It’s Book Review Wednesday, and I’ve got a treat: a Sci-Fan (Science Fiction blended with Fantasy) novel written by an awesome author I met and befriended at last year’s InD’Scribe Convention. It’s my first proper introduction to the SciFan genre and I’m happy to say I’m hooked!

Note: the book will be released tomorrow, April 20th, but it’s up for pre-order!

Pawns (The Wielders of Arantha Book 1)

Seven hundred years in the future, the Jegg – a powerful alien race – invade Earth, wiping out half of the Terran Confederation.

In a hidden base under the Sahara Desert, a team of scientists works to mount a resistance against the invaders. Their plan is to fit an Earth ship with Jegg folding-space technology, and travel to the other side of the galaxy to find a mysterious energy source… one that could help them defeat the Jegg.

WOA cover

But just before departure, catastrophe strikes. Only two of the crew survive and make it to their destination: the team leader’s wife Maeve, and her teenage son Davin. What they find on the distant planet will forever change both the future of their family and their planet, as they enter a race against time… and against impossible odds.

My Review: 5 Stars

I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and I’m very glad I did! This is my first introduction to Sci-Fan and have to say I enjoyed it quite a lot. The blending of magic and technology brings together the two things I love about speculative fiction.

I found this to be a very enjoyable novel, with a solid storyline that kept me reading without losing my interest. There were no parts where the story lagged or got bogged down by unnecessary exposition. Though it took a while to get interesting in the beginning, I was hooked before I hit page 100. It was very easy to read through the story, and I couldn’t wait to hit the climax and find out what the deal was with these magical stones that had called an Earther from across the galaxy.

I LOVED the plot twist (no spoilers) that shows up near the endpoint—totally caught me by surprise. The characters were well-written and easy to understand, even the villains. All in all, a solid book that I will definitely be returning to when the Book 2 is released.

Here’s a Taste:

Voris’s face scrunched up in anger. Turning to the Vandan who’d drawn his sword, he yelled, “Kill him!”

Holding the hilt of his sword with both hands, the man rushed at Mizar, who didn’t move. With a primal scream, the man swung his sword in a wide arc, intent on separating Mizar’s head from his body.

With a quickness belying his age, Mizar ducked under the sword as it sliced through the air. Calling upon his abilities, he directed a powerful bolt of compressed air right at the swordsman’s gut. A moment later, the man was flying backwards, his limbs flailing as he flew past his cohorts. He hit the water of the stream, but didn’t stop there. His body bounced across the surface like a stone being skipped, coming to an abrupt halt when he crashed head-first into a large rock that stuck out of the ground on the other side. There was a sickening crack of bone upon stone, and the man’s head fell limply under the water. It did not rise again. Only his feet and chest protruded above the surface, right next to a large red stain that now decorated the stone.

The stupefied look on the faces of the three men was almost comical. Composing himself, Voris gestured to the two archers, whose bows dangled slackly in their hands. Gibbering with rage, he spluttered, “Shoot him!”

The archers were only ten or so yards away from Mizar. At this close range, anyone with even moderate skill would be able to hit their mark. In one motion, both men raised their bows, pulled back on the drawstrings, and fired.

Mizar only had a second to react as the two arrows split the air on their way to him. With a slight wave of his hands, he changed the flow of air around him, thereby directing the arrows to zip past his head, continuing on their harmless trajectory.

Before they could hit the ground, Mizar turned in the other direction and waved his arms in a circle. As if they’d developed a mind of their own, the arrows changed direction, one banking left and the other right, sweeping around in a wide arc and climbing high into the air.

Mizar whirled around to face the Vandans again, moving his arms in a practiced, precise series of gestures, bending the air to his will. The raiders watched, goggle-eyed, at the arrows that seemed to defy gravity. Mizar thrust his hands forward, and the two arrows decided on a new direction. Before the archers could even react, the arrows embedded themselves in their throats.

Voris’s jaw dropped, his knife hand shaking visibly as he watched the last of his men topple to the ground, blood gushing from their necks and staining the grassy earth.

Satisfied, Mizar affixed Voris with his steeliest glare. “Only you and me now, Vandan.”

Voris didn’t move. He could only croak out a barely intelligible, “Wh-what are ya?”

“I am Mizar, High Mage of Darad.”

About the Author:

I currently live in Arizona with my wife, Vaneza. After years of writing for several different entertainment-related blogs, I have found new life and vitality by writing fictional stories about young teens and preteens that are entertaining for ALL ages.

For me, it’s all about the characters. I love creating characters that jump off the page, that feel like real people no matter how old the reader is. Because without great characters, you really don’t have a great story, do you?

Find the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSVGV86

 

Visit Patrick’s website: http://patrickhodgesauthor.com/

Find Patrick on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/patrickhodgesauthor/

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