DiscoverUrban Fantasy

Dire Symbols

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Loved it! 😍

Dire Symbols by W.A. Rowland offers a compelling alternate universe filled with monsters and a healthy dose of mythological introduction.

Synopsis

Liam Douglass is an office drone. Working paycheck to paycheck, until one day, he finds a strange gem hidden in the desk of his deceased boss. When he picks up the stone, he is pulled into the astral plane, where he's told that he is now a demigod. He gains a ghostly companion named Lily who is supposed to guide him and help him develop his abilities, but there's a catch. Nobody knows how Lily is supposed to do that.

He soon finds that he is being hunted by supernatural forces, including cultists, and a bloodthirsty, immortal werewolf name Julian.
He manages to evade their grasp thanks to a demigoddess named Bast and her enclave of powerful beings. He learns that he has some unique talents during his rescue. It's also discovered that the cultists are trying to harness the power of an interplanar anchor, and Bast's enclave must stop them.
Liam is forced into a showdown with the cultists but it's interrupted by Julian, who kills the cult leader and takes the power for himself, vowing to kill all demis.
Liam is forced to figure out how to unlock his own power through the anchor or face destruction.

So, what is it about someone else being in your head guiding or leading you to your destiny…this is really COOL? Hopefully, it’s a good person or they were a good person before sharing your head space…if not, that could get dicey. Well, unless you were telepathic and could hear what everyone was thinking…including the other voice in your head. In Dire Symbols, Rowland shifts the reader to a more platonic demigod and guide relationship that takes place not only on earth, but also on an astral plane…think limbo. COOL right?! If you are into the paranormal with an underlying mythological background, you’ll be hooked by the first mention of demigods.


Liam comes into work every day as an office assistant instead of what he went through college for, but he always finds himself at odds with the other office assistant who is clearly doing anything to escalate her career in this male-dominated law firm. After the mysterious death of Liam’s boss, another law partner begins issuing lay-offs and of course—Liam makes the cut. Not knowing where to go next and now out of a job, his packing is interrupted by a pull coming from his deceased boss’s office. Under cover of looking for his borrowed phone charger, Liam tries to wrap his mind around a large-sized rock of some sort that is wedged in a locked drawer in his boss’s desk. Only when he manages to pick the lock and hold this stone does he realize the ramifications of his actions. After a blast into the astral plane to speak to the guardian and another god, the stone seems to have sunk into his skin and also issued a permanent resident guide, named Lily. As if that wasn’t enough to make you, crazy...at least he now has some pretty interesting powers? All too soon does Liam finds out that there are others, dangerous monsters and demigods alike, who are also after the core stone that is now embedded into his hand…and will kill to obtain it back. What has he gotten himself into…and what must he do now?


Rowland’s story is entertaining and very fast-paced. The characters are fun and creative; however, they could have undergone better development to offer the reader with a sense of familiarity. As is, the characters may not be very relatable to readers because there isn’t much of a background for them to understand some of the heavy hitters in this story. The originality and creativity are on par and the book cover is absolutely sensational. The author will most likely not have a problem luring readers in with this artwork. There are a few spelling and grammatical errors, but this should not hinder enjoyment of the novel. With this being the first installment of the Core Stone Series and Rowland’s debut novel, he is well on his way to having a successful writing career and captivating series under his belt. If you are a reader of paranormal fantasy, and mythology genres, you may be interested in finding out how Liam and Lily fair against werewolves, succubus, or bigger and meaner demigods on his quest to save himself and his friends.


An electronic copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by Reedsy Discovery and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating to Dire Symbols by W.A. Rowland.

Reviewed by

Turning Another Page is a small web-based business, owned and operated out of San Antonio, Texas. Originally created as an official book blog in November 2014, Turning Another Page has successfully grown to encompass services that can be offered to authors worldwide.

Synopsis

Liam Douglass is an office drone. Working paycheck to paycheck, until one day, he finds a strange gem hidden in the desk of his deceased boss. When he picks up the stone, he is pulled into the astral plane, where he's told that he is now a demigod. He gains a ghostly companion named Lily who is supposed to guide him and help him develop his abilities, but there's a catch. Nobody knows how Lily is supposed to do that.

He soon finds that he is being hunted by supernatural forces, including cultists, and a bloodthirsty, immortal werewolf name Julian.
He manages to evade their grasp thanks to a demigoddess named Bast and her enclave of powerful beings. He learns that he has some unique talents during his rescue. It's also discovered that the cultists are trying to harness the power of an interplanar anchor, and Bast's enclave must stop them.
Liam is forced into a showdown with the cultists but it's interrupted by Julian, who kills the cult leader and takes the power for himself, vowing to kill all demis.
Liam is forced to figure out how to unlock his own power through the anchor or face destruction.

A MOON WITH A VIEW

Night had settled over the frozen forest, shadows of the trees creeping slowly across the underbrush. The full moon was lazily making its way through the winter sky of the western continent and silence reigned over the scene, powerful and deep. It was the kind of silence that weighed on the souls of mortals; the kind of silence that whispered to them of terrible things to come. But beneath the surface, the moon saw the silence broken. The world was about to end!

The world below exploded in a blast of power and energy as thirteen beings twisted the laws of the physical world to their will. Battle was met as the will of one collided with the power of the many. In a few short moments, several of the beings were snuffed from existence; their souls pulled into the void at the center of the chamber in which they fought. The place in which they fought was one of power, a connecting point for the worlds; somewhere dangerous to tread, even for the moon high above. It felt the world shudder as they drew on powers not meant for mortals to access. Powers long since locked away by the most ancient of their kind. Powers with the potential to rip the world asunder and then piece it back together, bit by bit. The beings in the chamber didn’t even know yet the depth of the well from which they were drawing their strength. They didn’t know that with each second spent inside that place, they grew more and more drunk with their own ability. Soon, they would be totally lost, just like the one they fought.

The moon watched with interest as the seven of the remaining beings fought with the eighth, the pure energy that this one controlled an order of magnitude above the might of any one of its foes. But even with all of its stolen power, that individual was overcome by the combined onslaught of its enemies. And as it fell, it too dissolved away into the void.

The moon was impressed; this was the best entertainment it had seen in many ages. Would there be more? It watched as the seven remaining beings exited the chamber reluctantly. If these had been normal mortals, the moon would have looked at their auras and seen the struggle they faced within. The blue of worry, the green of anger, or the bright red of lust as the immense power of the anchor called to them. Come. Drink. Rule. But the beings below were not the normal mortals that so heavily populated the world; they were the special ones. The silver ones.

Demigods, the mortals called them. But the moon knew the sordid tales of their creation. It knew the purpose they were given, and it knew the failure that often came when a single human soul was given power over others. So, would these seven give in like the others had? The moon watched with anticipation, and as it looked on, six more auras blinked out of existence, their souls departing the physical plane, till only one remained. There it was, another failure, another soul given over to the lust for power. Then something curious happened. The door sealed shut. The final demigod simply walked away.

The moon pondered what it had just witnessed as the gas lamps of the nearby town lit, and the mortals scurried from building to building, oblivious to just how close their world had come to ending. Of how close it always was to disaster.

About the author

I am a new author based out of Fairbanks, Alaska writing Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction. I recently got out of the military and decided that it was time to start telling my own stories, instead of just reading the ones that others write. So I write the kind of stories that I'd like to read view profile

Published on October 31, 2019

Published by

90000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Reviewed by

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