Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Straight Reading from the Library: The Sciell by Auden Johnson

This review is in conjunction of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Auden Johnson will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Darkness is alive. It has power.

Shade, a half-breed, and her adopted brother and protector, Vayle, are discovering the dark lies behind their village. Their home is in each other. Family runs deeper than blood. Shade tries to find herself beyond the bullied half-human. Vayle's only job was to be his baby sister's shield. He trained her too well. She doesn't need his protection. They're lost. Maybe Raesul's destruction will show them their true selves, their true purpose. The prison walls are coming down. Darkness is changing. The world will suffer.


This is the first in a series of a dark fantasy--kudos to Ms. Johnson for not going the easy route. This book took some careful reading, because it jumps right into the action and this reader was not sure at first if she was reading about sentient zombies, vampires, or a breed of really dark fae. In fact, the answer is none of the above. It was her first introduction to the Del'Praeli-- a race of beings who live on raw meat. And, it seems, some of which have developed a taste for human flesh.

There is more to them, and to their history, than this, though, and Ms. Johnson slowly reveals the background of the Del'Praeli and their very complicated relationships with each other and with the outside world of humans, which is unaware of their existence.

Beware, this is not an easy read and it starts off slow, but it is very well written and, if you hang in there, the relationships begin to make sense and the history of the Del'Praeli is explained. In the world of the Del'Praeli, Darkness is not just a state of being--it seems to be sentient and have power.

The characters are well drawn and are definitely not carbon copies of each other. They each have their own voices, their own stories, and their own drives. The interactions between them, good and bad, give the reader a feel for them. I'm looking forward to exploring more of the characters themselves in the next book since most of the world building, I'm assuming, has been set up in this book.

The action speeds up in the last half of the book and the main characters learn more about themselves and the world they live in and things really heat up. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series to find out what happens to them now. 4 stars.

“Maggot infested garbage must exist between those ears. I let it go once. You told me you would not walk around alone. I am really tired, Shade, of seeing you bleeding and beaten.” He rubbed the bridge of his nose. “And if you apologize, I’ll rip off your barren head. You’re apparently incapable of using whatever dim knowledge your moth-eaten brain possesses.”

His angered-fueled words had long since lost any ability to hurt her.

“On top of that, you took half of Wraith’s Lifeblood to launch a physical on a Del’Praeli in sceadu. Have I taught you nothing?”

She grinned. “Well, when you put it like that…”

He stopped pacing and faced her. Shade tried not to run screaming.

“This is not a joke, child.”

He raked his fingers through his hair, turning it as wild as his eyes. Nothing Shade said would calm him down. She had to try, though.

“Five years in the human city made me forget how bad it was here. I know Del’Praeli were awful to me. In my memories, they didn’t seem that bad.” Shade unclenched the fist she didn’t know she had balled. Vayle calmed down. “I guess I don’t have…”

His glare cut off her sentence. Once again, she said too much.

“You, baby sister, keep trying to fit your body in a box it was never meant to be in.”

Vayle’s famous saying. His expression eased. She smiled weakly.


As a kid, Auden created her own books by folding several construction papers in half and stapling them down the middle, adding her own illustrations. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t get away from writing. She holds a B.A. in English, a M.S. in Library and Information Science and she studied Creative Writing in England. She’s an Author/Research Assistant for Aubey LLC and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY- working towards her Masters in Publishing at NYU. Her short stories and novellas are on Amazon. Book 1: The Sciell and Book 2: Chains of the Sciell of The Merging Worlds series are now available. Her first non-fiction book, Building Dark Worlds: A World Building Guide, is also available.

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  1. What is your favorite non-fiction?

  2. Great review and wonderful excerpt.

  3. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

  4. Where is your favorite spot to read?

  5. Thanks for sharing your review! I'm looking forward to checking this one out myself :)

  6. I enjoyed the excerpt, sounds interesting. Entering under the name of Virginia

  7. I enjoyed the excerpt, sounds interesting. Entering under the name of Virginia

  8. Nice Excerpt! I hope to read this book.

  9. I have enjoyed learning about the book. Thanks for sharing it.

  10. Thank you for the review. I helps me to understand more about the book.