It’s my stop today for the blog tour of the winner of BBNYA 2020! We’ve finally gotten around to the book that nabbed the number one spot: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King. As a panelist, I never got a chance to read the excerpt or the full book during the judging, so I snagged a chance to be a part of the tour! I had to know what everyone was raving about. The FOMO was real, y’all!
But, before I get to the tour post, what is BBNYA? BBNYA (Book Blogger Novel of the Year Award) is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website (https://www.bbnya.com/) or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering.
BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group TheWriteReads. I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. I want to thank them so much for sending me a free copy of the e-book so I could participate in the awards! All opinions are my own, unbiased, and completely honest.
Now, let’s get to the post!
“John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive.”
- Author: Graham Austin-King
- Publisher: Fallen Leaf Press
- Publication date: November 30th, 2018
- Genre: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy/Military Thriller
- Age group: Adult
- Content/Trigger Warnings: To see a full list of this books possible content and trigger warnings, check out it’s page on BookTriggerWarnings.com
About the Author
Graham Austin-King was born in the south of England and weaned on broken swords and half-forgotten spells.
A shortage of these forced him to consume fantasy novels at an ever-increasing rate, turning to computers and tabletop gaming between meals.
He experimented with writing at the beginning of an education that meandered through journalism, international relations, and law. To this day he is committed to never allowing those first efforts to reach public eyes.
After spending a decade in Canada learning what ‘cold’ really means, and being horrified by poutine, he settled once again in the UK with a seemingly endless horde of children. To date he is the author of five novels, drawing on a foundation of literary influences ranging from David Eddings to Clive Barker.
Well, I was curious about this story, knowing that it won last years BBNYA, but I will fully admit to not knowing anything about it before I started reading. The title made me think maybe fantasy? And it was… to an extent. But it turned out to be a lot more than what I anticipated!
The Lore of Prometheus follows two central characters, John and Mackenzie. John is an army vet who is dealing with a lot of issue, not least of all survivor’s guilt and PTSD. One of his more immediate issues, though, is that he’s broke and owes a dangerous guy a lot of money. So John picks up a gig in the place where his worst memory took place: Kabul, Afghanistan. But something else happened that day that soon finds John locked in a cell and chained to a table. Mackenzie wakes up in a very similar cell after being kidnapped from her job in Kabul. Now, they are both being asked to do the impossible: perform miracles.
Let me just say, I was not expecting a military fiction when I cracked this baby open, but I ain’t mad about it! Which is funny because I usually don’t get on well with military fiction. I blame having been in the military myself. I’m way too judgey when people get it wrong, haha. The fact that I enjoyed this one tells you that the author really did his homework. I was in the United States Air Force and John was part of the British Army, so I’m sure there are things I might not pick up on as opposed to someone who actually served in that branch. The overall feel of John as a character and the way he described things, however, made me harken back to when I was still serving. And even though he was describing some pretty grisly things, it made it so easy to connect to this character and what he was going through. So kudos to this author for showing me that maybe I don’t hate military fiction as a genre after all!
I will say, though, as much as I enjoyed the beginning of this story, where it leaned more into the military fiction side, I really wasn’t fully captivated until the fantasy part started kicking in. I wanted to know everything about the experiments and Mackenzie and John’s powers! I also though the moral issues examined were intriguing, though that was a thread throughout the book. There are a lot of moments where you sit and think “What would I have done in this situation?” And the answer is not easy to come by! I love a book that makes you think like that while it’s also keeping you completely entertained.
I think my favorite aspects of this book, though, were our main characters, John and Mackenzie. Graham Austin-King does an incredible job building these characters and showing us every bit of them; their flaws, their strengths, and everything in-between. It was fascinating watching their growth and the way they both reacted to their horrible situation. Speaking of which, definitely check out trigger warnings for this one before diving in. There are a lot of pretty heavy, on page content that is very in-your-face. Some of it felt a little over the top to me, personally. Not in a “This wouldn’t happen” way… more in a “Did we really need to see all of that” way. And that is definitely just a personal opinion! Your mileage may vary.
Final thoughts: If you’re looking for a story that is dark, gritty, and raw, you have found the right book! This urban fantasy blends itself seamlessly with military fiction and takes the reader on a journey that they won’t soon forget. The character development is incredible, the story practically races along, and you’ll find yourself so deeply consumed that it takes a couple of moments to realize it’s over! This was an incredible story and, though bits of it seemed a bit over the top to me, it was still a compelling and wonderful read. If you like your fantasy chockful of action, with a lot of moral questions, and on the darker side, I think you would love The Lore of Prometheus!