As y’all know I feature independent or small press authors that I really think shine like a bright star in the sky. I’ve just read one that burns so brightly it’s like a nova! It is in contention to be one of my favorite books this year!
What book is this? It is The Heart Of Stone by Ben Galley! A standalone fantasy that is full of old magic, new characters, and a fresh story!
The Heart Of Stone is the story of Task, a 400+ year old golem who has been created by and enslaved to treacherous warlords who have forced him to unleash devastation on wartorn lands. All the while ignoring or actively trying to destroy the conscience that burns within Task.
But Task isn’t the only amazing POV character! You have a villainous warlord, a treacherous spy, a brave girl, and a cowardly hero! All bring powerful perspectives to an engaging story. Each character compels you to turn the pages so that you can see what happens next.
I tore through this book. I could barely stop reading it to sleep! It kept me up well past bedtime and had me waking up early to sneak in more reading. I love getting to see humanity through the eyes of an ancient being and Ben Galley delivers on that concept.
The Heart Of Stone is a book I think you’ll love and I’m encouraging you to check out this bright star in the reading galaxy. It’s a rewarding read that’ll leave you fulfilled while still wanting more. You can find it for sale here. Let me know what you think about it once you read it! I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this awesome story.
When you’re caught in the middle of a contest of wills between ancient Norse deities you sometimes have to shine a little to catch their attention…
Arctic Dawn is the second book of Karissa Laurel’s Norse Chronicles and it is amazing. Absolutely amazing. For our review of the first book Midnight Burning you can look HERE. As for Arctic Dawn: Norse deities battling in modern day North America, ancient myths coming to life, the end of everything is at hand, and in the midst of all of this awesomeness you find the best part of this story: Solina.
Many authors try creating a realistic and believable character. This author succeeds. Solina leaps off the page, defies gods and mortals alike and steals the hearts of the readers. Not only is she a complete character this story is filled to overflowing with complete characters! Why do I make such a point of this? Because it can be so difficult to do and this author achieved it. Also because that truly changes the story and how it unfolds! So often you’ll find that the characters in a story react exactly how the main character needs them to react in order to further the plot, but that’s not how life works! Think about it: If your family is like mine everyone has opinions and goals and plans and they don’t always aline with everyone else’s plans and this creates conflict. Sometimes that conflict is easy (trying to decide what is for dinner) sometimes that conflict is complex (trying to decide what job opportunity is best for you and for the family that counts on you). In too many stories everyone is always in agreement on how to proceed and they don’t hurt each other. That’s not reflective of life, and that real life is what this author captured in her main character and the supporting cast!
On top of that you have an incredible page turner of a story that leaves you anxiously awaiting the next book! This book is puppy approved. Y’all should do yourselves a favor and read this book. I promise you’ll enjoy it! Arctic Dawn is a bright star in the sky and I’m happy to point it out to all my fellow stargazing readers! You can purchase Arctic Dawn HERE.
Children Of The Different by S.C. Flynn is an excellent book! Set in a post apocalyptic Australia this story of twins being thrown into an adventure will draw you in right from the start and hold onto you until (and beyond) the ending.
I was asked by the author to read and review this book prior to its upcoming release on September 10th and to give my honest opinion. Not only was I honored to do so, I was excited to do so once I read the description of the story.
Nineteen years prior to the story a disease known as The Great Madness almost wiped humanity out, leaving few survivors spread out amongst the ruins of civilization. All children born since that day enter a trancelike state known as the Changeland and either emerge with strange new abilities or as dangerous killer Ferals. Our heroes are about to face the Changeland and have their lives forever altered by the dangers they encounter there.
From start to finish Children Of The Different keeps you engaged and turning page after page as you follow the heroes on their adventures. The primary and secondary characters have depth and history to them. The story is well laid out, yet just when you think you’ve figured it all out the author masterfully throws in a good twist to the plot just to keep you guessing and moving along to the resolution at the end of it.
I truly enjoyed this story and I hope to see these characters and this world again in another book soon! The concept of this story is so interesting that I want to read more about this new world. I do strongly recommend Children Of The Different to you, and look forward to hearing what you think of it! It is available for preorder before the 10th or order after the 10th here. Children Of The Different is a bright star in the sky that will light up your imagination. Enjoy!
I can’t think of a better way to return to my Stars In The Sky Indie/Small Publishing House reviews than with a review of Karissa Laurel’s incredible book: Midnight Burning!
Midnight Burning is an excellent story that is extremely well told! The pacing keeps you turning page after page, not wanting to set it down. The characters are so fully realized that you care about them from the start and continue caring after you set down the book. Their conversations and interactions are so perfectly well done and that draws you more deeply into their world!
And what a world!! Set primarily in Alaska this story is a mystery, adventure, urban fantasy, magical, Norse God filled tale! Yes I said Norse Gods! In Alaska! An easy way to get me to want to give a book a try is to set ancient deities within it, but then you have to convince me of the reality of it to keep my interest. Karissa does just that.
On top of all the details above let me add that the lead POV character is excellently realized and a very strong character to see this world through! You are immediately brought into her life and world and see everything through her eyes and heart. This is a book you’ll deeply enjoy and will have a difficult time setting down! I can’t wait for the sequel which is available in July! You can find Midnight Burning here: Midnight Burning
I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of this bright star in the sky of books! My puppy and I loved it.
RedStarReviews presents the second monthly installment of Stars In The Sky our hunt for independent books. In these reviews we are focusing on finding quality indie books and bringing them to your attention.
This month our book selection was The Scourge by Roberto Calas which is a medieval zombie tale and quite enjoyable!
The Scourge features three Knights who are making their way across a zombie filled England. Their mission is to rescue the wife of the leader of the three, and they’ll allow nothing to stand in their way.
In a market saturated with zombie stories this is the first I’ve encountered set during this time in history and it works perfectly. The populace is already used to hardships and plagues and honestly a person in that time period might have stood a better chance than we would in our own time!
The banter between the primary characters is excellent and keeps the story advancing at a fast pace. The author tries to be respectful of the settings and time the story is set within, and does a great job of telling a good story. The anguish and personal hell that Edward (the lead character) is going through while trying to reach his wife is exquisitely displayed as is his turmoil of seeing the country he has fought for and sworn to overrun by an endless enemy. You’ll find yourself caring about and invested in these characters.
Our goal (as stated above) with Stars In The Sky is to find quality independent works and give them greater visibility. Last month the bar was set high with The Crown Of Stones: Magic Price and this month the level of quality has been maintained by The Scourge. Looking forward to reading and enjoying more by Roberto Calas!
For my first Stars In The Sky review highlighting independent authors and their works I selected The Crown Of Stones Magic Price by C.L. Schneider. I am thankful that I did.
The characters are beautifully flawed and fully realized. The conversations are fluid and move the story along. The action is fast paced and well described. The magical system is understandable and interesting. The world is well constructed and rich with the unexplored vistas of ancient history that you desire in a first class fantasy novel.
So you have all of the elements needed to weave together an enjoyable and engaging story, the question that remains: Is the author able to weave all of these elements together into a story that you want to read?
The answer is an unhesitating yes. A resounding yes. I tip my hat to C.L. Schneider and say thank you for an excellent story and for setting so high of a bar for my search for quality independent stories.
Ian Troy is a tortured and gifted soul. Blessed or possibly cursed with powerful magical abilities and a legacy of destruction and death. After spending years of his life trying to distance himself from who he is and what he has done he is brought face to face with these things and pushed beyond his limits to endure. He is one that can cause empires to rise and fall with his choices regardless of if he wants to be a part of it or not.
You’ll find yourself enjoying the characters, hoping for the best while fearing what might come next. This story is a fine addition to any collection with its eye catching cover and name, and is a fantastic book to read. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the storyline and anything more this author chooses to write!
The Crown Of Stones Magic Price by C.L. Schneider is the first of the Stars In The Sky series of reviews, and it is a very bright star that is well worth your notice. Be on the lookout for my next independent author review in May!
There are a LOT of independent authors out there nowadays with more joining their ranks all the time! The ease of self publishing these days has had a dramatic impact on the independent marketplace. The ability of the author to reach their audience has never been higher.
That said: The amount of self published authors out there makes it more difficult to gain the attention of readers. The clamor of self marketing can create a white noise sensation that most readers would rather tune out than sift through. It is difficult being just another star in a night sky that is already full of stars.
Yet in the midst of this modern self publishing boom you’ll find some marvelous gems and beautiful stories! A lot of talented authors choose to self publish so that they gain full creative control over their work, and that can be a thing of beauty when handled correctly.
I want to use my platform as a book reviewer to place a spotlight on some of the self published works out there, and help them to break free from all of the clamor, and connect with their readership. My goals are to review one self published book a month and share my findings with y’all. I’m not taking submissions from authors at this time, just searching out stories that capture my interest. I do welcome any and all reviewers to join in the search with me!
I hope y’all will find this journey as much fun as I will and if any of you would like to join in the fun I will be titling and hashtagging this adventure as: Stars In The Sky as there are many stars in the night sky and I’ll be bring attention to a few of the ones that shine brightly to me. Appropriate for a book review blog entitled RedStarReviews 😉 I’m very excited about this and looking forward to sharing my discoveries with y’all.