NEW ORDER, Hidden Vampire Slayer, Book One, Amazon Edition by H. J. Lawson.
Sadie Meyer, waiting to be picked up by her boyfriend Arron – they are going to their Senior Prom with his best friend Ryder and his girlfriend Lakia – when she hears a piercing noise. She looks through the window and sees a car wrapped around a pole and creepy shadows and overhears through the closed windows part of a conversation: “That’s one of them on the list”. “Remus will reward us nicely for this kid.” And “Or we could keep him for ourselves”. She moves away from the window questioning how she could hear through the closed windows. Aaron arrives, they pick up the other two and head for the Prom. On the way she sees a vampire (?). No one else does. How could she? Such things are only fictional. After the prom, they head for the motel all of the guys have arranged for staying the night. There, an entire group of vampires attack the students and the story escalates into a state of attack and escape warfare as she gradually learns that she and some of her friends have an unexpected mission in life. Pieces of this, and bits of the projected activity are provided.
Discussion: The author’s depiction of places, action and reaction is nicely worded, although occasionally slightly confusing, so as to provide a pervading sense of not knowing ‘what to expect next’, possibly even something as dire as impending death and disaster for loved ones as well as for the protagonist herself. Generally speaking, this is a book and proposed series that, although lacking sufficient sophistication for the usual vampire devotee, should be of sufficient interest for younger readers of the genre to embrace.
3* 4* possible for young readers; 2* for usual devotee.
A Darker Shade of Sorcery, The Realmers Series, an e-book by the intriguingly imaginative author, William Collins.
Plot: First presented to the reader is a welcome note from Master of Illusion, Padrake Pontiferous: “To whichever race you belong, orc, elf, djinn, human or other: You are now a Venator. Welcome to Veneseron Fortress, school for Demon Hunters. Your job is to travel through the many realms on missions we assign you. …Of course, your most important purpose will be battling demons and the Dark-Venators. Here at Veneseran we will train you to use enchanted weaponry, from Spellzookas to elemental grenades (grenades that actually employ the elements). And wield whatever form of sorcery you possess, from Curse-breaking to Creature Summoning. All so you may save countless lives against the eternal evil. Enjoy your stay. (P.S. Please specify at the front desk whether you’re arriving by Airship, Alien craft, Bubble-sphere or other means.) From this most enlightening introduction the story moves to introduce two humans, Evan, a young London orphan beset by bullies, and Brooke, a young girl living with a family who almost completely ignores her. Each arrives at the Fortress by a different route and means and the plot proceeds to develop as they settle in, make new friends, and enemies, from among an assortment of elves, Halflings, members of alien races and others while living in a city inhabited by these and other strange creatures. They develop their skills with all types of strange weaponry and engage in deadly combat with all manner of demons. AND, the reader discovers that these two humans share an unknown and only ultimately discovered trait from a most powerful source that can provide chaotic results. The attempts to manage and possibly use these traits to combat the abilities of the powerful source will be told in the succeeding volumes.
Discussion: This is a most intriguing tale for young readers that, because of the author’s engaging imagination, may offer some degree of interesting amusement to the more mature reader IF he/she still retains a bit of their earlier appreciation for fantasy. It moves well and the supporting, as well as main characters, equate well with their surroundings and activities.
4* Fantasy tale for the young that certain mature readers also might find amusingly readable.