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C.M.J. Wallace is the author of the Rift series and is also a medical editor. She received her bachelor of science degree with honors from Michigan State University and, being a lover of English and not laboratory work, promptly started editing instead. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and is currently working on another novel in the series.
The first four books of Rift are completed and available as e-books, and the first three are available in print through Amazon; This Strange Magic will soon follow in their footsteps.
Sing the Midnight Stars, book 1 of the Rift series, is a B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree.
on Aug. 21, 2013 :
'Sing the Midnight Stars' is the first novel in a fantasy series about drug addicted detective Andrin whose determination to solve a series of strange murders leaves him facing some tough choices.
This is a really cool blend of gritty detective story and dark fantasy. The drug and how Andrin ended up addicted to it was a very compelling part of the story and really made me sympathise with this character. I also loved the murder mystery aspect as I thought it was something unusual for this type of fantasy story, and it was done in a captivating way.
This book is very well written. It's descriptive, atmospheric and believable. I found all the strange character names a bit hard to remember at times but it wasn't too big of a problem because the characters were so well described I could picture them easily every time their names came up.
Overall this is an excellent start to a very interesting and different fantasy series. I look forward to reading the next part soon. Highly recommended for mystery and fantasy fans alike!
(reviewed 26 days after purchase)
on July 03, 2013 :
"Sing the Midnight Stars" is an engaging novel which transcends its genre. This is not to diminish fantasy literature in any way; rather, for a complete neophyte like myself, the book was an entertaining read. Author CMJ Wallace keeps the narrative tight and interesting, which is especially notable considering how much new knowledge is required to make sense of what is going on. She seems to know when she's on the brink of "too much information", and moves on just in time.
STMS ends in a cliffhanger. I have no doubt readers will want to tune in again for the next installment.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on June 04, 2013 :
I just finished this book and I am thoroughly impressed with C.M.J. Wallace's rich language and intriguing storylines. I was immediately drawn into the world of Carvel and with each page became more entrenched in the plot. What I find most impressive is the lack of vulgarity and gorish brutality that other series have, yet the intensity remains. As much as I enjoy those other series, this a refreshing change. As soon as I finished STMS I bought Flight of Shadows. I can't wait to find out what happens next!
(reviewed 54 days after purchase)
on April 27, 2013 :
From the very first page Sing the Midnight Stars is fascinating and I was immediately hooked by the beautiful, descriptive writing and believable dialog. The characters are robust, multidimensional, and very distinct from each other. Even though I don’t normally enjoy fantasy novels, I was pulled right into a world that rings true. The details about the characters, the architecture and geographical setting in which they live, the unique, ingenious magical elements, the sharp, witty dialog and superb writing all work together to make the book a pleasure to read. It’s an intelligent story populated with compelling characters who face authentic challenges and must deal with some very unexpected turns of events. I’m anxiously awaiting the publication of the second book to see what happens next!
(reviewed 5 months after purchase)
on Oct. 22, 2012 :
Wow! A fascinating world and excellent writing. A joy for anyone looking for an intelligent and unique fantasy story.
Andrin Sethuel is a drug addicted police detective of the highest rank in a country where almost everyone has access to magic bound up in "stone and sigil". Already the story was intriguing and within the first few pages you are introduced to a collection of truly interesting characters.
Of the characters, only two felt a little too cliched (Bardelain Elarin and the Queen). Andrin and the mad king are brilliantly crafted while most of the other characters easily carry the weight of the story and its unique setting. Even Elarin and the queen have plenty of room to develop in interesting ways over the next three books.
The setting—essentially a single city, though we gain plenty of glimpses of other parts of the world—avoids many of the cliches of fantasy. It is an early enlightenment setting rather than the traditional medieval one. The city is distinct enough from any other fantasy city I have come across. And the magic systems are inspired (although astromancy does call to mind Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince and Dragon Star series).
What sets this book apart from so many others is the intrigue… and there is shiploads of it in this book. By the end of the book there is a three way war brewing, the Aluian Killer remains elusive (but could it be… ah, but no spoilers), the Rift has its own agenda, and the layers of intrigue spread over the book like blankets on a cold winter's night.
At the end of this book we, the readers, know almost nothing more than most of the characters. Sure, we have hints, and lots of them, but knowledge for everyone inside and out of the book is severely limited. All of this intrigue is combined with plenty of action and suspense.
If you want a light piece of fantasy fluff, then this book is not for you! If you are looking for a unique and intriguing book that will keep you reading from beginning to end with the promise of much more to come, then dive into 'Sing the Midnight Stars' and enjoy.
PS: There was one moment that left a somewhat sour note with a line regarding the creation of the stones that seemed unnecessarily anti-homosexual… I'm not sure what to make of the comment (probably not much) and it doesn't affect my appreciation for the other 126516 other words.
(reviewed the day of purchase)