on Aug. 07, 2014 :
The story begins with a archeologist who discovers an artifact in the Egyptian desert. Soon after the discovery, this academic bookworm learns he is a wizard tasked with protecting mankind from werewolves and witches. Known as Daniel to friends and Azul to his ancient family, the wizard chips away at the never ending war against creatures bent on destroying mankind.
What I liked best about the novel was how the author brought forth a modern day story with interesting characters, and with a sense of humor. First, a being that exists in a non-corporeal state puts on a magic show for Azul at a Las Vegas hotel, then visits his room to divulge the long history he and the wizard have shared. Of course Azul believes that he is hallucinating and chalks it up to lack of sleep or some sort of brain disorder. The next day Azul's sister kidnaps the unsuspecting wizard using a Las Vegas cab to transport him to a planet that revolves around our sun opposite and unseen from Earth. Sounds silly at first, but the planet Keob is where Azul and others like him find their sanctuary. It is also where a much older (millions of years) version of Azul can be found in a library existing between the Earth plane and a time that has long past. Another character named Thyzil is large warrior who wields an equally large sword as though it was a toothpick all the while infatuated with his strength and good looks.
After enlisting a hybrid wolf-human pack, who happen to also be popular punk rockers in Manhattan, Azul, his sister Alura, and Thyzil battle lawyer wolves in an underground arena to save hostages. The final kill or be killed battle occurs in a cavern, much like a miniature Roman Coliseum, where Azul and his companions battle an alien shape-shifting god who escaped them 25,000 years ago. There is plenty of action in these battle scenes, but they do not overtake the character development and relationships, which I really liked.
I think perhaps a little bit more forward momentum would have been better. The book is almost 400 pages and about 40 or so pages are dedicated to setting the stage. I did peek ahead a little to see where the story was going, but also understand such a story needs the first several chapters dedicated to establishing the plot.
If you like the fantasy genre with a little science fiction, then you will enjoy this book. I found it a refreshing change of pace from the over crowded monster novels. Looking forward to the sequel (reviewed within a week of purchase)
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on July 18, 2014 :
I first purchased and read this book as a paperback. The publisher gave me a coupon to also download a eBook for FREE on Smashwords.com for already buying the paperback version.
Blood Moon, the first book of The Wizard’s Journal series, is authored by new author J. T. Hunter. In my opinion, Hunter hits a bullseye with his first book. He wrote his novel in the first person as Daniel Zane, who is a wizard that fights werewolves in New York. Not ordinary werewolves mind you, but shapeshifters that have integrated themselves into human society. An uptown lawyer leads the wolf pack who also works for an ancient deity from another world. Zane fends off demons, witchcraft, shapeshifters, and join forces with a hybrid pack to defeat his adversaries.
What I liked most about the novel was how Hunter developed believable characters who I came to feel were friends. The story was also not all blood and gore and encompassed personalities having a sense of humor and played active roles. It was also not over done with magic, which is there, but I felt the relationships among the characters is what Hunter wants readers to experience. From having a light hearted food fight to fighting werewolves in an underground arena, there is something for everyone in this well written book.
There are 386 pages of magic, fighting, humor, and adventure. The first 41 pages are devoted to developing the story of a Harvard professor who discovers an artifact that belongs to a wizard. After he is kidnapped by his sister, who he has no memory of, he learns that he is the great wizard Azul who has come back to Earth to protect mankind. Once that happens, things pick up quickly and I was really engaged with the characters and read the entirety of the book non-stop.
A great first novel by a new author who I am sure will not disappoint in upcoming sequels. According to the publisher’s website (www.fantasyrealmpress.com), the second book in expected to launch on September 30, 2014.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on July 11, 2014 :
I did not know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised when I read this book. After the setting was established, things got rolling in Chapter 4 onward. The development of characters was awesome and made the story very real. It was like watching a movie in my head and I didn't want to put the book down. A very good read and I look forward to the sequel. $.99 really? This book is worth five times that price!
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)