The Recalling of John Arrowsmith by Alyx J. Shaw

71Hb8cN-AHLTitle: The Recalling of John Arrowsmith

Series: A Strange Place in Time #1

Author: Alyx J. Shaw

Genre: High Fantasy

Length: Novel (221 pages)

ISBN: 978-1-61040-598-0

Publisher: Prizm Books, Torquere Press (October 13th, 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5~4Hearts

Reviewer: Thommie

Blurb:Raised in a motorcycle gang, John Arrowsmith has a bad case of wanderlust. He’s not sure what drives him, but he knows he has to go, and he has the perfect machine to ride on; the big custom bike he calls Harley. When he and Harley get run off the road and wake up someplace completely unfamiliar, Arrowsmith knows something has gone pretty darned wrong.

With a cast of characters that include thieves, Moonhounds, and ogres, John has to find his way through this new world, trying to understand why he’s been transported there, and why he’s falling for a guy named Infamous. What Arrowsmith finds out surprises him, and might just kill him. Can he survive to find his way home?

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Review: Oh my freaking God, I can’t believe the cliffhanger. Just kill me now! Or rather don’t, I have #2 waiting for me so I won’t suffer long, though I fear what the end of that book is going to bring.

But back at this one, well what an enticing book this was. The first thought that came into my mind was “I’m reading a really weird book. Nice weird. Tolkien weird. It’s fascinating!” and then again further into the story I was reminded of World of Warcraft’s Wrath of the Lich King. It was surreal somehow that this book mixed up an assortment of favourites for me. The World it was set upon, the magical creatures and the people who inhabited this world, they were all alluring slowly drawing me in and managing to capture my interest and hold onto it.

I admit at first the book was hard to follow. The information required to understand this world was a lot to digest and every turn you took something new popped up. It was really hard to keep up with at the beginning. Then there were the twists it took, and as things constantly moved with deeper meanings, hidden subtexts, and the eerie feeling that something is about to happen, yet you had to wait and wait and wait some more made the entire read a bit frustrating and challenging your patience.

I also admit that things only come into perspective after half the book was read and became clear as crystal when the end was reached. That however was another exercise at patience on itself. There were characters left to know and understand, there were dark evils and enemies hidden in the shadows that were not revealed, yet you know for a certainty that they are their bidding their time. There was the mother cliff hanger that makes your head spin and I don’t know how I would have felt if I didn’t already have book #2 to pick it right up.

And there was the romance part that was somehow crippled. We have the main character Arrowsmith and he’s human. Through a series of weird events, he ends up into a strange place that looked quite medieval. He ends up working at the Mountain Cabin and sharing the house for the winter with seven really weird people. Warriors of the Moon Goddess, wolves, wizards and mages, werewolves and shadowy thieves, elves and half elves, dragons and the stars know what else, this world has them. It’s a lot to take when you’re a human raised to believe them as myths. When he falls for the half elf though, it was weird as it gets. One moment he wants another guy, the other he falls deeply for the Master Thief because it felt right, it felt familiar. Hmm, I don’t know what to think of that. When they came together, their lovemaking lacked the intense passion that would perhaps solidify how their relationship came to be and where it was going to take them. I just felt that particular part was not written well enough to make the entire read explode. It could, but it missed.

However, when I take a step back and look at the entirety of this book, even as I feel it needed more length for the background storyline and a little bit more love-making, I still found it absolutely captivating and certainly a must read for fans of high fantasy, because as I said at the very beginning, I just can’t wait to get to #2. Strongly Recommended!