It’s Book Review Wednesday (even though this post goes live on Thursday), and I’ve got a treat! This book has the classic fantasy flavor (complete with elves and dwarves and other races), but with just a hint Avatar: The Last Airbender or Mortal Kombat thrown in for good measure. One heck of a fun adventure story!
Fire Eyes Awakened
Jayton Baird worked for years to save enough for his powers to be Awakened, becoming a Senturian. Protectors of Terranum from the terrors on the West Side. This power comes with a price – Jayton becomes the most powerful Senturian Awakened in a hundred years. And the most feared.
With an invasion imminent and a death sentence over his head, Jayton is chosen to fight in a gladiator style tournament to prevent a potent weapon from falling into the hands of an enemy bent on conquest. A team of elite warriors escorts him on the trek fraught with danger.
Can Jayton and his team survive long enough to complete his mission, or will the dark power burning inside consume him?
My Review: 4.5 Stars
I enjoyed the heck out of this book! It was a fun read, and it reminded me a lot of Avatar: The Last Airbender—complete with element-based powers used exactly like I remember Avatar. But it was done well enough that it didn’t feel like a rip-off or copy.
The characters were well-developed and interesting, and I loved the bits and pieces of the world of Terraunum I got in the story. The narrative style was unusual for fantasy stories, but a lot of fun to read. Don’t go into this expecting philosophical insights or thought-provoking moral quandaries—it’s an action adventure story that will keep you reading from one page to the next.
Here’s a Taste:
Everyone else moved – I just stayed put and breathed deep, gathering my power even more. It was almost like electricity running through my veins, hot and thick in my muscles and bones. The more I readied, the harder it was to contain it all. The energy wanted out. To be used.
“Twenty seconds,” Troup said in our ears. The earth actually started to rumble a little. “Ten seconds.”
Energizing my shield and sword, I felt the others do the same, saw the light from their weapons. I took a deep, steadying breath, and dropped into a fighting stance. “Here we go.”
Heat erupted from my back as Morgan let loose two huge streams of fire, each as big as a house. Orcs and ogres burst from the forest, roaring and shaking their weapons. Ice spears shot in all directions from the Water Senturians, Euless let loose with yellow energy blasts as thick as my leg, Josey and Sonora both sent blasts in various directions, Katy shot energy, and Leona fire. And me – I looked up about two stories into the face of the biggest damned troll I’d ever seen.
Twenty-feet tall, carrying a freaking tree trunk for a club, with warted and marbled, gray skin, blunted features, and no armor on at all, it gorilla-ran toward us.
I guess that was mine. Now trolls were big, but they were dumb. I was talking DUMB in all caps. Which didn’t help much when they slugged your butt over the leftfield bleachers with a tree, but hey, it was an advantage as long as they didn’t get close enough to touch you.
So I grabbed an ogre with my telekinesis and hit the troll with it.
Ogres are the bottom rung on the monster food chain – there was a whole lot of them, but as a singular entity, they didn’t pose much of a threat to a trained Senturian. So hitting a troll with one, well, that pissed a troll right off. And soured his mood to all the other ogres around him. Which he turned to snarl at. Which was when, if one were so inclined, one could hurl his returning sword, which would then impale itself in the soft spot on the back of the troll’s head, their only real weak point, right between the skull plates, and thus dispatch of said monstrosity. There, see how easy it was? Oh, you only had about three seconds to pull the whole thing off though. Forgot to mention that. Good thing I was a badass.
The troll landed with a thud, crushing an ogre in the process. The other monsters didn’t hesitate, simply swarmed around and over the dead troll to get to us.
“Nice, Jay,” Anton said in my ear.
“Jay, we’re gonna need your help!” came a call from Morgan and Royn.
Running around the circle formed by the team, firing energy blasts as I ran, I found them up to their ears in ogres, skints, and werewolves. Skints were like werewolves, only lizards.
Oh, there was a dragon, too.
Like, the big, winged lizard, fire breath, almost-impenetrable-skin type dragon. The ones that were extremely rare, and no one hardly ever saw. This particular monster happened to be black as night, huge wings folded on its back, snarling and thrashing, getting ready to take a bite out of my friends.
“I’m guessing this is mine?” I asked, turning the corner, planting my feet and hurling a boulder at the beast at the same time.
“Cor et Anima!” I said, my sword appearing in my hand. My boulder connected, right on the top of the head of the black reptile, which did about as much good as a wet paper towel.
Marlin, Celeste, and Arp kept up a barrage of ice spears, water jets, and steam blasts, forcing many of the ogres and other creatures to dive for cover. Anton launched attacks as well, which boded well, since he wouldn’t be in attack mode if Gilmer needed help.
The dragon’s attention, thanks to the boulder, swung to me.
What I meant to do? Yes.
Did I underestimate the scary factor? You bet your ass.
Thirty foot black wings snapped open, knocking over ogres and werewolves too slow to get out of the way. Black scales a foot in diameter glistened in the sunlight, powerful legs ending in three-foot-long talons dug into the earth. It turned and screamed at me and my eardrums almost burst. Clapping my hands to my ears, I was frozen in place.
Which was exactly what it was waiting for. A huge stream of fire burst from its open maw past the hundreds of dagger teeth. Dashing to the side, I barely escaped the inferno, but my arm stung. The dragon saw me in my new position, took a deep breath, and fired. Again, I had to dodge, but this time I kept running, bringing its line of fire away from my friends.
“Jay, we need help,” Celeste cried.
“A little busy,” I replied, dodging a fireball, parrying a talon with my sword, and generally trying to stay alive. Someone screamed somewhere – I couldn’t tell who. Not knowing what else to do, I sheathed my sword, brought both hands up at the same time – one with dirt, the other with water. “Here’s mud in your eye!” I said, slamming the mixture into the creature’s face.
Yeah, it roared. And yeah, it was scary. But it bought me time.
“Who screamed?” I said through our communicator, turning and running, though not knowing where.
“Josey,” Sonora said. “She’s been hit with some kind of javelin. I’m holding them off as best I… ugh –”
About the Author:
I’m R.J. Batla, author of AGAINST THE BEAST and FIRE EYES AWAKENED, with future books well underway.
I’ve always been fascinated by fantasy novels and the worlds that authors create, and have been an avid fan and reader since I picked up the Chronicles of Narnia as a kid. The process of creating my own has been long, but it has been well worth it! I hope people can enjoy the books as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them.
Fantasy Author, Christian, husband, and father, I enjoy everything outdoors and spend as much time as I can with my family and friends.
Find the book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TC2Y8F
Read Ryan’s thoughts on his website: rjbatla.com
Tweet at him: @RJBatlaAuthor
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