Book Review: Deep Time – Prophet of the Godseed

Originally I had intended to write a review for this author’s other book, Muramasa, however I got that during a trial run of kindle unlimited, which expired before I had the chance to finish it, causing the book to disappear from my library. I still intend to review that one as well, but I’ll have to wait until later on before I can purchase and reread that particular novel. Instead, I went for a cheaper option of his more recent work (if you’re wondering why so many DVS reviews, it’s because I follow him on YouTube )

So, after doing what I swore to myself I wouldn’t do – neglect this blog – I’ve come back with a new indie book review. Some (very) minor spoilers forthcoming.

Deep Time: Prophet of the Godseed is another work from David Stewart, however this one is a complete story rather than just a first act as my review of Dissonant Tides was. I’ll start by saying the premise alone is what intrigued me enough to spend the dollar something on Amazon. The main crux of the story revolves around the concept of a sci-fi set within the confines of relativity rather than ways around it (such as in Star Trek), including the role time dilation would play on space faring culture’s perception of the universe while traveling at near-light speeds.

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Indie Book Review – Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci

Jenna Moreci is another writer I stumbled across on YouTube (trust me, you can find some cool writers on there these days) who decided to make her debut in the world of self-publising, showing that Indie authors have just as much talent to offer as those who choose the traditional route (albeit this  book would have benefitted greatly with more rigorous editing phases).

Before I get into the book I would like to point out her channel as being a fun way to get writings tips, her quirky humor is a definite charm factor (and it comesout in her writing as well), so I recommend you go check it out. But this isn’t a review of her channel, but rather her debut novel Eve: The Awakening (here if you happen to be Canadian like me). Keep in mind I like to end with the positives so don’t write the book off until you read the whole review (although I recommend you don’t write it off at all).

The story opens with a dream sequence of Eve as a little girl and the traumatic experience of her emergence (that is, the sudden development of physical and telekinetic abilities, know as “the gift”), which becomes a source of extreme ridicule and prejudice by just about everyone in her hometown of San Francisco. It is this prejudice that serves as her main motivation for the first part of the book, as she eagerly leaves San Fran as she gets accepted into the prestigious Billington University (which is super expensive – Billington – get it?) on a one year scholarship. Just prior to her evacuation from the city, however, she encounters one of the novel’s main antagonists – an alien member of a species referred to as Interlopers

At this point the novel takes on a sort of after-school teen romance show like The OC or something, but I was already intrigued by Eve and the existence of chimeras and aliens, so I already knew it wasn’t going to be that sort of sappy crap (ok, I admit it, I was actually a HUGE fan of the OC but that’s neither here nor there). Eventually she meets the love interest of the story, Jason Valentine and his friends, who together decide to take on the Interlopers. From this point on the novel becomes an action thriller full of intense fight scenes and lots of blood – just how I like it (after all, I’m a pretty big fan of Lord Grimdark himself, Joe Abercrombie, although Eve: The Awakening is hardly grimdark).

As much as I enjoyed the book, however, it wasn’t without it’s flaws. If you follow Jenna’s vlog on YouTube, she mentions several times in her vids how she doesn’t like to use heavy description or engage in much world building – and her Hemingway-esque approach to both of these shows. Sometimes this style works for certain types of stories, but when it comes to fantasy and sci-fi it really is a must. It doesn’t need to be on ASOIAF levels of world building, but I felt like certain things weren’t fully explained.

For example we’re never really told where this gift came from, that it just “appeared” in the human gene pool seemingly out of no where, and it’s just left at that. The Interlopers are a bit one-dimensional and are not really fleshed out at all as villains, including THE big baddie (which I don’t want to spoil), which is rather unfortunate as I felt there was potential to build more upon them. It definitely ends with an opening for a sequel so I’m guessing we’ll learn more in subsequent books, however I really think it should have been expanded on more in this book. The chapters were also a bit too long which caused some pacing issues as it often seemed like they should have ended several pages ago, which made the plot feel sluggish at times.

Most of the characters were engaging and fun to read (especially Percy and Sancho), however they were a little 2-dimensional with some hammy dialogue (but not overly so), I would have liked to see them develop a bit more by the end of the novel. Eve is the only one who appears to show any real growth by the final chapter. Again, book 2 might expand them more as actual people, but this really should have been done more in this one. Despite all this, however, the characters remained believable enough that I didn’t toss it off to the side.

Some other minor criticism include excessive use of dashes which made me aware of the author at some points, as well as words such as “quipped” and “groused” when a simple “said” would have worked just fine (better, actually). None of this is really top-heavy, though, and is easily ignored (but still shouldn’t be there).

Now, all of the book’s faults aside, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it. A sign of a good book (and a good writer) is when you look forward to continuing your read, and I definitely got that from Eve: The Awakening. Even if the characters weren’t quite as developed as they could have been, I still cared about what happened to them, which gave the fight scenes added intensity. I will say that in some scenes I got really into it and started imagining what I’d do in such a situation – so the immersion for me was quite excellent. The plot twist at the end caught me off guard as well and the climax was very, well, climactic! Looking forward to the next installment for sure.

So, all in all, I would rank Eve: The Awakening a solid 3.5 out of 5 and certainly worth a read – definite recommendation. Jenna Moreci is for sure an indie author to keep an eye on, I know I will be!


OF Lobo And Grimon (LOTR fanfic parody)

Of Lobo and Grimon
by: A.R. Jameson

“The kings of the west have forgotten their purpose,” Lobo spoke up of a sudden as they pushed the little ox cart through north Shire on their way to Hobbiton.

“Hmm?” Grimon was eating a carrot in the passenger seat next to him and was paying scant attention to his musings.

“The Kings of Gondor and Rohan!” Lobo smacked Grimon upside the head. “With Sauron dead for over six hundred years they have lost site of what made middle-earth a truly mystical land.”

“Well, what you gonna do about it then, Master?”

“As simple hobbit brewers, nothing. Nothing but pay the wretched tax on our goods and absurd toll fees to use the roads. King Agron has truly lost his wits over the last century.”

“I need to have a piss,” Grimon declared. He began to stand as while the cart was still moving, swaying dangerously whilst he attempted to undo his breeches.

“What are you doing? Get down from there!” Lobo reached up and yanked Lobo back down with a hard thump. “You drink entirely too much of our product. At least let me pull over first.”

The cart rattled to a stop by the side of the road and Grimon hopped off. A few seconds later the sound of a urine stream could be heard ruslting the grass. “Ah, now that’s better.”

Just then a trio of ruffians trotted up behind them. Three stout hobbits in ragtag armor sat atop stouter ponies, their faces hard and broken in several places. Typical Shire outlaws.

“Well, well, what this?” said the first one, a bushel of red hair and bulbous nose.

“Looks like a pair of fools thinking to ride our roads for free,” answered the second, scar across his cheek stretching as he smiled.

“Come on now, lads. We already are forced to pay the king’s tax for the roads, you’re really going to make us pay a second?”

“Why do you think we charge a toll in the first place? We have debts to cover.”

Red hair drew his short sword, the scarred one trotted up close. “Well well, looks like we got ourselves a haul. A good shipment of ale to boost our profits.”

Red hair licked his lips. “Hand it over, then, less you want steel through your belly.”

Lobo and Grimon watched as the brigands made off with their cart, left with nothing but their underpants and the noonday sun beating against their bare backs.

“Would this be one of those hard life lessons you’ve mentioned to me so much about?” Grimon pondered.

Lobo sighed. “I’m afraid so.”

Grimon scratched his head. “And what is the lesson?”

Lobo raised his fist. “That… we need to get ourselves a wizard. And some better smallclothes.”


Indie Author Review: David Stewart (Dissonant Tides)

I came across David Stewart via his YouTube channel when searching for reviews of The Force Awakens (if you disliked the movie as much I did, I recommend you check it out). I found his analysis to be spot on and instantly subscribed.

What I soon noticed was that he has an ongoing writer’s vlog series, and from here learned that he offers free fiction on his website (DVSPRESS), so decided to check it out. So far I’ve only read the first act of his upcoming novel, Dissonant Tides, but I’ll say right now it’s a disappointment. No, not because it’s bad, but because I wanted to keep on reading! As such, I can only review what I’ve read, but if the rest of it is anything like the first part then this could very well be a bestseller (or, at least, best seller quality).

The story follows a runaway aristocrat, Charlotte, and her hired protector, Rone, as they arrive in the city of Masala, hotly perused by agents of a hostile government, set in a world of swords and muskets. You can read the novel description (and the first act) here. Currently, as of writing this article, there are only the first five chapters available, but they’ll quickly draw you in and make you wish the damn thing was available for purchase on Amazon (he does, however, have this one up, which I will review as well at some point). But alas! We must wait.

There are a few minor errors in the text (but hey, it’s free, and not yet the finished product), and some slight pacing issues (in my opinion anyway) with regards to a certain scene (hint: there’s a kiss), but since this is only the first act it’s difficult to say if it was really rushed or not. Just read it, you’ll know what I mean! Aside from that, however, it’s a pretty solid and entertaining read.

Currently I’m one of his other free stories, Deep Time (co-created with Matt Wellman), a science fiction set in a universe confined to the restrictions of Relativity. The premise certainly intrigued me, and I’ll be posting a review of that sometime in the future.

So there you have it – a neat upcoming novel that’s sure to please fantasy lovers everywhere – spread the word!