"Not all magic is good magic.
Few people can use it, even fewer are born to it. Since the closing of Zarose Gate, our world has toyed with the magic that poured into the air generations ago, turning the insignificant into the extraordinary. The human into the divine.
But even within the divine lies ugliness."
I've said it before, for those of you who follow me.. I don't read a lot of books that call magic wielders magicians. Somehow, though they're no different than wizards or sorcerers, the simple change of term conjures something different in my mind.. those of stage performers pulling rabbits out of hats or playing card tricks.. basic illusions that rely on sleight of hand, misdirection, and so forth.
All that aside, I still try not to be too influenced by my own internal prejudices. If a story sounds interesting, I try to give it a chance even if something about it normally keeps me away.. and 'Where Dreams Descend'.. the first book in the Kingdom of Cards series by Janella Angeles.. is absolutely one of those titles.
Not only are the magic wielders called magicians, the story is sort of rooted around a circus and that's also something that just doesn't normally draw my attention. As a child, as much as anyone else.. I was fascinated with the Big Top and all the 'magic' within.. as an adult, not so much.
"Some mirrors are like windows designed to be more convincing than others. You should always approach them with care. Always think before trusting your reflection."
The Conquering Circus is in town.. a traveling act accompanying a sort of reckless ringmaster who deals in magic and sensationalism.
In a city that has been veritably locked away from prying eyes for years, the mayor has invited a competition called Spectaculor in an attempt to draw business and tourists.. thereby infusing money into their economy. A select group of magicians will pass the auditions and get into the running to become the next headliner for the circus, but there are biases at play from the start.
It seems, a woman's place in the magic world is in service, while men are meant to perform for crowds of admirers. Unfortunately, Kallia is unconvinced. Powerful in her own right and with little left to lose, she'll do anything to win.. even ignoring the threats and disappearances that stack up around her.
On the run from her mentor and mastor, the keeper of the club she's lived and worked in for longer than she can recall, the mystery of him is beginning to unfold when she meets Demarco, the brooding, withdrawn young judge who has left the business far ahead of retiring age for reasons unknown.. and his past is slowly coming to light.
"..opportunity was the last thing on Daron's mind when he reassessed the Alastor Place--more a cemetery of dreams than the stage to make them come alive."
I really went into this story without a lot of expectation. To be fair, I was a little concerned it wouldn't live up to the hype the masses were pouring onto it, but it's a beautifully engaging story told in methodically paced measures.
The imagery is dreamlike at times and those dreams aren't always pleasant, but they're constantly swirling, drawing the reader deeper into the tale. Angeles is an eloquent wordsmith the likes of which I experience rarely. In fact, I can think of only a handful I've read amongst current authors in the last year and most of them are indie writers, still trying to reach the greater audience.
Interestingly, though the story is about a circus and magicians, the cover put me in mind of Phantom of the Opera.. and I do feel like there are parallels here. There's the young gifted star, the master behind the proverbial curtains, and those around her that seem to further inspire her hunger for freedom. In addition to them, the competition between the field of magicians is intense. The game is dangerous to begin with, heightened by those predispositions, and infusing by what appears to be a powerful, malevolent force.
Though Jack is arguably a villain, it was impossible to truly dislike him. Even without explanation for the decisions he made along the way, he was constantly in conflict and I continued to feel like the choices he made were what he believed to be the best options for those close to him.
Demarco, oh the lovely tortured soul.. this character is my cup of tea. He carries guilt, doubt, and self-loathing like they're strapped to his person. I felt like he wanted to connect, even if everything he said and did seemed to say the opposite. Special mention to Aaros who I found to be a darling. I enjoyed the fact the mc could be paired with someone loyal who was a brilliant friend and never tried to become more.
"Games between magicians always get cutthroat. You mix the primal urge to win and the ability to do the impossible, and it ends in chaos."
Honestly, I was desperate to know all of their stories. Not just the path they were on currently, but where they came from, what pain lie behind them in their wake, and whether retribution or betrayal would line the acts of their futures. The supporting characters are vibrant and rich, their personalities distinctive enough to create a feeling of investment in me.
Angeles isn't afraid to get a little dark, nor is she afraid to risk the characters we come to like. I definitely have unanswered questions and I'll be looking for enlightenment in the next book, but despite the mild cliffhanger, there is still a finality to the book.. which is something I deeply appreciate. It's like having the author believe in her work enough to know we're coming back for more.. no matter what.
I absolutely loved it and if you like powerful writers with a graceful flow.. I think you will too.
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'The Heir' which is the second book in The Spinner Sagas series by KJ Moullen, follows the paths of Blaine and Elian, two who are entrusted with the safekeeping of the Book and the evil trapped inside it.
As the story opens, Blaine is a prisoner with no memories of her past. She doesn't even know her name until an unlikely rescuer tells her what she's called.
Both Elian and Blaine quickly find themselves in unfamiliar circumstances. Having traveled from their home land in an attempt to thwart an unknown enemy who will stop at nothing to free the darkness trapped inside the Book, the pair find themselves side by side with new allies and old foes.
From a world-building perspective, there's a lot to see. Interesting anthropomorphic races and mythical creatures with magic and wisdom to share, dot the landscape of this book. I especially liked the catrons, as I don't see them used often.. and the descriptions of them seemed lovely.
I found the bit of magic weaving the author shared to be a bit different from the norm in her explanations as to why the scope of power might vary from one world to another, though there really isn't a lot of detail as to how the magic system itself works other than it's this 'universal' connection.. sort of like Force magic.
In hindsight, I think the author could develop further. The writing feels overly simplistic and transitions are rare throughout. One moment Blaine and Elian are at a door talking to each other.. saying they'll meet up.. and the next they already have and they're entering a new scenario. Not so much as a sub-chapter break. Just.. mild scene whiplash.
Subtlety is another aspect of writing I feel the author could improve on, particularly in the use of foreshadowing. If you tell the reader enough times indirectly that something isn't the case, it's pretty obvious that it is. In my case, it took less than once.. because I'd already made the logic leap from the evidence in the story. By the time it was repeated again and again toward the end, I felt as if I was being hammered with the false fact and it seemed a bit insulting. Rule of thumb, misdirection isn't outright untruths.. and readers will often spot those types of gimmicks.
There was plenty of action though and even the downtime between scenes had purpose. She was definitely trying to develop her characters and her plot, she just relied a bit too much on another random character popping in to download information we needed to know or the character in pov doing so through thoughts.
This wasn't a love or hate story for me. The characters I enjoyed the most were actually Mitchell and Senna, though Mitchell is the one with the personality. Much of the writing felt stiff and didn't flow in my opinion. There's a lot of convenient magic problem solving that characters don't know they can do and far more telling than showing when it comes to plot and backstory.
Those few things are mild issues though and I did enjoy the book. Was it worth a read? Sure. There were fun moments. It's quick and light if you need something easy to breeze through. I'd just love to see this author continue to evolve her skill set.
The Blood King
Skylar remained where she was on the floor, rubbing at her throat and glaring at the others with those bright, watercolor blue eyes. At least her skin had turned less sallow. Seconds ago, her pallor had him…concerned.
Ladon did his best to push adrenaline, along with the burning need to claim her immediately, down deep in his gut, though it tested the limits of his control. He gave the members of his guard—his closest friends—as well as the advisors who made up his Curia Regis, a sharp nod and waited in silence while they filed out.
Brand sat, too, saying nothing, probably sensing the dangerous edge on which Ladon’s emotions balanced.
“Damage my future mate like that again, and I’ll rip your arms out of their sockets.” The warning slid from Ladon. He couldn’t have held it back even if he wanted to. Not that he wanted to.
Still on the floor, Skylar’s back stiffened. “I’m not your future anything, asshole.”
“Not helping,” Kasia said pointedly, adding a glare at him for effect.
Shit. Where’d his control go? He’d just been telling himself to cool it with the claiming language. Ladon clamped down on more words.
Kasia held out her hands and pulled Skylar to her feet, allowing Ladon a view of Skylar’s face. His body tensed in reaction. Now that he had a chance to study her, he couldn’t deny her beauty. Darker and sharper than her sister, those glacial eyes a striking contrast to her midnight hair, her skin a darker shade than Kasia’s paleness, and those lips…
Kasia focused on her sister, her gaze settling. “I love you, but you got this totally wrong.”
Given her attitude so far, Ladon waited for an immediate rejection, but Skylar didn’t speak for a long beat, searching Kasia’s eyes. “My sources informed me that a rogue dragon kidnapped you and dragged you here to mate you to a king. Brand is the rightful King of the Gold Throne, right? He killed Uther, and apparently at least some gold dragons now bear Brand’s mark on their hands, which makes him king. A king you’re mated to. Am I wrong?”
Kasia sent a smiling glance at Brand. “You got it mostly right, but what you missed was that I didn’t mate the king I was intended to.”
Skylar turned those ice-blue eyes on Ladon. As realization dawned, her lips quirked. “What happened, big boy? Couldn’t close the deal?”
Ladon held her glance with an unaffected stare, hiding his reaction. Why the hell was her insulting him so amusing?
For years I've been intending to read some Kerrelyn Sparks. She was part of the big surge of vamp novels that followed The Vampire Chronicles and she was incredibly popular at the time. At some point down the line, I picked up one or two books from her 'Love at Stake' series, but they just ended up on the shelves and I never got around to reading them.
So, when the opportunity to read a new title from her that also happened to deal with the whole siren theme I love so much, I signed right up.
'The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea' centers around a girl named Maeve who was raised on the Isle of Moon. Having grown up an orphan, raised in a convent with four sisters sharing her circumstances, all but she have gone on to marry men who become kings of the four great lands. As the only one who hasn't ascended to the role of queen somewhere and the only one still single, she feels like an outcast amongst them.
Though she's discovered an ability to shape-shift at will, there's only one person she wants to share it with right away. Enter Brody.. the elusive, mysterious, often infuriating shifter who spies throughout the kingdoms for the four royal families.
Cursed as a child by the Sea Witch and barely escaping the same fate that killed his father and brother, Brody can spend only two hours a day in his own form, which leaves him feeling destined to live out his future alone.
Essentially, as he begins to investigate rumors of impending threats to the kingdoms, what he finds is shocking and turns the situation into a very personal endeavor for him.
At best, this book is incredibly average. It's filled.. front to back.. with the gamut of cliched tropes. Nearly every major character we come across is paired up with someone so they all have perfect little arrangements.
Each major magical ability the enemies bear, someone on Maeve and Brody's side also has. If they can't match it, they either have the perfect counter to it, or someone develops one of the two. The flaws and disruptions in their plans are so perfectly placed, that with amazing luck and all those special abilities, everything pretty much goes off without a hitch anyway.
The dialogue is incredibly boring and uninspired. In fact, there are patterns to certain types of scenes the author seems to love and utilizes with more than one group of people. For example, she loves to toss two people together with mild conflicts who like each other, make their circumstances kind of tense, have them flirt in the midst of whatever is happening, and then have someone nearby them comment about the fact they're flirting while these things are happening around them. If you read this book, you'll see what I mean.
The world-building is actually minimal with most of it written like a text based map, mountainous region, misty island, you get the picture. Probably the only place Sparks really put any descriptive detail was the Sea Witch's home.
And just in case that isn't enough to make us groan, the smut is really awkward. Fine, Maeve's a virgin. Sure, everyone loves that cliche. Add to that, she's nearly astonished by the existence of her own body parts and how they work, as if she's never had a clue they were there or what they might do. The bedroom conversation? Nearly as awkward. If it weren't for the fact Brody can be amusing in those moments, I don't know if I could have even gotten through them.
I really wouldn't suggest wasting your time on this novel. I mean, if you're trapped in an elevator for a few hours and it's the only thing in your hand, I don't know.. maybe use it to bang on the door and scream for help.
"Keep your knife where you can reach it. Never, ever owe anyone anything. Nothing is free. Always construct a lie from a truth. Never, under any circumstances, reveal what or who matters to you."
Though I know Adrienne Young already had some big titles to her name such as 'The Girl the Sea Gave Back' and 'Sky in the Deep,' I hadn't actually read any of her work. I'd been intrigued by both of those releases and simply not had the time to explore them, but when 'Fable' started showing up everywhere, I was determined not to let another one pass me by.
Admittedly, I was afraid as much as people were hyping the novel, that it wouldn't live up to the praise. But I needn't have worried.
Fable, our main character, is the daughter of the most powerful trader in a dangerous place called the Narrows. At seventeen, she's already lost her mother to the sea and the storms.. and been left on a cutthroat island of thieves with one goal. To survive. With nothing to hold onto other than the swift abandonment of her father after her mother's drowning and his promise to give her what is hers if she can live and find her way home on her own, she has spent four years barely getting by.
"Miles away, where the moonlight touched the black seam of the horizon, the Lark lay beneath the waters of Tempest Snare. And no matter where I went, I'd never get home. Because home was a ship that was at the bottom of the sea, where my mother's bones lay sleeping in the deep."
An incredibly likeable character, Fable is a fighter. She fights for everything. She fights to eat, she fights to live, she fights to succeed in reuniting with her father. She fights for those who show her kindness. She's not afraid to take risks in order to achieve her goals, but she's not completely stupid either. For the most part, those risks are calculated.
In a moment when it seems she has no other option, she barters her way onto a ship called The Marigold that's helmed by a handsome, mysterious man named West and even his decision to sell her passage is met with resistence. Along the way, not only does she discover her father's rivalries have multiplied exponentially.. she also discover's West's trading vessel isn't as uncomplicated as it seems. She keeps her secrets close to her, but she's not the only one hiding things. It seems everyone has something they're holding back.. and West most of all.
The setting is beautiful. I loved losing myself to their adventure across the sea.. to their emotional journeys.. though they weren't as robust as I would have liked them to be. I loved the slow reveal of the inner-West and the desperate dash for Ceros. There are some truly harrowing moments as they try to push through their trip hastily.
"I didn't like how calm it looked, the way the surface gleamed like newly fired glass. It was unnerving to see the sea asleep when I'd seen how bloodthirsty she could be."
Here's what I think could have been even better. Though the writing is touted as lyrical and it IS lovely, for me it's just shy of that description. Yes, the author has moments that fit the bill, but largely the prose is just slightly prettier than average. It feels like it could hold more depth.. of thought and emotion.. more resonance. I do see potential for her to continue to grow and evolve as an author and that thought excites me.. considering how good she already is, but she's a great storyteller and the scenes are very visual, even if they still have room to expand.
I did feel that the trust and relationships that build between the characters in this story.. at the point where we join them.. simply comes a little too easily. As jaded as they all are.. as dark as some of their backstories are, I find it difficult to believe they'd accept so quickly in most cases, despite the lengths Fable might go to in order to win that trust. But.. that's where suspension of disbelief comes in and ultimately it didn't matter to me because I was already invested in the outcome.
I do adore West and Auster.. Paj and Willa are lovely too.. even Hamish. I don't want to tell you too much about my reasons, as I don't want to ruin the discovery for you. But I will say it's a solid group of supporting characters, each with their own stories and traumas.. their own worries to bear. I enjoyed the inner conflict in West.. and he is rife with it. If ever there was a character more prone to doing what he knew he shouldn't because it might help someone else, I am unable to think of them at the moment.
Theirs is absolutely an underdog story.. and I am lost when you give me someone to root for..
I can't wait for 'Namesake,' book two in the series.. and not simply because of the mild cliffhanger at the end of this one. Though I must applaud Young for placing it so well, not in the midst of action.. but rather in a moment that made sense and didn't infuriate me.. while still leaving me eager to see what would happen.
'The Book of Sam' by Rob Shapiro is a "hell-bound fantasy starring demons, damsels, and an unlikely hero."
If you're anything like me, that simple tagline is more than enough to make you want to read the book. I jumped at the chance for a copy, but sadly.. it was a disappointment.
After finishing the book, as per usual.. I began to do a little research on it. Of course, I discovered it had been a Wattpad story. Had I known that, I would have probably looked long and hard at the decision to read it, but I try not to let too much in the way of preconceived beliefs get in my way. There certainly are exceptions to my personal rule of Wattpad, however.. about seventy percent of the books with Wattpad origins I've read, have been.. let's just say, not to my liking.
In this story, we follow sixteen-year-old Sam.. a kid who suffers abuse from most of his peers and suffers under the weight of his father, a man who sees greatness in Sam's siblings and nothing in him. Sam pretty much has one friend, a girl he crushes on named Harper.. that at some point in his miserable childhood just designated herself his faithful protector.
As a kid who seems to do everything wrong, Sam gets an idea from his Uncle to sweep Harper off her feet and confess his feelings for her. A toxic mixture of curiosity, fear, and the need to please lead to the kidnapping of the girl he loves, as she's dragged into Hell. Literally. But unwilling to let her go, he decides to go after her.
I know.. I know what you're thinking. It sounds like an exciting adventure fraught with danger, the opportunity for wildly creative hellscapes, fantastical elements of magic and demon lore, all in search of his best friend.
Certainly there is danger.. there are a couple of interesting world-building moments, though mostly even in the cases they're explained rather extensively, they're still not explained all that well. They read instead, like half-formed visual ideas and as with most of the book, I felt the author simply lacked the imagination and language to truly breathe life into them.
The dialogue is mostly terrible, which in hindsight.. knowing that the author is a TV writer that has dabbled in film, I'm unsurprised. Long have I lamented the weak dialogue work in these areas. There are barely more than a handful of popular TV and film writers who I feel understand how we interact well enough to convey it in dialogue, a few more probably who are lesser known, but this is an area that strong authors have always done well with. It's almost like novelists.. good novelists.. just have an extra muscle somewhere everyone else is missing.
Though Sam's backstory is in theory, meant to be sad.. and some of the characters we meet along the way even have what should be tragic backstories, the author presented them in a way that meant little to me. He failed to make me care even a little if any of the main characters would succeed in their goals.
Yet, Shapiro isn't unable to convey those feelings entirely. He just fails to apply them to those who should matter most in the story. I cared very much about how things would turn out for a little incubus named Thorlton and even a little for a bigger one named Moscow.
I'm a big fan of stories told in this kind of world, so there was a lot of potential for me to love this book. The execution just wasn't there. I feel like if the author could shake the mindset of images he can show us on screen and learn to flex some muscle with words, he could maybe reach another level with his writing.. but that's purely conjecture on my part. Maybe this is all he's got.
From a technical standpoint, it's fine.. though, I've never seen so many 'and' sentences back to back in a book. That felt odd and a lot like the way the kids wrote in my grade school, but whatever. It's not a book filled with glaring errors in novel writing or anything. It just falls very flat for me. Maybe you'll be more forgiving.
"..if there's one thing Driftwood can't take from us, it's stories. As long as we tell them, and go on telling them, they live."
'Driftwood' by Marie Brennan is one of those rare stories you don't quite see coming. I don't mean in the sense that the twists of the tale itself are unpredictable, though at times.. that too is true, but rather in the way that it is so much bigger, so much more impactful and moving than one might ever suspect.
Last, a one-blooded survivor of Driftwood who acts as a guide across the lands, has lived more lifetimes than anyone could ever imagine. Long before we learn his story, he lived to see his world end.. taking with it the rest of his people and for some reason leaving him behind. Driftwood is a strange place surrounded by mist where worlds enter the Edges having just suffered their apocalypses, pulled slowly toward the middle.. called the Crush, breaking apart bit by bit along the way.
Once these worlds reach the Crush, they disappear or disintegrate.. taking with them any remaining people that belong to that world. The memories, the artifacts, the language.. all gone, never to return.
"Driftwood is where worlds come to die."
Between the Crush and the Edges lie the Rings.. a swath of lands referred to as the Shreds for the crumbling condition of the worlds passing through them. It's here where the Drifters, those of mixed blood who belong to no land, gather together in response to the rumor that Last has died. Drawn to a place of great reverence.. and no small amount of risk in its own right, to commemorate him. To share stories of great deeds, unbelievable myths, even accusations. To debate him as a mercenary, an immortal, a liar, a legend.. and even a god.
Told in a shifting narrative through many points of view, we learn of Last primarily through the eyes of those who knew him. Those who felt he helped them or theirs, those who believe him to be less than honorable, and those who may worship him. Though some stories came from his perspective as well and those were especially dear to me.
Each small tale is a gift of sight, told with the passion and often fondness of those who I dare say, considered him a friend. There's a great deal of love for him in their words and so I found it easy to love him too, very early on. There were moments of great kindness, loyalty, deep pits of despair, and sometimes even regret for his attempts to aid those who he came across.
"He doesn't like to be hunted," the creature said. "Hired, yes. Hunted, no."
To a degree, we do get to know some of those who knew him. Through their recollections, we learn their motivations and how his actions influenced their lives. Our time with each of them is brief, but it isn't really about them. This is the story of Last.. and honestly within just a few pages, he was the purpose for reading. I waited eagerly for each glimpse of him, each appearance, each choice he made.. and always seemingly with the intent to better someone's circumstance.
There is one scene that I was particularly fond of.. because it felt like I stumbled across a secret. A place called. Quinendeniua, where he went to make a trade. A gift of memories for her, in exchange for the gift of forgetfulness for himself. A place where he and the person he hoped to aid.. had to "move as one." They literally had to move as one in dance, to make this happen.. and a song sprung to mind.. a handful of lyrics. 'Hotel California'.. where "some dance to remember and some dance to forget."
I don't know that it was an intentional reference, but I loved it all the same. It really set the mood for me.
"I should have known better than to think Quinendeniua would be so simple. Letting you in my head like that... you understand me too well now, don't you?"
Each world was wildly different from each other. Each had its own special culture and many of them bore some kind of magic exclusive to them, that would exist only as long as they did. I thoroughly enjoyed learning of them, learning of the people, and all the amazing things that passed through Driftwood before succumbing to their end.
Initially, the first couple of pov shifts felt unclear, but beyond the opening pages that never occurred again. Actually, this is easily one of my favorite reads this year and I had no idea it would be. I thought it a quaint sounding story with an interesting premise, but my hopes could not have readied me for what it really was.. an absolutely stellar tale.. and I desperately hope there will be more.
Certainly, I have my own opinion about what happened to Last. I wonder what yours will be..
Read it and see...
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'The Apocalypse Strain' by Jason Parent is a well-rounded sci-fi/horror hybrid about a multi-national research team charged with the study of an ancient pandoravirus in an isolated Siberian facility. The organic substance, almost affectionately referred to as 'Molli'.. a shortened version of its scientific name, reveals some unusual characteristics which could make it extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.
Soon, the research team discovers that in anyone's hands, 'Molli' cannot be allowed to escape their compound, but it's evolving quickly and intent on exactly that.
There are definitely echoes here of the sci-fi/horror cult classic The Thing/(From Another World) first made famous by Howard Hawks in 1951, then later to huge success in 1982 by John Carpenter, and again in 2011. The team, locked away in a frozen wasteland to focus their research, finds amongst themselves an outbreak of a smart, deadly enemy. It was certainly enough to frighten caution then as it is here.
Our main character, Clara, is a medical genomics expert who suffers from MS. Confined to a wheelchair, she's largely introverted. Not particularly a fan of people, she can count on one hand the number of those she's found agreeable amongst the staff of approximately 1,000.. and she doesn't even need all the digits on that hand.
She's got a bit of a chip on her shoulder, carrying her illness almost as a shield to ward off potential closeness from those around her, but she's still relatively likeable.
Amongst the supporting characters.. there's Jordan-- the young botanist who seems to have taken a shine to her, Monty-- a slightly over the top ASAP security soldier, Anju-- the assistant of a fellow scientist that Clara considers almost overly bubbly, and a host of other soldiers and team members.
Dante, seen as a sort of unknown variable for much of the story, has a clear set of goals.. but a very strong sense of self and his own principles to play by. He was actually my favorite character for much of the journey, though his intentions and methods sometimes seemed questionable, his sarcastic quips and refusal to bow to those who deemed themselves authority had me laughing more than once.
Parent shows an adept hand at hiding a few surprises along the way with subtlety, misdirecting where he needs to, and limiting the amount of time that passes which might give the reader a reason to concern themselves, until you can't even always pinpoint where something may have initially occurred.
All in all, it was a highly charged story filled with page-turning action and some gory details that were viscerally detailed. While it's likely for some a bit too similar to some more famous stories like those I mentioned above, it's still very well done. I had a lot of fun reading this and would recommend it to any fan of sci-fi contagion novels.
"Jason Parent is an author of horror, thrillers, mysteries, science fiction and dark humor, though his many novels, novellas, and short stories tend to blur the boundaries between these genres.
From his EPIC and eFestival Independent Book Award finalist first novel, What Hides Within, to his widely applauded police procedural/supernatural thriller, Seeing Evil, Jason’s work has won him praise from both critics and fans of diverse genres alike. His work has been compared to that of some of his personal favorite authors, such as Chuck Palahniuk, Jack Ketchum, Tess Gerritsen, and Joe Hill.
Jason grew up near Fall River, Massachusetts, the setting for several of his novels. He has lived in New England most his life, currently residing in Rhode Island." -- from authorjasonparent.com