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Milo Savage and the Gargoyle Hunters

Milo Savage is a happy-go-lucky kid who loves a good prank. Unfortunately for Milo, his troubles are only beginning as he finds more than he bargained for at the sixth-grade field trip to the museum. Untold horrors lurk in the shadows, keen on discovering a secret that may spell disaster for all mankind. Drawn suddenly into a world of magic and mayhem, Milo must overcome the obstacles within himself to save the day. Working alongside bookworm Suzy, technician Sammy, and martial artist Kat, Milo plummets into danger as he struggles to navigate a world he barely comprehends. Together, Milo and his team of unlikely adventurers must fight to protect humanity from a devastating threat that seeks to undo the balance of the world once and for all.

Milo Savage and the Gargoyle Hunters: Secret of the Moonstone by D.S. Quinton is a fast-paced adventure with a lot to love. There are numerous colorful characters, but the narrative avoids becoming cluttered. Written in a highly engaging first-person style, the reader is immediately drawn into Milo’s optimistically sarcastic world, which strikes the perfect balance of playful storytelling and serious plot. There is plenty of comic relief, and although Milo and his friends face numerous threats and dangers, the story retains its bright tone throughout the journey. With action-packed battles, an immersive setting, and the promise of more to come, this first entry in the series is an outstanding middle-grade adventure.

While this children’s fantasy adventure novel is gripping and filled with action, there is one detraction to the story, the character development. While the characters learn and grow throughout the journey, this team of heroes comprises people who met that day. I feel that the characters needed more time to develop and establish themselves before embarking on a dangerous quest to save the world. The ending of this novel will leave readers excited for more from author D.S. Quinton. This first book sets up the plot for the next in the series, leaving many questions and room for more adventures.

Milo’s quest to protect the world in Milo Savage and the Gargoyle Hunters: Secret of the Moonstone is a stand-out escapade full of surprises. This children’s fantasy novel contains minor violence and crude humor, making it ideal for middle-grade readers. A tale of magic, mystery, and fun, this lighthearted journey into a perilous world is a beautiful beginning to what promises to be an incredible series.

Pages: 250 | ASIN : B0BMQR8PHG

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Restart by Drew Samuelsen is a dystopian tale of thirteen-year-old Ulysses, who finds himself alone after a strange event has killed most of the world’s population. Fearing for his Mother, who never came home from work, he sets out to find her. Along the way, he acquires a group of friends and learns the world’s own technology was used to decimate the population. They also soon know not all humans hit by this technological-based attack were killed; some were changed into deadly, almost animal-like killing machines. Can Ulysses and his friends avoid technology and murderous humans while looking for their loved ones?

I like that the vessel to bring about the apocalypse is technology. This also turns the book into a fear-inducing one; I kept thinking about all the tech around me that could be used against me. It leads to a bit of a chilling reading experience. The action was well-paced, and the story kept me intrigued. I also liked this book because it provided light moments in this dark situation. The tone was really a fun one. The fault I’ve found with other dystopian novels is that they are too heavy, with no moments to break up the bleakness; thankfully, this one suffered from no such problems.

I found the book’s frequent foreshadowing took away from many surprise twists in the story that I’d liked to have been able to have gone in unwarned for. I also felt too many things just got handed to the characters. It was like everything they needed fell right into their laps. I am glad they managed to have what they needed to survive, but I would have liked them to work a little harder for it in some cases.

Restart: Book 1 (The Restart Series) is a captivating young adult dystopian story. It had the right amount of chilling and humor that balanced it well. In addition, it gave some unique ideas about how an apocalypse might go. I highly recommend this to any dystopian and science fiction fans.

Pages: 160 | ASIN : B0BJYD1KWW

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Raptor’s Revenge

Jamey Fallon has lived a sheltered life on his family’s farm until he returns home one day to find his family brutally murdered. Jamey’s journey takes him to meet a young Count’s daughter, who somehow gets him kidnapped and dumped on a ship. Proving himself to be a capable seaman, Jamey earns his own vessel and begins his hunt for revenge. Raptor’s Revenge by Jim Malloy is a classic adventure novel about a young boy looking to avenge the death of his family.

This book reminds me of many old adventure novels like Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. Stories that appear like fantastical adventures for young children but with adult themes to appeal to an older audience. This novel has many graphic descriptions and mature content, making it excellent for older young adults and adult readers.

The way the author chose to write this book is something akin to Shakespearean dialogue but blended with bits and pieces of modern English to make it more understandable, immersing the reader into the story.

The story begins with a murder which immediately captivates and shocks the reader. I was instantly intrigued and couldn’t put the book down. The author provides smooth transitions and gives plenty of backstories for the reader to fully understand each character’s motives. However, I was left wondering if the hurt, the hate, and the destruction would continue into the next book. If there is a sequel, I am looking forward to reading it to have my questions answered.

Raptor’s Revenge by Jim Malloy is an exciting action and adventure novel with historical elements that will captivate readers. I highly recommend this suspenseful book to readers looking for a good sea adventure that will take them on a journey of vengeance, romance, and betrayal.

Pages: 576 | ASIN : B09M8FFQGB

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The Devil’s Calling

The Devil’s Calling, by Michael Kelley, is the second installment in the author’s trilogy, which picks up nine years after the events of The Lost Theory. The story follows Sean Byron McQueen and quantum physics professor Emily “M” Edens, who enjoy thriving careers as campus college professors. Emily develops a theory of constant creation, which quickly establishes her as a top scientist in the community. However, Sean becomes protective of her when he receives a telepathic message warning him that Emily is in danger. Sean learns of Emily’s possible fate through a spiritual guide, and soon, he will also face a returning nemesis, the Guru, or is it all just in his mind?

Kelley writes a fast-paced, exciting story that keeps the reader curious with suspense and anticipation. I found this second book in the series thrilling and fun, with a unique plot and interesting characters, which make the read worthwhile. The story is written in the first person, which gives readers Sean’s point of view, and how he gets pulled into a fascinating world that may be real or a construction of his imagination. As the plot develops and involves Emily, or “M,” the pace becomes more intriguing and unpredictable, which kept me turning the pages.

Kelley does a great job of drawing the reader in and capturing your attention with a plot and predicament that spirals into a creative and thought-provoking story. I found the book interesting in how it delves into the character’s inner conflict and what they must face when their lives take an unexpected twist.

The Devil’s Calling by Michael Kelley is an unusual but well-written story. It’s an excellent book for fans of science fiction, mystery, and the complexities of people, society, and our minds. I enjoyed the conflict in the book, which was almost symbolic while getting into the mind of Sean Byron McQueen, a fantastic character, and I look forward to reading more from Michael Kelley.

Pages: 531 | ASIN : B0BF63Z7XW

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Immortal Treasures

Immortal Treasures, by SJ. Turner is the story of a girl who has experienced tragedy. She was born with magic, and after everything she has experienced, she fears it more than anything. Olivia is the key to revealing secrets of the past and bringing back a sovereign vampire.

Olivia just wants to be a normal girl and live a life without magic. However, her grandma and aunt know she has great power if she’d just unlock it. While going through antiques, they find a book belonging to a legendary vampire clan. Olivia’s grandmother believes the book was created by the Goddess and will only be read by the one with the blood of the interpreter. She believes this book is what will finally get Olivia to accept the power she holds. When opening the book, Olivia can read the script when all others have only seen blank pages.

Olivia meets Cassian Laurent, Cash, while using her power to fight off a vampire. He gains her trust and asks for her help reading what is in the journal so they can resurrect his father, Julien. Through her readings, Olivia is transported in time and shown memories of Julien Laurent, the leader of the vampire clan. Together Cash and Olivia, along with help from both sides, discover the secrets of the timekeeper’s journal and bring Julien back to life.

The writing style in this book is strong throughout. The plot moves quickly and keeps the reader engaged. The relationships between the characters were interesting to read, especially the love developing between Olivia and Cash. The layering of stories and differing timelines added depth to the book, making me want to keep reading.

I am giving Immortal Treasures by SJ. Turner, 5 out of 5 stars. This book has a great storyline with intricate characters. However, the ending left me wanting the sequel immediately. I would highly recommend this book if you love mysteries, romance, magic, and strong characters.

Pages: 335 | ASIN : B0BBLY1N73

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Eve of Awakening: The Onoma Series

Author Alisa Hope Wagner’s Eve of Awakening is set within a dystopian world, but there is a beacon of hope that shines throughout this Christian fiction novel. The author takes readers on a journey to a vivid futuristic world, where humans are strictly divided into two classes – Efficientists and Colonialists. It’s a world where everything is controlled by machines, high performance and high productivity is encouraged, while faith and religion have taken a backseat. The protagonist, Eve, is one of the champion performers of this world – a top-order Efficientist. 

Her outlook on life changes after having a near-death experience. She returns to the life of devotion that she has shunned to prioritize productivity. Readers will follow Eve’s profound journey of awakening to the power of God and learn how he can restore peace and happiness in one’s heart. 

Eve of Awakening is anything but a typical Christian fiction novel. The author has vividly illustrated an ultra-tech-savvy futuristic world while subtly hinting toward the gloomy future humanity is headed towards. Readers will recognize current institutions and technology that parallel the world that the author has created. Covering everything from communications, remote working, shopping, and how we socialize, there is an eerie feeling that our society could be headed in a similar direction as those in the novel.

The author uses easy to understand language to tell her captivating story. It’s easy to get swept away with the story within the first few pages because of how simple language that allows you to lose yourself within the story. The character of Eve is developed with care and attention, giving a detailed back story and showing her growth as she discovers a past she had forgotten. Eve’s internal conflict is relatable to those who have struggled with their spirituality and worked to find their way back to God.

Eve of Awakening is a captivating Christian science fiction novel with a compelling plot and a captivating protagonist. Everything from the characters to the storyline has a sense of intrigue that seems baked into it, which is something that kept me coming back to this novel again and again.

Pages: 291 | ASIN : B00RS1HLLU

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Family Is More Than Just Blood

Neil O’Donnell Author Interview

The Keep in the Marsh follows a boy that lost all he knew to the plague and sets out to find adventure and makes new friends along the way. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Like the main character, Thomas, I want my parents to be remembered. He plans to devote his life to that goal as do I. Along with that, Thomas is seeking adventure in a realm akin to that of Dungeons and Dragons. The adventures in my book are meant to provide a glimpse of the life of D and D player characters between adventures. How do they pay for housing and food? How do they actually find trainers? And, most importantly, how do they find quests without the aid of a Dungeon Master?

Did you create an outline for the characters in the story before you started writing or did the character’s personalities grow organically as you were writing?

The characters grew organically for the most part during the writing, but I had some fundamental characteristics in mind when starting. I knew I wanted the characters to be out of their depths in starting their adventuring and I wanted them to be fleeing a life they didn’t want to pursue, hoping becoming an adventurer would save them. From there, I wanted the characters to see the sides of an adventurer’s life they didn’t anticipate – the grittier side of adventuring.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Family is more than just blood. We often create an immediate family through circumstances, happenstance and life-long associations. I also wanted to highlight that individuals can learn and adapt to embrace a new life when needed. Lastly… I wanted to show the importance of seeking help when needed.

What can you tell readers about the next book in the series and when will it be available?

I am hoping to have the next book out by early 2023 (Hammer of the Elements). This book was very much following the characters through their “Level 1” development. The next book is building the characters to ‘levels’ 2 and 3, so to speak, with more details of the world being revealed with the gods and their minions presenting more guidance and hurdles for the characters… along with a would-be Dungeon Master. FYI – for readers, I love parody.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

A village blacksmith from the middle of nowhere, Thomas seeks adventure after surviving a plague that eradicated his homeland.
Following his father’s advice and heading east, Thomas finds himself entwined in a surge of attacks by a thieves’ guild knows as Neydis. Similarly lost adventurers soon join him along the Queen’s Road, and they set their sights on breaking through the grasp of Neydis and finding “safe” adventure in dungeons without any dragons.
Thomas and his group may be reckless, but they aren’t stupid. Who would knowingly mess with a dragon? Find out in The Keep In The Marsh, the first book in Neil O’Donnell’s series of epic fantasy adventures.

Crude Awakenings 

Crude Awakenings takes places in Tyler County, Texas, 1987. The story follows Cooper, a former high school football star who now works for a local oil company. As the story begins Cooper has had enough of working for other people and has grand plans to start his own company alongside his best friend, Lester. Cooper’s current boss, and father figure, My Hightower has agreed to bankroll the entire operation. Unfortunately for Cooper Mr. Hightower’s son, Chuck has other plans. Mr. Hightower passes away and Chuck seizes control of his father’s company. Chuck has always hated Cooper and he soon sets to work ruining Cooper’s life. Almost instantly Cooper finds himself jobless, single and with no investment.

Crude Awakenings is Cooper’s rags to riches story. Chuck makes sure Cooper starts with nothing and we watch his rise to glory, with the help of his friends. It’s not a pretty story, however. Cooper must put his morals aside and literally beg, steal, and borrow to make a comeback. What’s he stealing? Used cooking grease…

Cooper is an easy to root for hero, he’s an everyman who has fallen on hard times. Surrounding him are a host of eccentric side characters who help lift the mood of the novel and add delightful comic relief. Small town camaraderie is a major theme here. The artwork is minimalistic and for the most part it is easy to follow, although I feel like things can get a little messy in the action scenes. The artwork does a great job of conveying the story without distracting from it.

Crude Awakenings takes a story about the second-hand grease market in a small town and turns it into a fascinating graphic novel. This lively story has a host of intriguing and well defined characters on a path that was unpredictable but a blast to follow. Crude Awakenings is a quirky but entertaining story that I highly recommended for a quick, feel-good read.

Pages: 151 | ASIN: B089G71TY8

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