Friday, March 25, 2022

Review: Jestin Kase and the Masters of Dragon Metal by J. Michael White

Today's read kicks up the action into full gear and dives into a world where pure evil versus an already weakened good. I was won over by the blurb on this one, especially the last half. I want to give extra kudos to whoever was able to build up the tension perfectly on that. 

So before I say more, let's just jump right in! 

by J. Michael White
Teer Publishing
Young Adult Fantasy
402 pages

MAY 3rd!!!

Mankind lost the battle for its soul without knowing. Evil won. And no Chosen Ones are coming to the rescue.

Enter Jestin Kase, a foster kid on the run in Chicago. He finds himself drawn into the underbelly of civilization, where the Three Great Schools of Magic are crippled by their own corruption and unable to push back against the Great Dark. Monsters from Babylonian myth, demons, and the enthralled thrive beneath the notice of everyone. Only one force of good remains: an ancient magic called Dragon Metal. And Jestin is determined to learn its secrets.

But how much of a difference can one person make in a world that’s already fallen?

There’s no fate.

No destiny.

Only Metal. And those brave enough to wield it.



Action, sarcasm, and fighting-grit fill a modern world, which has long since been taken over by demons and isn't even aware of it.

Jestin is an orphan, whose gone through several homes...and killed several of the 'parents' of the homes along the way. Guilt never sets in since he knows that these were truly demons, sapping the life out of the children they supposedly cared for. His latest 'kill' has put him on the radar of the demon fighters and the head of a demon region. Now, he's being hunted and his only hope lies in joining a group, which is fighting an impossible battle. And even then, he only has a chance to survive if he learns to wield the dangerous ,yet, powerful dragon metal.

If you're looking for an action packed beginning with dark undertones, this is it. The first chapters grab with quick-pace and tension pure as Jestin runs from a burning home and cops and demons and more. This setting holds on for more than a couple pages, making it hard to put the read down and simply enjoy the dangerous situations, one right after the other for the first portion of the book. This follows a tight weaving of  magic and demons as well as villains, which demand to be feared. Jestin, of course, has a lot to learn and makes more than a couple huge mistakes, which he pays for dearly before growing. The battle of good versus evil is clear cut with high stakes, making this everything a story like this needs.

Fantasy fans are going to get a thrill as they come up against the monsters and watch Jestin slowly adapt into the situation. It is refreshing to have a story where the main character isn't a special snowflake, and his determination is inspiring. Jestin's hard life comes across in his snarky attitude, too. The only thing to mark against him (which isn't his fault) is the constant naming him as an 'orphan' instead of 'he' quite often. The reader watches him struggle with his own self-doubt and sees that sometimes our own demons are the biggest opponents we have.

The tale runs smoothly with a little slow-down in the middle, but it isn't enough to hurt the read. There are some unrealistic plot points, which irritate, and there's a little background missing on other points. Even the characters, especially the priest, had me wondering at their lifestyle and word usage, but action addicts will forgive all of this. Don't expect much character depth, but it's also not needed. If any of the characters truly won me over completely, it is the cat. Let's just say the tale wouldn't have been the same without him.

This is definitely worth a read to those who love action pure.

1 comment:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think it would make a great movie.