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War of the Staffs by Steve Stephenson and K.M. Tedrick

High fantasy mixed with vampires and adventure? What’s not to love?

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

War of staffsTitle: War of the Staffs
Author: Steve Stephenson, K.M. Tedrick
Series: War of the Staffs #1
Publish Date: July 6th 2016, Black Rose Writing
Genre: High Fantasy
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s DescriptionThe goddess Adois brings a powerful vampire warlock named Taza through the void to turn Muiria into a planet of evil using her powerful staff. Needing an army, he turns a race of dark elves into vampires, but Prince Tarquin is born to fulfill a prophecy to stop Taza.

The prince cannot do it alone. The Wizard Celedant sends him to the Borderers, an elite group of dwarves to learn how to fight, while the wizard begins his search for the Staff of Adaman, the only thing capable of thwarting Taza and Adois’ Staff.

War of the Staffs is the search for two pieces of the ancient Staff of Adaman to counter Adois’ plans. The darkness is rising and using the black power of the Staff of Adois and his army of dark elves, giants, and orcs, Taza will begin a reign of terror the planet will not soon forget.


Luna Lovebooks says…Luna_Lovebooks_100

While most of the book was centered on classic fantasy elements such as wizards, elves, heroes, prophecies, and good versus evil, there are a few elements that make it original. I don’t think of vampires as a fantasy element but they play a central role in this novel. So does the alternate planes of existence and other planets. These elements put a unique spin on this novel.

I really enjoyed the young Prince Tarquin’s storyline. I like that he must prove himself in the Dwarven army and gains their respect. Along with Tarquin is the Wizard Celedant who must thwart attack after attack from the Warlock Taza and get Tarquin where he needs to be. Although the vicious attacks can get a little repetitive.

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There were parts in this novel that were easy to read and I could make it through. However, there were parts that were slow and I struggled to get through. I had to set it aside a couple of times and come back to it. For this reason, I give this novel 3 dark elves. I am not sure if I am up for reading the second installment, but if it sounds like something up your alley then go for it!

Other recommendations…

Check out these other great fantasy reads!  The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh, Markswoman by Rati Mehrotra

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Ghost Writer by Damon Norko

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

Ghost WriterTitle: The Ghost Writer
Author: Damon Norko
Series: Stand Alone
Publish Date: November 20, 2015, Black Rose Writing
Genre: Paranormal Literary  Fiction
Source: Provided by Publisher

Publisher’s Description: What would you do if you came back as a ghost? You could finally write that novel . . .

Meet Arnold Showalter, ghost.

At night, Arnold haunts the magnificent underground Mystic Caverns of Appalachia. But during the day, Arnold becomes The Ghost Writer, the first “literary voice from beyond the grave.” Yet before Arnold can capitalize on his fame, he must first exorcise the “ghosts” of his own past. And it is easy to become bitter when one is dead . . .

Fortunately, Arnold’s world is rocked when he meets Clarisse, a 15-year-old fatality of a car accident. Her fresh outlook and spunky energy awaken Arnold to the real possibilities of post-life existence. Clarisse inspires a quest that takes Arnold to the farthest reaches of the universe, and deep within himself.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.


Luna_Lovebooks_100Luna Lovebooks says…

I had a hard time trying to figure out how exactly to do my review and what to rate this one. I think it is an interesting idea, but that it is confusing and could have been planned out better.

The Ghost Writer is written using stream of consciousness. It jumps from scene to scene, past to present, earth to space and back very rapidly.  A lot happens in a short amount of pages, and it ends rather abruptly. I was left with unanswered questions and feel like there are loose ends that are not tied up.

As far as the characters go, I found myself wishing I could connect with them more. They are well thought out and I think—given the space of a full-sized novel—I would have come to love them. The world building could also use some work. Several ghosts seem to have jobs and are expected to sign a contract and clock in and out of work, but Arnold doesn’t seem to have set hours and often leaves his post early. The punishment for breaking a contract is disintegration by way of ghost cop, but these beings can clearly get far enough away by flying to the Moon that they can’t be caught. There is also some philosophical stuff at the end about Ghost Winds and how ghosts are the next stage of human evolution, but I feel like I missed something earlier in the book leading up to this. It just wasn’t very clear to me.

badge3v4While the novella does need a bit of work, it is a truly unique idea. I enjoyed the quick read. I just wish it could be expanded upon. I give it 3 stars.

 

More Paranormal Reads…

The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski, The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard, The Rattled Bones by S. M. Parker

I received an ARC or review copy of this book from the author/publisher. All opinions are my own.

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