The Writings of Michael J. Bowler

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"A Boy and His Dragon" Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Contemporary Young Adult Fantasy Novel January 9, 2012
By BookLoverRome
Format:Paperback
Author, Michael Bowler has written a wonderful new contemporary fantasy novel for young adults. The story is intriguing and modern. Readers will enjoy the currentness of the novel as well as the fantasy imaginative part of the story. Dragons and fantasy intertwine to teach a lesson about differences and acceptance.

This is a great read for young adults, parents, and fantasy lovers. A Boy and His Dragon will not disappoint.


Title:  A Boy and His Dragon       
Author:  Michael J. Bowler     
Publisher:  Create Space         
ISBN:  978615524771
Pages:  554, Paperback
Genre:   Fantasy
 
Reviewed by:  Lisa Brown-Gilbert, Pacific Book Review 


What happens when a lonely young boy of thirteen finds a young dragon that he befriends and eventually forms a symbiotic relationship with?

The answer is … magic filled adventures and these adventures can be found in the urban fantasy novel, A Boy and His Dragon written by author Michael J. Bowler.  This book is geared towards young adults and actually portrays an important message to readers and that is to accept your differences as a person and to accept the differences of others. As a fantasy genre book,  this book does deliver, it hits all the main elements required for a good fantasy story; there is  magic, adventure, a dragon, an ancient  sorcerer( that drives a neighborhood ice cream truck) and the struggle between good and evil.

The story takes place in California in 1970 with central character Bradley Wallace Murphy who is age thirteen. Lonesome Bradley Wallace has no friends, and he feels unaccepted by his parents. His only solace is found with the characters of the then popular (and his favorite) television showDark Shadows. One fateful day Bradley Wallace discovers an egg that hatches and produces a dragon. Bradley names his dragon companion Whilly.  Whilly the dragon and Bradley Wallace become fast friends. The young boy attempts to both feed the dragon and conceal his presence to the outside world but it becomes hard because of the dragon’s increasing size and overwhelming appetite for live food. As the story develops Bradley Wallace and his dragon Whilly not only grow to be friends but also develop a psychic bond and a symbiotic relationship that allows Bradley to realize his profoundly strong magic abilities including the ability to fly.  But there is a catch to Bradley Wallace’s powers; he can only express them when he is in close proximity to Whilly which eventually leads to the two parting ways for the sake of the boy’s well being.

Also further complicating his life is his nemesis, John Wagner.  John is the school bully who really is a lot like Bradley Wallace deep down inside; he is a loner too and does not feel an attachment to his mother. The two boys start out as sworn enemies but eventually learn that they both have something special in common and grow to accept each other as friends.

In this story adventures abound as Bradley Wallace and Whilly heroically stop several terrible events from occurring by virtue of their combined powers. While Bradley Wallace begins to accept what his true nature is, he is also faced with the fact that his  parents may believe that their son has some mental issues that are deeply affecting him and causing him to behave oddly, so they try to get him psychiatric help but that was not what Bradley Wallace needs.  By the end of the story Bradley Wallace learns that he is worth much more than he ever gave himself credit for.

Although this storyline has been re-hashed over and over, this book still makes an interesting read because it is well put together; it is adequately edited and intelligently written as some of the language used will definitely lead to an increase in your daily vocabulary. The characters are interesting and the reader will be able to relate the plight of the characters. Overall this book makes for a good read for those interested in the urban fantasy genre.

 

Goodreads Review

Jan 09, 2012 Amandakerr rated it  
Great Contemporary Young Adult Fantasy Novel

Author, Michael Bowler has written a wonderful new contemporary fantasy novel for young adults. The story is intriguing and modern. Readers will enjoy the currentness of the novel as well as the fantasy imaginative part of the story. Dragons and fantasy intertwine to teach a lesson about differences and acceptance.

This is a great read for young adults, parents, and fantasy lovers. A Boy and His Dragon will not disappoint.

CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful "What-If" fantasy set in modern day LA focused on lost children June 25, 2013

By Neil in Morgan Hill
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
a 5-Stary rating for Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler. The message is timely and the challenge is real!

This modern day story combines the recreation of Camelot by a time displaced King Arthur who creates a supportive environment for lost teenagers and gang members in LA. The underling message is all children need to be loved, nurtured and given what they need to succeed.

The author has had extensive experience including a teacher, volunteer for various youth related organizations and probation departments. Michael's bio gives more extensive detail of his many achievements.

The story can be enjoyed by teenagers as it is hopeful and uplifting with a positive message. Mutual respect and acceptance of others is another central theme. On the flip side, adults are challenged and given a wake-up call that we have failed the children of our society for some time and we should be ashamed.

As a 60-year old gay man, I may not be the target audience, but as an adult and a citizen, I come away from the story having to own the guilt as I too have not stood up and demanded that the legal and education systems be revamped to serve and meet the needs of our youth.

I recommend this story to teenage and adult readers. Recognition of gay youth and respect for individual differences is a central theme. Though younger people should be aware of these social issues and values, teenagers are well aware of these issues as they are faced by their classmates, friends and possibly his/herself within their own lives. It is most difficult to read this novel and not feel the need to speak-up and take action. I know I have a heavy heart and bear the shame of being a member of society that has failed so many children.

On a personal note: As I too have been a teacher and have worked in programs to assist economically disadvantaged youth, I concur with the author's description of how youth are being abused and used due to the misguided and dysfunctional policies and procedures within the legal, educational and social service institutions. The challenge is huge and I too feel overwhelmed and powerless.

 

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
This novel is a fantasy where King Arthur comes to modern day Los Angeles, gathers a band of homeless kids and gang members and trains them as knights. They all work together to change their lives and neighborhoods. The novel deals with many issues that plague modern day society......poverty, homelessness, children's rights, corrupt politicians, meth labs, single parent homes, child abuse, and LGBT relationships. The characters are real and believable. The story is action packed and ill of surprises. It is a great read! I can't wait for the sequel!

Children of the Knight

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful "What-If" fantasy set in modern day LA focused on lost children June 25, 2013

By Neil in Morgan Hill
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
a 5-Stary rating for Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler. The message is timely and the challenge is real!

This modern day story combines the recreation of Camelot by a time displaced King Arthur who creates a supportive environment for lost teenagers and gang members in LA. The underling message is all children need to be loved, nurtured and given what they need to succeed.

The author has had extensive experience including a teacher, volunteer for various youth related organizations and probation departments. Michael's bio gives more extensive detail of his many achievements.

The story can be enjoyed by teenagers as it is hopeful and uplifting with a positive message. Mutual respect and acceptance of others is another central theme. On the flip side, adults are challenged and given a wake-up call that we have failed the children of our society for some time and we should be ashamed.

As a 60-year old gay man, I may not be the target audience, but as an adult and a citizen, I come away from the story having to own the guilt as I too have not stood up and demanded that the legal and education systems be revamped to serve and meet the needs of our youth.

I recommend this story to teenage and adult readers. Recognition of gay youth and respect for individual differences is a central theme. Though younger people should be aware of these social issues and values, teenagers are well aware of these issues as they are faced by their classmates, friends and possibly his/herself within their own lives. It is most difficult to read this novel and not feel the need to speak-up and take action. I know I have a heavy heart and bear the shame of being a member of society that has failed so many children.

On a personal note: As I too have been a teacher and have worked in programs to assist economically disadvantaged youth, I concur with the author's description of how youth are being abused and used due to the misguided and dysfunctional policies and procedures within the legal, educational and social service institutions. The challenge is huge and I too feel overwhelmed and powerless.

 

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
This novel is a fantasy where King Arthur comes to modern day Los Angeles, gathers a band of homeless kids and gang members and trains them as knights. They all work together to change their lives and neighborhoods. The novel deals with many issues that plague modern day society......poverty, homelessness, children's rights, corrupt politicians, meth labs, single parent homes, child abuse, and LGBT relationships. The characters are real and believable. The story is action packed and ill of surprises. It is a great read! I can't wait for the sequel!
Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite

"Children of the Knight" by Michael J Bowler is a book that will leave quite an impact on you, no matter whether you are a young adult or a pensioner. It is a story about how our society lets down the members who would need its care most: abandoned children, the ones no one really cares for and who have to fend for themselves on the road - either by selling drugs, being in a gang or even selling themselves as prostitutes. But when a man who calls himself King Arthur appears in the life of Lance, one of the children in the book,
 

Sammy Goode's Review. Four of Five Stars

Powerful. This novel, Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler is powerful. Steeped in legend, King Arthur returns to discover a nation that has abandoned its own future. Reaching into the desperate streets of modern day Los Angeles, King Arthur sets out to save any child who will hear his call. It sounds fantastical--contrived and yet....this was one of the most impacting novels that I have ever read that focuses on the plight of the youth of today.

Page after page we meet one child after another who have been discarded to roam the streets. We are introduced to gang members who have been incarcerated from the age of 14. We meet young gay teens who have been kicked out of their homes by intolerant parents only to land on the streets where they sell themselves in order to survive. We learn of upper middle class children who have turned to destructive behaviors such as selling drugs in order to finally capture the attention of their disengaged parents. One by one these young men and women discover the power of love delivered from the once and future King, Arthur. 

How Arthur came to be in the city is a mystery even to himself. One day, he simply was, complete with clothing for his knights, weapons, gold and a horse. When he discovers young Lance running from two bullies who have been sent by the drug lord known as Mr. R, Arthur knows he has met his true First Knight. The two of them set about finding others to take in and care for, to train in the way of the knight from sword play to bow and arrow, and, of course, the code of chivalry. Their numbers swell daily as more and more street kids find their way to the underground lair. 

However, all good knights must have a quest and before long, Arthur reveals to his ragtag group that theirs will be to take back the city and reclaim their rights, one peaceful step at a time.

This novel was stunning. As each chapter unfolded, I found myself able to accept the idea that children would be so starved for adult influence--for love and care, and to feel worthy enough to be loved that they would follow this charismatic stranger just about anywhere. Arthur's sincerity and passion to restore these kids to their rightful place poured out from every page. Yes, this was definitely fantasy, but the underlying message was so very real. As a nation, we are making our children disposable, writing them off as nothing worth saving and treating them like adults in a judicial system riddled with corruption and, worse, a simple lack of caring.

At its heart, Children of the Knight was a social commentary wrapped in a fictional fantasy. At its core, this novel was also a warning. A clear message that we cannot continue to write off the poor and disenfranchised, the street gangs, the youth who prostitute themselves, for they are the future of this world. There were times when this novel simply broke my heart. When the teacher, Jenny, realized that she no longer liked the very students she taught, and it was revealed that our schools are failing to educate those whose days are spent on the streets merely trying to survive, I felt real shame. You see, as a teacher in Washington D.C., I know this to be true...sadly, so very true.

And so, page after page, Michael J.Bowler weaves a fantastical story that keeps you engaged and riveted, while time after time challenging you to think of what is truly right outside your very door, homeless children who are desperate for love and stability. This novel is gritty and casts an unblinking eye on the social ruin that lives in our midst--a ruin we have created.

Children of the Knight is an incredible story. So why not five stars? Well, there was, for me, the matter of King Arthur's speech, replete with doth's and thee's and thou's. I accepted that he spoke in the language of the historical period in which he was born but on more than one occasion he lost that affect. Had there been a reference to his speech patterns changing--growing more modern, I could have overlooked this problem. However, in absence of any explanation, the resulting seesaw effect of his slipping from more modern speech patterns and then back into historical began to wrench me from the story line and became bothersome on more than one occasion. 

Children of the Knight is a novel that challenges us all to look beyond ourselves and see those who are truly becoming the lost generation before it is too late. It is a marvelous story and one worth your attention.

 

Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler

KNIGHT
Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, YA
Length: Full Length (344 Pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

According to legend, King Arthur is supposed to return when Britain needs him most. So why does a man claiming to be the once and future king suddenly appear in Los Angeles?

This charismatic young Arthur creates a new Camelot within the City of Angels to lead a crusade of unwanted kids against an adult society that discards and ignores them. Under his banner of equality, every needy child is welcome, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or gang affiliation.

With the help of his amazing First Knight, homeless fourteen-year-old Lance, Arthur transforms this ragtag band of rejected children and teens into a well-trained army—the Children of the Knight. Through his intervention, they win the hearts and minds of the populace at large, and gain a truer understanding of themselves and their worth to society. But seeking more rights for kids pits Arthur and the children squarely against the rich, the influential, and the self-satisfied politicians who want nothing more than to maintain the status quo.

Can right truly overcome might? Arthur’s hopeful young knights are about to find out, and the City of Angels will never be the same.

King Arthur, the once and future king, returns to this world to establish a new Camelot, this time within the City of the Angels. His knights are unwanted children and teens whom society has thrown away. Arthur rescues them from the streets, welcoming all, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or gang affiliation, to join him under his banner of equality. He leads this band of unwanted children on a crusade to save their city from the adults who would use them, ignore them, and mistreat them, as they work to maintain the status quo.

Michael Bowler has written a very powerful novel which strikes at the heart of the problems faced by society not only in Los Angeles, but all around the country. Those without power are nearly always trampled and children have less power than any. As Arthur says, “According to the laws of adults, art not children considered to be as adults when they do something wrong, but not when they do something right?”

Bowler portrays King Arthur with genuine humanity. It is fun to watch as the children, especially Lance, educate him about all the changes which have taken place since his first life. And the Children of the Knight are a mixed group with different ages, races, social background, sexual orientation, and gang experiences. But what they have in common is much more important than any differences. Arthur is able to teach them the code of chivalry and instill in them a sense of hope that they can make a difference in their world. I really enjoyed seeing how these abandoned children grow and how they are able to find their own strengths and sense of self-worth.

Personally, as an educator, I was most struck by the way in which Arthur is able to teach and how eager the children are to learn from him, children for whom the educational system has failed and failed miserably. As Jenny, a teacher, tells Arthur, “That’s what’s wrong with our school system, with our one-size-fits-all, group mentality, in this country. Their individual needs have to be met. That’s what they’ve been missing, especially a kid like Lance, who never had anyone before you.”

I have rated this book as 14+ because of the descriptions of what some of the children have to endure to survive on the street. Bowler is very honest in his portrayal of these children, and his portrayals are intense and heart-rending.

This story takes its readers on a fantastic voyage of learning and hope. If adults could read this and take it to heart, we would have a very different world. And for those young adults who read this wonderful fantasy, Bowler would, I think, have you know that you too can be a Child of the Knight wherever you are. Each of us can make a difference and together our combined strength will right the wrongs.

Children of the Knight Review - August 13, 2013

MY THOUGHTS:

CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT by Michael Bowler is an interesting Teen & Young/Fantasy read. A very controversial story! King Arthur re-appears in the City of Los Angeles and creates a new Camelot using a group of unwanted kids.  He believes as should be, all children are created equal. He accepts the unwanted, homeless,discarded children into his Camelot. It deals with many issues such as, poverty, homelessness,children’s rights, corrupt politicians, meth labs, single parent homes, child abuse,sacrifice, and sexual orientation. While, “Children of the Knight” may be a bit controversial, it is a great read. A modern day version of the Knights of old. Today’s society may have forgotten the most important lesson of all…love.”Once upon a time in the City of Angels,the children did lead, and the people did hope” from “THE CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT”. Although, it is recommended for Teen & Young Adult readers, I would suggest older Teens. An interesting read  from start to finish. The story was well written with realistic characters who where also engaging. The plot well through out and carried through. I would recommend this read,especially if you enjoy Fantasy with a twist of modern day. Received for an honest review from the author/publicist.

RATING: 4

HEAT RATING:

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Review courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

Review of Children of the Knight - August 15th, 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars Felt a strong connection to the characters - slightly triggeringAugust 15, 2013

I received a free e-book copy through a read-to-review board in the YA LGBT Books group in Goodreads.

In Children of the Knight, King Arthur of old legend is back - and in Los Angeles. His mission is to help the children who have been targeted and neglected by adult society. Many of these children are homeless or live in abusive homes, and two of the main boys the book focuses on have been thrown from their homes for being gay.

Mark and Jack became friends on the street, where they turned to sex work for survival. When Lance, our main character, first meets them, he uses a slur towards them and expresses an inability to work with them, because of what their sexuality is. Over the course of the book, this changes, and ask three boys become very close.

Although the main focus of the book is on Arthur's mission, and the experiences of all the children (his knights) that have made it a necessity, my heart was with the gay boys the whole time, because their story is closest to my heart.

I won't spoil anything, but I will say that I cried for at least an hour and a half at two different parts of the story, and that people who will be triggered by deep exploration of feelings of worthlessness, unworthiness, guilt, rape, and death, should think before reading this book and make sure doing so will be safe for them. That said, this book was amazing and I'm very glad to have had this opportunity to read it.

"A Matter of Time" Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A romantic love that endured through the ages (4¾ stars) June 8, 2012
By J. Chambers TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
As interest in the Titanic peaks this year - the centennial of the ship's sinking - I've been reading (or rereading) a lot of books on the Titanic, as well as watching numerous Titanic movies and documentaries. Like many people, I'm fascinated by the Titanic, so when author Michael Bowler asked me to review his book "A Matter of Time," I was happy to do so.

"A Matter of Time" was an impressive novel, mingling two of my favorite subjects: the Titanic and time travel. Jamie Collins was a typical college student until he began having nightmares, visions of being on a doomed ship with an evil entity stalking him. Eventually, he came to the horrifying realization that his own destiny was somehow linked to his alter-ego aboard the Titanic, and he made the fateful decision to place himself on the Titanic during the ship's last hours, a decision that would forever change his life.

It was an exciting, suspenseful story that had me reading later at night than I usually do. As farfetched as the storyline was, the author made it work. Could Jamie save the Titanic, and if he could, should he? Those were the questions that plagued Jamie in those final hours of the great ship's first and only voyage. And how would he deal with the evil force that threatened to destroy him? Without giving away any spoilers, I'll just say that Victorian author Bram Stoker played a key part in the story, and I'll let it go at that.

Ultimately, Jamie's fate turned on a child's craving for chocolate ice cream. This changed Jamie's mission on the Titanic in a way that he could have never imagined.

My only negative comments are about the editing. There were a number of spelling and punctuation errors, not enough to be distracting, but the book would have benefitted by a good proofreading. Also, scene changes sometimes occurred with no separation between paragraphs, making it a bit confusing while I mentally shifted gears and figured out whose point of view I was reading. Because of these editing issues, I gave the book 4¾ stars instead of 5 stars.

The bottom line: This was a captivating story, told very well. Ultimately, it was a great romantic love story, showing how true love could endure for decades.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Titanically entertaining adventure April 11, 2012
By Durendal
Format:Paperback
This is a very fun book.

Michael Bowler cleverly mashes up several different genres in A MATTER OF TIME. There's drama, some science fiction, a touch of horror, plenty of adventure, and not one, but two, very affecting romances. And as a bonus, you receive the equivalent of a Master Class on the history of the Titanic, as delivered by your favorite professor.

Jamie Collins is a normal college kid in California. He spends most of his time attending classes, studying, and trying to score a date. By the time the book begins, Jamie is suffering from an odd malady that saps his strength, and makes him extremely sensitive to sunlight (to the point where he wears heavy clothes, a large hat, sunglasses, and tons of sunblock despite the warm Spring weather). If that wasn't bad enough, he's also having nightmares about a young man on a great ocean liner being stalked by a fanged monster.

The ship is the Titanic, of course. The young man is Jack Phillips, the ship's communication officer, and the creature--you'll have to read the book to find out. Jamie comes to believe that his fate is inextricably linked to Jack's. The anniversary of the Titanic's sinking is coming up soon, and if Jack dies, Jamie is convinced that he will die, too. He needs to find a way to alter history.

A MATTER OF TIME is cleverly plotted, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Bowler knows that his readers won't care about his story if the characters involved aren't fully realized, and so they are. And more importantly, in Jamie, he gives his readers a hero worth rooting for, one who is likeable, intelligent, and resourceful. And so are his college buddies, family members, and others who help him along the way.

I you're in the market for a relentlessly entertaining novel, you should give A MATTER OF TIME a try.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book made me cry! May 5, 2012
By ZombieFreak
Format:Paperback
As a kid growing up, I always found myself interested in the Titanic disaster, and I was always really into horror movies and books, especially vampire stories. So it was mind-blowing for me to find a book that combined both of these elements. I got so caught up in the story. It felt like I was being taken on a ride and I didn't know how or where it would end. And the ending - wow! I'm an eighteen-year-old guy and it takes a lot to make me cry, but this book had the power to do that. Reading it was a very emotional experience for me, and I recommend this book 100%. I loved the characters and the plot and the surprises and just how everything came out in the end. Read "A Matter of Time" - you won't be disappointed. Who knows? Maybe it'll make you cry, too.

A Matter of Time - Timely, Titanic Fiction and Fantasy, April 30, 2012
By Betsy Ryan-Dalpino (San Rafael, CA) - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Matter of Time (Paperback)
This is a great story about a college student who goes back in time with the intent of preventing the Titantic from hitting an iceberg and sinking. The story has high drama, lots of romance, unrequited love, lasting friendships and vampires!

James Collins, a Santa Clara University student, has a strange disease that takes him back in time to the days prior to the Titantic sinking. During the daytime he becomes sensitive to light, and wears dark clothes, a large hat and sunglasses to protect himself. He tells his story to his roommate and an English professor. While they both are incredulous, they support him and assist him with his time travel and his attempt to change history.

This story keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is well written, funny and entertaining. It is a great read and appeals to readers of all ages.

 
ReadersFavorite
Posted May 27, 2012
more from this reviewer
 Reviewed by Lorraine Carey for Readers Favorite "A Matter
Reviewed by Lorraine Carey for Readers Favorite

A Matter of Time is one of the most compelling supernatural tales I have come across in a long time. Any Titanic enthusiast will find a very different take here on the original story. A young college man is catapulted into another dimension where he becomes a part of the tragic Titanic saga. He will discover a hidden secret that existed on board that also led to the ships demise. Here he will experiences jolts of time travel, visions and and paranormal encounters that leave him bewildered until he can figure out a way to solve the why and how he will solve this mystery. His college buddies believe he has gone mad, and he has only one teacher who will befriend him. Jamie will tragically become a changeling from a normal college student to someone who is out of control when he is possessed by a dark entity. He struggles to find out that he has a destiny with the doomed liner and must find a way to cross over and try to save the Titanic from its fateful journey. He will also meet the woman he loves, but one that fate will not allow. The reader is constantly in suspense as we follow Jamie on each adventure that holds many surprises at each turn. He risks the possibility of losing his life while embarking on this journey. Vivid descriptions of the ship are brought to life as to teleport you on board with Jamie. The ending has such an intense emotional component that it will pull at your heart strings.

Michael Bowler writes with such passion as the lives of the characters are filled with such emotion. He is well versed on the data of the Titanic as many real factual data is included. It is colored rich in vivid imagery. The story flowed so well with great synchronicity. This story will appeal to a vast audience and most of all will be a winner for young adult males who enjoy reading about the paranormal and great heroism.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

 

 Friday, September 07, 2012
A MATTER OF TIME
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Khamneithang
Posted September 7, 2012
 Love is timeless, time is heartless, and fate is unmerciful, so

Love is timeless, time is heartless, and fate is unmerciful, so begins A Matter of Time, which is an emotionally charged voyage into the value of friendship, the power of love, the impact of evil, and the vagaries of fate. Inspired by the Titanic, the book which comes out in the centennial year of the Titanic tragedy is a timely and refreshing read.

A Matter of Time tells the story of James Collins, a student Santa Clara University, who has developed a strange disease that transported him back in time to the days leading to the Titanic disaster. During daytime he is sensitive to light, wears dark clothes, a large hat and sunglasses to protect himself. He tells his story to his roommate and an English professor. While they both found it difficult to believe, they supported him and assisted James in his attempt to change the course of history.

For those who have been fascinated by the Titanic story, this is a must read. The plot revolves round “the world’s greatest evil,” and the world’s greatest ship, Titanic.

Jamie in 1986 who, through a series of dreams, discovers that he is somehow connected to Titanic’s sinking, despite his having not been alive at the time. A mysterious cell appears in his blood, a cell that, in his case, originated aboard Titanic. His roommate Dan, Dan’s sister Maggie, and Jamie’s friend Kevin attempt to help him, but they cannot understand what is happening. Jamie finally announces that the only way he can save himself from the deadly effects of that “cell” is to circumvent time and board Titanic before she sinks in 1912.

While everyone thinks he’s delusional, including his writing professor and his parents, Jamie sets out to solve the mystery and save his life. Dan, for whom Jamie has become a good friend, agrees to accompany him on as much of the journey as possible. He knows that if Jamie can somehow “jump” time and board the ship, he would not be able to follow. Their adventures together and Jamie’s ultimate destiny make up the bulk of the story.

Will Jamie be able to save himself from the clutch of the mysterious disease? Will he be able to save the fate of the ship and its passengers?

A Matter of Time has high drama, lots of romance, unrequited love, lasting friendships…and much more! A story which is stranger than fiction!

 Khamneithang Vaiphei Life Instigator, Blogger
HILLTOWN, POST BOX 130,
CHURACHANDPUR,
MANIPUR 795128,
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Teena in Toronto's review Aug 31, 12
 
Read from August 26 to 30, 2012

Time travel, the Titanic and vampires ... sounds like a wacky combination, doesn't it? You get all three with this book and you know what? It worked ... I enjoyed this it. Be prepared to leave your sense of belief at the door when you read it, though.

I like books about time travel. I find it fascinating when people go back to the past or come forward to the future and perhaps change the course of events (like when Dr. McCoy saves the woman from getting killed on "Star Trek" ... that change in events ultimately led to Hitler winning World War II).

And who doesn't have an interest in the Titanic, especially this year since it's been 100 years this year since she sank?

I must admit, I'm not a fan of vampire stories but that part needed to be in this story. Amusingly, most of what we know about vampires today we learned from Bram Stoker's Dracula, which is based on the info provided to Stoker by the vampire in this book.

I liked the writing style. It was fast-paced and kept me interested and wanting to read more. There were quite a few typos (at one point, Jamie's name is spelled "Jaime") and better spacing would have been helpful when the scenes changed (sometimes they kind of ran into each other).

I liked the characters. Jamie seems like a likeable guy with good friends which is good considering his parents have just split up and he hasn't had a close relationship with them anyway.

I was in St. John's, Newfoundland, last month and was actually at one of the pubs, the Ship Pub, that Jamie goes to. My legs still remember walking up and down all the hills in the downtown core!

As I was reading this book, I wondered whether Jamie did indeed go back in time, was he delusional because he was sick or are we part of a story he is writing (so as a writer, he's messing with our head)? You'll have to read it for yourself to find out ... and I suggest you do.

 
Maureen Timerman's review Sep 09, 12
 
Read in September, 2012

A very different book from what I usually read, but with this being the 100th year of the sinking of the Titanic it peeked my interest. This book has it all with time travel, history, romance, and vampires?? The vampire part kind of grossed me out!
What starts out as an ordinary year in his college life for Jamie Collins, surely doesn't end that way. He develops a very strange and scary illness...basically he can't stand sun light.
This book does become a page turner...you have to find out what is going to happen? Will Jamie win his love? Will he be able to stop the disaster? I dearly loved the ending of this book..so very sweet.
Don't miss this very different book and great read!

I received this book through Pump You Book Virtual Tours and the Author Michael Bowler, and was not required to give a positive review.

 

 Friday, September 7, 2012
A Matter of Time by Michael J. Bowler


What is your destiny? This question haunts 20-year-old Jamie Collins. A junior at Santa Clara University in 1986, Jamie has lots of friends, a professor whom he regards as a mentor, and a promising future as a writer. Then the dreams begin - nightmares leading him to a destiny beyond belief. These visions transport him to a time and place fifty-five years before he was born: Titanic's maiden voyage in 1912 With less than a week to go before the 75th anniversary of its sinking, Jamie learns that his fate is inexplicably linked to that of the famous vessel. Somehow, the two timelines are overlapping, and when Titanic dies, Jamie will die along with her. Those dreams reveal something evil stalking the ill-fated ship, something that expedites the collision which sinks the great liner. Jamie comes to realize that because of his connection, he may be able to prevent the world's greatest maritime disaster, and save his own life in the process. But how? How can he stop a ship from sinking in 1912 when he hadn't even been born yet? And even if he can stop it - should he? What will be the effect on history if he succeeds? Jamie's quest to fulfill his destiny ties friends and family together in ways he could never have imagined. A Matter of Time is an emotionally charged voyage into the value of friendship, the power of love, the impact of evil, and the vagaries of Fate.
*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Ever since I learned about the Titanic at a young age, I have been fascinated with all things Titanic, so again, when the opportunity came, I grabbed it.
This was a really interesting story; set in modern times where a college kid keeps having dreams about the Titanic and people on it but doesn't realize it. The story also had a vampire feel to it. I have never been big on vampires. Not even the Twilight series, I haven't read the books but Hubby has and is still insisting that I read them. I have watched the movies with him but..well anyway.
Even though there was a vampire feel to this story I still fully enjoyed it.
Part of what made this book fun and different then the other Titanic books out there was it's time traveling. That was unexpected and neat. A twist I didn't see coming. The author had me reading later then I normally do. But I would wake up wanting to finish reading the book to see what was going to happen next.
The story was a bit...out there..for lack of better words but, the author made it work.

What I didn't care for about the book was the editing. The scenes changed without notice so that made it confusing. Also you never get told who's point of view you are reading from so I had to keep looking back through the pages and what not to keep from getting too confused.
But I did really enjoy this book and recommend it.

 

 Mike -
 
I just finished your book and wanted to report back to you.  Great plot, good imagination - mixing time travel and vampires and real historical events, all to good effect.  The "love affair" between Jamie and Kate is really clever, and weepy that I am, shed many a tear at the end.  The relationships are handled really well.  And you've used your intimate knowledge of that Titanic event splendidly.
Kudos!
 
William Rewak, S.J.

(Former President, now Chancellor - Santa Clara University)

P.S.  Believe it or not, the food in Benson has improved tremendously.

 

 Sunday, September 16, 2012
A Matter of Time: Review

I really enjoyed reading this book! It was unique, in that it was set in the 80's, which ended more then 4 years after I was born, but it's been referenced in pop culture for while I've been growing up. So that was fun to read about. And then there's the part on the Titanic, that that mix, well, it was one that I really, really, really enjoyed, because it's not something that I've read before, and I'm always looking for the next unique read! And A Matter of Time definitely provided that!

Something that I didn't really like, was how the transitions from POV characters was handled, especially in the beginning, we'd be getting Jamie and him thinking, and then suddenly, with no warning, no breaks, it'd be Jay, or his girlfriend narrating, and then suddenly it'd be back to Jamie, and I wish that there'd be a  bit of warned for that, so I knew that it was switching, it's something that I don't mind in romance books, but this wasn't a book about a couple. So yeah, that wasn't something that I enjoyed. But the rest of the book more than made up for that for me!

As a side note, I was watching Doctor Who, and then I was thinking of this book, and from Doctor's 9 to 11, there's been 1 episode that's really had vampires, if I remember correctly, and it wasn't true traditional vampires in the sense that there were fishes that disguised themselves as human. The first episode that has Rory travelling with them. So if one of the most popular time travel stories hardly uses vampires, that a book would do that speaks rather positively on the creativity of the author, that the strange and weird, combined with the weirder and the "we're almost kinda used to it" of time travel and vampires, well, yeah, that just came together in a wonderful book!

I really enjoyed this book. It had some flaws, but then, most things do, and there's not much we can do about it. So I have to say, I really loved this book, I had a great time reading it, so I hope you guys check it out, because it was a really good read!

Author: Michael Bowler
Read: September 15th, 2012
Source: Pump Up Your Books Review Copy
Reason Why: Sounded like a great book!
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Published: February 29th 2012

5/5 Hearts

4/5 Books

4/5 Stars

 

Friday, September 28, 2012
Book Review of A Matter of Time
Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share my review of this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Book Review:

            My favorite line in the book is the opening lines,
“Love is timeless, Time is heartless, and Fate is unmerciful . . .
At last a first line, but now what to do with it? He’d struggled and
fought and finally sweated out the perfect line to start his novel and now
that he’d found it, he didn’t have close to an appropriate story to do it
justice. Too bad. He liked that line. Oh, well . . . file it away for future
reference.”

What a great opening line.  It shows up again also, but I love it at the beginning.  Wow this book was powerful.  Talk about true love.  Could you have a love that transcends time?  Would you choose to give your life for someone else?  What about someone besides your children?

I often think that I would give my life for my children without hesitation.. no question.  I would also probably give my life for my husband, but I might have a moment of hesitation.  This book is a definite must read.

I give this story 5 out of 5 clouds.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.
Posted by Mindy Wall at 7:15 AM 0 comments

 


Sept 30, 2012 Steve rated it  5 Stars
The deceptively bland title of Michael Bowler's A MATTER OF TIME hides an explosively entertaining novel.

College student Jamie Collins suffers night visions of a monstrous being ravaging the guests on the Titanic. He comes to believe that he must travel back in time, on board the great ship, to destroy this monster. And while he's there, he faces a moral dilemma: should he prevent the iceberg collision that sank the Titanic, and risk changing the course of human history? Or allow the tragic loss of life to play out as it always has? His decision, and the reasons for it, may surprise you.

A MATTER OF TIME tosses together elements from science fiction, historical drama, horror, and romance. Bowler deftly combines vampires, time travel and the greatest maritime disaster in history and makes them work together as smoothly as the gears of a Swiss timepiece.

Bowler also offers meticulous historical detail. He's done his homework, and it shows. And not just in the obvious places. When you finish A MATTER OF TIME, you'll feel like you were a passenger on board the Titanic. But you'll also know exactly what it was like to be a student at Santa Clara University in California in the mid-80's.

If you're looking for a fun, thought-provoking thriller, filled with memorable characters, multiple plot twists, and surprises that T-bone you like a runaway freight train, then A MATTER OF TIME should be the next book you read.

 

 New! MJ reviewed A Matter of Time 5 Stars
 Fascinating Premise October 7, 2012
Intriguing book on a fascinating subject where parallel dimensions raise the stakes of the drama and action in the plot. Who has not been captivated by the Titanic's tragedy? This tale weaves history with fiction into a fate-driven pace that grabs the reader. The author's passion for the subject is obvious and shines through his work.

 

CHILDREN OF THE KNIGHT 

  

“Children of the Knight” by Michael J. Bowler— Arthur in Los Angeles

children of the knight

Bowler, Michael J. “Children of the Knight”, Dreamspinner Press (Harmony Ink), 2013.

Arthur in Los Angeles

Amos Lassen

I have always loved the Arthurian legends and I have read in the past as many of them as I could. I was very surprised to find one among Harmony Ink’s young adult series. There is something very messianic about the Arthur stories especially in the idea that he is to return to Britain when he is needed. However, in this novel, Arthur goes not to Britain but to Los Angeles.

The new Camelot is to be in Los Angeles and Arthur creates it there so that he can lead a crusade against a society that does not want its kids because of sexual orientation, race, creed, etc and this is a brilliant idea for a novel for the young. Arthur proclaims equality under which everyone is welcome. Lance, homeless and just 14 years old, is First Knight and Arthur is able to transform the children under his banner into an army that is well-trained. They become known as the Children of the Knight. Arthur uses his leadership to train them all and they soon have the admiration and the love of the rest of the city. They also learn to deal with who they are and what they can do to make society a better place for everyone.

There is one problem that they face—the rich, influential and smug politicians who just do not want any changes to the way things are. What happens next is all in the book which I strongly suggest that you read. 

 

 

Children of the Knight is a novel that challenges us all to look beyond ourselves and see those who are truly becoming the lost generation before it is too late. It is a marvelous story and one worth your attention.Children of the Knight is a novel that challenges us all to look beyond ourselves and see those who are truly becoming the lost generation before it is too late. It is a marvelous story and one worth your attention.“Children of the Knight” by Michael

 

J. Bowler— Arthur in Los Angeles

AMOS ♦ JUNE 22, 2013 ♦ LEAVE YOUR COMMENT



Bowler, Michael J. “Children of the Knight”, Dreamspinner Press (Harmony Ink), 2013.

Arthur in Los Angeles

Amos Lassen

I have always loved the Arthurian legends and I have read in the past as many of them as I could. I was very surprised to find one among Harmony Ink’s young adult series. There is something very messianic about the Arthur stories especially in the idea that he is to return to Britain when he is needed. However, in this novel, Arthur goes not to Britain but to Los Angeles.

The new Camelot is to be in Los Angeles and Arthur creates it there so that he can lead a crusade against a society that does not want its kids because of sexual orientation, race, creed, etc and this is a brilliant idea for a novel for the young. Arthur proclaims equality under which everyone is welcome. Lance, homeless and just 14 years old, is First Knight and Arthur is able to transform the children under his banner into an army that is well-trained. They become known as the Children of the Knight. Arthur uses his leadership to train them all and they soon have the admiration and the love of the rest of the city. They also learn to deal with who they are and what they can do to make society a better place for everyone.

There is one problem that they face—the rich, influential and smug politicians who just do not want any changes to the way things are. What happens next is all in the book which I strongly suggest that you read.

Children of the Knight by Michael J. Bowler is a young adult book.

In the city of Los Angeles, violence is rampant and gang issues are an everyday occurrence, leaving the police and city officials struggling to maintain order. The children born into this time know no other way and easily fall into trouble, with many treated as adult offenders without regard to their age. Lance is one of the lost children who has no family and lives by his wits on the street, but he has dreams of one day using his skateboarding abilities to prove his worth. One day, Lance is being threatened by the local drug runners when a man in full armor defends him. The man invites Lance to stay with him and he agrees but stays on guard in case of any funny business. They go to an underground area filled with items of war that you could find in a museum. Lance in stunned to learn that the man is King Author from England and he plans to reform his Round Table with Lance as his First Knight. After gathering children from many of the less affluent areas, the city officials begin to wonder who this "crazy" man is. The children begin to train as knights and learn the arts of chivalry from King Author and Lance as they take up the challenge of setting their city to rights, but will they succeed before the government interferes?

If you can imagine an important figure from the past suddenly appearing today and all the confusion that would ensue then you would have a good understanding about how this incredible book unfolded. It was fascinating how differently King Author looked upon how the children of today were treated and it made me reappraise the plight of disadvantaged children. I never thought about how kids are expected to follow the rules after being exposed to so much violence and then being tried as adults with little to no legal help, unless their parents have money! Even with all of their problems, the kids took up Author's cause as their own, gaining the love and family they were seeking all along. This book covers many social issues of crime, drugs, gangs, and childhood prostitution from a child's point of view, allowing the reader to understand how they see things and why they respond differently than adults. This book should be mandatory reading in school, not only for the look back into King Author, but also for the insight of today's children.

Reviewed by: Teresa

By Diana on September 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book will grab you when you least expect it to. It starts out slow, pretty normal problems, gangs, drugs, child abuse, poverty. Then you encounter King Arthur in all his 5th or 6th century attire, weaponry, mounted on a beautiful horse. He saves Lance from death by gang and "adopts him. Lance is so enchanting, you can equate him to Lancelot from the original Camelot. Lance introduces Arthur to the realities of the 21st century and Arthur teaches Lance a better, more honorable, way to view life and others. Arthur trains Lance to be stronger and to be his First Knight of the new "round table". Together they rescue the kids thrown out, given or sold to others for drugs, disenfranchised children seeking someone or something to love and to love them. Together, Arthur and his children, his Knights, take back their neighborhoods fighting to repel the drug dealers from each of their neighborhoods. This book puts weapons in the hands of children, but then they already had weapons and were already well acquainted with violence. There were few deaths, some I applauded, two I cried over.

This book made too much sense to me, like none of it was new, except the use of King Arthur and his 5th century Knights and honor and respect. It spun an intoxicating tale that took on more and more life as I read. I loved the honesty of the dialogue. Amazing conclusion but not what I wanted to see. It affected me on a basic level. I challenge you to read this book through to the end and let the story build as it does. Amazing.

Children of the Knight
by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Naila Moon's review
Oct 17, 13

5 of 5 stars
bookshelves: to-read
Read in October, 2013

When I first heard about this book I thought it had to be absolutely cool because it was about King Arthur coming back to modern times and having his knights of the round table.


In actuality, I was right and oh so wrong! The book is about King Arthur coming back to modern times but that is pretty much where it begins and ends. Having the round table as we know it from history is nothing like I had ever read.

--------------------------------------

The story opens with a gang war about to happen in one of the barrios of Los Angeles due to a large A with a cross in the middle that has been posted over the top of other gang tagging. Each gang thinking the other had done it.


The story moves along to find King Arthur fully awake in this new place with a mission he must do. He is seen coming to the rescue of a 14 year old street kid named, Lance, who will eventually become his First Knight and significant throughout the entire book.


With Lance's help and guidance through this strange new era, King Arthur recruits other children of the streets from the drug dealers, to the homosexuals, to the abused and neglected. All come to stay with Arthur and Lance and are trained to be honorable and forthright. All are accepted for who they are, girls and boys alike, one thousand strong, will all come to be known as King Arthur's Knights.


Led by the King they will begin to clean up the areas and streets they once formerly ran. The children will fight for the right to be heard as children. For their right to be protected by the very adults who should have protected them. They will learn to live and respect each other as 'brothers' and 'sisters' not as enemies who have claimed an area of the city. The children will set an example for other adults but will also struggle with the demons that have lived with for so long.


King Arthur stands up for these disenfranchised children but will also learn from mistakes of his past and his present. Oh yes, there is the story of love and love lost in here too. There is the story of hurt, betrayal and denial all wrapped in these pages. There is also loss so deep that the reader wants to cry along with the characters.


To find out what happens to Sir Lance, King Arthur and the other Knights of the Round Table, you must read this book. It is worth it!

----------------------------------------

Author Michael Bowler did an excellent job of twisting a real historical character in to a modern day twist. He brought to light an age old problem of child neglect in many forms and also the way we humans treat each other.


It would serve us well, to read this book not once but maybe even several times until we learn that our future counts on us and that we need to stand up for them and treat them with the respect they deserve. We need to be the King Arthurs for our children because the cause is not finished. It has only begun.


This book deserves the 5 stars and then some.

~Naila Moon

Children of the Knight
by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Jerry's review
Oct 15, 13

4 of 5 stars
bookshelves: coming-out, contemporary, fantasy, gay-teenage, recommended, violence, young-love, ya
Read in October, 2013

4.5 stars
Learn to be brave by saying what's in your heart. You may not have the chance to say it before its too late. I think there is every human emotion packed into this story. This is the first in a series and it is amazingly powerful. As a resident in LA during Mayor Villarygosa's term in office it was a unique fantasy. The fantasy set up of the novel is extraordinary and the delivery is triumphant. I cannot wait to read the continuation!

Children of the Knight
by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Blaze's review
Oct 11, 13

5 of 5 stars
Read from October 10 to 11, 2013

What some children go through no one should have to. It was interesting to see the fantasy mixed up with the real. I liked that the legend was used as a positive. I felt great sadness as I read. I did cry but I liked the hope that was given and I felt attached to all of the characters. I want to read more now. I hope the writer does write some more.

Children of the Knight
by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Vickie Dold's review
Sep 29, 13

5 of 5 stars

This novel has lessons and messages that we can all stand to hear. We can often forget that all children even the street children who have been forgotten are a blessing.

This is King Arthur returned to present day LA. He is rebuilding the round table and his Knights are the street children and gangbanggers. He teaches them chivalry and how to be knightly. The message is use Might for Right. When given the choice many of these children who have never been loved and accepted jump at the chance to be a part of something good.

Each individuals story will wrench your heart and have you cheering. I literally was brought to tears twice and not just a single tear but all out gushing and sniffling. The ending is heart rending and triumphant all at once. I won't tell you more than that because I would ruin the story for you.

Yes you will read about the horrors these young people experience on the streets but it is done in a non explicit way so fear not lords and ladies, you may pick up this book and expect an epic adventure of unexpected heroes and you will enjoy yourself as you dig deeply into your own thoughts and reactions.

Children of the Knight
by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Jo Ann's review
Sep 23, 13

5 of 5 stars
bookshelves: ya, favorites
Read in August, 2013

I do not usually write reviews, I generally find something I like in every book I read. Every once in a while though something comes along that just grabs you, holds you, and will not let you go. This is one of them for me. The premise of this novel; King Arthur, the Children and what Mr Bowler does with the story-line is just, to me, amazing. It is SO needed in today's society! Who, but the children, fight FOR the children! If I could make this required reading in all schools, colleges, book clubs, etc.. I would in a heartbeat. My 15 year old son is reading this now and it had raised so many questions from him, questions I am so happy he has asked. He has been sheltered by his 5 older siblings but has always been open to the gay community via friends and family members, but the combining of this with the drug, homeless, abuse, general apathy of adults in positions that COULD help but do not situations, has really opened his eyes and his heart to what really is out there. Any book that can do this for a teen.....well, Thank You Mr Bowler!!!!

Children of the Knight
by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Giovanni's review
Aug 12, 13

5 of 5 stars
Read in July, 2013

“Children of the Knight” is an amazing book. Both during and after reading this great book you will be filled with mixed emotions. There were times where I felt anger, happiness, excitement, and sadness because I remembered things that happened to me as a child and I even felt like crying.
Once you get started in the book it will be hard to put it down. You will always crave more. I got in trouble at work because I went overtime on my break or lunch because I would say to my self “just one more page” (after 4 to 5 pages). LOL. By the way, did I mention that I got lost on the bus on several occasions while reading this book?
The life style of a gang member as well as that of a homeless child is nailed right on the dot. This book couldn’t say it any better about how our “justice” system works and how the Department of Children and Family Services operates. The stories of some characters even triggered flashbacks to my own horrible childhood in both of those abusive systems.
As a former gang member and D.C.F.S. “owned” child, this book made me feel less alone to know that I was not and am not the only one who suffered such abuse physically, mentally, and sexually within that system. There are also some characters that explain why kids join gangs in the first place, and I could very much relate to that part, too. Growing up, I knew far too many kids just like the ones in this book. I was one of them. These characters are real and heart-rending.
If you would like to see, feel, and live the life of abandoned, neglected, and rejected kids/teenagers this is the book for you. It will leave you with tears down your face just as it did me. It will inspire you to take action against the way this country fails to protect our future – the children. Take the time to read this book, meditate on its message, and look around and you'll see that there are far too many lost children in need of rescue from this corrupted and hypocritical society. Adults talk the talk about protecting and nurturing kids and then throw them away like yesterday's trash. Shameful!
This is a must read for everyone who cares about kids and wants to get to know some amazing characters. Check out this book – you won’t be disappointed.

Follow “The Children of the Knight” On A Crusade Against Injustice


“In the combat between wisdom and feeling, wisdom never wins.” ― John Steinbeck


Review: This book is a Harmony Ink YA title, but it does deal with some heavy hitting topics. I came away with a feeling of a mash-up for lack of a better word. This book brought to mind a melding of Lord of the Flies meets King Arthur.

This book brings to light the number of kids that are having to survive on the streets due to circumstances out of their control. It shows, too, that the people with the most to give are sometimes the ones that give the least help. We also see that with the right type of role models and some positive reinforcement kids, no matter their station, can rise up and be wonderful.

Watching the kids come together under Arthur’s leadership and guidance was amazing. I loved watching them blossom with a little guidance and direction. They went about regaining their place in society through peaceful steps and they became a true team.

Though this is a fantasy story, it is steeped in realistic issues from our lives. We have, as a society, failed our children in some big ways. There are many wonderful souls out there doing everything they can to help, but there will never be enough. When kids are given up on in the judicial system, thrown on the streets because of who they love and basically are just being treated as disposable messes, it will take a miracle to save them.

This book will break your heart at times, but I believe that it will also spur you on to do more and to be more for the children of our times.

Rating: 5 Stars!!!!!

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Genre: YA, Fantasy, LGBT (G)

Length: 344 pages

Reviewer: Josh.

Purchase At: Harmony Ink Press, amazon.com

“Once upon a time in the City of Angels, chaos was king, and carelessness ruled.”

Children of the Knight is one of those stories where you start reading saying to yourself “that’ll never work” and then 6 hours later you put it down sobbing, having read one of the best young adult books currently in publication.

Lance is 14 and homeless, he spends his days either dodging gang members or on the rare occasion attending school. Lance has no family and there are not many people in his world that care for him. This is a depressing situation but he loves skating and has a life dream to win gold at the X Games.

One night Lance finds himself in a tricky situation with a couple of gang members over his refusal to sell drugs for the boss. In rides a knight with shining armour who upon questioning reveals himself to be the King Arthur of the legends, come when the need is greatest to establish his second Camelot.

Arthur and Lance then travel the city taking in lost, homeless and neglected youths building an army to join in Arthur’s crusade.

What I LOVED About This Book

The Characters

Never before have I been presented with such great characters, especially the children/teenagers. Each person has their own fleshed out back story explaining their thoughts and motives. You will fall in love with some of these kids, Lance, Jack and especially Mark, you will laugh with them, cry with them and you feel a genuine connection to them.

Themes

The author brings across excellent themes dealing with the problems facing these young teenagers in their world of Los Angeles. Predominant is the vast array of children having been abandoned or abused left to wander the streets, afraid of the authorities. Arthur’s crusade gives these youngsters the chance to have the home and family they never had. Another recurring theme is that of redemption. Arthur strongly believes in this and will take on those who’ve been in gangs or caught up in drug use and prostitution.

The story does investigate why sometimes children will stoop to these incredibly low levels just to survive.

Arthur “This doth be thy work, selling thy most private parts to strangers?”

Mark “Our privates is all we got, mister, if we we wanna eat…”

Mark is one of the most tragic stories in this book, kicked out of home at 13 for kissing another boy in the pool house and finding himself penniless, addicted to drugs and selling himself on the streets of LA by the time he’s 15. Arthur takes him, like many others under his wing.

With all these youngsters on board Arthur builds a movement to rejuvenate and clean up the city giving all his orphans and strays a strong purpose in life to help those weaker than themselves. Through these activities each of his protégés find their own purposes and discover the good within themselves.

The One Slightly Annoying Part

Arthur’s voice at the start of the book feels very corny.

“Hast thou no manners, to not thank me for thy life?”

While it felt less and less out of place as the book continued it definitely had an impact early on and felt distracting. I understand the point to establish a language barrier between Arthur and the children but his speech feels like it’s from the time of Shakespeare and not 1000 years earlier as it should be. Of course this is a conundrum, if Arthur spoke the language of Britain in 600 A.D. no-one save a specialist professor could understand him and if he spoke perfect modern English it would again feel out of place. Luckily the book was so enticing that in the end it wasn’t really a drawback.

Summing Up

I would highly recommend this book to all those who wish to see the impact our world is having on children and the depths of abuse and neglect which is occurring out there. Even though there are fantasy elements in this story I would highly recommend this book to everyone who would like to see a realistic story of redemption, full of love and loss and how by giving a child a glimmer of hope the world can become a better place.

“Once upon a time in the City of Angels, the children did lead, and the people had hope.”

This book was given to me by Harmony Ink (via Greedy Bug) in return for my honest thoughts.

Children of the Knight
by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Mindy's review
Oct 13, 13

5 of 5 stars
bookshelves: dream-reader-dreamer2229-blo

This is one of those books that inspires, tugs at your heart-strings, and makes you long for a better world. The children the book refers to are the lost, the angry, the street kids, but also those who don’t feel loved or needed. And isn’t that all of us at times? The Knight is King Arthur. Yes, that Arthur, the one of legend, Excalibur, the Round Table, Camelot, the whole nine yards.

I love this idea. What would happen today if Arthur returned at brought all of his charisma and legendary skills to the modern world with all of its problems. Could he make a difference? Is he infallible?

This is a book that everyone should read. All ages, all genders, all races. We all need the message this book brings. I give this book 5 out of 5 clouds, and a little fluffiness besides.


This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Shambhawi P.'s review
Oct 08, 13

4 of 5 stars
Read from September 22 to 25, 2013

It has taken me a while to get my thoughts in this book sorted out to write a proper review. Bowler has penned a powerful fantasy with so many sides to it and I must admit the book has left a lasting impact on me. This book is different from all of the young adult fantasy crawling in the bookstores these days and for someone like me who is tired of the same washed up story being told again and again - different is definitely good.

I have always enjoyed reading Arthurian Legends. You can blame that on watching the Disney movie 'The Sword in the Stone' one too many times when I was a kid. So an Arthurian story based on Los Angeles in midst of violent gang environment? I was intrigued. And not let down.

The book deals with many serious issues. It deals with child abuse mostly, also with prostitution, gang violence and society's aversion to non-conformity. There is a somber edge to the narration along with a hopeful one. The major theme of the story seems to be acceptance and mutual respect and Bowler has handled that wonderfully. Arthur's efforts to create a utopia for children to be themselves and away from harm is commendable and the way Bowler has presented it is smooth as well as believable.

This book raises two very important questions. Who is to blame for the various problems that children face - at home, at school or in the society at large? And in the real world where there is no King Arthur to swoop in with his round table of knights who is to help them?

Usually, some books try to touch a lot of issues concerning the society and fail to address them all. This book does not. It is a beautiful, thoughtful story written wonderfully that anyone can read, enjoy and ponder upon.

4 Stars

This ebook was provided to me by the author in exchange of an honest review.

Children of the Knight
by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Miriasha Borsykowsky's review
Aug 15, 13

4 of 5 stars
bookshelves: queer
Read from August 04 to 15, 2013

I received a free e-book copy through a read-to-review board in the YA LGBT Books group in Goodreads.

In Children of the Knight, King Arthur of old legend is back - and in Los Angeles. His mission is to help the children who have been targeted and neglected by adult society. Many of these children are homeless or live in abusive homes, and two of the main boys the book focuses on have been thrown from their homes for being gay.

Mark and Jack became friends on the street, where they turned to sex work for survival. When Lance, our main character, first meets them, he uses a slur towards them and expresses an inability to work with them, because of what their sexuality is. Over the course of the book, this changes, and ask three boys become very close.

Although the main focus of the book is on Arthur's mission, and the experiences of all the children (his knights) that have made it a necessity, my heart was with the gay boys the whole time, because their story is closest to my heart.

I won't spoil anything, but I will say that I cried for at least an hour and a half at two different parts of the story, and that people who will be triggered by deep exploration of feelings of worthlessness, unworthiness, guilt, rape, and death, should think before reading this book and make sure doing so will be safe for them. That said, this book was amazing and I'm very glad to have had this opportunity to read it.

Children of the Knight
by Michael J. Bowler (Goodreads Author)

Sheila's review
Oct 22, 13

4 of 5 stars
bookshelves: coming-of-age, cultural, current_issues,paranormal, relationships, suspense, young-adult
Read in October, 2013

Children of the Knight, by Michael J Bowler, has an excellent plotline and a powerful feel for the needs and hurts of inner city children. King Arthur returns, as legend predicted, but to Los Angeles, USA, instead of England, to aid the multicultural youth of a youthful nation rapidly losing its way. The lessons are wise, with an honest no-holds-barred approach to young people and the wounds—physical, sexual, and mental—that drive them to gangs and homelessness, or simply rebellion. The LA teen voices seem achingly authentic, at least to my English ears. And the mission of Arthur, to restore meaning to life, to offer praise and reward hard work, and to give each child significance, has a powerful message to a culture that punishes as adults those it simultaneously sidelines as children.

King Arthur’s attempts to understand our modern world are nicely drawn, and his opposition to swearing, disrespect (in all its many forms), and careless hurt is nicely convincing. Less so are his accent and dialect, which read awkwardly to my English ears, but probably mirror the confusion of American city kids trying to read Shakespeare. “Gaels didst hate the Galls who didst hate the Normans...” had me wondering whether to check ancient grammar or history first. But “I doth be fine” declares Arthur at another point, and “When canst any of thee recall...” as he proclaims an upwelling call for change to assembled listeners.

The story’s greatest strength is in its depiction of exploited youth, brave children finding their place in a system that’s rejected them, seeking their sexual identities in a world that too freely abuses and condemns, needing approval, and learning to stand up for what they finally believe in. The novel is fun and exciting, well-plotted, and pleasingly fanciful, with a blend of gritty realism and idealistic resolution that should appeal to younger teens. Bearing in mind the story’s shadier themes though, this book might work best for those who’ve already seen or learned of the darker side of life.

Disclosure: I received a free ecopy during the author’s blog tour, with a request for an honest review.

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