Tag: Book Review

A Silence in the Shadows Book Release! Reviews and Author Interview!

A Silence in the Shadows Book Release! Reviews and Author Interview!

On Monday, Caleb E. King’s debut novel, A Silence in the Shadows, released!

Since I’m on Caleb’s street team, I go to read an ARC (advanced reader copy) before it was published. My younger brother also read it and wrote a review of his own.

Now I have several things to share in this post, so let’s start with the interview! As usual, my questions are in bold and Caleb’s responses are in regular text.

Caleb E. King
Caleb E. King

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m a homeschooled teen and a grateful child of God. I started writing when I was eight and haven’t stopped since. Besides writing I love reading, drawing, and hanging out with my friends.

You’ve been writing much longer than I have! When did you start writing A Silence in the Shadows?

July 23rd, 2016

Wow! It’s impressive you remember the exact date! What inspired it?

Well, I remember wanting to make a story with the main characters cool ninja-like people, and have them infiltrating castles and fighting their enemies. That’s basically what it sparked from, and then the story just unfolded from there!

Do you have a favorite memory from writing A Silence in the Shadows?

Hmm, I actually don’t remember a lot of the writing process of it…some of the dialogue was really fun to write though.

Dialogue is always fun to write! Which authors have inspired you the most?

J. R. R. Tolkien, Chuck Black, and Andrew Peterson!

I’ve read at least one thing by all of those authors! Do you like to listen to music while you write?

I used too, but not so much anymore. I haven’t tried it in a while though…I may try it again.

What is your favorite Bible passage (or verse)?

I don’t think I really have a certain favorite, but I like Psalms 100 and 111 a lot!

I know! It’s so hard to choose! Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?

Yep! I enjoy reading, drawing, making my own comic books, and creating 2-D animations! I also make films with my friends!

That’s awesome! What’s next on your writing journey?

TAKE A BREAK. Then I think I’m going to re-write a couple short stories I wrote a while ago. After that, it’ll be on to the next book!

Enjoy your break, Caleb! Thank you for letting me interview you!

 

Want to know more about Caleb? Follow him on his blog! www.calebeking.wordpress.com

Order A Silence in the Shadows here!

(Keep scrolling for book reviews!)

A Silence In The Shadows

 

Book Review Time!

 

My Thoughts

When the Willii brothers, Jered and Faal, discover a close friend is actually a wizard in disguise, they are thrown into a conflict bigger than they ever imagined. Sure, they knew the tax collectors were evil, but they didn’t know they oppressed more than just the Willii’s village.

They also didn’t know their friend’s ex-apprentice is the man behind it all.

And they are the only two people who can stop him.

After the tax collectors burn the brother’s village, the two boys join the Silents—masters of stealth and hand-to-hand combat—in order to find a way to defeat the tyrannical reign of the rouge wizard.

***

Overall, I thought this was a good story. I haven’t read middle-grade in a while, so please note my comments come from the perspective of a YA author and reader. 😊

I enjoyed the relationship between the two brothers, Jered and Faal. It felt realistic—they neither hated each other nor got along all the time. I can’t decide which brother I like better—serious Jered or mischievous Faal.

My favorite character was actually Belak. He seemed to have an interesting backstory and I would have liked to learn a bit more about him.

I really liked all the fantasy creatures Caleb created. I could picture them really well.

If I could be in this book, I’d be a Silent. They’re basically like ninjas and ninjas are cool. And magical ninjas are even cooler. 🐱‍👤

The ending was really good. I didn’t expect it, but it was awesome!

A few things I didn’t like:

  • There were too many fight scenes. Every few pages it seemed like the characters were fighting the tax collectors.
  • The point-of-view character shifted a bunch. It made it hard to follow, particularly during action scenes.
  • The side characters were a bit hard to tell apart and flat.

 

Content

There was a lot of fighting, but I don’t think there was anything graphic. A few mentions of blood. Lots of bad guys die. (Someone explodes at the end.)

Since Jered and Faal have wizard powers, there is magic. They don’t use it very much and it’s more like “using the Force” than spell and potion magic. It’s not anywhere close to witchcraft. The main villain did cast a spell on his minions, but that’s all.

There was no romance whatsoever, which was nice, so the reader can focus more on the brothers’ relationship.

It was completely free of language!

 

Book Review Two!

This review was written by my brother!

In “A Silence In the Shadows” by Caleb E. King, Jered and Faal Willii are plunged into a desperate battle against the evil rejected wizard apprentice, Ath, after their old friend Flogii tells them that they have the potential to become wizards.

They will meet and receive powers from an old hermit wizard in the mountains, and will discover who the so-called “tax collectors” really are.  When the odds become too great for the two boys, they are rescued by a masked warrior…  and plunged into the world of the resistance fighters, the Silents.

They train hard and become fast friends with members of the Silents such as Crater, Belak, and Angela.  They race in a desperate rush to stop Ath from being able to control everyone with the Melker stone.  It comes down to a final battle between the boys and Ath to determine whether the world is broken or saved.  But you have to read the book to find out who wins!

Personally, my favorite person was Jered.  I thought the relationship between the two boys was interesting, and Flogii being a wizard was very surprising.   My favorite parts were the battles , and that the Silents were basically ninjas (of course, being a boy, I’m more prone to like things like that than others).  Something I really appreciated was that there wasn’t any romance (barf!).  Overall I’d give this a 5-star rating.

 

Want to buy A Silence in the Shadows? Click here! 

Healer’s Bane: Book Review and Giveaway!

Healer’s Bane: Book Review and Giveaway!

Today I’m reviewing this beautiful little book by Hope Ann.

*pauses for you to admire the cover*

Healer's Bane: Book Review

 

Can one girl heal the suffering of humanity?

Kynet was going to die. At least, she was supposed to. That’s what happened when one was touched by the Poisoner.

But somehow, she was still alive—with glowing fingertips and a voice in her head, no less.

Whoever had healed her gave her the power to heal. With her new gift, Kynet tries to save everyone she can, which is not an easy task with the rebellion going on. But soon she runs face to face into her own weakness.

She can’t save everyone.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.

It’s a novella, so it’s much shorter than your average novel. A fast reader probably could read it in one sitting. (I could have if I had a big chunk of time.)

I found the setting very interesting. Hope categorizes it as a “Gaslight fantasy.” I’d describe it as medieval fantasy mixed with steampunk, blasters, and hovering commuters (think Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder from Star Wars: A New Hope). It was very different from anything I had read before in that regard and it took me a little bit to get into the story world, but once I got used to the fact that people used both knives and blasters, I had a wonderful time hanging out in a new world.

The story itself was full of plot twists and one of the last ones actually made me gasp out loud. That’s pretty rare for me to react audibly to a book.

Though Healer’s Bane overall tone is serious, Hope infuses it with just the right amount of sarcasm and humor. Enough to lighten the mood, but not enough to make the rebellion and deaths seem pointless.

Unlike some of her other books, I didn’t catch any allegorical notes.

 

Content Warnings

The whole story is based around Kynet’s magical healing ability. I wouldn’t necessarily categorize any of the magic as “dark,” but there is a clear villain who uses his abilities to kill. It’s a bit like Narnia magic—one side obviously good, the other side obviously evil. But it’s definitely not witchcraft.

It does get rather violent. There is a lot of blood and death. Also, when Kynet heals, she takes the pain herself, so there is description of how she feels afterwards.

Healer’s Bane is free from romance. The relationships are either between siblings (biological and “adopted”) or mentor-apprentice. It was nice to read a book without a romantic subplot. (Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good romantic subplot, but they can be overused.)

It is also free from language. There are a few made up curses, but no profanity.

 

 

And Now It’s Giveaway Time!

You read that right! I’m doing a giveaway!

And you’ll never guess what book I’m giving away…

Healer's Bane Giveaway

Now that you are excited to read Healer’s Bane (at least, I hope you are), you have a chance to win an autographed copy! Plus a bonus bookmark, which is really nice. It’s shiny and double-sided!

Healer's Bane Giveaway

How to Enter

In order to enter this giveaway, you must be subscribed to my email newsletter. You can find the sign up here.

I will be drawing the winner on May 4th, so you can enter until Friday, May 3rd at 11:59 PM.

Only one entry per person.

Why am I doing this giveaway?

I’m glad you asked!

I’m graduating on May 10, 2019 and I set the goal to reach at least 50 email subscribers before that date. As I’m writing this post, I have 43 subscribers.

 

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! 

 

Tune in next week for an exclusive interview with Hope Ann herself!

 

Where’s Glendale?

Glendale learns German
Glendale beschloss, Deutsch zu lernen. Translation: Glendale decided to learn German. I found that tiny German dictionary at a garage sale years ago. I bought it for my American Girl dolls and found it again when I was rearranging my room this week. It’s so tiny and cute!