Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Review: Disappeared by Lucienne Diver


Genre: Suspense/YA

Description:

“The story their father tells about their mother’s disappearance doesn’t add up for Jared and Emily Graham.

Foul play is suspected, intensifying their fears.

Their mom’s car is discovered, abandoned and covered in blood. No one will tell them what's going on, so they're going to find out for themselves. Their investigations into what really happened to their mother may have killer consequences for them both, especially if the truth hits close to home.”

Author:

Lucienne Diver “lives in Florida with her husband and daughter, the two cutest dogs in the world, and enough books to someday collapse the second floor of her home into the first. She likes living dangerously.”

She is the author of the Vamped young adult series and the Latter Day Olympians urban fantasy series.

Appraisal:

While this could rightfully be considered a young adult novel, if for no other reason than the teen protagonists, it is one that the older crowd should find just as intense and engrossing. I sure did. Teen siblings Jared and Emily have already had their world turned upside down when their mom moves out, possibly for good. Mom was the nurturing parent and dad definitely doesn’t pick up the slack. Then they can’t get in touch with mom at all and then evidence of foul play is found. The kids juggle their normal life challenges, doing what they can to figure out what happened to Mom, and the added stress coming from Dad. Needless to say, this story is suspenseful and intense. How it ends … well, you’ll be guessing, probably incorrectly, right up to the end.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI

A small amount of adult language.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 80-85,000 words

Monday, April 27, 2020

Reprise Review: Junkie Love by Joe Clifford



Genre: Biography

Description:

Junkie Love portrays the author’s existence as a drug addict.

Author:

Joe Clifford is acquisitions editor for Gutter Books and managing editor of The Flash Fiction Offensive. He is the author of three books.

You can learn more about the author at his website.

Appraisal:

This is one hell of a book. It reminds me of another I reviewed, Just Like That by Les Edgerton. The subject matter is entirely different, the parallel lies in the incredible honesty that both authors apply in their work. In Junkie Love the author charts his decline from light drug user to utterly messed up waste of space and then recovery. I truly struggle to understand how Clifford actually survived.

The writing style is interesting and unusual, a mix of past tense flashback chapters in the past tense interspersed with others in present tense. It’s unfair to say the narrative is confusing, the thread does move about, but it conveys the mental state of a junkie. We’re not talking lucid here, memories are jumbled for the straightest of people, never mind those who spend most of their times either high or hunting down their next fix.
The author is incredibly blunt about the life he led, the places (dumps really) he lived (like Hepatitis Heights) and the things he did to survive. I doubt 99% of the population would never experience anything like the events in Junkie Love

Here’s an example:

I didn’t last long. Like every other job I’ve ever had, I was fired from this one, too. As the summer nights grew shorter, my heroin problem grew worse, and a quarter gram of speed just wasn’t enough to drag me from the other side of town fast enough, especially if I was chasing down smack. Heroin first, speed second, cocaine third and then the other stuff like food and shelter. That was my hierarchy of needs.

Then there are the supporting characters. Minor ones with nicknames (e.g. Gluehead) come and go but there are a handful of constants – the author’s wife, Catherine, who has serious mental health issues and is dealt with in the past tense chapters, Amy a junkie girlfriend in the present tense and his family who are in both. Ultimately almost all these relationships fade, only the author’s family is there at the end (remarkable given what he put them through).
Here’s an example of the writing, and one of the characters:

Oksana was boiling cat heads in a big pot on the stove when I got back to the apartment. Oksana collected road kill, cooking off the fur and using the bleached bits of skull as jewelry. A homeless, teenaged speed dealer, she’d race the midnight streets of San Francisco on her skateboard, a demon pixie draped in shiny beads and necklaces delivering product, two giant guard dogs snapping at her side like the Hounds of Hell.

Brilliant, but shocking stuff.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Swearing. Copious references to drug use.

Added for Reprise Review: Junkie Love by Joe Clifford was a nominee in the Non-Fiction category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran January 31, 2014.

Format/Typo Issues:

None.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: Keith Nixon

Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words

Friday, April 24, 2020

Review: The Shapeshifter's Fate by Chris Africa



Genre: High Fantasy/Young Adult/Coming of Age

Description:

“Spring fever has struck after a snowy winter in Death's End. The friends head out on a risky mission in Lyesfare, a known hotbed of activity by the malevolent Wizards of the True Faith.

Loaded up with enchanted artifacts, revived energy, and last summer's experience to aid them, they are joined by allies new and old. Prophecies will be fulfilled, and heroes will rise on the side of magic.

In a perfect world, all endings would be happy. But Ayzwind is not a perfect world.”

Author:

“I'm Chris Africa, a mom, wife, author and project manager living in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Someone told me once that I have a superhero name, and I love that description so much that I repeat it as often as possible. (Superhero Name.)…

I also have a Political Science degree, decades of web project management experience, and a successful job at a digital agency. I live in Michigan with my husband, Mike; daughter, Olivia; cats Ninja and Artemis; and Harvey the dog.”

To learn more about Ms. Africa check out her blog.

Appraisal:

What an interesting world these characters live in. I got the feeling it was an old world setting, but full of magic in unexpected places. The magical people would happily remain hidden. The tale centers around three main characters. Chassy, a sixteen year-old whose magic hasn’t revealed itself yet, his best friend Nita, whose magic is so strong it tattoos her skin, and her older brother Andrev. They left their homes in Waet Tree Village, the only place where wizards are naturally born, seeking adventure last year. Apparently they had one in book 1, which I haven’t read. I think the author did a nice job filling in the backstory when needed. After spending the winter recuperating at the cleric Xander’s home in Death’s End, they are anxious to get back to their adventure. Except for Andrev. He spent the whole winter in Xander’s library reading books. He came across one full of blank pages and told it was written in the old god’s language and he is not wise enough to read it yet.  So he’s not ready to leave the library. However, he is reluctant to let Nita leave without him.

The next adventure awaits them when they enter the township of Death’s End to pick up things from the marker. The plot gets all twisted up, and new characters are brought into the mix. There is also a Prophecy looming over our three heroes. Most of the story is fast-paced, until the author slows things down as to enter into a character’s thoughts that can go on for pages. I considered them stumbling blocks that interfered with the tale’s pace and put me to sleep. I can only suppose this book wasn’t for me because I did have trouble connecting to the characters. Chassy was an interesting character, he has some magic but didn’t recognize it as such. He collected rocks that spoke to him, he called them face stones, they shared their names with him and offered advice. Nina denied her powers and was loathe to use them. William seems to be human but is wise in his rich kid ways. Cherise is an odd character, I couldn’t quite figure her out.

This small troupe of characters sets out to take down the malevolent Wizards of the True Faith, Gnarkvetch. Some characters are not who they seem which leads to a very huge cliffhanger. I was gob smacked! I think high fantasy readers would find this series enjoyable, possibly even enthralling. However, this story wasn’t for me.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

The Shapeshifter's Fate is book 2 in Ms. Africa’s, Deathsworn Series. I think The Shapeshifter’s Fate stood well as a standalone, as I haven’t read book 1 of the Deathsworn Series, The Elf and the Amulet.

Format/Typo Issues:

Nothing significant in proofing issues.

Rating: *** Three Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Reprise Review:Forty-Four (Book Seven) by Jools Sinclair



Genre: Horror/Paranormal/Romance

Description:

“Abby Craig’s worst nightmare has come to life…

When an old friend suddenly reappears, a mysterious darkness begins to hound her. Shadowy truths will claw their way to the surface to finally see the light of day. Life and death hang in the balance when a long-buried secret refuses to stay dead.

As Abby’s black and white world spirals down into a treacherous sea of grays, she is forced to confront the evil stalking her before it consumes everything she loves.”

Author:
Jools Sinclair is an author from Bend, Oregon which is also the setting for the 44 series. Along with continuing this series, she is working on the first book in a new paranormal series.

You can find out more about her and the 44 series on her website.

Appraisal:

I am so glad Forty-Four showed up as a recommendation for me on Amazon back in November of 2011. The eerie cover and book blurb grabbed my attention. The fast-paced story of Abby’s visions—a result of drowning and being declared dead for 44 minutes— drew me right into the story and had me eagerly waiting for the next six books. Ms. Sinclair’s descriptions of the Bend, Oregon area and knowledge about activities available there bring the setting alive. Several of my friends began reading the series and were just as involved with the story as I was. Three of us are reading the books together, discussing the events, and making predictions for the future.

In book seven, Abby continues to harness her ability to deal with her visions and her relationships with Jesse and Ty. One of the strengths of this series is the fully developed secondary characters. My favorites are Abby’s sister Kate, and her co-worker and friend David. What happens between the brothers Dr. Ben and Dr. Nathaniel is chilling. A new intriguing character is introduced that I suspect will be important in the future. Ms. Sinclair’s use of current social constructs enhances the plot and gives the story a realistic, happening-right-now feel. I really enjoy the parts of the story detailing Abby’s culinary skills. I am a foodie, so these moments are mouth-wateringly fun!  I am reluctant to share more specific details or give too many clues about what happens, as it could ruin the suspense for other readers.

My only disappointment is my sadness at reaching the end of the book and having to wait for the next to revisit these characters. Ms. Sinclair’s mix of paranormal abilities, evil characters, romance, and normal life routines makes for an addictive read. I look forward to seeing what is in store for everyone next time. The waiting begins again.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Added for Reprise Review: Forty-Four (Book Seven) by Jools Sinclair was a nominee in the Paranormal Romance category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran April 14, 2013.  

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: Fredlet

Approximate word count: 45-50,000 words

Monday, April 20, 2020

Review: Hands Up by Stephen Clark



Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Description:

“Officer Ryan Quinn, a rookie raised in a family of cops, is on the fast track to detective until he shoots an unarmed black male. Now, with his career, reputation and freedom on the line, he embarks on a quest for redemption that forces him to confront his fears and biases and choose between conscience or silence.

Jade Wakefield is an emotionally damaged college student living in one of Philadelphia’s worst neighborhoods. She knows the chances of getting an indictment against the cop who killed her brother are slim. When she learns there’s more to the story than the official police account, Jade is determined, even desperate, to find out what really happened. She plans to get revenge by any means necessary.

Kelly Randolph, who returns to Philadelphia broke and broken after abandoning his family ten years earlier, seeks forgiveness while mourning the death of his son. But after he’s thrust into the spotlight as the face of the protest movement, his disavowed criminal past resurfaces and threatens to derail the family’s pursuit of justice.

Ryan, Jade, and Kelly–three people from different worlds—are on a collision course after the shooting, as their lives interconnect and then spiral into chaos.”

Author:

A former award-winning journalist, Stephen Clark grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now lives with his family in Northern New Jersey. He is the author of one other novel, Citizen Kill.

Appraisal:

In many ways this book was not at all what I expected. Obviously, the shooting of Tyrel (the “unarmed black male”) and its aftermath are the majority of the story. I expected to have my thoughts get provoked, seeing possibilities in this kind of situation that I had never thought of previously. I wasn’t sure whether I’d think Ryan (the policeman who shot Tyrel) was getting a raw deal or be pulling for him to get locked up, but I was convinced it would be one of those. Given those choices my thoughts never had a chance to solidify on one or the other. Things were never that clear cut. (Maybe more like real life?) The story kept taking directions I’d have never predicted right up to the couple unexpected twists at the very end.

At points in the story I questioned how realistic certain parts were, but then managed to stifle my disbelief and keep on reading. And yes, it got me thinking around some of the social issues of the day as I expected, but instead of making me think I’d found answers, it helped me realize that this kind of story can be more complicated than it appears. In the end this was an interesting, entertaining, and yes, thought-provoking read.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Some adult language and mild adult situations.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 90-95,000 words

Friday, April 17, 2020

Reprise Review: Adrift in the Sound by Kate Campbell



Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Description:

Lizette is a gifted abstract painter with severe personality issues—perhaps bi-polar—although I don’t believe this was stated. Pressured to achieve as a child, when her artist mother committed suicide something snapped inside Lizette. Estranged from her father, she drifts into bad company, and makes unwise life-choices. The story follows Lizette as she struggles with mental illness and searches for meaning in her life. Although set in the Seventies, no attachment with that era is required to connect with this story.

Author:

“A novelist, journalist and photographer, Kate Campbell grew up in San Francisco and has lived and worked throughout California and the West. Adrift in the Sound, was a finalist for New York's 2011 Mercer Street Books Literary Prize. Campbell's environmental and political writing appears regularly in newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S. She lives in Sacramento and, in addition to writing fiction and poetry, publishes the Word Garden blog.” Learn more about her on her blog.

Appraisal:

I read because I love to lose myself in another world and experience life vicariously through someone else’s eyes. Also, as an aspiring writer, I read to learn. For me, reading Adrift in the Sound was tantamount to attending a fiction writing master class.

Tactile scene settings sucked me into a story as multi-layered as one of Lizette’s beautifully described oil paintings. Ms. Campbell colors her scenes with fine details, often transforming the settings into another character to add emotion. For example, after an argument with her father, Lizette turns her back on him and the house and takes the path in the rain toward the small cabin her mother used as her artists’ studio. Lizette perceives the cabin like this: “Two big windows stared into the tangled garden, watching the house through rain-streaked eyes.” Or her view of the car ferry that will take her to Orcas Island in the Puget Sound, where much of the story unfolds: “The wide-bodied boat nudged the dock, bounced against the pylons, settled into its berth like a lumbering beast nestling into a safe burrow.” Or the way the ocean appears to her: “The afternoon sun scattered silver sequins across the water.” I confess I have a ton more highlights on my Kindle; so many I had to stop myself. Unable to choose which to use in the review, I simply chose the first three—they’re all exceptional.

Lizette’s world is populated by a cast of complex, multi-faceted characters. Many are unpleasant. All were real to me. A brutal sexual assault early in the story permanently scars Lizette and scarred this reader along with her. It happened because she takes crazy chances and trusts the wrong people. But don’t see her as a weakling. On a number of occasions she does significant harm to those whom she perceives as a threat. Although, as I watched Lizette become a danger to others, I was never quite sure of her intentions. That’s a measure of how off-balance the author kept me, and how hard I was rooting for Lizette.

Lizette’s affinity for the native Indians who live on Orcas and form her support group provides more wonderful characters whose lifestyle grounds the story in history and in nature. I have no connection with Native Indians or their customs, but I found their lives and beliefs and plain commonsense added to the palette of an already colorful story.

The novel is a deep, slow burn, and not without humor. One particular scene involving a large snake and an unpleasant junkie had me laughing so loud I woke my wife (I read at night). A larger-than-life character--self-described poet, Toulouse--is described in the eyes of Lizette’s friend, Marian thusly: “Toulouse moved off with a flourish, tipping a goodbye from the rim of his foolish hat. Marian watched him go, his self-importance shoved up his ass like a mop handle.”

Complex, troubled, and gifted, Lizette connects with the natural world on such a deep level that she pulled me along until I stood beside her marveling at the natural beauty of an ocean wave, or the fearsome power of the killer whales as they hunt in the Sound, or the subtle simplicity of an old Indian woman dancing in a mask of feathers and bear skin. She broke my heart as we watched a seal taken by a predator, or a pet dog injured. I know, as she does, it’s natural. You can’t interfere, you can’t help—but still, you share the stab of her guilt.

With more “Oh, didn’t see that coming” moments than I had any right to expect, Adrift in The Sound is the best book I’ve read in a long time.
Check it out. You won’t regret it.

Buy now from:    Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Added for Reprise Review: Adrift in the Sound by Kate Campbell was a nominee in the Contemporary/General Fiction category for B&P 2014 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran July 24, 2013.

Format/Typo Issues:

No typos to mention. Some graphic scenes and bad language (used appropriately).

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: Pete Barber

Approximate word count: 90-95,000 words

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Review: Don't Dance on the Toilet by Teralyn Pilgrim



Genre: Humor/Memoir

Description:

“Being a mom isn’t at all how Teralyn thought it would be. Instead of feeding her children a well-rounded diet, she’s happy if she can keep them from eating newspaper out of the trash can. Instead of doing enriching activities like crafts and science experiments, she spends most of her time stopping her toddler from dancing on the toilet.

It’s a lot of work to make children act like human beings. With everything they do, say, bite, eat, lick, break, spit on, and jump off of, it’s a wonder they make it to adulthood. Raising kids is worth it, though, and not only because we love them. It’s worth it because children are hilarious.”

Author:

“Teralyn Pilgrim has a master's degree in Creative Writing from Western New England University and a bachelor's degree in English from Brigham Young University. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two daughters.”

For more, visit Ms Pilgrim’s website.

Appraisal:

Kids are great. A lot of work, but great.

If you’ve experienced children and agree with the above, this book will keep you laughing and be an enjoyable read. If you haven’t experienced kids, you’ll still laugh, but might question whether you want to ever do so. However, the author will make it clear that, at least for her, the positives have far outweighed the not so great.

The core of the book is things the author never dreamed she’d ever say, but found herself saying to one of her kids. Things like “Who colored on the puppy with a highlighter?” or “Don’t use my finger to pick your nose! Use your own finger!” In between you’ll read other short vignettes about Ms Pilgrim’s two daughters and the wild and crazy things they’ve done.

A fun read. It kept me laughing, reminding me of things I experienced years ago as a dad and some of the fun and funny things I’ve experienced more recently as a grandfather.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words

Monday, April 13, 2020

Review: Beach Magic - The Elemental Keys by Lynne Cantwell

Editor's note: This is the second part of a Doubleshot Review. To get Judi Moore's thought, check out last Friday's review of the same book.




Genre: Urban Fantasy/Celtic Mythology/Humor/Adventure

Description:

“So there we were in Colorado – me, Raney Meadows, and my three Elemental teammates. We’d just put my father and his demon keeper on ice – well, actually, on the opposite of ice – and now we had to get past a sylph to grab the final Elemental Key from its hiding place at the top of Mt. Elbert. Then, I figured, it would all be over. The demon would have only three of the four Keys he needed to open the Door to the Very Bad Thing that Could Destroy the Earth. So we’d win. I mean, you can’t open a door without all the keys, right?

Yeah, no. I should have realized it wouldn’t matter whether we had the Air Key. That demon – and whoever his Master was – would do whatever it took to open the Door of Doom, even if it meant tricking our band of Elementals into going through a portal of fire to get it done...”

Author:

“Lynne Cantwell writes mostly urban fantasy and paranormal romance, with a dash of magic realism when she’s feeling more serious. She is also a contributing author for Indies Unlimited. In a previous life, she was a broadcast journalist who worked at Mutual/NBC Radio News, CNN, and a bunch of other places you have probably never heard of. She has a master's degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University. Currently, she lives near Washington, D.C. Discover

You can connect with her at her website or on her Facebook page.

Appraisal:

I really appreciated the preface, How We Got Here, before the story begins. So much happened in Gecko Magic that it was nice to have a recap to get me in the proper frame of mind. Things don’t slow down in Beach Magic. As soon as our team of half-elementals enter cell phone range descending Mt. Elbert everyone’s phones start pinging with text and voice mail messages. Collum’s parents text that they are headed to Los Angles, California, and Rufus is alerted by text that Annie and Auntie Helen are headed there as well. Gail also gets a text message from Ben Gelber, her work colleague, saying that he is coming to LA as well. Raney gets a few voice mails from Mam who is at Raney’s house in Malibu where wildfires are threatening the area.

Each character had a significant role to play. There are more twists, turns, switchbacks, and dimensional plane hopping that I’m not sure how Ms. Cantwell could keep it all straight. I don’t think she dropped a thread, and you’ll find surprises around every corner all the way to the end. It’s an astonishing and enlightening journey for all of our half-elemental heroes. I loved Raney’s voice in this story. She’s a strong confident woman who thinks things through, but still holds onto a few insecurities about making the right decision. She’s a great character. Perspective and intent are two of the spiritual themes that really hit home with me.

This is a fun and entertaining series with diverse characters you’ll love and a few to hate. And a very outspoken cat who will never tell you all she really knows. However, she is a finicky eater, tuna or shrimp if you please. She also likes a clean litterbox, but honestly who wouldn’t?   

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

Beach Magic is book 4 in Ms. Cantwell’s, The Elemental Keys Series. Following River Magic, book 1, Bog Magic, book 2, and Gecko Magic, book 3.

Format/Typo Issues:

I was given an Advance Readers’ Copy, so I can’t comment on the final product.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words

Friday, April 10, 2020

Review: Beach Magic by Lynne Cantwell

Editor's note: Longtime Books and Pals readers will remember that we sometimes have what we refer to as "doubleshot review" where one pal gives their take on a book and then a day or two later another pal gives you their thoughts on the same book. We haven't had one in a while, but when two pals are clammering to read the same book it seems like the obvious solution, so here we are. Today we get Judi Moore's review of Lynne Cantwell's latest with ?wazithinkin slated to give her opinion on the same next Monday.





Genre: Modern Fantasy

Description:

This is the fourth and concluding book of the author’s Elemental Keys series. If the title and/or cover tempts you to think it might be a bit like Baywatch, let me assure you right away – this is nothing like Baywatch.

The scent of supernatural battles to come is heavy on the air as the book opens. Romance is also rife. The team of four half-Elementals tasked with saving the world have been bested in each of the previous three books. How will they fare this, last, time?

The cast of characters includes (but is not limited to) Elemental Beings, half-Elemental Beings, human beings, a demon, the Fae, golems, deities from the Hawaiian and Irish pantheons, a high council of Elemental Guardians, and a mind-speaking cat. Never a dull moment.

Author:

Our Lynne Cantwell (not to be confused with the Irish woman rugby international of the same name) worked as a broadcast journalist for many years. She has written for CNN, Mutual/NBC Radio News, and a number of recherch√© radio and TV news outlets, including the now defunct wire service Zapnews. Amongst her many qualifications, Cantwell includes a journalism degree from Indiana University, a master’s degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University, and a paralegal certificate.

These days she is a prolific author of modern fantasy novels and novellas, usually with a warm romantic strand. She is a contributing author at Indies Unlimited. She lives near Washington, DC.

Appraisal:

The half-Elementals – Gail, Raney, Collum and Rufus – are (finally) getting better at this saving-the-world schtick. Not before time. If you’ve read the first three novellas in this series you will know that they are searching for four vital keys. So far they’ve managed to lose three of them to a demon named Surgat, who has possessed Raney’s father. Raney didn’t like him much anyway, so it’s no great loss. But being outsmarted has taken a toll on the moral of all four of them at the beginning of Beach Magic.

Can they pull it all together when Surgat comes after the fourth Key? Yes they can. And in rather a surprising way. More is at stake than the faithful reader of the first three books might have imagined. People turn out not to be who they seem (except Surgat – he’s just a nasty demon, end of); instructions and, indeed, locations get turned on their heads.

Cantwell has come up with a most engaging conclusion to the story. I pride myself on guessing endings – and I was way off with this one. There is oodles of plot, many engaging characters, spectacle and battles galore, romance and witty repartee. Both uplifting (and we surely do need a bit of that just now in the real world) and satisfying in just the way one wants the final, climactic, book in a series to be. Recommended.

If you haven’t read the first three novellas, I urge you to do so before reading this one. This final book does stand alone. And Cantwell gives ‘the story so far’ at the beginning of each book in the series. However, reading them in order will be a much richer experience.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

FYI:

The series is getting a new suite of covers. To my mind the new covers rather undersell the content. I prefer the originals, which loosely tied this series to other Cantwell fantasy series such as The Pipe Woman Chronicles. But I expect there are good reasons for the change.

This book is to be published on 9 April. The other three are currently unavailable, presumably while their covers are updated. One presumes all four will be available on 9 April 2020.

Format/Typo Issues:

I was working from a pre-release copy.

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: Judi Moore

Approximate word count: 50-55,000 words