'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 25 February 2014

Mind Slide

Mind slide written by Glenn Bullion.

Front Cover


A random act of nature changed Mason's life forever. He lost his parents on that fateful day, even his memories of them.
But he gained something in return.
Mason has the ability to "mind slide", the ability to project his consciousness. He can be anywhere in the world. Watching. Listening.
Despite being raised in a government lab, Mason has put a life together for himself. He uses his ability to work as a private investigator, specializing in missing children. He even has a crush on a woman.
Kelly tries to put that terrible night behind her. Kidnapped when she was a teenager, she still struggles to overcome the trauma. The details of her rescue were always a little sketchy. It was almost as if someone knew exactly where to find her.
Mason is unlike any man she's ever met. To her surprise, she finds herself caring about him more than she ever thought possible. But he has secrets.
Now someone is following them both, and he wants those secrets.

My Review

This is a urban fantasy kind of book. I've actually first read this book quite a while ago, but I stumbled across it in my library and then fond memories of how much I enjoyed the book came flooding in. And then I realised that I haven't mentioned this book or the author on Fantasy Muse. So, here it is....

The story is about Mason, who has a special power. He has the ability to project himself to any location in the world, as long as he has an address or a specific person in mind. He can't physically touch anyone, or be seen when he mind slides, and in all intensive purposes he's basically a ghost.
 His power is first discovered when he's 7 yrs old, just shortly after the death of his parents. As you can imagine a power like that would not go unheeded and he's sent to a mental clinic where he spends 11 yrs of his time as a lab rat. It's on his 18th birthday when he's finally allowed out.

The story is mainly told from Mason POV, but it does alternate to Kelly, his love interest. She's the daughter of one of the scientist that experimented on him and it was interesting to see how their relationship unfolded.

One of the main reasons why I liked Mind Slide so much was because of the characters. They're all defined in one way or the other, and Mason is a character that I could relate to and immensely liked. He doesn't act like a typical hero; he's not pretentious, but a simple man doing what's right.

Another reason is the storyline. It's not cluttered and made complicated just for the sake of it. It's a clean, straightforward story that flows smoothly. I'm not saying it's plain or boring but rather it's genuine - you get what you pay for.

A mention about the author...

I have all of Glenn Bullion's books, and he's an author that constantly churns out one excellent book after another. He's one of my favourite urban fantasy authors, and I constantly keep an eye out for any new books from him.There is a formular to his writing that you could link to all of his works, being; 

Hero + special power + love interest + conflict + resolution = Glenn Buillion book.

I could have easily reviewed any of his other books, but I've decided to go with my favourite one.


If you're looking for something original and different from the norm then this book probably won't evoke the same joy that I experienced. For me, some of the best books I've read are the well trodden ones, but done exceptionally well.

At about 200 odd pages it's not the longest and the pages do fly-by. It's definitely a book to read for a lazy weekend.

Finally, if you're an urban fantasy fan and haven't read a Glenn Bullion book then I implore you to give him a go.

Out of 10 Stars:


Buy it here:

Sunday 9 February 2014

Eye of the Moonrat

Eye of the Moonrat by Trevor H.Cooley.

Front Cover


Justan was raised on the outskirts of the Dremaldrian Battle Academy. He watched his father ascend the ranks within the academy to become one of the most respected warriors in the kingdom. The only thing he has ever wanted is to become an academy student and follow the path of his father. 
Unfortunately, only the best can enter the academy and Justan is a horrible fighter. Everyone tells him that he is more suited to scholarly work than swordplay. In desperation he hurls himself into training, eager to overcome the doubters and walk into the academy triumphant, unaware that secretive powers plot to disrupt his plans. 
Meanwhile, an evil wizard of immense power is using magic to twist the bodies of the creatures of the land and transform them into monsters. With these creatures and the peoples of the wilds, he is building an army . . . 
Ogres and dragons, warriors and wizards are destined to clash, their fates guided by The Bowl of Souls.

My Review

This is your traditional coming-of-age fantasy novel; involving a young - often immature and naive - character, who undergoes a journey of self discovery through trials and tribulations, that eventually transforms them to the necessary hero/heroine of the story that saves the day. I hope I'm not coming across as cynical, as I do enjoy a good coming-of-age fantasy. Honestly.

Justen - the hero of the story - is the son of a renowned warrior. And, of course, he wishes to follow in his father's footsteps. The only problem is that he's not very good at fighting. After failing his entrance exams that would have admitted him into a renowned fighting school, he's taken under the wing of a skilled female warrior, Jhonate (yes, she's beautiful). She acts as his mentor and eventually close friend (not too 'close', yet).

The first half of the book delves into the day-to-day routines of Justen's sword training. I realise that training is a big part of 'coming-of-age fantasy', but personally I've grown tired of reading them. The author, Cooley, does go into quite a lot of depth. Too much for my liking, and I did find myself wondering when the story will progress.

Well, the story did eventually move on, when it's discovered that Justen has precocious talent in magic (of course he does). And so just as Justen has passed all the tests that would have finally allowed him to enter the sword academy and fulfil his life-long dream, he's sent packing to a magical one instead.

So, as a reader that's just sifted through half the book going through his sword training, we're about to go back to square one. Let me tell you the thought of going through that again wasn't exactly overwhelming me with excitement. But before that, Justen has to reach the magic school.
The journey from A to B, takes almost another half of the book. The interlude was filled with the usual series of mishaps and adventures - which only filled me tepid interest and not enough to inspire emotions of thrill and anticipation. Rather, I just wanted the story to hurry up so that Justen can reach the magic school, and at some stage I was left wondering if he'll ever get there. With just about 10%* of the book left, he did finally reach the school. Hurray!! 

*I may be overdramatising the 10%, but it was near the end.

I'm trying not to be harsh here, it's just that my frustration at where the story went from A to B to C and the slow pacing of it....has bubbled over the cauldron and resulted in me venting my annoyance. 

Okay, it wasn't all bad. I'm going to mention some positives now:

  • It was nice seeing Jhonate develop from the hard taskmistress she was originally, to a deeply caring friend (that hints at more). I enjoyed reading her character evolvement and I'm a little disappointed she wasn't in there more.

  • I also enjoyed reading about the bond that developed between Justen and Gwyrtha - a special type of horse that thinks for itself. I've always held a soft spot when characters form a bond with animals. I guess it all stemmed from LOTR's Gandalf and Shadofax.

  • The author can definitely write. I had no problems with the writing; the sentences flowed and the story was well embellished. It was clear in my mind what was happening. Also for a self-pub book it was immaculately edited. I found no typos or grammatical mistakes at all.


If you're in search of a well written YA coming-of-age fantasy, then you can do a lot worse than giving this a try. The problem for me was that the story never really gripped me by the shoulders and captivated me. But, the majority of reviews on Amazon strongly disagree with my views. So take my opinions however you wish it.

And on one last note, if you like a story of a young man that never takes no for an answer and always tries his hardest, then I recommend this. There are a lot of qualities in Justen that we can all endeavour towards.

Out of Ten Stars:

6 Stars


Buy it here:

Sunday 2 February 2014


My review of Pagan by Andrew Chapman.

Front Cover


Five years ago the world learned the terrible truth as the vampires came out of the crypt. Suddenly humanity is no longer at the top of the food chain. 
Jack "Pagan" Henderson is England's top vampire hunter, fighting on the front lines in the war on the ground, and co-opted into the media as a propaganda tool. He and his fellow hunters are fighting against an ancient and powerful foe, as well as a population less and less interested in supporting their efforts.  
He's tired, jaded and dejected, but now he has the chance to take the fight to the vampires and challenge them in the very seat of their power. 
To read a free preview go to http://tinyurl.com/paganpreview or http://tinyurl.com/paganpreview2.  
Parental warning: This book contains strong language, violence and adult themes.

My review

Not a traditional fantasy book per-se, but rather a vampire book. Pagan is an interesting book in that it is set in a world where vampires have have come out from the shadows, revolting against humans. It's a world where countries differ in their attitude towards vampires; America coexists with vampires, largely due to their romantic portrayal in movies and novels; while eastern Europe is a no-go zone for humans, and Africa is mostly vamp free. Pagan is based in Britain, where the south is vampire free, while the north of England is a hotspot. 

The story follows Jack 'Pagan' Henderson, a vampire hunter, who was a marine before 'Black Tuesday' - the day the vampires announced themselves to the world. In terms of storyline it was pretty simplistic - Jack is a hunter who likes to kill vampires. There are 3 vampire lords in Britain and Jack and his fellow hunters are trying to take them down.

If you're looking for beautiful prose, and wonderfully lavish words, then you might as well stop reading. On the other hand if you're looking for something that begins and finishes with rip-roaring action, uncomplicated plot, and straightforward dialogue, then this is the book for you - just as it was for me.

From reading some of the Amazon reviews I knew I wasn't going to read a book in contention for the 'Man Booker Prize', but rather a good action story based on vampires. And that is precisely what I got, and why I enjoyed reading it so much. Sometimes you just want to unwind with a book that doesn't require constant mental vigilance.

But by no means was it a flawless book, and there was a heavy load of gun jargon thrown in by the author. If you're into that stuff then you'll enjoy, but if you're like me and have no more knowledge of a gun then a bullet normally called a '9mm', then you'll probably gloss over the parts where Chapman goes to town explaining what gun does this, which gun is better, etc.

I mentioned uncomplicated storyline, which is true, however, at times it does stretch to the ridiculous, but in a good way. Like how Jack single handedly kills multitudes of vampires or how nearly every woman he meets wants to have sex with him. I like to think of Jack 'Pagan' Henderson as a love child between Rambo and Blade (of course that's assuming two men can have a child, but if there were ever two men capable of having one, then it would be them). 
Actually thinking of Blade has made me remember this:

*Just a word of warning - this is quite a mature book with heavy references to violence and sex.

In Conclusion

I had tremendous fun reading Pagan. It's an all-action vampire book that desn't try to be something it's not. If you're looking for an entertaining read to pass the time, then you won't be disappointed with Pagan. 

It's well worth a read for all vampire fanatics.

Out of 10 Stars


Buy it here: