ARC Review: Breaching of the Barrier


Breaching of the Barrier
The Burning Tempest: Book 1
Adam Niclasen

Rating: 5/5 stars!

I received this book in return for an honest review.

This book is not yet available for purchase but I will post about it again when it nears its release date.
The synopsis I have written is very basic.  I have not read one from the author and I did not want to give away any spoilers.

Humanity has created a barrier around the Narak, a force that threatens their very existence, but how long will it last?  Follow the lives of multiple characters as they fight for survival and power in a post-apocalyptic world.  Forgotten knowledge and technology has been replaced with magic, and the strength of the enemy inside the Narak is overwhelming.

There are a lot of characters in this book but each one is unique and carefully thought through.  They are well designed and remain consistent, having their own personal flaws to keep them realistic.  Some of the characters go through major changes during the plot, and their pain, emotions and challenges are clear and convincing.

My favourite character was Arrt and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment he was involved.  You will have to read the book to find out why.  Other than him, I have difficulty picking out another from the crowd, but I believe this is a good thing.  The characters were diverse and interesting, each one being just as good as the next.  A lot of work was also put into character accents.

The only character I am unsure about is Rikard.  His introductory chapter gave me an impression of his character that later seemed inconsistent.  It is possible this change could have occurred due to the conditions, but this was not clear to me.

This book is intense.  There is a lot of very descriptive fighting, with horrendous injuries and many characters do not make it to the end.  That being said, the battles complemented the story.  They were never there just for the sake of having another action scene.  I find this factor very important and I think it was done well.

The storyline itself is complex and often leaves you guessing.  I love it when the outcome is not predictable.  I found it a little difficult to keep up in the beginning but, once I became used to the world, the rest was much more enjoyable and I was eager to find out more.

There are multiple storylines to follow from different points of view.  I liked being able to witness what was happening in the eyes of opposing sides, but it was still written in the way that did not give away too much information.

The book is set in a post-apocalyptic world where science and technology had advanced much further than the current day, but much of that information was lost over the centuries that followed.  A magic element helped the people to overcome this loss, and it was another well designed aspect of this book.

The magic is separated into elements and a lot of thought has been put into the depth of each one.  I found the different types of magic users interesting, and the way the elements connected with other parts of the book was very clever.

One of the things that I had difficulty with in the beginning, but later became used to, was the use of language.  There are a lot of different names for people, magic and creatures and some of the names change depending on which point of view you are reading from.  This was no longer an issue once I became really involved with the book.  There is also a glossary at the back for reference, though I had not realised until I had finished.

This book is written with clear detail and structured sentences.  It has the type of writing that makes me want to improve my own work.  I came across very few errors, and even these were minor.  I think this is an incredible achievement, especially considering this is the author’s first book.


This has to be one of my favourite books that I have read all year.  The depth and detail to the story is incredible and it is clear how much work the author has put into each aspect.

I would recommend this book to Sci-Fi and Fantasy lovers, but I would also encourage anyone else who is willing to give it a shot.  You will not be disappointed.

What do you think about this book based on my review?  Will you read it when it becomes available?


Wondering Writers #19

What devices do you use for writing and planning?

I’ll be honest, I’m typing this post from my phone. It’s not the first time, and it definitely won’t be the last… I just find it so convenient for when I’m away from the computer and I want to do something. These days, I’m away from the computer a lot.

As far as actual writing goes, 99% of that is done on my computer. I do recall writing some on my tablet once while my daughter was asleep in my arms, but it’s definitely not ideal.

The majority of my planning is done in my head. I have a pretty good memory for the big ideas and a lot of my plots come from thinking about characters before I sleep (a bit like controlled dreaming) or just randomly considering different aspects during the day. Once I have these ideas, I like to document them in OneNote, where I have other details about characters, the world and other plots. OneNote is one of those useful programs that you can access from a number of devices, and I take advantage of that.

I only use my computer to update OneNote if I’m already using it for writing or editing. Otherwise, I find it just as easy to use my phone.

I currently only edit from my computer because I’m only in my second draft and there’s a lot to change, but I expect that will also move to my phone in the later stages. I use my phone for ebooks anyway, and it’s simple to make notes.

What devices do you use for writing and planning?

Discovering the purpose of editing


As I was reading through chapter 7, something did not seem right.  I continued on anyway, hoping it would come up later, but now I know that I have come across the first plot hole type error in my book (at least the first one I’ve noticed!).

Those of you who have been following my progress know that I am writing a Heroic Fantasy, so there should be no surprise that there are changes of realms, kingdoms and countries.  Well, I completely missed the first change.  I guess I was so focused on my character’s destination that I managed to skip over it.

Not only that, but I have also realised that the cross over should be in early chapter 7, when I originally thought it might come up in chapter 8.  Now I have a lot more editing to do in the chapter I thought I had just finished…

Wondering Writers #18


Do you read the same genre that you write?

My book is a heroic fantasy book, set in a world that I plan to use for future books as well.  Some will also be heroic fantasies, but others will be a little different.  I have an endless amount of ideas and I don’t want to limit myself to a specific type of genre, but they will all be fantasy based.

I love reading fantasy.  I love almost all kinds of fantasy.  The only types I’m not really a fan of are ones that are too focused on war and fighting.  I don’t mind war playing a role in a book, it plays a role in my book, but I don’t want to read a book that has fighting in basically every chapter.

That being said, I have been enjoying paranormal romance lately.  I also occasionally like to read science fiction though, again, not if it contains too much fighting.

So, my favourite genre to read is also the genre that I write, but I am curious to know about you!

Do you read the same genre that you write?

Editing Chapters 5 & 6


In my limited time today, I went through some of my notes and edited a few things in other chapters.  I realised that going through them before doing a reread of my book was going to be a difficult task though.  I have not written down chapter overviews so, even though I know which scene the notes are referring to, I don’t remember exactly where they are in the book. I’ve decided to just continue with the reread and refresh my memory on the notes before each session so I can remember to add things in.

I got through chapters 5 and 6 today.  There are 26 in total, as well as a prologue and epilogue, so I feel like I’m almost a quarter of the way through.  Most of the notes are for later in the book though, so those chapters will take longer to get through.

I feel like I am on a roll! Though the weekend is also coming to an end.  I doubt I will have much time for editing during the week, but hopefully I can pick it up again by next weekend.

Editing has begun! Again..


Today, when my daughter went down for her afternoon nap, I finally decided to open my WiP again and resumed editing.  I started from the beginning again, which I have done a couple of times now, but it has been so long since I have worked on it that I thought it would be a good idea to refresh my memory a little.

In my limited time, I made it to the end of chapter 4, which is two chapters further than I was able to go on previous editing sessions!  I’m feeling fairly pleased about that.

However, I am also feeling mildly overwhelmed and lost when it comes to my notes.  I wrote notes on things to add and change as I wrote the first draft, and I realise I should probably be looking at these first before doing a reread of the book.. I think I will look into them more deeply next time.

Anyway, it feels good to get back into things! Despite being overwhelmed, I am enjoying the editing process more this time than I was last time.  I guess I really did need that break after all.

Wondering Writers #17


Have you taken a break from writing/reading/blogging?  What brought you back?

I have recently posted about my return to the book blogging world, and hopefully to working on my fantasy WiP again, and I am curious to know how other people have handled breaks.

I am passionate about reading, writing and blogging, and my break from those things was intentional.  I knew what I was doing, I knew I needed to spend time focusing on other things in my life, but I also had complete faith that I would return to them eventually.  To be completely honest, I am returning sooner than I originally expected.  I guess I just could not stay away!

Returning was something that I had been considering for a while now.  I was contacted by a few authors wanting me to review their books and, while I had to turn them down, each message brought me that little bit closer to coming back.  It was the message from Rinelle Grey, asking me to be her beta reader on a permanent basis, that finally drew me in the rest of the way.  You can read more about that on my previous post.


Have you taken a break from writing/reading/blogging?  What brought you back?

Beta Reading for Rinelle Grey

I mentioned in my previous post that Rinelle Grey personally asked me to beta read for her on a permanent basis and that was what sparked my return to book blogging.  I thought I would elaborate on what actually happened in this post.

When I first received the message, I was super excited but I was unsure about how much time I could commit to her work.  However, after mentioning this and then realising that I might miss out on such an awesome opportunity, I put a lot more thought into it and I definitely noticed how disappointed I was already feeling.  It was something I really wanted to do, and something that I knew I could make time for.

Rinelle Grey has written multiple romance books, but her main series focuses on dragon shifters.  I was actively working my way through the series when she messaged me, and I absolutely love her work.  The timing was perfect!  She kindly sent me the remaining books that I had left to read so I could finish catching up before she sent the beta read book.

Rinelle Grey is a wonderful person to work with.   She has always seemed open to questions and she honestly appreciates feedback on her books.  I find it an absolute honour to be her beta reader.  She is one of my favourite authors.  While I would not go as far to say her books are the best out there, she always promises a happy ending and they are great feel-good books.  I have been through a lot of emotional difficulty lately, and being able to lose myself in a book that was guaranteed to make me smile was exactly what I needed.

I recently finished the beta read for her next book, and I look forward to working with her again!


Have you read any of Rinelle Grey’s books?  Let me know what you think!

So… Hi!

Some of you may have noticed that I have been absent from blogging for a while now.  I came back occasionally to do a couple of book promotions, but I never managed more than that.

I now work five days a week as an Early Childhood Teacher, and all my free time has been devoted to my almost eighteen month old daughter.  It’s exhausting, and I don’t regret a single moment of it, but I have started to miss the book blogging world.

Every now and then, I started to consider coming back, even if it was just for a post here and there, nothing completely structured.  However, I just never found the time or the right motivation… Then, one day, I was contacted by Rinelle Grey.  She asked if I could become a beta reader for her on a more permanent basis!  I did a beta read for her last year and she really appreciated my work.

I will go into more detail about my beta reading in a different post, but this sparked my desire to return to book blogging, and I even feel drawn to by own WiP again for the first time since November!

I can’t promise how much I will be posting, but I am definitely going to try and stick around this time.  Thank you to those who have stayed with me through this process!  You’ll be hearing more from me soon!

Book Release: The Exercise of Vital Powers


The second edition of The Exercise of Vital Powers by Ian Gregoire was released today!  I really enjoyed the first edition, and I have absolutely no doubt that the revised book will be awesome!  It has already received a 5 star review on Goodreads!  If you are a fantasy lover, then do yourself a favour and take a look!

You can currently buy the ebook from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble and iBooks.  A hard copy version can also be bought from Amazon.


Back Cover Blurb

Some Lessons Must Be Learned The Hard Way

Since its inception, The Order has been dedicated to the prevention of the misuse and abuse of magic. For seven decades this mandate has guaranteed peace and stability throughout The Nine Kingdoms. But a potential threat to the peace has emerged, and its source is much closer to home than the leadership of The Order may realise.

Arrogant, manipulative, confrontational and angry. Undesirable qualities in a person at the best of times, but more so in a young woman born with the power to bring kingdoms to their knees. Kayden Jayta, precocious apprentice of The Order, is all these things and more, yet wholly unwilling to acknowledge and rectify her many troubling traits.

Unbeknown to anyone, Kayden’s resolute determination to join the ranks of The Order is born of a secret that puts her priorities at odds with the precepts of the organisation, setting her inexorably on a collision course with the most powerful institution in The Nine Kingdoms.

If Kayden is to be dissuaded from walking the path she has chosen, averting tragic consequences in the process, two unanswered questions must be answered: What is the dark secret guiding Kayden’s actions? And, why has a legendary figure within The Order, with a secret of her own, taken undue interest in Kayden’s future?