Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Review: The Guttersnipes by Scott Eric Barrett

About the Book

Published on September 29, 2016 by Pegasus Elliott Mackenzie Publishers

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description

Charlie Daniels is more than six feet tall, allergic to almost everything, and has a pet dinosaur at home. His life in Arizona is relatively normal. That is, apart from the nightmares Charlie has...

But when his dinosaur, Trike, gets kidnapped by a strange old lady and her cat-like sidekick, Charlie and his misfit friend Arty are sucked into a story bigger than both of them. Risking everything to rescue Trike, Charlie and Arty are flung into the past, landing in the chaos of New York City, 1865.

Dodging the mysterious Nasten Cobblestine, and avoiding the perils of New York's nastiest street cleaners' strikes, test Charlie's wits as well as his courage. All he wants to do is reunite with his dinosaur and somehow find a way back home...

As Charlie searches for Trike, he draws dangerously close to P.T. Barnum's eerie museum and the creature that lies within. Will he find Trike and get home alive? And who is the Ice Lady of his nightmares?

My Thoughts

This book is truly difficult to review.  There were so many things that I liked!  However, there were also several things that I truly despised.  In the interest of being honest, let's talk about the positive and negative aspects separately.

What I Liked

  • Charlie and Arty are both very well-developed characters.  Barrett's ability to create and maintain such strong characters was a true delight!
  • Zip.  He was AMAZING! He reminded me SOOOOOOOOO much of Soap from Gail Carriger's Finishing School series.  I loved how loyal he was to those who were loyal to him, despite the situations that may put him in.  Even though there was a wide variety of supporting characters, the story would not have been complete without Zip.

What I Didn't Like As Much

  • There was so much introduced that nothing was really concluded.  What IS Mrs. Nedivah?  Who is the Ice Lady?  Why does she matter?  What was Saladin trying to fix?  
  • I never figured out who the true bad guy was.  Was there one?  OR was this a metaphor for life when each different situation has it's own protagonist and antagonist?  I wish it would have been a little more clear.


I enjoyed how fast-paced this book was.  I think that middle school readers would truly enjoy it.

My Rating

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Just for You!

Hey there!

I want to say thank you to all of you who have followed Ms. J Mentions... for so long.  I am so inspired by and grateful for your continued support over this last year and a half.

To thank you properly, I've created a 10$ Gift Card Giveaway for my Etsy shop, Gillywing Creates, that is only open to select individuals.  Because of your continued support, that includes you.  Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 26, 2018

Book Blitz: The Forest Beyond the Earth

The Forest Beyond the Earth
Matthew S. Cox
Publication date: February 6th 2018
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Under the watchful eye of the Mother Shrine, twelve-year-old Wisp ekes out a simple, but challenging life with Dad, foraging for food and losing herself in old books from the world that came before. She loves the Endless Forest ― except when the Tree Walkers come for her.
In ages past, the great rain of fire and ash destroyed the Earth, wiping out the ancients and everything they had made. Nature has reclaimed much since then, spreading out in a vast forest full of wonder and dread. Ever in fear of being taken away, she follows Dad’s rules without question while learning to survive off the land.
No longer a small child, she accompanies Dad on one of his treks, her first time more than a few steps away from the cabin. A day exploring with him is the happiest time of her life, but joy is short-lived.
A monster follows them home.
Safe in her Haven, she hides while Dad goes outside to confront the beast. She wakes alone the next morning, and waits. Alas, her hope of his return fades with the daylight. Desperate, she breaks his strictest rule and goes outside alone. Not far from the cabin, she discovers his rifle abandoned next to the monster’s strange footprints.
Afraid but determined, Wisp sets off on her own into the Endless Forest to find Dad ― before the Tree Walkers catch her.
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Sheltered among the great moss-dappled trunks, Wisp peered out from her hiding place at the forest of monsters, barely breathing, lest the Tree Walkers hear her.
She glanced back over her shoulder at Dad, twenty feet away and closer to the cabin. Distracted by fiddling with his rifle, he hadn’t noticed her wander off toward the little yellow flowers. Being so far away from him tightened a knot in her belly, but she pushed fear aside. Hunger had far more of a hold on her, and besides… the sun filtered down through the pines, strong and warm. Tree Walkers didn’t come out in the day.
Or so she hoped.
Wisp eased her toes into the soil, on guard for sharp rocks, stinging insects, or other dangers. The leather scraps of her skirt brushed at her legs with each tentative step. Dad recently made it to replace the same tattered dress she’d worn for the past two years. The frayed garment had grown so tight the fabric was ready to come apart if she breathed in too deep. He’d also given her a shirt he’d found on one of his scavenging trips, but she’d been less thrilled it with due to its bright pink color. It made her stand out. Not to mention, it had been torn so short it left her stomach bare. This outfit wouldn’t do well in the colder months, though Dad seldom let her out of the cabin then anyway, so perhaps it wouldn’t matter. While he didn’t make the pink mess, he did fix it for her. The former T-shirt had belonged to a grownup, but he’d added a crisscross of leather cord at the neck to cinch it tighter.
Despite the horrid color of her shirt, at least she could move around and not worry about destroying her clothing.
She squatted low to the ground, her thighs peeking out from two slits in the front of her skirt. A flap of thicker leather hung down between her legs, almost touching the soil as she brushed her hand back and forth looking for signs of edible insects or plants. Straight blonde hair fell around her, also nearly in contact with the ground. Close to home, they’d harvested everything of value already. To find food, they would have to venture deeper into the woods and risk the Tree Walkers finding them.
The thought brought a shiver.
“Wisp?” called Dad, worry in his voice. “Where are you going?”
Suppressing a gasp of fear, she twisted around to peer back at him. Before she could say a word, a distant snap echoed behind her in the woods. She crouched even lower and whirled back to stare in that direction, fingers and toes digging into the dirt, ready to run like hell for the cabin door.
Dad jogged up behind her. “What are you doing so far off? You know you’re not supposed to wander away from me like that.”
She lifted one hand to point at the distant forest floor full of tiny yellow flowers. “I found yellowgreens.”

Author Bio:
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- after="" also="" and="" cats.="" deliberate="" fiction="" fond="" happens="" he="" intellectual="" is="" it.="" life="" nature="" of="" p="" questions="" reality="" science="" that="" the="" what="">


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Cover Reveal: Lucifer's Pride

Lucifer’s Pride
G.P. Ching
(Soulkeepers Reborn, #3)
Publication date: May 29th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
No one comes between the Devil and his pride.
To save his friends, Finn Wager opened a bridge between worlds. But the dark magic he used exacted a terrible price. Unable to remain on the Soulkeeper team, he joins a coven of magicians in New Orleans, vowing to undo the damage he’s caused. But when he tries to save the day, he ends up making everything worse.
Numbers dwindling, the Soulkeepers are more vulnerable than ever. The new Healer is reluctant to replace Hope on the team. Even if he decides to try, he’ll have to pass an initiation by the Immortals with life or death consequences. Meanwhile, the Soulkeepers are without the leader they need.
Twice, the Soulkeepers have evaded Lucifer’s clutches and injured his pride. Now it’s personal. He’ll stop at nothing to exploit their weaknesses, take back his power, and end the Soulkeepers for good. Unless through courage, loyalty, and self-sacrifice, they can find a way to become a team again.
For more information and preorder links visit:

Author Bio:
G.P. Ching is a USA Today bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy novels for young adults and not-so-young adults. She bakes wicked cookies, is commonly believed to be raised by wolves, and thinks both the ocean and the North Woods hold magical healing powers. G.P.'s idea of the perfect day involves several cups of coffee and a heavy dose of nature. She splits her time between central Illinois and Hilton Head Island with her husband, two children, and a Brittany spaniel named Jack, who is always ready for the next adventure.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Review: Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna

About the Book

Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna
Published by Atria/Keywords Press on September 19, 2017

Neither the author nor the publisher requested this review.

GoodReads Description

Comedian Gabbie Hanna brings levity to the twists and turns of modern adulthood in this exhilarating debut collection of illustrated poetry.

In poems ranging from the singsong rhythms of children’s verses to a sophisticated confessional style, Gabbie explores what it means to feel like a kid and an adult all at once, revealing her own longings, obsessions, and insecurities along the way. Adultolescence announces the arrival of a brilliant new voice with a magical ability to connect through alienation, cut to the profound with internet slang, and detonate wickedly funny jokes between moments of existential dread. You’ll turn to the last page because you get her, and you’ll return to the first because she gets you.

My Thoughts

So far, Adultolescence claims the travelling trophy for "Hardest Book to Review in 2018."  There were parts that made me laugh and cry.  There were parts that hit so close to home it was unreal.  And then there was the grammar...ouch.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I understand that this is a book of poetry and that poetry doesn't have to be formatted the same way as prose.  HOWEVER I had a really hard time with all of the use of text speech.  "rn" and "bc" really annoyed me after a while.  The most frustrating part, though, was that the personal pronoun "I" was never capitalized.  I understand that overall her abhorrent use of grammar and her lack of capitalization was an artistic choice.  What I don't understand is how she can pen so many poems that talk about individuality and the importance of being yourself, but SHE DOESN'T FREAKING CAPITALIZE THE I.  When I teach this concept to my students, I tell them that we capitalize it because they matter.  I specifically make them say "I capitalize I because I matter."  I want them to develop positive self-thoughts and to develop as independent individuals.  How can someone who claims to do so ignore the capitalization here?  Alternatively, how am I that anal?  (I'm curious, tell me in the comments...)

This book is chock full of comical moments.  The illustrations are delightful and truly do a terrific job of sending home Hanna's messages.  There are a variety of overarching themes, and I believe that all of them would be beneficial to high school students.  I am not sure that I would choose to buy it for my classroom library, mainly because curse words are common and there is talk of getting drunk and hangovers.  In my school, these are not community standard.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  I think Hanna intended it more for college students, but I most definitely believe that high school students will be able to relate to parts of it as well.

My Rating

Monday, March 19, 2018

Promo Post! Galatine's Curse by T.J. Green

Galatine’s Curse
T.J. Green
(Tom’s Arthurian Legacy, #3)
Publication date: March 20th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
An ancient sword. A dark secret. A new enemy.
In the third book in the series, Tom has established a new life in the Otherworld, a life he loves. He lives with Arthur in New Camelot, and Arthur is hosting a tournament. Eager to test his sword-fighting skills, Tom’s competing. But while the games are being played, his friends are attacked and everything he loves is threatened. Tom has to find the intruder before anyone else gets hurt.
Tom’s sword, Galatine, seems to be the focus of these attacks. Their investigations uncover Galatine’s dark history and a terrible betrayal that a family has kept secret for generations. But this secret now puts others at risk, including Tom, and he realises that he could lose everything unless he can solve the mystery of his sword’s past.
Galatine’s Curse is the third book in the YA Arthurian fantasy series, Tom’s Arthurian Legacy. If you enjoy magic and mystery, a strong group of characters and Arthurian fantasy, then you’ll love this action-filled adventure.
Buy Galatine’s Curse for your thrilling new fantasy adventure today!
They shuffled towards the light, and Tom gasped. The passage had opened out, and they were on a narrow shelf, looking out across a large cave that twinkled with a faint blue glow. Far below them was a lake lit from beneath, reminding Tom of Ceridwen’s Cauldron.
“Where’s the light coming from?” Tom asked, as he craned round to look at the cave. It was almost circular, and although the lake was a long way down, the roof seemed far above them too.
“Great Goddess!” Nimue murmured. “It must be coming from daystar sapphires.” She pointed. “There are hundreds set into the cavern walls.”
“What are those? I’ve never heard of them,” Brenna said.
“Very rare stones with strong magical properties,” Nimue replied. “Only those who practise magic use them, and they’re very hard to get.” She gazed around with wonder.
“And yet Raghnall seems to have had his own enormous supply,” Arthur said.
“I wonder,” Merlin said, “could they have been used in Filtiarn’s spell?”
A narrow walkway ran off to their right before petering out, and Merlin felt his way along, heading towards where a smattering of stones came within reach.
“Maybe,” Nimue murmured, deep in thought. “They have the ability to enhance any spell, but the power actually makes them dangerous. I have never used them, even when I had some. If they’re used incorrectly, they can cause what I can only describe as a magical explosion.”
“That’s a long way down,” Bloodmoon said, peering over the edge. He picked up a stone and dropped it. It was several seconds before they heard a faint splash. “I think there’s something down there.”
“Like what?” Tom said, alarmed.
Beansprout dropped to her knees, better to look over the edge. “Can you see that black shape against the blue? It looks like it’s circling around.”
“It’s getting bigger,” Woodsmoke said. “Is that because it’s getting closer?” He looked at Bloodmoon, annoyed. “Have you woken something?”
“I only dropped a stone in!” he said, indignant. “Whatever it is, it’s a long way down. You worry too much, Woodsmoke!”
Before anyone else could comment there was an enormous splash and the black shape emerged from the water, silhouetted against the blue. The shape kept coming, and then a spurt of fire emerged from the blackness, followed by the familiar roar of a dragon.
“It’s a bloody great dragon,” Arthur yelled, pulling Excalibur free with a hiss. “Run!”
But Merlin was still at the end of the ledge, examining the stones.
“Merlin, get a bloody move on!” Arthur yelled, preparing to fight as they stood mesmerised by the dragon’s approach.
And suddenly Tom was aware of Galatine, trembling, its hilt warm to the touch. “How can it live in water?” he shouted as he pulled Galatine free, its opals now swirling furiously.
“Water dragon,” Nimue yelled above the roar, “very vicious, and territorial.”
A blinding white light emitted from her hands, held palms forward, forming a wall in front of them just as the dragon drew level and released another stream of fire.
They instinctively ducked, but the shield held, turning into a wall of flame as the fire hit it. Beyond, the dragon flapped its enormous wings and fixed them with a vicious stare before flying round to circle back, its huge wing span creating a rush of air.
“Wow!” Tom said, rising to his feet and looking with new appreciation at Nimue.
Merlin stumbled, and Arthur ran to him, helping him to his feet. Woodsmoke and Bloodmoon had already drawn their arrows in case the shield failed.
“Get a move on, Merlin,” Nimue commanded icily. She turned to Beansprout. “Join your hand to mine, and hold your other hand out, like me.”
Without hesitating, Beansprout did as she asked, and Tom saw her stiffen as a wave of power travelled through her, strengthening the shield.
Tom watched the dragon turn back towards them, dripping with phosphorescent water, like a sheen of blue fire racing along its wings and dripping down its jaw. It was magnificent and terrifying all at the same time.

Author Bio:
T J Green was born in England, but moved to New Zealand 10 years ago. She currently lives near Wellington with her partner and her cats Sacha and Leia. When not writing she does lots of reading, gardening and yoga.
In a previous life she's been a singer in a band, and has done some acting with a theatre company - both of which were lots of fun. On occasions she and a few friends make short films, which begs the question, where are the book trailers? Thinking on it ...
Tom's Inheritance is TJ Green's first book in the series Tom’s Arthurian Legacy, the sequel Twice Born was released in February 2017. Galatine’s Curse, book 3, will be released in March 2018. She is also working on a few short stories which further expand the world of Tom in the Other.
Her new project is an urban fantasy series about witches.


Friday, March 16, 2018

What Inspires Natasha Lane? An Author Interview

Welcome to my stop on Natasha Lane's tour!  I haven't had the opportunity to read this book quite yet, but I'm definitely planning to!  It sounds so amazing and I'm so excited to share it with you!

About the Book

When Sarah was four, she promised her mother she would be a good girl -- a proper young lady in their small country town -- and that she would ignore the creatures who appeared to her and whispered in her ear of things unknown. But like all creatures of myth and legend, they won’t be ignored forever.

Now thirteen, Sarah is attacked by a wolf with poisonous black fur and strange, human-looking eyes. With the help of a few unexpected friends, she manages to survive the attack but soon discovers the creatures have returned. They want Sarah to find a powerful gemstone and bring it to them in Lyrica, their magical homeworld.

Her new friends urge caution, however. There may be more monsters like the black wolf. And the creatures themselves are frightening. Can Sarah trust them? Stuck between reality and imagination, her mother’s wishes and her own desires, Sarah faces an impossible choice – break her promise or do nothing to save a world in peril.

A Chat with Natasha Lane

Ms. J: What motivated you to start writing?

Natasha Lane: I don’t think there was really any one thing that motivated me. I always enjoyed reading and I think that love of reading just transitioned into a love of writing, as well. I know that when I was in my teens and even today, actually, writing acted as an outlet for me. I could freely express myself, all of me, in writing which is probably one of the reasons I kept so many diaries. So, I guess reading was a way for me to escape, while writing was - is- a way for me to express myself and fight back against anything that tried to suppress me.

Name the first book that made you cry.

The first book? Okay, that’s a hard one because I’ve read so many books over the years. But, if I had to pick, I’d say She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb. It may not be the first book that made me cry but it is one of the books that did. I was older than thirteen when I read the book but once a chubby kid, always a chubby kid. I still had those self-esteem issues and I still recognized my own struggles with self-love and weight. So, when I was reading about Dolores, it was like I was reading about myself.

Describe your favorite book from your childhood.

If we’re talking about young childhood, I’d have to pick The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. I had the special cover where the fish was raised up, so you could smooth your hands over its scales and it was just covered in glitter. Basically, candy for a crazy, artistic kid like me. I also liked that the Rainbow Fish was selfless and cared more about making her friends happy.

What are some of the themes you often include in your stories?

Like most people, I’m a sucker for a good underdog story. I enjoy taking characters that aren’t exactly extraordinary or they may even be a little messed up and putting them in situations where they get to shine. I try to emphasize the importance of founded families, friendship, kindness, willpower, self-love and courage. To name a few.

Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?

I think for some people it is. It’s spiritual for me but only to a certain extent, depending on how you define spiritual. I think, for me, writing is more of a therapeutic practice. It helps me clear things up that I can’t really make sense of otherwise. Sometimes when I go back and read my writing rants, everything just comes in clearer.

Name a book that has had a significant impact on your writing.

1984 by George Orwell. I didn’t like every book that was required reading in high school but 1984 is an exception. The book was one of my first sci-fi, dystopian reads but what really got me about it (besides the the basic concept and world building) was the ending. Up until then, I had never read a book where there wasn’t a happy ending. 1984 reminded me that stories don’t have to have happy endings to be good.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes! It is so real. I don’t get it often but when I do it hits me hard. Usually, if I’ve stretched myself too far, like there are too many tasks on my to-do lists, my brain shuts down. I think it’s my body’s way of telling me “No more writing until you relax!”

What does literary success look like to you? 

Obviously, being able to live off my writing, at least in part, would be great. However, what matters most to me is that I spark something in readers like the books I read sparked feelings in me. Hopefully, all those feelings are positive but just to cause a reaction in readers, to get them to think, to question and to rile them up, would be success to me.

About the Author

Natasha D. Lane is a friend of most things caffeinated, a lover of books, and a writing warrior to her core. As a big believer in the idea that “the pen is mightier than the sword,” she graduated from Juniata College in 2015 with hopes of becoming a journalist. While she still holds on to that dream, after spending some time in the corporate world and then completing a year of service, she decided it was time to return to publishing. Her first fantasy novel “The Pariah Child & the Ever-Giving Stone” is one of several works she plans on completing. If there were a single piece of advice Natasha could give to young writers, it’d be this: Write your way through life. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Queen of Corona
Publication date: December 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Roza is a mixed-up kid. Eighteen years old and on the threshold of adulthood, she feels powerless in the face of a world that hasn’t adequately prepared her for adult life. She is riddled with anxiety about the world’s problems, the problems of her classmates at an inner-city high school in Corona, Queens. As an American of multicultural heritage (Polish-Jewish on her mother’s side, Venezuelan on her father’s) she struggles to find her place in society where the odds are stacked against people like her.

At the outset, she is on an airplane heading to Warsaw – the city of her ancestors, a city she’d never been to before. The city her mother had fled from in the 1980s because of an article she’d written that had offended the authorities. Roza’s voyage is a kind of reverse immigration – she’s escaping from America back to Poland because of a student protest that ended in tragedy. She alludes to the protest and its bloody end throughout the novel, with flashbacks tormenting her traumatized mind to the very end. When she arrives in Warsaw, she struggles to come to terms with what happened and what part she played in the tragedy. She grapples with the concept of guilt and blame – were the students to blame for what happened or was it the fault of overzealous police? She weighs how fear quells courage in an oppressive society. She confronts the grey reality of post-war Warsaw and realizes that there’s very little of it that she can identify with. She retraces history’s steps through the Polish capital and the former ghetto of WW2. 
Her longing for home is visceral, reflected in the flashbacks of school and relationships that are woven through her daily existence. Flashbacks that reflect the absurdity of the inner-city high school experience, where kids are meant to learn an inimical thread of history that has little to do with their own reality, that places many of them in the position of the conquered and exploited. 
Queen of Corona is a look into the inner life of the inner city. A foray into the mind and heart of a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, torn from her destiny because she dared to stand up and speak up for those who don’t have a voice. A glimpse inside the hopeless hallways of New York City’s failing public schools. It is a coming-of-age novel in a tumultuous time. It is a lesson on how fear is the most dangerous aspect of our Trumped-up existence.

My Thoughts

I received an eARC of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Reader beware: This book will make you uncomfortable.  This book will make you question what you think you know.  How do I know this?  Because that's what it did for me. I'll admit it, I'm Minnesota Nice.  I believe that all people, especially women, should have the utmost respect for themselves.  It was absolutely heartbreaking for me to read a novel where the protagonist sees anything but herself as worthwhile.  What hit even closer to home, however, is that I do teach at a low income school.  That I do work with students that I am positive see themselves and the educational system the same way that Roza does.  Personally, I try to make school relevant to my kids.  But, I know that's not all of us.  I know that it's hard to think of tomorrow when you aren't sure where tonight's meal will come from.  This book definitely points out what's going wrong.  It's not all sunshine and roses.  But I think it's what we, as a country, need to see. 

As for character development, I loved Roza as much as I wanted to scream at her.  She is a headstrong and determined young lady who I admire for standing for her beliefs.  However, I wish she demanded more respect for herself.  Too often, I found her putting herself into compromising situations only to be surprised by the way things ended.  Honestly, I want to grab her, shake her and scream "What were you thinking!?!?!?!" So, kudos to Esterhazy for writing such a believable and antagonizing protagonist.  

Overall, I hated the writing style of this novel.  I liked that Esterhazy took the time to write as Roza would think, but it was difficult to follow the timeline which took a lot of the joy of reading this piece away from me.  I like to know when in the timeline I am, even if I'm in a flashback.  Maybe add some dates or a small mark to let the audience know that they're headed into, or out of, yet another flashback.

The ending made me so angry, I actually screamed at my Ol' Man when I was done.  I can't say much without spoiling it, but I wanted to cry.  It's possible that what upset me the most was how fucking realistic it was.  It hits ya right in the feels because you know it's real.

My Rating

Author Bio:
Esterhazy is a journalist, writer and translator. A native New Yorker, she holds degrees in Comparative Literature from New York University and American Studies from the University of Warsaw. Queen of Corona is her debut novel.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Book Review: The Muse by Arjay Lewis

About the Book

Published by Arjay Entertainment, Inc. on August 10, 2017

I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description

WINNER in the Horror Category at both the 2017 Beverly Hills Book Awards and the 2017 NYC Big Book Awards. 5 Star rating at Horror Novel Reviews.

Famed novelist Jack Court has a secret: the wealthy writer is a serial killer. He has another hidden treasure, a small antediluvian creature that dwells within his body and gives him youth, strength and a superhuman ability to avoid capture. On his trail is Sheriff Neil Trajan, who is certain Court murdered his wife three years earlier.

When the author is hit by a careless driver, the creature leaves him and through a series of events, ends up with lowly writer, Harold Godwine. Godwine begins to write faster and better, but is troubled by dreams of blood.

However, Jack is healing and devolving into something not quite human. As Court seeks the young author, he leaves a trail of destruction, pursued by Trajan and his FBI associate, Bill Morris.

Will Jack Court do anything to retrieve the companion that inspires his dark desires?

My Thoughts

I love horror films.  I love horror novels.  The Muse is phenomenal!  

Allow me to begin by telling you just how freaking amazing these characters are.  They are so stinking believable and so incredibly human.  I've been trying to write this review for two days now and I still can't pick a favorite character.  I love just how real Trajan's pain is and how fully he loves and devotes himself to avenging his wife.  I admire Godwine's perseverance and his dedication to his family.  Court is the bad guy we all hate to admit that we love. At the end of the day, we all have something that we would be motivated to murder by. (If you touch my coffee, you'll see that motivation first hand.)

Lewis is blessed with a terrific storytelling ability. His adjectives and strong, active verbs bring the story to life.  I usually notice small things that don't make logical sense when I read.  Lewis made that search absolutely impossible.  Any little thing that I questioned was immediately responded to in his writing.  I love that he easily discovered and answered any questions his audience would have.  What a wonderful talent!

I try to think of at least one piece of constructive criticism for every novel that I review.  I only have one teeny tiny complaint. Personally, I didn't think it was scary enough.  I enjoyed every twist and turn and never wanted to put this book down.  It was so exciting!  So jam-packed with adventure! I can definitely see where others would think it was scary, it just didn't push my fear button.  Granted, this may be because I have been watching horror films and reading Stephen King since before my eighth birthday.  Maybe that's just something wrong with me...

I definitely recommend this novel to any fans of the horror or adventure genres, particularly Stephen King's fans.  

My Rating