Tag Archives: Reviews

The Six Elemental | Review by Christopher Walsh

the-six-elemental_fireworksThe Six Elemental is suspenseful and engaging YA novel by Ali House. It’s so engaging that I started reading it in the airport in Windsor, Ontario en route to Newfoundland and had it nearly finished by the time the plane touched down in St. John’s. That included a flight change in Toronto!

The setting and plot are both realized quite well and the political spectrum of the island nations has surprising depth for a YA novel. (Or at least the ones I’ve read) The main character, Kit Tyler is brought to life quite vividly and her journey through the fantastical, dystopian world filled with magical super-humans delves into subjects that run parallel to issues faced by young adults in our own world. Continue reading The Six Elemental | Review by Christopher Walsh

Supernatural Causes by Amanda Labonté | Review by Ali House

020Fans of True Blood*, the Anita Blake series**, and other stories with tall, dark, and devastatingly handsome vampires, should definitely pick up Supernatural Causes by Amanda Labonté.

Vampires, Werewolves, and Witches live in harmony with humans, although the majority of humans don’t realize it. Liesel Andrews is a pre-med student who can see supernatural beings for what they truly are, making her the perfect choice to work at the local supernatural hospital. However, her busy-yet-mundane life gets interrupted when she’s called upon to investigate a mysterious illness affecting the vampire community.

Labonté adds to the pre-existing mythology of vampires, giving it some new blood (pun intended), and adding a level of curiosity to the virus (just… how?). As the first installment, Going Viral sets up the world and introduces key characters, giving you enough information to understand what’s going on, while leaving enough unanswered questions to keep you curious. Continue reading Supernatural Causes by Amanda Labonté | Review by Ali House

The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes | Ellen Curtis, Newfoundland Quarterly

“Through her reluctant heroine, Canning explores the privacy costs of the new necessity to keep up via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or wherever. When does that participation equal surrendering our privacy?”

To read Ellen’s entire review of The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes by Bridget Canning, click here.

Fantasy from the Rock review by Matthew Daniels

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Matthew Daniels

“Fantasy had its beginnings in mythology and, by extension, religion. In addition to faith, though, fantasy also challenges belief. This collection is very much in tune with both of these sides of fantasy. Social order, tradition, the world and our place in it, humanity, daily life, even the nature of stories — beliefs about all of these are challenged in Fantasy from the Rock. So celebrate the fairies and other miracles you find in its pages, but look for the challenges and reversals. It’s enlightening, and a great deal of fun” — Matthew Daniels, author of Healer’s Hoards and Living and Learning.

As Fierce as Steel by Christopher Walsh | Other Indie

An imaginative and eclectic mix of , JRR Tolkien, George RR Martin and… Baz Luhrmann???

I’ll admit I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up my digital copy of As Fierce as Steel by first-time author Christopher P. Walsh. I knew it was a fantasy genre from Walsh’s stellar campaigning over the last year, and I saw with a quick flip through the pages that the chapter breaks were similar in style to RR Martin (in that, each chapter switches the point-of-view and the character-in-questions name is the default ‘chapter title’). I read all five of the A Song of Ice and Fire books this past year so that slight visual cue alone gave me what I thought was a reasonable expectation of what lay within. Continue reading As Fierce as Steel by Christopher Walsh | Other Indie

A Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice | Other Indie

A Quest of Heroes is a 2012 high fantasy novel written and published by Morgan Rice. This is the first novel in The Sorcerer’s Ring fantasy series by Rice, which has produced sixteen sequels to date, with her latest entry, The Gift of Battle, having followed in November 2014.

This book takes its cues from the works that cemented the “heroes journey” storytelling technique into the modern culture. There are shades of Tolkien and George RR Martin noticed and appreciated, but more importantly there are elements of the authors which inspired them: there are strong hints of influences of the epic Greek poems, strong hints of affection for the Odyssey,  and iconography like the Dynasty Sword allude to Arthurian legends and folklore. There is a lot to unpack with this book from even just a meta-textual perspective, so much so that I’m genuinely shocked it hasn’t gotten more critical attention than it has: it’s a gold mine of world-building lovingly pieced together from fragments of the epic fantasy worlds that came before it, from an author who recognizes how those elements can fit together to make something fresh and new. Continue reading A Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice | Other Indie

Ana Paulin: The Cardboard Kid

To our minds, there’s no better way to celebrate International Women’s Day yesterday than to celebrate the youngest creative woman in our circle of authors! The wonderfully energetic and talented Ana Paulin, daughter of Ink’d Well Comics founder and Engen Books contributor Jay Paulin, has started a YouTube channel The Cardboard Kid to review board games: from a kid’s point-of-view!

Great work Ana! We can’t wait to see what you do! 🙂