Binding of Bindings · Book Promo · Books · JKS Communications · Reviews

Binding of Bindings #15: 10 Male Authors You Need To Know About

Binding of Bindings #15 isn’t just for the gallant, creative and amazing male authors out there!
Apparently, it’s also for a TON of Science Fiction stories that will make your head SPIN!
The ladies had their turn, now it’s time for the MEN!!

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~ 10 Male Authors You NEED To Know About~

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1. Michael Duda (M. Duda)

 

Michael Duda.

The author with the ability to reach into your mind, flip your thoughts sideways and upways, and then leave you lying there questioning your entire existence.

He’s an author of a collection of Shadow Books: A Cat Will Play, Bedtime for Seneca and Deny the Father. Each book contains three to five short stories, and each one will hurt your heart, your morals, or both. Some are creepy an show the negative side of human nature, and some show the beauty in life.

He has become one of my favorite authors because he can take such a simple interaction between characters, and turn it into one dripping with a thousand different meanings.

His latest release was Stars in the Winter Sky (see my review here) and it was, as usual, a delicate and wistful story. It follows two women as they travel into the woods to find the Winter Revelers, a supposed group of people who mysteriously perished.

If short stories aren’t your thing, it doesn’t matter. Read these books.

 

2. Evan Ronan

 

Evan Ronan has a special place in my book heart.

He is the VERY FIRST author to send me a book for review, and it was the first in his series, The Unearthed. The series follows Eddie McCloskey and his team of local ghost hunters as they travel around the country investigating claims of paranormal activity. The series can get quite dark, scary and gritty – so definitely for an older audience.

The series has 7 books in total, and they are so addicting. So I suggest just buying them all at once 😉

Otherworld is Ronan’s first attempt at a YA Fantasy story…and he killed it! It is a hugely imaginative and creative story filled with giant Venus flytraps and talking trash bins. It is guaranteed to make every reader feel like a kid again.

 

3. Arnulfo Cantarero

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Emotions is a Sci-fi/Fantasy about an extraterrestrial being who is born to human parents to live a life as a human, in order to better understand human emotions. The reader follows Jason Ariaz as he grows and navigates a world he has trouble understanding. With the assistance of his implanted thinking computer, Jason is able to better understand the feelings of humans and hopefully feel them himself one day.

This is the first book in a series, and hopefully the next one will be releasing soon. It is a really interesting and unique idea for a story, and one that immediately grabbed my attention.

This author just knows how to think outside of the box!

 

4. Cory Barclay

 

Another HUGELY talented author is Cory Barclay.

He has historical fiction DOWN, but where he really shines is his plot development and his amazingly dynamic characters.

His Of Witches and Werewolves series is a little Fantasy, a little Mystery/Horror and you guessed it, a Historical Fiction. It’s set in 1588 in Germany, and is based loosely on actual events that went on for about 20 years of the “Werewolf of Bedburg“. It jumps between various characters who are affected by the gruesome murders taking place in the countryside, and the series goes on to weave a haunting and disturbing tale of treachery.

This series started my Historical Fiction obsession, and it will always be one of my favorites due to his multitude of themes.

(See my review for book 1 here)

 

5. Doug Goodman

 

For all you adventure seekers who love a science fiction twist, Doug Goodman has you covered!

Goodman’s Zombie Dog series follows main character Angie Graves, who trains dogs to work with law enforcement to sniff out anything from guns to bodies. But when Angie and her dog come across a cadaver with a giant wasp attached to it’s skull, she changes up her line of work as a zombie tracker. After finding a half-dead and brutally beaten dog on the side of the road, Angie brings him back to health and begins training him to track the zombies that are taking over Colorado.

I am currently reading the last book in the series, and I am reading as slow as I can so this adventurous tale doesn’t end.

Goodman uses his real-life experience as a former search and rescue worker and love for the outdoors for his inspiration into this series, and you can REALLY tell that he knows what he’s talking about. His writing is superb, detailed and the reader will get lost in his story.

 

6. Jonathan Ballagh

 

Another Sci-fi series for your inner child to drool over.

The Quantum Door and The Quantum Ghost or books 1 and 2 in The Quantum Worlds series, but can definitely be read separately if desired.

The Quantum Door follows young brothers Brady and Felix as they stumble upon a door to another world where A.I.’s have taken over, and are slowly crumbling the world into nothing short of danger. The Quantum Ghost goes back to the same world where A.I.’s and “Elder Minds” rule, but follows a young girl named Remi Cobb.

Jonathan Ballagh is an expert at Science Fiction writing. He can easily transport the reader into another dimension that feels both exciting and frightening, while keeping the reader completely enthralled throughout.

This author is the reason for my love of Science Fiction now, and if you just read his books, you will know why.

 

7. Peter Brunton

The Stolen Child

I reviewed The Stolen Child back in 2015, and was BLOWN AWAY by Peter Brunton and his writing.

This book, is beyond AMAZING.

As I said in my review: “This book has literally robbed me of my acceptance of living in this ordinary world we call reality, and thinking that it was enough for me to escape into made up stories once and awhile. “

It’s THAT good.

The Stolen Child is a YA Fantasy set partly in London, and partly in a place called the Borderlands where flying ships and a floating Utopian society resides. It flips between two young female characters who live in different parts of the world, but are pulled together by strange events that happened before their births.

It is a WILD, magical and action-packed ride and I am f*****g shocked that it doesn’t have more review on Goodreads. This author is a born story-teller. His writing is flawless, his story building is vivid and creative, and I just can’t get enough of this book!

 

8. Mark C. King

 

I have had the IMMENSE pleasure of working with Mark C. King in all four of these books as an Alpha reader through his editing process, and was even written into Whispers of Bedlam Asylum.

I was made into a woman in an insane asylum.

Fitting? You know it.

The first three books are in the Sigmund Shaw series, which is a Sci-Fi Steampunk adventure collection. It follows Sigmund Shaw who has a penchant for breaking the law, but naturally only for good! The series is filled with gadgets, motorized carriages, and some rather sinister happenings.

The Book Reapers is set in England in 1891, where Naomi Gladwyn is sent to live in a work house after the mysterious death of her parents. It is a curious and riveting tale of a group known as the Book Reapers, who are a secret society who work to protect the world from the emotions that books can bring out in a person.

Mark is an amazing writer and one who has grown and improved so much over the years. I definitely recommend giving his books a try!

 

9. Robert Pence

 

Robert Pence is a fantastic writer of young Middle Grade books filled with mystery and SO much imagination!

One Deed Dude follows Otis who is cursed to only do one good deed a day after accidentally killing a gypsy boy-scout. Enraged by the accident, the mother of the gypsy boy-scout curses Otis to only be able to perform one good deed a day or else suffer terrible living nightmares.

Thump Squash is the tale of a creature who kidnaps children and chops off their feet. After the disappearance of eleven-year-old Billy, his friends go on the hunt to find Thump Squash and get billy back.

Both stories are delightfully spooky and unique for their strange plots, but ones that are WAY too good to pass up. Robert Pence is a witty writer who gives his young characters thoughtful and incredible voices.

 

10. Gary McPherson

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I was just introduced to Gary McPherson by JKS Communications when they sent me this book for review, and I was pleasantly surprised with his writing and story.

So much, that he has been given the honor of making it on this weeks book list! 😉

Joshua and the Shadow of Death is the first in the fictional Berserker series. It is the story of a childhood development psychologist that diagnosed two young boys with Berserker syndrome, a condition that causes the person to fly into a blind rage, and how he guides one of the boys through adulthood. After the father of one of the boys is found dead, the obvious suspect is his son who has been known to become quite angry and violent.

The reader is taken on a “who-done-it” ride, while also getting some interesting insight into the psychology of children.

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As usual, stay witchy!

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Reviews

Book Review: The Myth Seeker by Cory Barclay

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Goodreads.com – The Myth Seeker by Cory Barclay

Amazon.com – The Myth Seeker by Cory Barclay

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC copy of this book by the author, Cory Barclay, for an honest review

Genre: Fiction/Urban Fantasy

Plot: A banshee who just wants to sing.
A leprechaun with a gambling problem.
A sex-addicted succubus in recovery.
Vampires who want a sunny day at the beach.
And then there’s Steve, the regular Joe who inadvertently brought these flawed mythical beings to our world. But he has no idea how he did it, which is a problem, because it’s his job to bring them home.
All this responsibility is putting a serious damper on Steve’s directionless lifestyle. Then he finds out a dark force is trying to kill him and his friends. And he might be falling in love with one of his charges…
Steve realizes he must get his act together, before it’s too late…

Opinion: If you have been keeping up with my reviews lately, you will know that I am a big fan of Cory Barclay’s Of Witches and Werewolves series. It had grabbed my attention with its imaginative story that is based loosely on true events, the wonderful character and story building, and Cory’s ability to write in a way that transports the reader back in time.

So naturally, when Cory asked me to read and review his newest story The Myth Seeker, I jumped at the chance. I love witnessing an author I enjoy trying something new and stepping out of their writing “norm”, and this new urban fantasy sounded really promising. Unfortunately, this just really didn’t hit the mark for me and I am left feeling a little disappointed and confused.

Steve Remington is trying desperately to make it in the music world and to hold on to his sobriety, just one day at a time. While at his father’s funeral Steve comes across a young girl named Annabel playing a guitar against a headstone, and offers his services to help her make a record. But little do Annabel and Steve know that their worlds have changed forever. Soon strange things begin to happen every time Annabel sings, and even stranger characters begin to pop up in Steve’s life. Leprechauns, angels, vampires, druids are suddenly everywhere, and Steve seems to be at the epicenter of the chaos.

As I had said above, I was really looking forward to reading this story. I love ANYTHING Fantasy, especially when it involves such an array of mythical creatures and magic. I am very fond of Cory Barclay’s writing style in the Of Witches and Werewolves series, as well as his ability to connect the characters and the reader so easily. I have found that this author writes lengthy stories that build a fantastic plot and world, but doesn’t overdo it with giving the reader too much information and “fluff”. His characters are always quirky and somewhat flawed, but feel very real and important to the reader. Not only do I always stay completely glued to his stories, but I often find myself not expecting the ending or what will happen next.

When it comes to The Myth Seeker however, I feel like it is lacking in a lot of those qualities that I enjoy from this author. Though the idea for this story is both thoughtful and intriguing, I personally feel like it missed the mark. This story is an urban fantasy set in present times in Southern California, and combines the world that we know with another mythical plane/realm/world. I felt that this movement from Cory writing historical fictions set in the 16th century to present, changed his writing style to something that felt more forced than natural. The writing felt too wordy at times and focused on one moment or scene for way too long, which in turn made it seem like a lot was being repeated. It felt a bit too wordy during many of the dialogues, and took away from the overall story and what was happening. It seems like a lot of useless “fluff” was put in to fill up space when it came to conversation between characters, or our main character observing or describing something. I would have preferred more story building rather than reading about a lot of things that felt unnecessary, in my opinion.

I also had a hard time connecting with any of the characters. By the end of the story I found Steve to be pretentious, arrogant, overly crude and honestly…he just kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I was a little turned off by the overuse of crudeness and excessive cussing by him. DON’T GET ME WRONG. I cuss like a sailor, and I understand he’s a macho kind of character. But when it comes to writing, I think there should be a distinction between the character being cruder and the entire story adopting that style. I think that an author using more raunchy ways of writing takes away from their writing skills and the story, and it makes it look like that they don’t have the ability to write in a more sophisticated way. Which I KNOW to be untrue regarding Cory Barclay, because I have seen proof of his amazing writing.

The character of Annabel also threw me for a bit of a loop. She spoke in a very formal way that was meant to make her look worldly and to back the notion that her parents (who are vampires) are from a VERY long time ago. All fine and dandy. But for some reason, the way she “spoke” kept making me visualize a pre-teen rather than a young adult. Her character came off as very young and naïve, and even Dale and Steve would speak to her like she was a young child. So obviously when the romance between Steve and Annabel eventually arouse, I was more than a little taken aback and confused. Because of my disconnect for these characters, I didn’t find myself caring about what happened to them.

I think because of those issues that I had while reading, it took away from my appreciation from this story. I found myself predicting the ending and speed-reading through because of the little things that were throwing me off. I think Cory had the right idea for this story, but that it could have been shaped a little better. I am really upset that I wasn’t as enthralled with this story as I was with his other series, but I have confidence in Cory’s writing that he will produce countless enjoyable and interesting stories in the future.

2-5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · Reviews

Book Review: In the Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

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Amazon.com – In The Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

Goodreads.com – In The Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

Barnesandnoble.com – In The Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

Bookdepository.com – In The Company of Wolves (Of Witches and Werewolves, Book 2) by Cory Barclay

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this book by the author, Cory Barclay, for an honest review

Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Supernatural/Adult

Plot: It’s 1592. Europe is in chaos. Religious factions have torn the region apart and witch-hunts have become a part of everyday life.

In the Company of Wolves follows three groups of travelers – a fearless female pirate roaming the North Sea, a priest and his wife escaping to England to avoid persecution, and a young thief from the slums of Germany looking for a better life. Each has a different reason for venturing out in such tumultuous times – fear, greed, family secrets.

Is the Werewolf of Bedburg still alive, roaming the countryside and killing innocent citizens? Many believe he’s still out there—that religious and political leaders have forsaken the truth in their cunning quest for power.

As each traveler searches for individual answers, these three seemingly separate stories converge in a place which may hold the key for them all. Based on true events involving one of the deadliest witch trials in European history, this tale of adventure, mystery, and the search for truth reminds us that, ultimately, no one is safe . . . in the company of wolves.

Opinion:

It’s September kids, and you know what that means! Eerie moonlight, creatures waking from the dead, torture chambers and stealing. Witch hunts and religious persecution, prostitutes and pirates. Poison, potions and pillaging!

Tis the season to be demented and murderous!

Welcome to Europe in 1592, where you can be burned alive for false accusations and having your own beliefs! Say hello to book 2 in the Of Witches and Werewolves series, In the Company of Wolves. OoOoOoOo…*dramatic fanning*…it’s gunna be a whirlwind!

With Europe in a religious tug of war for control and regular accusations of witchcraft and sorcery, no one is safe. Sybil Griswold and her husband Dieter have fled to England with their family, in hopes of starting a new life after escaping jail and killing a man. Hot on their trail is Gustav Koehler, a man hellbent on avenging the brother that Dieter killed and bringing Sybil and her family to trial. Back in Germany is Hugo, the younger brother of Sybil, who was left an orphan after the wrongful conviction of their father Peter Griswold, who was accused of being the Werewolf of Bedburg. Now living as a petty thief, Hugo’s life begins down a dark path as he is thrust into the throngs of murder and manipulation. Across the sea, we come to a ship called The Lion’s Pride. Rowaine Donnelly has just assumed the role of captain after castrating her predecessor, all the while searching for her father that is thought to be dead. Though living separate lives, these people are more intertwined in their own pasts and futures than they realize. Through turmoil and murder they are forced to trek in order to meet their goals, while learning more about themselves than they knew, along the way.

Due to this being the second book in the series, and the reader needing to read book one to know what’s happening, please see my review HERE to see how this series begins.

When I read The Devil in the Countryside I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive. Usually religious driven historical fictions are NOT my cup of tea, but as I started reading…I got HOOKED. Cory Barclay has such a talent from writing descriptive and “old-timey” stories that have a little fact twisted into every bit of fantasy he throws at the reader. With no surprise on my end, he did a fabulous job extending this addicting story with In the Company of Wolves. This series truly has what every dark mystery needs. It’s a who-done-it with carnage, accusations of sorcery, pirates, thieves, religious turmoil, shocking twists and a touch of romance. A ton of blood will be spilled during this read, but never fear, it isn’t THAT graphic.

Sybil and Dieter have started a new life in England, with the hopes of practicing Dieter’s newly shaped faith by means of a new church. They have made new friends and work towards living a simple life in peace, but that of course isn’t going to happen to these poor characters. Enter: Gustav Khoeler. Gustav has been tracking the couple for some time, unbeknownst to them, seeking revenge for the death of his brother Johannes. Gustav is a vile and disturbing character, and it seems that the crudest and most despicable acts happen in his company. Gustav is the true picture of a man that would do ANYTHING to get what he wants. By capturing the couple, Gustav plans to bring them to his father Ludwig Von Bergheim in Trier, where they will be put to trial and burned alive for their crimes. So ensues a chase, a capturing, another chase, and another capturing. Eventually running the group into a fearsome female pirate, by the name of Rowaine Donnelly.

Rowaine is a  truly fierce, empowered, and BADASS female. Not only does she castrate her own captain in order to take his place (yes, you read that correctly) but she has little to no fear and a whole lot of charm. Rowaine’s mission is to find her adoptive father, a man that is thought to be dead. Along the way she finds herself protecting Sybil and Dieter, who share various connections from their pasts. In agreement to help each other, Rowaine, Sybil and Dieter head back to Bedburg to find Rowaine’s long lost father. But being back in Bedburg is a risky place to be for Sybil and Dieter, considering they are still fugitives on the run. But what is interesting about the return to Bedburg, is that many characters from book one now believe that Sybil’s father WAS actually wrongfully labeled the Werewolf of Bedburg. Which of course continues the search for the real werewolf. Hmmmm….who done it, indeed.

While all this is happening, the reader also follows Hugo, Sybil’s younger brother that stayed behind in Bedburg. Hugo is by far my FAVORITE character this time around. He is young and fresh, but has a strong sense of morals and loyalty. But a few turn of events land Hugo in a place that he didn’t expect from himself, the apprentice to the torturer of Bedburg, the famous Ulrich. If there was a book based on Hugo’s travels alone, I would be on it before you could even give a release date. This kid has guts and spunk, and he will SHOCK you with what he does. He eventually ends up in the pit of this never-ending religious power struggle, and the role he takes on is an interesting one.

I feel like I am leaving you guys completely hanging here because there is SO much that happens in this story. There are some epic gun fights and show downs, especially near the end. There are new characters who make this story amazing, and some old ones who make it even better. Now this book focuses more on the select characters rather than the Werewolf of Bedburg, like in book one. But I imagine that book three will tie everything back together, giving the reader a nice assortment of both stories. I truly cannot express the level of writing and detail this author has given this series. Though it may feel like a long read, you will get hooked and won’t want to put the story down. This second installment has left me NEEDING to get my hands on book three, because I have to know what the author is going to me up with next!

5-stars

 

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Book Promo · Book Reviews · Books · New Releases · Pre-order · Reviews

Book Review: Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay

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Devil in the Countryside is available for Pre-order, and will be available on February 15, 2017. Please see the links below:

Amazon.com – Devil in the Countryside (Of Witches and Werewolves) by Cory Barcaly

Goodreads.com – Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay

Barnesandnoble.com – Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay

Bookdepository.com – Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay

Disclaimer: I was sent an ARC copy of this book by the author, Cory Barclay, for an honest review

Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Supernatural

Plot: Devil in the Countryside is a story about the most famous werewolf investigation in history, brimming with intrigue and war, love and betrayal, and long-kept vendettas.

It’s 1588, the height of the Reformation, and a killer is terrorizing the German countryside. There are reports that the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg has returned to a once-peaceful land. Heinrich Franz, a cold and calculating investigator, is tasked with finding whomever — or whatever — the killer might be. He’ll need all the help he can get, including that of a strange hunter who’s recently stumbled into town. Though they’re after the same thing, their reasons are worlds apart. And through it all, a priest tries to keep the peace among his frightened townsfolk, while a young woman threatens his most basic beliefs.

In a time when life is cheap and secrets run rampant, these four divergent souls find themselves entwined in a treacherous mystery, navigating the volatile political and religious landscape of 16th century Germany, fighting to keep their sanity — and their lives.

Opinion: Once again, I am PLEASANTLY surprised with a book that is completely out of the genre that I usually read. This story was AMAZING! I found myself having immense trouble putting it down and doing adult things such as going to work, or sleeping. The writing is perfection. It gives the reader the necessary balance of description and detail, while also eloquently weaving a tale of fantasy and realism.

Based loosely on actual events that took place in Germany over a 20 year span, Devil in the Countryside transports the reader to 1588 as murders in Bedburg start to rise. Fear spreads quickly through the town as gruesome and mangled bodies are found in the countryside, and threats against protestant reform begin to plague the Christian ruled town. As Investigator Heinrich Franz looks into the murders, he enlists the help of a hunter by the name of Georg Stieghart who has a past of being quite vicious. This story also follows Father Nicholas Dieter of the church in Bedburg, and young Sybil Griswold who is the daughter of a wealthy farmer. While the investigator tries to hunt down the Werewolf of Bedburg, the church tries to fight off Protestants from overtaking the town and the minds of their people.

Though I gave you guys a little description up there, I’m going to explain a little bit more about these characters/events so that you really get the idea. Probably the COOLEST thing about this book is the fact that it is based on true events. In 1589 a trial was held for a man that was presumed to be the famous Werewolf of Bedburg, who was accused of murder and cannibalism. Shocked? Me too. The fact that these people actually thought that a man was turning into a werewolf and slashing bodies to pieces is just…beyond me. The again, this was also a time when everyone thought witches were casting spells and dealing in dark magic…and here I thought my generation was cuckoo.

Heinrich Franz is the investigator that is put in charge of finding out who/what the Werewolf of Bedburg is, and he seems to go to any lengths to make someone responsible. I really can’t pinpoint my feelings for this character. He is an evil and emotionally unattached man, but I quite like his ruthlessness and cunning behavior. He is the type of person that will do ANYTHING to close a case, especially if that means framing someone in the process. Georg Stieghart is truly my favorite character in this story. He comes off as a drunken idiot most of the time, but he proves to be a very strong-willed and intelligent person. As Georg seeks revenge for the death of his family, who he assumes is the Werewolf, he assists the investigator and helps him hunt the killer down. The relationship between these two characters is fairly comical. They both act friendly towards one another and share news that they have, but they also don’t trust each other and have their own agendas. I enjoyed how the story turned out for Georg and how his character makes a complete 180. He loses some of his savagery and turns into a truly upstanding person.

Sybil Griswold is the daughter of wealthy farmer Peter Griswold. Sybil goes through a lot of dark events in this story, and I commend her character for taking everything in stride. Not only does a dear friend of hers come up dead, but her father begins to force her into a marriage with a nobleman’s son who proves to be vile and pretentious. Sybil finds solace in her time spent with Father Nicholas Dieter, who is a priest at the church in Bedburg. Father Dieter seems to be the most developed character, and for me, the most interesting. He starts out being a very faithful and dutiful servant to the religion that he preaches for, but soon starts to open his eyes to what is going on in the world around him. The relationship between these two characters brings the romance factor into this story, and gives the reader a little light in this otherwise dark and gritty tale.

This story overall was fantastic! The events that took place were gruesome and unnerving, and I kept picturing a less theatrical Tim Burton setting of gray buildings and woeful expressions. Though I am not a big fan of reading a story with religion being such a central theme, it was obviously necessary to this story but it didn’t overtake the actual plot and events that the author was focusing on. I highly recommend this story to any reader that likes thriller/mystery, or to anyone who wants to dabble in a different type of story. I am REALLY looking forward to see what happens in book 2, hopefully it will come out soon!

5-stars

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