Melissa Hayden

Smashwords book reviews by Melissa Hayden

  • The House of Grey: Volume 1 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.