A Caryn Review: Shadows On The Border (Lost In Time #2) by A.L. Lester

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

It has been a year since I read the first book in this series, Lost in Time.  Long enough that I had forgotten about the cliffhanger ending that irritated me so much!  And although it is clear there will be at least one more book in the series, this one wrapped up the current story arc well – the next book will take off in a slightly different direction, and follow up on the adventures of some of the secondary characters.

Lew – who is from 2016 and got accidentally drawn back in time to 1919 while following his sister Mira – and Alec – the Detective Inspector who was inadvertently drawn into Lew’s world of magic and secrets while investigating a series of grisly London murders – are once again the main characters in this book.  The Creature who left a string of bodies behind turned out not to be fully destroyed as they had all hoped.  It was merely injured, and dormant, and its presence drew a Hunter from the Outlands to draw it back across the Border.

Fenn was the Hunter – a being of considerable power who was clearly more expert dealing with the energy of the Border than anyone in the human world.  To some he appeared male, and to others she appeared female, and they were evasive about their gender – this was just one of many ways they were completely alien to the early 20th century Londonites they came across. Fenn spoke English, reading the minds of those humans he interacted with, and when they were found by Alec’s group of police and discovered that they were also trying to apprehend the Creature (Carnas, to Fenn), Fenn decided to work with them.  The humans were somewhat reluctant to join forces, but could only acknowledge Fenn’s greater power and expertise.  There were secrets on both sides, and it became increasingly clear that those secrets could bring down the entire operation.

This book is once again primarily a fantasy/adventure, and there is even less romance than there was in the first book.  Lew and Alec are an established couple, and I really enjoyed how the focus became more about how they thought about their relationship.  How could it work between them when Lew could only tell Alec minimal amounts about his life before he went back in time?  How could Alec trust Lew, for the same reasons?  How was the fact that Lew was a Worker, and responsible for maintaining the Border, allow him to fully open himself up to Alec?  I also enjoyed the interactions between Fenn – not quite human if you looked closely – and the rest of the group interesting, especially in regards to their gender, or lack thereof.

I still had some quibbles with the writing – this time it was primarily the names and pronouns.  Sometimes first names were used, sometimes last names, and though the distinction made some sense – for instance, they were Lew and Alec when they were by themselves or with close friends, but Tyler and Carter when interacting professionally, or with others.  It did not help that many of the names could be first or last names (Will Grant, for example).  I just found it to be unnecessarily confusing, and it literally took me until half way through the book before I consistently had them all straight!  I do not like working that hard to read for pleasure.

I am really looking forward to the next book, when the focus will move away from Alec and Lew.  I hope it won’t be another full year though…

Cover art by Written Ink Designs fits well with the previous book in the series.  It was easy to imagine the Creature hiding somewhere in this alley.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Kobo | Barnes&Noble

Book Details:

ebook
Published March 9th 2019 by JMS Books, LLC
ISBN13 9781634868716
Edition Language English

Review Tour for Shadows On The Border by A.L. Lester

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Release Date: March 9 2019
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Lost In Time Series
 

The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time)
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books

Book #1 – Lost In Time – Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Newspaper reporter Lew Tyler and his lover, Detective Alec Carter, are working out the parameters of their new relationship. Meanwhile, time traveler Lew is trying to decide whether he wants to stay in the 1920s or find a way to get back to 2016, and Alec doesn’t know if he can bear the vulnerability of being in love with someone who uses such dangerous magic.


Fenn is a Hunter from the Outlands, come through the Border to search for the murderous Creature and its offspring at the behest of the Ternants, who maintain the balance between Fenn’s world and ours. Fenn strikes a bond with Sergeant Will Grant, Alec’s second in command, who is keen to learn more about his own magical abilities. As time goes on, Will grows keen to learn more about Fenn, as well.


Fenn has their own painful secret, and when they appear to have betrayed the team and goes missing in London, Will is devastated. He has to choose between following his heart or following his duty.


Moving through the contrasting rich and poor areas of post-First World War London from West End hotels to the London docklands, the men need to work together to capture the Creature … and choose who – and what — is important enough to hold on to and what they may need to give up to make that happen.


Author Bio


A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.


She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft


Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

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Release Blitz — Shadows On The Border by A.L. Lester

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Release Date: March 9 2019
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Lost In Time Series
 

The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time)
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books


Book #1 – Lost In Time – Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Newspaper reporter Lew Tyler and his lover, Detective Alec Carter, are working out the parameters of their new relationship. Meanwhile, time traveler Lew is trying to decide whether he wants to stay in the 1920s or find a way to get back to 2016, and Alec doesn’t know if he can bear the vulnerability of being in love with someone who uses such dangerous magic.


Fenn is a Hunter from the Outlands, come through the Border to search for the murderous Creature and its offspring at the behest of the Ternants, who maintain the balance between Fenn’s world and ours. Fenn strikes a bond with Sergeant Will Grant, Alec’s second in command, who is keen to learn more about his own magical abilities. As time goes on, Will grows keen to learn more about Fenn, as well.


Fenn has their own painful secret, and when they appear to have betrayed the team and goes missing in London, Will is devastated. He has to choose between following his heart or following his duty.


Moving through the contrasting rich and poor areas of post-First World War London from West End hotels to the London docklands, the men need to work together to capture the Creature … and choose who – and what — is important enough to hold on to and what they may need to give up to make that happen.


Author Bio


A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.


She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft


Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Shadows on The Border (Lost in Time #2) by A.L. Lester

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Release Date: March 9 2019
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Lost In Time Series
 

The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time)
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books


Book #1 – Lost In Time – Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

Newspaper reporter Lew Tyler and his lover, Detective Alec Carter, are working out the parameters of their new relationship. Meanwhile, time traveler Lew is trying to decide whether he wants to stay in the 1920s or find a way to get back to 2016, and Alec doesn’t know if he can bear the vulnerability of being in love with someone who uses such dangerous magic.


Fenn is a Hunter from the Outlands, come through the Border to search for the murderous Creature and its offspring at the behest of the Ternants, who maintain the balance between Fenn’s world and ours. Fenn strikes a bond with Sergeant Will Grant, Alec’s second in command, who is keen to learn more about his own magical abilities. As time goes on, Will grows keen to learn more about Fenn, as well.


Fenn has their own painful secret, and when they appear to have betrayed the team and goes missing in London, Will is devastated. He has to choose between following his heart or following his duty.


Moving through the contrasting rich and poor areas of post-First World War London from West End hotels to the London docklands, the men need to work together to capture the Creature … and choose who – and what — is important enough to hold on to and what they may need to give up to make that happen.


Author Bio


A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.


She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft


Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

Giveaway

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A Caryn Review: Lost In Time by A.L. Lester

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

A.L. Lester is a new author to me, and I was looking forward to reading a historical set in post WWI Britain.  Warning:  this book is the first in a series (the blurb didn’t say that) and it’s a cliffhanger.  The blurb, also, is a little misleading.

Lew is introduced just as he is looking for his sister Mira, who disappeared while working The Border, Pulling for her perfect job.  He set up the ritual in the usual way, but the result was disastrous, and he found himself waking up in London in 1919.  With just the clothes on his back, and no way to get home, he was lucky to witness an accident that allowed him to assume another man’s identity and belongings, and he got a job as a photographer covering the police beat for a local paper.

Two years go by, and Lew is still looking for Mira, when things finally start coming together.  His friend and fellow Worker Archie introduced him to another Worker and they Pulled again, and found Mira.  Why it took two years, or why the author felt it was necessary for it to take two years, I have no idea.  At the same time, the Creature who followed him across The Border from the Outlands also started killing, leading to grisly murders where the victim’s brains were liquified, confounding the police and the medical examiner.  Why the Creature didn’t start killing immediately is also not satisfactorily explained.  When the Creature kills Archie, Detective Inspector Alec Carter is assigned to the case, and it is very clear to him that Lew is hiding something.

As the killings continue, Alec and Lew keep being thrown together, and ultimately Lew is forced to tell Alec that magic really does exist, that it brought the Creature into London, and only magic will allow them to kill it.

The first 30% or so of the book was painfully slow, and annoyingly poorly written.  I probably would have DNF’ed the book if I wasn’t reading it for review.  There were abrupt, disjointed changes from Lew’s point of view to Alec’s, as well as skips to months and years ahead, and I really couldn’t see why all the time was necessary.  Secondary characters were introduced as if they would become important, only to be dropped.  I really had no idea where the plot was going, the characters were kind of boring, and though the world building for The Border, those who Worked it, and the creatures of the Outlands was interesting, it always felt unfinished.  I was all set to give this book a low rating and assign the author to my “don’t bother” list, when finally, FINALLY the plot picked up.  The writing improved, the characters became much more three dimensional and interesting (including poor Archie – it was only after he was dead that I learned enough about him to be sympathetic to him), and the relationship between Alec and Lew actually developed.  There is actually very little romance in the book (I would have liked more) and sex was all fade to black (which I am OK with).

And then I came to the cliffhanger ending.  I hate cliffhangers.

I am invested in the story now, and I do want to see how it works out, so I will probably read the next book.  I am just hoping that it will be better written.  This is not the author’s first book by a long shot, so I was surprised that it wasn’t a lot smoother, with a more consistent pace and better editing to eliminate all the extraneous loose ends.  The plot was interesting enough to bring up my final rating to a 3, but for those who get the book, be prepared to slog through a lot of junk to get to the good stuff.

Cover art by Written Ink Designs is actually very nice.  I liked the mysterious brick alley.

Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, Second Edition, 173 pages
Published January 6th 2018 by JMS Books, LLC (first published January 31st 2017)
ISBN139781634865319
Edition LanguageEnglish
settingLondon, England (United Kingdom)
England

Review Tour and Giveaway for Lost In Time by A.L. Lester

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Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Cover Design: JM Snyder


Publisher: JMS Books


Length: 54,000 words approx.


The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time) 
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books


Blurb

Lew’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn’t understand. While searching for her, he is pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is D etective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder.


London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war. Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.


They are both floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?


January 7 – Book Review By Virginia Lee
January 8 – The Novel Approach – Blog Post
January 9 – Valerie Ullmer
January 10 – Alpha Book Club – Blog Post
January 11 – Mirrgold: Mutterings & Musings
January 12 – Love Bytes -Blog Post
January 13 – Padme’s Library
January 15 – Drops Of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews
January 16 – Diverse Reader – Blog Post
January 18 – MM Good Book Reviews – Blog Post





Author Bio

A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.


She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft



Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

Giveaway

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for Lost In Time by A.L. Lester

Standard

 

Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Cover Design: JM Snyder


Publisher: JMS Books


Length: 54,000 words approx.


The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time) 
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books


Blurb

Lew’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn’t understand. While searching for her, he is pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is Detective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder.


London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war. Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.


They are both floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?






Author Bio

A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.


She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft.



Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

Giveaway

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Cover Reveal and Giveaway for Lost In Time by A.L. Lester

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Add to Goodreads


Pre-order: JMS Books


Cover Design: JM Snyder


Publisher: JMS Books


Length: 54,000 words approx.


The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time) out December 23.
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books


Blurb

Lew’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn’t understand. While searching for her, he is pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is D etective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder.

London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war. Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.

They are both floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?

Author Bio

A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.

She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft



Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/ALLester_
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allesterauthor/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

Giveaway

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https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions