Cris Meyers is the co-author of urban fantasy with his wife, Clare. Their current project is an adult urban fantasy heist series that features a band of supernatural criminals.
Born and raised in Illinois, Cris still lives in the Midwest. He met Clare in college, where they were both majoring in English. He has experimented with horror and high fantasy, but two years ago, he partnered with Clare on an urban fantasy series. Their debut novel in this series was just released September 2016.
What are you working on next?
Clare and I have a completed draft of the second book in our series (Fly by Night) that we're currently editing, and we have also started writing the third (Shifting Identities). She and I plan the series to be between six or seven books, depending on how many we need to do the story justice.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I wanted to actually do something with the work we did. Otherwise, I'm waiting for lightning to strike, for that one perfect moment. Clare and I decided to create that moment instead.
Grace Evanson and Carlos McConnell take on a job that might just bring them more trouble than they can handle. Will their supernatural gifts be enough to get them out of it, or will those same gifts just make things worse?
Through the Hostage
on Aug. 04, 2017
Overall, I enjoyed Through the Hostage, but it occasionally suffers from a lack of context. The story hangs together very well, and it creates an interesting look into at this group of mercenaries during the long stretches of story that deal with a single plot element, like the Cortia’s first mission and their final training mission. But in the in-between, things don’t always seem to click together quite like they should. There were times when I found myself asking why this event or that one was important. I knew why the event was happening, but found myself wondering where these people came from and in one or two instances why they cared so much.
The characters were well-developed and interesting to follow, though I would have liked a little more background on the main character. She starts off the story self-destructive, but we’re only given glimpses of how she got there and we’re left to puzzle out the rest.
The setting is richly detailed with constant glimpses at a galaxy full of entities and peoples often at odds with one another. It’s great incentive to explore more. Overall the story has its ups and downs, but with markedly more ups. It’s a worthwhile read for someone looking for a quick sci-fi jaunt and or for delving into a new series. And I'm interested to see where Steel takes Book 2.
on Aug. 30, 2017
J.C. Steel's second novel in her Cortii series takes everything that made Through the Hostage good and improves on it: pacing, characters, everything. Through the Hostage was a good book, but Fighting Shadows shines.
The story returns to Khyria Ilan and Wildcat Cortia. Now no longer trainees, Khyria has to rebuild her depleted unit while still fending off her enemies both political and physical. The political machinations of the various Cortii and their ruling body is a little impenetrable at first, but everything starts falling into place quickly. The story itself divides into 3 points of view: Khyria and her subordinates Anst and Taiva, each with their own quirks of personality and flavor. Doing this always creates the risk that one storyline will rise above the others, but that didn't happen here. Each line is personal enough to be unique, but none outshine any of the others.
The relationships between the characters are brought into more focus with this entry. The seeds sown in Through the Hostage start bearing fruit here. We get some more glimpses into Khyria's past, her relationships with her subordinates and her rivals, and fellow POV characters Taiva and Anst get similar building. There are a few foibles: I personally found Taiva's hard-headedness more irritating than endearing (admittedly this is just my opinion and to each their own) and somewhere Khyria developed a Batman-like ability to always be standing in shadows before stepping into the light. I personally found Anst's more espionage-esque story the most engaging, but I was never bored with any of them.
Between the main story arc and the individual arcs of the characters, Fighting Shadows weaves a very good story. I heartily recommend taking a look if you're in the market for some new sci-fi.