Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review: What Once was One by Marc Johnson

What Once Was OneThank you to Marc Johnson for providing me with a copy of his novel for my fair and honest review.

What Once was One (The Passage of Hellsfire #2) by Marc Johnson
Dani's rating: 5 stars

Format: e-book (PDF)
Pages: 230
Publication Date: September 24, 2012
Publisher: Longshot Publishing

Goodreads synopsis:
In the land of Northern Shala, the dark wizard Premier raised an army of foul creatures from the Wastelands and led them against the ancient guardian city of Alexandria. Hellsfire, a young farmhand turned apprentice wizard, defeated Premier and saved Alexandria, but not before the battle claimed his mentor’s life.

Hellsfire, now a full-fledged wizard, must finish what he started by hunting down Premier and seizing the source of the wizard’s dark power and corruption—the Book of Shazul. He must travel deep into the Wastelands, through Premier’s home territory, dodging the scattered remnants of a defeated army lusting for blood and vengeance.

But beating in the heart of the Wastelands is an ancient power more dangerous than Premier or his creatures—and it’s been waiting for Hellsfire for a thousand years. It will force the young wizard to make a devastating choice—one that could change the course of history not only for Alexandria and the Wastelands, but for all of Northern Shala and the lands beyond. And to save his homeland, Hellsfire may have to lose the person he loves the most.

What once was one, will then be two, and never again be whole...

Spoilers if you have not read the first book, Catalyst!
Dani's review:
This is going to be a short review because I don't have much to say that won't spoil this novel.

Catalyst ended with Hellsfire defeating and significantly weakening Premier, the evil dark wizard who planned to conquer the city of Alexandria. Now in What Once was One, Hellsfire and friends must go into the Wastelands, home of goblins and ogres and all sorts of unpleasant creatures, to capture Premier and take the notorious "Book of Shazul". As the last paragraph in the synopsis above says, Hellsfire has to make a HUGE world-changing possibly endangering his home and friends choice. Yeah, he has a giant load of responsibilities resting on his barely-out-of-the-teenage years shoulders.

If you carefully read Catalyst and remember some important details, you might figure out what choice Hellsfire has to make and why this novel is called "What Once was One". Just something for you to think about. ;)

This novel was full of action and there was never a dull moment in Hellsfire's life. I think he has really matured in this book since the first book. He doesn't whine anymore and is not the reckless boy boy he was. He constantly worries about Princess Krystal and wonders how in the world he is going to get his list of "Things to do" done. Figure out a way to enter the Wastelands without getting eaten alive? Check. Capture Premier? Uh, still working on that.

What Once was One did not disappoint me, and if you've read Catalyst, I'm sure it won't disappoint you either! It exceeded my expectations in the overall plot and how the story was written. The same banter between characters is in this sequel although with a more morbid tone. Cynder, Stradus's guardian dragon, sadly isn't in this sequel as much. I missed his hilarious conversations with Hellsfire where he constantly reminded the young wizard of the "superiority of dragons over puny humans".

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those series that gets better with each novel. I highly recommend this novel! :)


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