Blood Skies

Blood Skies

by Steven Montano


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Blood Skies by Steven Montano

In the time after The Black, human survivors of the Southern Claw Alliance clash with vampire legions of the Ebon Cities in a constant war for survival. Earth as we know it has been forever damaged by an arcane storm that fused our world with distant realms of madness and terror. Things that once existed only in our nightmares stalk the earth.

Now, humanity is threatened by one of its own.

Eric Cross, an enlisted warlock in the Southern Claw military, is part of an elite team of soldiers and mages in pursuit of a woman known as Red -- a witch whose stolen knowledge threatens the future of the human race. The members of Viper Squad will traverse haunted forests and blighted tundra in their search for the traitor, a journey that ultimately leads them to the necropolis of Koth.

There, in that haven of renegade undead, Cross will discover the dark origins of magic, and the true meaning of sacrifice...

Experience a dark and deadly new world in the debut novel of the "Blood Skies" series from author Steven Montano.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615488615
Publisher: Darker Sunset Press
Publication date: 06/10/2011
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.01(w) x 9.03(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

Steven Montano is an accountant who thinks he's a writer, based mainly on the fact that he managed to get a few D&D adventures published roughly 2,000 years ago. He's been writing as a hobby for almost 20 years.

Steven graduated with distinction with a Creative Writing degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

He and his family live in Washington State, where they are losing their valiant battle against the rain.

Steven is currently hard at work on the next book in the "Blood Skies" post-apocalyptic dark fantasy fiction series. Like every book in the series, it will have magic, guns and vampires. (Really, what more could you want?)

Visit Steven's website at

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Blood Skies 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
DMark More than 1 year ago
This book starts off slow, but then really grabs you after the first couple of chapters. Post-apocalyptic steampunk swords 'n sorcery with guns, grenades and lots of muddy, bloody gore.
Bex_n_Books More than 1 year ago
Dark and thoroughly enjoyable! Reviewer: Bex Rating: 4 out of 5 Blood Skies by Steven Montano is an impressively written, descriptive rich, cross-genre novel. The author’s fantastical plot opened my eyes and kept me gripped, so much so that it was hard to come down after massive build ups of action and tension. It did take me a few chapters to really warm up the characters, so I wasn’t immediately hooked, but as soon as I got into the character’s mind set and the world that he found himself in, I was engaged and happily so. The array of characters kept me on my toes. The author successfully created three dimensional characters that were unique and crafted in a way that brought them to life. If you are looking for a read with traditional evil vamps with a clear thread of horror in the mix, be sure to check out Blood Skies.
raynefirewitch More than 1 year ago
Overall Feedback: Amazing book. That about sums up my feelings but I will try to expound on that a little. Steven does well with a genre that has seen more than it's fair share of regurgitation but this one just throws the genre on it's head and says it does not have to all be the same. A great refreshing new addition to the genre and I was greatly pleased. Point of View: You are Eric Cross or at least wish to be as the story unfolds and the ride begins. Voice: Compelling and helps drive the story to its end. Character Development: This is one of the areas that set this apart from the more than bountiful masses of books in this genre. Bravo to Steven for taking the time to develop great characters. Plot: Another spot that helps break a tired genre in two and keep moving the reader to forget that a thousand thousand of these types of books have made their way into being published. Dialogue: Although consistent with the characters and storyline I felt that some of the dialogue just did not correlate with the character it was meant for. Although I was never pulled out of the story and did not once stop and say to myself hmmm would he say that? Pacing: Unbelievable pacing. You will not have time to look for mistakes and if you do you are just being nit picky and need to stop. Setting: So unbelievable that you want/need to believe. Remember D&D, then you will revel in a book that brings this all together. Continuity: Again flawless and I defy you to be so nit picky to find any problems. Let the flow of the material grab you and hold on tight, it's a wonderful ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A world where civilization has fallen to supernatural chaos, never to return. I enjoyed reading it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While the premise for the story and massive world Montano has woven are really quite impressive, the writing style and editing (or complete lack...) make it tough to get through. 4 Stars for the Story and the World, 2 for writing quality... This being Montano's first, i am only expecting great things in the future!
Rich_Hayes More than 1 year ago
This is a hard book to write about. While the author does an okay joy of developing his characters, locations and events, the story just wasn't, to me at least, one of the books that I pick up and don't want to put down until I had finished it. The characters didn't interest me enough to do more than care a little bit what happened to them. Some of what seemed to be major characters had little development to them and events at times seemed to be rushed and the ending seemed to be there to finish it up. Want to kill time, this is okay. Want to be grabbed, maybe look somewhere else.
Dawson59 More than 1 year ago
Welcome to Hell! First and foremost, not what I was expecting. I thought this was a book about vampires as the main characters and not minor ones. When I realized this wasn’t the case, it didn’t dampen my spirits to push forward.  This is a story of a dystopian society gone mad. The Earth apparently has endured WWIII or another catastrophic event which released the “Black.” This phenomenon has transformed the planet into an utter and unrecognizable land of waste and decay. Even the soil is wrecked with rote and despair. The hero, Mr. Cross and his band, are on the hunt to find “Red”— leader of the vampires and the master “The Old One.” It is time for the reign and terror of the vampires to end and humanity to rise and rebuild. Sounds pretty enticing, doesn’t it? Well, it is and it isn’t. The pros of the story are the dripping descriptions of each and every scene. That is also a problem we’ll address later. You can taste, smell, and feel this horrid landscape which reeks of death and broken bodies. The story provides an excellent timeline, which flows extremely well. This is very refreshing, since many authors today want to add multiple and distracting flashbacks. None here. The creatures Cross and his entourage encounter are some of the most gruesome believable monsters I have come across in awhile. You will shudder as your mind pieces together and formulates a picture of the grotesque beings attacking the group. Very realistic. The fight scenes are, too say the least, full of non-stop action. The one that really sticks out was in Chapter nine. Very intense! The cons As stated earlier, dripping descriptions. This is way overdone. I found myself, like Cross and his fellow combatants walking knee deep in muck and mire, slugging thigh deep through the eerie landscape of a host of overburdening adjectives. It was almost unbearable at times. In fact, as you start getting to the end, I believe the author lost his thesaurus, because the depth and amount of adjectives dramatically tales off, and the story starts flowing like a greyhound.  Fight scenes. I’m one for believability when it comes to fiction. I detected a bit of George Mann in the scenarios. There is no way a human could endure such horrific injuries and continue on, especially without rudimentary medical care.  The ending. Without going into detail, knowing there is a second book in the series, left me flat. Very discouraging. Who will like this? Those looking for a travel into the bowels of the unknown not knowing when or what will be lurking in the dark waiting to bring about your demise.  3.75 stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the kind of book that inspires me to write. Lots of character work and world building here. Cross, Snow, and gang are tough!
Acefisher1 More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite reads this year. I've really enjoyed the characters especially. I'm shocked at how quickly I got to know them and care for them. Blood Skies is a gripping read, and it's really impossible to put down. The environments are somehow so much more vivid and real than something from a non-fiction read. A truly stunning work of verbal art.
SteffyC More than 1 year ago
Original and breathtaking, Blood Skies takes the whole dystopian-fantasy genre up several notches. With a captivating plot and fantastic writing, author Steven Montano is sure to please the hearts and minds of fantasy lovers everywhere with his dark novel. The world is in a perpetual state of chaos, and filled with almost every supernatural creature you can imagine. Warning, this is not a light, fluffy read, and it will take you to the deepest pits of the human psyche. But the tension is real and the characters struggles pull you along to the last page. I only noticed a few errors, which is totally forgivable and did not lessen my enjoyment any. There were a few questions that I still had at the end, but since it is the beginning of the series I imagine they will be answered soon. Off to read the next one!!
Darla_Ortiz More than 1 year ago
I struggled with trying to decide whether or not to give this novel 4 or 5 stars. Only rarely do I give out 5, but this book won out eventually simply for the fact that I could not put it down and read it in one night (pretty rare), and also because I have not stopped thinking about it since! It is memorable and haunting, with some of the best characters I have come across in a long time. But it was the scenery and the way that Steven Montano created the world-building as the setting that has really stuck in my head. The imagery was so descriptive and real-feeling…I got the goosebumps more than once and had to keep reminding myself it was just a book! It felt like I was watching a movie at times, and the writing was better than most I have seen in this genre. It was almost literary, but still easy to read. Cannot recommend this book highly enough and cannot wait to get my hands on the next one.
-Cale-Owens- More than 1 year ago
Just when I thought I had read it all, something comes along and totally blows my socks off! It is not often that I am genuinely impressed by an Indie author, as so many of them make the same mistakes over and over (too much telling, info dumps, poor editing…) but this was not the case with Blood Skies by Steven Montano. Right away I was pulled into this dark and twisted future/fantasy world he created (set in the time AB—After the Black) when the world is nothing like we know it to be, dark and evil creatures rule the lands, magic is everywhere, and humans are at the bottom of the food chain. It was absolute gripping storytelling and I am really excited to read the rest of the Blood Skies series!!
JhonniP More than 1 year ago
This book was epic! First let me just start off by saying that I had totally sworn off the whole vampire thing, and let out a small groan when I realized that this post-apocalyptic/ sci-fi/fantasy novel had lots of them. But I soon realized that this was no ordinary vamp novel, in fact if they were ALL like this I’d be in heaven! THIS is dark fantasy done right! The writing was evocative and disturbing and beautifully descriptive, down to the creepiest detail. I read this book cover to cover in the course of 2 nights and am anxious to start the next asap!
SJWist More than 1 year ago
If you ever wanted to hunt down some vampires, here is the squad to take along to do it. Bring your guns, bows, grenades and machetes, but don't leave your warlock behind. You're going to need Eric Cross to survive after The Black, the apocalyptic hell that our world has become. When Cross' sister gets taken, his original mission of hunting down a traitor takes an unexpected turn. He will be up against some brutal vampires, but expect to find golems, unicorns, spirits, zombies, massive wolves and a world where being a normal human barely makes the cut anymore. In this war you will have to accept and become a part of the fantasy if you are to stand a chance of surviving, as there are arcane nightmares everywhere. Beautiful imagery and writing in here that will help you accomplish just that, at a pace full of action. But don't dream too deep into it all, as you already have a short life expectancy by being a warlock, and the living are soon to become the fantasy. I will be watching for future works from Steven Montano, as this debut novel, Blood Skies, will stay on my shelf for reading again in the future.
Andreat78 More than 1 year ago
Every now and then, I like to read something out of my "wheel house". So, when Steve Montano asked me if I would read and review his book, Blood Skies, I happily accepted. . If you've read any on my reviews, you can see that Blood Skies is definitely not the genre of book I typically read. When I finish a book, I almost always write a review immediately. Other times, I like to let the book "stew" and then write a review. Blood Skies is the type of book that I needed to let stew. Blood Skies is what I'll call an "apocalyptic fantasy". The story revolves around Eric Cross, who is a warlock and a soldier in the Southern Claw Military. Warlocks and witches have spirits, a visible being who is literally a part of them. The spirit heals, protects and fights for the person they belong to. Cross and his comrades, who includes his sister, Snow, who is a witch, are literally out to save the world. To fully explain the workings of their world would take a review longer than I want to write and definitely longer than you want to read. But here's what I do want to tell you: Steve Montano is a writer with a beautiful, poetic style. Montano is somehow able to paint a vivid picture of a bleak world. His world building is stunningly descriptive. His descriptions of the land, the sky, the sometimes terrible creatures who inhabit this world are so consuming, I sometimes had to step back for a bit. The terror had me literally holding my breath. Besides world-building, the author also did a brilliant job of conveying Cross' emotions. He gave an in-depth account of the terror and Cross' struggles to maintain his sanity. Surprisingly, there is also a tremendous amount of love in Blood Skies. Eric Cross has such deep, sometimes shattering love for his team, but especially his sister, Snow, and his spirit. Sometimes, those passages regarding that love almost brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to share a tiny bit: (Regarding Snow)".and seeing her there now, so tall, so beautiful, filled him with worry and nearly brought a tear to his eyes." (Regarding Spirit) "His spirit still held him as if impassioned, and she was stuck to his skin like lover's sweat." I'll be the first to say that Blood Skies is not for everyone. But if you're like me, and want to step out of your comfort zone, Blood Skies is a good place to start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lot of action & weird stuff. not bad though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait to read the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marsha28 More than 1 year ago
This book was very confusing. I am up to chapter two and stopped reading it to start something else. It seems the writer was trying to figure out the characters as it was being written. It started as a dream, then there is a war, then they r in a battle field, then they got attacked then this person as another side of him his "shadow" which is a woman..all very confusing. I'm sure I will finish it, but lastly.
InLibrisVeritas More than 1 year ago
Blood Skies is the first book in a series that reads like an epic fantasy but is set in a world carved from the depths of hell. It’s a dark and death filled shadow of a world, and literally no one seems safe. I’m in love with the lore that Steven created for the world in Blood Skies. The world as we know it has fallen into ruin and decay thanks to a mysterious event called The Black. The undead roam and kill, odd creatures hunt down humans, and some humans now have the capacity to use magic. There are vampires, wights, ghouls, creepy forests and those are not even the creepiest creatures lurking in the shadows. I also love the magic system. The fact that it’s more complicated than “oh I have magic just because” is a huge draw for me. The connected spirit companions and their roles was an incredibly new concept to me and I love it when books surprise me and offer something new.  I’m already a fan of Steven’s writing thanks to his other series (The Skullborn Trilogy) so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed it here. I had a few issues trying to understand everything in the beginning but I’m use to the learning portion when it comes to ‘epic fantasy’. It takes a while to process it’s just a matter of enjoying the ride, and I did. Eric Cross is a mage with the Southern Claw Alliance, and he has been tasked to track down a very dangerous traitor along with his squad. Of his group he is the one with the least experience but thanks to his magic he can hold his own.  Eric goes through a lot in this book, and while he doesn’t have the best disposition at times (and I can’t really blame him) he does have a lot of willpower and courage to keep moving forward. He has his flaws but he also has a ton of strengths that far outweigh any negative and make him a character worth following. Overall I think this is a series worth trying out! It won’t be for everyone, but if you enjoy epic fantasy with a dark twist then please go check it because I need to talk to someone about the ending!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining read.
notrow1 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review. Where do I start? This is a fantastic post apocalyptic dark fantasy! I loved it! Eric Cross is an intriguing character. He is a warlock and a member of Viper Squad, an elite group of warriors who have been tasked with tracking down a rogue witch. I really liked this man. He has a tendency to be overprotective of his sister, but with dangerous vampires around, I don't blame him!  I started to read this book and I was quickly hooked! This story is very hard to describe without giving anything away! The vivid imagery of the apocalyptic red sky, the places and people brought this story to life. A post apocalyptic world is a scary thought! What cataclysmic event created this one is a mystery, but this world is a dangerous one. There are humans, mages and vampires, and a long standing war between them that has been raging for over 20 years. The vampires are dark and scary! I certainly wouldn't want to meet these fiends! They are certainly not sparkly!  There are some intriguing characters that join Cross on his journey, including his sister, Snow. However, none are more so than Cross's mage spirit. She is tied to him and his magic in a mysterious way. He can interact with her, but she is more of an energy or shadow rather than a physical being. As the story unfolded, I was struck by the use of modern items such as weapons combined with old fashioned travel, using horses and camels rather than cars and lorries, which gave this book a steampunk feel. As Cross's journey continues, he meets a witch called Cristena. I really liked this feisty woman. She is reckless at times, but she has a good reason. The story is full of twists and turns that continually surprised me, and there are a few shocking events that made me gasp. The ending was somewhat anti-climatic (there was no cliffhanger as such), but there was a teaser for the second book, which made me want to keep reading!  Steven Montano has written a fantastic dark fantasy that is fast paced and action packed. However, I felt that some of the scenes were a bit too long and drawn out. Nevertheless, this did not destroy my enjoyment of the story, and I look forward to reading more of this series in the future. Due to scenes of violence, I do not recommend this book to young readers or those of a nervous disposition. However, I highly recommend this book if you love dark fantasy, dystopian, post apocalyptic, paranormal or horror genres. - Lynn Worton