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Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted June 25, 2011

    Lovely prose and an original concept

    In this stunning work of fantasy fiction, we are introduced to a theocratic society and a unique use of the concept of negative matter. In an act of brilliant irony, the Prophet has been using the Kelanni people and money to fund the development of a weapon to annihilate them. One of his top Keltar, an elite soldier, stumbles upon his plan and begins an unwilling journey with four others to save the people she has sworn to protect. With former allies breathing down their necks, they race against the clock to save their people and defeat a false god.

    The world of the Kelanni is richly created, from the landscapes and intricate societal rules to the lodestones that power the Prophet's men. Whiteway seamlessly works the necessary explanations into his lyrical prose, allowing one to savor the words and the imagery as well as the plot development. There is an overarching sense of wonder that governs this entirety of this story, no mean feat considering that all is not sunshine and daisies. Perhaps it is related to the balance of intricate description and deliberate vagueness. The latter tactic lends readers the latitude to visualize the Kelanni and various oddly-named organisms as they see fit.

    The character development in this novel is sound. Particularly well-executed are the internal conflicts within Shann and Keris; some of the changes fly under the radar unless one is paying particular attention. Their quest is more than a physical journey; it is a period of forced emotional maturation for all involved. And this is just the start.

    Unfortunately, there were some mishaps within this novel that I had difficulty overlooking. The first is a paragraph in chapter fourteen dedicated to Shann's first time riding a graylesh. It's a lovely passage, but it directly conflicts with the first page of chapter three, in which she rode a graylesh to Lind. The second, and possibly more subjective complaint is that the Prophet has crossed the supposedly insurmountable barrier facing our heroes more than once, yet they never consider how he may have accomplished this feat. In fact, they openly discuss how no one but Captain Arval has ever successfully crossed the Great Barrier of Storms. Adding this to some wonky use of semicolons and italics, I found myself pausing many times in spite of the riveting storyline.

    Book One of this new series was a wonderful fantasy read, and I look forward to continuing with Lyall and company in Book Two.

    Hide and Read
    (Review copy provided by the author)

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Fascinating Fantasy Tale

    The planet of Kelanni is constantly bombarded with meteorites known as "lodestones," precious resources with the mysterious ability to allow the Kelannites to bend the laws of physics and science. Having recognized the invaluable powers that the lodestones possess, The Prophet, the planet's evil ruler, forces the masses to mine the precious ore - quashing any resistance by violent force. As the weight of The Prophet's oppressive rule becomes too cumbersome to bear, though, a small band of rebels join together to overthrow their cruel oppressor and save their beloved homeland - but with a host of daunting challenges standing in the way of their freedom, their impassioned quest soon proves to be no easy task...

    The Sea Of Storms is a fascinating fantasy tale. In it, author Mark Whiteway channels the likes of Herbert, Tolkien, et al, in crafting a compelling world of breathtaking action and mystical adventure. With a vivid cast of well-developed characters and an intriguing mix of intersecting plotlines, The Sea Of Storms is a broad-ranging Sci-Fi epic sure to please die-hard fans of well-crafted fantasy. A promising debut in what one can only hope is an equally satisfying series.


    Chelsea Perry
    Apex Reviews

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2011

    Sci-fi Meets Fantasy to create an Epic Adventure

    One of my favorite things about books is that they have the power to transport the reader anywhere in the world, even if that means transporting them to a different world. Whiteway capitalizes on this power, and uses it to his advantage to bring the reader a creative story filled with crazy animals, gliding cloaks, and star-crossed destiny. At first, the the book appears to be strictly science fiction. The story takes place in the world of Kelanni--a planet devoid of human life, yet incredibly human at the same time. Its inhabitants are being oppressed by the Keltar, guardians of the Prophet who have abused their power in the name of their savior. But when one of the characters receives an important message from the past, an epic journey begins and the characters embark on a quest to travel beyond the Sea of Storms. In the tradition of J.R.R's Lord of the Rings, after the quest is received, the plot becomes fast paced and action filed. There is little down time to become bored, especially in between events like escaping a slave camp or rescuing a comrade from a giant lava snake's den. The world was rich with its own customs, natural laws, crazy creatures and landscapes that, when combined, had me wishing that my jacket was filled with lodestones.

    However, despite the exciting pacing of the plot and the amazing amount of easy-to-understand detail that Whiteway puts into the more alien aspects of his novel, reading the first 100 pages or so was difficult for me. Not because I didn't like was I was reading, but because I couldn't connect to the characters. There wasn't enough background information given about most of the main characters to make me identify what drove them to embark on the dangerous quest, other than the reason that the world depended on it. I needed that emotional connection, the one that makes me go, "Aww.she has no other choice," or "Oh snap, he's going for revenge!" and really believe it. Regardless, Shann, Alando, Lyall, and Keris provided an even balance of skills to the group, and their personalities played well off of each other--especially towards the end. It was hard to choose a favorite, but if I had to, it would probably be Alando. His light-hearted comments relieved some of the tension of the story, and I enjoyed listening to his well placed words of wisdom.

    Overall, the novel was very well done, and the end had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Even though the beginning was a little slow, once the edges of the plot were outlined it became a roller coaster of action and adventure. If you're into books that blend science fiction and fantasy (and blend it extremely well), then I highly recommend you pick up the first book in the Lodestone series. A fair warning, though: The end is a cliffhanger, and a seriously painful one! I know I'll have to get my hands on the sequel as soon as I get the chance.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    Solid start to a promising new series

    As an indie book reviewer, I come across a lot of, um, less than stellar fiction. Then, once in a while, I come across a self-published book like The Sea of Storms and I am reminded of why I do this in the first place. Planet Kelanni has three suns: a white and yellow that move across the sky much like our own Sun, and a large, dim, red sun that never moves, in much the same way as the Earth doesn't when viewed from the Moon. The inhabitants of this planet, though never described in detail, are (presumably) humanoid creatures ruled by a mysterious Prophet and his Keltar emissaries who routinely collect citizens as "tributes," never to be seen again. A young girl named Shann joins two men - Lyall and Alondo - in their quest to overthrow the Prophet and free the tributes. Meanwhile, forbidding Keltar Keris receives shocking information from the strange, somewhat beetle-like creatures known as Chandara, information that turns her world completely upside-down. Woven throughout the drama is a mysterious and precious mineral known as lodestone.

    Though the book's title is somewhat misleading - the Sea of Storms is not actually reached until the last few pages - the story itself is quite good. The action is well-paced and the world is solidly constructed. I especially liked that while there were creatures clearly meant to stand in for familiar animals such as dogs and horses, nothing was described in comparison with Earth since, obviously, the Kelanni know nothing of Earth. Shann, Keris, Lyall, and Alondo are engaging characters, easily distinguishable without relying on stereotypes. Oliah came out of left-field, making her relationship with the leads rather unbelievable, but her appearance is so brief I can almost ignore it. The rest of the book is a marvelous trek through a fantastic new world.

    I'm glad I was warned in the title that this is not a standalone novel, or I would have been irritated at the cliffhanger ending. As it stands, I'll have to see about getting my hands on the next installment in this promising new fantasy series.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    Lodestone

    (from Murphy's Library - rated 3 and a half there)

    Kelanni is a planet ruled by a dictator, The Prophet. He has what we could call an army, a loyal one, the Keltar, who are responsible to make sure no one rebels against their leader. The Prophet is a master in the explorations of the lodestone that arrives with meteor showers in Kelanni. All is functioning as The Prophet expects, but there are people out there that are getting tired of his domain.

    This book, the first in the Lodestone series that Whiteway wrote, is really an introducing book. You take some time to get used to the universe he created, but once you get to know the details about the planet, the lodestone and the wants of The Prophet, you can't put the story down. I've been reading lots of books with different creatures, fantasies and paranormal subjects, but a pure and truly good fantasy and just fantasy book hasn't got into my hands in a long long time. Lodestone is a good fantasy book.

    Lyall, Alonso, Shann and Keris are really good characters and I thought their personalities are well put in this book. Lyall is very well built and I really like him, and Shann is a great character, who I often wanted to hear more from. Alonso made me laugh, even his seriousness can be great. It took me some time to warm up to Keris, but soon I was okay reading her lines too.

    The narrative is good, but sometimes I got a little confused by some of the longer paragraphs-maybe it happened because I was getting to know everything about this universe, and it can be a little overwhelming. The constant reminds of the facts during the narrative, however, are always helping me. In this case, it is good that this book repeats some things.

    It was as good book, and I look forward to continue reading this series, especially with that ending. The book, in the last pages, made me breathless. Mark Whiteway had my congratulations for this book. He was truly carefull creating his story and putting all pieces of this puzzle together, in a way they just fit. Very good work.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2011

    A Wonderful Beginning

    It took a chapter or two for me to become interested in this book. This does not speak ill of the author. It is simply how it happens with me in these types of books. Once I was past the first couple of chapters, though, I didn't want to stop reading. I loved the world that Mark created in this story.

    The book did not consist of humans, that I could tell. Instead, Kelanni were the dominant creatures ... human like, but with tails. The Kelanni had social classes and military, like humans. They were very realistically depicted in their emotions and interactions.

    As a matter of fact, the entire world within the book's pages were well-imagined and depicted. Reading about it made you feel like you could actually go there. How neat would it be to travel to a world where three suns rule the sky?

    Mark has outdone himself with his first scientific novel. Reading it, you would never know this was his first. It reads like a well-written author has taken the time to completely formulate an imaginary world down to the plants, bugs, creatures and people. If you enjoy imaginary worlds and good versus evil, then you will definitely enjoy Lodestone.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fun YA fantasy with flying thanks to Lodestone magic.

    Hastily aiding a strange man who flew into town and seemed to want to help the people taken as 'tributes' to work in the Prophet's deadly desert, Shann finds she is now in the middle of the dispute between the strange man pretending to be a Keltar and the Keltar taking the people. Shann goes on the run to escape the mean Keltar and his soldiers. Shann finds new friends along the path of a wondrous journey of the past asking for help from the future. With the help of her new friends and lodestones Shann learns a budding strength she didn't realize she had, and how to fly like the Keltar. If all work together; Shann, Lyall, Alondo, and Keltar Keris and her new friend Boxx, the fate of all Kelanni just might be safe in their hands.

    In this book Mark, the author, creates a world with three suns, bright colors, and people with tails. With the help of Lodestones and the science behind them there are a select few who are granted permission to us this ability to fly through the air. The world created here is all together new. There are times in the world I wanted a little more description to give a better visual in my mind, but I did enjoy the details given to the lodestone science used by the Keltar.

    The story starts right in with the characters meeting, which is a nice start. At times in the beginning I found it to be a little rough but the story quickly picks up and runs. I liked the characters and the way they matched up. You do have your one odd man out, but this is a nice touch to have a character you like, but not completely trust.

    The story takes you on a journey with these characters through this new world. The story isn't completely new to the fantasy world but the characters and new world make it a fun and interesting journey. There were a few little surprises I really enjoyed too. Like, you might want to watch Alondo. The ending of the story is a cliffhanger ending. I wanted to keep going and see what happens to the world and characters along with the new world they where going to. But, that will have to be the next book (which is currently out).

    This is definitely a book I would recommend to your sprouting fantasy readers. I think they would enjoy the journey and the neat things they do. This is a fun read. The end result of the lodestone science is similar to the results of Brandon Sanderson's metal usage in the Mistborn series. Completely different sciences and rules but close to the same results, in flying that is.

    I will definitely be looking for the second book in this series to follow up with the characters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    A Great Start to a Promising Series (ReadingReview.com)

    The Sea of Storms is the first book in the Lodestone science fiction series and is written by Mark Whiteway.

    The Sea of Storms is a Fantasy-like tale taking place on another planet. It intermingles Science Fiction with the classic Fantasy quest story. There isn't a ton of futuristic devices and such in this story, so it reads more like a Fantasy novel with the main characters going after the evil leader to save their people. You know, this is the the proven Fantasy formula that has worked so well in the past with many a story in other Fantasy novel, but with a twist.

    I found this book to be an interesting mixture of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Mark Whiteway says on the back cover that he built this story around the concept of negative matter, an extension of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. You read that and you think to yourself, "Oh, no . . . what am I getting myself into?" It scares me when I read stuff like that on the back cover. It is usually from first-time writers. I understand that we are talking about the properties of the Lodestone here, but seeing a quote like this could actually scare a potential reader away. Just ignore it for now because it doesn't really matter. You don't need to know what Einstein's Theory of General Relativity or that the story is based off it, just know that the story is extremely entertaining and a fun read.

    Mark Whiteway has obviously put a lot of thought in to the world of the Kelanni. He creates a sense of alieness in his world that we don't often see. There are reference in to story meant to enforce the idea that these intelligent beings have developed on a world that has nothing to do with humans or the things we as a species have invented. I found that I really liked that about this story. Is the Prophet a human? Maybe . . . I don't know yet. I will have to read the next book to find out.

    At first, I found the story to be a little slow. But as the characters were developing and the story was evolving, I found myself getting more and more involved in the plot. By the end of the book, I was gobbling up the words so fast that I reached the last page and wished that I had the second book in my hands. This is exactly what should happen in a terrific novel.

    Overall, The Sea of Storms is a great first book in a series that has a lot of promise. I have seen series go astray, like with Eragon, and I just hope that Mark Whiteway continues to build this series in a way that keeps the storyline moving along at a good pace and the characters interesting. Action is essential to a story like this, so I hope that the action doesn't fall off to descriptive storytelling in the second book. Because I enjoyed this book so much, I cannot wait for the next book to come out. It should be a doozy.

    I rated this book an 8½ out of 10.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Entertaining New Sci-fi Fantasy Series

    On a planet known as Kelanni the people live under the cruel thumb of a dictator. The people are enslaved to mine a resource called "Lodestone." An unlikely band form an uneasy alliance to overthrow their oppressor, free the slaves, and thus save the world. Mystery and magic, adventure and more are all for the taking in Lodestone: Book One-The Sea of Storms by Mark Whiteway.


    Kelanni is peppered with constant meteor showers. The meteorites, or lodestones, possess a wide range of powers from being explosive to enabling a person to fly. Ruling Kelanni is "the Prophet." The Prophet has learned to manipulate the lodestone and, through his highly trained Keltar knights, controls the Kelanni people through violence. Oppressing an entire world takes a great deal of lodestone and thus many Kelanni are taken from their families as slaves to mine the ore. For most Kelanni, this is just the way of things-serve the prophet and live in fear of the Keltar-with the possibility of being enslaved always looming.


    Lyall will live this way no longer and along with his endearing friend, Alondo, is set on overthrowing the Prophet. During an attack on a Keltar, Lyall meets a young woman named Shann. Shann has her own reasons for wishing the end of the Prophet's reign. Lyall teaches Shann his knowledge of lodestone, the source of Keltar's power, and the two form a tight friendship.


    Keris is one of the most skilled Keltar, groomed and trained since childhood to be ruthless in her duties. For some time, she has quietly questioned her beliefs. She is rescued by strange creatures called Chandara after an attack by a giant bird. Through Boxx, a Chandara, Keris learns the true nature of the Prophet and his evil plans. Keris is charged with stopping Lyall and his band of Rebels; instead she joins them in their journey. Together they must cross the Great Barrier of Storms, something never before accomplished. But first they must endure the pursuit of Keltar, countless monsters, dangerous terrain, and mistrust of a former Keltar turned traitor.


    Author Mark Whiteway has created a universe with amazing technology, horrible monsters, and fascinating characters. The heroes are well drawn and I immediately bonded with their plight. The scene painting narrative drew me in and I felt as though I was right there battling along with Shann and her friends. There is more than enough conflict and suspense to keep the pages turning. In fact, as I read I was increasingly enthralled-my reading pace increased as I was eager to find out how this one turned out-only to be let down when the book just ended, leaving things up in the air. I understand the author's need to set up the series; however, the fact that Book One doesn't stand alone was disappointing.


    I recommend Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms to readers who enjoy Sci-Fi/Fantasy and are looking for an entertaining, well-crafted new series in the genre.


    Reviewed by William Potter for Reader's Choice Book Reviews

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2013

    Good read.

    Great Sci-Fi, but no romance. If there were a love triangle, this book would be perfect imho.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Adventure-filled Thrill

    The rebels are forming and plotting by their leader known only as "The Prophet." The Kelanni are being forced to harvest the lodestones. When Keris, a Keltar questioning her work for "The Prohpet," learns that the Kelanni people are in more trouble than is realized, she sets out to find a way to save them. The journey takes a group of five, including Keris, Shann-a village girl, and Boxx-a creature with powers, on an adventure that will reveal astonishing truths and dangerous encounters.

    Author Mark Whiteway makes his novel debut with the first book in his Lodestone series. He creates a fantastical world that is easy to get sucked into. The plot is unique and easily keeps the attention of the reader. Whiteway's writing is smooth and consistent. It has the simplicity to hold the attention of kids and teens while weaving in ideas to appeal to adults as well. The characters more than simple creations. Whiteway creates characters that the reader will love and root for. This is the first book in a series that will surely be loved by children, teens, and adults!

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  • Posted June 18, 2010

    Book Review: Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storm

    This book isn't in one of the genres I find myself reading the most. However, since I do read all genres, I was so happy to be able to review this. My initial mistake was comparing it to the Sword of Truth books. Boy, was I wrong.

    The first chapter moved slightly slow for me, but I think I was just getting a feel for it. This is a new land, different ideals, etc. By the time I had read more, I was dying to turn the page. It is incredibly explained. You feel as though you are there. You can completely imagine the whole book in your mind. It's well represented and explained without being overdone. The descriptions are great.

    The Kelanni have their own world/planet. They ride their grayleshes and have a Prophet that may not be on their side. They prove that sometime enemies can come together for a greater good.

    Make sure that you have a few hours to read. Once you open this book, you won't want to put it down. This new adventure keeps you wondering what will happen next.

    Mark Whiteway takes you into a completely new world. If you have a change, grab your copy and settle in with some coffee and a blanket. I am looking forward to book #2.

    http://amomentwithmystee.blogspot.com/

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended by G. Haughland, Allbooks Review

    On some planet at some time the rebels are forming. Absolute authority over the Kelanni populace, dictated by a being known only as The Prophet, is the norm over this pastoral world. He extracts tribute in the form of food and slaves toward his own end. Aided by seemingly magical enforcers, the Keltar, the populace is subdued and downtrodden. However, a dissident appears. Lyall, a once Keltar apprentice, wants to change the course of history. With the aid of a small but talented girl, Shann, and his best friend Alondo, a musician with a talent for devices they stage a small rebellion. They are hunted down by one of the Keltar's best, a Prophet loyal woman named Keris. While in pursuit of the rebels, Keris is injured by a passing beast and rescued by a strange race of six-limbed creatures - the chandara. They have been appointed sentinels to the past Kelanni, and they convince her that The Prophet is out to destroy the Kelanni, not save them. With some misgivings she turns against her mentor and teachings, and with Boxx, the empath chandara, join the small band of rebels on a quest to save the slaves and their race from destruction.
    From the very first pages on, Whiteway's crisp description of the Kelanni world is impressive. Neither verbose or lacking, only the details that need move the story forward are presented. His rich vision of the environment is filled with references to foreign creatures, artifacts and language, all of which are blended seamlessly into the work. The result is a chance for the reader to use one's imagination and create the world however it feels right. It's is an incredibly effective use of creativity and a method that I found only added to the fabric of the story. The pace of the work remains lively and never sags throughout Book One and leaves the reader ready for Book Two, and beyond.
    For the fantasy fans out there, this is an excellent read. In the tradition of Lord of the Rings, Book One is the beginning of a quest. Don't be disappointed that it doesn't have the traditional dénouement to the story, or even resolves part of the big picture. One can only hope that the next books are as well written and captivating.
    Reviewer: Gregg J. Haugland, Allbooks Reviews.

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