Source: Scribd | Audiobook Subscription

Book Review on behalf of an Edgar Awards nominee for 2019 | “A Knife in the Fog” (Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle series, Book One) by Bradley Harper

Posted Friday, 26 April, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , 1 Comment

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: Last year, ahead of “A Knife in the Fog” being released I came across the author on Twitter – as Bradley Harper started following me. It was at this exact moment where I was starting to research new and upcoming book releases from one of my favourite publishers of dramatic Crime Fiction – Seventh Street Books – finding amongst the releases, there was a new author of after canon stories featuring a narrative styling similar to Sherlock Holmes but uniquely its own variant within the canon of interest as this new series was featuring Conan Doyle rather than Holmes himself. The uniqueness of the approach is also by bridging in the character Professor Bell which would also draw an eye towards a crafty nod to the traditional Holmes/Watson partnership.

I had originally requested this title for review consideration however, I hadn’t realised Seventh Street Books was about to undergo a sale and reacquistation by Smart Publishing; of whom has taken on this imprint and Pyr both of which were once under Prometheus Books. I came to know the imprints by being a reviewer for the parent publishing company of Prometheus Books wherein I request and review books throughout an eclectic subject focus within the branches of Science and Mathematics which interest me to research for personal enrichment as well as the pursuit of knowledge within those fields.

Thereby, earlier this year [2019] I submitted a purchase request for a paperback copy of “A Knife in the Fog” whilst I concurrently attempted to listen to the audiobook version. As I had some hiccups in my listening rotations through my Scribd subscription, I did a free trial of Libro.FM (for seeking audiobooks by giving Indie bookshoppes credit for those purchases – where I listed Powells (Portland, Oregon) as my bookshoppe of choice) allowing me to download a copy of “A Knife in the Fog” on MP3. I began listening to “A Knife in the Fog” on audiobook in-line with developing questions to ask Mr Harper during a phone interview (which I conducted in late March, 2019) wherein I discovered I loved his approach to writing this series.

Ahead of posting my review on behalf of the story, I wanted to read the print edition of “A Knife in the Fog” which had recently come into my library as my purchase request was not only accepted but fulfilled. There were some key parts of the story I wanted to re-read over and I also wanted to dig into the written aspects of the story-line outside of the scope of the audiobook.

Although my main interest was to seek out an interview with Mr Harper based on my readings and listening hours of “A Knife in the Fog” my ruminations on behalf of the audiobook and print edition are being shared for my own edification and to help introduce my readers to the series overall whilst sharing my own journey in its discovery. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. The Press Materials I received by Mr Harper’s virtual authorly assistant Stephanie @ Paste Creative are being used with permission on both this review and on my forthcoming interview with Mr Harper as dual showcase of the story, the series and the writer’s approach to the craft of Crime Fiction.

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Why reading after canons about Sherlock Holmes and/or Conan Doyle appeal to me as a reader inasmuch as why I love Historical Mysteries, Suspense & Thrillers:

I personally feel as if Crime Fiction has a soft spot in my heart and mind; for as long as I can remember I’ve been claiming Mysteries, Suspense and Thrillers as being my most keenly interested section of television teleplays and dramas of interest. Counter to that pursuit, are the novels – spilt between the Cosies I personally adore and have a deep affection for devouring and the more intriguingly brilliant and layered Cosy Historical Mysteries which have passionately become a favourite pursuit of my readerly life since I became a book blogger.

Adjacent to those inclinations, I am also most intrigued with the Historical Suspense and/or Thriller – there are a few of my interests in these kinds of stories which are on the ‘outer edge’ of my tolerance levels for visuals and/or inclusive scenes which are relevant to the story/series itself. Those I happily refer and reference as “Hard Boiled” entries for a point of reference here on my blog as well as a marker of interest in my own pursuit of the stories themselves.

When it comes to chasing down television dramas in Crime Fiction as much as Fictional series of the same nature, I have a profound affection for those writers who give keen insight into Forensic Science, Forensic Pathology and Forensic Investigative Techniques or the Psychology of the Crime through Forensic applications on the psyche.  What is interesting about studying Forensics through Fiction is how crafty writers have to become to keep us not only invested in their stories but for giving us a truism of realism within the boundaries of their stories. When they go to infer a step into their worlds – a world they are illuminating to become the mainstay of interest for a series in development for the new reader whose found their words – they are giving us a prime example of what is become expected of their collective works in future volumes.

This is why if a writer of Crime Fiction can capture me straight out of the gate – by their voice, their style or their world – over and beyond their lead character(s), supporting cast and the delivery of the suspenseful bits interwoven into the back-stories – they will have found a loyal reader in me for the life of their series*. (*) co-dependent on the fact they do not disappoint my palette of interest in future installments.

When it comes to Sherlock Holmes and the after canons of his stories – I have a very, short list of interest – at which you will find the Mary Russell stories at the very top as Laurie R. King was the first author I had discovered in 2009 who was writing a level of intuitive intention regarding Holmes which felt naturally intrinsic of the character I had remembered. Enola Holmes by Nancy Springer arrived a bit lateron but was a bit of a harder sell for me being that Enola’s story-lines were slightly a hit/miss for me but the character of Enola was intriguing enough to where I wanted to read more of her adventures. With Mary Russell – I was immediately smitten by her and Holmes at this junction in his life and thereby, wooed immediately into the world King had set out for us to discover.

I am quite critical about after canons, stories inspired by classical novelists and sequel authors – notwithstanding my interests in Conan Doyle, there are my inquisitive pursuits of chasing down stories of this nature within the embodiment of Jane Austen and the re-tellings of Jane Eyre.

What I am constantly seeking out is a certain layer of conveyance of presence, of loyalty to the authentic voice of the inspirational character in question and a purposeful dedication of not just honouring the past but of elevating the tone of the new incantation against the old. I love finding authors who have their own unique approach to re-writing a familiar character and giving us a newfound way of appreciating them through their new variant of interest in the here and now. Thus, what captured my attention with the Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle Mysteries was simply this – how a pathologist was motivated to write these stories based on his own interest in Holmes and the writer behind Holmes (Conan Doyle) led him into a portal which granted us an immersive look at how Doyle himself might have approached investigative interests which re-lead us to appreciate how he created Holmes and Watson.

Overall, what I love most about Holmes and Watson in the traditional sense is the camaraderie of their relationship – their zest for intellectual dissection of the facts and their pursuit of uncovering the sociological implications of what is fuelling the crimes in which they investigate. They are uniquely timeless in how they inter-relate to one another but also how they approached their techniques – leaning on the intellect and the divisiveness of their research talents, they uncovered the criminology of their cases because of how they approached their ability to sleuth.

My hopes for this novel and the subsequent series ranked high – I was dearly hoping this would become another ‘beloved’ entry in my pursuit of Seventh Street Books and their Crime Fiction stories – whilst my love and appreciation for Holmes and Watson was inspiring me to take a chance on this new entry into a Holmesian niche of after canon story-lines. Not that this is a traditional after canon in the sense that there is an influence of Holmesian styling but it is not effectively a re-telling or a reincarnation of that canon per se but as you read or listen to A Knife in the Fog you’ll find Holmes and Watson have materalised anew in a different vehicle of interest altogether.

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Book Review on behalf of an Edgar Awards nominee for 2019 | “A Knife in the Fog” (Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle series, Book One) by Bradley HarperA Knife in the Fog
Subtitle: A Mystery Featuring Margaret Harkness and Arthur Conan Doyle
by Bradley Harper
Source: Purchase REQ | local library, Purchased | Personal Library, Scribd | Audiobook Subscription
Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies

September 1888. A twenty-nine-year-old Arthur Conan Doyle practices medicine by day and writes at night. His first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, although gaining critical and popular success, has only netted him twenty-five pounds. Embittered by the experience, he vows never to write another "crime story." Then a messenger arrives with a mysterious summons from former Prime Minister William Gladstone, asking him to come to London immediately.

Once there, he is offered one month's employment to assist the Metropolitan Police as a "consultant" in their hunt for the serial killer soon to be known as Jack the Ripper. Doyle agrees on the stipulation his old professor of surgery, Professor Joseph Bell--Doyle's inspiration for Sherlock Holmes--agrees to work with him. Bell agrees, and soon the two are joined by Miss Margaret Harkness, an author residing in the East End who knows how to use a Derringer and serves as their guide and companion.

Pursuing leads through the dank alleys and courtyards of Whitechapel, they come upon the body of a savagely murdered fifth victim. Soon it becomes clear that the hunters have become the hunted when a knife-wielding figure approaches.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633884861

ASIN: B07HKJ71X5

Genres: After Canons, Amateur Detective, Classic Detective, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Setting: London, England, UK


Published by Seventh Street Books

on 2nd October, 2018

Format: Audiobook | mp3, Trade Paperback

Pages: 288

Length: 8 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley HarperA Knife in the Fog (audiobook) by Bradley Harper

Published By: Seventh Street Books (@SeventhStBooks)

As an aside, despite the fact Seventh Street Books has been bought out by Smart Publishing – all links to their website and social accounts have remained active and use the same urls. The new publisher has maintained all their sites and thereby, the transition was seamless for readers who wanted to keep in touch with the authors and the series they come to love by Seventh Street Books & Pyr!

Converse via: #AKnifeInTheFog, #HistNov and #HistFic OR #HistoricalMystery
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook & Ebook

A Knife in the Fog was nominated for
an Edgar Award in 2019 for “Best First Novel”

Initially, I was going to do this review ‘ahead’ of the Edgars announcing their winners, as I wanted to help re-highlight the novel to an audience of Mystery appreciators who might be seeking their next wicked good Historical Suspense – however, due to everything going on the past month and a half, I’ve been a bit behind in my readings and in my reviews. As a result, I shifted this review forward a bit to where I could await the announcements – per the author’s suggestion to run this instead on Friday after the winner’s were officially declared. Although, Mr Harper did not win the Edgar I felt it befitted the nomination and blessedly showcased a publisher I personally love for dramatic Crime Fiction! Harper is amongst a list of novelists I turn to whenever I want to read a crime narrative by this publisher – Susan Spann, Larry D. Sweazy, Jennifer Kincheloe and Terry Shames round out the list (thus far known as I am going to be reading new authors this year to see which of them whet my thirst of joy for Mysteries).

On that note, I am thankful to announce I’m discovering the Cosy Spice Shop Mysteries this late Spring/early Summer by Leslie Budewitz – whilst I am eagerly in wait for the seventh Hiro Hattori novel “Ghost of the Bamboo Road” by Susan Spann; the third Anna Blanc Mystery “The Body in Griffith Park” by Jennifer Kincheloe and the sequel to “A Knife in the Fog” – “The Queen’s Gambit” by Bradley Harper.

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About Bradley Harper

Bradley Harper

Bradley Harper is a retired US Army Pathologist with over thirty-seven years of worldwide military/medical experience, ultimately serving as a Colonel/Physician in the Pentagon. During his Army career, Harper performed some two hundred autopsies, twenty of which were forensic.

Upon retiring from the Army, Harper earned an Associate's Degree in Creative Writing from Full Sail University. He has been published in The Strand Magazine, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine and a short story he wrote involving Professor Moriarty in the Holmes tale of The Red Headed League (entitled The Red Herring League) won Honorable Mention in an international short fiction contest. A member of the Mystery Writers of America, Authors Guild, and Sisters in Crime, Harper is a regular contributor to the Sisters in Crime bi-monthly newsletter.

Harper’s first novel, A Knife in the Fog, involves a young Arthur Conan Doyle joining in the hunt for Jack the Ripper, and has been nominated for an 2019 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America for Best First Novel by an American Author.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 26 April, 2019 by jorielov in 19th Century, After the Canon, Amateur Detective, Arthur Conan Doyle, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Margaret Harkness, Paste Creative, Realistic Fiction, the Victorian era

Ahead of #WyrdAndWonder, an Audiobook Spotlight | “The Choosing” (The Forest People, book two) by Maggie Lynch (narrated by Rachel Jacobs)

Posted Saturday, 20 April, 2019 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

Audiobook Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

On my connection to this blog tour: I am a blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I have been hosting for nearly a year now and I appreciate the diversity of genre selections and styles of stories to choose from whilst I navigate the audiobook realms!

Why I wanted to listen to this story:

When I first learnt of this series, my first instincts were this could be a brilliant way of getting my feet wet back into Speculative Fiction on the Fantasy side of the ledger. However, what truly rooted me in wanting to tackle a trilogy before #WyrdAndWonder is the fact that it isn’t often I find a Fantasy series which intrigues me to read – at least not on the YA side of things. I’ve been spoilt dearly on the #LelandDragons series and thus, I thought it would be a keen idea to take a chance on a #newtomeauthor and see if this particular series could win me over as much as Jackie Gamber’s!

What I have enjoyed thus far along in The Forest People series:

One of the more gutting openings I’ve listened to in an audiobook were within the first sequences of The Awakening and yet it was also the most beautiful. A selfless act of love and the purity of that choice to bring a child into the world bridging two different species together and ultimately uniting the world to reveal an ancient prophecy their species do not wish to see brought to fruition is how this story first begins.

The parents of Camryn (Wynbune to her people, the forest people as they are known in their unity) are both Quatcho (a furry species of tall stature) and Mazikeen (a sub-species of the fey). Not since I’ve started to read short stories of Speculative origins have I seen such an achingly beautiful origin story etched into a Fantasy – this origin of how Camryn came to be bourne and the sacrifices of her parents is singularly one of my favourite opening bridges which anchours her past to her present. Her mother’s release from the forest reminded me dearly of a beloved scene from Avatar but also from the passages of those short stories wherein Earthly magic and native beliefs were the backbone of the mythologies explored in those previous stories I loved reading. They felt larger than their short lengths and they inspired my mind to re-consider the plausibilities of where Fantasy can take you through a character’s journey. In a continued sense of awareness, I loved the instincts Lynch had for giving us Camryn’s rite of birth.

Nakani and Kia shared a special love and their short love story is memorable because of how they had bonded to each other whilst choosing this path to bring a daughter into a world who would not readily accept her but find her disagreeable to the ordered path their species felt was natural. What is so terribly gutting about this love story is how tragic it ends and how the prophecy they nurtured into existence is what foretold their own fates as much as their daughter’s. It was this humbled origin which sprung forth the uniqueness of having a daughter adopted out of both their species and placed into the human world. It was there where Camryn felt her differences the most – if you cross-relate this story to a very well-known series, you’ll immediately spy out the similarities of a child ‘cast-out’ of their kinship and kind only to be re-discovered lateron. However, despite this wrinkle of curious overlay and familiarity there are a few distinct differences – especially because of how Camryn starts to evolve and transmorph as she rises into her sixteenth year.

I wasn’t a bit surprised how this story was tracking through the psychological effects of Camryn coming to terms with how different she was from her adoptive family nor how they had loved her unconditionally. I think if Lynch had taken this to a different level of realisation on both their behalf’s – if her adoptive family had had any conditions placed on their daughter OR if Camryn herself hadn’t been as authentically raw and real in the opening chapters to describe her own afflictions and emotional anguish – I might not have felt as connected to her journey as I had.

When the story grew a bit more  interesting is when Ohar and Camryn are in the forest – where the overlays of the world are stronger and where we gleam more about Lynch’s vision for The Forest People. The struggle of will inside Ohar isn’t overly examined – it was almost as if that one scene with his Mum was the deciding moment of where he chose to go against her wishes and to do what was right – not for himself but his species, for the sake of their existence and the perservation of their beliefs. His strength is rooted in how he views his purpose and how he chooses to accept his destiny. And, yet, I felt part of his character was a bit under-developed as it was very much matter of fact without contest or argument. I thought for sure there would be more to say about how he would determine his own path outside of his mother’s will – even though she did threaten him, I felt this part of the ominous bits of the world we were entering were left undone or rather unresolved. They simply became a non-issue – as you readily observe once Ohar and Camyrn return to the forest.

Whilst their in the forest, I couldn’t sort out why Lynch was radically changing our perception about Camryn – as she felt older in the chapters leading into this one – although, part of me questioned if her descending age or behaviour patterns had to do with the effect of her crossing into the realm where she was bourne vs the world in which she was raised. There is a difference in place and time, and when your dealing with the fey in most stories, there is a uniqueness of ‘where’ you are vs how you are in other places – almost as if your behaviour, mannerisms and natural essence are influenced by your setting. Or rather, I suppose I ought to say, perhaps by going back to the forest, this newer version of Camryn was her original self trying to come back into her skin? It just felt a bit muddled even though it was quite the compelling quest for Ohar to take-on as a lot was brokering on his success.

Lynch has a knack for developing the world within The Forest People which reminds me of why I personally have become attached to the stylings of Urban Fantasy. She has co-anchoured this journey of Camryn firmly between the world in which she was raised (ie. amongst humans) and the ethereally enchanting forest which in of itself is dimensionally greater than it appears. Like most Urban Fantasies which take us on the journey through the conventions of dimensional time and the conceptional awareness of our world as it is viewed on the surface and not between what is veiled from human sight – Lynch endeavours us to take this journey with her characters; to seek what is beyond.

Part of Lynch’s world-building is to prepositional us into how her world is set to a rhythm of belief where all of life is connected to each other and the difference truly lies in the perception of what is understood. Meaning, for the Forest People themselves – their awareness is more acute rather than the humans’ perception is stunted and limited. It is a perceptional novel in many regards – how you choose to perceive yourself, how others perceive you (outside of your own image) and how the perception of our time within our lives can alter what we can accomplish if we’re hindered by this crippling sense of ‘otherness’ which isn’t our truest sense of self.

One interesting thing to note is how I felt she was written Camryn in a descension of age – meaning, the more time Camryn spent in the forest after her imprisonment and confinement, the more she seemed to regress and age progressively ‘backwards’ rather than forwards. And, then rather suddenly she would be increasingly moving towards a maturity for her species – caught between being a girl and a woman with all the confusing emotions interspersed with the changes in her mood, attitude and emotional balance.

-quoted from my review of Chameleon: The Awakening

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Ahead of #WyrdAndWonder, an Audiobook Spotlight | “The Choosing” (The Forest People, book two) by Maggie Lynch (narrated by Rachel Jacobs)The Choosing (Audiobook Spotlight)
Subtitle: Book Two of the Forest People
by Maggie Lynch
Source: Scribd | Audiobook Subscription
Narrator: Rachel Jacobs

A human chameleon. An endangered mythical forest. Can she bond with a dragon in time to save her new family?

Camryn Painter has enough identity issues without discovering a deadly new magic coursing through her veins. Though her chameleon-like abilities herald her as the forest people’s savior, she’s terrified by the growing dark power within her. And it only gets worse when she realizes that to control this new magic she’ll have to bond with a deadly Thunder Dragon…

As Camryn embarks on her dangerous quest, she discovers that the same human tyrants who experimented on her are behind multiple grisly murders as well. To fulfill her destiny, she may just have to infiltrate her former prison.

Can Camryn master her new abilities to stave off more death, or will power-hungry humans destroy her magical home for good?

Chameleon: The Choosing is the second book in The Forest People YA paranormal fantasy series. If you like heroic challenges, original creatures, and frightening battles between dark and light, then you'll love Maggie Lynch's rousing adventure.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07D4RJ7RD

Also by this author: The Awakening (Audiobook Spotlight), The Awakening

Also in this series: The Awakening (Audiobook Spotlight), The Awakening


Genres: Fantasy Fiction, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Windtree Press

on 8th May, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours and 23 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Windtree Press

The Forest People series:

Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Maggie Lynch

Maggie Lynch

Maggie Lynch is the author of 20+ published books, as well as numerous short stories and non-fiction articles. Her fiction tells stories of men and women making heroic choices one messy moment at a time. Maggie is also the founder of Windtree Press, an independent publishing cooperative with over 200 titles among 20 authors.

Her love of lifelong-learning has garnered degrees in psychology, counseling, computer science, and education; and led to opportunities to consult in Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Since 2013, Maggie and her musician husband have settled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she now enjoys the luxury of writing full-time. Her fiction spans romance, suspense, science fiction and fantasy titles. Her current non-fiction titles are focused on helping career authors succeed in the business side of writing and publishing.

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Posted Saturday, 20 April, 2019 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Scribd, Self-Published Author, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance

Audiobook Review (celebrating Fantasy ahead of #WyrdAndWonder) | “Chameleon: The Awakening” (Book One: The Forest People series) by Maggie Lynch (narrated by Rachel Jacobs)

Posted Saturday, 13 April, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

Similar to the blog tours I hosted for the #KayHunters series [specifically for “Gone to Ground” and “Bridge to Burn”] the blog tour review copies for The Forest People are being provided directly by the author off-site from Audible. The key reason I decided to not accept the review copies from Authors Direct or other services off-Audible is because the new format(s) are mostly directed for mobile listeners and I do not listen to audiobooks in that style of format. As I switched my subscription from Audible to Scribd – I was able to join this lovely blog tour because the audiobooks are readily available via Scribd! For which, I am especially grateful as it allowed me a chance to listen to a #newtomeauthor of Fantasy ahead of my co-hosted Fantasy celebration #WyrdAndWonder!

Thereby my copy of “Chameleon: The Awakening” the first novel of the The Forest People series (as well the next two in sequence) is self-provided through my subscription to Scribd rather than being provided with a complimentary copy of the story. Thereby, I am choosing to participate on the audiobook tour, sharing my ruminations with my readers for my own edification but also, as a continuation of pursuing a reader’s interest in Fantasy Literature. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to listen to this story:

When I first learnt of this series, my first instincts were this could be a brilliant way of getting my feet wet back into Speculative Fiction on the Fantasy side of the ledger. However, what truly rooted me in wanting to tackle a trilogy before #WyrdAndWonder is the fact that it isn’t often I find a Fantasy series which intrigues me to read – at least not on the YA side of things. I’ve been spoilt dearly on the #LelandDragons series and thus, I thought it would be a keen idea to take a chance on a #newtomeauthor and see if this particular series could win me over as much as Jackie Gamber’s!

And, why it truly appealled to my pursuit of the fantastical:

In this first novel of the series, what I was truly excited over is that the lead character is a ‘shifter’ – if you have been following my readerly adventures into the fantastical realms, you might have spied out the fact I have a particularly keen interest in shapeshifter narratives, even if I happen to be a bit particular about which kinds of shifters I enjoy reading! Laughs. Including how I was truly smitten and attached to Bannon from Jackie Gamber’s #LelandDragons series.

I also like seeking out stories which talk about either foster care and/or adoption – I know there is a trend within YA to use these more as plot devices or a shifting of parental involvement and/or of a way to have teens on their own in the world – however, the stories which anchour between the realties of those situations and the newer dimensions of the character’s journey are the ones that tend to align best for me rather than seeing these strictly used as plot devices or a moment of shifting a character out of one family unit into being a forced to either a) live on their own or b) find a group of people they can call family on their own terms. If those are meant to be organically woven into their life’s story, that’s acceptable to me but I meant, I don’t like it if its merely the route to lead into that situation as if that is the only way something like that could evolve in a person’s life. I look forward to seeing how The Awakening handles this segue and what the fuller back-story is about Camryn.

I happen to have a soft spot for stories of the fey and other fantastical creatures – I like the setting being in a forest as I feel that is simply one of the more natural environs you can find these otherworldly beings to be living. One of my dearest curiosities about this series is the overall effect of the world-building and how this world will illuminate itself as we shift further into the series from book to book. This is something I am looking forward to seeing evolve but also, to root out the layers of the world itself. Seeing how the different species stand on their own but also how they interact between each other as well. I find these kinds of complex societies truly fascinating and it will be lovely to see how Lynch built her world.

You might have remembered how much I loved dissolving inside Jennifer Silverwood’s Silver Hollow earlier this year? Her world-building is brilliantly epic and had just the right kind of balance between the fantastical and the realties within an Urban Fantasy environment.

Overall, this sounds like a wicked good listen to me – where a girl comes of age in a time and place which would test the strongest of minds and hearts. I look forward to seeing how Camryn handles the changes in her life – both paranormally inclined and otherwise, whilst seeing whom she finds are her true mates to trust and lean on for support whilst keeping my eyes pinned to the ways in which this exciting new world is to going to ‘introduce’ itself to me! I can’t wait honestly – as now that I am coming out of the throes of a very personally stressful month, I can once again settle into an audiobook where the fantastical can bloom in front of me whilst I am colouring!

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Audiobook Review (celebrating Fantasy ahead of #WyrdAndWonder) | “Chameleon: The Awakening” (Book One: The Forest People series) by Maggie Lynch (narrated by Rachel Jacobs)The Awakening
Subtitle: Book One of the Forest People
by Maggie Lynch
Source: Scribd | Audiobook Subscription
Narrator: Rachel Jacobs

A teenage shifter turned captive. A magical land in danger. Is she a monster or a savior?

Sixteen-year-old Camryn Painter struggles with more than the usual teenage identity issues. As a human chameleon, emotions trigger a transformation into the visage of whomever she sees. But when her foster parents die in a crash and she's taken captive by so-called scientists, she’s not sure if she’s human or just a freak of nature.

Desperate to control her abilities and escape, Camryn emerges from her prison and into a dangerous magical forest. Surrounded by dragons, faeries, and other extraordinary creatures hungry for her power, some in the forest claim she's their prophesied savior. Unfortunately for her, that declaration triggers a supernatural civil war.

Can Camryn unite the fractured forest people, or will her powers erase more than her own identity?

Chameleon: The Awakening is the first book in The Forest People YA Paranormal Fantasy series. If you like incredible worlds filled with unique creatures, intriguing twists and turns, and heartfelt coming-of-age stories, then you'll love Maggie Lynch's enthralling adventure.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B0799QCZZ9

Also by this author: The Awakening (Audiobook Spotlight), The Choosing (Audiobook Spotlight)

Also in this series: The Awakening (Audiobook Spotlight), The Choosing (Audiobook Spotlight)


Genres: Fantasy Fiction, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Windtree Press

on 29th January, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 54 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Windtree Press

The Forest People series:

Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Maggie Lynch

Maggie Lynch

Maggie Lynch is the author of 20+ published books, as well as numerous short stories and non-fiction articles. Her fiction tells stories of men and women making heroic choices one messy moment at a time. Maggie is also the founder of Windtree Press, an independent publishing cooperative with over 200 titles among 20 authors.

Her love of lifelong-learning has garnered degrees in psychology, counseling, computer science, and education; and led to opportunities to consult in Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Since 2013, Maggie and her musician husband have settled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she now enjoys the luxury of writing full-time. Her fiction spans romance, suspense, science fiction and fantasy titles. Her current non-fiction titles are focused on helping career authors succeed in the business side of writing and publishing.

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Posted Saturday, 13 April, 2019 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Scribd, Self-Published Author, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance