Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) – My Review!!

Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) – My Review!!

Nefarious

 

As my blog readers know, I’m reading at least one book per month from a Georgia author. This time, it’s Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) by Steven F. Freeman. This one’s a thriller, so read on for my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): When Army Communications Captain Alton Blackwell takes a hit to the leg while on active duty in Afghanistan, his self-confidence and his leg are equally shattered in the explosion. Assigned to a desk job while recovering, Blackwell manages to prove his resourcefulness as he matches wits with Al-Qaeda operatives in the dangerous regions of Kabul. Unable to fully heal, he resigns himself to the abrupt end of his military career as well as any hope to win the affections of the beautiful and intelligent Lieutenant Mallory Wilson.

Upon returning state-side, the quiet civilian life is quickly left far behind when Blackwell’s colleague Zach Lambert calls him from a weekend camping trip in the throes of a devastating illness with forbidding implications. In a story out of today’s headlines, Blackwell and now-FBI Agent Wilson explore the possible diversion of a biotech’s project to develop an improved vaccine, scouring leads at the CDC and biotec company, putting their Army and professional skills to the test, and narrowly escaping agents with a murderous agenda at every turn. The closer they come to the truth, the quicker the bodies pile up, along with the suspects. To get to the bottom of the sinister scheme, can Blackwell still use wits when his body has failed him? And will he survive long enough to tell his colleague of the feelings for her he has long kept secret?

What I liked: Nefarious is a good story! The trials Alton Blackwell goes through set the stage for his later career, his interactions with the locals in Afghanistan, and his guilt over the death of a high school friend all helped me identify with the character. As a real-life supply chain professional, I liked Mallory’s Army occupation, and her character added the love interest. The bond one finds among service members rang true, and the plot, as it evolved over the course of the story, made for a good read.

What I didn’t like: Captain Blackwell’s antagonist in the Intelligence group and their “rivalry” was too clichéd for me. Similarly, some of the intelligence gathering seemed contrived to me.

Overall impression: Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) by Steven F. Freeman was a solid and entertaining read. Good characters, a believable plot, a conspiracy, and a good writing kept me engaged throughout. If you need a new thriller series to read, try this one!

My rating: 4 stars

When do you plan to read Nefarious? Soon, I hope! When you do, please consider leaving a review. It only takes a few minutes and lets authors know they’ve reached their audience. While you are reviewing, why not stop by Steven F. Freeman’s Amazon Author page or his website, say hello, and check out Nefarious (The Blackwell Files Book 1) and his other books!

Since you’re already surfing around the web, why not visit me on the socials and connect? I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, and subscribe to the blog so you never miss a post!

The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker – My Review!!

The Emperor’s Edge – My Review!!

Emperor's Edge Cover

 

Steampunk is a genre I’m beginning to like more as I read it more often. I enjoyed the mix of fantasy and steampunk elements in Lindsay Buroker’s The Emperor’s Edge quite a lot. Here are my thoughts.

Synopsis (from the author): Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.

What I liked: In addition to the fantasy and steampunk I mentioned above, I simply liked the story. Amaranthe is a nice character, with tons of self-confidence (and a bit of self-doubt), Sicarius is a believable villain/hero with a mysterious side, and the rest of the supporting cast plays their roles well. Filled with enough action and intrigue to keep me turning pages, The Emperor’s Edge was a most enjoyable book!

What I didn’t like: The Emperor came across as an idealistic simpleton, and the regent was a bit stereotypical. Likewise, the gang Amaranthe negotiated with was too easy for a tough street cabal.

Overall impression: The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker was a fun steampunk read. I liked the characters, the action, and the way the villains ended. All in all, a good book for those who enjoy fantasy and steampunk!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Have you read The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker? What about any of her other books (and there are a bunch)? If you have, or plan to, please consider leaving a review. It only takes a few minutes and authors love them!! Another thing authors like is to connect with their readers and fans. You can find Lindsay Buroker on her Amazon Author page or her website.

Speaking of connecting, you can connect with me on the socials! Don’t be shy, just stop by and say hi. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. If you don’t want to miss a post, subscribe. Lastly, if you want to email me, drop me a line at bill@williamlstuart.com!

 

The Eighth Circle of Hell by Gary Dolman – My Review!!

The Eighth Circle of Hell – My Review!!

Eighth Circle of Hell Cover

I really stepped outside my normal reading boundaries with The Eighth Circle of Hell (Atticus and Lucie Fox) by Gary Dolman. It was dark, disturbing, and not for the faint of heart. Read on for my thoughts.

Synopsis (from the author): In the 19th century, when the British Empire was approaching its zenith, the Victorians began to believe that, with their power and their fabulous wealth, they could do anything. Certain gentlemen became convinced that they could indeed do anything…and get away with it.

A noted Harrogate philanthropist is found murdered, the victim of a brutal and frenzied attack. His apparent killer, a frail and elderly workhouse ‘imbecile’, had fled his house as a child.

The Eighth Circle of Hell follows strands of lust, love and revenge as they twist together and stretch across that most notorious of times: the Victorian Defloration Mania.

What I liked: Despite the obvious horrible and disgusting subject of the book, the story was very well-written and didn’t sensationalize the material. Gary Dolman treated the villains as monsters and they deserved the loathing I felt for them. The victims drew my sympathy. Atticus and Lucy, our erstwhile detectives, were a civilized counterpoint to those they pursued. While I can’t truthfully say I enjoyed to story (the topic was much too disturbing for that), it does offer insight into the times and psychology of those who feel they are above the law.

What I didn’t like: I would have liked to have seen Atticus and Lucie more disturbed by their investigation than they seemed. Perhaps it was the stiff upper lip of the British, but they didn’t come across as appalled by the actions of the “gentlemen.” Outrage would have added some authenticity to the story.

Overall impression: The Eighth Circle of Hell (Atticus and Lucie Fox) is a story of brutal lust, predatory men, and revenge. It handled a horrible subject as delicately as possible, and had a few twists that kept me guessing the outcome. Well-written, the book was filled with characters I won’t soon forget. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a fictional insight into the darker side of Victorian society. Beware, though, as I mentioned before, it is deeply disturbing and not for those under 18.

My rating: 4 Stars

What did you think of The Eighth Circle of Hell by Gary Dolman? You can tell me by leaving a comment. Consider letting the author know by leaving a review. You can also connect with Gary Dolman on his Amazon Author page or his website. Visit and find out more about him and his books! I’m sure he’d appreciate it.

If you enjoyed your visit to my site and/or this review, subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any posts. If you’re on the socials, connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Lastly, you can email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. I love to meet new friends!

e-Murderer (Jenna Scali Mystery, #1) by Joan C. Curtis – My Review!!

e-Murderer (Jenna Scali Mystery, #1) – My Review!!

e-Murderer Cover

As a Georgia author, I like to read, review, and promote my fellow Georgia authors. I set a goal to read one of my colleagues’ books each month. I’m starting with e-Murderer (Jenna Scali Mystery, #1) by Joan C. Curtis!

Synopsis (from the author): On this anything but typical Monday morning, Jenna Scali, who works part-time for a shrink, opens an email that depicts the brutal death of a young girl. On that same day the police uncover a dead coed two blocks from Jenna’s house. The e-murderer’s description creepily echoes the death described in the newspapers.

When Jenna receives other emails, she takes what she knows to the police and thus begins her journey in the path of the e-murderer. Her curious nature impels her from e-messages to dead coeds to a ring of prostitutes. With the help of her quirky friends, Jenna learns that she’s more than a conduit for the killer. She’s his target.

THE E-MURDERER is a race to find a psychotic killer before he kills again.

What I liked: First, many of you know I’m a huge University of Georgia fan. e-Murderer is set in the beautiful home of the Dawgs, Athens, GA. That was a great start! Secondly, Joan C. Curtis spins a nice mystery full of twists and turns, a little romance, and enough memorable characters to keep my attention. Lastly, it kept me guessing until about three-quarters of the book before I finally figured it out. All those things add up to an entertaining read!

What I didn’t like: A couple of the characters didn’t seem to have a reason to be in the story except as maybe a red herring. While I appreciate the attempt to keep me guessing, the eventual culprit made them seem unnecessary add-ons.

Overall impression: e-Murderer (Jenna Scali Mystery, #1) entertained me! Although I’m not a mystery fan in general, this book had enough twists and turns, interesting characters, and a style that seemed almost a cozy mystery. All in all, an excellent read!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

Have you read e-Murderer by Joan C. Curtis? If so, please consider leaving a review. Reviews are important to authors and lets them know what readers think about their work. And don’t limit yourself to one book. Joan C. Curtis has more and you can find them at her website or her Amazon Author page!

If you liked (or didn’t like) my review, leave me a comment and let me know. I appreciate the feedback. If you want to catch all my reviews, subscribe to the blog. in addition, I’m always open to connecting on the socials. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest and say hello!

Annwyn’s Blood by Michael Eging and Steve Arnold – My Review!!

Annwyn’s Blood (The Paladin of Shadows Chronicles, # 1) – My Review!!

Blood Cover

I usually prefer my fantasy books to be a bit on the lighter side, but occasionally I will delve into the darker side of the genre. Annwyn’s Blood (The Paladin of Shadows Chronicles, # 1) certainly fits the bill. Here are my thoughts!

Synopsis (from the author): When Marianna was spirited away by unknown raiders, everyone expected a ransom demand to soon follow. Such was the peril of everyday royal life in the chaotic times following abandonment of the misty isles of Albion by indifferent Rome. But when weeks went by without word her father, High King Mattheus, dispatched teams of trusted warriors to find her and bring her assailants to account.

Young Erik, Scion of the House of Birkenshire, was one of these. Separated from his comrades and alone in hostile territories, he plunged headlong into forgotten vales and desolate coasts in pursuit, driven onward by precious memories of stolen tender moments. Then he stood before the grim fortress – wherein he found, not the innocent damsel of his youthful desires, but a terrifying beauty borne of an ancient evil that bound his soul to an even more primal force bent on regaining its place in the halls of human exaltation.

Now caught between two worlds, he must resist the temptations of his beloved-turned-succubus while protecting his family, his people and his world from the encroaching grasp of Arawn, Lord of Annwyn, Ruler of the Dead, Elder God of the Mabinogion. In this journey to regain his soul, the knight must find a way to strike the fatal blow against a resurgent primal darkness.

What I liked: Annwyn’s Blood has all the elements I like in a fantasy book! Evil, good, magic, and a quest to restore a soul all combine to make the book a great read. Erik, our protagonist, searches for Marianna, the daughter of the King. Unaware of the evil lurking where he finds her, he battles an evil being and loses his soul. But, enough, I won’t do spoilers! Suffice it to say, if you like dark fantasy, try this one!

What I didn’t like: I only had a couple of small issues with Annwyn’s Blood. First, it was difficult to follow exactly who was who and I found myself having to reread some parts for clarity. Secondly, Some of the interactions at the convent seemed out of sorts with the story.

Overall impression: Annwyn’s Blood is an excellent start to The Paladin of Shadows Chronicles. Definitely not for children, the book is dark fantasy well-suited for adults. If you are a fantasy fan, read this one!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars)

If you’ve read Annwyn’s Blood, what did you think? Leave me a comment and let me know. More importantly, consider leaving a review. It only takes a few minutes and I’m sure Michael Eging and Steve Arnold would appreciate it! If you want to contact the authors, find their Amazon Author pages here and here.

If you want to connect with me on the socials, find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. You can also email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. I look forward to connecting with new friends!

 

Meteor Crater and Winslow Arizona – Vacation 2017!!

June often means vacation time for Lana, the grandchildren, and me. This year, we decided to do something different and go west for Vacation 2017. Not all the way to the West Coast, but to Arizona and the Grand Canyon! We started at Meteor Crater and Winslow Arizona!

For those who don’t know, I was born in New Mexico and spent my first 13 years in New Mexico and Colorado before moving to South Georgia. Thus, I had some experience with the Southwestern US. Lana, Aidan, and Maggie didn’t, and they didn’t know what to expect from the different landscape and climate. When we landed in Phoenix, it was 113F and went up to 118F. Now, I know what you’re thinking – it was dry heat. True enough, but it was still HOT. Think of the humid southern climate as a sauna. Phoenix was like an oven! So, we got our rental car and headed to Flagstaff (our base of operations) and started our adventures. Thank goodness it was only in the mid-80’s and low 90’s in Flagstaff!

In upcoming posts, I’ll tell you more of what we saw and visited, but today, I wanted to talk about Meteor Crater. You all know I’m a big geek about space stuff, so this was right in my wheelhouse.

Scientists call the impact site the Barringer Crater (named for John Barringer who was the first to suggest it was made by a meteor), according to what we learned at the site. Canyon Diablo Crater is another name (the nearby town of Canyon Diablo inspired the name though it is a ghost town now). Scientists estimate the meteor that struck was moving somewhere between 28,000 mph and 42,300 mph. The crater formed in about 10 seconds and was ~700 feet deep initially. It’s now about 550 feet deep due to sediment buildup over the last 50,000 years.

Here is a picture of the crater!

 

Meteor Crater

I know the picture can’t do justice to the actual site, but maybe it gives an idea of how big the crater is. One of the other things I found on display during our visit was tektite! If readers of The Gemstone Chronicles recall, tektite was one of the stones in the books. In Book Two: The Amethyst, Beebop buys a tektite necklace that turns out to be a telepathy stone. Now, I didn’t intercept any communications, but to see pieces of tektite up close was very cool! You can read the tektite post here! Sorry the picture isn’t so good…

Meteor Crater Tektites

In case you can’t read the text in the photo, the samples shown are Indochinites. If you look at the map, you can see the Georgia strewnfield mentioned in my book.

We also learned the astronauts trained here for the moon missions in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Maybe that was the beginning of the conspiracy theory of the fake moon landing. Maybe I’ll explore that in another post!

We left the Meteor Crater and continued on to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert (that will be another post), but stopped in Winslow Arizona. And yes, we took a picture standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona!

Meteor Winslow AZ

Just in case you missed it, in the window behind us is a girl in a flatbed Ford! We also had some great hot dogs and milk shakes at Sipp Shoppe before pushing on to the Petrified Forest.

There you have a small taste of our Arizona adventures. More to come!

Have you been to Arizona? Took a picture in Winslow? Leave me a comment and let me know. Connect with me on the socials, too! I love meeting new friends! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest! As always, I appreciate any and all shares and subscribers to the blog!!

 

Chain of Evidence by D. B. Corey – My Review!!

Chain of Evidence – My Review!!

Chain of Evidence Cover

I wanted to read a gritty crime novel just to give myself a break from fantasy books and I chose Chain of Evidence by D. B. Corey. Here are my thoughts on the book!

Synopsis (from the author): They say the evidence never lies, but don’t tell that to Moby Truax. He’ll tell you the evidence could be allowing a killer of women to roam the streets of Baltimore. The evidence is consistent-random female victims, each killed the same way with an identical concentration of cyanide. But Detective-Sergeant Moby Truax, a financially strapped cop nearing the end of his career, sees that the profile of the recent victims doesn’t match that of earlier targets. He suspects a copycat killer, but his rejection of the lone murderer theory puts him on the wrong side of his superiors. As beautiful young women continue to die, Truax is saddled with a partner: FBI Special Agent Frances Vecchio. To Truax she is little more than an attractive distraction, but his bosses see her as a possible savior, turning a blind eye when Vecchio launches her own investigation to catch the monster the newspapers have dubbed the Cyanide Killer. With his pride and his pension on the line, Truax follows the facts no one else sees, but will this chain of evidence lead him to multiple killers, or a murderous deception even deadlier?

What I liked: D. B. Corey created a story that drew me in from the start. Moby Truax and his upcoming retirement set a great backdrop and the interaction with his new boss added good conflict to the story. Truax’s insistence a copycat killer was responsible, the FBI agent who shows up to help in the investigation and the twisted actions of Harvey all combine for a gritty, action-packed novel. In addition, the twisty ending added a lot to the story.

What I didn’t like: A couple of things bothered me about this book. First, the relationship between Harvey and his mom was a bit cliché. Secondly, the ease with which Agent Vecchio inserted herself into the investigation seemed unreal. Minor points, I know, but they distracted me from the story.

Overall impression: As advertised, Chain of Evidence by D. B. Corey was gritty, disturbing, and an entertaining read! Good pace, likable  characters (as well as some I didn’t like), and Truax’s frustration with his boss and his FBI partner made this book work. All in all, if you enjoy crime thrillers, this is a book for you!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 stars)

What are your thoughts about Chain of Evidence? Leave me a comment and let me know. While you’re at it, why not consider leaving a review for the book? It only takes a few minutes and I’m sure D. B. Corey would appreciate it. Since you’re leaving a review, visit D. B. Corey’s Amazon Author page and his website and find out more about the author and his books!

Did you like my review? Leave me a comment and let me know. And don’t be shy! Find me on social media and let’s connect. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Or just email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. I look forward to meeting each of you!

Volcanoes – In Georgia?!?! Yes! Pigeon Mountain!! (Or not)…

After receiving a number of comments about this post (most of them gently telling me that my information was incorrect), I did additional research about volcanoes in Georgia. Sadly, the comments are correct. Pigeon Mountain isn’t a dormant volcano. In fact, based on the more extensive research I did, the geology just doesn’t work. Most of the rock in the area is sandstone or limestone and doesn’t lend itself to volcanic activity. Though what is now Georgia had volcanic activity hundreds of millions of years ago, Pigeon Mountain wasn’t part of it. So, please forgive my error and thanks for all the corrections submitted to me!

Volcanoes – in Georgia???

Volcanoes

When you think of volcanoes in the US, where do you think of them? Hawaii is a good bet, since there are 3 active volcanoes in the state. Maunaloa last erupted in 1984, but Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983. In addition, Loihi is still underwater, but erupting.

How about Alaska? Lots of volcanic activity up there. Or maybe the Pacific Northwest? Mount St. Helen, Mount Shasta, Mount Rainier all come to mind. There are even a few in California that are monitored by the USGS. And, we all know about Yellowstone and the supervolcano lurking beneath the surface.

But, have you ever thought about volcanoes in Georgia? Believe it or not, Pigeon Mountain in Northwest Georgia is a dormant volcano that last erupted in 1857. Besides Pigeon Mountain itself, in the Pigeon Mountain Volcanic Range there are 5 extinct volcanoes and 1 collapsed caldera. As you can see, this isn’t an impressive volcano.

Located in Walker County Georgia near Lafayette, Pigeon Mountain features two caves. One of them, Ellison’s Cave is the 12th deepest cave in the US and reaches a depth of 1063 feet. According to Wikipedia, it a a technically difficult cave to explore and beginners are severely urged not to enter the cave.

Volcanoes Ellison's Cave

The second cave, Petty John’s Cave, is a wild cave – not commercialized. As Wikipedia tells us, this is a cave much more suited to beginners. Still the basics of caving (spelunking) should be observed.

Between the two caves, more than 20 miles of passages are mapped. It might be a cool trip for experienced cavers to experience. Since I’m not, I doubt I’ll be going in the caves.

So, what can you expect to find when exploring near dormant or extinct volcanoes? Well, for Pigeon Mountain, iron (usually in the form of hematite). No diamonds or any other precious gemstones are listed in the area, but the ghost town of Estelle is on Pigeon Mountain. Estelle was a iron mining town, so maybe there is a bit of iron left to find! And hematite tumbles into a beautiful silver stone.

Much like the abundance of gemstones in the North Georgia Mountains, I had no idea volcanoes had ever played a part in Georgia’s history. I’ll keep researching and let you know what I discover. And who knows, maybe what I find will become part of my next book, just as gemstones played a major role in The Gemstone Chronicles!

What do you think? Did you know about the volcanoes that dot the North Georgia Mountains? Leave me a comment and let me know. And, so you don’t miss a post, subscribe to the blog. If you want to connect with me on the socials, I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

 

The Lazarus Succession by Ken Fry – My Review!!

The Lazarus Succession – My Review!!

Lazarus Succession Cover

I love a good thriller with religious conspiracy connections. Ken Fry’s novel The Lazarus Succession fits the bill perfectly! Read on to discover my thoughts.

Synopsis (from the author): The Lazarus Succession takes readers to the ancient scene of Christ’s greatest miracle, to medieval Spain, and back to modern-day Europe. In typical Ken Fry style, nothing is as it seems and a surprise awaits at every turn of the page.

According to legend, Annas Zevi, an artist who witnessed the raising of Lazarus, was told by Christ to paint what he saw. Over the centuries, his completed works has vanished, along with every other painting depicting Lazarus’ resurrection. They were rumoured to be sacred icons with miraculous powers.

International Art Recovery Experts, Broderick Ladro and Ulla Stuart, are hired by a disgraced High Court judge, Sir Maxwell Throgmorton, to locate a long lost medieval painting by Spanish artist Francisco Cortez. Like Zevi, his work is said to be divinely inspired.

Throgmorton’s client, a wealthy Spanish Condesa, is terminally ill and the icon is her last hope. She will pay and do whatever it takes to find the missing work of Cortez.

Unbeknown to the Condesa, Throgmorton seeks to make a vast personal fortune from the discovery of the paintings, and use it to reclaim his place in society.

Ladro and Stuart learns of Throgmorton’s deceit and attempts to thwart his plans. As they delve deeper into the mystery of the missing Cortez painting, they discover a secret that changes their lives forever.

Just as it changed the lives of everyone it touched across the centuries. 

What I liked: This story drew me in immediately! The story started with a bang and kept up a great pace throughout. Brody and Ulla were great, Throgmorton was an excellent though odious player, and the Condesa was the perfect sympathetic character. Full of religious symbolism, action, and a mystical end, The Lazarus Succession was a fantastic read!

What I didn’t like: My only complaint was Throgmorton’s end. A little more mysticism would have played better to me given the way the story ended. I would say more, but then I’d have a spoiler and I don’t do that!

Overall impression: The Lazarus Succession was everything I wanted in a religious-themed thriller. Great characters, plenty of action, mystical happenings, and great pace made it a most enjoyable read! Well done Ken Fry!!

My rating: 5 Stars

When do you plan to read The Lazarus Succession? Soon, I hope! If you do read it, please consider leaving a review and let Ken Fry know your thoughts. I’m sure he will appreciate it. If you want to check out Ken Fry’s other books, you can find them on his Amazon Author page or his website. Visit and maybe buy a book or three!

If you want to comment on my review, leave a comment on the site, email me at bill@williamlstuart.com, of find me on the socials! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Shares, likes, and feedback are always welcome and appreciated!

 

Wham! (Timewalker Book 1) by Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps – My Review!!

Wham! (Timewalker Book 1) – My Review!!

Wham! Cover

I read the Heart of the Staff series by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps and enjoyed it tremendously. When the duo released Wham! (Timewallker Book 1), it went on my TBR immediately! Read on for my thoughts.

Synopsis (from the author): When the World Alliance seized power from all the governments of the world, they said it was for the greater good. They said it was necessary to unite all the nations of the globe under one banner in order to bring universal peace, equality and prosperity to the world.

To most families throughout the world, the rise of the Alliance and their grandiose promises meant little. They had long grown weary of the lies of the corrupt law-makers and heads of state and were far more concerned with their day-to-day struggles to survive.

The Greenwood family was no exception, and for a time life went on much as it had before the rise of the Alliance. In time, individual cultural and racial identity were outlawed. They said it was for the greater good. They said it was necessary to create a more harmonious, homogenous world community. The Greenwood family adapted.

But then they took away freedom. They made it mandatory for all households and public buildings to have skinwelers, crystal spying balls in every room, in order to watch the people’s every move. They said it was for the greater good. They said it was necessary for public safety and civil order. And the Greenwood family adapted.

But then the state took their family farm and lands and moved them to Gollsport where they had built barracks for all the displaced citizens. They said it was for the greater good. They said the countryside had become contaminated by farm chemicals and the relocation was for their continued health and safety. Once again, the Greenwood family adapted.

But then they came in the night and took away seventeen year-old Tess Greenwood’s entire family. They said it was for the greater good. They said Tess would adapt and in time she would be far better for it.

But Tess cared not for the Alliance’s greater good. She did not adapt. She wanted her family back and vowed to do whatever she must in order to see them again. Little did she know, that to keep her vow, she would have to become a timewalker.

What I liked: Wham! Brought back great memories of The Heart of the Staff series by tying the old with the new. Though the books are nothing alike, the familiarity was a great bridge. I liked the dystopian feel to the world, and Tess was an easy character to like. Nia was a sympathetic character in impossible circumstances, but found friends, an unlikely ally, and an uneasy relationship with the potentate. Add to the mix Maxi the troll (and an amazing hairdresser), and the stage is set for an enjoyable tale.

What I didn’t like: Maybe it will come in future books, but I needed more background on how the world reached its current state. Additionally, the dialogue from Maxi was a bit hard to follow.

Overall impression: I liked Wham! the start to the Timewalker books! As mentioned above, I liked the bridge to The Heart of the Staff series, and the characters were excellent. As with The Heart of the Staff series, Wham! (Timewalker Book 1), this is a series fantasy readers will enjoy!

My rating: 4.5 Stars (rounded to 5 Stars) When do you plan to read Wham! (Timewalker Book 1)? Soon, I hope! When you do, please consider leaving a review and let Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps know what you think. While you’re at it, consider leaving reviews for The Heart of the Staff books! You can find all of them on their Amazon Author page or their website.

Thanks for reading my review. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about it. If you’d rather, connect with me on the socials (Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Tumblr, and Pinterest), or email me at bill@williamlstuart.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

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