Book Reviews

The Cat in the Cradle (Loka Legends 1) by Jay Bell at Jay Bell Books

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 07-December-2010

Book Blurb

Dylan wanted one last adventure before the burden of adulthood was thrust upon him. And to confront the man he hadn't spoken to since their intimate night together. Stealing a boat with his faithful companion Kio, their journey is cut short when they witness a brutal murder. A killer is loose in the Five Lands and attacking the most powerful families. Dylan--a potential target--seeks sanctuary from an unpredictable bodyguard named Tyjinn. Together they decide to turn the tables by hunting the killer down. Along the way, everything Dylan thought he knew about himself will be challenged, but if he survives, he stands to win the love he never dreamed possible.

The Cat in the Cradle is the first book in the Loka Legends series and features twenty-five original illustrations created by Andreas Bell, the author's husband.

Book Review

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my! a Chimera, a werewolf, and a Pegasus too. These were but a few a few of the creatures encountered by Dylan, the main character of 'The Cat in the Cradle' by Jay Bell on his fantastical quest to restore order to his world.

Jay Bell did a good job of presenting Dylan's progress from a spoiled older boy to that of a competent young man. With each achievement Dylan grew in stature, gradually became more responsible and decisive. An important development in Dylan's quest for autonomy was his decision to come out to the world and proclaim his love for Tyginn which laid the ground work for him to operate in complete honesty.

The plot was consistent, but at times it was difficult to maintain an even reading pace. Some sections were naturally slower because of all the important background information explaining the fantasy world; without it, the story would have made little sense. Like Dylan's journey toward manhood, the beginning of the story was a little stiff; but when things became exciting, it loosened up and began to fly by with me practically running to keep up with the action.

The imaginings in the story were inventive and unique—the five lands themselves, the animals, the gods, the religious beliefs were all very creative and consistent. Jay Bell pleasantly surprised me with some of his twists and turns in the tale. One concept I especially appreciated was Jay Bell's excellent use of colors to convey mood, emotion, temperament, and pace. It was quite effective, particularly in distinguishing between the 10 oligarchs. Using a specific color to denote each of their realms was brilliant. Considering the detailed information involved, I would never have been able to keep it straight without these associations.

The concept of a large, talking cat, particularly one with Kio's wit, delighted me. His perspective added to the story in a humorous and important way. He could say and do what humans dared not.

'The Cat in the Cradle' was an enjoyable fantasy adventure with unique characters whose personality quirks added both levity and intensity. Along with all of the magic, intrigue, suspense, and romance was an important moral lesson; as William Shakespeare wrote, 'Above all: To thine own self be true'. This is an excellent message not only for the YA readers for whom this story was written, but for us all.


DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 316 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-March-2010
Price $4.04 Kindle, $13.47 papaerback
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