Reviews of Kevin James Breaux's work

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Novel Reviews

 

Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women Reviewed By Ray Simmons 5 Stars!

I love mythology. Greek mythology is the type most seen in pop culture, but for me all mythologies are interesting. My favorite is Norse mythology. There is something brave and tragic built into it and it is built around a very fierce warrior culture. For all those fans of Vikings and other things Norse, The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women by Kevin James Breaux is a great book to read. I loved it. I am a fan of history and warrior cultures and this book features enough action to satisfy my love of historical times and my love of a good fight. I found it well written and action oriented. And my favorite aspect is that the protagonist is a woman.

Astrid is fierce and loyal from the very beginning of The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women. But what is so enjoyable about her is that she has plenty of room for personal growth and Kevin James Breaux guides us along her personal journey with the pen of a master craftsman. The plot and her personal journey are well written and done skillfully. All the characters are totally believable for the time and culture in which the story takes place. A great book all round. I think this one will be a surprise sleeper. It has all the characteristics of a book that will grow in reputation and popularity until it becomes a best seller. Good writing, good characters, and a great tale will keep Kevin James Breaux moving steadily up the bestseller ranks.

 

Award

4/22/17

Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women Reviewed By Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite 5 Stars!

The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women by Kevin James Breaux is a glorious tale of war and bravery, a story of a female Viking warrior who finds herself in a very tight and challenging situation. Growing up beside her father, Astrid the White has learned the art of war from the very best in the land, and has harnessed her skills so well that she gains the reputation as one of the finest fighters among the Vikings. But when she wakes up in the strange city of Birka, to the sound of war, she knows something must be wrong. She quickly discovers that it’s not a test from the gods or her father to have her prove herself, but staying alive. But can she win a battle against the monsters, the creatures seething with darkness and inconceivable strength?

This is an incredible book that poignantly represents the Viking spirit, crafted with wonderful characters like Astrid, Kol, Yrsa and many others. The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women will transport readers into a world with the kind of violence and warfare only the Vikings know. The plot is fast-paced, constructed with short chapters that are quick to read, all packed with intense action. Kevin James Breaux stands out as a master of his craft, and the writing is exquisite, laced with vivid descriptions that allow readers to penetrate the minds of the characters and to relive the electrifying actions in their imaginations. I enjoyed the references to Viking lore and mythology, especially the part that Odin, the father of all the Vikings, plays in the life of the characters, and the powerful quest for Valhalla that throbs within their breasts. This is a gripping story that reads like a great movie.

 

8/9/16

Review of ONE SMOKING HOT FAIRY TAIL on Amazon UK.

"I absolutely loved this book. The storyline was different and as with Kevin's style all unique and colourful. Each character is strong and well crafted. You instantly like them and feel for them.
The story is different and well crafted. As with Kevin's other stories you can tell he really cares about his story and his characters.
The book begins quickly and you are immediately thrown into the action and meeting each character. I couldn't put it down because you constantly want to know what is happening to each person and the next scenario. It's funny, clever and at times a little naughty. ;)
The ending leaves you wanting to know more about what has happened, what will happen and what will become of some of the characters. Certain chapters were often nail biting stuff at times.
This book was definitely worth the read for its uniqueness and its humour."

5 Stars!

 

6/23/16

Mr Breaux responded to my mentioning on FB that I loved his cover. It was for this book, that he was promoting. I am a review chair for a paranormal book guild and I love book covers!! I do see many. The author asked if I would review his book for a copy and and give a fair review and since I love to read a new author to me ; I accepted. From the cover and this book title, I was a bit surprised by the story. I thought by the picture and title it might be a cute, sexy, quick read. I was truly surprised by the storyline and the quality of what I began.

When an author is starting a new series, ( that I hope this one is to be), he is tasked with world building, new characters for the reader to bond with, and a story to hold the readers interest. Our author has given us a ‘foursome’ spanning the gamut, A Human, A Vampire, A Zombie and A Fairy. Yes wow! The story in essence is the ‘fearsome foursome’ having to fight one enemy to save mankind, while dealing with their own internal story.

We begin with a stunning young woman Sabrina, who is a Fairy, who has been lying low, keeping out of the spotlight after her wanton ways have hurt her publicly and even hurt her family ties. She is finally ready to step out of the darkness with Mira, her bodyguard; who is a water sprite. Sabrina's best friend is Mosselle. She is Egyptian royalty, who's a few thousand years old. She's a modern day mummy, but nobody knows that except the other paranormals.

Mosselle is very interesting as we learn how she stays so young and beautiful in today’s world. She takes as a lover a human, who is Jackson , who is adorably smitten with this beauty and takes Moss as who she is so calmly, since he is so in love with her.

Last but not least is our vampire Cade, who was turned during the Civil War. He is completely in love with Sabrina and the feeling is mutual. I love that Sabrina had to go ‘dig him up’ to get his help. I loved Cade’s back story the most, even though I do love anything Egypt. Mosselle was not my first choice.

The story came together so intensely, the danger was always in the forefront, and you never knew what ‘other worldly’ characters you might meet along the way. Great job Mr. Breaux. I look forward to read more of your work.

5/5 stars on Amazon for One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail - Review by Gloria Lakritz

Sr Reviewer and Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild

 

5/6/2016

This book took me by surprise. I had read the blurb, and I wasn’t sure that it was my cup of tea. However, Kevin Breaux brought out some hidden qualities that aren’t typically in fantasy novels. The book begins en medias res, which is one of my favorite literary styles of all time. We’re thrown into the action, not knowing exactly what happened or what’s going on.

I absolutely loved the mythology that Breaux created—placing a creative twist to the fairy tales that we know and love today. While I’ve read other books Breaux has written, this one is completely different from his dark fantasy series.

Sabrina is a fairy, but not your typical fairy that we’re used to. She’s not even really the typical “dark fantasy” fairy either, since she has a very unique backstory. She was an interesting character to read. She’s the typical starlet who loves fashion and spends a crap-ton of money on clothes and shoes. She lived the party style and had an incident because of it that ruined her reputation. While she’s the type of character that I love to hate, Breaux writes her in a way that makes me sympathize with her and even more: I root for her.

While Cade is on the blurb of the book, I would actually see him more of a secondary character. He’s not even in the book (except for the flashbacks) until the second half. While I enjoyed his character, I don’t really know much about him except for he’s a vampire. Since this book ended in a sort-of cliffhanger, I assume that Breaux will expand on him in other books.

Moselle is a mummy. That’s something I didn’t expect in a fantasy book. Breaux has a very interesting take on mummies. Instead of the gross, falling-apart being that I expected, she’s a very sexually-appealing, confident woman. The history behind her becoming a mummy is actually one of my favorite stories in this novel. Breaux completely created a brand-new mythology for mummies and I loved it completely.

Mira is my favorite character, which is odd, because she is a very minor character in this novel. She just had this very honest and humble air about her. While Moselle and Sabrina are very “valley girl,” Mira is less so. She’s the average girl and that helped me relate with her the most.

Jackson was my least favorite, to be honest. He didn’t really contribute to all of the action, caused more chaos, and actually distracted some of the characters from achieving their goal. This was probably the point of this character, since every good story needs an antagonist, and when you have two, even better.

Alexander Kintner, the bad guy of it all, is the true antagonist. While Jackson didn’t really help (and sometimes hindered), Kintner actively fought against Sabrina. While I don’t know Kintner’s backstory (and I’m dying to) he is a very good antagonist. However, he’s more Voldemort than Umbridge in that yeah, he’s evil and yeah, you want to defeat him, but you’re not really attached and actively hating him.

This story was definitely very interesting and completely unique. While there are a lot of shock-worthy elements, a lot of swearing, and sex, it doesn’t actually matter and I got incredibly invested in the story. There is a small cliffhanger at the end, but all of the issues are resolved in the book. There are a few loose ends, but not enough to make you worry. Breaux brings in some conflict towards the end that obviously points towards a sequel, but it could probably be read as a stand-alone without much frustration (I did fall on the floor in distress when I figured out the book was over but that’s just me). I recommend this book to those who are tired of the typical fairy tales and want a nice twist, but don’t mind some R-rated fun added in.

5/5 stars for One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail on Amazon

 

3/24/2016

Upon reading the first two sentences I was hooked and caught up in the story. Who is Sabrina and who is Cade? Four main characters lives are weaved together in an intriguing story. When you reach down to their cores, integrity raises, each determined to overcome the danger they face. The author does a great job of bringing them all to life, enough so, that it is hard to put the book down until you are finished. Great job, Kevin.

5/5 stars for One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail on Amazon by Vickie Miller

 

 

4/10/2012

I liked SO many aspects of Blood Divided. The the plot is great and the writing is rich and descriptive, but there is so much more going on.

Blood Divided, the follow-up novel to Soul Born, is an exciting and wild return to the kingdom of Illyia, 20 years after the events of the first novel. Even with the time difference, the reader is seamlessly allowed to discover what changes have occurred in our "absence". I loved that there is no laborious re-telling of the first installment to get readers "caught up". We discover how the past connects with the present right along with the characters. We also experience the emerging horrors as they occur. As in Soul Born, the action is well described, vivid, jarring, and bloody. As a "reformed" mmo gamer, I could appreciate the imagery that seemed to follow the "Death Knight" and Mage.

This time around, we meet new characters, and revisit with the veterans of book 1. I have to say that I am seriously impressed with an any author that writes characters who are are not typical archetypes, but are combinations of traits such as good, evil, vanity, desire, love, selflessness, and self-loathing. I have to admit that the first time around I was not a fan of seeing the flaws of my favorite characters, but now I totally get it. Also there is no all powerful, super hero, warrior class, half-god to save the day. I liked what that said about the nature of the common person's bravery in the face of overwhelming odds. I could also appreciate that Mr. Breaux writes female characters that do not make me want to pull my hair out in frustration. The are not simpering, weak or helpless nor are they unbelievable powerhouses of aggression. Now I will admit, there is a fair amount of gender based issues in this series as it concerns women as users and men as abusers, but these issues are part of the themes that power the rage and purpose behind the antagonist(s) and help the reader to understand their nature.

I gave Blood Divided 4 stars. I withheld the last star for 2 reasons. I found that some of the supporting characters were a bit like colorful scenery. They seemed three dimensional at first glance, but were really flat and without substance. I really would have liked to get to know Red Fawn, and Vasche a bit better, outside of their relationships with Karn's progeny. The final reason is that the teacher in me cried out over a few typos, such as wing instead of wind within the first few pages of the book. I love supporting independent writers, and the the powers that be use poor editing as a rallying cry against independent publishing.

I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I am hoping for more action, deeper character development, and for the scores to be settled (I want to see some serious payback!)

4/5 Stars on Amazon and Goodreads for Blood Divided.

-Kimm Amazon review here.

 

3/17/2012

I first heard about this book while browsing Goodreads, and saw that there was a giveaway listed for it. I immediately entered, and to my surprise I won! The cover is gorgeous and it is what initially caught my attention. Blood Divided is the second book in the Soul Born Saga, set 20 years after the first book. I haven’t read the first book, Soul Born but the author provided enough background/history of the characters throughout the book that readers don’t need to start in order.

The book follows the children of Karn, Illyia’s beloved hero, two sets of siblings from the same father but different mother. Megan (depicted on the cover) and Nathan are the children of Karn and Opal the sorceress. Autumn and Lucien are the children of Karn and Tala (the elf). All four will come together in the kingdom of Illyia, as some form alliance and other seek retribution.

I read a couple of fantasy novels, but this is by far the best fantasy novel I’ve read in a long time. As I mentioned before I haven’t read the first novel, but it feels as if I’ve already known the characters. The characters are well-written and feel so real that they leap off the pages. There was never a real good versus evil, black or white with the characters ….many of the characters walk in the gray area. Even though the book is central around four main characters, all the secondary characters still played a big part in the book and help shaped the central characters and the world itself.

The world that Breaux created is full of political intrigue, betrayal, love and loss. If you’re looking for a well established world and a cast of amazing characters, then I highly recommend the Soul Born Saga. The pacing of the book was great; there was never a dull moment. This book will have you glued to the pages from beginning to end, with a conclusion that will have you begging for the next book, Flesh Ended. I definitely plan on reading the next book, in the mean time I’ll probably go back and read the first book in the series, Soul Born.

5/5 Stars on Amazon and Goodreads for Soul Born.

 

Check out the whole review here at SHORT & SWEET REVIEWS.

 

2/10/2012

I've never been a fan of dark fantasy, mostly because of the death and the horror. But Kevin Breaux's Soul Born Saga has changed that. The series has the perfect mix of fantasy, love, tragedy, betrayal, and magic--so much so that I have become addicted to reading them! The stories have amazing twists and turns you'd never expect, with a realistic ending that might make you cry.

5/5 stars for both Soul Born and Blood Divided.

-Arely

 

01/01/2012

"Soul Born is a fantastic page-turning beginning to author Kevin Breaux’s fantasy trilogy."

-Douglas Cobb, Book Spot Central

 

11/14/2011

Author Michelle Horst's review of Soul Born

Soul Born... I'm very happy it's #1 of the saga! I can't wait for the next one to be released.

This book will have you sitting on the edge of your seat from the very first word and there won't be any letting go until the last. Kevin has created a masterpiece and a world of enchantment where you want to go, but don't dare without some weapons of your own.

Every character is vibrantly alive and jumps from the page to draw you into their world. You can taste their fears, their hope and their courage.

An awesome read that deserves every star.

5/5 stars!

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/235359587

 

 

10/6/2011

Soul Born Review

Soul Born is a fast paced fantasy novel that will keep the reader turning pages and reading far too late into the night. Set in the land of Illyia, the novel tracks three main characters as they fight against an invading warlord who leaves a path of destruction across the land as he works towards his ultimate goal; the destruction of his creators.

The characters are wonderfully brought to life as we learn about them and their various motives throughout the story. Opal is a young mage filled with enormous, but raw magical potential and is being mentored by the mage high council. She is strong willed and will go to any lengths to attain her desires. The biggest of those desires being her deep love for a warrior. Karn is a fierce fighter determined to end the warlord’s destruction of his beloved land. We meet him as he is being nursed back to health by his lover, Opal, after being badly wounded protecting civilians fleeing the warlord. His entire life as he knows it will be turned upside down by a young elf. Tala is an outcast from her elven tribe who has taken refuge in a human town. She meets and befriends Karn. As their relationship grows closer, she is forced to reveal a terrible secret; his true past.

The action keeps the story moving forward at a brisk pace while the slow unveiling of each character’s full motives fuels the reader to keep turning pages. I love the shades of gray the characters are colored with. Opal is a great example of a character driven by her best desires and intentions, but capable of making terrible choices to attain them. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and am eagerly awaiting the second book in the series.

Dave on Amazon and Goodreads.

5/5

 

8/15/2011


The cover is dynamite~bursting with color, as if magic is actually trying to escape the bindings of the book.
The book itself is a quick paced, easy read for all ages over 12, in my opinion. However, by no means is this a YA novel.
This is a classic D&D style read. If you enjoy fantasy books, in the form of RPG's, this book is for you.
I love reading all types of genres, but this was a nice escape into fanatsy for me, since I usually read horror and romance.
Opal is a mage, the Heroine of the novel and without giving too much of a spolier alert, she is kick-butt and edgy. I am glad that at the end, she appears to be pregnant, since this is the first of a trilogy.
Karn, the Hero who has to fight to recover his memory through-out the novel, was a bit of a melancholy character, but I liked that in the Hero. He was gung-ho in the battle scenes and when it came to honor and duty, but constantly battling himself to recover his forgotten past.
There are lizard men, giants, mages and warlocks. The book is rampant with Elven magic, tight chapter sequences and action.
I can't wait for the next two.
Way to go Mr. Breaux!

Sherri Dub on Goodreads and Amazon.com

4/5

 

7/27/11

"Soul Born is a fascinating chronicle of the battle between good and evil, the forces of nature pitted against the corruptive elements of excessive power." - Bitten By Books

Bitten by Books

4/5

http://www.bittenbybooks.com/38039/soul-born-kevin-james-breaux/

 

 

7/1/11

"For success, some can be driven to topple empires. "Soul Born" tells the story of rising magician Opal, driven to be recognized for her arcane talents. When a warlord seeks to destroy her land, Opal doesn't despair and instead embraces the opportunity. But no road to recognition is easy, as she finds allies in elves and hardened war veterans to claim her place. "Soul Born" is a fast paced and fun world of fantasy, highly recommended reading."

Midwest Book Review

5/5

http://www.midwestbookreview.com/sbw/jul_11.htm

 

 

4/7/11

"Having won this book in a competition I was really excited to see what it was all about. I had found out about the author Kevin James Breaux from Twitter and from there I began to read his blog and learnt bits and bobs about the book from there. It sounded interesting and I am a really big fan of the genre fantasy and with all things magic so this book sounded right up my alley.

As soon as I started the book I knew I was in for a some surprises surrounding the characters and the storyline. I loved having the ability to chat and discuss the book with Kevin too it really helped me to find out and engage more with the characters and what they were going through.

All of the characters are interesting and the story is fast paced and edgy! They are all fresh and unique and Kevin has really worked hard to keep the storyline bold and different. I couldn't put it down because it is such a page turner and full of surprises as you read along.

The story discusses how certain characters are deeming their actions as good but just how good are they? Are they just doing what they believe to be right to get something they want and not seeing the bigger picture surrounding their actions?

I loved the book and I really think more people who like the genre should give it a try because it has great characters and the storyline definitely leaves you thinking about things and wondering what is going on right up until you are guided to the truth.
I will be telling people to read it and I think that I will read it alot more than just once!! :D"

5/5 stars
Izzy from UK - posted to Goodreads.com

 


4/2/11

"Writing, like any other craft, is one that needs a lot of time, a lot of practice and a good dash of skill to allow an amateur to take it to a level where money can be earned.

What unfurls here is a story that is clearly years in the making. The characters are full bodied, they have their own quirks and perhaps most notably the plot line has an almost organic development feel to it.

Add to this a good sense of pace, solid dialogue and a tale that has obviously benefited from a lot of time as well as good tutorage and it's a story that only needed a touch of luck to land on the right desk at the right time. Whilst Dark Quest is a small independent press they know talent when they see it and have hedged their bets on a quality title helping them to not only maintain the balance but lead the way as a prime example of the authors that they have signed. As such I'll definitely look forward to other titles by them as well as Kevin as he continues to grow in his chosen career as this tale clearly has developed to such a level that it's surely on a matter of time until he strikes again."

4/5 stars
Gareth Wilson on Amazon.co.uk

 


3/31/11

"I really enjoyed this book. It had interesting characters, most of which who were shades of light/dark. The characters all had varying motives and there was plenty of action. The soul born magic was an intriguing idea and I'm looking forward to seeing how the story progresses in the next book."

5/5 stars
ChristinaJL review on Goodreads

 


3-18-11

"When I first started reading I wasn't really sure what to except. Was I going to find a regular story about a woman who is a sorceress? Or was this going to be a book where it gives me a brand new perspective on fantasy books. Well I can tell you it was definitely a new perspective on fantasy books. I enjoyed the way the author mixed in a bit of a love story with medieval war, sex and sorcery. It opened my eyes to a whole new take on witches,sorcery and medieval times. For me reading this book about medieval times was intriguing because I fancy any fantasy books about anything mystical and magical. Rating this book from 0 to 10 I would give it a hard 7.5 I reconmend this book to anyone looking for a new kind of fantasy!"

3/5 stars
Ashpash on Goodreads.com

 

 


3-6-11

"My personal taste when it comes to fantasy has generally been works that include a great deal of detailed worldbuilding. I love reading about history so when I consume fantasy stories about strange and exotic new worlds I often have the mindset that I looking for historical and geographical snapshots over and above a strong plotline and interesting characters. This is usually what holds my attention in fantasy, because I am always looking for clues, for a broken potsherd that tells me about the way the people in the land lived their lives.

Soul Born is a very focused novel. There are no meandering passages in this book and no exposition that isn't relevant to what's happening. There is no scenic route to get to the destination. The book is the GPS equivalent of telling you the quickest way to get from point A to point B. And baby, it makes the book ROLL.

I'll note here that it took me a little while to appreciate this characteristic. I had to put the book down half way through and think about it. Something about the style of Soul Born then clicked for me, and I enjoyed the hell out of the book. Most fantasy novels have clearly delineated good guys and bad guys, maybe some gray area third party that swings back and forth for a while until finally aligning with one group or the other for the Big Final Battle. Not so in Soul Born: these people are not out for some high falootin' grand ideal, they are, each and every one of them, pushing their own agenda. The result of this is a cast of characters that have a seeming tendency towards erratic actions, but in reality are simply adjusting their plans to the shifting tide of events in the story. If the characters, Karn and Opal in particular, realize that staying the course isn't going to get them what they want, they simply head in a different direction. It's kind of refreshing.

There's no dead wood in the plot. The characters are fun, if sometimes a little reprehensible. The book is action, action, action. It isn't your typical fantasy, and that's a good thing. It really stands out next to everything else on the shelf because it breaks all the standard fantasy tropes.

Thumbs up!"

4/5 stars

 

3-4-11

"Defined as an Epic Fantasy(1&2) , Soul Born is a tale which readers will find quite engaging and adventurous. Kevin James Breaux brings to the stage an interesting cast of characters whose journey will lead readers on a path quite different from that which enthusiasts of the fantasy genre may be used to. Leave behind any pre-conceived ideas as to what direction the typical high fantasy should take and enjoy Breaux's unusual rendition of good versus evil complete with a myriad of blurred lines betwixt the two.

For this particular reader, there is nothing more satisfying than a reading experience in which one is always second guessing his/her original take on a characters morals, intentions and personality. In Soul Born , Breaux presents characters who initially appear "good" or "evil" but lead readers on a path that continuously questions that initial observation without really and truly defining it in the absolute…The result? It keeps you wanting more!

In Soul Born , readers will not find a lot of historical narration or supporting facts and are provided only with minimal explanation to guide through the story. For this reader, the limited amount of information, for the most part, was sufficient. However, some may find a few sharp twists and turns which may leave even the most intuitive of readers scratching their head in mild confusion.

All in all, Mr. Breaux's debut fantasy novel proves a great start to a very promising future as a published author!"

Yzhabellasbookshelf blog
3/5 stars

 

2/26/11

Let me begin by saying I really liked this book. The beginning throws you off a little but it ties in with the ending. Just keep reading it gets more and more interesting as it goes along. This is a book I put down and would keep thinking about until I was able to return and read more. It has so many twists and turns that nothing is predictable so hang on and enjoy the ride. If you enjoy reading about castles, knights in combat, mystical creatures and magic then this book is for you.

Tracey - goodreads contest winner posted on goodreads
4/5 stars

 

2/21/11

"Review: First thing to say is that even though it didn't change the rating for the book, I was more than a little relieved to hear that Soul Born is the first book in a three book series. Book 2 is due out in fourth quarter 2011 (Fall/winter) in fact.

When I first read about this the words 'dark fantasy' were first and foremost. And this can definitely be considered that; there's no 'good guy' or 'bad guy', or a sense that one side is any better then the other. Much of the characters are motivated by a selfish goal or concern--in some cases this means acting against the side they've aligned with in order to achieve that goal.

Without giving spoilers, Karn begins with Opal, but he eventually goes with Tala. I liked that Breaux contrasted the emotions that Tala has for Karn with what Opal feels. He doesn't emphasize that one is better than the other, that one has more right than the other. This goes back to what I was saying about how there isn't a 'good' or 'bad' guy. Neither is exactly forthcoming with Karn in regards to who he is or why they need him.

I wanted to know more about Illyia, I was constantly hoping that just a little more information would be given so I could have a better worldview. It's not that Breaux leaves the world vague and unshaped, rather he focuses almost entirely on Opal, Tala and Karn's conflicts. We are given just enough information to understand what's happening--such as the war between Tala's people (the Elves) and the Lizardmen. Considering I'm used to entire chapters dedicated to detailing the history of why the Elves and Lizardmen are fighting, the few short paragraphs Breaux uses to tell us about the war made me blink. This isn't a bad thing, overall it gives the book a tighter focus, just takes a little getting used to.

There are several revelations in the book that left me surprised and eager to read on to see how this now effected things. More than anything else the mystery of Karn's past and his memories were what I wanted to know more about. They came in fragments and snippets, some of them mundane and some of them intense. In the beginning of the book Karn thinks about the fact he clearly remembers his death, but with no visible signs of it nor any linking memories to it, he grows confused. Each subsequent 'memory' builds a larger, rather frightening, picture.

I was a bit taken aback by the ending--I wasn't entirely convinced that what Opal did was necessary (even if she felt it was) nor did I think that what Tala did made much sense. There was no time passage defined, but it felt like Tala suddenly rushed into the decision. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the next book, though I'm a little wary with the implications."


Lexie Poisoned Rationality Blog

 

2/20/11
"I was lucky enough to pick up this novel last Monday, and stayed glued to the pages until I finished it Wednesday night. What kept me so intrigued by this book? Uniqueness, plenty of action, and a solid storyline. Soul Born breaks from the mold that shapes the vast number of fantasy novels.

The story captivated me easily, as you are tossed right in and learn more as you go. I was also able to connect with the main characters with ease. One thing that makes me crazy within the fantasy genre is bland character molds. I want my characters with a healthy mix of "good" and "evil", preferably with a blurred line dividing the two - and Soul Born delivered. Opal was definitely my favorite of the main characters!

Soul Born was one of the first dark fantasy novels I've read, and it's done a great job sparking my interest in the "darker" part of the genre. I have already recommended the title to family and friends, now I'm (impatiently) awaiting the next installment of the series!"

Konah Fawkes
5/5 stars

 

 

2/14/11

"Soul Born is the first full-length novel by Kevin James Breaux, and the first of a trilogy. From the moment, I opened this book, I was hard-pressed to put it down. There is typically a pretty predictable formula in fantasy tales, with the battle between good and evil, the struggle for power, the quests for victory and the inevitable hero. While this novel had all of those elements, it definitely was so much more. Because of the normal predictability, I kept expecting events to go in certain directions, and they just didn't and I loved that fresh take on fantasy. It was definitely not a light and happy tale, but dark with lots of action and unexpected twists. With a lot of epic works, you have a lot of back story before you get to the real meat of the story. I really enjoyed the fact that this story didn't do that, but put you immediately in the story from the very beginning. You learned the secrets and reasons for the unfolding story as you went along and it kept me thoroughly engrossed.

The story revolved around three main characters: Karn (the warrior with the mysterious past), Opal (the enchantress struggling for recognition), and Tala (the elf shunned by her own kind). Each of these characters have a common goal, to destroy an invading warlord before he destroys them and all that they know. There was no clear cut good versus evil with these characters, nor with any of the supporting characters, which only added to the ability to relate to them as people. As in real life, the characters have motives that aren't always pure and are faced with choices that may sometimes be self-serving and hurt others around them. Because of that, some of the characters were sometimes hard to like, but that was as it should be. There times in the story where I felt like I was personally invested in those characters, completely emotionally engaged with them. I absolutely love a story that can pull me in emotionally like that!

The ending was unexpected and great and left me waiting impatiently for the next book!"

KiKi the Caffeinated Diva Blog
5/5 stars

 


1/21/11

"All Opal wanted was to be respected as a wielder of magic, but her teachers passed her over time and time again. When a mysterious warlord embarks on a conquest to destroy the lands of Illyia Opal seizes an opportunity to step out from the shadows of her instructors and take her rightful spot among them.
Tala, an alluring young elf, was banished from her tribe, hunted and nearly killed by the beasts that dwell in the deep forests, but more than anything else she is a survivor. Joining forces with an ancient elemental power Tala finds herself in the centre of an unrelenting human war. She never wanted any of this.
Flesh like leather and bone as strong as steel Karn, a veteran from the first kingdom to fall, is fuelled by vengeance. While pushing ever headlong into battle Karn begins to recall memories of another life; ghosts that haunt his dreams.
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All sounds very 'old school' fantasy like… right? Well simply put it is. This isn't a novel that treads new grounds; it isn't a novel that will create ripples in the genre for its uniqueness - what it is, is an old school fantasy novel written in 2010. Imagine playing Dungeons and Dragons or Baulder's Gate or anyone of those kinds of PC RPG games. The characters seem blocky; you roll your eyes at the dialogue, but at the same time you enjoy it for what it is and you quickly accept that this is old school and you remember something… you enjoy old school!
That's how I felt when I first picked up 'Soul Born'. I quickly found myself thinking lines like; "Human Magic is for Humans," or "I saw lots of people. I - I think they were ghosts!" for example were a bit cheesy, but after a few chapters I was just enjoying them. Fantasy is popular today because of novels in the Dungeons and Dragons type era… the genre is defined by its blocky roots and its almost pre-defined characters. I very quickly found myself thinking how nice it was to go back in time a bit and read a novel that read like we expect a fantasy novel to read.
The character of Karn is one we have experienced hundreds of times before… a fearless Viking like hero who is aggressive and just wants to destroy evil. Opal is a little more new-age in the sense that she is a beautiful, powerful mage but with a darker side to her and Tala is that female Elve we have all come to love so much.
If you are looking for a Sanderson like writing style or a unique story you won't find it here. But if you are a fantasy fan, willing to go back and look at what made fantasy great - cheesy lines, over-heroic characters, beautiful and lustrous women, elves, werewolves, dark kings and so on then this is a very good, quick read. I think Kevin Breaux does a good job at proving to write an enjoyable novel you don't have to do anything ground-breaking, you don't need to write something in a brand new style, you just need to do something proven to work.
After going through months of reading complicated story lines from authors such as Lynch, Sanderson and Weeks it was nice to pick up a book rich literally says: 'Right… we have magic, we have action, we have beautiful women. Are you ready? Lets go!' And that's it. No complicated world building, no overly confusing twisting and turning story, no complex magic system… just everything we would expect from fantasy like novels back in the day.
For me Soul Born pressed all the right buttons. As I said over in the forums, Kevin Breaux is one of those authors who has the ability to make you say; 'Damn Fantasy is Cool!' without reshaping or redefining the genre. All round it is well worth checking out."

Marc Fantasy-Faction.com
4/5 stars

 

 

1/18/11


"'Soul Born' is the debut novel by Kevin Breaux which is dark high fantasy. The story has 3 main characters who are followed as the plot progresses. They are Opal (a mage), Karn (a mighty warrior) and Tala (a female elf living in exile from her people). The plot evolves with twists and turns and just when you think you know what is going to happen next something completely different happens.

This book is a breathe of fresh air in the genre in my opinion and I recommend it to anyone looking to read a fantasy novel from a new author."

Pearse Coles - on amazon.co.uk and goodreads.com
5/5 stars

 

12/31/10

"Let me start off by saying that this book is definitely unlike most other books
of this genre. Sometimes I think I've read all the fantasy-type books that I
possibly can. How many more times can I read about the world coming to an end
due to the evil machinations of some dark lord, wizard, or king who is trying to
obtain some great artifact of power which will make him or her unstoppable and
must be stopped by some individual with a destiny to lead the forces of good to
victory? Soul Born does not fit this commonly-used formula. I must admit that
at first it was hard to get used to as I kept expecting the story to go a
certain way based on my pre-conceived notions of how these types of book usually
go. Eventually, I stopped trying to imprint my ideas onto the story though and
sat back and enjoyed the ride.

The story focuses on three different main characters: Opal, a healer and
powerful mage, Karn, a ruthless warrior with a noble heart, and Tala,
a beautiful and cunning elf. A great warlord is leading an enormous army to
conquer the land of Illyia. Opal, Karn, Tala are all trying to stop the
warlord, however, each has their own reasons. This is a world that is full of
competing powers and various races of people with their own agendas and goals
from elves and dark elves, jackalweres, lizard men, mages, giants, and humans.
Each party has a stake in the outcome of the battles being waged across the
land. Opal is faced with the task of answering to a council of mages who have
commanded her to get the man she loves, Karn, to do their bidding. Tala has the
task of finding Karn and exposing him to secrets of his forgotten past while
falling for him at the same time. Karn struggles with being the person chosen
to defeat the great warlord but he is continually plagued by visions and dreams
of another life.

This book definitely gets down to business. If you are looking for an epic tale
full of long explanations and an in-depth narrations of the history behind
Illyia and all of its inhabitants, you won't find it here. The reader is given
just enough information to learn what is important but the action keeps moving
along. At certain times in the story, this left me confused with many
questions. This kept me intrigued though and wanting to keep reading in order
to have my questions answered. I enjoyed being dropped into the middle of an
adventure and slowly discovering the secrets behind the action as the story
progressed.

Soul Born was different from many other books in that important characters may
not easily classify as "good" or "evil". As in real life, sometimes people make
good choices with pure motives and sometimes they make selfish ones that may
hurt others. This led to many twists and kept my mind active throughout the
entire book questioning every move the characters made trying to guess what
secrets were really going on behind the scenes. Their are some secrets left
unresolved though as this book is only the beginning of what looks to be a
thrilling adventure. I recommend you buckle up and hold on tight."

Review by Aaron, for A Tale of Many Reviews
4/5 stars

 

 

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short story comments and reviews

 

 

3/12/2015

I'll be honest. Horror is NOT my thing, but supporting authors is, so I had bought this book simply to support the author. I honestly figured I'd never read it and that's okay. I have over a thousand books in my TBR pile. I have plenty to read.

But today I was reading a book that was the exact OPPOSITE of this one (erotic romance) and that book is good, but I have to sometimes take those in smaller doses, so I needed a break. I knew this was short, so decided to give it a try. It was the PERFECT solution for my reading break from my other book, because this book was really, really good.

The book takes place on Sarah's roof and immediately I felt empathy for her. Wow, I could not imagine that situation as she's watching the flood waters flow around her two story house...almost to the roofline. But this is a horror book, so you know something else is going on, right? There were two twists to this story. One I saw coming. The other...I had no clue and I literally gasped when it revealed (which totally freaked out my 7 yo reading her book beside me...LOL.)

This is a short novel, but it's extremely well written and riveting. If you like your horror with a bit of a spookier ambience and a serious level of anticipation, I recommend it. For me, it was the perfect levels of creepy vs. I just really NEEDed to know what exactly happened in those hours leading up to the flood.

 

4/5 stars on Amazon for Dark Water: Beaming Smile by Smitten with Reading

 

10/9/2011

Dark Water: Beaming Smile Review

Completely threw me off at the end! Not what I expected AT ALL! Dark Water kept me on the edge of my seat! (quite literally...actually I'm still there) The questions I was left with were, "is there more? Is this the beginning of something bigger?"

You've done it again, Breaux. Bravo.

Review by: Diana Ilinca Smashwords

5/5

 

"In “Dead Man’s Party,” Kevin Breaux draws such a realistic picture, I could imagine the macabre outcome to be the logical aftermath of cocaine induced hallucinations. There is more science in this story than in a traditional urban fantasy. Breaux takes a look at the current problem of microbial resistance and mutation and extrapolates it in a logical fashion (zombies notwithstanding), with no expository lumps. It suspended my disbelief."

Carole Ann Moleti


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"A Way to a Man's Heart. It's well written, engaging and amusing."

Jean Goldstrom, Editor


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"Great development–great images…I love it–want to see more…"

Max Smith in regards to Dead Man's Party


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"Excellent twist within a twist! For a moment, I thought this was like that unfortunate story of the guy who mistakenly killed people in costume for a zombie walk. Poor Ashley…she always dreamt of Sarah eating her, but not like that!"

Cherry Darling in regards to Dead Man's Party


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"Great misdirection. I was totally sold on the drug,hallucination premise till the doc with the armed guards. M. Night Shamylan(?) should take notes…"

In Regards to Dead Man's Party

www.kevinbreaux.com

all stories and titles are copyright kevin james breaux 2005-2017