Relic of Time and Prophecies by M.M. Ward
I am a sucker for stories that include things like dragons and dinosaurs. Everyone that's been with me since the start of Kindle & Coffee knows this. I initially added this vella to my reading list because of the dinosaur tag. This should surprise no one.
Add time travel, prophecies and magic and I was hooked before I even read the blurb and while reading, I may have been walking around for days singing the 'Holy poop it's a dinosaur' song. And while my vella itself doesn't have a child friendly rating the reviews and blog itself do (even if the content is spicy!).
If you have no idea what song I'm talking about, you can click here... though that YouTube link may forever ruin Jurassic Park for you. That said, you're missing something amazing if you don't click.
Now that I've gushed about my love of dinos, as many of you have seen in my recently created ... horrible trailer of Dinos of the Old West that was posted to Instagram and TikTok, I'm here to tell you all about Relic of Time and Prophecies by the amazingly gifted M.M. Ward. I can't really offer you my thoughts on who or what this amazing story can be compared to.
One of my favorite comments on InstaGram when I posted a recent what's in your Vella video, was the one I received directly from Magie herself:
I know that not every author takes the time out of their day to reply to to a posting about their work. It is always refreshing and inspiring when they do. While this comment is representative of the Vella's blurb, it still meant a lot as a reader and reviewer.
Let's dive in!
It would be easy to get lost in all of the amazing short scenes we were offered at the beginning of Relic. But these amazing little scenes help set the stage in a prologue through three episodes in a way that allows introduction to some of the tale's biggest players. A prophecy, a timeless father who loves his son, a son who married out of duty, and two mischievous boys with a love for per-historic creatures.
I have to tell you that meeting Ezra and Davin the first time was refreshing. (Magie... these two weren't the only children fighting about dinosaurs and having teachers think they were saying things beyond inappropriate... not that I'm speaking from experience... much). As a reader, it was easy to relate to two young boys who reminded me far too much of myself only to watch as they grew into young men, one who survived the loss of a father.
It's interspersed with these introductions where we go from glimpses of these two young men growing up to being dropped into a scene out of something that can only be described as Jurassic Park.
As a science geek, when I first saw Jurassic Park I couldn't help but wonder why frog DNS. Why not something closer to these creatures. For some, ratites, others crocodiles and while we wouldn't have the same nuances that birthed Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton without amphibian DNA, I asked did ask my father why the didn't use something like komodo dragons. My father was and still is a nuclear physics kind of guy, not biotechnology. At the time he just shrugged, but me as an adult, looking back at this blurb from episode two explains that childhood curiosity. Aggression.
And then the answer from Daisy when it came to solving this particular problem not only had me laughing, it sucked me in and had me glued to my phone.
Considering what happened in Jurassic Park, Lost World, the B movie third installment and then Jurassic World, I couldn't imagine how differently things would have gone. It's thoughts like this one that kept me glued to my phone.
It normally takes me more to get sucked into a Vella to a point where I'm experiencing something along the lines of immersion. While I was resistant to leaving behind the lab and all of the crazy bits that made it come alive, as a reader we needed more glimpses into Davin and Ezra's lives.
I will admit that things are a little disjointed and that some of the perspective switches can be jarring, but with what we're being presented this jarring changes actual added to the Vella and didn't detract from it. This isn't something I can say often and I have to give kudos to Magie for working these transitions in a way that left you removed from the story, but still immersed at the same time.
In Episode Three we're finally introduced to Ezra and Davin as adults and this is where this vella takes off and begins to shine. Our dynamic duo have been given a post graduate opportunity to study internationally. It's a too good to be true moment. One of those where you can't believe things are going this well for them.
Of course these poor boys even discuss that the situation is too good to be true. They even talk about it, how all of this is happening fast and far too good to be true. I'm going to provide you a bit of a longer excerpt from Episode Three as it is one of the free ones and in all honesty, if this excerpt doesn't hook you, I don't know what will:
This passage in Episode Three gave me goose bumps! Mysteries within mysteries, time travel and yes, this comment is 100% directed to my cohort in crime. One of the episodes about a third of the way in is titled "Seriously, Zombies?!"
I will also admit that I had to stop at Part 2 for two reasons. One, I want to read the prequel and then power through these episodes again in order to have a broader picture of what it is I'm reading. And two... that ninth set of 1700 tokens. *poof*! They went so fast!
That said, you don't have to stop at the beginning of Part Two like I did. Read this as I'm itching to keep going as this amazing Vella and the world that Magie created has quickly become a guilty pleasure and if I did as much reading in it as I wanted to, all at once... I would have some very angry authors who are dev clients wondering why I've missed deadlines and my readers would riot. That doesn't mean that once I'm through the prequels I won't be devouring more!
As an avid reader, the biggest thing I can tell you I lack is self control and I have to apologize to Magie right here for not unlocking the next episode. But the good news is that I will continue reading and once I have the opportunity, I may even come back and review Part 2 as this is something that I have actually written into my planner because I plan to make it happen.
Okay, if I could give you more of a play by play review of a writers work like our dear Zombie Phreak without spoiling everything, I 100% would. But that isn't my thing. So here's what I'm going to tell authors who read and potential readers:
Mama Magie Ward gives us a tremendous wealth of material from a prologue (which I have to and read now!) that is over one million words of work. This binge worthy (yup, I hate using those words, but can't help it!), token dropping, kept me up for several days of reading both here on Vella and other platforms has been beyond awe inspiring. If you are like me, and love tale that involve dinosaurs or time travel, assassins or even the potentiality for zombies, then prepare to be sucked in and lost in the Relic of Time and Prophesies. This is one hell of a wild ride that you do not want to miss!
To quote Zombie Phreak, Check it out!
Kitty: First - What was your favorite book growing up? Has that changed as an adult?
Magie: Favorite book? Oh gosh, I loved so many but I think A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeline L'Engle was my favorite, and all the books of Anne McCaffrey, I wanted a firelizard so badly. I still love the Pern series
Kitty: Who is your favorite author?
Magie: Anne McCaffrey and Madeline L'Engle were my favorites. I love so many authors now, that I don't think I could pick a single favorite from Fantasy or Sci-Fi or Shifter genres.
Kitty: Have these books or this author influenced your writing style?
Magie: Oh yes. I love those three genres, but also Overcomer fiction, and scribble in all of them. I enjoy sharing the journey of my often broken characters trying to find their way through tough times.
Kitty: Do you have a favorite serial that you would like to recommend to other authors?
Kitty: What drew you to writing about time travel?
Magie: I am a huge fan of time travel and alternate universe travel stories... All the What Ifs and all the consequences. The Relic of Time and Shadows War series is entirely about consequences of tapering with time wrapped in a Sci-fi/swords and magic adventure blanket. There are so many side characters and subplots and world building elements that I have 30K words of info in one document and am starting to put the World of Aetheria on WorldAnvil.com
Kitty: From reading your blog, I understand that writing has been a part of your recovery process following a major life changing event. If you are comfortable sharing, can you tell us how writing has helped facilitate your healing process?
Magie: Writing became my path back to language after my stroke. Reading and creative writing helped me retrain my brain to express itself. It has also helped me catalogue my experiences as my short term memory doesn't always convert to long term memory. Understanding the experiencial memory stores in a different part of the brain than rote memory ( the things we read and learn) has helped me cope and continue to strive to be better, instead of being bitter, about my brain damage.
Kitty: I’ve seen the breadth of work for this series on other platforms. Can you tell readers about your plans to release additional ‘books’ in this series or how to find them?
Magie: I will be putting the Relic of Time and Shadows War on Vella. The Huntsman of Adamos Prequel series is already on Kindle for $1.99. I will also be starting to add other stories as I write them.
Kitty: Okay, in addition to the above about your series, what made you include dinosaurs? (Have to ask I’m a dino and dragon nut)
Magie: I am a dragon and dino nut too! I just loved the Jurassic Park/ World and of course, All the Dragons of Pern. I love the idea of corrupted time and what if the earth isn't as old as we think it is! What if genetically resurrected dinosaurs could be brought back and be our pets and steeds? That would be so cool but we all know some Corporate Mogul would try to abuse it.
Kitty: How do you feel about Kindle Vella? If there was one thing you could change about it, what would it be?
Magie: If I could change one thing about Vella, it would be advertising. I was in the Beta and when the soft launch happened, all the authors had to advertise our own work. I also HATE that I can't attach my Vella stories to my Amazon Page., this needs to be a thing they add and add SOON.
Kitty: If you could go back in time and tell yourself anything about becoming a writer and your writing career, what would it be?
Magie: I wouldn't change a thing except to reinforce that I shouldn't get discouraged because there is nothing one can't relearn. Don't Listen to the Imp (Imposter Syndrome).
Kitty: Finally, if you could tell your readers anything about yourself, what would it be?
Magie: I am not toxically positive, but I honestly believe through hard work and positive mental attitude anything can be overcome. Yes there will be bad days, but tomorrow is always waiting beyond the sunrise.
I am really a coffee addict and it isn't just a gimmick. I thought I would die the first year after my stroke because they said no coffee, then the Doctors said coffee in moderation is okay. Honestly it was the longest 11 months and 12 days of my life!
Magie has an amazing amount of material available inside the universe that his Vella takes place in. You can find her on her Blog: PenumbraMine Writing. Inkitt, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon Author Page and FaceBook Author Page. Her Good Reads page can be found here. Magie also has unedited rough drafts for those who can’t afford Kindles and much more via Ko-fi.
With the insane influx of review requests, I'm not posting whats coming next week as I'm trying to work out a schedule that allows us to post more than one review a week. I've also been working on first passes through the 83 new submissions. As part of this, I'm organizing the review list and contacting some of the authors that may not have received favorable reviews because we all know I don't do that.
Yesterday, I sent out a State of the Coffee Mug to authors who have submitted review requests and to those who have subscribed to our newsletter. What I can tell you is that I will be doing my best to let you know what we're reviewing the day we release them and hopefully tell you more in advance in the future. There will also be two marketing-ish surveys coming to gather info from both readers and authors on Vella and user experience.
What does that mean for our next review? It's coming as soon as possible! That Vella is Steele Heart by Jill Cooper. It will be followed by The Last Sunrise by Martin Shannon. Get caught up in both and we'll meet back here here soon to share our findings.
Between then and now, don't forget to take a look at our last, Chew: The Complete Second Season featuring my developmental editor, Zombie Phreak. It was amazing to have a chance to come back and take a look at this post zombie apocalypse infected turned survivor tale. Even if zombies aren't your cup of tea, I encourage you to give this one a try. To be honest, I get so lost in this vella that I forget it's a zombie feature!
Our Review Index is not completely up to date, but that update is coming in order to make sure we're keeping track of who, where, when and how to reach your favorite authors and stories.
Between now and then, don't forget to check the trailer for The Explorers! I've been told it may need a trigger warning? Sorry? Not sorry? Still don't see it as triggering unless you have a dislike for clowns?
Until next time, may your adventures be plentiful and exciting! Just not as exciting as X's.