Blog Archives

Hungry Monster Book Awards: November 2016

The Hungry Monster Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and The Hungry Monster is proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Gold Book AwardGold Award Winner

Bean Takes a Walk by Ann Bevans & Matthew Ethan Gray

Silver Book AwardSilver Award Winners

Mother Athina by Danny Estes

Game Over by Derek Eddington

Beyond Cloud Nine by Greg Spry

The Second Sphere by Peter Banks

Seed of Treachery by C.A. MacLean

Wolves Among Sheep by Steven Pajak

Chaste: A Tale From Perilisc by Jesse Teller

The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana by Katlynn Brooke

“When I look at a book, I see the history of books, old tomes with sacred knowledge. The authorities that controlled the books controlled the people. Books brought the old world to order. My books are how I bring my life and my thoughts to order, the only lasting way I can see to impart wisdom and ask questions.” – Jesse Teller author of Chaste

Visit the Hungry Monster Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

Forgotten Laws of the Universe

Katlynn Brooke Author Interview

Katlynn Brooke Author Interview

The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana is book two in the Ialana series and picks up right where book the first one left off. What was your inspiration for the setup of this story and how did that help you create the ending?

In the setup for the second book, I wanted to bring in two very diverse, but related, elements to play off each other. The first one was the continuation of the training of the Six in elemental command, and the advanced use of crystals. The second was the power struggle for control of Ialana by the ruling classes.

I wanted to further illustrate how the forgotten laws of the universe, otherwise known as “magic”, can be used for opposite ends. When someone understands fully how the universe works, that actions always have consequences, and what those consequences may be, then they will not abuse this knowledge to gain personal power over others. To do this knowingly would feel insane to them. On the other hand, when someone learns only how to manipulate power for his or her own purposes, without understanding the consequences, then they will always suffer the inevitable consequences. This, I felt, produced a satisfactory ending, as the natural laws of the universe came into play.

The Six go through a thrilling and perilous journey to make it home while avoiding a shape shifting king. Is there any moral or idea that you hope readers take away from the story?

The perils the Six faced were the results, or consequences, of the misuse of power by others. It is the same in the real world, the one we inhabit. The monstrous creatures the Six encountered could be seen by us as disease, poverty, ignorance, and despair—the consequences of misunderstanding or ignorance of the laws of the universe. It is also known in this world as Karma. It doesn’t have to be personal to one to experience consequences of others’ actions and their misuse of power. It affects everyone at some point, but I also wanted to stress that when one is willing to learn, then one can find protection in knowledge, create a different reality for themselves, and avoid needless suffering.

Just like in book one, the characters are all well developed. What were some of the trials that you felt were important to highlight the characters development?

The Buddhists believe that suffering produces growth. For me, it seems unnecessary when one understands how to use the laws of the universe correctly, but in many instances, suffering works, and the trials the Six went through all contributed to more understanding about themselves. For example, in the first book, it was difficult for them to work together as a team. They did not understand their goal, their past, or about the nature of reality. Once they went through different trials together, they learned how to work as a team, understanding what their common goal was.

Another thing that occurs to me, is that one appreciates knowledge so much more when it has not come easily, and, it does make the books so much more entertaining!

What is the next story that you’re writing and when will it be published?

The next one is already published. It is the third in the series, The Six and Anwyn of Ialana. This book continues with the adventures of the Six, only with some exciting new characters, and an old enemy that resurfaces, but in a more frightening form. The difficulties for the Six in this book ramp up in tandem with their abilities and responsibilities. With great power often comes even greater responsibility, and this book will not disappoint.

I am working on a fourth in the series, no title as yet, but this one promises to be the best one so far. I have learned much from the first three books, and I also wanted to take the Six in a new direction and bring in problems they had not faced before. This book has a whole new feel to it, but it does retain the elements of mystery and adventure that my readers have enjoyed, while keeping the characters intact, and introducing even more challenges for them.

While this book is still in the early stages, it should be published sometime in 2017. My website and Facebook page will keep readers updated.

The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana is now in the production stages of audio book narration by the same talented narrator, Jeff Hays, who narrated the first book. I intend to release all books of the series in audio, as well as ebook and print, in 2017.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In a seamless continuation of the first book in the series, “The Six and the Crystals of Ialana”, the six healers find themselves caught in the midst of a power struggle between the competing rulers of Ialana. Unable to complete their healing mission, to heal mutants who were genetically altered by crystal manipulation, they flee the Galonese warlord, Ortzi, and attempt a dangerous journey back to their homes in northern Ialana. Trapped by malevolent creatures, hunted by a monster who seeks them for reasons of its own, and on the run from a king and a conniving shape-shifter, there seems to be no place of safety for them. Will they find the mysterious abode of the Gardeners? Who are the Gardeners, and what is their purpose for the Six? Will The Six be able to find Queen Catrin, who sets off on a quest of her own, or will Catrin run afoul of her husband, King Brenin, before she can find The Six? In The Gardeners of Ialana, the Six explore the mysteries of healing, elemental command, and through many more trials, learn their true purpose in life.

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The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana

The Six and the Gardeners of Ialana (The Ialana Series Book 2) by [Brooke, Katlynn]4 StarsBook two of the Ialana series by Kaitlynn Brooke picks up right where book one, The Six and the Crystals of Ialana, left off.  Because of this, it’s essential to have read the first book to understand the previous experiences of the six healers, and this review cannot avoid mild spoilers for book one.

Jarah, Tristan, Kex, Djana, Teagan and Adain take some time to rest and regroup. With the help of their friends, they head to the kingdom of Galon to continue healing the animalistic Trueni return to human forms. There are other survivors of the disaster and the remnants of Armafalus’ leadership vie for control. Blaidd is rescued by a beautiful woman named Branwyn who takes him under her wing to help rebuild the city.

When the Six get to Galon, they start their work. As they begin to heal the Trueni there, they gain the attention of a warlord as well as a shapeshifter and are forced to flee. With the help of their mentor Irusan, they run for home, hoping to find their families. To do so, they must journey through territory filled with dangerous, mutated creatures. Irusan has told them to find the Gardeners, who will aid and teach them. They also have an unknown ally—Queen Catrin of Galon—who is on a quest to find them before her husband does.

I enjoyed the first book and was happy to read the second. Katlynn Brooke delivers more exciting adventure for the Six. With Armafalus’ grip on power shattered, leadership and domination are up for grabs, and the scramble for political control is on. Several factions believe if they can find the Six, their abilities to use the crystals will turn the tide in their favor. It’s quite realistic, and the manipulative struggle for power on both sides is well done. When the Six find the Gardeners, their skills and understanding of both crystal and elemental power deepens, and helps them understand their place and role in this multi-layered world.

There are a lot of characters to follow, but most of them are so fleshed-out as individuals that it’s not difficult to remember who is who. When it comes to the healers, Jarah does most of the talking for the group, but I missed experiencing the story through the perspective of different characters, like Djana, Tristan, and Kex. Blaidd continues to be both a strong character and a catalyst for change, and while I know he’s a betrayer at heart, I couldn’t help feeling bad for him.

The end of this book is tense, action-packed and exciting as the forces of Anfawl, Galon, and the Six crash together in an inevitable conflict. The author delivers more twists and surprises that don’t disappoint and plants the seeds for book three. This series is shaping up to be an engaging high fantasy adventure that’s perfect for teen readers while being enjoyable for adults as well. I’d recommend this series for fantasy readers of any age.

Pages: 205 | ASIN: B00N42SCDS

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