The Destroyer of Worlds is a riveting science fiction epic that keeps the reader on edge throughout the reading. Steven Seril has a creative mind, coupled with writing skills that are out of this world. The narration of events alone will get you hooked on the story from the beginning.
One of the most notable elements in Steven Seril’s writing is the detailed background provided for each character and scenarios before introducing the reader to the happenings. The reader will be given a short story about a particular character, which helps provide enough backstory for readers to get invested, or at least understand, each character. I found this fashion of writing to be uniquely intriguing as one gets to to become familiar with the characters before getting into the action. All characters, whether major or minor had a feature that made them distinct. Every character had a unique role and I was excited to see them in action.
The Destroyer of Worlds follows a story of warring sides, dragons, and dinosaurs. Both dragons and dinosaurs want to be in charge. It was exciting and thrilling to follow the conflict as the tension was high but the drama was subtle. One scene would have you support the dinosaurs only for the author to hit the reader with a plot twist that would have you change sides. Reading this book is a great experience especially for readers that enjoy mythological creatures and stories about cosmic life.
Some of my favorite characters in the book included Athena, Ain, Laurel, Loki, and Azure. I enjoyed these characters because of their well developed and layered personality; some were cunning, strong, wise, intentionally careless to bait others, or just funny. One other thing that stands out is how the author creates new tales while narrating old tales without confusing the reader. There are several instances where one can see the inclusion of a story within a story. This, along with the depth of the lore in this book, amazes me with its creativity and deft writing skill.
The Destroyer of Worlds is a rip-roaring science fiction adventure novel that is consistently entertaining, fun, and intriguing in surprising ways.
Pages: 578 | ASIN: B08NHGCV8B
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HEAVENLY follows a man who is given a second chance at life after he dies and comes back as another man. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I based the premise on an idea which begs this question: If you were to die unexpectedly, would you feel that you lived a satisfying life? I think people are pursuing their financial goals and personal goals every day but rarely do they stop and take the risks necessary to live a truly fulfilling life. Some of those risks include reaching out to other people. Without other people, it is not possible to live a full life. That is in my opinion, of course. It’s human connections and interactions that make this life worth living. We may not get a second chance like Peter does in the book so we better be prepared just in case we have to answer to a higher power about the lives we’ve lived here on Earth.
This is the ninth book that you’ve written. What were some things you’ve learned as an author that you’ve used in this book?
I learned that not everybody will relate in the same way to every single book I write but I also discovered that every book is unique. HEAVENLY says everything I ever wanted to say about life and the possibilities that await us when we die. I have no regrets about writing it nor do I have regrets about any book I’ve written. Each book I wrote had a purpose and a story to tell. Whether or not everyone relates to that story is another topic altogether. I hope other people can get something positive from the books as well. If they don’t, I can’t make any apologies. Everybody is different and I’ve learned to understand this fact.
Your characters, as usual, feel authentic. Were you able to relate to your characters while writing them?
Of course, I felt a connection to the characters in HEAVENLY, almost more so than in any other book I’ve written. I feel the characters I write so deeply and hope others can see that the central characters I write are full of passions and dreams. I want my books to have relatable characters first and foremost. That is the goal I strive for in each and every book. I see myself in both John and Peter in this particular novel.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on a film criticism book. I also do movie criticism on the side and I’m writing a book called “100 Movies I Love” which details my analysis of 100 movies I absolutely adore. It should be out by the end of the year. Movie fans, take note. Some classics and some modern day classics are discussed in great detail!
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The Significant is a dystopian tale of a society in which the few have it all but there are a large number of poor without nationality. Kailynn is born into this society and vehemently detests the rich and controlling Syndicate. However, in order to save her brother, she takes on a job as a Significant who interacts with Elites for a price. Her whole world changes when she is assigned to the mysterious Golden Elite and suddenly things become more complicated, but there is hope for a brighter future. If Kailynn survives. The story is fast-paced and will keep readers hooked from the first page as the characters are plunged into different twists and turns.
Author Kyra Anderson’s novel has an original plot and world-building despite taking on a lot of familiar themes such as dystopia ruled by the rich or increasing automation. Unlike most dystopian stories, The Significant does not have a near-apocalyptic theme and creates a more original universe than what many dystopian novels offer. Similarly, the idea that a controlling society is bad for everyone is explored in this book which makes it easy to empathize with many characters and get new perspectives.
The Significant has a unique take on a dysfunctional society in that it reflects a lot of modern immigration issues and sympathizes with displaced peoples. That issue features prominently in the book and makes connections to modern day issues. Similarly, in connection to the modern day, the book features many lead LGBTQIA+ relationships which are normalized in the novel. It is extraordinarily refreshing to read a book in which a lesbian couple features prominently and is not merely used for entertainment or to appeal to a male audience.
The plot and story itself is highly enjoyable. It provides a lot of detail and background that gives a clear idea as to how Tiao works and why their society is locked in the situation the book is set in. The characters are well-done and distinct, each having their own voice and personality that comes off the page, especially Kailynn and Isa although the reader does have to take some time to get to know Isa, just as Kailynn does. The action is vivid and heart-pounding and the quieter, more intimate moments will still have the reader hooked and enraptured by the tension. Fans of science-fiction must read The Significant!
Pages: 599 | ASIN: B01HSMVA1A
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The Penitent – Part 1 begins an epic fantasy series spanning three novels. Did you know how deep the story would go when you first started?
I wanted to write a series like this one for a long time now. When I first started planning The Immortality Wars I knew it would be at least one trilogy. It very quickly morphed into the idea of creating a trilogy of trilogies. I wanted to create a series of realities, in part, that the characters in the story would experience. So the tale is built around a thought experiment that is configured like a Russian doll. I later learned that a work containing nine related books is called an ennealogy. I felt I needed such an expansive framework to house the full length of this saga on a comfortable basis.
I enjoyed the relationship between Pall and John. What were some sources that informed the development of their relationship?
One of the sources informing the development of their relationship with one another is the story of Robin Hood and Little John. However, I wanted to develop their relationship in a different way than it is cast with Robin and Little John, especially in their being more independent of one another. Each has a unique set of skills, background, and way of life. Yet, they are fierce warriors in their own right. When I originally introduced them in the story, one was going to kill the other. Curiously, they both immediately rebelled at this thought.
Was there anything personal, or taken from your own life, and placed in the story?
There is a sense of loss and of tragedy that imbues the story, as well as a love of nature and a deep sense of love of family that are all taken from my own life. Equally so, is my experience of and commitment to God that permeates Pall’s story. For example, there is a miraculous healing of Captain Joseph Martains. It is taken from a real-life experience I had in 1973. A professor was brought back to life as a result of a terrible fall he had from a roughly made staging placed against his house. He fell headfirst onto his cement driveway. No one expected him to live. However, God had other plans than death for the professor at that point in his life.
What has been the most surprising feedback you’ve received from readers about your series?
I am surprised at the reaction some readers have experienced from the intensity of the story, particularly the paranormal and combat scenes. These points in the story are not meant to be moments of gratuitous violence or unspeakable horror alone. They are set within the plot for a variety of reasons some of which would become spoilers if I explained why they are occurring there. Hopefully, I’ve written a tale that makes readers intrigued, on edge, and looking forward to what happens on every page that they read.
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Heavenly is a fascinating and stirring contemporary fiction novel that explores the themes of second chances, priorities, love and hope. It follows the remarkable journey of John, a man who is suddenly killed and, instead of being admitted to heaven he is given a second chance at life by returning to earth as another man, Peter.
Duffy gives a very detailed description of John’s physical appearance, and later, Peter’s physical appearance. The effect of this is twofold. Firstly, the reader gets a feeling for the characters and the characters begin to come alive. Secondly, the reader begins to see how much value John, and later Peter, place on physical appearance – both themselves, but also in those that they attempt to form relationships with. Set in the present day in various cities in the U.S., the setting is described, but not in great detail. It does seem authentic but doesn’t give the reader the feeling of being immersed in the setting.
Although the story opens with John, there are really two main characters in this contemplative story, Peter and Tara. Both of these characters are fairly well developed. Peter, a middle-aged man appears to be overly interested in how women look and is constantly concerned about money. Although he has been given a second chance at life, he doesn’t know this. Tara is on a very different journey, although her life also focuses on money. Both characters yearn for love, this is evident in their dialogue with other characters, with each other, and their inner dialogues. Both characters also switch between having hope and feeling hopeless. There are also a number of smaller, but equally intriguing characters, whom often offer sage advice to the main characters.
Heavenly is a well-structured literary fiction novel that I found to be easy to follow. Although John and Peter are similar, it is clear from the structure which character is speaking. The structure follows Peter’s life as he ages, and the reader continually asks themselves – is he going to use his second chance wisely?
Heavenly is an intelligent and poignant novel exploring themes of hope, love and second chances in refreshing and satisfying ways.
Pages: 234 | ASIN: B08Z2ZG5SR
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Man, Kind follows two women on a headlong and perilous journey that may decide the fate of humanity. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I’ve always been fascinated with post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction. It’s both fun and terrifying to imagine a demolished world where there are little resources left and even fewer people to share them with. However, the genre as a whole was beginning to feel a little stale for me. The question always is, “How do I get rid of most of the people on Earth?” and the answer has almost always been nuclear war, global pandemics, or zombie outbreaks. But why not the real, much more imminent threat of climate change? And why must a mysterious, indestructible male savior always lead the way in these tales? I knew there had to be a more interesting, compelling, and grounded way to approach the apocalypse, and that’s what I set out to do when writing “Man, Kind”.
Juno was an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?
Juno, the thirteen year old protagonist of “Man, Kind”, was meant to experience the post-climate-changed world alongside the reader. From the very first pages you discover that Juno had just been abandoned by her mother and now has to navigate this new, frightening, and violent world on her own. You both have questions, and you both want answers, and you get to embark on her epic journey together.
One of my favorite traits of Juno’s is that she’s also relentlessly curious. Whether she’s exploring an abandoned building, interacting with dubious characters, or simply taking a break to write down her own thoughts in a journal, you’re always right there with her; feeling what she’s feeling, wondering what she’s wondering, and smiling when she’s smiling.
What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?
Climate change is the primary one. Mainly, how does humanity live on after mother nature has exacted her revenge? It’s true that human pollution not only affects the weather, but also our own bodies at the cellular level. Plastics, fossil fuels, greed, they all play a part in our current world as well as “Man, Kind’s” future one. So how do we cope with such truths? And what can we do about it now?
The other themes I wanted to cover were grief and kindness; the “kind” of “Man, Kind”. Many, if not all, of the characters in this story are grey characters. They’ve all suffered losses, they all have their own motives, and not one of them fully trusts the other. I really wanted to drive home the question, “Will kindness still play a role in the wasteland?”
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am currently on the home stretch of an illustrated short story compilation called “Destination Earth”. Each story deals with existential questions we must ask ourselves throughout our lives, but told through weird, dark, and often humorous points of view. Available fall of this year.
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Skylar Robbins has been preparing for this for months. Daniel made a promise to be her partner in the next ACE adventure, and she believes he meant what he said. As part of the elite group of students who take part in the Accelerated Courses and Experiments program, Skylar and Daniel are no strangers to adventure and mystery. The only mystery right now, however, is how Hannah Hilton made it into the program and why Daniel seems to have forgotten that Skylar exists. What promised to be a fantastic summer is now looking like a huge disappointment. Will the trip to Koma Island turn things around for Skylar or will it be more than they all bargained for?
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol, by Carrie Cross, is centered around young Skylar Robbins–gifted and talented and a member of ACE. With all the angst and stresses of late middle and early high school years, she is the perfect protagonist for today’s young readers. It is refreshing to still see writers placing an intelligent and forward-thinking female lead in their stories, and Skylar rivals and surpasses the budding detectives many of us are used to–Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. Kudos to Cross for putting motivated and capable young women at the forefront of her series. Our middle school readers need to see this more regularly.
Mysteries need to pop. They need to move quickly and hold the reader’s interest, especially when younger readers are the group toward which a series is aimed. Cross is a master at this. Skylar thinks quickly on her feet, and her friendship with Alexa provides a nice sounding board for her ideas. There lies within Cross’s work an amazing little cast of characters that provides readers with plenty of opportunities to visualize a vast array of personality types. It’s nice to see such a well-drawn cast of characters–all having wonderful quirks and offering their own contributions to Skylar’s role in the story.
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol, by Carrie Cross is a rip-roaring young adult adventure/romance story that will keep readers on their toes. Centered around current technology and full of references younger readers will appreciate, this book has everything needed to engage readers and keep them coming back for more from Skylar and her gifted cohort.
Pages: 237 | ASIN: B08P5VXBQ5
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Set in early twentieth-century New York, A Place to Hide by David Salner narrates the story of Bill Waite, a fugitive. He escapes from Montana’s merciless boss and arrives in New York in the hope of starting a new chapter in life. There he discovers a friend and confidant in Virgil Shulman, who helps him secure a job.
Shulman is the first-ever man of Jewish descent that Waite meets, and he learns a great deal about the Yiddish culture, history, and religion. While trying to help a child, Waite falls in love with her mother, and finally finds happiness in life after years of suffering. But his peace doesn’t last long as he comes into the public eye via newspaper coverage after saving someone’s life. To know how he manages to dodge these circumstances and find the light at the end of the tunnel, you have to dive into this gripping novel.
A Place to Hide has an intriguing narrative that delves into a fugitive’s psyche and allows us to explore his side of the story. The author skillfully conveys thought-provoking messages through this work while keeping the readers glued to the pages. Waite is wholeheartedly embraced by the new culture that he finds himself in, and he learns to celebrate the differences among religions, rather than having a biased outlook on life. While working on the tunnel-making project, the tremendously risky job ties the workers in a single thread, where nation, race, or religion become irrelevant. They share a camaraderie untainted by the worldly evils that attempt to discriminate and differentiate one human from another.
Throughout this action-packed novel, I was surprised by the consistently high level of intrigue throughout the novel, possibly due to the authentic and emotive characters. This riveting historical fiction story offers insight into the lives of people during the 1920s, the prevalent societal issues and morality, bound together with suspense and a touch of humor.
The powerful storytelling, the lucid language, the carefully crafted plot, the thrilling action, and the element of suspense are some of the key aspects that make this book a must-read. A Place to Hide is an emotionally resonant and stimulating story that is as exciting as it is enlightening.
Pages: 216 | ASIN: B08TWGQP43
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