I met David over a year ago at Pioneer Books (which was in Orem at the time), where he gave a presentation on incorporating vampire mythology into his LDS fiction, and discussed his passion for medieval weaponry. There is just something so darn cool about a guy who sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir writing seriously dark vampire fiction. He’s an awesome guy and a great author.
I love this book. The twisted world of the vampire cult Carl (the main character) infiltrates to find his sister’s killer is openly dark and honestly horrifying. The story follows strong themes of agency, power, temptation, love, and redemption. It made for deep thinking about evils that plague our real world and how one goes about restoring hope, security, and goodness where it is seemingly bereft in the lives of truly tortured and potentially dangerous individuals.
Carl’s LDS background and convictions to stay true to his faith despite his unwilling damnation (when he becomes a vampire) was a dynamic I really enjoyed. Carl and Moira are both strong characters, battling darkness within and without on a journey full of twists and turns, both bitter and sweet. I was swept away on this dark, suspenseful adventure to save Salt Lake City from the nefarious Children of Lilith. This is a gem of LDS horror fiction. I found it both entertaining and deep.
Highly recommended reading, and I’ll be looking forward to the rest in the series!
I first read “Crown of Darkness,” a short story prequel to Valcoria published on the Curiosity Quills website (it appears to have vanished or I would totally post the link to it here). It was a wonderful short story, beautifully written, with heart-wrenching characters and an intriguing world where magic and technology are cleverly entwined. I requested an ARC in advance of the April re-release of Valcoria in exchange for an honest review. I lament that it has taken me so many months to finish the book and write this review, because it really is a wonderful read!
This story has an epic feel, with a lot of characters and a rich, complex plot. In Jason’s universe, Medieval magic and advanced fantasy technology drive a classic battle between the forces of good and evil. The fates of the various Valcorian kingdoms of mankind are at stake.
My favorite character was Yuiv. He started at the lowest point in almost every way, and grew the most in every way over the course of the story. It was wonderful to watch him learn and grow stronger morally, and in particular to journey with him as he discovered supernatural powers for good that he never knew he had. Great character.
Interesting plot. The magic-technology combination was extremely creative. There was action, romance, suspense. Great storytelling. I highly recommend this book to fantasy readers.
Welcome to Slithers!
Today is my 27th birthday. *Party Streamers* *Sarah is old*
I’m excited to present Alyson Grauer’s On The Isle of Sound and Wonder, complete with blurb, excerpt, author bio, and my own review of this splendid steampunk take on a Shakespearean classic. I met Aly at Salt City Steamfest back in August and share story space with her in Xchyler Publishing’s Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions. She’s a hoot to talk to online and in person, as well as a talented author.
Before reading any further, check out this awesome book trailer! It’s gorgeous. It may make you weep inside for joy. That, or you just might smile and think Sound and Wonder is the cool book on the shelf. Watch the trailer, then indulge in the blog tour voyage! Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the post!
The further I read, the more I liked this book. I’m not familiar with Shakespear’s The Tempest, as it happens, but the human strengths and, particularly, weaknesses and ignorances in each character compacted with layers of schemes that start to unravel in the worst way is something Sound and Wonder shares unmistakably in common with the classic playwright’s style. Aly’s spin revolves around the shipwrecked crew of an airship, a neglected young girl, a magically deformed boy, a devious air spirit, a midwife witch, and a nobleman whose magical ambition plunges all of their lives into utter chaos.
The descriptions and voice Aly infuses into this story have a bright, delightful quality that really draws out the wonder of this alternate universe where automaton butlers and magical fays are not-so-quietly at work in the background of the drama. At the same time, the story possesses some dark, serious subject matter. The story becomes gut-wrenching as the connections between characters and their fates come together.
Very entertaining. Read it!
Also…isn’t the cover art just amazing? If for no other reason, get yourself a copy of this book so you can stare at the gorgeous cover for a while.