Greek Cypriot with a penchant for dark myths, good food, and a tendency to settle down anywhere but at home, Chrystalla likes to write about fantastical creatures, crazy adventures, and family bonds. She lives in Cyprus with her husband and her vast herds of books. Her stories can be found in Alienskin magazine, Lorelei Signal, the Shine Journal, Encounters Magazine, and Bards and Sages ezine i.a. She is also an author for MuseItUp Publishing where you can find her YA Urban Fantasy novella Dioscuri.
Here is the link to Chrystalla’s writing blog where you can find short stories, samples and link to other longer works:
Where to find Chrystalla Thoma online
Elei’s Chronicles: origins
A short essay on the world-building and origins of the series Elei's Chronicles (Rex Rising, Rex Cresting, Rex Equilibrium, Rex Aftermath). For readers who have already read at least book 1 in the series.
(4.00 from 1 review)
Thrown into the sea, his memory of the last few hours hazy but slowly returning, young Mantis decides he can’t die just yet – not before he has put up a fight and made the regime pay for killing the people he loved.
This is the story of how Mantis met Kalaes and how Mantis started his journey with the resistance.
(4.00 from 1 review)
Hera, member of the Gultur race governing the Seven Islands, thought she knew right from wrong and what her future held in store. A chance meeting with a lesser mortal, though, will turn her world upside down and force her to see her race and the laws with different eyes. For Hera, knowledge means action, so she sets out to put things right and change her world.
(4.00 from 5 reviews)
Three short fantasy stories set in different worlds of magic. "Indra’s Return" - Indra returns from exile with one purpose: to take revenge on the Elven King for sending him away. "World of Shells" - When Aima doesn’t returned by nightfall, Jun sets out to find her. "The Wolf Game" - In a world where the undead rule, Mara, a shadow woman, meets a white wolf.
Rex Rising (Elei's Chronicles, #1)
(4.60 from 10 reviews)
In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life as aircar driver — until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side and the fleet at his heels. Pursued for a secret he does not possess, he has but one thought: to stay alive. Yet unless he finds out this deadly secret, he’s a dead man.
Chrystalla Thoma’s tag cloud
Smashwords book reviews by Chrystalla Thoma
- Warleader - A Blood and Tears Short Story
on Dec. 08, 2011
Warleader is a great short tale of two brothers struggling for power. Realistic and honest, the story is gripping from the start. The writing is strong and smooth, the descriptions and action masterful. I thought the ending was a little abrupt and would have wished for a more definite resolution, but otherwise I can hardly find any fault with Warleader and I definitely recommend it for its depth of feeling, its characterization, action sequences and realistic descriptions.
- Dreams of Gray
on Dec. 27, 2011
This paranormal novella, written in the first person, has as a protagonist a young woman turned into a werewolf. The voice of the narrator grabbed me from the start because it rang real and funny, and let’s face it, the voice is the first thing that captures a reader’s attention.
The language is plain and clear, the descriptions bare-bones but enough to visualize everything and true to the point of view and the heroine’s personality.
The main characters of the story were well developed and distinct. Dreama – Dree – the protagonist is a very dynamic young woman, likable and easy to relate to. I liked her both for her realistic but courageous reactions to the strange events around her, her way of taking things into her own hands and making decisions. This is no whiney, screaming female lead; she is a strong person, with opinions (such as on discrimination against women), self confidence but also consideration for the others.
PJ, her best friend, is a funny and strong character, there when Dree needs her but also of the more frivolous and partying type. She jumps off the page and adds a humorous note to the narrative. The alpha wolf who takes Dree under her wing is mysterious and quiet and also very real. I felt that I got to know these characters as people in real life.
Apart from the good voice and characterization, I really enjoyed the gritty portrayal of Dree’s reality as painted by the author. He doesn’t mince his words when it comes to the transformation of Dree into a werewolf – the blood, the pain, the fear, the loss of control, the regret. He is exceptionally good, in my opinion, in describing how her body changes each time she loses control of her feelings due to anger or excitement and the way he has the heroine deal with this problem ranges from funny to heart-breaking. I have rarely if ever seen such an honest portrayal of this transformation which is normally glossed over and made into something magical and beautiful. I really liked this aspect of the novella.
The book also contains several explicit sex scenes which play an important role in the story as they both help develop the relationship between Dree and a man she goes out with, and provide the ground for her transformations.
The character arc is good, with Dree's perception of the world shifting as her body changes, and as she begins to accept she cannot go back to what and who she was. The plot should have been predictable but it had me on the edge of my seat because I was so involved in the characters.
However, I admit that I found the last scene too open-ended, the ending too abrupt, so much so that at first I thought this had to be book one of a series. When I checked, though, I saw no reference to a series, therefore I must say this was an issue for me. Too much happens in the last chapters and very little is resolved to call the story finished.
I think this book fits well in the tradition of the Anita Blake series (in the sense of mystery, and shifters, humor, and female first person narrator).
In all, this was a fast and enjoyable read, gritty and funny, and I recommend it to fans of the paranormal.
- Bright Links Dark Links
on Jan. 02, 2012
Jeanie can see ghosts. Even though the mood in the opening chapter is light and focuses more on Jeanie’s hurt feelings about her ex fiancé and about her hunt for a suitable husband, that fact alone – in this novel there be ghosts – made me hesitate at first. I don’t read horror, and ghosts scare me. But I liked Jeanie’s character and her plight, and I read on.
Good thing I did. This is a complex book, working on many levels and transcending literary genres, and I found it to be in equal measures a romance and a gritty thriller. It isn’t a “pretty” romance played out in beautiful mansions and other romantic settings. The protagonists aren’t Hollywood superstars, with the perfect families or jobs. Jeanie and Sam are real people with real families who have their internal and religious conflicts (a nice confrontation of the older native gods with the newcomer, Christian god) and superstitions.
The thriller/suspense thread of the story is very realistic and vivid. Often we enter the bad guy’s head and observe the workings of a sick mind, presented and described wonderfully, capturing the madness and conflict inside him.
The two threads, the romance and the thriller, are perfectly woven together, the fear and need to discover the murderer driving the two protagonists together and bringing to light smaller conflicts, such as between Sam and his mother on account of their different religions but also the prejudice leveled at Jeanie because of her uncanny ability to see through the veil.
The story balances very well the beautiful romantic moments, with sad instances (especially with the child ghosts) that had me wiping my eyes and terrifying moments when the murderer was on the hunt. The pace is quick and the situations engrossing. The only reason it took me some time to finish is that, being so afraid of ghosts, I could only read this book during the day (I usually read at night).
Not to forget, another reason I liked this book so much is the portrayal of a society and culture that I’m not used to seeing in paranormal novels; Singapore. I find myself fascinated with the Orient, its mysticism and traditions, and the author paints this world vividly, its blend of east and west (also exemplified by the protagonists’ western names), the struggle between the new and the old, the modern and the traditional in everything from religion to clothing to the way of thinking and the gap between the generations.
This attention to detail, this polished feel to the world, the characters and the language, the fast pace and the believable characters, the many levels of conflict and the intertwining plots are the reasons I highly recommend this book to lovers of paranormal suspense, sweet romance and thrillers.
- A School for Villains
on Feb. 15, 2012
A School For Villains is not simply a parody of epic fantasy stories about wizard schools – it’s a new take on the trope and an imaginative reversal of genre expectations.
When Danny is sent to a School for Villains and has to leave his father’s forge, he’s horrified. He doesn’t want to be evil, doesn’t want to hurt anybody and doesn’t like the fact that he has no say in all this. He has no love for evil lords and hates maniacal laughter (I love him for this!) In all, Danny is a normal boy and he will do anything in his hand to escape the School and its mad teachers. I will say no more because there are many twists and surprises in the plot and I can’t give them away, but trust me, it is an interesting story.
Danny’s character is dynamic and active. He spends a big part of the book looking for ways to escape the school, and these are often hilariously funny and imaginative. However, I must admit I was a little put off by his whiny nature at first. Happily, he comes into his own in later chapters and goes through an interesting transformation.
The characters surrounding him are beautifully crafted, and although they may first appear as stereotypes (done on purpose, obviously, to add to the satirical nature of the book), as the story progresses they become rounded and real. I really enjoyed discovering their other facets.
I admit I laughed out loud at the portrayal of the boy hero coming to challenge Danny and the letters they exchanged, and I loved this author’s imagination in crafting the school and all its crazy magic and great characters. Although the book addresses a younger public than I’m used to, I greatly enjoyed reading a School for Villains and look forward to a sequel.
I recommend a School for Villains for all readers who enjoy a funny take on fantasy, such as satires of wizard schools, and especially for teens and young adults.
For Good Book Alert.
- Spirits Rising
on March 21, 2012
With paranormal stories flooding the market, especially those involving angsty vampires in romantic relationships with innocent mortal girls, it’s a refreshing change to read Krista D. Ball’s Spirits Rising.
The protagonist of the story is Rachel. She’s a lovely protagonist – not superhuman, beautiful like a model and thin like a rail. She’s down-to-earth, has a few kilos she needs to lose, has a crush on a man who’s taken, and she can’t fight the supernatural side all on her own. Plus, her Christian neighbors in her small town think she’s a witch and tape flyers about going to hell on her door and don’t want her near their kids.
She’s wonderful. I love her. She’s a real person, with weaknesses and faults, and she doesn’t pretend to be someone – or something – that she’s not. She’s not above asking for help, cursing or drinking to forget her problems. But she’s also human in a very good way – sensitive to kindness, touched by others’ problems, funny in her own snarky way and self-critical. Honestly, she’s one of the big strengths of this story, which, while not very long (it’s a novella, but it’s book 1 in a series, so there will be more!), it paints a world so vivid you feel like you’ve been living there for years.
Exactly this, the vivid world-building, is the story’s other big strength. This is achieved not only through the use of colorful, three-dimensional secondary characters, who have their own problems, sense of humor, beliefs and lives, but also through a deep knowledge of the place where the story takes place.
If you’re like me, then you enjoy stories which take you places and make you feel like you traveled there. If you’ve never been to Newfoundland in Canada, then this is your chance to get to know the place. The author comes from there and it shows in the depth of detail, the terms used, the food and drink culture, the language, the whole feel of place that permeates the story – from the howling, icy wind to the behavior of Rachel’s neighbors. Even just for this, this story is a thousand times worth reading.
Oh and the spirits are unlike any you’ve ever seen. I wish I could say more, but that would be a spoiler...
But I almost forgot the novel’s third big strength: the snarky, funny voice. Fresh and honest, Rachel’s voice carries the story and breathes life into it.
I confess I can’t wait for the sequel to the tale of this quirky heroine. I highly recommend it to all readers who love the paranormal, but also those who like stories grounded in real life, with strong heroines who don’t wait for a prince charming to come and save the day.
Warning: This is not a romance, and it contains no sparkly vampires.
For Good Book Alert Book Reviews