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Then – by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps – A Book Review

I finished Wham!in two days and Then, book 2, in only one day and a half. Yes, a day and a half, not two, because I started reading it in the late afternoon, so that counts as half a day, right? 😉

Then is the second book in the Timewalker series (please see my previous post for my review on the first book, Wham!)
Just like Wham!, Then immediately pulls you into some action, but rest assured, in chapter 2 you are given the opportunity to catch your breath 😉

Then is slightly darker than Wham! and it offers us an insight into characters that were less prominent in Wham!, but who now prove their worth in the story. New characters also appear, to help the evil Potentate with her plans.

So, just like my previous review, I will first give you a brief synopsis, then a review, and finally my opinion. Don’t worry, I don’t give away spoilers. Personally, I don’t like them, they really do spoil the excitement and anticipation, so I will gladly leave out the spoilers.

What Happens in Then?

The World Alliance is growing more powerful, children are disappearing, and the countryside and the population are besieged by poisonous spraying. While the Underground is organizing a rebellion, the Potentate is resorting to more evil to stop the threatening uprising. Laws are passed to hamper everyone’s movement, and the Potentate’s malice doesn’t even stop at mind control.

Tess, her father Kellen, Maxi the Troll, and their fairy and human allies must do everything possible to stay out of the Potentate’s claws and find a way to rescue Niah, Tess’s sister. In the meantime Niah is carrying the Potentate’s child and she is desperate to escape before the birth.

heart-of-the-staff-carol-marrs-phipps

My Review

Then picks up where it left off in book 1. Like I mentioned in my introduction, an action scene pulls you straight into the story. In the following chapters you are allowed to catch your breath as it slowly builds up towards the rebellion. I enjoyed the introduction to more magical creatures and the author’s frequent mention of birds, especially the wood trush which is Tess’s bird. It is hard not to miss the author’s love and knowledge of birds 🙂 and I love those details.

ravenCharacters that played a minor role in book 1 now begin to take on a more important role. One example of that is Jasmine. In Wham! she was an irritating teenage girl with a foul mouth, but now in Then we learn her back story and begin to understand where all this anger is coming from. I even started feeling sympathy for her and I was interested in seeing how her character and story evolved. Lucky for me, the authors didn’t disappoint.

There was one new antagonist who intrigued me. I wasn’t sure at first where his loyalties were or if he could be swayed to become a part of the Underground, especially because the Potentate had hurt him in his past. I was looking forward to seeing this character develop, but alas, he decided to remain in the same camp. He still managed to get some sympathy from me though 🙂

While Wham! was dark, it was also marked by magic. Wham! was the first book I read where dystopia and fantasy were combined, and successfully so. In Then, the authors go even further by pitting technology against the powers of magic. And the technology that the Potentate is developing is creepy. No, I’m not telling you what it is, I promised no spoilers.

Get the book to find out 🙂

My Opinion

All in all, book 2 is clearly leading up to book 3 (yes, there is another one on its way). It looked to me like the story was definitely preparing for the grand finale that is coming. There were interesting new characters in Then and I enjoyed reading about Jasmine’s growing role. Moreover, I even liked one of the bad guys, and in my opinion, it takes a talented author to elicit concern for the villain. I also noticed that it was much easier for me to understand the fairy and troll language, yay! Does that mean that I’m getting fluent at Niarg? I have always been good at learning languages, lol, so I may have picked up a few things here and there when I read book 1 😉

fairy-tree

Rest assured, Then also has an extensive glossary and dictionary for the Troll and Fairy language. Once more, big kudos to the authors for putting in all this effort to make up this language, to ensure that the reader understands it, and even adding a dictionary. That is a lot of work and deserves a round of applause.

So, if you already finished reading Wham!, what are you waiting for? Get Then and find out what happens to Tess, Niah, Maxi the Troll (who is still my favorite), Jasmine, and all the other mesmerizing characters.

Then is available as Kindle, paperback, and also on audiobook.

 

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Lila C Duville

14 Comments

  1. This is a really great review you have gotten over here. Being able to give a review interestingly well without having to give a spoiler is a really great thing yo do. I enjoyed reading every bit of this and feel like grabbing this book already. I read wham but never knew it will lead to such a more intriguing piece. I must say a really big thank you for giving me this entertaining update….I can’t wait to dive in.

  2. Yet to read wham, so I couldn’t resonate well with what I’m reading here but definitely, I love the review of this “then”. I love the review up here and it has really awoken my interest into reading the wham. Though you made sure not to give out the spoilers but to be honest, I got really intrigued by this already. It’s high time I got myself a copy of Wham . after that,I will get this. 

  3. What I like about this book is the continuous story line from book one Wham. A lot of book series never actually com=ntinue from the first book and if they do it is very loosely related. Another thing I liked is that this book THEN introduced new characters that seem to effortlessly mesh with the old characters. Great writing and can’t wait to see what is next not only for the book series but the author as well.

    • I agree, great writing! I’m also looking forward to seeing what’s next.

  4. Hi Carol. You have certainly made me sit back and take notice. Thank you for your informative article on “Then” and “Wham”. I have never heard of these books, but I must tell you that I’m a Science fiction and science fantasy fan, a big one. I can’t wait to read both of these books, so I will certainly be clicking on the link you provided and purchasing them. Thanks again. Jim

    • Hi Jim, if you’re a science fiction and science fantasy fan, then these books are right up your ally 🙂

  5. I had the opportunity to read your article about Wham! and it really catch my attention. For a book to be followed by series is worth reading. For one, anticipation of the events is felt by readers. Another thing is looking forward on the transition and evolution of characters. For you to finish a book in 1 and a half day means it has really piqued your attention that you can’t put it down. I think there is so much in this series that has yet to be unveiled by the authors. I wish to get a copy of the series and once the 3rd book is release, then I can allow myself to purchase it. I cannot wait for a month once I get my hands into series. It has to be available when I read the first book. Thanks for sharing without spoiling. It got me more curious about the story.

  6. Thank you for the review!
    I haven’t read a good fantasy book in a while, now I know exactly what I am going to read 🙂

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