Fantasy

The Felix Chronicles by: R.T. Lowe

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Reeling from a terrible accident that claimed the lives of his parents, Felix arrives at Portland College hoping only to survive the experience. In time, however, his reality star roommate shows him there is more to higher education than just classes, shared bathrooms and bad dorm food, and Felix gradually dares to believe he can put his past behind him. But a fateful storm looms on the horizon: In the nearby woods, two hikers become the latest victims in a series of gruesome murders; a disfigured giant embarks on a vicious cross-country rampage, killing teenagers who fail his ‘test’; and an ancient society of assassins tasked with eradicating the wielders of a mysterious source of power awakens after a long silence. Only one man–the school’s groundskeeper–knows that the seemingly unrelated events are connected, and that an eighteen-year-old boy stands in the center of the storm.

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My Review

Felix enters his first year at Portland College like any other 18 year old, as a star player on the football team, dorm mates with Alison, his best friend and with his new reality star roommate, Lucas. However, being the the soul survivor of a house fire that killed his parents, having hallucinations of people trying to kill him and being able to move things with his mind makes him anything, but normal.

As Felix’s freshmen year begins to unfold we begin to understand several different components are going to come into play. A serial-killer called “Faceman,” is running up and down the the west coast abducting 18 year old’s and then shooting them in the face. In a local forest near Portland College, hikers and hunters are disappearing at an alarming rate and the corporate monguel, Lofton, seems to have more to do with it than we think.

This book is what I would call a cross between the Percy Jackson series and Harry Potter. While the story may be familiar, the voice is new. Being a new adult novel squarely places it out of the juvenile range with it’s language and some of its more mature content. While the new situations are humorous, I can’t help but be nostalgic for the reflection of innocence from the age we all believed in magic. *Sigh!* That is not to say this story is any less. NO! The characters then take on a new life-like quality making the story that much more entertaining.

As the story continued to unfold, new story lines were introduced that kept me guessing until the very last page. Hell, I’m still questioning!? This was an aspect of this book that I loved. It kept me on my toes. And I’m positive the “Felix Chronicles: Year Two” will not only do the same, but blow me away. I absolutely cannot wait for the second book in this series! Prepared to be entertained to the max!

-JL

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First Time Novelist Publishes Epic Fantasy Novel

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Knowing the future can save her city – but not her heart.

Fifteen-year-old Clio should have never been the Oracle of Sheehan. That power is passed from mother to eldest daughter, and Clio is the youngest of four sisters. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king’s adviser, Clio is left all alone and heir to a power she never wanted and doesn’t understand.

Hunted by Mannix, Clio seeks refuge in a foreign city where oracles are absolutely forbidden. If she’s found out, she will be sacrificed atop a great pyramid.

Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the growing feelings between them, Clio knows that if he finds out what she really is, he won’t hesitate to kill her.

Clio tries to hide her budding powers, longing only to be a normal girl and fall in love, but the visions she has of Mannix bringing a barbarian army into Sheehan torture her conscience. She alone has the strength and foresight to stop him, but only if she can embrace her destiny and sacrifice everything.

 

About the Author:

Here are five quick things about me:

  1. I’m just starting out so I’m not “the best-selling author” of anything, but…
  2. I did once stand in line to meet Joss Whedon at a comic book signing when I was in middle school and got him to autograph a Buffy the Vampire Slayer poster for me.
  3. I was the flute section leader in my high school’s marching band.
  4. I recently graduated from Princeton University with a lot of people who are a lot smarter than I am.
  5. I’m love Jane Austen so much I’ve taken multiple classes on her books.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Website

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Interview with the Author

Emily Wibberley

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

Well, first I would say I realized I had a rather serious YA addiction. When I realized I wanted to write a novel, I knew it had to be YA. The specifics for Sacrificed were inspired by Cassandra from Greek mythology. I kept coming across her in a variety of different sources, and each time I was yearning for her to have more agency. Cassandra is a beautifully tragic figure, and I liked that, but I also wondered what it would be like if a young girl not only inherited prophetic powers but also could actually kick some butt in the process.

How much research did you have to do during the process of writing this book?

Sacrificed takes place in a fantastical world, so I was able to take some liberties with my world-building. That said, I drew inspiration from ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, which required a lot of research on Aztec and Mayan cultures.

When you aren’t writing, what books do you like to read?

Basically anything. I can’t function if I don’t get my hands on a book during the day. Obviously, there’s a ton of YA on my shelves, but I also love to read more “adult” things like A Game of Thrones and Cormac McCarthy novels.

If someone came up to you and asked for one tip on how to become a successful author, what would you say to them?

Being successful at writing involves more than just writing—it’s a business as well. Yes, you have to write everyday, but you also have to market your books. Nowadays, you can’t just be an author; you have to be an authorprenuer.

What’s the worst thing anyone has said about your writing?

“I loved the action. You write like a guy.” My dad said that. He meant it as a compliment.

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My Review

Clio is the youngest of four and the daughter to the Oracle of Sheehan. When a female child of the oracle reaches 16 she then becomes a vessel for the Oracle to use to complete her work. However, to Clio it seems being a vessel also includes becoming cold and inhuman. When Ali, the second youngest, turns 16 Clio begs her mother not to take her sister from her, but unfortunately no one can stop the Oracle.

Loosing Ali, Clio feels starts to feel isolated and she runs to last person she trusts, her childhood friend and Prince of Sheehan, Derik. Meeting him outside the palace, she tells him about her mother and sisters treatment of her and falls asleep with him in a tree.

While asleep, she dreams her mother and two eldest sisters are murdered in their beds and the youngest, Ali, is kidnapped and taken away by men in red capes. Woken by the nightmare, she describes her strange dream to Derik before being interrupted by Mannix, the King’s adviser, searching for the Prince. Wary of Mannix, Derik keeps Clio’s presence a secret and climbs down to address Mannix when he is told his father, the King of Sheehan, has been murdered by the Oracle and her Vessels. Mannix continues saying he has had them killed and the youngest sent to be sacrificed in Morek. Derik makes plans to assume the throne, but learns before his father’s death the King directed Mannix to obtain the throne as Regent King until he feels Derik is fit to rule. This effectively leaves Mannix as the ruler of Sheehan until he decides otherwise.

Hearing all of this, Clio begins to question her family while grieving the loss of her friend’s loss. However, in order to save her sister, she must leave for Morek.

I know it sounds like I’ve given you the entire story, but I haven’t. I promise. This book is just that good!

“Scarafice: The Last Oracle” is very imaginative and intricately woven story. It includes aspects of mystery, magic, romance and fantasy. These elements are put together in an entertaining and magnificent whirl-wind, leaving me to crave more.

To start, the characters in this book grab me right away. Clio begging her mother to spare her sister and only friend, Ali, and losing her despite her effort was a very touching opening to this book.

What is more stunning is the care Emily Wibberley took with plot construction. The impressive amount of research done to bring details into the story and develop the main characters brought this fantastical story to life. As a person who reads new authors, I truly appreciate the thought and effort put into creating this wonderful book.

My only disappointment was Chapter 30 when Clio gets lost watching Riece fight off Manix’s guards. It was wonderful watching the powerful and confident Clio come into her own and embrace her new role as Oracle for the people of Sheehan and yet in this scene she is depicted as a love struck ogling teenager. It leaves me perplexed? What happened to the strong and fearless Clio I know?

The action and adventure in this book is excruciatingly good! I couldn’t look away from its pages and I was constantly finding myself saying “just one more chapter…” Needless to say nothing else was completed the week I took to finish this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone in the mood for a new YA fantasy.

-JL

Penny Greenhorn’s HARBINGER is a Home Run!

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Destined to break an age-old curse, Claire Buchanan Duke is plunged into danger, and there’s only one person capable of saving her. Soon she finds herself entwined with the black sheep of the blood-drinking community, an ill-tempered assassin with little interest in protecting her. Can Claire escape her fate?

Summary (as on Goodreads):

Claire Buchanan Duke has a hankering for blood, but she’s different from those cursed creatures that drink it. Unsure of what she is or where she comes from, Claire tries to get by the best she can. But the visions don’t help, and her latest is the worst yet—a picture of her death. Destined to break an age-old curse, Claire is plunged into danger, and there’s only one person capable of saving her. Soon she finds herself entwined with the black sheep of the blood-drinking community, an ill-tempered assassin with little interest in protecting her. Can Claire escape her fate?
An urban fantasy with a twist of Celtic myth and romance, Harbinger is a stand-alone novel set in a world of the Cursed and Chimera.

AMAZON  |  SMASHWORDS

About the Author:

Penny Greenhorn sleeps by day and writes by night. She’s like an owl, no, a superhero! She even has a secret identity, concealing herself behind a pen name. Yup, totally a superhero. Minus the powers… and spandex, she never wears spandex. She doesn’t really save anyone either. Okay, maybe she’s more of an owl. Owls are cool.
Check out Penny’s work: the Empath Series, the Fiona Frost Trilogy, and her stand-alone urban fantasy, Harbinger.

**Adelaide Confused is the first book of my Empath series.  It is free online, as is Fledge, the first novel in my teen science fiction trilogy.

They can be found here:  AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

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Interview with the Author
Penny Greenhorn:

  • What kinds of books do you like to read?
Definitely genre fiction.  Science fiction/fantasy, especially urban fantasy.  Right now I’m finishing up the last book of Kim Harrison’s Hollow Series and I’m pretty bummed about it.  It’s the end of an era.  😦
  • Is this your first work in fiction? and/or what other books have you written or are planning to write in fiction?
I’m currently working on the third book of my Adelaide Series.  It’s about a grumpy empath that lives on an island.  Also, I have a teen science fiction trilogy which is centered around Fiona Frost, a girl from a dusty faraway planet.
  • What advice is invaluable to a beginning author?
Stephen King said you should write a book each season, taking no longer than 3-4 months.  Therefore if you procrastinate, Stephen King will be mad at you.  Don’t procrastinate.
  • What is your biggest challenge with writing?
 Procrastination.
Thank you Penny for the short and sweet interview and sharing your wonderful work with me!
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My Review

Claire Buchanan is an anomaly in the in the cursed world. She displays abnormal strength, heightened smell and sight, craves the taste of blood, but surprisingly doesn’t need it to survive. Duncan, a half-cursed man, takes special interest in Claire and begins providing her with his blood. When he is called away by his Curse-Maker, he entrusts Claire’s well-being to Emile, the presiding Sealed of Harbinger.

Meanwhile, Claire’s abnormalities reach new heights as she begins having visions of the past and future, and ultimately foresees her death. Using her vision, she fends off an attack from a half-cursed and finds her frenemy, Veronica, has broken into her apartment begging for her help. Ultimately the two both need the same person. Emile. After creating a bit of trouble, Claire meets Emile and describes her attacks. He takes special interest and concludes her situation may be more than just a random occurrence and refers her to Arthur, a half-cursed with a chip on his shoulder. The mystery behind the attacks, the disappearance of Duncan and Claire’s family tree begin to unfold.

THIS BOOK IS AMAZING! Penny Greenhorn has taken what I had anticipated to be just another vampire novel and has made it unique and entertaining. Each character gives life and unique look into the world of paranormal blood sucking novels!

The story is told exclusively from Claire’s point of view. For me, first person can make a book flat and lacking in range, but the supernatural elements create an entirely different depth bringing thousands of years into one action filled story. It reminds me of the intricacies of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, except Penny Greenhorn does this in one book as opposed to Rowling’s series of seven.

While the plot was griping, the pacing and momentum of the story falter minutely in chapters 11 and 12 with Arthur’s interrogation of Claire and the third attack. In this part of the book the attack scene is superfluous and our introduction to Arthur was too long to have not warranted any new information. However, this scene being our first experience of Arthur was crucial to the development of his character. I would not have had the same love for Arthur if we met him first at Duncan’s apartment. So in my opinion, I’ll take the interrogation and leave the third attack.

Arthur and Claire are a pair of well developed characters and provide a refreshing and unique personalities. Claire is a stubborn, quick witted loner and Arthur is an equally stubborn and sarcastic independent Half-Cursed. Together they make a hilarious duo as they explore an entirely new world filled with goddesses and the chimera while they decipher the origin of Claire’s attacks.

While a couple of chapters may have lacked over all it was very enjoyable read. The characters are provided enough back story to be believable and sufficiently sate my need for explanation and progression in the plot. I was very impressed with Ms. Greenhorn’s first book and look forward to watching her writing career develop.