BY DUSTIN B FISHER I sat on this book for a while as, although the pace picks up towards the middle and the characterization of the hero deepens, the opening is slow, and the female characters are a little problematically portrayed (more on that later). Realm of Kings follows DT who discovers he and his friends have superpowers and are called to save the Realm of Kings. The writing style shows promise. I know some reviewers have mentioned that there’s too much dialogue and not enough description, but I enjoyed the dialogue. It felt natural and moved the plot forwards. I thought DT was a complex and interesting character with some challenging flaws. However, some of the female characters seem to be stereotypically sexual in their demeanor, particularly in the opening. I would have liked a little more variation with their personalities. Overall, I would recommend Realm of Kings to those who enjoy complex worldbuilding and layered protagonists.
Nikky Lee is a multi award-winning author of science fiction and fantasy. She’s twice been placed in the Aurealis Awards for Best Young Adult Short Story and Best Science Fiction Novella. She’s been published in multiple presses and magazines, including Deadset Press and Breach Magazine. Lee’s debut novel, The Rarkyn’s Familiar, will be released in April. I was lucky enough to read an ARC copy and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Read my review here. Most of your works are rooted heavily in science fiction and fantasy, what is it about this genre that sparks your interest? Was it a conscious decision to stick primarily to one genre? I’ve always been drawn to the unreal. I think it comes from my inner child who’s always wished magic was real. There’s a sense of wonder and wanderlust wrapped up in it too, I love exploring strange lands and different cultures—real or in my head. And intellectually, I enjoy playing around with ‘what [ . . . ]
J.C BRENNAN As a fan of fairytales, I was excited to pick up J.C Brennan’s The Enchanted, which tells the story of Rebecca Gentry who, not only discovers her late Grandmother’s bedtime stories are real, but also that she is of royal ancestry and comes from a long line of witches. At first, I found the book difficult to read as some of the descriptions, particularly regarding the grandmother, dragged on. There were also moments where the writing shifted tenses. However, as the book progressed, the prose improved, and the pace quickened. The protagonist Rebecca is very fitting for the fairytale genre, particularly regarding how she is “the chosen one.” While some reviewers weren’t fond of the cliché characterisation, I thought it worked in this book because of the presence of other classic fairytale tropes, such as the difficult stepmother, the evil witch, Rebecca gaining special powers on her 16th birthday, and the inclusion of other fantastical creatures such as vampires and [ . . . ]
BY S.H. STEELE I received this book in exchange for an honest review. It’s difficult to put this book into words. At times I was totally immersed – it was fast-paced and entertaining – then, a spelling error, or a grammar error would knock me out of the hypnosis. It was a shame, because otherwise the book flowed well. There wasn’t a sentence that felt out of place – save for the odd sleezy line from Clark (I’ll get to him later). It’s a superhero whodunnit novella about three supernatural young adults who belong to a secret project called Project Chimera. The three return from a holiday to discover their boss and father-figure, Director Hunter, murdered and they’re the leading suspects. Together, the three young superspies must prove their innocence. The protagonist, River Murphy, is a shapeshifter. I shamefully mistook him for a female for the first three quarters of the novella. Even when it was stated, quite boldly even, [ . . . ]
BY FRAN LANIADO When I finished reading Beautiful by Fran Laniado, I had an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Not because the book was rubbish. Quite the contrary, I had become so involved, so present with the characters that when the story ended, I didn’t know what do with myself. It was as if I had lost my companions – Eimear, Finn and the horse Eachann. Why did it have to end? I can only hope there’s to be a second book… Is there? 🙁 The story is a Beauty and the Beast retelling and before you roll your eyes, this is not a typical retelling. The main character Eimear is a socially awkward fairy princess with a weird-looking face and white hair – and before you roll your eyes again, the hair is compared to an old woman’s, it’s hardly exotic. The love-interest Finn is a beautiful cruel and vein prince from “The World” (human world) whom Eimear accidentally curses, turning [ . . . ]
Just finished a sketch of my oc, Henry’s aunt, Nadya. She’s a no-nonsence witch who runs her own coven. For Nadya, I decided to go more traditional with my sketch because she is stubborn and isn’t easily swayed in her beliefs. I couldn’t help but add a little of my own style, such as the overly large eyes – guess it fits her subtle non-conformist nature. I also coloured her hair and eyelashes in charcoal to portray her rebellious streak. Nadya is secretly in love with a vampire, and in this world marriages between vampires and witches are illegal. I have Nadya looking away from the viewer because she is an idealist and often ponders about a better future. She hopes it’ll be with her vampire lover.