Thankyou to Jaidis Shaw from Juniper Grove who has taken the time to read and review Quest of the Demon.

"Quest of the Demon is a great story and is definitely filled with potential" - Jaidis Shaw

4/5 Trees which I'm very proud of.  The review can be read here; http://junipergrove.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/book-review-quest-of-the-demon
 
 
“28-year-old San Francisco native, Allie Taylor, at least thought she was human. But when she meets her first real seer, a race of human-like beings discovered in the 1900s, he tells her that not only is she a seer, like him, but that all the other seers believe she's going to end the world. Unfortunately, no matter what she does, everything that happens after that only seems to prove him right.”

Rook, Allie’s War: Book one by J C Andrijeski is an interesting tale.  Set in an alternate reality future, this is a world that has grown up with two species – humans and seers.  Seers have the ability to read minds among other things and their lives are strictly controlled by the government.  Allie is a not so ordinary waitress – currently wearing a tracking bracelet for violence committed against her ex boyfriends new partner.  She also has the uncanny ability to attract strange people, stalkers of all shapes and descriptions.

From working in the diner she is soon transported into a world of intrigue, action and violence.  The Seer world is completely different to what the majority of the human population has been lead to believe and even more shocking… she is one of them.

I started reading this book and soon found that I could not put it down.  The action is well written, the characters fairly unique in their personalities and the alternate world is portrayed in great detail.  It has been some time since I have been dragged into a tale so fully that all I want to do is keep reading.  A few downfalls for me though were the occasional long descriptions of the barrier and the alternate world of light.  I found myself almost skipping through these at times to get back into the story.  The very occasional word missing / grammatical issue made me pause in some points of the story but other than that it is a fantastic read. 

J C Andrijeski can be found at www.jcandrijeski.com and this book can be purchased from www.smashwords.com  A highly recommended story well worth the purchase!

 
 
“Cut to Melbourne, Australia–the most glamorous city in the world. It also happens to be the only one left standing, but nevermind that, we’re there now and I’d like you to meet your narrator, a certain Floyd Maquina, a likable chap with one hell of a story to share. See, the powers that be are knuckling down on the Deviant menace that plagues the city, and our boy Floyd’s unknowingly got himself in the thick of it. Cue guns, intrigue, kidnappings, conspiracy and all sorts of general mayhem that make for cracking good headlines.

Does Floyd stop the bad guys? Does he get the girl? Does he make Humphrey Bogart proud? Grab some popcorn and read on.”

Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat by Andrez Bergen for me, is the most unique story I have read for some time.  Not because of the post-apocalyptic theme, but because of the style of writing.

For me, I’m a fan of movies like Tank Girl (classic) and Sin City.  To enjoy this novel, you need to not only have a sense of humour, but you need to appreciate movies in order to get many of the references used.  This is not a bad thing as it is what keeps the story unique.  (If you don’t get all the references, there is also an easy read set of references and slang dictionary included)

Anyway, you’re in Melbourne, the last city in the world and your main character is Floyd who, though lack of choice, is employed as a Seeker – someone who picks up deviants when told so that they can be ‘relocated… never to be seen again. 

As you go through the story, Floyd slowly begins to realise that he has known what he is doing is wrong for some time, that there is something wrong with the whole system and that somehow, he might actually be able to do something about it…

It takes some time to be able to piece together the whole story of what’s going on, but once I did, I really became involved in the story and from there, all I can say is that I was very, very satisfied with the end.  This story is available from http://www.anothersky.org/in-print/tobacco-stained-mountain-goat-andrez-bergen/ as well as other distributors.

Well done for being different Andrez.

 
 
“It’s the 24th century and Robert York has the best job in the world. An operative with Chrono-HQ, his missions involve travelling through time through the entirety of human history. Now he is going back further than any time traveller has been before, back through millennia to the Stone Age to visit the pre-historic inhabitants of ancient Kent’s Cavern.”

Time Watchers: The Greatest Of These by Julie Reilly is an eye-opening, no holds bared story that goes back to 7000bc.  Robert, an anthropologist time traveller, spends six weeks with a small community.  His initial contact is one of shock and violence before he takes the time to become accepted by those of the cave community – at least, by most of them.

As if the dramas of day to day survival is not enough, Robert soon finds himself falling for Yana, a sixteen year old cave woman.  Everything Robert has learnt tells him that this is wrong and cannot be allowed as Robert must return to his own time, for surly such love could have untold ramifications to the time line…

I really enjoyed the first part of this novel.  Julie takes you back to the Stone Age where the reader quickly becomes involved in the harsh reality that is survival.  The characters are believable; lovable and hateable at times.  You really root for them, you want them to succeed but as a reader, you are constantly surprised by what happens. 

This reads like a fantasy novel with a slight time travel sci-fi.  Very enjoyable.
 
 
"In a land ruled by knights, where martial strength is tamed by a code of honour and duty, the line between protection and oppression is a subtle one. When a sickly prince leaves the succession in doubt, ambitious men gather in the shadows ready to take advantage. Edouard and Mariette are caught in a twisted world where the lines between treachery, honour and love are hopelessly blurred."

Traitor Blade, by Richard Crawford is a novel that focuses mainly on Edouard.  As the second son of the King’s brother, Edouard is a young man who is caught up in the political dramas of court, ill prepared for such a battlefield.  Constantly in trouble with his father he tries to find his own way in life.  Being a Knight is all he has ever wanted, but when Edouard leaves Chamfort to take part in the summer battles, he sets himself on a path of no return.

Aside from Edouard, the story focuses on Mariette – widowed at the start of the novel she seeks to bring down those who murdered her husband.  Her ‘games’ at court become serious when she meets Edouard.  She is not sure if she can trust herself.  To prove Edouard innocent she must break his heart, but if she does this, is she being true to herself?

This is a reasonably well written story, with only a few issues that caught my notice.  I picked up a few spelling errors as well as grammatical which detracted from the tale which was unfortunate.  Also, I found that there was the occasional change to a minor character which, though useful to the telling of the story in some ways, upset the pace of the tale for me- but that’s just my opinion.

For those who like fantasy, Knights and honour, intrigues of court and a darkness that needs to be fought, I highly recommend this novel to you.

Richard can be found at http://traitorblade.blogspot.com/

 
 
“Australia has been invaded by legendary monstrosities! With the Kraken's rise off the shores of Western Australia, an age of monsters is ushered in. When wits and heroics fail, a secret cabal of guardians will take drastic, devastating measures to protect everything they know and love. In the aftermath, when everything has turned to ash, hope will find a way.”

The Apocrypha Sequence is a series of dark fantasy collections with interwoven themes and interconnected stories from Shane Jiraiya Cummings.  I saw this on smashwords and thought I’d give it a go due to the Australian theme even though it’s not my usual type of read.

Jiraiya (which means Young Thunder according to his authors bio), writes some interesting and unique stories here.  So if you’re looking for something short, interesting and different with a post-apocalyptic theme; this is recommended for you.

Of the short stories that were part of this amalgamation, I liked those relating to the phoenix the most.  With this part of the compellation, you are initially confronted with a determined character chasing the phoenix across the charred ruins of Western Australia and from there, Jiraiya cleverly concocts an intriguing story that returns to the past to slowly enlighten the reader about the murder and magic filled passed before concluding the story in an unexpected way.

Dark fantasy specialist.  Recommended Australian short story read available on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/38797  along with other dark fantasy stories.