Reviews of my work can be found below, please follow the links where appropriate to visit the sites where the original reviews can be read. All reviews are totally independent; being either unsolicitated reviews from readers or book bloggers who have reviewed the book on request, but for no consideration other than a free copy of the book and in expectation of an honest review.
I rarely write reviews, but I can't believe no one else has. What a great story this was. A must read if you like dark stories that are definitely well thought and intricately built. This man's discovery of a new facet to the world, just as he is trying to close the circle he has been on for two decades is wonderful. The back and forth from his youth to his present are so well done. best book I've read in a long time.
Caleb is a thief, womanizer, and gambler and is basically not a good guy. He ends up being likable anyway and I found myself rooting for him to get his life figured out. There is sort of a slow build to the story. In the beginning, I wasn't sure where it was going, but the author paints a vivid picture of what Caleb's life is like. The story alternates with Caleb's earlier life and it shows how he became the person he is at present. It is so well done that you can't help but read on to get all the pieces of the puzzle to try to figure Caleb out. There are some excellent twists that I didn't see coming. It is a long book, but I was disappointed when it ended because I wanted more. The second book is out already (which is good because I need to read it) and a third book is due out in the new year..
The King of Winter is an entertaining, well paced book which intelligently weaves humour, fantasy, longing and history into an enjoyable read.
In Caleb Cade the author has created an absorbing and complex character that at times you will despise, pity and even envy with equal measure. A classic anti-hero! I was easily drawn into his world of easy morals and conflicting desires; eagerly reading on to discover how Cade would deal with the fantastical situation he had found himself in as well as to know more about his (mis)adventures on the road that had ultimately brought him home. Yet despite acknowledging that the tragedies that drive Cade were mostly self inflicted, he is ultimately a sympathetic character caught up in extraordinary events.
The story is played out against the backdrop of the other "star" of the book - London. This book gives you an excellent feel for the seedy underbelly of late 17th/early 18th century London and the sometime's brutal and base existence of many of its ordinary inhabitants; plus the whims, excesses and hypocrisies of the "quality" as exemplified by Defane and to a certain extent Cade's lost love, Henrietta.
With a few clever twists thrown in and well developed supporting characters this is an excellent book and a great addition to the fantasy/Vampire genre.
Caleb....poor Caleb, he's such a tool! What a manipulating user of women! Gambling, drinking, womanizing tool. That's what he is. And yet I like him. I want him to be better, to get better, to be more than he is. I think I would have disliked him more if he was going after more than one woman at a time, thankfully he wasn't, because I would have cheered at some of the bad stuff that happened to him.
This was a really long book, but the detail that was put into it was amazing. I liked it because you could tell a guy had written it. It was a paranormal book about vampires, but that wasn't the focus of the book entirely. The vampires weren't the normal sparkly, romantic, seductive swoon-over types of vampires that we've become used to through Twilight and Lestat. No, the vampires were what they most likely really should be: hunters and users. This book portrays them closer to the original Dracula and yet, not quite so romanticized.
The whole book had a very dark feel to it. This isn't the Age of Enlightenment that I'm used to reading about in romance novels, where all the "bad stuff" like bad hygiene and the lack of proper sewerage containment and thievery is just ignored. No, this book brings it all to the forefront, so if you can't handle the dark side of what life was like back then, don't read the book.
The twists in it I couldn't foresee and they completely took me by surprise. Overall, its a great book, just very very long.
Kristin Plausky - Second Book to the Right ****
If you have not read King of the Winter (In the Absence of Light #1) you should start there. You can see my review here. That is the book where we get to know who Caleb is and how he came to be that way. In this installment he has joined a band of vampire hunters. Oh, Caleb. I want to like him and hate him at the same time. He doesn't want to continue on the path he has set for himself, but he doesn't want that badly to change, either. He is a self-professed coward and quite comfortable with being a theif, liar, and user of women. He tells himself he wants to be a better man, but doesn't always follow through. All he really wants is love, but doesn't think he is capable of it, so he will grab whatever comes his way.
This is a dark tale about vampires and human nature. It doesn't shy away from the gritty realities of life. (It is quite graphic at times.) There is a slow build and all of the details serve to heighten the suspense and I was quite surprised by the ending. Can't wait for the next book to see how the series will end! I recommend for anyone who likes dark, psychological stories.
I enjoyed the book--excellent character development, thorough descriptions of time and place, unexpected twists and turns. However, the numerous grammatical errors and misplaced words were, at times, distracting. A thorough proof reading would definitely improve the already enjoyable read.
Chris Maynard - Amazon.Com ****
This book paints a vivid and detailed picture of life in London, circa 1704. From words; to scenes; to the culture; you truly feel as though you have been brought back to look in on a time when the world was new. Caleb, the main character, has a dark past, grim future, and bleak life filled with gambling, women and booze. He befriends Defane. Defane is an over dressed, pompous, and seemingly wealthy man living a life similar to Caleb. But what is Defane hiding? Maybe Defane's acquaintance Dr. Rothery knows. All the while, Caleb begins to wonder about his new friend nighttime behaviors.
After reading for a while you are held in suspense, waiting for the climax, when its realized this is only part 1 of the story. "Arrgggh!!! I am now in a hurry to find the next part of this book. Pick this book up for a detail story of man vs. beast, who will win?
Akisha Clark - Julie's Book Review ****
Author's Note: In response to Chris' point, I can only apologise, he's quite right there were far too many typos and errors, for which I take full responsibility. I was just too keen to get the book out there! However, the book has now been extensively proof read and re-edited, the version now available should be free of major gramatical errors and spelling mistakes - hopfulley...
Loving this series! Many twists and turns, hard to put down. Can't wait for the next book to come out.
Kristen Carpenter - Amazon.Com *****
Stumbled upon this series, lots of surprises, loved it. I purchased the rest of the books, great story! Would definitely recommend.
Kristen Carpenter - Amazon.Com *****
A worthy conclusion to the Absence of Light series. I have loved this series so much. Dark, gritty, and historical with a twist of paranormal and horror. Caleb Cade's story finally comes to an end. He grows so much over the course of the series. I was worried for a while where the story was going, but you just never know what is going to happen. I was pleased with the way things turned out. And I may have teared up once or twice. I definitely highly recommend this series, but start with The King of the Winter.
There are four books to this story, and this one is the first. I'm always searching for a good, well written book...that involves vampires. So as many of you may know, it's not always easy to find such gems. Well, this author is AWESOME. Now, there's some typos on occasion, but nothing that will deter you from enjoying this adventure yarn that follows the life of a man on a journey of discovery, only to find himself in so much more that he ever anticipated.
What a great story. I was truly sad when I finished the fourth book, because I know it may be awhile before I find one quite like this again. I really enjoyed the plot, and the author's style of writing. There's romance and humor as well as intrigue and adventure.
What I like about books written in historical times is that human nature never really changes much. Fashions change, traditions begin and old beliefs are dropped off, but deep down we humans are still the same no matter how much time goes by.
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!
M. Nord - Amazon.Com *****
An extraordinary book.
Well written and although you pretty much think you see what's coming, you are totally suprised. Clever and attention holding the book goes from past to present - each chapter, but it keeps your interest - mainly becasue you are so engrossed in the story and want to know why Caleb is like he is and what happened to him. There are a few grammer errors, but they can be overlooked. Definetly a keeper - fascinating story. And to top that you are never introduced to the vampires (per say), and if you didn't know there were vampires in the book, you wouldn't be looking for them.
Fran Stiles - Goodreads
Believeable and Relatable characters really help to captivate the reader and get them invested in the happenings of this story.
There are some grittier topics and this story is not for the faint of heart.
A great Fantasy Novel that delves deeper than most.
Everleigh Phelps - A Life Through Books
This novel has a very mysterious element to it. Even from the synopsis you are not sure what you are going to get. I would like to say that Andy Monk does a great job of bringing to life characters and a plot that are fresh and captivating to read about. There are a lot of moving parts to this one, but it is really worth it to delve in and get to the bottom of it.
A very well written Sci Fi/Fantasy, but note it is a bit darker than others.
Bailey Ember - Texas Book Nook
This is the second book I have read by Andy Monk. I have thoroughly enjoyed both books and am looking forward to reading my next. In The Burden of Souls the writer gives each chapter to a character, developing likeable and unlikeable characters both. These captivating characters keep you turning pages to see what happens next. You have the Gunslinger – Amos who is driven by a need for revenge and wanders into town looking for a man named Severn, only to get embroiled in saving the pretty widow from the brothel. Then there is Molly – the foul-mouthed, ill tempered widow who is forever saying things without a filter on, she kept me chuckling every time she opened her mouth. The antagonist is the Mayor an evil, oily character who pops up when you least expect him and is something akin to the Devil. These are just three of the several engrossing and interesting people in the book. A must read - If you enjoy writers like King and Koontz, then you will enjoy Monk. He writes very much like the young Steven King, gripping the reader in an intense drama and just when you think you have it all figured out, he throws that unexpected twist in. There is more to Amos than just vengeance for a lost wife – but you must read the book to find out what that is. All I can say is well played Andy, well played. You will be left wanting to read the next one. Which I most certainly will. I have become a fan.
Fran Stiles - Goodreads *****
Intriguing story about a mysterious little town. The point of view switches between the different characters in the town such as the gunslinger, the widow, the songbird. We slowly learn about the characters and their backgrounds and they help us to get the big picture. This is the kind of story that, even though you're not quite sure what's happening, you can't help but want to read on. Plenty of little twists that assure you that even though you think you have things figured out, you have no idea. Excellent read. Reminded me of a Stephen King novel. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book.
Wonderful book full of interesting characters that jumped off the page. I could not put it down. It kept me guessing. A very unique approach to developing the characters. I've ordered the next book and can't wait to get it and see if I have figured out the plot. One of the best reads I have experienced in a long time.
Christene Bernhardt - Amazon *****
This series. Wow. This was just an engrossing story that pulled me right in. There is an interesting bunch of characters and I was caught up in each person's story. They are all part of something larger and sinister with the Mayor behind it. I spent the book caught up in the little stories while at the same time trying to figure out the big picture. Very mysterious. I thoroughly enjoyed and I know that Stephen King fans will enjoy this series. Just be sure to start with The Burden of Souls. I will be impatiently awaiting book 3.
I wasn't sure if this series was something I would like and reading the first one, was still unsure. By the time I was into the second one I was hooked. I truly fell in love with the main character. I would recommend these books to everyone, even those of you that don't read this genre. Excellent. I rarely cry when reading a book, but I was a blubbering idiot at the end. I want more!!!!!
Lisa - Amazon *****