best Fan Related Work. Born in New Mexico, Willett moved to Weyburn, Saskatchewan from Texas with his parents as a child, and began his career as a newspaper reporter for, and eventually editor of, the weekly Weyburn Review. An actor and singer as well as an author, he now lives in Regina with his wife, Margaret Anne Hodges, P.Eng. They have one daughter. www.edwardwillett.com

Posted in reviews

Escape From Yesterday by Frederic Petrovsky Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The fantasy genre blends with the science-fiction genre when a young boy in a far-off kingdom must stop himself from pursuing the love of a young princess by traveling back in time in author Frederic Petrovsky’s “Escape From Yesterday”. 

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The Synopsis

The ultimate time travel adventure! ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW follows Den, a seventeen-year-old who has been a servant in Castle Kuthalds all his life. Den struggles with sexual awakening, and finds himself drawn to Oshana, the Vizier’s strong and alluring daughter. When this forbidden love is discovered by the cruel and obsessive Vizier, he becomes enraged. The Vizier incarcerates Den in the notorious Zakaz prison, and begins a campaign of murdering a generation of his subjects. To set things right, Den is brought to an ancient underground civilization of monstrous shape-shifters that sends him back in time. The plan fails, and Den is transported to an even earlier time. But during both visits to the past, Den inadvertently interacts with himself. This sets in motion a series of perilous escapes in three separate time periods—three different Dens, Oshanas, Umbras, and Viziers.

The Review

A wonderful fusion of the romance of Disney’s Aladdin with the time-travel insanity of Back to the Future and the high-stakes political and family drama of Game of Thrones, Escape From Yesterday is a smash hit of the sci-fi and fantasy genres. 

The author is able to establish unique mythology in this fictional kingdom and showcase the struggles of being under the harsh thumb of a ruler like the Vizier, while also introducing a forbidden romance between a young house servant and the Vizier’s daughter, the Princess. The character-driven narrative takes center stage alongside the setting, as each plays a pivotal role in the plot that sees the protagonist forced to travel back in time several times to stop the kingdom from collapsing from within. 

The Verdict

A strong, entertaining, and evenly-paced fantasy read, author Frederic Petrovsky’s “Escape From Yesterday” is a must-read novel of the summer for fantasy/sci-fi fans. Filled with adventure, fast-paced action, and complex mythology build-up, this is a fun read that many readers will be able to sink their teeth into. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Fred Petrovsky’s first novel, Frank, was published by Time Warner in 2001. His other novels include Don’t be Cruel and The Clinton Diaries. His work has also appeared in Midstream, Arrive, and The Ritz-Carlton Magazine. He holds an MFA from the University of Arizona.

Posted in reviews

13 Worlds By J.J. Hair Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A mission to stop a universal threat becomes a question of morality for a Captain and his crew in the sci-fi epic 13 Worlds by J.J. Hair. 

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The Synopsis

Directed by an omnipotent super-being known as the “Guide”, Commander Culben, Dr. Reeves, and the crew of starship Ranus have set out on a mission to destroy thirteen different planets: analogous but unique versions of 1st and 2nd Earth. The planets’ inhabiting civilizations are believed to be on the verge of developing advanced DNA-editing technology known as CRISPR, which would lead to the creation of Supremes: an advanced human species capable of wiping out all life in the galaxy.

…If history can be believed. What begins as a straightforward mission quickly becomes a series of moral quandaries. Is the crew doing what’s best for the galaxy? Can the Guide be trusted?

While the Ranus pursues its targets, each world begins to learn of its fate through the eyes of Lisa Fry, Clarke Gabriel, and other medical scientists. Can their discoveries change their fate?

The Review

A thrilling adventure and sci-fi narrative, 13 Worlds begins an epic series that focuses heavily on character growth over mythology. The author does a great job of planting the seeds of mystery and terror early on in the story before taking readers into a whole new side of the story, jumping ahead to a sci-fi epic tale of morality and destruction. 

From the eerie nature of Malek to the mysterious nature of the Ranus crew, the author does a great job of making the characters take center stage in the narrative. The narrative packs a lot of story and growth for the characters in such a short read, making it easy to see how an entire series could play out past this initial novel. 

The Verdict

Action-packed, mystery driven and gloriously sci-fi, author J.J. Hair’s “13 Worlds” is a must-read novel. Filled with untold danger, a complex question of morality and a fairly fast-paced read, this narrative does a fantastic job of delving into the character’s journeys and will keep readers invested wholly in the story. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

J. J. Hair has always had a passion for writing. He wrote his first book when he was 18 years old; it was too short to be a full novel, too long to be a novella. While the storytelling was technically strong, the characters of his first effort were fairly two dimensional. What was the secret ingredient to making good characters? J. J. Hair would argue it was just living out life.

He worked as a Process Engineer for five years among different manufacturing companies. This involved interacting with a wide range of different personalities. It is in these personal interactions in life where we begin to ascertain what makes a character interesting. J. J. Hair has returned to fiction writing (with a current focus on science fiction) with the belief that his new writing has improved both in prose and characterization.

J. J. Hair’s first published science fiction novella is 13 Worlds. It is currently a stand-alone book, but there is potential for expansion. He has written two novellas in the fantasy genre prior to 13 Worlds and will likely consider polishing these stories up for publication assuming enough interest exists.

His writing takes inspiration from Robert Heinlein and Orson Card, but brings his own unique storytelling and characters to his novellas. His all-time favorite sci-fi novels are: Red Planet and Ender’s Game. J. J. Hair also takes inspiration from some of his favorite video games: the Final Fantasy series (VII, X, and XII in particular), Persona 3 and 5, and most Bioware-developed RPGs (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the Mass Effect trilogy, Jade Empire).

Contact Information:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/josh-hair-2795b31b/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jhair3200

How to Purchase 13 Worlds:

Posted in reviews

Dispossessed Inc. by Chris Stevenson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A couple seeking to become a family find themselves unknowingly thrust into a paranormal mission that could change the world as they know it in author Chris Stevenson’s novel “Dispossessed Inc”. 

The Synopsis

Even Jimmy Hoffa wouldn’t have believed that the ghost realm could have been unionized.

The League of Paranormal Cooperation and Studies is nearly 300 years old. It’s run by a clandestine organization deep from within the bowels of Homeland Security. According to the Declaration of Codependence drafted by the clergy in 1634, ghosts are restricted from committing wanton acts of property damage, trespass, and psychological or physical harm to humans. They are quarantined in district wards under the umbrella of the United States Guild. These facilities number in the thousands and go by the front name D.I. Foster Care and Adoption, better know as Dispossessed Incorporated.

Remy Hargitay and his wife, Phaedra, are sterile. Their fondest wish is to hold a loving child in their arms before the stress threatens to torpedo their marriage. Fortified with a ferocious resolve (and a fringe hangover) Remy visits the D.I. Foster Care and Adoption Agency to pick up an application. Only he brings home more than an application. He’s duped into signing a contract that enlists him as a “Guardian”, shackling him to three mischievous ghosts—a Chicago gangster, a New York prostitute, and a drug-crazed hippie. Unknowingly, Remy has just been recruited into Dispossessed Incorporated. His mission: hitch a ride “downstream” in time with each subject and perform a “death-stop” intervention. If he fulfills the contract, he will be awarded the foster child of his choice. Yet, the consequences just might change the history of mankind forever.

But Remy is unaware of how many times he and his wife will have to lay their lives on the line for the sake of the missions. Nobody told him that it was normal to die tragically during an intervention, only to be resurrected by something called a Dark Herald. And, really, someone forgot to tell him that performing the three “death-stops” would alter and impact the future timeline of all humankind in a way that Remy never expected.

But when the agency murders his wife, forcing him to perform a death-stop on her, all bets are off!

Contains mild language

The Review

Another brilliant read from author Chris Stevenson, the story brilliantly starts readers out on a paranormal adventure like no other, before traveling down a long and trippy sci-fi and fantasy driven narrative that includes time-travel and so much more. 

The author does an excellent job here of creating a memorable cast of characters, which not only serves as the backbone of the story but elevates it to new heights. A trio of ghosts who represent pastimes considered less than ideal by society become integral to the future of mankind, and makes for an interesting insight into character, morality and how our actions impact the future. 

The Verdict

A fantastic, evenly paced read and one of a kind adventure, this is one of the most original and in-depth stories author Chris Stevenson has written to date. An entertaining and character-driven narrative, the author has crafted a wholly original read and mythology that explores the world of the paranormal and time-travel. Feeling like a blend of Stephen King’s 11/22/63 and The Shining, this is a must-read for any fan of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, as well as a perfect blend of horror as well. Be sure to grab your copy of “Dispossessed Inc” today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Check out my blog GUERRILLA WARFARE FOR WRITERS (SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS):

Christy’s Young Adult Fabuliers:

About me

Gender Male

Industry Science

Occupation Novelist and Science Writer

Location Sylvania, Alabama, United States

Links Wishlist

Introduction Been writing for 32 years, publishing novels, non-fiction books, radio horror plays, short stories, reviews, interviews, poetry and thousands of non-fiction automotive articles. I’m on my third agent, and have had 10 books and twenty-two short stories published, beginning in 1988. Writing Credits and History BOOK CREDITS: Auto Repair Shams and Scams (Forward–Ralph Nader), 1990, Price Stern & Sloan, Los Angeles–226 pages, non-fiction, consumer warning book. Garage Sale Mania, 1988, Betterway Publications, Crozet, Virginia–190 pages, non-fiction book—1988. Word Wars, a SF novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—May, 2007. Once Upon a Goddess, a Fantasy novel, to Rain Publishing, Canada—January, 2008 Planet Janitor—Custodian of the Stars, a SF novel sold to Engage Books, May 2009 Gate Walker, a Paranormal Fantasy, sold Lyrical Press—January, 2009. The Wolfen Strain, a fantasy thriller sold to LBF Books, February 2009

The Girll They Sold to the Moon, Intrigue Books

Blackmailed Bride to Melange Satin Romance. Screamcatcher: Web World by Melange Books.

Interests Hiking, paleontology, Ufos, cryptozoology, bigfoot, astronomy, lake monsters, ancient Egypt, archeology, geology

Favorite Movies Blade Runner, Time Cop, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Logun’s Run, Transformers, The Time Machine, Kickass

Favorite Music REM, Abbaa, When in Rome, Steve Miller Band, SF and fantasy soundtracks.

Favorite Books Icerigger, Virgin Planet, Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Lord of the Flies, Black Marble, Close Encounters, The Island, Black Marble, Dune, Riverworld, The Mote In God’s eye

How many books have I published? 10 to date, with three out on agent subs, and five more in the wings ready to go.

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

Grab 10% Off Your Purchase of your official Book Launch Planner Using My Personal Code: ANTHONY10 

https://thebooklaunchplanner.com/?ref=vxz9wOnrQ6ZT

Posted in reviews

STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn Of Athir by Dr. Anay Ayarovu Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

An aspiring writer and author finds themselves at the center of an ancient prophecy and must become a savior to an entire people in author Dr. Anay Ayarovu’s “STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn of Athir”. 

The Synopsis

A strange and mystical prophecy was found in the city of Treebarad. On a piece of parchment,

old long-forgotten events come back to life, the memory of which was intentionally erased. A mysterious prophecy now gives hope to the twisted ruling race that the power they seek lies behind an ancient gate. On the reverse side of the oracle are coordinates to the location of the Chosen One.

Lael is an introverted and naive writer who grew up with a book in one hand and a quill in the other. All his life, he has lived in a peaceful solitude, reading and writing his short stories and dreaming big of one day becoming a prestigious author. To his surprise and delight he must now become savior of the Star people and take the journey to find answers that do not exist in books.

The Review

A truly engaging and fun read, STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn of Athir is a fascinating YA Sci-Fi and Fantasy read that thrusts readers into an already established world of creatures descended from modern-day animals and unique languages and vocabulary that will appeal to fans of epic sci-fi and fantasy. 

The story is also unique in that the protagonist is not a born adventurer, a young man seeking to travel to distant lands and become a hero. Instead, the protagonist is a quiet and at peace writer who dreams of becoming an author and has that quiet life threatened by a prophecy that makes him into a would-be savior to an entire people. The author does a marvelous job of world-building and mythology building throughout this novel, setting the stage for a rather one-of-a-kind sci-fi and fantasy series to be born that readers will instantly fall in love with. 

The Verdict

An evenly paced yet gripping and engaging narrative, author Dr. Anay Ayarovu’s “STAZR The World of Z: The Dawn of Athir” is a one of a kind sci-fi/fantasy read that YA fans are going to love. A fun read, the author also does an amazing job of creating a narrative that is thought-provoking and challenges the reader to delve even deeper into their own imaginations, making this a must-read novel. Be sure to grab your own copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Dr. Ayarovu is currently residing in Miami, FL, where she hopes to build STAZR Universe into a multi-media platform. Her love of sailing brought her to the coast and falling in love with her husband kept her firmly in place. She previously spent time as a creative photographer, where she gained inspiration for her debut epic fantasy novel STAZR The World Of Z: The Dawn Of Athir. Dr. Ayarovu found herself writing backstories for her photoshoots based on societal roles and expectations; those short stories made up the very first draft of what this novel is today. She holds a love for the way society works with and through one another and has strategically sculpted the characters to reflect the way current day society plays off shared issues and ideas.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51493691-stazr-the-world-of-z

https://stazr.com/

Posted in reviews

A World on the Island’s Edge: Book One of the Golden Dolphin by Matthew Rudd Reynolds Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young girl trying to hold her crumbling family together finds a new calling in author Matthew Rudd Reynolds’ novel “A World On The Island’s Edge”. 

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The Synopsis

Twelve-year old Andi Johnston knows all about keeping secrets from the inhabitants of her island home. She’s been hiding the truth about her grandmother’s dementia for nearly two years in an effort to keep her family together. After finding a young golden dolphin hidden in a cavern under her cliffside home, Andi knows she is in over her head. The bond between Andi and the dolphin Lux is instantaneous and supernatural. With his strange powers, Lux is able to heal Andi’s grandmother-for a time. 

Together with her genius twin brother, Artie, and best friend, Jubal, Andi tries to keep Lux safe from the world. Even if she can, what will happen to her family? The appearance of an old and mysterious ship in the bay across Andi’s home does nothing to alleviate her fears, nor does the discovery of a monstrous creature trying to use Lux as a means of breaking out of its prison. With her options running out, Andi risks everything in an act of faith that will change their lives forever.

The Review

In the first book of this brand new sci-fi and fantasy series titled the Golden Dolphin, the author has brilliantly brought together a healthy mixture of real-world drama and family tragedy with elements of science fiction and fantasy-driven themes. What begins as a seemingly fantasy-driven narrative turns otherworldly as the story progresses, giving readers a fantastic new series to dive headfirst into. 

The story’s true shining spot, however, is not only the blend of YA sci-fi and fantasy, but the protagonist’s struggle with her personal life as this new fantastic element is introduced into her life. From the realities of having a sibling who falls on the Autism spectrum to having the only caregiver in her life suffering from dementia-like symptoms with a teacher holding a mysterious grudge against her family and a mother who disappeared years ago, protagonist Andi is a young woman forced to grow up well before her time and trying to hold the little bit of family she has left together, making her story much more relatable and tragic as the more fantastic elements transpire. 

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The Verdict

This is a wonderful read, filled with twists and turns that readers will never see coming. From twists in the protagonist and her family’s history on their island home to the mystery of the Golden Dolphin and the powerful enemy seeking them out, this novel is engaging and entertaining throughout the entirety of the book. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “A World on the Island’s Edge” by Matthew Rudd Reynolds today. 

Rating: 10/10

https://amzn.to/32SspOC

Posted in reviews

Jake & the Dragons of Asheville by Brian Kacica Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young boy gifted with incredible power discovers a family secret and the existence of ancient creatures as government agents converge on a small North Carolina town in author Brian Kacica’s Jake & The Dragons Of Asheville.


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The Synopsis

In a small, sleepy town in North Carolina, thirteen-year-old Jake Winston has discovered he carries a unique genetic trait; one that a covert government agency will stop at nothing to obtain. After the tragic death of his father, a local firefighting hero, Jake’s absent grandfather returns and sends him on a journey into the gated forest at the edge of town, bringing Jake face-to-face with a family of ancient dragons thought long extinct.

Determined to grasp the power of the blood flowing through Jake’s veins, the agent from the secret ONX facility begins killing every dragon in his path. This forces Jake in the middle of a battle between the government and the dragons of Asheville, where the true potential of his power is revealed.


The Review

A fun, engaging blend of sci-fi and fantasy, this amazing novel feels like a mix of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Game of Thrones. Blending fantasy driven heroics with government conspiracies, sci-fi action and teen drama and humor, Jake & the Dragons of Asheville tell a fantastic, evenly paced story of a young boy who goes on a journey after losing his heroic father, and discovering a destiny no one could have ever seen coming. 

The author does a great job of blending emotional character development as the story delves quickly into the pain of losing a loved one, especially a parent at a young age, and quickly turns that into a coming of age tale of discovering a hidden power within oneself and finding the path that leads them to their destiny. The friendships and relationships Jake has with his friends, family and new allies on his journey make the story as entertaining and engaging as it is, making this a novel that evenly incorporates mythology, fantasy and sci-fi adventure with drama, humor and the journey of a young boy in the midst of leaving childhood behind and becoming a teenager. 


The Verdict

A must read sci-fi/fantasy adventure like no other! Author Brian Kacica has done a fantastic job of creating a new mythology for those who love fantasy and dragons in general, relaying their history and journey in the world to the journey to the “New World” or America, and the price that comes from those like the government agents pursuing Jake and the Dragons seeking power at any cost. A powerful read that everyone can get into, this is a fantastic read for 2019 and the holiday season. Be sure to grab your copy of “Jake & the Dragons of Asheville” by Brian Kacica today!

Rating: 10/10


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About the Author

Brian Kacica lives in the perilous hills of San Diego, fending off coyotes, tarantulas, bobcats and rattle snakes with his beautiful, valiant wife, three courageous children and chubby chocolate Lab, whose plump legs are routinely a chew toy for her spunky Boxer sidekick. JDA is his debut novel.

Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Brian-Kacica/e/B074FZP443/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Publisher: Magic Penny Press. https://magicpennypress.com/

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/33NIXWX

Posted in reviews

Yankai’s Skull by Faramond Frie Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young warrior’s obsession leads to disastrous consequences and a journey of redemption on author Faramond Frie’s novel “Yankai’s Skull”. 

The Synopsis

200 years ago, a Tibetan Shaman entrusts Yankai with the secret that other worlds connected to ours exist and contain immense and dangerous power. Yankai is obsessed with gathering the knowledge required to protect his people from these worlds and following years of study, he stumbles upon a doorway to one of them. Yankai crosses into a dark and advanced world powered by the essence of Human Beings. Captured and tortured, he fights back and escapes to Earth but brings with him a being of immense power and is followed by another intent on revenge.

Over 2 centuries, Yankai seeks the elusive and deadly Poet whom he believes can help him destroy these beings. Aided by an immortal, a psychic and a man prepared to risk his life for Yankai’s cause, the threads of all their lives converge into a single moment where the fate of all will be decided.

The Review

In this short yet powerful read, the reader is treated to a dark fantasy driven narrative infused with a bit of sci-fi action and a historical style of fighting in a modern day world. This mashup of genres and story devices make for an engaging read, giving the reader just enough backstory peppered throughout the narrative to connect with the characters without taking the reader out of the moment entirely. 

The only critiques for this novel would involve transitions. There were moments in the narrative where it can be somewhat hard to discern where one character’s perspective ended and another’s began, so the use of transitions would have done well to help the story flow a bit more smoothly. However this wasn’t enough to take the reader out of the narrative completely, and I still found myself engaged in Yankai’s tale.

The Verdict

The novel is a fast paced, action-fueled fantasy that blends many different genres and has a way of making the modern world still feel ancient and mythical in its approach. The twists and turns that bring a plot device early in the narrative back into the novel’s finale is going to be a fun and shocking twist readers won’t see coming, so be sure to grab your copy of Yankai’s Skull by Faramond Frie today!

Rating: 8/10

https://amzn.to/2oJzwsz

www.faramondfrie.com

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author J.J. Angel

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

Hello everyone!

My name is J.J. Angel and from in “the Boot of the South”, “the Sportsman’s Paradise” of the United States, aka Louisiana. I’ve been here all my life and I’m still here, now living in the state’s capital, Baton Rouge, for several years. I majored in Entertainment Technology (Film) and Digital Arts but surprisingly not Creative Writing. My first published title was, “Voices from the Bayou: Baton Rouge Student tackle Racism, Police Brutality and the Historic Flood”. It was an anthology of stories written by college students caught in the calamity of all these events within a single year. My specific piece titled, “Still Water Runs Deep,” is a deep rooted tale about my physical struggle as a flood victim blended with my own inner struggles drowning me within. The book is on Amazon and my particular piece is located in the flood chapters near the end. You’ll see J.J. Angel in there.

I started writing when I was still in early grade school. I used to be into drawing before I turned to writing. I get that from my mother who was an exceptional artist. My pen name is a part of her real name, Angela. My first and middle initial begin with the letter, “J”. So this is how I got into writing. I’m a small guy. I’ve always been little. That means as a kid I got teased a lot for not being as outgoing or athletic as the other boys. I wasn’t into sports at all. I stayed in the library during recess but outside that I used to be teased about everything. So what did I do? I started drawing stick figures but these were no ordinary stick figures. These were superhero stick figures. The kind who could fight off any bully and save the world! Somewhere down the road I started to create stories for these characters in my trusty notebook. The stories were episodic spanning ten pages back and front (20 pages an episode) using pen and paper. I think I had about four or five tablets. Each were a different color and represented a different arc of the series. I did this for a few years until I finished Jr. High. I felt writing stories like that were for little kids and since I was in High School, it was time to do “adult things”.  I dropped novel writing in favor of poetry because all the cool kids were writing poetry. I was such a follower during that time of my life. I did not want to be that oddball loser but ended up being the oddball loser who writes poetry. I even remember my Biology teacher asking what I wanted to do when I graduated. I told her I wanted to be a writer and she told me I was living a pipe dream. I kept my writing ability a secret in fear of being judged and when my senior year came, my writing dreams were over.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

What inspired me? Myself. I’m not being egotistical or anything. It had been seven years since I wrote a single damn thing. That was a weird period of my life but that’s another story for another book. Anyways, one day while I was moving I found an old box. Before I threw it away I decided to look through it and guess what I found? One of my old Lost Fighter tablets from grade school. It was a bit worn but the stories were still there in glorious ink. I stopped what I was doing and decided to read through it after all these years. My God! I had run-on sentences as long as anacondas. However, there was something else there. I had a great imagination and whole lot of heart. This is what I loved to do. This is what I really wanted to do. Take people on my visual journey and inspire them to do the same. What happened to the kid who had a big imagination and so much hope? I had given up on him. I was afraid of the ridicule for being a boring useless writer. It was me being bullied again. How can I create such fantastical superheroes or noble warriors who stand against the forces of evil when I can’t even stand against my own self-doubt? That was moment I realized what I had been running from and what I needed to do. That was the first day I picked up my laptop and pressed NEW DOCUMENT in Word.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Oh Lord. Well, I was telling my writing colleagues Potentia is a deep story under all the science fantasy lip gloss it has on. I want readers to look at it with an open heart and mind. Potentia is Latin. It means force, power or political authority. There are points in the book where I play around with that meaning. I like the idea of hope and believing in yourself, even when things look opposite of that. Karissa, Rupert, and Amare have periods of courage despite the odds they are up against. Even though she was injured, Karissa still made herself continue to the other side. She doesn’t just give up and fall down waiting for her attacker. She keeps on going and the crystal reacts to that emotion! Same for Rupert and Amare. These young adults are going up against supreme cosmic entities who could rip them to pieces. These are my main “bullies” (for now…*wink*) of the Universe. Despite this, Rupert and Amare show great courage at times. First, you need to believe in yourself. Second, you need to search deep within yourself. Third, you need to find that spark. Last, you need to bring that spark to life. 

When the story says the boys discovered Potentia, it’s saying they discovered the power (authority) residing deep within them and once they accepted it and believed in it, they could create something spectacular. Something powerful enough to repel the invasive shadow-like creatures trying to eclipse them.

I want readers to not only note the hopeful and brave moments, but see the themes of  acceptance. This book has a lot of diversity in it. Rupert is German-American and Amare is African-American. They have a tight knit friendship despite their racial backgrounds and physical differences. I want readers to see the strong levels of friendship here. They are like brothers. A strong brotherhood. Teamwork does make the dream work! Even Ya’asha is confused by how the two boys can fuse powers together so easily. We humans know how it’s done though! Plus one for humankind! There is also an LGBT character mentioned in the story. So I try to be as inclusive as possible.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I have a really big imagination! I’ve said that too many time now. I love the unknown and space is full of it. Even so, there were still some other experiences that brought me into this genre, both real and fictional. In fiction, I loved R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series as a kid. It’s what got me into horror fiction for young adults. I’m a big fan of Ridley Scott as well. I love his movies, Alien and Legend. Legend was a dark fantasy and is one of my all-time favorite films still to this day. There is something magical about that movie that fueled my imagination as a kid.

Now for the realistic side. As a child, I know two instances where I thought I saw dark figures or shadow people. They scared the hell out of me but made me interested in the paranormal/supernatural. Speculative Fiction is a beautiful genre and Science Fantasy has the power to captivate the entire world. I love it!

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I was originally going to pick Ya’asha for this but he’s too much of a smart-ass to sit down and answer questions cooperatively so I think I’ll go with Karissa. “How does it feel going from a character that dies in Chapter 4 of the original draft to one of the central protagonists in the final draft?”  

I want to see if she will glare at me. Perhaps, death might have been more desirable than what’s she going through currently? I also like cats and she hates them.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I want to say it’s a tie between Facebook and Instagram. Thought, I think Instagram is more on the visual side of Potentia. Facebook might be one since I started with it, but Instagram is catching up since I put way more content on it now. My Twitter isn’t too hot right now but hopefully people will look in my direction and be like, “This little guy has created a story that has many layers beneath it. I’ve read it and found some things from incorporating many systems of beliefs within it.You have to be an active protagonist while reading and search for hidden meanings.” (Hint: One of the characters wakes up after a nightmare and sees 5:55 on the clock.  (According to numerology, this combination means huge changes are on the way! And boy are they! *grins*)

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

KEEP WRITING! DO NOT GIVE UP! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! FIND THAT SPARK! ALWAYS HAVE YOUR FAVORITE SNACK FOOD CLOSE BY! YOU’LL THANK ME LATER FOR THE LAST ONE.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m currently going over Potentia The Shadows sequels, Tales of Potentia: the Awakening and Tales of Potentia: The Clash. First drafts are complete for both of these. I have two or three more after those. Legacy, Rebirth and War.

Stepping outside the world of Potenita, I’m working on a fantasy story called, “Arabian Rhapsody”. It’s supposed to be a novella but I have too much going on with the mythological monsters, faeries and other things. It’s getting a little stuffy right now. We’ll see how that one develops.

I have a horror I’m working on which is turning out to be a creature-feature splatter-fest. Screams!!

I also have a chapbook on Amazon called, “Poetic Vibrations”. You can check that out as well.

Well, that’s it for me, for now.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful day!

About the Author

J.J. Angel, also know by his other pseudonym J.J. Angelus, is an energetic, humorous, but equally focused creative author who enjoys immersing his ideas and creating imaginary worlds within the realms of science fiction, fantasy, and some horror. He is a former Entertainment Tech Film Major of Baton Rouge Community College and a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award for his contribution towards the anthology, “Voices from the Bayou”, with emotional and thought provoking narrative, “Still Water Runs Deep”. 

When he isn’t writing, JJ enjoys creature features, evening walks by the river, poetry, volunteering, and digital art and animation.

Website:  https://www.talesofpotentia.com

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