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The Eighth: Intro to The Alt-World Chronicles

The Eighth: Intro to The Alt-World Chronicles by [Somerville, Sunshine]

Written by Sunshine Somerville, The Eighth is a gripping, yet short, introduction to her paranormal fantasy series The Alt-World Chronicles.

The tale begins with Esme sitting at a bar delivering this hard hitting opening line, “Hi, I’m Esme and I’m going to die tonight”. Esme is the Order’s current alterni and is preparing to be called to battle. Esme recalls a nightmarish battle filled with monsters and demons, whilst drinking to calm her nerves.

The recollection of the battle is vivid and gripping. I felt like the opening was a good reflection of how the rest of the story unfolds. The tension and action throughout the book is punctuated with short, sharp sentences. There is absolutely no time to waste in this short book and the author utilizes every word to great effect. With that said, I felt like the sheer amount of characters and creatures in the second chapter made things a little hard to follow.

We’re introduced to King Owen and some of his soldiers. A battle ensues that is filled with graphic descriptions of demonic shrieks, winged beasts and beheaded elves. All described in a way that puts the action first and let’s you fill in the rest.

The Eighth is well written and grabbed my attention from the first line. Esme’s character is intriguing and begs to be explored further. As she sits at the bar her fear and resignation is palpable. With the introduction of yet another unique and expertly developed character like King Owen this book is the perfect launching point for any new fans to the series. Overall, an excellent introduction to a series that left me wanting more.

Pages: 23 | ASIN: B07QNLPZJY

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Alterni

Alterni (The Alt-World Chronicles Book 1) by [Somerville, Sunshine]

Alterni follows Esme who finds herself in a world with different paranormal races and a secret order; all under the reign of a King. As an Alterni, Esme must join the King and use her powers to fight the Malevolenci demons from other worlds. Can Esme learn to wield her powers in time to save the world?

Alterni by Sunshine Somerville creates a situation where you’ll find yourself deeply connected to the characters because of how real the characters react to the ever present danger to their world. If you love thrilling adventures with beautiful depictions of an interesting world, this is the story for you. Especially if you want to be on the edge of your seat.

When I sat down to read this book, I was quite surprised. It’s not often that you love the experience of reading a book. With this beautifully descriptive world and intriguing cast of characters, it was hard to resist being sucked into the world. I found myself staying up way past my bed time to finish this story.

The characters were all multilayered and continued to develop as the story progressed. Complicated backgrounds allowed me to connect with the characters. Sunshine Somerville is able to create characters with the kind of depth it takes other authors a whole series to achieve. This book explores themes such as family, leadership, responsibility and loss; experienced through not only Esme, but also King Owen.

This book does not rely on big plot twists to keep you interested; although there is a big one that creeps up on you. The book is constantly engaging it’s characters in some rousing bit of mystery, suspense, or action involving one of many paranormal races inhabiting this strange world that Esme finds herself in. I always look for books that make me want to see what the characters do next. And when the world is invaded by inter-dimensional demons from another space and time, there is no shortage of nail biting action. One thing that makes me suspend disbelief when it comes to magical powers, is the authors ability to ground it in reality.  I enjoyed watching Esme learn, understand, and use her Alterni powers.

This is book 1 in the Alt-World Chronicles and when I finished this book, I found that I was so glad there was a second book to continue this story. I enjoyed reading about the subtle differences that might exist in other realities. Overall, I loved this read, it was entertaining to say the least. I recommend you read this story if you’re looking for something innovative and gripping.

Pages: 282 | ASIN: B075MDGSPP

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The Poet Heroic

The Poet Heroic4 StarsThe Poet Heroic is a tale of two brothers (Vale and Cruelthor) who are destined to lead the world, known as the Dominion, but fall to very different outcomes because of their beliefs. Both brothers, sons of the Lord High Commander, are trained and raised to be leaders in the same household. Both brothers develop mutant abilities (Vale-telepathic and Cruelthor-superhuman strength), but only one becomes the world’s leader after their father dies. Vale doesn’t care about the power, but is worried about keeping Cruelthor in check. Vale’s fear are realized when Cruelthor assumes power. In no time at all, he banishes his nice, but potential threat to the throne, brother and begins hoarding all the power to himself.

Disheartened and with only a bag of possessions, Vale joins a group of rebels fighting the Dominion. With this group, Vale learns the dark secrets of his father deliberately blocked from his telepathic son. With this group, Vale turns from a book-loving student into a freedom fighter. Known as Beathabane, the Tyrant Twin.

The Poet Heroic is pretty entertaining for a fantasy book. It diverges from the well-trodden plot of good brother vs bad brother with an interesting assortment of plot lines that put the characters in conflicting situations. For example, the author introduces the lead character early as a fully-developed hero, Beathabane, but provides indirect clues that show more going on beneath the surface. The author then shows how and why Beathabane develops from a book-loving kid into freedom fighter, ultimately giving him two conflicting goals: find his family and save the world from his ruling family. Each chapter provides small insights into the characters past that impact their present. The drawback to all of this is the loss of depth. It took me a while to get invested in the story and characters because of the quick pace and interconnected plot. The book rather conveniently moves forward to the father’s death (ensuring the rise of the lead villain) and Cruelthor’s quick assumption of power. Readers don’t get to see enough of Cruelthor’s character to prevent him from being a flat character. The opposite is true of Vale. As the book continues, more of Vale’s character giving him a depth I’ve rarely seen in other novels.

The author does a great job at teasing the reader with hints of a back story in the introduction, but these hints don’t become concrete points of reference. For example, after the introduction the book shifts into the past without notice of how far back in time they have gone. Has the Lord High Commander been sick for a long time? Is Vale’s world a tyranny, monarchy, or something else? Why can’t Vale be a leader too? Does this take place in our world or a different time?

That being said, for a short story, The Poet Heroic is a fascinating read. It juggles multiple intersecting plot lines creating a lot of tension that is sure to pull in any fan of fantasy novels.

Pages: 82 | ISBN: 1522826424

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