A Shining in the Shadows, Book 2 of The Gabriel Davenport Series, by Beverley Lee

Book Review

A Shining in the Shadows: The Gabriel Davenport Series, Book 2, by Beverley Lee

4.5 Stars

Fiction. Thriller. Horror. Suspense. Dark Fantasy.

Pulls you in and when it’s over, you need more.

Menacing dark fantasy and paranormal suspense combine in the second book of this reader acclaimed supernatural series (Gabriel Davenport) from British author Beverley Lee

Gabriel Davenport has been remade from darkness. Now, he must adapt to survive .

In a small seaside town, Gabriel’s maker unwittingly takes his wards into the throes of a deadly new game. There are rumblings on The Bloodvyne, the mental web of linked vampire consciousness. Whispers about a cleansing, about the ruling council hunting vampires with impure blood.

Gabriel finds himself thrust into a new nightmare, where the hunter becomes the hunted. When his maker is taken, he must battle to untangle the mystifying clues laid out in an uncovered labyrinth to find the only creature strong enough to fight against those that hunt his new-found family.

Gaze long into the darkness, and you’ll find old vampire foes out for revenge, new ones with their own agenda, and a witch who holds the key. But just who is the monster in the middle?

The Making of Gabriel Davenport was a fantastic opening to this series and in A Shining in the Shadows that world we were introduced to explodes. With beautiful style, Beverley Lee takes us through the night of a seaside town, throwing us, along with her heroes, through the muck with no idea what way is best to turn.

A difficult thing to accomplish, book 2 far surpassed book 1, as far as I was concerned. shadowsComplete with depth of plot and equally deep characters, Shining is a book lover of all styles will enjoy. A master storyteller, Ms. Lee is a champion of drizzling just enough at perfectly timed intervals to keep you turning pages, never lost, but never clear on what is about to happen to create a perfectly crafted story.

Well balanced between suspense and horror, Ms. Lee’s use of the genre term “Dark” is classic, of which I was a great fan. No need for flashy scenes of violence or gore to move us along; this is a tale full of story the reader will devour.

A Shining in the Shadows brought me back to the days when I was an avid Anne Rice reader, stuck on tales of Lestat and the psychology of what it meant to be a powerful immortal, before the more romantic versions of vampire stories graced the shelves. I felt right at home with this book and can’t wait for more from Ms. Lee. There’s so much more to learn about Gabriel’s new world and those he shares with it.

Review: War of the Ashers, Book 2 of The Petros Chronicles, by Diana Tyler

Book review

War of the Ashers, Book 2 of The Petros Chronicles, by Diana Tyler

YA. Fantasy. Mythology.

5 Stars.

It’s Percy Jackson in Narnia.

A family feud of mythological proportions….

To save the present and secure the future, Chloe must return to the past, to an age when the stuff of myth is a terrifying reality.

With the Councilman’s guards hot on their trail, Chloe, Damian, and Ethan dive through a mystical portal that transports them to the ancient hills of Ourania where they swiftly learn that Petros is literally crumbling in the warpath of Mania, the powerful rogue Asher who’s hell-bent on ruling the world and erasing every trace of Duna, the true creator against whom the rebel gods are fighting.

With the lords of the Underworld on her side, a colossal chip on her shoulder, and a doma by which she commands the elements, Mania appears utterly indestructible. The only thing standing between her and global domination is the last few Ashers hiding in the hills, scrambling to devise a plan and make sense of the mysterious shapeshifter in their midst…

If Chloe and her friends don’t act quickly, Mania will be in possession of the magical ambrosia that gives the gods their immortality. And if she becomes immortal, their fate is inextricably sealed, and the future of Petros will be darker and more hopeless than ever.

In this riveting sequel to Age of the Ashers, Chloe and Damian must embrace their destiny by facing the resistance Orpheus prophesied would come. Will they band together, or will the bitterness between them make everything fall apart?

Full of twists and turns and thrilling surprises, War of the Ashers is an exciting fantasy adventure for lovers of Greek mythology. 

Time travel and the bigger picture, two of my favorite story elements, are well-weaved into this tale and there’s little not to like. Continuing Chloe, Damien and Ethan’s fight for the soul of Petros, we follow them as they learn the use of their newly emerged talents while discovering trust in each other, an unlikely helper and most importantly, a creator who wishes nothing more than to be known and loved.

Well-tied-together situations were a fantastic example of story-telling throughout War of the Ashers. Details brought up in past scenes arise to get our protagonists out of trouble so I was ec7b290edf21ce82265aac71a346b6c5left thinking how I would not have survived if it were me inside the story. My creative problem-solving abilities just wouldn’t have been up to par.

That being said, these characters are far from flawless making them extremely relatable. The entire time I was reading I was thinking how I’m getting this book for my young nephew to read. Each character finds themselves forced to make decisions based on limited information (because when do we ever know everything about something) that ultimately shows a misrepresentation of a previous situation. That they continue to stand tall, strongly facing their trial to be able to turn around these decisions is a lesson we all can take a page from (am I mixing metaphors again).

My first reaction to the ending was – Wait. That’s it. But upon reflection, I realize how perfect it really was. Another conversation I’d love to have, as adding more here will turn into spoilers (talk to me in the comments about your thoughts on the ending of War of the Ashers). I’ll just mention that the perfect symmetry of it, the excellent use of the circle of time, was most respected.

So many themes! I just loved that about this series!

  • Faith.
  • Trust, both in family and strangers fighting for a common cause.
  • The question of doing something just because you can.
  • Weighing personal want against the need of a greater whole.
  • Sticking to your own sense of right in the face of great pressure.
  • Redemption.
  • Forgiveness, both as a personal thing and as the ultimate gift.

As I thought with Book 1, Age of the Ashers, this story is a perfect blend of ancient myth and modern culture, masterfully mixed with just enough to poke the mind about a greater scope watching over all. This Chronicle is definitely a series I’ll be recommending to all the young readers in my life, as well as many of the veterans. A story that teaches while entertains is priceless.

Happy Reading 🙂

Review: The Age of the Ashers, The Petros Chronicles Book 1, by Diana Tylor

Book Review

The Age of the Ashers (The Petros Chronicles Book 1), by Diana Tyler

Young Adult. Fantasy.

4 Stars.

A well-crafted story that brings ancient myth to the modern world.

One power. One prophecy. One chance to change the world.

Petros is a well-oiled machine of an empire that has been overrun by evil. Every individual’s life is mapped out precisely, from the day of their birth until their much-anticipated Coronation at age seventy-five, when they each become ruler of their own personal paradise.

Eighteen-year-old Chloe Zacharias is content to exist as a social outcast and virtual recluse. Orphaned at the age of eight, she and her twin brother Damian live with their aunt and uncle, who only just tolerate their unwelcome charges. When classmate Ethan Ross gives Chloe a one-day pass to a newly opened museum, she discovers there’s much more to her utopian city, and the mysterious government that runs it, than she could ever have imagined.

An ancient prophecy has plans for Chloe; plans that will catapult her into the middle of an ages-old war between beings thought belonged only to ancient mythology.

When it becomes clear to the powers of the Underworld that Chloe could uncover their secrets and dismantle their world, the rulers send cunning Hermes, devious messenger to the lords of Hades, on a mission to destroy her before she finds out who—and what—she is.

Famed poet and romantic musician, Orpheus will do anything to reunite with his beloved wife Eurydice. Manipulated by Hermes into believing he can win back Eurydice if he charms a mortal known as “the Vessel,” Orpheus takes advantage of Chloe’s naïveté and voracious curiosity, and leads her into mortal danger.

Damian can’t ignore his sister or her strange behavior any longer. He has discovered that he has an astonishing gift of his own, and Hades and Apollo are shaken by the possibility that there is not one, but possibly two, entities with the power to topple the evil world they have created.

Chloe and Damian must work together, without becoming paralyzed by fear like their ancestors before them, or the citizens of Petros will continue to believe and be ruled by the horrific lies that have corrupted their world.

Filled with magic, mystery, and sprinklings of Greek mythology, Age of the Ashers is a powerful fantasy adventure for those who love to lose themselves in the world of make-believe.

What I most loved about this book was that the main character wasn’t main. There were multiple personalities, all well crafted in their imperfections, as well as petty gods who strove for attention even as they continued to be side-swiped by what they couldn’t have prepared for. While Chloe takes the majority of the pages in Age of the Ashers, she’s by no means the only one worth paying attention to. I was eager to learn more about both Damien and Ethan, as well as to find out more about the ancestors Chloe finds herself dropping in on.

The world of Petros is equally as well crafted. Organically, we’re led to the understanding51iW7OmJ0TL that we’re not following the lives of those we might pass on the streets in our hometown. Petros is an entirely independent world where the subtle manipulations of the gods have rendered its people no longer true believers in their existence despite every rule and custom being created to ensure these gods receive proper tribute. The peaceful, modern lifestyle of all is only the shiny wrapping to a festering manipulation that goes on behind the scenes.

Finding out this reality, Chloe, Damian and Ethan come to terms, in their own ways, with this, as well as struggle to accept their importance in the possibility of releasing its people from the smothering dominion that’s hung over the people for two thousand years. This struggle doesn’t end all roses, either. A couple of choices left my mouth hanging, as characters redeemed themselves only to fall back again.

The book is also an excellent story in the power and importance of faith, a theme that’s well blended, especially as we read Iris’ story. This theme becomes more important in book 2, War of the Ashers and Ms. Tyler does a fantastic job laying the groundwork for that in her first installment of this chronicle.

My only “complaint” is that I felt books 1 & 2 should have been one book, but I understand. It’s just the way things are done…

Happy Reading 🙂

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