CURSED: Dragon’s Curse: Book One, A pure fantasy, assumed published, copyright and written by S. L. Morgan.
Alex Oxley is the young prince of the peaceful Pemdei Empire, long designated as the protectors of earth from various intergalactic threats. He, like his father the emperor, is a trained warrior with many intergalactic missions and the capability to function as a Time/Space Traveler. He, like his twin sister Alysia share this unique ability along with other occult powers. In a short journey into the future he discovers that his mother has been adversely affected by an element that had been specifically constructed to guard earth. Stefon, a crafty villainous ruler from another galaxy suddenly appears saying he enjoys playing games and decides that he and Alex should play a game. He will send the young prince on a trip to attempt to find the cure for his mother’s illness and if he can survive, he will find the cure and return with it. It seems that Stefon’s occult powers are considerably more extensive than those possessed by Alex or any of his family. So, with a snap of his fingers, Alex is dispatched spinning uncontrollably in a dark void, eventually being brought to an abrupt and jolting halt against some very hard object. Here he is discovered by the young princess Kira of another, seemingly less sophisticated galaxy, where she has been wandering for some time to continue eluding capture by the evil invaders who had overthrown her family’s rule. From this introduction we follow the convoluted path of the two young royals as they attempt to restore her to her rightful place, allow him to find the required antidote for his mother’s illness and return for its administration. Unfortunately, accomplishment of these goals are impeded by a sizeable number of factors, most of an occult nature. This basic introductory plot provides a sound base for the ensuing action that no doubt will be set forth in the subsequent volumes.
Discussion: From this reviewer’s perspective, a certain amount of difficulty is encountered in following the story’s threads as they are presented. Similarly, the amount of emotional swing demonstrated by the protagonists as well as the unpredictability with respect to their purported ‘warrior’ and other abilities. However, the amount of dark magic, abundance of witches, winged horses, fairies, shape-shifters, fire-breathing dragons, space/time travelers and more, should be most appreciated by the true fantasy devotee.
5* For the tried and true fantasy devotee.
The Ghost Shows the Way, A ghost Haven Mystery assumed published, copyright and written by Kristine Frost.
The story opens as highly successfully artist Tabitha Black is providing mental as well as still a degree of physical aid to her cousin and best friend Courtney Spencer. Courtney has just recently returned home from an extended hospital stay resulting from a nearly fatal automobile accident. Her already thoroughly shaken mental state is further disturbed by the fact that she recently also had been left a large estate by her uncle who was a most disagreeable person whom she hardly knew but who had hated her parents. The distress is exacerbated by arrival of a letter from the lawyer handling the will. It states that she must go to the estate, house all of the recipients mentioned therein and be ready for its reading by a specific date. It also stipulates that if she does not accept her gift and comply, all listed recipients will lose their inheritance. She feels forced to go so Tabitha accompanies her. The old home is a huge building looking every bit what would be expected of such a manor house constructed many years ago. Its setting is in a miserable and desolate area frequently enveloped in fog and with miserable changes in weather. A housekeeper/chef and a couple of servants who have been left to take care of the house are able to arrange matters adequately to deal with the influx of relatives. The plot progresses as the reader is made aware of the totally miserable, greedy and vengeful character of the deceased and the similarly abominably miserable characters of each and all of the relatives. Additionally a weather front moves through bringing thunderstorms, heavy drifting snow and other conditions that isolate the house and its occupants. The cars in which the various relatives arrived even mysteriously have been damaged so no one could leave anyway. Tempers flare among the irascible mean-spirited relatives and one of them is found murdered. Fortunately, they are able to get a useable line to the police, but here other problems pop up. Two constables disappear and more unpleasantnesses occur with more skullduggery encountered until finally Tabitha, aided by a family ghost is able to bring some closure to the entire affair.
Discussion: The author has provided an engaging murder mystery for the devotee – the setting, the miserable characters, the multiple suspects, plus the aid of an obliging ghost. The tale is a little slow in beginning but the entire story is quite well presented with important features doled out in a manner that exacerbates the suspense and mystery.
5* Enjoyably mysterious, suspenseful ghost story.