Spell/Sword – G. Derek Adams

Asteroid Made of Dragons was G. Derek Adams’s first (semi-)traditionally published work, but the man was no stranger to releasing books. As you may (or may not) recall from my review of AMoD, Adams had self-published two prequels prior to winning the Sword and Laser contest on Inkshares.

The first of those books is Spell/Sword, wherein we meet the protagonist duo of Rime and Jonas and go careening through glowing canyons and flying on wyverns with them on their first adventure.

Adams was kind enough to provide me with a copy of Spell/Sword in audiobook form, which is currently available on Audible, and is wonderfully narrated by Rachel Ahrens, who brings a voice and character to Rime so close to what my mind created when I read AMoD that I was a bit surprised, to be honest. She really did a fantastic job.

The thing about Adams’s writing is that, when you read it, you can tell how much fun he had writing it. His settings and scenes frequently border on the absurd, and as you laugh along with the characters at the situation, you are convinced of the imminent threats to them and deeply invested in their wellbeing. And curious about how the hell they intend to escape rocket-powered-electro-toads.

AMoD had the benefit of an editorial team, and is therefore more polished than Spell/Sword, but the nice thing about reading (or listening to) his self-published work is that it serves as proof of Adams’s skill as an author. He’s got what it takes to “go pro,” in my opinion.

Spell/Sword is a great read; it’s paced well, action-packed, and does an excellent job of setting high stakes and wrapping up neatly while leaving enough threads unraveled to spawn a torrent of sequels. For my part, I’m glad to know Derek. That means I can pester him about when the next book is coming out.

Until then, I can read Riddle Box, the next book in the series.

Spell/Sword is available at Amazon.com. The audiobook is available from Audible (also Amazon.)

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