'Writing for me is not about speeling, grammar or punctuation – that’s why we have editors.... No, writing for me is the ability to capture a story and put it in words.' - Fantasy Muse

Tuesday 19 November 2013

Wanderer's Escape (Wanderer's Odyssey)

Next book up on Fantasy Muse is a YA sci-fi book written by Simon Goodson titled Wanderer's Escape.

Front Cover


Jess was born a prisoner, grew up a prisoner and at sixteen knew he would die a prisoner. When his turn comes to try to break through the traps protecting a spaceship it seems his day to die has come. The ship, and others like it, have already claimed hundreds of prisoner's lives. 

Instead he manages to avoid the traps and gain access to the ship with two other prisoners, beginning a frantic flight to freedom. Soon Jess finds himself loose in a brutal universe ruled by the Empire and riddled with pirates, slave traders and worse. Can Jess manage to learn the rules of the universe and the capabilities of the ship he has stolen in time to stay alive?

My Opinion

Normally I shy away from books that have the central character so young, as I usually get frustrated by their immature actions but I wanted to give this book a try.

I'm glad to say it wasn't as bad as I'd feared, not that I didn't get annoyed at times with the main character, but he grew on me.

The book follows Jess, a slave that had been imprisoned all his life and the opening chapter get's straight into the story of him escaping by flying away on an abandoned ship.  

The story then follows Jess's mission to help other slaves. As plots go, I kinda liked this one. It was cliche at times, but there were twists that I didn't see coming that kept me on my toes.

Jess was surprisingly a character I liked. He was emotional and I did get tired of him crying all the time, but I had to keep reminding myself he was only sixteen. Credit has to go to the author in keeping in line with Jess's age. I've read books before where young characters were too immature/mature but Simon Goodson got the balance right with Jess.

The other characters didn't have the same depth as Jess, but that was partially down to the story being told from Jess's point of view as a first person narrative and the short length of the book.

Also due to the book being so short, the story flew by and connections between characters were made instantly. For example within one chapter of Jess meeting a girl, they were already in love with each other before the next one.

I liked the action scenes in the book and I did manage to follow them quite easily without stimulating too much brain cells. Which was nice as I usually get lost in sci-fi books that descend more into quantum physics than storytelling.


I did rather enjoy the Wandere's Escape, which is the first in a series. I think I will buy the sequel, but more out of curiosity than any burning desire to continue the story.

I'd wholeheartedly recommend the book to those who enjoy YA sci-fi books.

Out of 10 Stars:

6 Stars

Buy it here: 

Thursday 7 November 2013

Peace Warrior

I'm going to do a quick review of a book that I've come across on Amazon recommendation list a few times but have been put off by the title. Well, after seeing the price go down to £0.00 and having no other book to read, I really had no reason why I shouldn't take the gamble. Besides the worst that could happen would be a waste of time.

The book is called Peace Warrior and is written by Steven L.Hawk.

Front Cover


It’s the mid-21st century when Sergeant First Class Grant Justice is killed during an ambush on an enemy tank column. 
Six hundred years later, his body is retrieved from the frozen, arctic lake where he perished. Re-animated by a team of scientists, Grant awakens to a civilization that has abolished war. A civilization that has outlawed violence and cherishes Peace above all else. A civilization that has been enslaved by an alien race called the Minith.  
Grant is humankind’s final hope against the alien menace. He must be the... Peace Warrior.

My Opinion

This is a military sci-fi book. The main character is called Grant Justice (yes, that really is his name), a soldier who is killed in action. Now 600 years later, Earth is a peaceful planet with violence of any form prohibited, and those who don't abide by the rules are sent to prison for life. The only problem with this utopian world is the enslavement by an alien race called Miniths. Now the leaders of Earth are in a conundrum. They have no army, and their people have no experience of war. So, what do they do to combat this injustice, well, they decide the best course of action is to resurrect a warrior from the past to take the Miniths down- enter Grant Justice.

The plot is fairly simple. There is no overly complex storyline and is basically a 'what you see is what you get'. The characters are also straightforward. Grant Justice is your typical hero and I liked the fact that he wasn't whiny or melodramatic He knew why he was brought back to life and got on with it. 

The book is quite short and doesn't really leave a lot of room for characterisation and world building. It did feel a little rushed, but I did get a feel for the characters and it was easy to root for the good guys and jeer the bad guys.

I did like reading about how Earth had changed in 600 years and learning that people had developed second eye lids. 

One qualm I did have was the instant connection between Grant and his love interest Avery.  It was a case of turn the next chapter and they were madly in love.

Other than that I don't really have a lot to criticise. The book was well edited and I didn't pick up any errors. I knew what I was getting into and I've come away pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoyed reading the book. I finished the book within two days and I've just downloaded the second.


If you're looking for a simple book to keep you company while you're in a reading rut then give this a try. The characters are easy to cheer on and the story keeps you entertained.

Out of 10 Stars:

7 Stars

Buy it here:

Monday 4 November 2013

Red Moon Demon (Demon Lord series)

Continuing on my craving for urban fantasy, I want to write about another one that caught my interest, Red Moon Demon by Morgan Blayde. Actually I've already finished the second instalment  of the series, Green Flame Assassin,  so I'll be talking about both books. 

Front Cover


Because sometimes you have to fight fire with hellfire, there’s Caine Deathwalker: raised as a demon, armed like a gun merchant, and fuelled by booze. Nice is a dirty word and killing is what he does best. Make a contract with hell, and he could be on your side, God help you. 
Caine signs onto guarding the beautiful daughter of a leading Japanese industrialist. Protecting is harder than indiscriminate murder and mayhem, but gold is gold, and the prize of a mystic demon sword is dangled over his head as added incentive. Haruka will make an interesting bonus if he can get her out of her kimono—and the damn living zombies will leave them alone long enough for him to bang her. 
A powerful succubus is playing cat to Caine’s mouse, but he has a cat of his own; a black leopard spirit beast from the Amazon jungle that’s taken a liking to him—and his booze. And then there’s his “father”, an ancient Atlantean demon with a code of honor. Formidable back-up, but Caine senses a greater threat lurking in the shadows, something primal, hungry, and possibly more evil than himself.
He shakes his head. Nah, couldn’t be.

My Opinion

The main character of the Demon lord series is Caine Deathwalker (yeah I know what a name). He had a rather unusual upbringing in that he was raised by his adopted father. Which isn't that unusual you're probably thinking. Until I mention the fact that his adopted father is an ancient demon lord, feared by many and was responsible for drowning Atlantis. Just to give you a taste of Caine upbringing, he was pushed of a cliff by his demon dad so that it would toughen him up. 

Caine is your typical anti-hero. He makes questionable moral decisions, he's crude, he treats woman as objects and he likes to kill. But under that tough, carbyne exterior, hints of a softer inner nucleus are present. There is a rather thin line between writing an anti-hero that readers can relate to and like and one that they abhor. I've read books in the past - Prince of Thorns and The Left Hand of God - that have stepped over that line, and Morgan Blayde has done a terrific job in staying in line. There is also the cliche enigma surrounding Caine past as he is only half-human. The other half is shrouded in mystery and acts as a hook to maintain readers interest. 

The first book, Red Demon Blood, follows Caine as he is assigned to protect a Japanese businessman daughter from a Succubi. The book premise is based in L.A as Caine is the master of the city, and I enjoyed the trials and tribulations he experienced from other supernatural beings. There's vampires, werewolves, fairies, zombies, a leopard which can vanish at will and much more. At times the book was like an encyclopedia of the supernatural.

The pace of the book was frantic and the gas pedal never left the car floor. From beginning to the end, there was never a lull in action. There was always something happening or someone to kill. 

The book is self published and the The Red Demon does fall into the same indie trap that many other self published books fall into - bad editing. The book suffers from typos and grammatical mistakes, but not as badly as feared. They are noticeable, but easily ignorable. I'm pleased to say that the second book Green Flame Assassin was much more polished and refined. I hardly noticed any mistakes in the sequel and the sentences were far more crisper and purposeful. 

The second book continues the series and I enjoyed it more than the first. The storyline was more compelling and it read easier. I could clearly see that Morgan Blayde writing became more astute and confident in the sequel, which isn't surprising really as a authors writing develops with experience. The Green Flame Assassin follows the same story structure as the first, in that Caine is sent on another mission, but this time he has to recover a powerful stone and return it to the fey Oracle, all whilst avoiding the careful attention of a green flamed assassin.

Ok, some of the bad:

As much as I enjoyed the storyline, I didn't like the part about the mystery of who Caine is. As he's only half human, the author dropped subtle clues about what his other half is in the form of dreams, but then after Caine wakes up he forgets everything, which only brings it back to square one.
  The ending of the second book also had me frustrated. What Caine is is finally revealed (not that it was hard to work out) but then guess what? He wakes up from passing out and forgets everything that happened to him. Hopefully in the next book the author stops with these silly bouts of convenient amnesia and gets on with the story.


The Red Demon and the sequel Green Flamed Assassin are two hugely enjoyable, fun action packed books. 

Caine Deathwalker is a rather unique character, and one that was definitely entertaining to read. If you're looking for a rather profound storyline that delves deep into emotions and characterisation then look elsewhere. But if you want fun, lively, boisterous books to read then give the Demon Lord series a try. 

Out of 10 Stars:

8 Stars

Buy the first book here: