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Title: The Sound of the Stones

Book One in the Shattered Time Series

Author: Beth Hammond

Published by: Beth Hammond Books (January 3, 2017)

2nd Edition

Pages: 371 (Paperback)

Blurb: Nephilim, aliens, gods – They’ve been called by many names, but when Frankie stumbles onto an ancient book, the truth about the past reveals a more startling reality. What she reads about Ashra and the powerful Krad race makes her question her place in this world. The birthmark on her arm begins to burn as she reads the book, the birthmark that looks eerily similar to the symbol on the first page.

In Ashra’s world, the oppressive Krad race use crystals to hold humans hostage. Unknown to the Krad, Ashra has the gift to manipulate crystals. Keeping her power a secret becomes more difficult by the day. The time to rise up is now, but standing up to an entire race seems impossible. Then strangers bring a message from a land she never knew existed – Ashra is the one they’ve all been looking for.

Frankie and Ashra are separated by fiction and reality, but in the end the barrier shatters. The ancient book about the past holds the future, and Frankie is the key.

My Thoughts: I do not usually begin with my biggest disappointment, but I feel compelled to do so. Frankie is hinted at, in the blurb, to be the one holding the key. She is the character you first meet for about a dozen pages, and then she completely disappears until the very last page, which simply has her stop reading a book and there is a voice on the wind. I would have greatly enjoyed seeing her more often, giving her a scene from time to time to break tension, to remind the reader she exists, and to allow her to develop more for the reader. Consider how they did something along those lines with The Princess Bride, as that is what the ideal would be. I waited and waited for things to return to her, and it never happened.

Apart from that one complaint, I have nothing but praise for the book. The characters were enjoyable, even though it took some time for their paths to finally cross. The history of Ashra’s world, and the inhabitants in there, were imaginative. I smiled at every Biblical allusion in the tale, something I hadn’t expected but certainly delighted in finding within the pages of the book. Tension has built, the main characters are heading to a new place, and the villains are undoubtedly closing upon them. This is the page-turner sort of book that will keep you up past your bed time. The sort of book that you suffer compulsion to instantly purchase the next book in order to see what comes next.

If you like everything resolved at the end of a book with a pretty little bow, you won’t like this because it demands that you pick up the next book. Because the resolution doesn’t really resolve anything, but rather makes promises about what awaits these characters in the next book.

If you enjoy Young Adult, Fantasy, or Christian Fantasy books then you won’t want to miss this one. The only burning question that remains, now, is when that second book will be available for us to purchase.