Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back for another blog tour with @TheWriteReads today for the 2020 BBNYA Winner: The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King. Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here! 😍
I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition and/or the BBNYA tours organised by the @The_WriteReads tours team. Special thanks to for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review!
More information about about BBNYA available at the end of my post for those who want to know more, especially authors!
Goodreads: The Lore of Prometheus
Publisher: Fallen Leaf Press
Published: 10 December 2018
Genre: Urban Paranormal Fantasy, Military Fiction
John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive
Graham Austin-King was born in the south of England and weaned on broken swords and half-forgotten spells.
A shortage of these forced him to consume fantasy novels at an ever-increasing rate, turning to computers and tabletop gaming between meals.
He experimented with writing at the beginning of an education that meandered through journalism, international relations, and law. To this day he is committed to never allowing those first efforts to reach public eyes.
After spending a decade in Canada learning what ‘cold’ really means, and being horrified by poutine, he settled once again in the UK with a seemingly endless horde of children.
To date he is the author of five novels, drawing on a foundation of literary influences ranging from David Eddings to Clive Barker.
TL;DR: This book was one helluva ride! The Lore of Prometheus is certainly not for the faint-hearted as it can get quite grim and there’s definitely a lot of blood and gore (and other topics mentioned in the CW below), but I can certainly see why it won the BBNYA 2020! This read was action-packed and our main characters, while flawed and morally grey, are easy to root for. Not to mention the running ghost gang commentary and banter that was a welcome comic relief between all of the darker/heavier elements. Austin-King definitely served us a unique story with this one!
I was quite sure this would be a bit outside my comfort zone because it’s a military urban fantasy and I can count on one finger how many of those I’ve actually read. Not to mention the fact that there are ghosties, and you know me (The Ultimate Chicken™️) and how well I don’t do those, so I was already biting my nails in fearful anticipation even before starting the read! That said, I actually really liked said ghosties as they were highly entertaining, if not a little violent, and added funny banter filled breaks in between all the other very heavy stuff—and heavy stuff there definitely is. This book is not for the faint-hearted because it gets intensely dark, grim and gruesome at points, although bear in mind I don’t often read books this dark so maybe that’s more to readers like me, who are curious about this book and are unsure what they’d be getting! 😊
CW/TW: PTSD, addiction, gambling, torture, immolation, drugging, kidnapping, medical experimentation, gun violence, war scenes, hallucinations, blood, gore.
Some unique elements that made this book stand out to me were the real-life setting in urban fantasy, the exploration of the effects of PTSD and survivor’s guilt which was handled very well, and also the way the author highlighted the impacts of war, not only on the soldiers but on the war-torn country. I liked that the author doesn’t side-step the brutal reality of the effects of the war in Afghanistan and how twisted it is that the country has become somewhat dependent on the things that contributed so greatly to destroying the structure of the country’s society in the first place. I also liked the author’s choice to set this in the real world as it made it that much easier to picture the settings as the story unfolded. Austin-King’s writing really brought the setting to life and it almost felt as if I were there in the desert, breathing in the hot dry air and baking under the powerful sun, too.
Although I found the pacing at the start to be quite slow, what made this an easy and enjoyable read for me were our MCs, Carver and Mackenzie, and the ghost gang (as I’ve taken to calling them) who are Carver’s former squadmates. I tend to have a soft spot for morally grey characters when done well and that’s what we got here. Carver and Mackenzie don’t always make the hard but morally sound decisions and I loved seeing them toy with taking the “bad but easy” choices and questioning what their morals are worth. The author has created such realistic characters, even when they’re placed in a situation that I really can’t imagine surviving, that it’s hard to not empathise with them and to root for them to kick villain ass. And these villains were next level psychotic! 🙈
Our MCs are very broken individuals but instead of letting that defeat or consume them, they wield their brokenness and it is absolutely wild! The fantastical elements were done so believably that I didn’t struggle to accept it, even in this real world setting! In the middle of all this dark writing you’d think it’d be inappropriate to throw in some banter but Austin-King inserts the humour in so well that it can only be accepted as a welcome relief. The ghost gang were fantastic characters and I got surprisingly attached!
What I wasn’t entirely sold on was the romance, which I thought felt quite rushed. I knew it was going to happen from the minute we’re introduced to Mackenzie but I also felt that it almost came out of nowhere when it finally happened? I get that it was probably a result of the adrenaline rush of escaping tortured imprisonment, but I felt it went from zero to all in very quickly. That said, I couldn’t not picture them together and I did enjoy their very sarcastic banter throughout the journey, not to mention the ghost gang teasing made it easy to root for the couple, too. In that same vein, while the ending was satisfying, for the most part, I felt it was quite rushed as well, and there were still some questions (about the location, people, consequences!) that I don’t think were properly addressed.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors.
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Have you read The Lore of Prometheus or is it on your TBR?