Two from Crystal Connor

 

Crystal Conner the Author of  The Darkness and In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal The End is Now is offering our readers a free copy of each book. If you would like a copy of one of these two books, be one of the first two people to email me at horroraddicts@gmail.com. Now on to our reviews:

10099991Artemisia has devoted her life to science, alchemy and jewelry. Family wasn’t as important to her as trying to obtain forbidden knowledge. She is a founding member of The Skyward Group which is a team of scientists working on top-secret projects. Artemisia’s main goal is to learn how god thinks and play god herself. There is another woman like her named Inanna. Inanna is a powerful witch who also has everything she wants and desires to be more god like. The one thing that neither has is a child.

This brings us to Adam, a three-month old boy who is being kept in a cage in a science lab. The doctors won’t get close to him because he’s dangerous. Alex has power but he doesn’t understand it and what he wants more than anything is to be loved.  Inanna and Artemisia have their eyes set on the boy and want to raise him in their own image. Only one can be his mother while the other will suffer at the hands of both mother and child.

The Darkness by Crystal Connor is the first book in The Spectrum Series and it was hard to put down. This isn’t a story of good versus evil, it’s the story of  forbidden magic versus forbidden science. It’s also a study on what happens when you become to powerful and have too much forbidden knowledge. I admire Crystal’s ability to make you love a character and hate them at the same time. The story here takes place over several years and we get to watch Adam go from a child to an adult. We see what destruction he causes when he can’t get what he wants, but we also see a boy who tries desperately to save the people he loves when they are in danger and how bad he feels when he hurts someone he loves.

You also see the good and bad in Inanna. You feel bad for her when her mother is taken away and she cries but then when she takes her vengeance on a group of people, you see that maybe this isn’t a person you should show pity for. One of my favorite scenes in the book has Inanna summoning warlocks and demons in order to do a protection spell for Adam. As she does this, one of the demons says that when she dies there will be no end to her suffering. Inanna’s reaction to this is indifference. I loved this scene because she was using evil and sacrificing herself to protect someone she loved. Inanna knows what she wants and nothing will stop her from having it.

What makes The Darkness interesting is that there are no heroes and villains, everyone is a shade of grey. The characters are complex, at times both Artemisia and Inanna show that they have a dark side but they also both show that they have a compassionate nature. The boy Alex also shows a lot of depth such as at one point he takes his anger out on one of the doctors in the lab but then another time we see him cry as another doctor hugs him for the first time. The characters are so fascinating you don’t see any of them as good or evil, they’re just people. Rather then choose sides I found myself compelled to just sit back and enjoy the ride. The way their personalities are, you’re never sure who to root for, which made for an unpredictable story.

22077604In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal The End is Now  is a collaboration between Crystal Connor and Lori Titus and is quite simply about people in a small town called Fates Keep dealing with the apocalypse. This book starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. We have angels, demons, wolves, a witch and lots of people hoping to survive. While the story is deceptively simple, there are a lot of characters and viewpoints to keep track of.

One way I would describe The End is Now is as ambitious. The way the book is written is different than anything I’ve read, there are no main character but it has several characters that are important and there is no resting point in the action. This book is about action and chaos in a war between angels and demons.  You have to stick with this book in order to get into it because it moves fast. What starts as a simple action driven apocalypse tale becomes a complex story about good versus evil and the choices we make.

While reading this one I found myself wondering what the writing process must have been like, because unless you have a program its hard to keep it all straight. My favorite part of the book was the humans, who despite the hopelessness of their situation still do what they can to survive.  This book is an original take on the apocalypse fiction genre that is so popular right now. There is a lot going on in this book and the story moves along at the speed of a freight train and doesn’t stop until the end.

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