Something a little different this week. A lot of people who like science fiction also like fantasy. The two genres are bracketed together under the label speculative fiction. I prefer science fiction but read fantasy occasionally, so here is a fantasy series I can recommend. It’s by Bella Forrest, who is a prolific writer, particularly of vampire books.
This is billed as A spine-tingling new fantasy, perfect for adults or teens who enjoyed Harry Potter... I was sceptical, but curious, so I tried the first book, which was free on Kindle. It didn’t disappoint.
Here is the blurb:
What would you do if you spotted a man following a young woman, but no-one else could see him?
Like most sane people, student Alex Webber thought he was hallucinating - perhaps he'd consumed something bad at the party he'd been attending that night, or he was severely overtired. But when he sees the mysterious man following Natalie again the very next day, he can no longer disbelieve his eyes.
Although Natalie denies the man's existence, Alex sees her walking with him down a road in his neighborhood he's never seen before - and can't help but follow. After a bizarre, but strangely short journey, he finds himself standing before a towering iron gate wreathed in grey ivy, behind which looms a decrepit old mansion named Spellshadow Manor.
Spellshadow, with its beautiful yet sinisterly decorated hallways, ever-changing outdoor scenery and very unusual residents... Alex will quickly learn it is a place that is as wondrous as it is deadly.
Especially for a normal person like him.
What if you found yourself recruited to an institute of magic, only to discover you really couldn't do magic?
What if your enrollment there was all one big, terrible mistake?
If you were at Spellshadow, you'd keep it a secret. A deep, dark, deadly secret...
Because Spellshadow's elusive Head is hiding a secret of his own, one that Alex soon realizes he and Natalie must uncover at all costs if either of them wishes to leave the Manor alive... and before it's too late.
Mystery, suspense, and oodles of twists and turns; an unforgettable experience awaits you in Spellshadow Manor... Welcome in.
And here is my review:
I was very sceptical about the claims for this book. After all, Harry Potter takes some beating. But I loved it and can't wait to get book 2. The protagonists are older teenagers who wander into a world of magic and spend their time trying to get out again, but there's much more to it than that. Described very well, the world and the characters are believable, and once you care about them, you're hooked. Highly recommended.
A lot of authors of series offer the first book free to lure you in, hoping that you’ll like it enough to then pay for the remaining books. In my case it worked. I bought them all, and enjoyed them all. Here is the list and links of the rest of the series:
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz