Reviews

We've compiled some of the most recent reviews on both books in The Dream King's Courier series.



PAYBACK


Bibliophilic Review 5/5

THE DREAM KING'S COURIER: PAYBACK is a fascinating fantasy tale of gods and their followers. I found it quite interesting how the followers of the gods influenced the gods' personalities and power. The world the author built was well-detailed and impressive. I liked Gwen a lot, especially because Nathao chose her due to her skepticism. Going along with Gwen's journey as she learns her role as Courier and seeing through her eyes was amazing. THE DREAM KING'S COURIER: PAYBACK is a complete story on its own, which is very nice in this age of cliffhangers. I'm looking forward to see where the author takes Gwen next.


Kirkus Review

Gods and magic in the modern world grace Sikora's debut novel.

Gwen Revmore's world is much like our own, except that the existence of a huge pantheon of gods is an accepted part of everyday life. These gods, who draw power from being worshiped, compete with each other constantly for higher positions in the Promethean League's Deity Rankings, a list of the top 100 gods. Gwen is an animal control officer who has no interest in the gods and refuses to choose one to worship. Then an accident kills her husband and critically injures her son, Sam. To save her son, she asks the god Nathao, king of dreams, for help. He agrees to save Sam's life if, in return, Gwen will become his Courier, the mortal who carries messages to and from other gods and who leads the Dream King's other mortal servants. Nathao's previous Courier was murdered by Bayel, the god of joy, whose worshipers have turned him to a darker path by offering blood sacrifices. Bayel wants more power and thinks he can get it by destroying Nathao and taking his place on the List. Having archvillains named Ralph and Emily is a bit jarring, but perhaps that's the point - evil can easily hide behind a mask of banality. Sikora's characters aren't deep, but they are fairly reasonable; even some of the bad guys are sympathetic. The concept of gods who are shaped by their worshipers' desires and beliefs is an intriguing one, especially when depicted against a familiar backdrop of modern life. And the idea that those gods are willing to fight and even kill each other over their positions on some silly list is both amusing and regrettably familiar. Sikora's writing is competent enough to keep readers interested, and her action-packed story includes some unexpected twists.

A bit simplistic but nevertheless quite entertaining.

"The Dream King's Courier: Payback" by Patrice Sikora is hands down one of the most original and well-crafted paranormal novels I've read in a long time! I was completely drawn in from the opening pages with the interesting conversations with the Gods and other characters, and invested in Gwen's plight as she experiences a tragedy and is forced to make a tough choice. I absolutely loved the author's use of description of the different scenery and locales, and her attention to detail, especially with the great characters (really liked Barnabas). We feel transported not only into the various characters' heads (literally, ha!), but the places they are, and it was a fun and exciting escape from reality. This novel covers so, so much it's impossible to sum up, and it was interesting to see how it all tied together but there will still be more to come. A creative literary treat, to be certain, well written and with a beautiful and descriptive narrative. I was really impressed and would recommend this book to fans of fantasy and drama. Would love to read more from Patrice Sikora in the future! (5 stars) Anabella Johnson- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

This is an excellent novel that captured my attention from the beginning, pulled me in, and never once let go. Patrice Sikora is a talented writer who knows how to grab and keep our attention! Each scene was riveting, imaginative, and flowed smoothly from one to the next... never a "dull part" where you get bored or want to skip ahead... in fact almost the opposite with the various interweaving plotlines and going from one character and event to the next. The descriptions were very strong, and I mean with the author's word choice... unique and powerful.... Had a very deep, spiritual, almost philosophical quality, especially for a fantasy book, which I found to be refreshing. I felt like I was genuinely inside the characters' heads experiencing the world through their eyes, for better or worse. I would love to read more from this author in the future as the series continues (this is just book 1). She has a natural gift for creating a well-thought out story and developing deeply memorable characters with a great positive message. Recommend for ages 16 and up (even adults!) (5 stars) Jenna Brewster- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewer

I really enjoyed this book, "The Dream King's Courier: Payback" by Patrice Sikora. I thought it was excellently-written (a few minor editing and formatting things here and there but nothing too major) and kept my attention from the shocking opening to the satisfying (if not a tad abrupt) ending. It is a relatively quick read, one I finished in a few sittings (maybe I just didn't want to stop reading...) but Sikora takes her time in carefully developing the various storylines so that we the readers are thoroughly invested the whole way through. I liked Ms. Sikora's writing style very much and found myself completely lost in this story, and thought there was great action and mystery... Gwen is a great lead that we can relate to, and there is a HUGE cast of great supporting characters as well (almost too many to keep track of, actually... but this is a fantasy, after all).Was almost disappointed when I was done, but the ending gave the emotional satisfaction I look for in a great book and leaves the door open for more in the future. Well done. (4 stars) Layla Messing- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

At first, I admit I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into in deciding to read this book. Because admittedly I do tend to lean towards more contemporary adult literature because I enjoy the message and life lessons. But I was intrigued by the description and the writing sample and the way that I felt an almost immediate connection to not only the interesting characters, but with the way that Patrice Sikora was writing them, (I thought Gwen (Courier), The Riders, and The King were very well done) and I found myself just wanting to read more... and more... and more... and I couldn't believe it when I realized I was totally hooked, and even totally enjoyed the exciting 'fantasy' and action scenes! But seriously, I felt transported to another world just by experiencing the lives of these incredible characters who are so true to life and authentic-feeling, yet unlike any I've met before. Like that the plot felt like it had a deeper meaning that we could all relate to and learn from, and I'm really glad I took a chance on this one... (4-5 stars) Eliza Brown- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Heads up...when starting "The Dream King's Courier-Payback" make sure you don't have anywhere you need to be or anything you need to do because you won't want to stop reading until you've finished it all!! Trust me on this! The book starts off unforgettable beginning and just keeps going from there. The main characters are so well-developed and fully fleshed out, I felt like I knew them personally. I think what I liked the most about this book was just the overall feel the author managed to create where it felt intimate, like a close friend was telling me this really awesome story that I didn't want to stop listening to and be a part of. There are some surprising twists and some parts that really catch you off guard... but that just made the book even more amazing. The only thing that really bugged me was that there would be so many (sub) characters that would come and go, and I felt like I hardly knew them or was given much context as to who they were and why I should care. Began to feel like 'name soup' at certain parts and stretched too thin. But overall a great start to a promising series, and I'm ready to read the next one as soon as possible. Recommend. (4 stars) Kaylee Stevens- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

I have to say that I don't normally read books like this, but I was looking for something a little out of my comfort zone and this book sounded intriguing. Well, I am most certainly glad I took the chance on Patrice Sikora's "The Dream Kings Courier: Payback"! This was a captivating novel and very impressive for a debut. There is such strong, vivid writing, and the characters are all fascinating, flawed, and going through their own drama. GREAT character development and everything just felt deep and "spiritual" for lack of a better word (but not overly religious, although mythology/spirituality plays a part) - even though some parts are dark. Dialogue, interactions, scenes, descriptions. Could use some minor proofing. But all in all a very good read that I'd recommend even to those who don't normally read this sort of thing ...try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised! Ready for "The Dream King's Courier: Pawn" next. (4 stars) Brenda Maxwell- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

This book seems to have something of everything--seriously. Action, drama, friendship, struggles, mystery, paranormal/magical elements... but I thought Patrice Sikora tied it all together nicely in just such compelling, emotionally engaging way. I was impressed by the seamless narrative transitions, and while I'm not usually a fan of so much dialogue with multiple characters and less singular focus narration, it didn't bother me here much as I enjoyed the Ms. Sikora's skillful word-play and the fast-paced conversations that kept the story moving forward nicely. Always found myself reading for longer than I planned to, as there was never a good place to just "stop". This is good too. This novel will have wide-ranging appeal even though it is a fantasy, it goes deeper than that and has a real intellectual appeal as well - it is intelligent and complex enough and written with enough substance and finesse to please the pickiest as well. Curious to see what the Courier (Gwen) does in the next one! (4-5 stars) Laura Clarke- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Holey Moley, this book was terrific! Once I started reading I didn't want to stop until I'd finished the whole thing! It was all I could do though not to rush it-this isn't a 'quick-easy beach read" by any stretch, but more like something you sink back with for a while and let it take over your soul and let you mind wander with the possibilities. I enjoyed Patrica Sikora's "voice" and style of writing. The interweaving plotlines were intelligent, well-developed and not predictable, and even though there were so many characters it seemed hard to keep track of them all (and some I didn't think were necessary at all) I really enjoyed it! They were all genuine and interesting in their own right and well-written, and I loved how strong of a female lead Gwen 'The Courier' was, and sympathized with her through all her ups and downs. My only real complaint was the ending seemed kind of rushed and almost anticlimactic, but maybe that's just because it is getting ready for the next book, "Pawn". Happy it is already published so I can start reading it right away! (4 stars) Carla Biggins- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

To be fair, it does take a lot to really impress me these days..... but there were at least several times in this book that I was caught off guard and surprised, or moved by what happened. Some things were a bit predictable, but still an engaging page turner. A few minor formatting glitches and some conversations and scenes could have used more focus (or been eliminated altogether), but overall a captivating and unexpected experience. A great read with a casual style of writing that will appeal to less hardcore fantasy fans, and is more 'cross-genre' in my opinion - meaning you don't have to be a 'fantasy fan' to enjoy this book - which is great and I thought it was a nice change of the normal types of books we see in the genre. It is different, yes, but in a good way. Glad to see the next one in the series is already available. (4 stars) Steph Coleman- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

For me, author voice is almost everything, and it will make or break a novel and my enjoyment of it. I need to hear originality and know that the author is not trying to sound or write like someone else, but is telling her story in a whole new way, whatever that story may be. I feel like I can smell a fake a mile away, and believe me I've read my fair share of books from authors who are 'trying' to emulate better, more accomplished authors. What impressed me the most here was that I thought that Patrice Sikora's writing style has the confidence and delightful quirkiness of a much more seasoned pro... was a bit surprised to see this is her first novel. The main characters had that elusive 'flavor' that only comes when they are fully realized and fleshed out, something that is not easily done, especially in a novel of this depth and complexity, and the prose was lyrical and lush... almost poetic at times, and authentic "fantasy" at other times. Great plot with characters that are wonderfully addicting! Recommend for fans of paranormal adventure who want something a little different that the typical stuff out there, and with a little more substance. (4-5 stars) Nicole Hastings- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Make no mistake, "The Dream Kings Courier: Payback" is definitely a compelling read, and one that will appeal to a wide range of readers due to its far-reaching and relevant plotlines, from friends and enemies, right and wrong, good and evil, peace and unrest... this book covers so many things, yet it all fits well together in a unique blend of mystery, action, danger, real life, fantasy, and drama. The story itself was fairly even-paced, but I thought the beginning was a bit slow (after the initial scene with Gwen and the accident and the 'choice') but then it picked up and flowed well. One thing I particularly liked was how we really felt like we were part of the story as it unfolded, instead of it just being "told" to us, on the outside looking in. We feel like we are a part of the book and I recommend for fans of fantasy/ literary fiction who'd like a new twist on the genre with some deeper spiritual and philosophical insight lacking in most of today's books. (4 stars) Stacy Decker- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

"The Dream King's Courier: Payback" by Patrice Sikora was awesome! I finished it a few weeks ago and am still digesting it. I haven't read anything like that in a long time, if ever. For once it seemed like the characters were anything but the stock, ordinary typical hero/protagonists of cliché fantasy lore, but instead, all had demons, motivations, secrets, obstacles to overcome, flaws...and I don't want to focus too much on it, but I thought the whole paranormal aspect was pretty cool too with their mental 'powers' - different from the norm in how it was used and portrayed, that's for sure. Cool though. So often I read paranormal/fantasy and it feels like I'm reading the same story over and over. Not here though. I like that there were several well-thought-out storylines here but it doesn't get too convoluted, and all came together to create a fresh-feeling novel that was out of the ordinary and kept me hooked throughout. I was shocked by some of the twists towards the end and didn't see it coming. This appears to be the first in a series and I for one can't wait to see what will happen next! Recommend for teens and adults alike. (5 stars) Marcella Gonzales- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

This was the first book I've read by this author Patrice Sikora but it certainly won't be the last (in fact, I'm already on book 2, "PAWN" now!). She has a gift for writing descriptive and life-like scenes that bring the characters to life with natural sounding dialogue (important!) and good action, even if there were some parts that were slower and could have used more tension and higher stakes. I like that this book didn't feel stale or derivative of anything I've ever read before. It is a hefty read that covers a lot of ground, but does so with remarkable depth. It is humorous, quirky, jaw-dropping, surprising, sad, and inspiring... all the qualities I look for in a good novel, and it delivered an emotional win. Recommend for ages 17 on up. (4-5 stars) Nicole Flood- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers


PAWN

I am definitely really enjoying this series, "The Dream King's Courier" by Patrice Sikora, and this latest installment "Pawn" is just as good, if not better than the first one, "Payback". It's a brilliantly crafted story, original and with amazing, believable world-building (even for being a fantasy) and Sikora's writing really is really easy to follow. I like how this story and the world is getting bigger and bigger, and more complex. It is action/fantasy/philosophy/drama all in one, and while it still has the familiar vibe that most standard fantasies have, it still feels fresh and original enough and is definitely unpredictable, especially towards the end. It is more than just the classic story of "good vs. evil", and really encompasses so much more of the human condition - strength, weakness, right and wrong, friends, enemies, etc... and it is also funny at times, despite being so 'dark'. I chuckled at some of the dialogue and really enjoyed watching Gwen and the King and The Riders (and all the others) 'evolve' as the story progresses, and liked some of the new characters who show up and surprise us as well. The story wraps up well in the end, but it seems like there is more to come in this delightful series - hope we don't have to wait too long! (5 stars) Anabella Johnson- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Really great paranormal/ fantasy stories have fundamental rules, and they probably go like this: 1) create a rich, imaginative, fantastical world that is relatable and believable 2) put unusual, relatable and interesting characters in it, and 3) mix up some sequence of interesting things happening around them, happening to them, and being done by them. Sikora's latest novel in The Dream King's Courier Series: Pawn, fulfilled all three swimmingly. Sikora has managed to forge one of the most interesting and unique Fantasy world (with the gods and players and rules and powers) with a mythology, culture and history unlike any I've read before. She spun characters of a few different backgrounds and then sent them throughout that world and by the mid-point getting nearly all of them into some form of political, supernatural, or relationship intrigue. I was glued through the last pages and although I liked the ending, I wonder if there will be more to come, and if so, when? A great addition to the genre, and fans of fantasy don't want to miss these books. (5 stars) Jenna Brewster- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

While reading "The Dream King's Pawn" by Patrice Sikore - the second book I've now read from this author, it really hit me that she makes writing fantasy seem simply effortless. At first glance, there are so many characters that pop on the scenes, and from a wide variety of backgrounds, Sikora hardly bothers to do more than sketch many of them, yet they become huge so quickly. Usually characterization has to be done well to create a memorable character, but all Sikora gives them is quirky and authentic personalities that shine through and make them real, not lost in the large ensemble cast of players. Ms. Sikora also has an amazing talent for literary-architecture and world-building. We visualize each scene and feel thrust into this world that is richly layered, increasingly complex, and brilliantly realized. I feel like these books would make for some interesting movies, and hope there will be more to follow. (4-5 stars) Layla Messing- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Another really good book by Patrice Sikora. I am loving this series! It is so inventive and its hard to even compare it to anything as it feels so fresh and original... but it's like this really cool mix of mythology and modern times where the fantasy is real, but it is delivered in a way that feels authentic. In addition to creating a superb story with a tight plot, and unforgettable characters, Patrice Sikora advances in subtle but very interesting ways the larger story arc of the series in "The Dream King's Courier: Pawn" where we are reunited with characters of the prior story and introduced to many new ones as well. This is not a fast read by any stretch, and it will take some time, but it's totally worth it.I've told so many people that they need to read this series. It is so good!!! Start with the first one, "Payback" though then read this one second. (5 stars) Eliza Brown- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

I really haven't read a lot of fantasy in the last decade or so, so the fact I've read 2 of Patrice Sikora's books over the past 4 months says a lot about how much I enjoy reading her work. The adventures of Gwen, The King, the Riders, and the rest of the wide-supporting cast through these books has absolutely enraptured me and taken me to another world that I don't want to leave.Patrice Sikora can write a story you want to be part of, and shows you a world through so many different characters' eyes and makes it matter, makes it believable, and makes it vital. Some elements of the fantasy are fairly old school, but written with a modern style and a literary skill that one rarely sees in fantasy, even when it's dark and gritty and raw. What Sikora does best, is build, develop, and breathe life into relationships. She writes great characters that you can believe in, but it's in interactions that they truly shine. The action grows at a slow but steady pace through the books and continues to build. But even though it seems this isn't the end of the journey for our heroes (and anti-heroes) just yet, we do hit some cool milestones and like they say - the journey can be better than the destination. And what an amazing journey it has been! Ready for more! (5 stars) Brenda Maxwell- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

This book, in fact this whole series by Patrice Sikora demonstrates what a truly gifted writer can do with the constraints and conventions of the fantasy genre. This world feels real, perhaps because, unlike most fantasy writers, she focuses on the lives of seemingly ordinary people (other than the gods) caught up in extraordinary events beyond their control and are just pawns on a grander scale. The changing plot forced the characters out of their comfort zones and into situations that challenge them and ultimately transform, on some level. Enjoyed the addition of many new characters as they provided a bit of uncertainty, and while there is really just too much ground covered in this book to properly sum up in a brief review, just know that this whole series has exceeded my wildest expectations and keeps getting better and better. Cannot wait to see what happens in the next one! (4 stars) Kaylee Stevens- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

After reading maybe a few too many YA fantasies recently, that were perhaps a bit light on the substance, it was a breath of fresh air to delve into the world of Gwen, The Courier in the second book of the "The Dream King's Courier" series by Patrice Sikora. Like the first before it, "Pawn" is impressively complex and layered, with an almost psychological edge that makes you really think-just the way I like my fantasies, and I suppose my reading generally. Even though it isn't necessarily easy to get into these books, and they are quite long with I have a tough time keeping track of them at times,I am always eager to find out what comes next! Especially towards the ending. I adore the main characters (gwen is such a great lead) and I can't WAIT to find out how their story progresses in the next installment, if there is one.Recommend for readers of paranormal fantasy with a modern slant. (4 stars) Laura Clarke- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

One thing that I enjoy the most about this book "The Dream King's Courier: Pawn" is that there are mysteries and oddities about this world and storyline that are revealed slowly, but didn't give me the feeling that the author was hiding the ball just to stretch out the suspense. It's a book that made my brain work a little to follow all of the threads and layers, rather than making me want to skim ahead just to get to the end, which happens more often than not with me and other fantasies.Like the other book though, at times felt there was a lack of a main focus and the story seemed to be going in so many directions at once with so many character perspectives I frequently forgot who I was tuning into. I found myself yearning for more focused narrative from a few characters in particular, and at times questioned the need to have so all-encompassing. But overall I thought it was a really intriguing fantasy, with enough depth and detail to really suck me into this world and keep me there... for weeks now. And I'm not complaining one bit. (3-4 stars) Karen Matthews- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

I don't know what is it with these books that keep me captivated and compelled to read more and more and more. The characters' growth is fantastic, my girl, Gwen is fascinating and fun, the plot way more surprising than I always think it will be... but it still contains several tropes that I usually don't like - BUT for once in a way that I can accept and understand, and without the constant contrived elements that drives me nuts. I like that each characters feels like it has an important part to play, and even if the pacing was a bit erratic at times, I think it was much better than in the first one. I will say that it is definitely not predictable and I was caught off guard on a few things, which is good. I did feel myself yearning for more tension and action at the midway point, but as a whole I think the storyline had a nice arc and delivered in the end. Curious to see where the story will go next... (4 stars) Carla Biggins- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

I know this is going to be a really tough book for me to review, just as the first one was. I like this book, "Pawn", just as I liked "Payback." But there were definitely some parts of it that I liked less... but then again I really did like seeing our characters in new places and working a lot more with relationships and it had a bit of a cat-and -mouse feel to it So there were some aspects that I sort of enjoyed MORE I guess... I don't really know....It felt overall slower than the others, less tension for me when I needed more of a high stakes hook. Maybe I'm just suffering from fantasy overload, I don't know... Although, it still didn't take me long to read and I really dig the dynamic between Gwen and Nathao. The ending is nice, bittersweet and hints at a cliffhanger, which I don't know how I feel about... because I DO feel super invested in the outcome now and whereas before I had all the second book on my kindle already, now I have to wait for next if there is one. Hopefully soon! (4 stars) Sherri Warner- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

I 've enjoyed the "The Dream King's Courier" books so far. They meet the criteria for what I'd like to see more of in an intelligent paranormal fantasy. There is grand action and genuine conflict. There are plenty of varied characters from all walks of life. There is an element of secret danger without it choking out the rest of the story. The books will appeal to a broad base of readers, even people who perhaps aren't hardcore fantasy readers. This feels like a great 'beginner's series' to me as it is beautifully written with all the familiar themes and elements of perhaps more well-known books (or TV shows/movies) but with a fresh take . Nothing here feels dumbed down or excessively contrived. In fact, I'd say these books are more 'intelligent' than some of the modern and nonfictions I've read lately - no joke. Whether you're new to fantasy or it's an old love, I'd say this series is worth checking out. It has a little bit of something for everyone. (5 stars) Steph Coleman- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

ALL THE LOVE TO THIS INCREDIBLY UNDERRATED SERIES. All. the. love, I tell you. Excuse me, but I think I fell in love with 2 or 10 characters. I just feel so monstrously happy after reading such an epic book!!! Not that it's a happy book. hahahaa. No. NO it's not. But it's amazingly written and the characters are amazing and you either love them or love to hate them (I'm looking at you, Bayel) and the development, both of character and of storyline(s) is extraordinary and I'M JUST SO INVOLVED. It's the kind of book that absolutely swallows you while you read.
WHERE EVEN TO START?
Okay let's talk about characters. Because this is definitely a majorly character-driven story. We have many points-of-view, But there are a whole swam of secondary characters who are epic in their own right and thrust the story and us along for the ride. Love the mythology and world building. Liked that there are STRONG females, not just sexy side pieces. I feel like I could read these books and this series forever and I hope that Patrice Sikora keeps writing them! Recommend for ages 16 and up. (5 stars) Nicole Hastings- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

I didn't want to finish "The Dream King's Courier: Pawn", but I mean that in a good way. I have really lost myself in these books over the past several months, reading them whenever I have a free moment here and there, and I have been continuously surprised with how much I love it andthought the plot was great, even though I'm not normally so in love with how Fantasy as a whole is written. I usually find it a tad bit boring/clichéwhen it comes to the world-building in this genre, and I'll admit it...the weird names usually throw me for a loop, and the sheer number of characters who come and go always gives me vertigo. However, the way the lives of the main characters in this story were interwoven into each other was so interesting, that I couldn't help but enjoy reading every last bit of this book. It also possibly helped that I could (I think) pronounce most of the names. The world building was vivid, and for once I could actually envision the scenes as they unfolded, feeling like I was watching a movie. Great action throughout, and the ending is making me wish the next one was already published. Great job! (5 stars) Stacy Decker- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

I totally love these books! So much tapestry of magic, good and evil, adventure and treachery, grit and...fun. I really enjoyed the returning main characters, especially now that we've gotten to know them a bit better,and especially liked the glimpses of secondary characters in more interesting more fleshed out roles. I was flying right through this one, it just had a nice natural flow and great pacing up until the ending. The plot in this one gives some answers, but leaves you with just as many unsolved questions. Since the flow was so natural as it was, there wasn't any big surprises for me, and I would have preferred some real shocks here and there. But what really stood out, for me, was the character development. Some of the others haven't evolved or changed as much as I'd like to see, but I think there's yet another book to go so we'll see. Enjoyed the magic and myth, and while I noticed a few minor typos here and there, overall it has a terrific editing job in terms of structure and grammar. Very well done. This is a "clean" fantasy, so nothing too horrible that mature readers from late teens on up won't be able to handle. (4-5 stars) Marcella Gonzales- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

Family drama.... Amirite? And when they are gods, even better!! Ha! Seems so often when I read books, usually I either like the dialogue, and the narrative seems flat (or too telling and long-winded) or the prose is good, but the conversations seem contrived and stiff. But I loved how seamlessly everything moved in both "Payback" and now the second installment, "Pawn" with the balance between the two nicely as this made it feel authentic and well- paced, like we are watching a movie or something. It had it all, seriously...mystery, drama, friendship, betrayal, family life, enemies... takes us on an unforgettable, and ultimately fulfilling rollercoaster ride that I won't soon forget. Hope the next one is ready soon. SO happy I discovered this series! (5 stars) Nicola Flood- Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes & Noble; Indie Book Reviewers


 

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