Sunday, December 15, 2013

Review: What Once Was One by Marc Johnson

What Once Was One by Marc Johnson

In the land of Northern Shala, the dark wizard Premier raised an army of foul creatures from the Wastelands and led them against the ancient guardian city of Alexandria. Hellsfire, a young farmhand turned apprentice wizard, defeated Premier and saved Alexandria, but not before the battle claimed his mentor’s life.

Hellsfire, now a full-fledged wizard, must finish what he started by hunting down Premier and seizing the source of the wizard’s dark power and corruption—the Book of Shazul. He must travel deep into the Wastelands, through Premier’s home territory, dodging the scattered remnants of a defeated army lusting for blood and vengeance.

But beating in the heart of the Wastelands is an ancient power more dangerous than Premier or his creatures—and it’s been waiting for Hellsfire for a thousand years. It will force the young wizard to make a devastating choice—one that could change the course of history not only for Alexandria and the Wastelands, but for all of Northern Shala and the lands beyond. And to save his homeland, Hellsfire may have to lose the person he loves the most.

What once was one, will then be two, and never again be whole...

My Thoughts: This was the second book in The Passage of Hellsfire series and it was an adventure! It followed right after where Catalyst ended, where the reader came to see how Hellsfire as a more mature wizard. I found this second installment even more exciting then the first one.

Without giving too much away, I have to say that I liked how this story was told. It was full of action and background information that was missing from the first book. There were creatures introduced that had my skin crawling and twists that had me gripping the book. This book somewhat reminded me of the Lord of the Rings because Hellsfire had to travel to find Premiere and a dangerous book in the company of dwarves and elves. They also had to battle against ogres, goblins, and other strange creatures. However, Hellsfire's adventures with his friends still had its own uniqueness. Another thing that I appreciated when reading this was that my question about Hellsfire's named that I had in the first book was answered. I really wanted to know why this character had such a strange name and how it was connected to his fire power, which grew in this book.

Next, I really enjoyed Hellsfire's character. In the first book, he was a bit whiny and insecure. In this second book, Hellsfire became more sure of himself and did not complain. He became more responsible and his powers improved. Though he was a wizard, I also enjoyed how human he still was. This was portrayed on how Hellsfire showed his feelings towards the princess. I can't begin to imagine how much more his character will develop as the series progresses.

As much as I enjoyed this installment, I did not give it a five star rating. The reason why was because I was not too fond about Princess Krystal. I did not like the relationship that Krystal and Hellsfire had. She did show signs that she cared about him but it felt like she was using him. Also, I did not like how in their private moments she would get all "royal" on him. She would constantly remind him that she was a princess and that Hellsfire should not question her. I don't know; I just got a weird vibe from her.

Overall, this was a great continuation of the series. I loved that Hellsfire was able to show growth and I appreciated all of the action that this book entailed. I have a feeling that the third book will be an epic one. I rate it:

You can read my review for the first book along with the author's interview here.

About the Author:
Marc Johnson has moved a lot since his parents divorced when he was two. He also can’t answer a straight question and has developed a taste for sarcastic wit over the years. Probably also for the same reason.
He hasn’t won any awards, but he does have a deep knowledge of Transformers, Star Trek, and The Twilight Zone–his top three geeky loves. He writes because he loves stories and hopes to one day have written something successful as a movie, TV show, comic, book, magazine, and play.
Marc Johnson also loves to game, whether it be video, card, or board. He loves to test his mind in the challenges they bring…until the zombie, alien, or robot apocalypse comes.


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