An Aurora YA Review: Once Upon a Time in America (The Knight Cycle #5) by Michael J. Bowler

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

With Lance leading the way, the Knights of the Round Table have set out to convince the American people that amending the Constitution to protect children is right and just and long overdue. As the team travels from state to state, they are met with acceptance, indifference, and even hostility. But Lance’s popularity and mystique as Once Upon A time IN America CoverThe Boy Who Came Back, coupled with his innate charm, gradually sway more and more of the populace, not to mention state legislators, to their cause.

The journey becomes a rite of passage that propels the young people into adulthood, and solidifies Lance’s status as an iconic and influential figure.

But he’s uneasy. He knows Arthur is hiding something from him, something that will bring him great sadness. After The Excalibur Incident in Las Vegas, Lance becomes more and more certain that the future is one he won’t like, despite his stunning success at winning over some of the most intractable states.

Then comes the attack, sudden and brutal.

Now the Round Table is in disarray, and Lance must confront a cold-blooded killer who’s luring him into an obvious trap. But if he refuses the challenge, more loved ones will die, and everything he’s fought for will die with them. Surrounded by the diverse young knights who have become his family, Lance sets out to battle his enemy with the knowledge deep in his heart that only one of them will survive. Is this the end of the Round Table?

The Knight Cycle concludes…

This whole series was really great and after reading this book, and seeing the whole story, it really made me like even the other books seem better than they were when I first read them. Everything in the books just seemed to have a really good arc. The series had a great plot, and the plots within each individual book were good in and of themselves. The arcs that the characters went through were really interesting, and I just had a good time reading the books.

I can also see why other teenagers and people my age would enjoy this whole series and this last book. The characters are charming and interesting, as well as being the type of characters that teenagers can easily relate to, and if you like fantasy mixed with contemporary, then you should absolutely read this series and I can almost guarantee that you’ll enjoy it. There’s good writing and a lot of heart behind these books, and the series is a really great one.

Cover art by artist Reese Dante: This is maybe my favorite cover art from the whole series. I feel like it flows really well together and shows the progression of the books, again, really, really well. And it’s absolutely beautiful. It would definitely make me pick up the book and even check out the rest of the series based just on that one cover.

 

Sales Link: Amazon Buy It Here

Book Details:

Paperback, 1, 320 pages
Published November 12th 2014 by Michael J. Bowler
ISBN 099087110X (ISBN13: 9780990871101)
edition languageEnglish
seriesThe Knight Cycle #5
other editions (1)

Books in The Children of the Knight, The Knight Cycle Series are:

Amazon Paperback

An Aurora YA Review: And The Children Shall Lead (Children of the Knight #4) by Michael J. Bowler

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Rating: 4 out of 5

The campaign to save California’s children was only the beginning. Now King Arthur and his Round Table of teenaged knights set their sights on fixing something even bigger – the entire country. How? By targeting America’s most sacred document – The Constitution.

And the Children Shall Lead coverNative American teens Kai and Dakota, despite harboring secrets of their own, join the team, and swear undying loyalty to Lance. They carry the hope of their people that the crusade will better the lives of Indian children, who are the most neglected by government. This new campaign will take the young people to The White House, the halls of Congress, and beyond in their quest to change the prevailing opinion that children are property, rather than human beings in their own right.

But an unseen nemesis stalks Lance and Arthur, and ratchets up the attacks on New Camelot, promising to kill them and destroy all that the king has put in place. Lance, Ricky, Kai, and Dakota become the enemy’s favorite targets, and barely escape with their lives on more than one occasion. Who is this mysterious stalker, and what is the motive for these attacks? Lance has no idea, especially since he’s never intentionally hurt anyone.

“You were right, little boy, death is coming for you, but slowly, and only after it takes out the people you love.” That chilling promise haunts Lance, but also strengthens his determination to protect the people he loves at all costs. Or die trying.

The Knight Cycle continues…

This book was really interesting and I loved to see the diversity that was represented in this particular installment of the series. Of course there was diversity from the beginning and that was one of the things that I liked straight away about the first book. But this one even went further with that and represented Native Americans, who I very, very rarely see represented in a respectful way in books. And especially in young adult books.

The fact that Native American culture was so important to this book was something I thought was really cool and also something I think will probably be a great influence to young adults who read this book. Especially since it’s so integrated in with all the action and the very exciting plot that I, as a young adult, really enjoy, and I think other people my age would also really like about the book without even noticing the representation and just accepting it.

The cover artist was Reese Dante.: This isn’t my favorite cover of the series, but I do still like it and I absolutely still think that’s it’s very good at, again, tying in with the rest of the series and showing the progression of the books. And I think the cover would be appealing to a new reader.

Sales Link:   Amazon             “>Buy It Here

Book Details:

Paperback, 302 pages
Published September 22nd 2014 by Michael J. Bowler
ISBN 0990306364 (ISBN13: 9780990306368)
edition languageEnglish
seriesChildren of the Knight #4, The Knight Cycle #4
other editions,None found

Children of the Knight, The Knight Cycle Stories include:

  • Children of the Knight
  • Running Through a Dark Place (Children of the Knight, #2)
  • There Is No Fear (Children of the Knight, #3)
  • And The Children Shall Lead (Children of the Knight, #4)

An Aurora YA Review: There Is No Fear (Children of the Knight, #3) by Michael J. Bowler

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

The most famous boy in the world is a prisoner. He’s been charged with a crime he didn’t commit, a crime that could send him to prison for the rest of his life. Languishing within The Compound, the most secure juvenile facility in California, while the district attorney vows to make an example of him because of his celebrity status, Lance must endure the daily indignities of There is No Fear coverthe incarcerated.

New Camelot is fractured without him. Ricky and Chris are bereft, living for the weekly phone call that becomes their only lifeline to the brother they so desperately love, while Arthur and Jenny feel the loss of their son with a sadness that can’t be quelled. And what about Michael, the highly volatile teen who helped write the proposition that will change California forever? Could he really be the monster he says he is? His hatred of Ricky is palpable, and his instability may well threaten the lives of everyone at New Camelot.

As the election looms closer, Proposition 51 takes on an even greater significance in light of the pending trial of the century. The more harshly fifteen-year-old Lance is treated within the broken justice system, the more he contemplates the wisdom of his idea that children need more adult rights. If The Child Voter Act becomes law, won’t it simply allow adults to throw more kids into prison with impunity?

Whichever way the voters decide, his greatest fear remains the same: will he ever again be with the people he loves?

The Knight Cycle Continues…

This book was really great! Even as the plot gets more complex and things progress within the larger story, the characters stay just as complex and develop throughout the whole book in a way that’s really satisfying to the audience, or at least to this audience member. I had a great time reading it, and I loved the plot. It’s a rare thing to see in young adult books especially, and I loved seeing the whole thing unfold.

As I was reading it, I found myself looking forward to what was going to happen next on every single page and when I reached the end of the book I was really looking forward to being able to read the next one. This was the most exciting, for me, of the first few books. I had a great time reading it and finding out what was going to happen to all the characters and where the plot was leading.  I also couldn’t wait to see where the author would end up going next, since this series has so many original ideas and I’ve really been looking forward to seeing the ideas behind every single book as I’ve been reading them.

Cover art by Reese Dante: I really liked this cover! It’s really beautiful and it definitely drew my attention. It really followed in the theme of the other books and still represented it well, to someone coming to this book even maybe not knowing it’s part of a series would still be drawn to the cover and it would get them to at least pick the book up. It’s very well put together.

Sales Link:  Amazon       Buy It Here

Book Details:

Paperback, 284 pages
Published July 17th 2014 by Michael J Bowler
ISBN139780990306337
edition languageEnglish
seriesChildren of the Knight #3, The Knight Cycle #3

Books in the Children of the Knight, The Knight Cycle Series are:

  • Children of the Knight
  • Running Through a Dark Place (Children of the Knight, #2)
  • There Is No Fear (Children of the Knight, #3)
  • And The Children Shall Lead (Children of the Knight, #4)

 

An Aurora YA Review: Running Through a Dark Place (Children of the Knight #2) by Michael J. Bowler

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Rating: 4 out of 5

King Arthur and his extraordinary young Knights used ‘might’ for ‘right’ to create a new Camelot in the City of Angels. Running Through a Dark Place coverThey rallied the populace around their cause, while simultaneously putting the detached politicians in check. But now they must move forward to even greater heights, despite what appears to be an insurmountable tragedy.

Their new goal is lofty: give equality to kids fourteen and older who are presently considered adults only when they break the law. Arthur’s crusade seeks to give them real rights such as voting, driving, trading high school for work, and sitting as jurors for their peers charged with criminal behavior.

Understanding that the adults of California will likely be against them, Arthur and his Knights must determine how best to win them over.

However, before the king can even contemplate these matters, he finds himself face to face with an ally from the past, one who proves that everything isn’t always what it seems – even life and death.

The Knight Cycle Continues…

 

This book is just as interesting and original as the first one was, and the characters were just as good, if not better. The author did a great job of toeing the line between fantasy and contemporary. There were enough elements of the world we’re used to that it was easy to relate to and there was still enough fantasy and differences that it was still incredibly interesting.

It was also inspiring to see that teenagers were taking things into their own hands and were even working against adults because it often isn’t acknowledged that just because adults are older doesn’t mean that they’re always right in comparison to younger people. The friendships in the book were also a really enjoyable thing to watch and read about.

All in all, it was just a fun book, and something I had a good time reading. I would definitely recommend it and especially to teenagers who want to see themselves represented in a different manner than usual.

The cover artist is Reese Dante. Although I prefer drawn covers to photo edited covers, I still think that the book looks really nice and I like the fact that the cover isn’t too busy as some that feature the character on the cover. It’s interesting and represents the book well, and I think it would really draw someone’s eyes to the book in a shop or online.

Sales Links:  Author Website      Amazon       Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 425 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Michael J Bowler (first published May 1st 2014)
ISBN139780990306313
edition languageEnglish
seriesChildren of the Knight #2, The Knight Cycle
also available in paperback

Books in The Knight Cycle Series:

  • Children of the Knight
  • Running Through a Dark Place (Children of the Knight, #2)
  • There Is No Fear (Children of the Knight, #3)
  • And The Children Shall Lead (Children of the Knight, #4)