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Saturday, June 25, 2016

COVER REVEAL: Children Of The Different by S. C. Flynn


They used to say “never judge a book by its cover”. Well, forget that. Just look at that cover – look at it! This is the cover that Californian artist Eric Nyquist created for my Australian post-apocalyptic fantasy novel CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT. The novel releases on September 17 in ebook, paperback and audiobook and is available now for pre-order. Here is the blurb:

Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and emerge either with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals.

In the great forest of South West Western Australia, thirteen-year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead.

After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia…if they can reach it before time runs out.

Eric’s cover is not only beautiful and striking in itself, but it also captures two key concepts of the novel. The main character, Arika, comes out of her Changing with a power that I call “mental shapeshifting”: she does not actually change physical shape. The Nyquist cover plays with this idea and shows the creatures morphing out of a kind of mental slime in Arika’s brain; they form first in the most primordial part of the brain and then move up into the conscious mind, growing lighter in colour as they go.

The other main concept that appears on the cover is the echidna at the bottom; the “evil spirit” of the Changeland appears there in this form.

The cover uses contrasting colours to bring out aspects of the story. Arika’s light blue face emphasises the strangeness of what she is going through. The animals and slime are shown in typical sun-touched “Australian” colours like orange and yellow, while the shades of the Anteater and his world suggest the underground from which he is emerging, as well as his cold psychopathic cruelty.

For me, Eric Nyquist was the only artist for this project. His feel for the beauty and the mystery of nature is exactly right. I think Eric’s creativity was really stimulated by the novel’s imagery: he sent me an amazing set of preliminary sketches for the cover and variations on the final design! Thanks, Eric, for a wonderful piece of artwork. If you like the cover and the blurb, then I am sure that you will like CHILDREN OF THE DIFFERENT.


Here is the beginning:

The group were getting ready to go on a Wrecking when Arika’s Changing started. Narrah heard the strangled choke in Arika’s throat and spun around. Arika was lying on the wooden floor of the hut, her limbs tense. Her green eyes turned up in her head and then closed. Narrah gulped. His mouth was dry and his heart was racing as he watched his twin sister turn pale and shiver like rippling water. Her little face looked very fragile under her black shoulder-length hair. The water lily drawn in dots of white clay paint that curved around her left eye from forehead to cheekbone twisted and jumped. Narrah had painted the lily on his sister’s face with his fingers just yesterday. How long ago that seemed now.

‘It’s started,’ Manya, the twin’s foster-mother said. ‘It is time.’

Manya had taken care of the twins ever since they had become orphans at five years old. Was Arika leaving him now? Narrah never wanted to feel alone like he had when their parents died. It had been raining that day and the forest was dark. He could still smell the strong eucalyptus scent rising off the huge karri trees that stood like crying gods dripping tears on the little lost humans far below. He and Arika used to think of the giant trees as forest deities. It was impossible not to, having grown up underneath their trunks, squinting into the sun every day to try and see their waving tops tickling the sky. But if they were gods, Narrah thought, then they were just as cruel and indifferent as any others he had heard about in Manya’s stories and in the Settlement’s few books she had used to teach the twins to read.

Narrah glanced at Manya’s wrinkled face and then back at Arika. Yes, it was time, he knew. Arika was thirteen.

‘Soon, it will be your turn,’ Manya said to him, ‘but not yet.’

Narrah stared down at Arika’s face, normally so like his own but now a set mask twisted by occasional spasms. Each time the nerves under Arika’s skin flickered, Narrah felt a chill run through him. Arika shuddered a little and Narrah jumped. Was she in pain? What was she feeling? Did she know he was there?

Up until a few moments before, Arika had been standing normally and Narrah had been in touch with her feelings, as he always had. The twins had shared their lives like that, from a distance, for as long as they could remember. They called it the Path. It was like a road that linked them. They could walk along it, meet and then sense each other’s precise thoughts as if they were standing together. They used the Path for their most secret and personal things.

Now the Changing had separated them. Since the Great Madness, it had happened to everyone they knew who reached their teens. It seemed to wait inside them until then. The twins had desperately wanted to understand the Changing and find the truth about the Great Madness before their time ran out. And now it had.

For months the twins had talked about it, and Narrah had sensed Arika’s fear while she had sensed his. They had known that girls entered the Changing earlier than boys, and that meant they couldn’t experience it together. Now Narrah could feel nothing of what Arika was going through. The Path had not given any warning that Arika was about to go into her Changing right at that moment, and now the Path was closed. That separation scared Narrah more than he could have expected. The simple wooden hut and the life the twins had always known seemed very small.

A kookaburra’s cackling laugh broke out nearby. Narrah glanced out the window. The chunky brown bird was sitting out there somewhere among the endless trees. The kookaburra always sounded jolly, and Arika used to love watching the family building its nest and the chicks growing up. But the kookaburra laughed just as loudly while it broke the backs of the snakes it ate.

Go here to read a much longer extract.


Pre-order the book (US) and book (UK)

AUTHOR INFORMATION: S. C. Flynn was born in a small town in South West Western Australia. He has lived in Europe for a long time; first the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of his ancestors. He still speaks English with an Australian accent, and fluent Italian.

He reads everything, revises his writing obsessively and plays jazz. His wife Claudia shares his passions and always encourages him.

S. C. has written for as long as he can remember and recently decided to self-publish his post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, Children of the Different and, together with an American support team, aimed for a book as good as those created by the major publishers. He blogs on science fiction and fantasy at scyflynn.com. He is on Twitter @scyflynn and on Facebook. Join his email newsletter list here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"The Invisible Library: The Invisible Library #1" by Genevieve Cogman (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)




Visit Genevieve Cogman's Website Here

OVERVIEW: Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.
 
One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction...

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen.

London's underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.

Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself...

FORMAT: The Invisible Library is the first book in an adult fantasy/sci-fi series. It is a mix of mystery, action, adventure, steampunk, magic, and time travel.

The Invisible Library stands at 352 pages. It was released June 14, 2016 by ROC in the US. It was released January 15, 2015 by Tor UK.


ANALYSIS: Librarians. Secret societies. Books. Spies. Adventure. Alternate universes. Vampires and werewolves. Victorian London. Dragons. Time Traveling.

All of these things separately are things I love and the thought of combining them is a bit nerve-racking. After all, there are so many elements and none of them really related that something, somewhere will get lost, but that doesn't happen with the Invisible Library. The Invisible Library tackles the tough task of combining these elements into a book that is not only a delightful read, but probably one of my favorites for the year.

The Invisible Library tells the story of a secret society of librarians that have committed themselves to 'The Library'. Upon becoming an agent of The Library, or essentially a Librarian, these individuals vow to work on missions that involve heading to alternate realities (some of which are considered 'chaos filled' which means that magic and reality combine to create a chaotic situation) and retrieving rare/unique copies of books. Unfortunately, retrieving these rare books isn't always an easy task.

The Invisible Library follows the story of Irene, a young professional spy/agent for The Library. She – along with a novice by the name of Kai - are given the task of retrieving a rare book from an alternate London that has vampires, werewolves, Fae, and advanced steampunk like inventions. The task seems easy enough, until they get to the new universe and discover that they are not the only people looking for the book and one of those people is a man that was thought to be an urban legend amongst The Librarians.

Kai and Irene spend most of the book looking for clues and trying to sort out who has the book, who is an ally, who is an enemy, and what is going on political wise with The Library. They also trying to solve a mystery, find the book, beat a "bad guy", and learn more about each other.

I absolutely loved The Invisible Library. It is pretty much everything I look for in a book. It has action, adventure, mystery, and books – lots and lots of books. Even though The Invisible Library is a favorite of mine and I enjoyed it, it is far from a perfect book. I'll highlight some of my favorite aspects of the book and talk about some of the aspects that didn't really work for me.

A huge highlight of The Invisible Library is the way Genevieve Cogman weaves so many seemingly unique concepts into one coherent story. There are a lot of elements that could come across as disjointed or random, but it all comes together nicely.

Another aspect I found enjoyable was the way Genevieve Cogman was able to take a familiar world and give it a unique twist. Everyone knows what Victorian London is/was like, but the Victorian London we were introduced to in the book was new and unique. It felt different, which is what added to the excitement of the book.   

One of the things I found a bit frustrating about The Invisible Library was some of the seemed felt awkward or a bit out of character. The scene that comes to mind is within the first 25% of the book when Kai and Irene are forced to spend a night together in a hotel that resides in their alternate London. Kai mysterious, and what feels a bit out of character, starts throwing himself at Irene. He asks if she wants to sleep with him and feels hurt when she rejects it.

Previously, there had been no indication that Kai had any romantic feelings for Irene. The two had just met a few short hours before. It just seemed out of place.

Another aspect of The Invisible Library that felt awkward was the way the world was introduced. Instead of going for a complete info dump that involved explaining how The Library worked, how alternate universes worked, the role of the Librarians and supernatural creatures, and who the bad guys were, Genevieve Cogman goes for a more 'learn while you read approach'.

The learn while you read approach is great, as it speeds up the book. You aren't bogged down by lengthy descriptive paragraphs, but it sometimes makes you feel like you missed something. There were times when I was like 'who is this' or 'what is this', only to discover that we hadn't learned about it yet and would learn the answer to that question several chapters later.

I will admit that The Invisible Library isn't overly complex. It isn't overly simple either, but if you are looking for something extremely detailed, it probably wouldn't be this book. The main focus of the book isn't in creating overly detailed characters, but in the world building and adventure. The characters develop throughout the book, but it is clear that isn't the main focus of the book.

 Even though The Invisible Library isn't a perfect book, it is an enjoyable one. Immediately upon finishing it I had two things in mind. First, I wanted to become a Librarian. I mean who wouldn't want to be a time traveling spy who is on a mission to save rare books. Second, I couldn't wait for the second book.

Overall, The Invisible Library is a fun easy read. While the main plot might – to some – seem predicable, the unique world building and action more than make up for it. This is a definite must read for any book lover.  
Friday, June 17, 2016

WORLDWIDE GIVEAWAY: The Los Nefilim Omnibus by Teresa Frohock


Official Author Website
Order Los Nefilim HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Miserere
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Broken Road
Read The Character Of Environment by Teresa Frohock (guest post)
Read an excerpt of Love Crystal and Stone by Teresa Frohock

Teresa Frohock’s debut Miserere confounded genre readers and absolutely amazed readers and authors alike with its dark tone and fantastic prose. She then followed her debut with fantastical tales of angels, daimons, and mankind in 1930 turbulent Spain. Fantasy Book Critic & Teresa Frohock are giving away three copies of "The Los Nefilim” Omnibus to Three Lucky Winners!!!

To enter, please send an email to fbcgiveaway@gmail.com with your Name, Mailing Address, and the subject: Los N. Giveaway will end on 12:01 PM PST 27th June 2016 and is open to participants WORLDWIDE!

Thank you for entering and Good Luck!

GIVEAWAY RULES: 
 1) Open To Anyone WORLDWIDE
 2) Only One Entry Per Household (Multiple Entries Will Be Disqualified)
 3) Must Enter Valid Email Address, Mailing Address + Name
 4) No Purchase Necessary
 5) Giveaway will end on 12:01 PM PST 27th June 2016
 6) Winners Will Be Randomly Selected and Notified By Email
 7) Personal Information Will Only Be Used In Mailing Out the Books To The Winner

Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Every Heart A Doorway" by Seanan McGuire (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)




Visit Seanan McGuire Author Website Here

OVERVIEW: Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere... else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced... they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

FORMAT: Every Heart A Doorway is an urban fantasy/fantasy novella. It stands at 173 pages and was published by Tor on April 5, 2016.

Even though it is ultimately an 'adult' novel, Every Heart A Doorway could be appropriate for a more mature teenage audience. There are some graphic scenes involving dead bodies and some topics (such as the main character being asexual or the secondary character being transgender) that may make it not appropriate for some audiences.

ANALYSIS: Some books have that unique ability to capture your attention instantly. Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire was one of those book. I was barely three pages into the book and I was already immersed in the world and forming an emotional bond with our first main character – Nancy.

Every Heart A Doorway tells the captivating tale about a boarding school for young adults between the ages of 12 and 18, but unlike regular boarding schools this one is designed as a rehabilitation center of sorts. All of the young adults who are present at the school have at one point in time journeyed to alternate fantasy worlds. These worlds include everything from lands with fairies and unicorns and rainbows or Wonderland weird worlds, to just plain scary/horror universes or the land of the dead.

All of the children at the school are struggling with one major problem – they want to go back to their fantasy world, but they have been cast out from it and it might not happen. This has caused all the children to experience what can only be described as PTSD-like symptoms. Of course, the children also have to deal with other "real life" issues, such as forming relationships, dealing with parents, navigating the scary world of high school, and overcoming bullying.

Nancy, our main character of the story, is a new student at the boarding school. Unfortunately, right as she arrives at the school murders start happening. Every Heart A Doorway follows Nancy and her new friends as they work to find themselves, solve a mystery, and work to potentially find their hidden doorway that will lead them back to their fantasy world.

Every Heart A Doorway may seem – from its description – to be a light, fluffy fantasy novel, but it emotional and dark. Many of the characters are struggling with extreme emotional issues and various problems, which leads to a disturbing/creepy feel to the novel.

One of the amazing things about Every Heart A Doorway was how detailed almost all the characters were. This is only a 170 page novella, but every character from Nancy to the secondary characters of Jack and Jill, was fleshed out and felt real. A pretty amazing feat when you consider the novel also had to create a world/backstory and progress the current plot all in 170 pages.

Characters weren't the only extremely well-thought out or creative element. I was intrigued with the whole hidden door/alternative universe concept, which was extremely detailed and fascinating to me. I probably could have read an entire 400 page novel on just this concept alone, but it was extremely well-done given the short page count.

While I did enjoy the novel, I have to admit the murder mystery part of it fell flat for me. The mystery element comes in about a quarter of the way through the novel and it never really felt well developed. It had a very rushed feel to it, especially when things were solved and everything was 'wrapped up'.

Despite the clunky or rushed feeling at the end of the novel, I was impressed with Every Heart a Doorway. It certainly isn't your light, fluffy Narnia/Wonderland novel, even though it seems like it might be from the overview. It is a novel that is emotionally engaging, unique, and creepy/weird.

While it may not be my top read for the year, it certainly is up there. I would recommend Every Heart a Doorway  to fantasy lovers who are looking for something unique or for those that have ever wondered how characters reacted when they left their fantasy world and returned to their real lives.
Sunday, June 12, 2016

"Charmed: Fairy Tale Reform School Book 2" by Jen Calonita (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)






 Visit Jen Calonita's Website Here

OVERVIEW: Charmed is the exciting sequel to the wildly popular Flunked -- second in the brand new Fairy Tale Reform School series where the teachers are (former) villains. "Charming fairy-tale fun." -Sarah Mlynowski, author of the New York Times bestselling Whatever After series.

It takes a (mostly) reformed thief to catch a spy. Which is why Gilly Cobbler, Enchantasia’s most notorious pickpocket, volunteers to stay locked up at Fairy Tale Reform School…indefinitely. Gilly and her friends may have defeated the Evil Queen and become reluctant heroes, but the battle for Enchantasia has just begun.

Alva, aka The Wicked One who cursed Sleeping Beauty, has declared war on the Princesses, and she wants the students of Fairy Tale Reform School to join her. As her criminal classmates give in to temptation, Gilly goes undercover as a Royal Lady in Waiting (don’t laugh) to unmask a spy…before the mole can hand Alva the keys to the kingdom.

Her parents think Gilly the Hero is completely reformed, but sometimes you have to get your hands dirty. Sometimes it’s good to be bad…

FORMAT: Charmed is the second book in the middle school/children's series, Fairy Tale Reform School. It is a fairy tale retelling of sorts. It doesn't retell the stories, but it has the same characters and themes, but with a unique twist.

While Charmed does a good job of catching people up on what happened in Flunked (the first book), it is best to read them in order.  

Charmed stands at 288 pages and was published March 2016 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.

ANALYSIS: Flunked, the first book of the Fairy Tale Reform School series, was a fast, fun children's novel. It followed the life of a young thief (Gilly Cobbler) who was caught and sent away to Fairy Tale Reform School. Fairy Tale Reform School is designed to help fairy tale character right their wrongs and learn how to become productive members of their respective fairy tales. After all, not everyone can be the hero, villain, or princess; some people do have to be the baker, cobbler, or famer.

Now, Charmed is the second book of the series and picks up shortly where Flunked left off. Alva (our big bad for the series and is a version of the evil fairy queen from Sleeping Beauty) has been locked up. Meanwhile Gilly Cobbler, who was once an overlooked young thief who is trying to reform herself, is now considered a hero for what she did in Flunked, but all is not well.

It appears as if Alva may have a mole inside Fairy Tale Reform and it is now up to Gilly and her friends to find them, but that may prove difficult. Gilly and her friends will be put to the test they face new situations and outside influences that will push their friendship and loyalty, as well as potentially jeopardize their quest to bring peace to the land.

Essentially, Charmed is a fun, not overly complex children's novel that is perfect for anyone looking for a quick, occasionally funny novel. The characters are surprisingly detailed for such a short novel and while the story does follow the whole twist on fairy tale characters, it does have a slightly unique touch to it that makes it its own story.

While I found Charmed enjoyable, I have to admit I didn't like it as much as Flunked.  Gilly, our main character, was loveable and a delight to follow in Flunked, but that changed in Charmed. Gilly was horrible in this novel. She was egotistical, self-centered, and extremely mean to her friends. The worst part of it all was she didn't see herself acting that way and couldn't understand why her friends were so upset.

Overall, Charmed was fun and fast paced. I loved the way the world is shaping up and the friendships that are forming between the characters. The adventures they have are fun to follow, while not being overly complex. It is a great book for the age it is intended for, but adults looking for something fun to read or those who enjoy a quick fairy tale retelling will enjoy it too.
Friday, June 10, 2016

The Shadow Of All Things by Allen Houston (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author Website
Order The Shadow Of All Things HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Nightfall Gardens 

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Allen Houston grew up in Bixby, Oklahoma. He attended the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a degree in English Literature. After graduation, he lived in Indonesia and Japan for a while. Upon returning to the states, he worked as a reporter/editor at the Dallas Morning News and The New York Post. He currently works as the City Editor of Metro New York. Allen resides in Brooklyn with his family and a menagerie of animals. This is his debut.

OFFICIAL BLURB: When a man in a torn trench coat warns college-student Evelyn Cheng that something evil is coming down the tunnel where their subway train has stalled, she is ready to write him off as crazy until the lights flicker and the terrifying creatures appear.

Through him, Evelyn discovers she is a seer and that a battle between good and evil is raging in New York City among her kind and the mysterious, otherworldly Elyuum, who seek to tighten their grip on the city.

Spanning multiple universes with a sprawling cast of characters, Evelyn and others must stop the Elyuum before they conquer all existence.

FORMAT/INFO: The Shadow Of All Things is 266 pages long divided over thirty-four numbered chapters. Narration is in the third-person via Evelyn Cheng, Pharrell Kennedy, Neil Sullivan, Redmond Carter, Adelaide, and a few other characters. The Shadow Of All Things is the first volume of the Elyuum series.

June 9th, 2016 marked the paperback and e-book publication of The Shadow Of All Things and it was self-published by the author. The cover illustration is done by Colleen Beauchamp-Stiles.

ANALYSIS: I've previously read Allen Houston's debut book which was a nice MG book called The Night Gardens, it was a cute mix of the Addams family and Lemony Snicketts. This unique story intrigued me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So when Allen approached me to give his SF-UF hybrid thriller a try, I was very much interested to see how his adult book debut would be.

The story opens up rather abruptly with one of our main POV characters Evelyn Cheng who is introduced to strange creatures in a very vivid & scary way. She narrowly escapes but not before meeting another POV character who tells her to find at a specific location if she wants to know more. Next up is Pharrell Kennedy, who is trying to escape his poor surrounding but his cousin Troy might not let that happen with his hare-brained schemes and ways. Pharrell's mother wants him to escape their social shackles but he is torn between the bonds of family and common sense. Neil Sullivan and Adelaide who are best friends and as akin to each other as chalk and cheese. They however share a common disdain about the other students of their preppy school. They also get drawn in to a strange affair when one of their fellow students seems to have died in a weird manner. Their amateur investigations lead them to stranger conclusions however. We also get to meet Redmond Carter who knows all about the strange happenings and who's doing his best to save New York City and its citizens while keeping the general public unaware of the scourge living amidst them. There are a few other character who get one-off POV chapters but to talk about them will involve spoilers.

This story is an intriguing mix of science fiction, portal fantasy and urban fantasy. The author brings his own twist on the portal fantasy trope by making New York City an important junction and the story quite nice explains as to why it is so important for both the protagonists as well as the antagonists. I'm a fan of the urban fantasy sub-genre and this book does quite stack up nicely amid this sub-genre. What the author does neatly is that he also adds a healthy slice of SF to the tale but makes it subtle enough so that there's no perfect delineation. I enjoyed this mixing and I look forward to the author exploring it further in the sequel volumes as there's a lot left unexplained. The pace of this book is a good one as with a large cast of characters, we get each new chapter showcasing a new angle to the story as well newer dangers. The author constantly ups the ante and thereby makes sure that reader will want to read the subsequent chapter to see what happens next.

The character cast is a big one and there's no central protagonist for the story, this is a tricky proposition. Often this can lead to a disconnect for the readers when they don't find anyone to root for. This isn't the case here, we get many interesting characters to follow and see where each one ends up. favorites among them and it will be interesting to see who survive and who don't. The story as I mentioned earlier has an abrupt start, and we never quite get a sense of what is truly happening. I believe the author purposefully constructed the tale tin this manner. It keeps the reader off-balance and makes them as inquisitive as the POV characters in wanting to know the truth of things. Lastly what are the Elyuum? For this you will have to read the book and discover their horror.

Going on the to the things that don't quite work within this book, the major thing is that this book feels like a tremendous setup for the Elyuum series and that is a serious drawback. For most readers expect to get some resolution or some closure when reading any book in a series (even the first). I think the author tries his best to conclude his story in a sensible manner and even ends on a mild cliffhanger-is situation. However it doesn't quite give the closure I sought from the story. Secondly there are quite a few things about the antagonists and the secret history of the world that are left unexplained or not quite entirely mentioned. I realize with this being the first book, that the author might be hesitant to reveal his cards outright. That is his prerogative, in this case I felt that a little more details could have helped the story IMHO.

CONCLUSION: The Shadow Of All Things is an interesting book, it shows a lot of promise and I'm willing to trust the author to come up with a story that does resonate with me. In spite of its flaws, I feel that readers should give this a try and they can judge for themselves why I enjoy Allen's work and will look forward to the sequel.

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