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review 2017-04-02 15:00
Bound Review
Bound (Alex Caine) - Alan Baxter

Bound wasn’t an easy book for me to read. I had some initial reservations about it, but as I do love the occasional dark fantasy book, I decided to give it a shot. Alas, Bound and I never quite bonded. It is the perfect dark/urban fantasy read for readers who love the Chosen one spiel. It is also absolutely absent of even a whisper of a love triangle.The epic quest is, indeed, epic, and the evil guys are very evil. The Chosen one, as one might expect, does have trouble coming to terms with his powers, but eventually begins to master them. Soon he is a force to be reckoned with, but you know everyone’s going to try.

 

Alex Caine is the macho man with the dark past that he doesn’t talk about. His companion is a feisty, sexy female who attaches herself to him for non-epic reasons. Actually, most of the men portrayed in Bound come across as strong/macho characters except for a few bit-player parts. Sex and sexuality play a large role in Bound. If you like your ‘adult interactions’ to be on the violent and/or demeaning side, you’re sure to be pleased. Unfortunately, sexuality is part of the problem with Bound. All the female characters ooze sex appeal and/or seek validation through it. That, combined with Caine’s macho-man persona, give the story a ‘teenage boy fantasy’ air that is not particularly appealing.

 

But, Bound is not awfully written and I don’t want to give the impression that is. While I do think the author has some more skill development to do, it’s obvious the talent is there. Bound is held back by a bit too much introspective weight around its middle, and a cup full of ‘struggle for control and temptation’ where periodic dashes would do better instead. However, mostly this is simply not a book that appealed to me. I prefer, when I dabble in fantasy, to deal in ghosties, ghouls, and things that go bump in the night. My urban fantasy needs wise-cracking anti-heroes that you want to smack even as you can’t help but root for them. Bound is a more traditional fantasy read in an urban/modern setting.

 

Still, I have no doubt that there is a large market out there that would enjoy Bound. The action sequences were fun to read and easy to visualize. Alex Caine is the book version of the on-screen action hero. As the series develops and Alan Baxter has a chance to refine his writing and flesh out his characters, I think there’s a pleasant surprise awaiting. (There are two other books out in the series as of the time of this review, but I obviously have not read them, so I can only guess.)

 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book for review consideration

Source: www.scifiandscary.com/bound-review
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text 2014-06-13 11:54
NEW INTERVIEW - Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn

Happy Friday!

Day Al-Mohamed and I are featured in an interview over on the fabulous My World In Words and Pages blog. Co-interviewing is nearly as much fun as co-writing! Check it out:

http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/2014/06/author-interview-with-danielle-ackley.html

And if you have a question we didn't answer in the interview, feel free to leave it for us in the comments section and we'll answer it there!

Also, if you have a blog, we would love to do a guest blog about our new novel, Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale.

Best,
Danielle

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text 2014-04-25 12:48
GOODREADS GIVEAWAY - Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn

To celebrate the upcoming release of my newest novel, Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn, co-written with Day Al-Mohamed, we are holding a GoodReads Giveaway:

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21531932-baba-ali-and-the-clockwork-djinn

 

 

Come, Best Beloved, and sit you by my feet. I shall tell you a tale such as sister Scheherazade could have scarce imagined.

 

In the Nejd there is nothing at all…except secrets. A band of thieves wish such secrets to remain hidden.

 

In England, far from his desert home, Ali bin-Massoud serves as apprentice to the famed Charles Babbage. One night a mysterious box is delivered by a clockwork falcon and Ali’s world is never the same again. Heartache, danger, and thieves mark his journey as Ali is summoned home at the death of his father.

 

It will take faith, knowledge, and yes, love to realize his destiny, and more than a little skill with steam-driven technology. Can he unravel the mystery of the puzzle box and the clockwork djinn before it is too late? An ancient legacy and Ali's very life depend on it.

 

Hear you the tale of Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn.

 

"Fantasy needs more heroes like Ali bin-Massoud, and more stories like Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn. This charming story deserves to be well read. Read it, let it sit with you a while, and then read it again." —Luke's Reviews

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text 2014-03-27 10:24
Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn
Dark Quest Books and authors Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Day Al-Mohamed are proud to announce the pending release of Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn: A Steampunk Faerie Tale. The book will be produced under the Palomino Press imprint and is scheduled to release in September 2014, with a pre-release in May 2014. Baba Ali will have its premier at Balticon as a part of the annual Dark Quest Launch Party.
 
The story is a retelling of the classic Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves set in the Victorian Era where Ali is an engineering apprentice to Charles Babbage. One night a mysterious box is delivered by a clockwork falcon and Ali's world is never the same again.
 
Heartache, danger, and thieves mark his journey as Ali is summoned home at the death of his father.
 
Can he unravel the mystery of the puzzle box and the clockwork djinn before it is too late? An ancient legacy and Ali's very life depend on it.
 
"Fantasy needs more heroes like Ali bin-Massoud, and more stories like Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn. This charming story deserves to be well read. Read it, let it sit with you a while, and then read it again." -Luke's Reviews - http://lukereviews.blogspot.com/2014/03/baba-ali-and-clockwork-djinn-by.html
 
Back Cover Copy:
 

Come, Best Beloved, and sit you by my feet. I shall tell you a tale such as sister Scheherazade could have scarce imagined. A tale of wonders, of deeds both great and grievous, of courage that defies description, and above all, Child of Adam, I shall tell you a tale of love.

 

The night is for the telling of tales to which the morning may bear Truth. In the oldest of days and ages and times, there was, and there was not, a great evil that reached across the desert and beyond…

 

In the Nejd there is nothing at all…except secrets. A band of thieves wish such secrets to remain hidden.

 

In England, far from his desert home, Ali bin-Massoud serves as apprentice to the famed Charles Babbage. One night a mysterious box is delivered by a clockwork falcon and Ali's world is never the same again. Heartache, danger, and thieves mark his journey as Ali is summoned home at the death of his father.

 

It will take faith, knowledge, and yes, love to realize his destiny, and more than a little skill with steam-driven technology. Can he unravel the mystery of the puzzle box and the clockwork djinn before it is too late? An ancient legacy and Ali's very life depend on it.

 

Hear you the tale of Baba Ali and the Clockwork Djinn.

 

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text 2014-02-08 12:00
NEW RELEASE - Consigned to the Sea

 

Dark Quest Books and Author Danielle Ackley-McPhail are proud to present her newest solo collection, Consigned to the Sea, stories of mystical, nautical fiction where our heroines pit themselves against pirates, witches, and the forces of nature. The book will officially launch at a Book Launch to be held at this year’s Lunacon (www.lunacon.org).

 

’Tis Said We All Return to Whence We Began…

 

Is it any wonder then why so many are drawn to the sea? Throughout the history of Man the crash of the waves has been a siren song…a promise…a curse. Above the waves is a challenge that makes or breaks many a man or woman. Below is another world both magical and menacing.

 

In Consigned to the Sea you will find the vast spectrum of what the oceans have to offer. The wonder of a mermaid yearning to reach the sky… The wrath of the selkie protecting its own… A dragon waging war against pirates…

 

Whether you root for the sailor or the sea, here is a collection you can treasure.

 

“Dripping with tension, Consigned to the Sea is a powerful tale with interesting twists toward the end and a strong lead. Recommended.”—Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Rise Reviews

 

102 pages | $9.95 | 978-1-937051-96-9

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