Book Reviews

Distant Rumblings (Lords of Arcadia 1) by John Goode at Harmony Ink Press

Genre Gay / Science Fiction / Urban Fantasy / Aliens / Other Planets / High Fantasy / Magic / Shifters / Young Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Jamie Deacon on 10-March-2013

Book Blurb

Kane Vess may be gay, but he is also extraordinarily ordinary—a crushing weight in Athens, Iowa, where a person’s worth is measured by his uniqueness. But when he meets the school’s newest student, Kane’s ordinariness seems to evaporate. He is desperate to get to know the mysterious stranger… and that leads him into danger.

Hawk is an exile from his homeland, an otherworldly traveler with impossible abilities and a changeling bodyguard. He’s generally disappointed in Earth, which seems common except for Kane. But while Hawk and Kane explore their mutual interest, the forces that made Hawk an exile are busy tracking him down. Kane’s newfound feelings pull him into Hawk’s shadowy fantasy world, where he learns he needs to grow up fast. Kane’s life may now be extraordinary, but if he isn’t careful it could cost him everyone he holds dear—including Hawk.



Young Adult Age Range: 14 to 18 years old

Book Review

Having enjoyed Goode’s Foster High novels, which are firmly grounded in reality, I was intrigued as to how he would tackle something more fantastical. Much as I suspected, he pulls it off brilliantly. This first installment in the Lords of Arcadia series has two boys from utterly different worlds exploring an unlikely but powerful attraction, while danger closes in on them from all sides. Magic, intense emotion, and fast-pace action have been brought together to create a book I found to be both original and compulsive reading.

Kane Vess might be gay, but in Athens, Iowa, where popularity is dictated by a person’s outlandishness, he is thought dull. One day at school, however, his ordinary existence is shattered when he almost collides with the new boy in the corridor. Captivated by the stranger’s extraordinary beauty, Kane is anxious to learn more of him. The revelation that Hawk is an exile from another realm turns out to be just the beginning. Kane hasn’t spent long in his company before he makes two discoveries. For one thing, they share an immediate affinity that defies understanding. For another, hanging around with Hawk could cost Kane his life.

Fleeing those who would either use or kill him for his royal status, Hawk seeks refuge on Earth with his changeling bodyguard. He has a low opinion of his new home, considering it both mundane and incomprehensible…that is, until he meets Kane. It doesn’t matter that Kane is a human with no special powers, or that he is a commoner far beneath his own station. Hawk is instantly drawn to him in a way he can’t ignore. But as they take the first tentative steps toward building a relationship, the forces that drove Hawk from his homeland are catching up with him, and even Hawk’s enhanced abilities might not be enough to save them.

I have to say, what really brought this book to life for me was the humor. The miscommunication between the heroes as they struggle to decipher one another’s languages, often with hilarious results, had me laughing out loud throughout. Yet, despite the vast differences in their culture and upbringing, the spark that leaps between the two boys from the outset is undeniable, and it was a pleasure to watch it grow. Moreover, this novel ends on a cliffhanger that will surely leave any reader desperate to know what happens next.

If you’re looking for a young adult fantasy that combines action with plenty of humor and romance, I can highly recommend this book.




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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 200 pages/59425 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-March-2012
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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