The House of Grey: Volume 1

Rated 5.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Fantasy, friendship, and fate await you in Collin Earl’s The House of Grey, based on the popular audio fiction by the same name. 

14-year-old Monson Grey faces the same challenges that any freshman high school kid would: difficult classes, weird teachers, food fights…girls. Except, Monson Grey is not Monson Grey. More
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About Collin Earl

A native of Washington State, Collin grew up NOT liking reading stories or school in general. Girls, sports, and working held much more appeal for the young Collin. He graduated from Moses Lake High School despite lack of regular attendance then journeyed forth towards Boise State in Idaho where he received a B.A. in Social Science. His dream was to practice law with his father and brother; a dream that he pursued vigorously in his undergraduate education. Little did he know that his father would leave the practice of law and his brother would make plans to head to Costa Rica. While these career developments were unexpected, even more unexpected was Collin's growing interest in writing and story telling. After reading several stories (averaging a book a week for almost a whole year), he developed a story idea and started to write.
Podcast novels, self publishing, eBooks and writing in general were much like his move to SOUTH DAKOTA (Yes, I said South Dakota); random and totally unexpected. Collin spent a year writing a story with a Roman Gods theme then came to a real and terrible realization: Fantasy fans are brutal. Absolutely brutal! If they like you, man they REALLY like you. If they don>t...well let>s not talk about that. From that moment, Collin spent many hours reworking his first novel, The House of Grey into a story that Fantasy fans (and everyone else hopefully) will enjoy, gleaning ideas from many independent literary sources from Indian folklore to Japanese anime. After graduating from the University of South Dakota Law School, Collin, his smoldering wife, and two beautiful daughters moved down the street from his Producer and co-author Chris Snelgrove in good ol' Colorado. Collin passed the Bar and is currently working as an attorney and vigorously writing fantastical stories for his fans.

In 2007, Chris approached Collin Earl with an idea to produce the serialized audio version of a Roman Gods themed novel that Collin had been writing for some time. About a year later, The House of Grey was released and was an instant success on iTunes and holding onto a spot in the Top Ten for more than a year straight.
After the success of The House of Grey, Chris and Collin collaborated to craft Harmonics starting with the first season: Rise of the Magician. Each wrote different character's perspective in the story and blending their writing styles to create this unique story.
Chris has lived in a number of places in this great country called the United States, including Utah, Maryland, Florida, California, and Arizona. He eventually ended up in Colorado almost 20 years ago and currently lives just outside Denver with his beautiful wife and four wonderful boys. He graduated the University of Colorado at Denver with a B.A. in Psychology and currently works as a corporate trainer and business systems analyst for a Fortune 100 insurance company.

Learn more about Collin Earl

Also in Series: The House of Grey

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Melissa Hayden reviewed on Oct. 27, 2012

Monson Grey comes to his new home, Coren University - in a valley in the middle of the only temperate rain forest in the world. Monson doesn't remember much of his past or how he got accepted to this school. Monson finds a few fast loyal friends, a girl he has his eye on along with another girl who seems to be trouble for him, in an elite school known for it's prestige. Yet Monson has no idea what's expected of him or why he's treated so royally. Monson will find his way through this magical school with new friends and strange nightmares, maybe remembering a few things and learning who he was, along with who he is as well.

We have a prelude that starts at Coren University Academic Scholarship Competition where it seems the underdog is giving the Champion a run for his money, and the people are excited for him. It's almost a game show atmosphere. A man is noticed by a little girl at the back and the man does magic. And it seems as the man in charge doesn't want the underdog to win. We learn later this boy that won was Monson. I wonder as to why this magical man wants Monson to go to this school. What's in store for Monson?

I was nervous going into the starts of this serialized story. The genre title of 'modern fantasy thriller' kind of scared me. But I will say after the first part of the story, I'm hooked. I'm scurrying to see how I can get all the rest of the stories in now.

I was caught right away with magic in the prelude. I'm a sucker for magic, what can I say? Then through the story I got the feel there is something more magical about this school than we, or Monson, know. A statue winks as an example.

Monson is a quick witted young man who is more than meets the eye, even his own. By the end of this section of the story, I was wondering what more there was to him, and him having loss of memory doesn't know either. He's 14 years old. Monson is scarred, physically. His face is scarred from a severe accident that he was the only survivor of. Yet he has no memory of this accident, or before it. Monson notes his nightmares, yet when he wakes he doesn't remember them either. He wants to as they seem of another life.

We meet Monson's fast friends, Cassius who goes by Casey and Arthur who wants to be called Artorius. I can see why Monson quickly liked Casey and Artorius. They are fun and the banter is well done. These three boys are quick at one liners and comebacks that are fun and witty.

The school is elite! Fancy. The wealthiest and most exclusive school to go to. There are regular kids like Monson, on scholarships. The kids going to this school look at it as a privilege not a punishment. They want to be here, which is nice to see as it's not just a school that kids are shipped off to. I got the feel the school is a blend of Arthurian, Greek, Latin, and Roman structure and feel of presence.

Collin blends in jokes with shows, songs, and great current items to bring the modern to the world. And we have a feel of fantasy in this school with a sense of magic hidden behind the walls that we haven't seen yet. We then have an Arthurian twist to the story with the characters, then in our history class we start to talk about Merlin...

This story gives me a magical feel of the big world like Harry Potter with an Arthurian flare. Easy and relaxing yet intriguing with a feel there is more behind and implied in the happenings, leaving you want more. With just reading this one part of the story, I'd think Harry Potter fans would enjoy it.

This is a Young Adult read, and I would suggest this for any 12 and older. The story is of a young man, Monson, and two male friends. So as I would suggest it to any young adult, if you are looking for reads for young boys (I know they are hard to find) this would be a very good one to add to the list.

Collin explains up front this is a serialized story and there is no good way to break it down. Well, good thing that just about all the story is out for us at this point as I can't wait to continue with this story. Collin also mentions he wants to write what he wants to read. If this is it, he's got my attention. I'll be looking for many more books and finishing this serialized story soon.
(review of free book)
KSN Sub reviewed on March 21, 2012
(no rating)
I truly feel that this book is one the more riveting reads.I have not heard the audio version and hence have no idea how good that was.
This is a book that is pretty crisp and stays true the the leads . There is enough depth to flesh out the characters. There are some loose ends in the book . Am not sure is it because the ends get tied up as the story progress or if the author has just left them that way as there was no logical progression.
In Monson grey we have a very interesting lead . however maybe the lead seems to sketched out much maturely to be 14teen. A age closer to late tweens would have been more appropriate. how ever that is just my view.
An Interesting read and am reading it again just to catch all the nuances I missed. And Did i just say I like 'Casey' the most!

To the author... Would love to lay hands on all the other volumes and the audio version.
(review of free book)

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