Thursday, December 18, 2014


 From Goddess Fish Promotions a new MG/YA Fantasy/steampunk Virtual Book Tour 
from Author Steven VS….The Kingdom Lights.  About a boy 
who discovers he can have a well of magic if he so desires…
I'm currently reading  this book, however, I am sorry to say I did 
not finish in time for a full review…you can see my thoughts at 
the end here.  Our tour is offering a giveaway…a $50 Amazon
card and a $25 card of the same to two lucky random winners…
so put your name in the hat and maybe the stars will be with you.  
This is the last day of the tour, so I do hope you enjoyed 
following along….as always, please leave us a comment so 
that we know you were here…thx from our newly opened 
division of PLP…Thornton Berry Shire Press.


In a world where cities float, airships sail the skies and mythical creatures are summoned in a pinch, Celes Vale is distinctly average. Living in the shadow of his talented cousin and his powerful aunt and uncle, Celes is resigned to a future of soot, factories and well, more soot.

But on the night of his twelfth birthday everything changes. A blinding light, a whispered voice and in an instant Celes becomes the first ordinary child in history to develop magic, sending him on a fast-track ticket to the greatest of the floating cities, Gardarel. Boasting grand, elegant buildings wrought from shimmering white stone, the entire city appears as though it has been built from light, and so it has come to be called the Kingdom Lights.

Though some welcome Celes, others want the dirt-ridden up-start off their city preferably head first. Nowhere is this clearer than in the attitude and actions of the beautiful and haughty Lady Ban and her sneering nephew, Marcus Blackwood. But Blackwood, with his gang of goons and unimaginative one-liners, is soon the least of Celes s problems.
With a little magic and a lot of detective work, Celes and his group of Scurriers and Wisps unravel the dark truth behind Lady Ban s prim, perfect smile an alliance to the villainous Wardens and the masked man who leads them. However, in his attempt to expose Lady Ban, Celes unwittingly stumbles onto an even darker conspiracy a plan that could lead to the complete destruction of Gardarel itself.


With his immaculately polished shoes, carefully preened suit and even more carefully preened moustache Jaime Milton was the last person one would expect in the sooty factory city of Midgard. His father, Lord Milton, Sr., a great wobbly man with fat flapping fingers like purple bananas was a close second.

It was a brilliant June morning and the city of Floating City of Midgard was alight with life. Jaime walked through the weathered cobblestone streets and watched as houses flung their windows and doors open, lapping in the sunlight. Jaime had not been here for two years and yet the City of Factories was exactly as he had remembered; there were rows of homes huddled together, tightly packed into the little street as high rising billows of smoke sailed into the sky. The cobblestones of rose-tinged granite underfoot were boisterous and uneven and Jaime had to be extra careful so as not to fall over as racing children zoomed past, chasing one another furiously through the street. Some were covered in soot whilst others were rosy clean but, he noted, all were breathless.

Jaime Milton couldn’t help but smile.

“What are you smirking about?” barked Lord Milton, Sr. as his son pushed him through the streets in a beautiful silvery wheelchair.

“Just thinking about the first time I came to Midgard,” replied Jaime. “It was a…”

“I didn’t ask!” announced Lord Milton, Sr., brandishing his polished walking cane. “Always answering questions I didn’t ask! And stop your smiling! There’s no reason to smile!”


Beautiful Cover by the way.

My Thoughts.

First of all, I'm nearly finished, my Kindle says I'm 70% done with the bookso I have a good feeling for what is going on.  And the main thing I wish to comment on first and foremost is this.  

I've read quite a few times already on other reviews that most people find the parallel with Harry Potter to be a big mark against the story.  That it's not original and too similar…?  I have to tell you that I must be the only person who never ONCE picked up on Harry Potter in the least, nothing in this story takes me there or brings him to mind.  Having said this, I can see where if you are picking things apart and comparing the idea that a 12 year old boy finds out he has magic, goes to a school for magic where he is bullied but has a couple misfit friends, and has to fend off the evil sorcerer, then I suppose the comparison could be drawn.  However, for me, I just started reading and the "feeling" that comes from Harry Potter did not come up for me in the least, so the comparison, along with the apparent disappointment, never came in this regard.

The second thing that I'd like to point out is that this book is marketed as a steampunk fantasy….again, other than the floating cities, which is a hugely terrific idea, there has been no steampunk edge to the story whatsoever, which for me, was very disappointing.  I was looking for something magical in the floating city idea, and that's pretty much as far as it goes.
I also see people commenting on the current time of the story and the language.  Again, I never picked up that it was anywhere near our current time.  The story is written in the Victorian flavor of language, more proper English and words that suit a period piece, which is probably why it is labeled steampunk, as that would fit into that world.  I took it as a fantastical, other worldly kind of tale…nothing to do with today.  If anything, future maybe…but the beginning in particular reminded me of Renaissance feeling with the street markets and cobblestone…so there's that.  I actually loved this style of writing.

I really enjoy the main character, Celes, which is the main reason I have continued to read this story…..I truly wish to discover what really will happen to him.  For me, it wasn't as simple as "on his twelfth birthday he discovered he had magic and went to school to learn more"….this isn't what happened at all actually.
The story is very confusing in the beginning, too many things going on.  This happened throughout the book for me I must admit.  But the overlying story kept my attention.
The truth is that some kind of magical "myst" "fog", energy, enveloped the boy and gave him the choice to accept the gift of magic, at his own risk of course.  This deal was made and the magical mysterious being that gave him this power doesn't come back into the story to explain anything….at least not 70% through.  He ventures off to this other city to learn his craft and the bulk of the story involves everything else BUT this.  I kept thinking…when is he going to learn magic or cast a spell or something, what is the point of this whole story?

The friends are fun, the bad guys predictable and the hero…well, like I said, so far the hero is a very enjoyable character.
Some things are very elementary, as would be fitting of a middle grade tale, yet there is a very confusing thread running through the story that makes me believe a nine year old might get very lost…unless they are just in it for the fun and surface reading, they may be able to skim over these advancing story lines that never actually seem to play out to anything…it's like a dozen starts to an adventure and I read to get to a conclusion or a twist or turn in the road, hope there's magic already, and then it just keeps going….no pay off.

So I shall continue to read this story and see if by the end anything changes for me…one would hope!  The ending better take me somewhere, or I'm afraid it's just been a decent story with one note running through, no peaks or valleys or intrigue.  But I'm a grown up,  a kid might discover the magic…let's hope for the best.
I'll post my full review on Goodreads and Amazon as soon as I finish, which should be during the next week.
Remember, these are just my thoughts for now….thx for listening.


A resident of the sleepy coastal town of Bexhill, East Sussex, England. Steven graduated in the summer of 2013 from the University of Southampton with a Bachelor of Medicine Degree and a Master’s Degree in Global Health from Sussex University – where he spent the majority of his time in Shawcross writing this novel!
In between writing and dreaming Steven is a medical doctor and has worked at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and the Princess Royal where he fights the system with quirky lanyards.
Steven’s debut novel steampunk fantasy The Kingdom Lights is out on October 17th published by Neverland Publishing.


  1. What a thoughtful review. I'd be disappointed if I thought something was steampunk and it really wasn't. I enjoy steampunk!

    1. me too! And there are some really good steampunk adventures out there, you should look up josh stanton…he reviews steampunk all the time…his link is on my sidebar…thx for commenting!

  2. Good luck with the release!

    Trix, vitajex(At)Aol(Dot)com

  3. sounds like a very interesting read !