Book Review: Shadows over Seattle, the Three Prequels by Timothy Bateson

I know Timothy Bateson. He’s been a real help to me in the past and is a generally awesome person. That is why I didn’t tell him I was writing this review. Instead I paid full price for them (though they are reasonably priced) to read. If I hadn’t liked his work, I wouldn’t have posted anything about it. I would have been tactful, not mentioned I had seen them, and continue to be awestruck at the amount he does to help fellow authors and his incredibly generosity of time and encouragement.

These prequels are awesome!!!

They are written in the first person, which is not always my favourite, but the way that Timothy uses the first person makes the story far more engaging and immediate. The stories are the growth of a character, Richard Parsons, a werewolf growing up in modern day USA, and the trials that he faced. They are gritty and stripped down stories of a werewolf struggling in an urban environment, trying to scrape by. There is no glamour or glitz, but a hard reality about them. I know werewolves don’t exist but this reads true to that reality. There are no dark lords or imperious courts, just getting by and making bad choices in a harsh environment. The three prequels show the hero as a boy facing the biggest hurdle in his life, a crossroads where he has to make hard decisions that impact on his relationships, and the difficulty of being a werewolf in the conflicts in the Middle East – all with tantalising hints of more to come.

I really enjoyed reading them. I have two main complaints. The first complaint is that I would have like to have an option to buy them as a bundle. The second complaint is that the actual books that these prequel aren’t available yet. I should also add (sorry Timothy) that these are quite short, so you may like to check the length before you buy them. I thought they were value for money, but I know that sometimes you have to watch a budget.

I seriously recommend these awesome books, and I also recommend that you check out Timothy Bateson’s blog as not only do you get snippets of writing (and hopefully news of when the next books come out) but Timothy also showcases a lot of other authors with reviews, book tours and insights that can lead you to other awesome books.

Book Review: Borrowed Magic by Stephanie Foxe

This is a good book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will almost certainly dip into more books from Stephanie Foxe.

You have snappy dialogue, well drawn, multi layered and believable characters, a great plot with unexpected twists and a believable and coherent magic system that isn’t overtly explained but is instead subtly shown throughout the book. The fight scenes are great, the hints of passion are amazing and I want to know more.

The only thing is, it’s in the first person present tense! I do not do well with first person present tense, it doesn’t draw me in the way that a more conventionally written story does, although in this case it does pretty well. It has very nearly almost come close to possibly considering changing my mind. Here is the opening paragraph, and you have to admit that it works:

I’m the only healer in two hundred miles who would let a vampire dump a half-dead snack off on my doorstep. I’m also the weakest healer in over two hundred miles, my magical talent is in brewing potions and salves, but I can keep a necker alive if a vampire gets a little over zealous

I read this on Kindle Unlimited, this is an unsolicited review, and I can recommend this book if you don’t mind first person present tense.