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Review: The Monsters We Feed (#1) by Thomas Howard Riley (Escapist Book Blog Tours)

Rating: 8/10


The morning before he found the dead body, Jathan Algevin thought he had his whole life just the way he wanted it.  

He knows his city inside and out, and doesn’t bother carrying a sword, trusting his wits and his fists well enough to get by, hustling extra coin by ratting out loathsome magi to the law for execution. 

He and his sister, Lyra, have watched out for each other ever since the day they were orphaned by a bloodthirsty rogue sorcerer, and now they finally have steady work, good friends, and the freedom to spend every night laughing at the bottom of a bottle. 

But nothing lasts forever.

When he stumbles across a brutal murder, Jathan discovers a strange crystal lens that opens his eyes to an invisible world of magick and terror lurking just beneath the surface of his own, making him question everything he thought he knew. 

But will gazing into this new arcane realm lead Jathan to save lives, or help destroy them?

With dangerous people hunting for the lens, monstrous lies unraveling his life, and a hidden underworld calling to him, it is only a matter of time before his whole world comes crashing down. 

Will he find the answers he is looking for, or will he only find a monster needing to be fed?


Think of something that truly threatens the aspect of your soul. An absence. Something that should make you feel and care for, but something that pulls at the tug of your moral conscience. Why are humans capable of committing the most evil and heinous crimes? Because without empathy, and apathy combined, then there is no shame. No regret. The world of Kolcha, the very city where Jathan lives proves that there is an undercurrent of shame and turmoil and that not everything is as it seems. You can’t take anything for granted in this city.

There is, of course, magic. Magic and the people who want to get rid of it. In a way, I imagine that if magic were real, if superhero powers were real, if people had the ability to do what they would want; then Governments, Establishments, Corporations, Kingdoms, and Empires no matter how many numerous names you can put it under will want a share. They will want to restrict the liberty of that human. They will not tolerate it. Because it is about profit. And there’s plenty of that in this story. Plenty of gang-warfare, discontent between societies, and Jathan discovering that there is a dark under-current beneath the city he once knew was his.

There is solid worldbuilding, and a rich detailed history of the city, its gangs, and so on. I do wish there was a glossary, which would be able to detail more of this. Sometimes, I feel scenes could have been slowed down. But don’t that let bother you. It is a search for the future and the past. Jathan’s journey has only just begun. I look forward to joining Jathan in more adventures. This is a fantasy thriller, one that has more secrets, that has more than meets the eye. This story is not a story alone, it is a search for the deeper truth. To find out, who we truly are. And whether we are our own monsters at heart. What can we do then, to quell that very evil that resides within us?

A solid 8/10 from me! Go buy this novel now!


Published by Mada

The Medjay of Fayium is a book blogger reviewing sci-fi and fantasy. He reviews fantasy set elsewhere from Medieval Europe, and is a keen gaming youtuber, and reviews video games and TV shows. I particuarly look to fantasy that pertians to Ancient India, Mughal India, Tang China, Medieval Africa, Medieval Japan and Native American Inspired fantasy. I review YA, Paranormal, alternate hisory. My goal is to give readers that are tired of reading the same setting in fantasy something unique. I love Medieval fantasy, but I want some more exciting. I especially love Historical Fiction and love the Crusades, Ancient Rome/Greece and the Classical World, and the Bronze Age. Egypt and the Hitties are my most favorite periods.

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