Fantasy Novel Review: The Silent Queen

Red Ribbon on BlackQueen Phoibe is crowned Queen by Zeus himself before her world changed forever.

Only minutes after she is crowned, the gods declared war on the humans, enraged that the Oracle of Delphi closed the bridge between Earth and their world. It’s Phoibe’s job to stop the gods and protect her people and she plans to do just that with the help of her two patron gods, Thanatos and Artemis. But first she needs to survive the terror raining down from the heavens.

I enjoyed this story for the most part. I thought it was a little slow starting and because it’s so short there wasn’t enough time for a lot of character development, although there will be a lot more of that in the books to come. This is part one of a series, after all. For the time being, though, Phoibe is a bit of a bland character. She’s a fourteen-year-old with all of the angst and none of the smart-ass remarks. I don’t understand why she has to be so young, either. Her character is way too mature for it to be believable. She’s probably the least relatable fourteen-year-old ever. Her entire character is like a Greek statue: dignified, beautiful, and inhuman.

Lantos, however, is fantastic. As Phoibe’s former childhood friend and a demigod, he is not to be trusted even though he saved her life by warning her of the war being declared. He has a smart mouth to be sure and I really wish he had a more prominent role in the story. About halfway through he is pushed out of a helicopter, though. (But he’s a demigod, so technically he’s still alive. My guess is he’ll show up in future books and eventually be the love interest).

While the writing isn’t bad, Lizzy Ford could take a couple of grammar lessons. She used one of my biggest pet peeves of all time: she used infer when she should have used imply.  Ugh. It took me a couple more paragraphs to actually get back into the story. This slip-up is really unforgivable because it’s Phoibe’s voice Lizzy is talking with, and it’s already been established that Phoibe is highly educated: she was born to be a queen after all. This really shows Ford’s incompetencey.

However, in all 10 thousand plus words of the story, there isn’t another error that glaring, so  with all said and done, the book is actually put together really well. And the story flows along smoothly. While I think some fantasy fans would enjoy this book and this series, I’ll probably not buy the next book. As much as I like the plot, the characters are too flat for me to really get into the book.

If you enjoyed my review, then please share it with your friends, or connect with me on Twitter. And if you’ve read The Silent Queen, then I would love for you to leave your opinion in the comments below. Thank you!

Introducing Hotel Holmes

  Hotel Holmes just went live on Booktrack! It is a short story that I submitted for the Booktrack  Halloween competition and it’s now available to read. I would love it if some of you wanted to hop on an read it when you have a few minutes to spare, and perhaps comment, so I know just how scary, or lame it really is. Thanks!

Welcome to Hotel Holmes. Here you might find the hotel staff acting slightly odd, but take no notice. Instead take notice of the metallic smell coming from the bedcovers that are the color of dried blood, the children in the hallway playing with swords, and think about why your window might be bolted shut. But do not think, under any circumstances, that you will come out alive.

http://www.booktrack.com/#!/bookshelf?booktrackId=a5c72e2a1a264fcc97c7ea5f13597c65

The Library Tunnel (Original Short)

The Bucksport Library is that favorite place of mine that I rarely remember unless I’m walking by it or I want a certain book that I’m not willing to pay money for. It’s how I think all libraries should be; quiet and almost completely devoid of life. Over a hundred and fifty years old, the tiny library still used the card system and had only two computers. You could check out as many books as you could carry out to your car, or you could just sit down in an aisle and read. The library would stay open as long as someone was reading.

It was a place where Twilight was considered an adult book, and the YA bookshelves were decorated in cobwebs, but for some reason, that just seemed to add to its charm.

I had graduated high school only a few minutes before, and for old times’ sake, I went to the YA section, fingering the spines of my favorite books over the years. I paused, finding a book I had never seen before. As far as I knew, the only additions to the library in the last twenty years were all popular bestsellers that everyone had already seen the movie of. But this book was a simple leather-bound book, barely an inch thick. It had no title, and I wondered if someone had forgotten their journal and the librarian had mistaken it for a fallen book.

I pulled it out and then the wall opened up,revealing a dark and narrow tunnel that seemed to go on forever. I ran inside just as the wall slid shut behind me. There wasn’t any way to go but forward. So I grinned and started jogging.

The tunnel behind me lit up,showing pictures and stories. Heartbreaks, victories, and lazy days listening to the Beatles. But the tunnel in front of me remained dark, except for the next step in front of me.

Several times the tunnel split into forks and I turned, choosing on an impulse. I kept running into the unknown, memories lighting up brighter than stars behind me.

At the end of the tunnel was a door, old and well-worn by hands and weather. I pushed it open and came out on a deserted highway. There was a lone sign telling me where I was, covered in dirt and partially hidden by evergreens: Leaving Bucksport. I stepped forward, my choice already made. I touched the sign for good luck and ran out of Bucksport, into the dark unknown, my path illuminated behind me.