A little while ago I finished reading the book "Lair of the White Wyrm" by Lea Ryan. I decided I wanted to give it a review, as I think her writing shows some promise. Before I do that, however, let me give a short description of the book. Let's see if I can do this without giving anything away.
The story is about a young recovering drug addict named Eric, who just lost his best friend to the same addiction. In an attempt to get his life together so he can start down a decent path, he has enrolled into a college photography program and moved in with his uncle, Nate. Nate gives him room and board at Ducat Tower in exchange for maintenance help. Ducat Tower itself overlooks an old closed down mine that operated decades earlier. Nate introduces him to Chelsea, another resident of the tower.
Ducat Tower and its mine hold some paranormal mysteries that Eric and Chelsea soon discover, and everything goes a bit crazy from there. With the help of a psychic and an unlikely ally, Eric must find a way to save his own life.
That's the best description I have right now, without giving away too much of the story, anyway. While reading "Lair of the White Wyrm", it was easy to picture this as one of the latest movies on the Scy Fy channel, or as an hour long Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Tales from the Darkside, or Twilight Zone prodigy. It's not bad if you like that sort of thing. The story itself, although not short, was significantly shorter than your average length novel. Is that the criteria for a novella? Who knows? This amateur doesn't, for sure.
I enjoyed the way in which Lea Ryan dug into the character of Eric. It really felt as though it was going in the right direction, but it still left me wanting to know a little bit more about him. As for the other characters, their smaller bits of development suffice for the length of the story, though I cannot help but wonder if a little more time devoted to some of them would help round the tale out a bit more.
As for the storyline itself, I found it to be somewhat predictable. Early on in the book I found myself saying, "I know how this subplot is going to turn out", and I was right more often than not. The ending itself, however, was not so easily predicted, though I thought it would be. Some of it I nailed, while the rest was actually a scenario I had not thought of, and that made it just a bit more satisfactory for me, and worth the read.
As I understand it, Lea Ryan has written just three books, which makes me believe that her future writings have a lot of promise, as I mentioned earlier. I like her taste for science fiction, and how she used a modern setting. I am now interested in reading more of her works. For me, I save a 5 star rating for only the books that can blow me away. Those are pretty rare to find. If I give a 4 star, it means I really thought it was good. If it's 3 stars, I'd say it was just ok. For Lea Ryan, I am giving this 3 and a half. It was definitely better than ok, and that's not a bad thing for a relatively new author.
Lea Ryan Interview
I had the opportunity to ask some questions of Lea Ryan, and here's what she had to say.
1) Q: How many books have you published so far and what are their names?
A: I’ve published three books so far. Babylon Dragon was my first book. I spent four years writing it and rewriting it. The story is about a Babylonian daemon who seeks revenge on God and humans. A warrior in Purgatory has to stop her from ripping away the boundaries between the mortal world, Purgatory, and Heaven.
My second book was Destined for Darkness. It’s a paranormal romance about a young woman who inherits a Victorian mansion from her grandmother. She finds out that she’s a witch, specifically a ‘Fate’, which means that she’s able to influence destiny. She falls in love with her mentors’ adopted son who she has known for years without really knowing him, if that makes sense.
Destined for Darkness is the first book in my Fate Binds trilogy. The second book, Devil in the Branch, will come out this summer.
And, of course, Lair of the White Wyrm just came out.
2) Q: Have you always been into the sci-fi genre?
A: My dad was always into sci-fi, movies and TV shows, which is what got me interested in it. I can remember watching Planet of the Apes with him and Star Wars, of course. Our whole family had a routine of ordering pizza and watching Star Trek Next Gen. Sci-fi has always been present in my life. I recently started watching Doctor Who and have worked through all of the David Tenant years.
3) Q: What other genres of books do you like to read, and what authors have inspired you the most to create your own works?
A: I read the same kinds of books I write, usually. I have authors I think of as my unwitting mentors: Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Dean Koontz all make me strive to be better. They’re amazing.
James Patterson and Janet Evanovich remind me to be entertaining and not take every little piece of the writing so seriously.
4) Q: I assume that gaining new readers and fans are one of your goals for this blog tour, but what else do you hope to gain from it?
A: Yes, new readers and fans are very important. But I have also met some really nice bloggers. There seems to be a real sense of community among independent authors who blog. We all sort of prop each other up, I think, by passing on hints and guest posts, etc.
5) Q: As for Lair of the White Wyrm, I liked the fact that I could see this as a modern Twilight Zone or Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode. Is that how you envisioned it or was it something altogether different?
A: Thanks! I didn’t envision it quite that way, but what you said does make sense. When I look back at the story and all the psychological weirdness going on, I do see the similarities. I grew up on Twilight Zone and Hitchcock, so it wouldn’t surprise me that some of that influence filtered through. I’m quite happy about that, actually.
6) Q: Reading Lair of the White Wyrm has interested me in your other books. What can I expect to find when I read them?
A: I hope you find compelling stories with colorful characters, and I hope that you’re entertained.
"Sometimes when you run from your problems, they follow you."
The book is "Lair of the White Wyrm" by Lea Ryan. Please go check it out! The links are below and the book cover image at the bottom of this page will link you to Lea's book page on Smashwords.com.
Limited Print Edition on Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/lair-of-the-white-wyrm/18905414