The Zodiac Traveller
The Zodiac Traveller is a fantasy/adventure novel written by Australian author Rosemary K Tompkins. The story is set in the Kingdom of Adastra. With a diverse set of dynamic and engaging characters paired with mystical and unique settings readers will be instantly pulled into the storyline.
The characters in The Zodiac Traveller will entertain readers with their conversations and relationships with each other, as well as their inner monologues. Readers are able to really get to know the characters and their personalities. Common themes such as good versus evil, innocent versus corrupt play out between the characters allowing the story to progress in an interesting fashion. Two of the main characters to demonstrate this are Galaxian and Prince Andreas. One is well loved, popular and of innocent character and intent whilst the other is rude, demanding and self serving. These characters are well developed and authentic giving the story a layered feel.
The Zodiac Traveller is set in the Kingdom of Adastra. The setting varies as the main characters move and travel through out the story, ranging from small modest homes in villages to expansive and mysterious forests. There are beautiful descriptions of the forests (‘dew drops dancing on the leaves’) and the river, (‘deep and wild’) – appealing to all senses of the reader. Also, adding depth and interest to the story is the language used to describe the characters actions – for example ‘trudging through the woods’. The combination of descriptions enriched by similes and metaphors allow the reader to create vivid images in their head drawing the reader into the story and holding their interest.
The Zodiac Traveller by Tompkins builds up slow at the beginning to allow readers to really get to know the characters. Once you know who is involved the story takes off in a ‘you can’t put it down’ way. Readers will be able to pick up this novel and disappear into the world Tompkins has created and travel to places unknown.
Pages: 490 | ISBN-10: 1456638467
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
Tags: adventure, adventure novel, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, dragon, ebook, fantasy, galaxy, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, quest, read, reader, reading, Rosemary K Tompkins, shapeshifter, space travel, story, The Zodiac Traveller, writer, writing, Zodiac
Being Their Protector
The Apprentus follows the chosen Virago as she trains in China to protect twin-gift Emi and Noah from evil forces. What was the inspiration for the setup to this exciting story?
Well if I am being honest the Gold family is my family. That’s right, There is a Michael, Misty, Makenna, Emi and Noah. There last name however, is Michael Bialys. Obviously it’s best to write what you know about and I know about these people quite a bit.
The entire concept of the book evolved when Misty and I Got pregnant with our 2nd daughter Emi and soon after Noah. Makenna was about 7 at the time. I knew that to newborn babies were gonna monopolise a lot of our time but I didn’t want Makenna to feel less loved or special that’s when I started writing a short story about their being their protector and it evolved form their.
Makenna is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind the characters development?
I took most of the inspiration for Makenna the character from my daughter Makenna. I wanted her to feel real to the readers especially to the readers her age I needed to voice her and make her very legitimate and believable and inspirational. As I was writing her character I would just observe her and voice her accordingly.
What were some themes that were important for you to focus on in this book?
I think the most important thing that I wanted to come through in the book is love of family and the strength it brings.
This is book two in your Chronicles of the Virago. What can readers expect in book three?
Great Question!! Book 3 is about 5 minutes away from being released and I am very excited about it all I can tell you is it’s going to be more action more characters more fun. And you won’t have much longer to wait especially because book 2 leaves on a major cliffhanger and we have to get that issue resolved.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: adventure, adventure novel, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Michael Bialys, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, teen fiction, The Chronicles of the Virago:: Book II The Apprentus, writer, writing
Set in the world of Perilisc, Jesse Teller returns to this world with another series sure to captivate readers. The Manhunters series starts off with Song, and tells two story lines that intertwine. Rayph Ivoryfist is an immortal magician that has his own personal demons to fight, but is bound by honor to protect the land and the boy he believes to be the next great ruler. When the prison he built is destroyed and all the evil had brought to justice is released he knew he needed help. Rayph than builds his own army of powerful beings, with his old friend Smear at his side. Parallel to the story of Ivoryfist preparing for battle is the story of Konnon, the father that wants a cure for his daughter’s paralysis. To help his daughter Bree, Konnon must work with his partner Glyss. Together the two of them have a reputation for being unstoppable and deadly. They live up to this reputation, knowing each other inside and out. The two pair’s separate missions will unavoidably end them up together in the town of Song, the question is, who is alive in the end?
Jesse Teller has a way with describing the setting that really makes you feel like you are there. The swamps that Rayph visits, you can almost feel the mud clinging to you, smell the decaying woods and animals used for sacrifices, and feel the tension that the people around the main characters create. The level of detail that goes into settings, also goes into the action. While this is great for really getting into things, those with a weak stomach for gore might not be pleased. Teller describes in detail the torture of some characters, and details the death of many. This level of detail may not appeal to all, but Teller can also detail the compassion and love between two characters just as well. The example of Konnon and his daughter Bree. There is no question about the devotion and love he feels for his daughter, it is relatable and pulls at the heart strings. A father’s undying love and willingness to do whatever he must to save her, no matter what the cost is to himself.
One of Teller’s greatest skills is relationships. Not romantic quest love relationships, but bonds between people and spirits. These bonds draw the readers in sometimes more than the story lines do because they are so powerful and relatable. As I read Song, I felt the bonds that form between Rayph and his army. The magic that makes it so they can all be connected is just a piece of the puzzle, they genuinely build a brotherhood and work as one. Konnon and Glyss while not blood brothers move as one unit together, they are bound and know each other so well there is no need for words. It is a great read for the relationship factor alone. If you enjoy studying and reading about human (or in this case non human) relationship Teller will not disappoint. Through his use of many magical creatures from humans, to fairies, to demons, all working together for a common goal the passion for survival and willingness to put all differences aside for is apparent. Perhaps it is a good lesson for modern society, put our differences aside and work together to defeat the evil looking to rip our world apart.
Pages: 319 | ASIN: B074GP13JC
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: action, adventure, adventure book, adventure novel, amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, author, battle, book, book review, books, brotherhood, captivating, dark fantasy, deadly, ebook, ebooks, evil, fantasy, fantasy book review, father, fiction, fighting, friendship, goodreads, honor, horror, jesse teller, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, literature, love, magic, manhunters, novel, perilisc, prison, publishing, puzzle, quest, read, reading, review, reviews, romance, song, stories, sword and sorcery, thriller, urban fantasy, war, wizard, writer, writing
Black Dragons Attack: A Nick Grant Adventure
Black Dragons Attack, the fourth installment in the Nick Grant Adventures series outdoes the high bar set by the previous adventures. This enthralling pre-World War II story features a superb cameo by American aviation hero Howard Hughes! Readers are transported to the nostalgic war era with the mind-blowing narrative by author Jamie Dodson. Nick Grant starts afresh as a Naval Aviation Cadet that leads to a chance encounter with Howard Hughes that changes the course of his life. Join Nick as he thwarts the Japanese plot to steal the famous Hughes H-1 racer along with his friends Nancy Tanaka and Leilani Porta for some edge of your seat entertainment.
Jamie Dodson has always delivered riveting story lines, perfect character development, amazing locales, and ultimately an exceptional climax – in short, each of Nick Grant’s adventures, be it Flying Boats & Spies, China Clipper, or Mission Shanghai or the latest offering Black Dragons Attack never fail to impress readers.
Set in 1936, Black Dragons Attack continues the Nick Grant saga as he believes his arch nemesis Toshio Miyazaki, is dead and starts afresh as a Cadet in the Naval Aviation Academy. It takes no less than a chance run in with the genius billionaire aviator and movie producer, Howard Hughes to lure Nick back into another deadly spy game.
The Black Dragons, working for the Japanese Intelligence Service, turn out to be secretly active and conspiring with a new partner, the Third Reich in California! As the Japanese hatch an elaborate plan to steal the Hughes H-1 racer to reverse engineer and build something even more advanced, US Naval Counterintelligence uncovers their activities. Nick is tasked with foiling the plans of the Japanese with the help of Nancy Tanaka and Leilani Porta.
As much as Nick impresses with his heroic show of patriotism and daredevilry, the Hughes H-1 steals the show with its sheer technological prowess and revolutionary functionalities that are years ahead of anything that existed in that era, precisely why the fascist regimes of Imperial Japanese and Nazis were so obsessed with it.
The setting of pre-world war II provides a poignant background wherein Jamie Dodson successfully manages to capture the mindset of people in a war torn country. Howard Hughes, albeit in a sort of guest appearance, manages to shine and awe the reader with his larger than life personality. The character sketches of Nancy, Leilani and Toshio are spot on and do justice to their role in the plot.
Overall, Black Dragons Attack, the fourth book in the Nick Grant adventure series is a pleasure to read.
Pages: 244 | ASIN: 1938667549
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
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The Slave Boy
The Slave Boy is the sixth installment of the Orfeo Saga and follows Cyrus as he lives his life in Kuragalu. Cyrus is feeling restless and bored as he lives his life without any foreboding danger lurking in the shadows. Even though there are thoughts of what life would be like married in a traditional Kassite way, he is eager to find an adventure and sets off to Babylon to find old friends and new lands. Here they land themselves in a familiar career path of merchants however a seemingly easy road into money is tarnished when they are captured and sold into slavery. Cyrus may escape but his new mission of protecting a member of the Royal family may prove to be his most difficult task yet. Meanwhile, Cyrus also has his eyes set on stopping a siege that could kill many innocent people. Life changing decisions will leave Cyrus in a position that will change his life forever.
The Slave Boy, written by Murray Lee Eiland, is a story of courage, passion and friendship. Prepared to be thrown into the world where slavery, Royal families and war mongering politicians will stop at nothing to take over power within their country and beyond.
Murray Lee Eiland has written this novel with a beautiful air of understanding and respect towards cultures within places such as Iran. I appreciated the context of history woven throughout the plot and how he easily fit the characters into the historical tones of the story. I also liked how the chapters were short and concise which left no room to ramble or over describe situations or people. Because of this, I found myself eagerly continuing the story and was always filled with excitement and anticipation at what may happen next.
The character progression of Balik was one that I thoroughly enjoyed. He begins the novel as a drunk- lost in the old time ways, desperately searching for a place in a world that no longer accepts the heroes of war. Cyrus saves him from himself and the cheap stench of wine and injects life and a sense of adventure into his old employer.
The Slave Boy explores both governments and Royal families which adds an element of politics throughout the deep throes of adventure. Further into the story, relationships with Royals offer benefits and power, however is this what the characters want or need? At times the novel almost felt like a James Bond style movie with spies, slaves and Kings mixing together to find out the deepest of secrets within the kingdoms.
I appreciated the historical note at the end of the novel, allowing the reader to have an understanding of what was real and what was made up. As it concludes the novel, it leaves the reader to consider and ponder on what life people may have had within these areas of the world.
I would recommend this to anybody who enjoys a novel loosely based on historical events, full of adventure and life changing lessons.
Pages: 238 | ASIN: B06WVFPGP3
Posted in Book Reviews, Five Stars
Tags: action, adventure, adventure novel, adventure story, amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, ancient, author, book, book review, books, civilization, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book review, fiction, fighting, goodreads, hero, historical fantasy, historical fiction, history, iran, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, literature, murray lee eiland, novel, publishing, reading, review, reviews, royal, stories, teen, the slave boy, thriller, war, war story, writing, YA, young adult
Good Guys Don’t Always Win
Sins of the Father is a non stop adventure novel following two detectives as they hunt down a dangerous drug kingpin who seeks revenge. What was the inspiration to the setup to this exciting novel?
This is actually the third installment in the Larkin and Colt series. As I was preparing to write the first book I established, just for myself, extensive backstories for the main characters, including their years as undercover ‘contractors’ for the government. Among the stories I created was the takedown of a notorious and supposedly untouchable drug kingpin. After I finished my second book, I found myself wondering what the possible long-term repercussions might be of some of Larkin and Colt’s past actions. The opening scene of a gang of assassins breaking into Larkin’s house popped into my head almost fully formed. From there, it was pretty much off to the races.
My favorite character was DEA Agent Scott Bowman, whose dry humor kept me smiling throughout. What themes did you want to capture while developing your characters?
I wanted to create a character who was dedicated to his job and trying to do the right thing, but who had been doing it for so long that he knows that achieving any kind of long-term solution is pretty much impossible. He’s a realist, and he knows that he’s pretty much rolling a rock up a hill, but he still refuses to give up hope. When he’s approached by Larkin, he sees a chance to maybe do a little bit of good, despite his knowledge that the good guys don’t always win, and the bad guys are incredibly hard to stop.
Sins of the Father is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a adventure, thriller, and action as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
I try to write the story I’d want to read. I don’t outline, but I pretty much have the whole plot worked out in my mind before I start. I have the major story points, but not necessarily all the fine details. I sort of let the characters tell me what happens next and where they want to go, as long as we’re always moving toward the outcome I have in mind. I try to let the story and the characters’ actions flow naturally, at the same time hoping to surprise the reader.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on a sequel to my science fiction adventure Pegasus, which is not a Larkin and Colt book. It’s entitled Intrepid, and where Pegasus was about a trip to the moon and back, this time they’re going to Mars. When they arrive, things go horribly wrong, and the crew has to figure out how to get their crippled ship back home before their air and food run out. It’s sort of Apollo 13 meets The Martian. It should be out sometime in the fall.
Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Amazon
“I was in my kitchen making breakfast when the three men broke in and tried to kill me…”
So begins the latest exciting episode in the adventures of David Larkin and his partner Samantha Colt.
Eight years ago, Larkin and Colt were part of a team that terminated notorious drug kingpin Francisco Salazar. Now Salazar’s son Ramon has grown up, taken over the family business and sworn his revenge upon them. Their only option is to follow the trail of drugs and bodies backwards, from Virginia to Miami to South America, to stop young Ramon before they become his latest victims.
Sins of the Father is loaded with the exciting action, wry humor and memorable characters that fans of Larkin and Colt have come to expect.
Posted in Interviews
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Protector of Thristas
Hart St. Martin takes us back to the lands of Garla and Thristas in Protector of Thristas, a novel that takes place fifteen years after the tumultuous One Day War. Rinli is the daughter of Korin and Lisen, and due to a prophecy created at her birth, she’s destined to be the Protector of the desert land of Thristas. While trying to guide Rinli on her path to becoming Protector, Lisen is faced with something far more challenging than ever before: she must do everything in her power to gain her teenage daughter’s long-lost sense of trust.
After becoming so invested in the Lisen of Solsta trilogy, I was thrilled to grab a copy of Protector of Thristas. There’s nothing I enjoy more than watching a fantasy world evolve over generations. Lisen and Korin have three children – Rinli, Nasera, and Insenlo – but Rinli is the only one who has a prophecy that she must fulfill.
Through highly emotional moments in the novel, the story definitely emulates how exhausting it is for the whole family when they are all separated. The story jumps between Avaret (the city where Lisen rules as Empir of Garla) and Thristas, where Rinli is required to stay for periods of time. The two lands have a very tense relationship, which forced Lisen to designate Rinli as the Protector of Thristas in an attempt to resolve these issues. As a result, Rinli and Korin must travel between the two lands several times a year.
As a sucker for romantic subplots, I loved seeing how fifteen years of marriage has impacted Korin and Lisen – due to the constant traveling on Korin’s end, they’ve grown even closer than they were in the first trilogy. Their bond even causes Korin to develop psychic-like powers, where he can sense when something bad is happening to Lisen or Rinli.
One of my favorite things about this novel is how Rinli has Lisen’s stubbornness and Korin’s perceptiveness, and her development throughout the novel kept the story captivating and fun. Something that separates her from her mother is that Rinli has an affinity for the desert land of Thristas, and her loyalty to Thristas is compounded by her close relationship with Madlen, her most trusted companion. She is especially resistant to the idea that she has her mother’s magic abilities, and this gets her into trouble at a few points in the novel.
Themes of forgiveness and trust pop up throughout the novel, highlighting the tense mother-daughter relationship between Lisen and Rinli. Hart weaves this tension throughout the entire plot, bringing the reader closer to these characters. Lisen can’t forgive herself for sentencing Rinli to her fate as the Protector of Thristas, while Rinli struggles to trust her mother. When Rinli discovers she may need her mother’s wisdom in order to understand her responsibility as a Protector, the two begin to develop a relationship.
Protector of Thristas is an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least, and it’s a breath of fresh air in a sea full of action-forward fantasy novels. As entrenched in fantasy as it is, this novel does a beautiful job of capturing raw human emotions of happiness, anger, sadness, anxiety, and fear, especially when dealing with challenging mother-daughter relationships and the connections between a parent and a child. The cliffhanger ending left me feeling some of those emotions myself, and I can’t wait to see if Hart will continue sharing more adventures from this world.
Pages: 452 | ASIN: B01E7NYLRI
Posted in Book Reviews, Four Stars
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