It’s the winter of 1450 and Paris is in a panic. A pack of ravenous wolves is loose in the city, feasting on human flesh. Lorenzo Boccaccio is summoned by a Dominican inquisitor who claims that Lorenzo’s business agent is tied to the sorcery behind the wolf attacks. He demands that Lorenzo and his brother Marco help him root out the evil.
Rivals in business and love, the brothers make for a reluctant partnership. Even so, they are confident the wolves are a natural phenomenon, not men or demons traveling in wolf form.
But events soon prove that the monks and peasants are right. These are no ordinary wolves. And if they are not defeated, the city’s filthy alleys will be awash in blood.
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: The Wolves of Paris by Michael Wallace (@mattalarkin)
If You Go Into The Woods is a collection of two unsettling short stories. The title story is set in Caslav, a small town 60 miles east of Prague, Czech Republic. Jiri Beranek is drawn to a nearby forest, captivated by birds hidden high in the trees. Each time he enters, his desire to see the mysterious creatures is checked by his fear of the dark. When he finally forces himself to go farther, he finds a new reason to be afraid. This story was first published by The Delinquent (UK) then selected by Short Story America for inclusion in their anthology of their best stories of 2010.
The bonus story – The Reset Button – is set in Stockholm, Sweden in the depths of winter. Linus Eriksson, a divorced bachelor living alone in his small one-bedroom apartment, is a man with a memory problem: instead of not being able to remember anyone, nobody can remember him. This story is brand new, exclusively available in this e-book. These two creepy tales have a combined length of 4,000 words, or around 16 book pages.
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: If You Go Into The Woods by David Gaughran (@DavidGaughran , @MattALarkin)
In The Fallen Angle, Glenn G. Thater transports you to a time of legendary heroes, armored knights, spectacular duels, courtly intrigue, otherworldly evils, and ancient, forbidden magics. Though it can be read as a stand alone tale, The Fallen Angle is the second volume in Thater’s Harbinger of Doom series and picks up shortly after the events chronicled in The Gateway.
Claradon, the young Lord of House Eotrus, stands accused of murder and treason by his family’s political rivals while on the trail of the chaos lord that slew those dearest to him. Claradon has recruited the mysterious knight of mystical power called Angle Theta to aid him is his quest. But Claradon has bought far more than he’s bargained for, when his comrade Ob discovers the terrifying secret of Angle Theta. A secret so horrifying as to shatter a man’s mind and call into question the very nature of good and evil.
THE HARBINGER OF DOOM SAGA
The Harbinger of Doom saga centers around one Lord Angle Theta, an enigmatic warrior of unknown origins and mystical power. No mortal man is his match in battle. No sorcery can contain or confound him. No scholar or sage can outwit him. But for all his skills, he is but one of us; a man, a human, who shares our faults, our dreams, and our ambitions. He boldly strides across the land, fearless, peerless, and cloaked in mystery; all his will bent on righting such wrongs as he deems fit.
Until the day the Gateway opened and turned the world on its head. On that fateful day, Korrgonn came and washed away our dreams. And his outre’ realms of chaos set their unholy mark upon our world and claimed it for their own.
Only Theta and his companions see the enemies aligning against us. Only they foresee our end coming — the end of civilization, the end of the world of man. Only they can hope to turn the tide of madness and preserve all that we hold dear.
But no man, not even our greatest hero, can stand against the Lords of Chaos and the dark armies of Nifleheim at their command. Fiends that infiltrate unseen within our ranks, that tear down our temples and our traditions; that devour us from within, unseen, unknown, unheralded, and unopposed until the hour grows far too late.
Through the murk and mist that hangs before our eyes, one man only sees true. One man pierces the veil of magic that blinds us all and marks the world as it truly is, revealing secrets, secrets of Angle Theta, so horrifying as to shatter a man’s mind and call into question the very nature of good and evil.
Join us now on our journey back to the days of high adventure.
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: The Fallen Angle (Harbinger of Doom #2) by Glenn Thater
A novella from #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson, Legion is a fast-paced, witty, and supremely fun thriller with a psychological bent.
Stephen Leeds is perfectly sane. It’s his hallucinations who are mad.
A genius of unrivaled aptitude, Stephen can learn any new skill, vocation, or art in a matter of hours. However, to contain all of this, his mind creates hallucinatory people—Stephen calls them aspects—to hold and manifest the information. Wherever he goes, he is joined by a team of imaginary experts to give advice, interpretation, and explanation. He uses them to solve problems…for a price.
His brain is getting a little crowded, however, and the aspects have a tendency of taking on lives of their own. When a company hires him to recover stolen property—a camera that can allegedly take pictures of the past—Stephen finds himself in an adventure crossing oceans and fighting terrorists. What he discovers may upend the foundation of three major world religions—and, perhaps, give him a vital clue into the true nature of his aspects.
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Legion by Brandon Sanderson (@BrandSanderson , @MattALarkin)
Nyx is Queen of Hell and ruler of the Angels who were banished there – the Descended.
And when the rest of the Angels are called home, Nyx finds herself stuck on the Earth with the Son of God. To her surprise, she learns that he is no happier than she. God’s son thought he was sent down to judge humanity. Instead, he becomes a sacrifice for a cause he does not believe in – their redemption.
After his mortal body dies, the Son of God makes Nyx an offer: a new paradise on Earth if she will help him destroy humanity.
With two of her fellow Angels by her side, Nyx launches a thousand-year campaign of violence, sex, betrayal and intrigue to bring down God’s people and have them worship her instead. From the back streets of Jerusalem to the palaces of Rome, from the temples of Egypt to the Pope’s bedchamber, Nyx and her companions work to destroy the worshippers of God.
But not all is as it seems. And the Son of God has bigger plans than any of them imagine…
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Plague of Angels by John Patrick Kennedy (@JohnPatKennedy , @mattalarkin)
Claradon never led his House’s forces into battle before. But now he has to. His father, the mighty lord of Dor Eotrus, went missing, along with all his men, heroes all, while investigating a mysterious fog and otherworldly howling. It’s up to Claradon to find him, to bring him home, or to avenge his death if he has fallen. Claradon is a brave young knight — noble, skilled, and courageous; a warrior born and bred; a northman, tall and strong. But he’s not prepared to face the ancient evil that has entered his lands. An evil with powers beyond any mortal’s imagination. An evil that threatens to overrun Midgaard and destroy all that Claradon holds dear.
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Gateway to Niflheim (Harbinger of Doom) by Glenn G. Thater (@GlennGThater , @mattalarkin)
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics.
But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.
Nobody fights the Epics . . . nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.
And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson (@BrandSanderson , @mattalarkin)
Freak. Weird. Crazy. These are the names tossed around seventeen-year old Jane Watts by her fellow classmates. But things aren’t always as they seem. Sometimes there’s a reason for talking to yourself in the hallway at school.
Jane struggles with adjusting to her new home and school after an abrupt move. She wants one thing in life—to be like everyone else at school, but that’s hard to do when you’re the new kid. But she does manage to make one friend, Evan—he’s sixteen, charming, and protective. Everything a girl could want in a best friend…with one minor caveat.
Caught somewhere between life and death, Evan is tied to Jane and the living world unable to complete the journey to the other side. She thinks he’s here to be her friend, to take care of her, and that’s why no one can see or hear him.
That is until a new boy shows up at school after a rumored stretch in Juvie. Connor can see Evan and he’s not convinced the ghost is being completely honest. From his own experience ghosts tend to need something from the humans they connect to and Evan, despite his arguments isn’t any different.
Jane is resentful of Connor’s intrusion but realizes soon enough he’s right. Evan has secrets about his past and not only did his life end tragically but members of his family are still in danger. Jane must face her fears and battle Evan’s human demons to free both of them.
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Wraith (Shadow #1) by Angel Lawson (@MattALarkin)
If someone took your child, how soon would you stop looking for her? If someone accused your best friend of a terrible crime, when would you stop defending him?
Seven years after Joe Tyler’s daughter Elizabeth was abducted, he hasn’t stopped looking for answers, and he hasn’t forgotten the friend who stood by him as he lost his wife, his home, and his career in his search. Now he’s been brought back to San Diego by the news that this friend has been arrested for beating up a teenage girl—a girl not much older than Elizabeth would be now.
Joe is convinced Chuck Winslow is innocent, but Chuck is in a coma and can’t explain what happened. And the more Joe hears about what Chuck’s been up to in the years he’s been gone, the less Joe recognizes his old friend. To find out the truth, he will have to face his ex-wife, his former bosses, and a hometown full of wealth, lies, and illicit privilege. When Chuck’s accuser goes missing, Joe must decide where his loyalties truly lie.
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Thread of Hope (Joe Tyler #1) by Jeff Shelby (@jeffshelby , @mattalarkin )
Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, readers have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over forty million copies in over thirty languages.
When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork. With The Gathering Storm (Book 12) and Towers of Midnight (Book 13) behind him, both of which were # 1 New York Times hardcover bestsellers, Sanderson now re-creates the vision that Robert Jordan left behind.
Edited by Jordan’s widow, who edited all of Jordan’s books, A Memory of Light will delight, enthrall, and deeply satisfy all of Jordan’s legions of readers.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass.
What was, what will be, and what is,
may yet fall under the Shadow.
Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: A Memory of Light (Final Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (@mattalarkin)
High school senior Victoria “Tori” Reeve has it pretty good. She’s rich, she’s smart, and she’s popular. What more could a girl ask for? Sure, she’s a little lonely, what with being single and her best friend going off to college and all, but she’s got her work at the Spaulding Crisis Center to keep her busy. When she gets a new boss in the very easy on the eyes form of Isaac Larsen, suddenly her volunteer work feels a lot less like work. Even if he does seem to cause Tori to break out into spontaneous fits of foot in mouth disease. Somehow in spite of her blunderitis, Isaac still seems to be interested in her in a more-than-employer or even more-than-friends kind of way.
So really she should have known that things would go sideways.
Trouble comes to Spaulding, and that trouble seems to be centered on Tori and the Crisis Center. Is she really the focus? Or does this all have to do with the new mysterious man in her life? In her efforts to find out, Tori stumbles across some secrets. Skeletons that might have been better off left in the closet. As it turns out, Spaulding is a hot spot for bad blood…
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Bad Blood (Bad Blood #1) by Ginny Lurcock – Released TODAY! (@mattalarkin , @GinnyLurcock)
Kane never believed in things like fate or karma. Not until the night he took a life.
Within the human world is a secret society of immortals and gifted supernaturals. Kane is one of them–a Sensor who experiences emotional energy through touch. But despite his good looks and easy-going personality, Kane lives a solitary life. Unlike other Sensors, he is unnaturally hypersensitive.
Touch brings pain.
Fate throws a curveball when a woman’s life is placed in his hands. Kane is suddenly faced with a difficult decision, each with its own moral consequence, and time is not on his side.
Will she be his salvation, or his ruination?
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Closer (Mageri Series #3.5) by Dannika Dark (@DannikaDark , @MattALarkin)
Almost one year ago, a Mage attacked Silver and changed the course of her destiny.
Immortals exist, and now she is one of them.
Within the dark and supernatural city of Cognito, Silver is living under the watchful eye of her Ghuardian and dating her mortal enemy. Neither man can protect her from a dark secret, one buried within the contents of a box. As rival factions struggle to gain control, she finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old feud that threatens to drive a wedge between her and Logan Cross, the man who intends to seduce her.
In an explosive turn of events, one life is saved and another is forever altered. Can Silver trust those around her, or are they hiding a dark secret of their own?
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Impulse (Mageri Series #3) by Dannika Dark (@DannikaDark , @MattALarkin )
When a routine hanging goes wrong and a murderer somehow survives the noose, the man announces he is an immortal. And not just any immortal, but Cayal, the Immortal Prince, hero of legend, thought to be only a fictional character. To most he is a figure out of the Tide Lord Tarot, the only record left on Amyrantha of the mythical beings whom fable tells created the race of half-human, half-animal Crasii, a race of slaves.
Arkady Desean is an expert on the legends of the Tide Lords so at the request of the King’s Spymaster, she is sent to interrogate this would-be immortal, hoping to prove he is a spy, or at the very least, a madman.
Though she is set the task of proving Cayal a liar, Arkady finds herself believing him, against her own good sense. And as she begins to truly believe in the Tide Lords, her own web of lies begins to unravel…
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: The Immortal Prince (Tide Lords #1) By Jennifer Fallon (@JenniferFallon, @MattALarkin)
Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals.
But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he’s willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.
MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.
When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….
As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands….
Continue reading REVIEW by Matt: Darkfever (Fever Series #1) by Karen Marie Moning (@KarenMMoning, @mattalarkin)