'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 22 April 2014

The Kingdoms of Evil

The Kingdoms of Evil (The Covenant Nonsense) by Daniel Bensen.

Front Cover


The Kingdoms of Evil cast a shadow of death and horror over half a continent and Freetrick Feend is next in line to be their king. 
A college student in a comfortable and civilized nation not so different from yours, Freetrick suddenly finds himself kidnapped by monsters, engaged to a dominatrix, and put in charge of a country where Maniacal Laughter is a performance art and Assassination a competitive sport, with extra points awarded for creative cruelty. 
As the new focus of all evil in the world, Freetrick must survive court intrigues, well-justified foreign invasion, internal rebellions, and a looming environmental catastrophe that might just kill everyone anyway. Because in a land of constant shadow, what do the monsters eat? 
Aside from each other. 
The Kingdoms of Evil is an epic fantasy humor novel for those of us who root for the bad guy.

My Review

While waiting for the sequel of Waldo Rabbit - which is out now - an Amazon reviewer suggested this book as similar to Waldo Rabbit. Intrigued, I went and bought it.

The book follows Freetrick, a young man that suddenly finds himself heir to The Kingdom of Evil. All of his beliefs are turned upside down and he finds himself in a position where he has to act evil to survive. And if that wasn't bad enough, he has a dominatrix fiance who herself disgusted by how weak and pathetic Freetrick's is and abuses him every chance she gets.

The book did remind me in many ways to Waldo Rabbit; its satirical humour, mocking of cliche villains and the slightly absurd storyline. But what separated this book from Waldo Rabbit was that it focused more on the storyline than humour, and I liked that. I'm all for having a laugh whilst reading a book, but not at the detriment of the storyline.

I enjoyed seeing the development of Freetrick as he goes from a indecisive young man to a confident leader. It was also nice seeing Bloodbyrn (the fiance) transform from a harsh taskmistress to a softer, more gentle woman.

Some of the cons...

Main issue I had with the book was the slow start. It took me a while to get into the book and there were times during the beginning when I was itching to give up and start on the next book on my to-read list. I'm glad I did stick with it, however, and the pace of the story did pick up.


A cleverly written book that I enjoyed reading and found myself smiling numerous times at the witty dialogue. If you're looking for a book similar to Waldo Rabbit then this is it.

Out of 10 Stars:

6 Stars

Buy it here:

Saturday 5 April 2014

The Devil You Know

The Devil You Know (Nick Englebrecht #1) by K.H. Koehler.

Front Cover

Book Description

Not only does the devil have an only begotten son, but he's currently residing in the rural town of Blackwater in northeast Pennsylvania. Semi-retired from law enforcement, the handsome, if cynical, Nick Englebrecht becomes quickly caught up in a local missing child case that seems mundane on the outside, but when the sheriff requests his help as a psychic detective to help find the missing girl, his off-the-books investigation quickly leads him to some terrible truths about life, love and the universe as we know it. And if that isn't bad enough, the angels have begun an ethnic cleansing of all beings with demonic blood. Of course, Nick is at the top of their to-do list.

My Review

This is an urban fantasy novel based on Nick Englebrecht, son of the Devil. Nick is introduced to us as an ex-cop, who is now working in a magic shop (think Atticus of the Druid novels). He also moonlights as a paranormal investigator and works closely with a cop buddy called Ben. 

The story is quite similar to many other urban fantasy novels in that there isn't any specific linear storyline and instead it jumps from one arc to another.

As for the writing, it was sharp and edgy. The sentences flowed crisply and Koehler did a great job in defining Nick. His character was cynical, hard edged - as you'd expect from the son of the Devil - but you also see a softer side to him.

Some problems I had with the book...

After I first read that Nick was the son of the Devil, I imagined he would be a badass that people feared to mess with. Instead what I got was a pretty tamed and limited character that was not infallible to getting his ass kicked. 
Which, I suppose is what most readers would like to read, but personally I've grown bored of reading about weak main hero's that triumph over hurdles by sheer luck than any talent of their own.

One other problem I had with the book was that some serious issues was raised like rape and child grooming, but the author seemed to gloss over how grave they were. It was like the topics were brought up in one paragraph and then swept away in the next one.


Started off promisingly but then it gradually lost its lustre and faded away. I can't fault the author's writing and it's just simply a case of not enjoying where the story was going on.  I'm pretty sure I won't be reading the sequel. Which is a shame really as I did think I was on to a home run. 

Out of 10 Stars:


Buy it here: