Catalyst (The Passage of Hellsfire, Book 1)

Catalyst (The Passage of Hellsfire, Book 1)

by Marc A Johnson

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780983477068
Publisher: Longshot Publishing
Publication date: 01/20/2013
Pages: 346
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.77(d)

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Catalyst 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
VonnieR More than 1 year ago
This book was definitely fantasy. There were wizards, elves, dwarves, dragons, and ogres. It had the typical good guy who was trying to save the world from the bad guy who was trying to take over and destroy it. It was a great coming-of-age story that is suited for young adult readers. I found myself being quite entertained with Catalyst. The plot was pretty good. The opener was quite intense and had me hooked in right away. The next few pages did dragged for me a bit but it then quickly picked up. I wanted to know more about the main character Hellsfire (got to love that name) and what the prophecy foretold about him. I also enjoyed the battle at the end between him and the bad guy, Premier. The characters were quite likeable. Hellsfire was unsure of himself in the beginning but he slowly grew towards the end. Then there was the Princess Krystal; she was very brave and loyal to her people. Her character and that of her father's reminded me of Eowyn and King Eomund from the Lord of the Rings. Next, there was the wizard, Master Stradus. He was the typical wizard with the long, white beard who was very wise. My favorite character had to be the dragon Cynder. I liked how he and Hellsfire bickered at each other. Overall, this was an enjoyable read. Yes, it was somewhat slow in the beginning but it did pick up. This was a great young adult, fantasy read
Momma_Frugal More than 1 year ago
For the book review, a fellow Frugal Momma, who is also a writer, read the book and this is her review. I was excited to read this book based on the story line and if I am correct a new author. My excitement faded quickly though as I read the first few pages. The story seems good but there is too much wording that it makes reading it tedious. I feel the author was taking me by the hand and telling me what was happening instead of allowing me to see things for myself. Basically, show don't tell. Here are a couple of examples. In the second paragraph you describe the dress well enough to tell me that this character doesn't have a lot of money. Then you go on to talk about the elbows and cuffs of the dress are worn fabric. I thought this was a wonderful description! I also know from telling me the main characters job is doing heavy labor is another way of showing me the characters are poor yet in another paragraph you state that they are poor. Another example is, "I sighed and bit the inside of my lip." That line shows me that the character is uncomfortable. The next line is totally unnecessary. I am a little confused as to why am devout religious person would name their child "hellfire" but maybe that is told in the book. I don't know if this book is published or a work in progress. If it is a work in progress and you take suggestions from other readers and rewrite I would love to read it. If it is published I would love to read your next project. As a fellow writer I understand the frustration of peoples opinions but I've been told myself that my first chapter of one of my projects was telling not showing. I think sometimes we are too close to see it. Once I was told this I seen it and rewrote the first and many other chapters. Thank you for allowing me to review. Thank you to the author for allowing me to receive a pdf of the book for the review.
lrjohnson13 More than 1 year ago
A man battling to save the world with a twist. Hellsfire’s journey is incredibly interesting to read about in a world fully developed and awe inspiring. The writing style was nice with description interwoven throughout and not just ‘told’ to the reader. I found the narration of the main character to be off. With as well as the author was able to adaptably description the world his character was just the opposite. There was too much of a step by step process for the reader to follow through inner thoughts. I was able to get in tune with the world but not the character which pulled me out of the story. Note: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Fantasybkgirl More than 1 year ago
What a fun fantasy read this was! It's about a fourteen year old boy named Hellsfire who comes to discover he is a wizard and has a magical power of fire. He lives in a small village with his mother where is bullied all the time. One day he runs into the woods where he first saves Princess Krystal from her abductors. The beginning is kinda slow with Hellsfire training to be a wizard from Master Stradus. It does pick up and gets really good once he leaves three years later when he is seventeen. He sets out to save the girl he loves, Princess Krystal of Alexandria and her kingdom from the evil wizard Premier. The author built a fantasy world that was easy to visualize and characters that were fun to read. It has a coming of age story along with a magical story line. This book had it all, fantasy of course with lots of action, suspense, humor and a little romance. It has lots of different fantasy type characters, trolls, elves, dwarves, orges, wizards and a dragon. There are funny, sad and hanging on the edge of your seat moments. I would like to tell you more of the story but I don't want to give anything away. I am recommending this to anyone who loves reading young adult fantasy. I loved this and can't wait to read the next one. I'm guessing there is going to be a sequel since it's book one right? This e-book was given to me by the author for review. This did not affect my review in any way.
hide-and-read More than 1 year ago
Following the literary model of the unlikely hero, Catalyst: The Passage of Hellsfire introduces us to a poor boy whose moral convictions lead him into the path of greatness. A "do or die" situation awakens latent powers within him that start his quest to become stronger than he ever thought possible. Good timing, too, since he is soon called upon to save his world from malevolent forces that threaten its very existence. The story follows our protagonist, Hellsfire, over a three to four year period of time, during which his powers manifest, and he learns to control them. Sort of. Up until he ends his training prematurely, what we see are snippets of time, short scenes that hold some sort of importance in terms of the plot. It was as if I were reading the Cliff Notes version of classic epic fantasy, gleaning key information so I could jump ahead to the meatier portions of the tale. For this sort of story, however, I would have appreciated more expansion upon these truncated sections. One of the reasons that we love books about the everyman succeeding is that we place ourselves in his shoes and share in his triumphs. With the time skips and quick summations of interim events, I got to the end of Hellsfire's training feeling somewhat robbed. Perhaps part of the problem is that I never fully connected with the character. He comes across as a petulant child with good intentions, and while his generosity and determined dedication to good are admirable, I was frequently annoyed by his repetitive thought patterns and his canned reactions to key events. For the most part, side characters were significantly more likable. Both Cynder and Jastillian ameliorated my issues with Hellsfire to some extent. In spite of these complaints, the book grew much more interesting after Hellsfire finally reached Alexandria. From that point forward, I became truly immersed in the story, racing quickly towards its conclusion rather than dragging my feet. With the assembling of armies and the introduction of a sociopathic villain and his cannibalistic cronies, the plot began to take shape, driving pesky details like character development into the background. I found myself genuinely emotionally invested in the outcome of each skirmish, especially since the pacing finally seemed to come into its own. In terms of the writing, I am somewhat torn. The style appears to be designed for middle school readers, grammatical errors aside, but some of the violent content (e.g. mutilated ogre corpses) makes me hesitant to recommend it to children in their early teens. Perhaps I'm being overly prudish about it. In any case, the language is accessible for younger readers, though I would keep the war-related imagery in mind. On the whole, Catalyst: The Passage of Hellsfire held a lot of promise in terms of the author's intended storyline. For those who want a quick, easy read with interest, it just may fit the bill. Hide and Read (Review copy provided by the author)
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
Catalyst is fantastic fantasy. Marc Johnson has built a fantasy world and left nothing-out kings, princess', wizards, elves, ogres, dragons-and that's just for starts. There's no doubt Johnson has created an amazing fantasy world in Catalyst. The main character is Hellsfire, and Catalyst is told through his POV. I had problems with Hellsfire's character, tough. He's fourteen when this story starts and seventeen when this book ends, and I never see Hellsfire mature during all these years. He starts out stubborn, kind of winey, never learning to listen, and the book ends with him the same way. Hellsfire just seems to stay fourteen to me. But as far as that, that's the only problem I had. I enjoyed reading Catalyst. Hellsfire lives with his mother in Sedah, a small village. His father died before he was born and Hellsfire and his mother live as outcasts in this village because they're poor. So Hellsfire is always being bullied. And it's on one of these days that after he's been harassed by the village bully Hellsfire runs into the woods and rescues Princess Krystal from her kidnappers. He also discovers fire comes from his body. Hellsfire tells his mother about the fire and she admits it's time he has to leave for White Mountain because at his birth, an angel told her this. Hellsfire goes to White Mountain and learns he's called to train to become a wizard. Hellsfire will have to save Princess Krystal, who he loves, and her kingdom of Alexandria from the evil Premier and the wasteland creatures. If you love books like Harry Potter then you are going to love Catalyst. I recommend Catalyst as a fantastic fantasy read.
Butterfly-o-Meter_Books More than 1 year ago
Lovely cover, isn't it? It suits the content like a glove. See, that's one reason I love indie books so much. It's the writer that decides what image should cover their work, and they'll always know better what really fits. I liked the book, to make a long story short. I liked the world, because it was a fantasy-cozy sort of affair, having all those elements I've loved in every fantasy world or story. I wouldn't say there was something overly fresh about the world building, maybe because fantasy tends to have limited resources at times. But then again, maybe I feel that way because I often watch Dad and Mom play World of Warcraft, and after seeing that world, there's little a new fantasy world can spring on you. Oh well. So the world was nice. The plot was very visual, I could clearly picture it in a WoW-like movie, with all the effects and magic elements. I wouldn't say it was riveting, but it was cool to read. The writing was good, it transitions nicely into dynamic mental pictures. There were a lot of good to very good elements in there. What I didn't really get into were the characters. Let's take Hellsfire, for instance. This is a coming of age novel, a nicely made bildungsroman. Hellsfire starts out a poor, sort of isolated kiddo, and ends up a wizard, flirting with a princess. He goes through trials, training, he evolves; yet he never looses a strangely grating way of expressing himself. There's a pedantic hue about him that effectively kept me from having feelings about the guy. I didn't like him, I didn't dislike him, I sort of cared because of the whole set of circumstances, but I didn't cheer for him. I didn't worry about him. The princess, Krystal, was interesting, just like him, but again, didn't invoke any emotional reaction. I would have liked them to be more young-adult friendly, you know? This is a young adult fantasy novel, one of the fewer ones, and I believe it would be a fabulous one, if the characters would feel more ya-friendly. It feels like they're always trying too hard to be appropriate. I'm not sure the ya reader would enjoy that a lot. A parent might think this is a good read, because it transmits sound values, and proper, appropriate attitudes. I'm not so sure the ya segment would find that overly fun, though? Of course, it's only my opinion, I could (and hope to be) quite wrong about it. All in all, it was a pleasant read. I would recommend it, even if I didn't get excited, because you guys might. After all, when it comes to appreciation for characters, each of us has their own particular likes and dislikes. This is a beautiful world, and it's put together beautifully enough to pull off a pleasant read even without fetching characters - that's no easy feat. I do believe the next books in the series will be a much more pleasant ride, because Hellsfire would grow up into a knight-like wizard, and his striving to be so proper might become him, rather the suit him strangely.
TwilightLove913 More than 1 year ago
- The cover: I really like the cover image for this book, the way the flame is coming out of Hellsfire's hands, is great and gives a preview as to what the main character is like. - The characters: The story is told from Hellsfire's point of view. Normally, I like first person point of view stories because you can really get to know the main character's thoughts throughout the story. Unfortunately, in my opinion Hellsfire was a sort-of dry character, maybe "dry" is the wrong word, he's stiff. He's very polite which is fine for a character, but it's almost like he's trying to be a business professional with his conversations and he's only 14 at the start of the novel. I guess my point is he's a little too grown up, in my opinion, for a 17 (or 16?) year old boy by the end of the book. I guess he had reason to be a little off since he was thrust into this life of being a wizard and having the war to deal with. Krystal (the princess of Alexandria) is wonderful. She's not a huge presence in this book, but the times that she is in the story, she's a strong female. She knows what she wants and goes after it, as well as the fact that she is very perceptive and can tell when something is wrong about certain other characters. - The story: The genre of this book is "fantasy" it's VERY much a fantasy book, dwarves, ogres, wizards, elves & everything else in between. My first thought when I started reading and the main character was named "Hellsfire" I was kind-of like "oh, what a weird name!" Then on page 19 of the ePub version Krystal obviously thought the same thing because she said: "Hellsfire? What kind of name is that?" when she met Hellsfire for the first time. I thought that was great that only a few pages earlier I was thinking it. Anyway, this story as a whole was good, but it was very slow and drawn out. I don't know how the series will continue for five more books. The story starts out fine, but while Hellsfire is gaining control of his powers, it skipped ahead one year, then after another few chapters it skipped again. I would have liked to read about the actual training Hellsfire went through. I can't really describe how I felt about this story too well without giving much away because there are a lot of different things about this book that surprised me and I liked. - Overall: I don't know if I was just distracted these last couple weeks with school starting or if it was because I had to read this on my computer (I have no real eReader yet), either way, it took me entirely too long to get through this book. I wasn't super impressed with this book. I was hoping it would pick up the farther I went into the story, but it was pretty slow for the most part. Being that it's the first book in the series, I will probably give the second one a try when it comes out, just to see where the story goes. Overall, I enjoyed the story, if it had a little more action, and a little more teenage behavior I would have been happier though.
Lyddz101 More than 1 year ago
This book was really enjoyable! Marc Johnson's ebook Catalyst; The Passage of Hellsfire combines a good storyline with believable magic and mythical creatures to create an exiting story. The plot moved quickly overall, although it was slow in a few places. Hellsfire was a great narrator and his observations and insights helped build the tension and sometimes made me chuckle. The magic was believable in both how it was used and affected the bearer, and its history and how it tied into mana into their six gods. What I enjoyed most were all the mythical creatures. Trolls, orges, goblins, elves, dwarves, and a dragon! My favorite creatures are the dwarves. I enjoyed the new viewpoint that not all dwarves are warriors, and the description of their city in the mountain was fantastic! I loved all the details about their lifestyle, from weapon choice to the features they carved into of the mountain. Their mountainous dwelling was easy to picture. This is a very nice book, and I rated it a four out of five stars. I received this book for free from the author for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago