Spotlight With Ian Cadena
Today we are going to have a look at The Nexus Novel by Ian Cadena. This epic Series is written over four huge books depicting each season starting with Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Each book tell it's own fantastical story.
Book One - Samhain
“Max recorded his sister with his digital camcorder from a distance. They stood on a gentle green grassy plain just on the outskirts of their new town. His mom suggested Max document the beginning of their ‘fresh start,’ as she kept putting it. Why couldn’t she just say divorce? He already heard the word plenty of times. Why did grownups try and give good names to bad things? It made him wonder if there really were such things as monsters, and grownups just decided to call them something else so kids wouldn’t find out.” Book 1--Autumn. Max Dane didn’t know anything about magick with a ‘K,’ Wiccan practices or magical realism until he arrived in Ravencrest. But he soon learns the town is steeped in mystical folklore, legend, and tradition. The Sisters Grimm and other townspeople celebrate holidays such as Samhain with enthusiasm. He didn’t expect to spend Halloween living in Ravencrest and he certainly didn’t expect to spend his twelfth birthday caught in the middle of a divorce: A divorce that was his fault. He could easily say it was because of his epilepsy and the hallucinations it caused. Although, his new friends in Ravencrest think he’s having psychic visions. But Max knows the truth behind his parents' separation. It’s because he’s a monster! Book 1 of 4. inspired by Celtic, Norse, and Native American mythology.
Deadly nightshade hissed from the cauldron as it was added to the mixture turning the gray smoke to black. Two hooded figures stepped from a warmly lit cave and walked to a lone hunched figure at the cauldron outside. The wind kicked along the night sky as the huge cauldron gurgled under the sanguine moon. This triad preferred to cast in the secrecy of dark—in the open of nature—adding strength to their spell. However, the round moon offered little protection this night from persecuting eyes, but it was worth the risk since this was the most magickal night of all year. It was Samhain.
These following Reviews are just but a few
How do you know you're crazy?
Max Dane, who turns 12 in a few short weeks on Halloween, wants to know. His divorcee mother and baby sister just moved to an eccentric New England town. This book is an adventure that explores the paranormal, spiritual and inner workings of the human psyche. The reader is launched into a world where spiritual beliefs of folklore,myth and ancient culture become the mundane. From page one you feel an urgency that builds and twists to the end. Well developed characters draw you in to their world; even if you do love hate some of them. I can't wait for book two!!!
A fantasy masterpiece of a very gifted author!
This book was one big challenge for me and I don’t just talk about its 470 pages, groan. Sometimes I have trouble to read books with 200 pages in a reasonable time, but almost 500 pages would be the death of me, so smart as I sometimes am I decided to also get the audio version of the book with it. As I started this book I wasn’t sure what to expect, knowing other books of the author which are more to the funny side of fantasy life. It didn’t take to long for me to get into the story, whereas I had to accustom first to the back and forth switching between the then and now. While disturbing a bit for me at first it had been pretty clear after a while that; to understand the present, you must first understand the past. I fell in love with Max pretty quickly, and my heart was bleeding for him on so many levels. I think I never was reading a book before where I would have wrapped the main character in cotton wool and commit a murder without blinking an eye. At almost 12 years old, Max is used to be left alone to deal with his nightmares, “seizures and hallucinations”. After moving to Ravencrest and finding friends like Jonas, Cassandra and not to forget Chance it seems like things are getting different, or not… As if it wouldn’t be enough to deal with psycho babbles and an uncaring mother, there is Derek who also makes life difficult for him on a daily base. I really enjoyed the parts where Max had been allowed just to be the typical 12 year old boy, with not much care in the world, while hanging out with his friends in the CONUNDRUM Café, carving pumpkins, or being close to his first crush Chance. Even though the book was more on the serious side, there also had been some parts that made me chuckle or even laugh out loud. I just loved the Sisters Grimm and absolutely could see them starring in Ian Cadena’s Hard Boy series and am sure that would be hilarious. The only thing I really hated was the last two chapters and epilogue, but it wouldn’t be a series if it wouldn’t stop with a very heart stopping cliffhanger. Altogether I think this book was a Masterpiece! I could tell that there was a lot of research done for this book and after reading it I’m more convinced than ever about the authors writing skills. I’m just happy that I waited so long for to read it, because now I hopefully won’t have to wait long for the sequel to come out. As for the audio book; I switched back and forth between reading and listening to the book. I was more than happy to learn that Mr. Cadena himself spoke the book on audio, first of because I think there is no better way/person to bring out the emotions of a book like the writer himself and second because I always like to have a voice to the face. Speaking of, I really liked the voice and its slang very much, though for some words I had to double check while reading. One English is not like another and being more used to the Canadian English some words had been a whole new experience for me.
The author weaved a masterful web of intrigue
An amazing WOW from me and on so many different levels. Anyone that reads my reviews, knows that I'm the Queen of Reading Fluff and therefore, this was a very different read for me and opened up my horizons in so many unexpected ways. Ian Cadena just gave me a unique, complex but utterly riveting book puzzle. I meticulously read and put together each piece that he fed me with. Every piece was unique with a mystic quality about them, but all fitting together in a perfect and very polished way, I was held spellbound throughout. I would happily park up my broomstick any day of the week to read more. For me, it was all down to three magic ingredients - Max Dane, the Grimm Sisters and the author's diligent research. This is not the sort of book that an author knocks out over night (or should that read over his cauldron?) it would have taken time and I should imagine heartache as well, in getting it right and he got it so right! As I've already mentioned, it's very complex and you really do need to keep your wits about you. But the author also teased at the same time. He spun the most marvellous web of intrigue and once you felt the tickle of that silken thread he weaved so carefully, you were trapped. His lure of enticement too strong to break free from, I had to continue onwards to see what happens and trust me on this, a lot happens! When is the next Nexus? I truly don't know but need to find out because I have a very strong feeling that we are going to be taken on yet another amazing ride and I want to be first in the queue. Five big fat brilliant stars from me.
a superb work of Literature that will leave you breathless
Sometimes you read a book and by the time you reach the end, your jaw is on the floor and you cannot pick it up. This is one of those books. Max Dane is a perfectly rounded, perfectly realized character. Here is a boy on the verge of becoming a teenager who has to deal with his emerging sexuality, not to mention his extraordinary paranormal abilities. I loved Max, and the scenes where he is in the Conundrum cafe with Cassandra and Jonas bring every page to life. But, it is his relationship with swimming stud Chance that feels so very real. So many of us have been through what Max experiences and sometimes it is painful to read. The familial rejection, the bullying, the horror of school, the feeling of having no worth, it is there on the page for you to see in all its agonizing glory, and boy, did I feel it. I felt every moment of it. Seldom have I read a character in a book of this nature that I so completely identify with, and he is written so beautifully. Ravencrest is a deadly place. The story expertly shifts between this paranormal haven and the middle ages where we first meet the three witches, the Sisters Grimm. Oh how I love these witches! A cross between the witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth and The Golden Girls, the three sisters are a joy on paper and their sparkling repertoire leaps off the page. Then, there is the Knightmare, the glowing green Knight from the distant past who gives Max such a difficult time in the present. All I can say is, that by the time I reached the end, and all the dots were joined, I could only sit back with my mouth agape and marvel at the author's genius, and the guts it took to tell this incredible story. I cannot even begin to get my head around all the research the author undertook to create this complex tapestry of beautiful words, because that is what this is. It is a stunning, complex, intelligent work of literature that needs to be read and needs to sit on your shelf. I wait with baited breath for the next book, so cleverly named in the last line of this novel, and I know that when all of these books are out that I will be reading them again from start to finish, non stop. The author has created a startling new mythology here, superbly interwoven with superstition and legend that left me breathless. Oh, and if you look real closely, there are links here to the authors other works, and a certain film about UFO's that made me laugh out loud!!! There are not enough stars in this universe, or the Nexus, to adequately rate this stunning book. Read it. Marvel at the use of language. Love these amazing characters. But most of all, tip your hat to a masterful story teller at the top of his game.
Book Two - The Yule King
“As though Myth and Legend would no longer sit in silence they made a grandiose entrance into the world of humans—determined to leave a footprint so deep into the memories of men that time itself would never erase their existence; would never fall out of remembrance again—staged across from one another poised to collide in the here and now breaking from the bounds of imagination and superstition into reality.” Halloween is over but Max’s turmoil in Ravencrest continues as he learns the truth of his epilepsy while Sir Percy and the Knights Templar in the Middle Ages are set upon a quest that will lead them to the Yule King. But will either Max or Percy survive when Myth and Legend collide? Yule is coming!
“I will not be controlled or manipulated. Not anymore. I’ve killed enough at the machinations of others. The deaths of innocents will no longer stain my spirit no matter where you point your vengeful finger.” He flashed into the Knightmare—his horse transforming with him—flinging the Death Axe over his shoulder. It spun on a horizontal axis speeding through the air behind the Knightmare to decapitate the again-walker that approached. Its head charred before hitting the snow and its body turned black collapsing into soot. Arthur had no qualms about dispatching these Revenants as they could do much harm to Percy and his like. “Innocents? Polyphemus is anything but innocent, lest you forget he murdered my son!” The Knightmare caught the returning axe. “What I see is a being acting out in desperation; not unlike myself.” His flaming skeletal head rebutted. “Murdering my son was not an act of desperation. That being is foul and loathsome. More will die because of him—because of you! You betrayed me. You betrayed every being that will die because of him. Look at the repugnant Revenants it creates in its wake, a blight upon the land. How can you deny its atrocities? We must follow.” “Then go, but you will do so without me.” The Knightmare persisted. “I will deny you access to Valhalla and I can deny you access to Tír na nÓg.” “I am already denied. At least I am denied as a free spirit. You are not my King and surely not my master. No one is.”
Extraordinary reading, I was enthralled.
Ian Cadena has just achieved the unthinkable. He has just successfully lured me away from my norm reading of romance and totally captivated my attention in his world of folklore, myths and so much more. If I was asked to summarise this long and intricate storyline in one word, it would be.....mosaic. Book 1 (Samhain) was a riveting book puzzle for me, but the author certainly upped his game for this one and taken his creative and imaginative world, to a whole new level - a written mosaic. He assembled small written pieces together and then assembled them into a glorious and so entertaining read (I’m soooooo not mentioning Erec 😉). It was empowering, but also so very authentic in its originality, as I said, a written mosaic. The added graphics on each chapter, was not only a nice touch but helpful in identifying which timeline we were entering. The author’s attention to detailing was yet again, meticulous. I admit that I did Google a few things to see if he had done his research properly...and he had. I’ve given up on trying to summarise this storyline for my review, I failed miserably each time. In the end, I accepted the fact that I’m just not eloquent enough to convey the complexity or do justice to this unique world the author created, so it’s a case of reading it yourselves to find out - and I strongly suggest that you do. But this is not a standalone, you must read book 1 first. I’ve patiently waited two years for this second book of the Series and I’m prepared to wait another two years for book 3, if that means I get the quality and book satisfaction that both books 1 and 2 gave me. 5* glorious stars from me.
Excellent follow up
I was blown away by how much I loved book one, and the wait for book two has been long and hard (that's what he said), by in the end totally worth it. The world and mythology is built upon quite nicely, as well as our main characters and their journeys. Growing up a fan of fantasy, horror,and mythology, it sometimes feels like this book was written by someone who stole my book collection. Already anticipating the next installment.
Stunning book, in a class of its own.
What can you say when a book lands on your Kindle that is this magnificent? The textures, the complex, intricate plot interweaving so effortlessly between realms...the characters...OMG the characters. But I have to comment on the author's ability to paint a picture with words. Seldom have I read a book which so completely transports me to the author's world. His use of language, and the way he structures the story is so original it will take your breath away. I love Max. He is one of the most rounded, realistic characters I have ever read, even though he is grounded in a world of the fantastical. This book is very complex but interlocks with the first Nexus book perfectly. I can only wish that the author gains some well-earned recognition for his work because he so deserves it. Buy this book. Make sure you read the first Nexus first. But above all, enjoy every perfectly crafted word on each beautifully presented page. This is a modern masterpiece, and yes, I will have to read it again just so I can discover bits I may have missed. Or just because I REALLY HAVE to read it again. Writing is an art form, and for me, Ian Cadena is up there with Michaelangelo.
When Ian Cadena was in elementary school, instead of taking notes in class, he was busy writing out plots to act out later with his action figures. Eventually, he did manage to get a degree in Theater & Writing, while managing to avoid growing-up altogether, and works on his novels and nefariously plots from his secret lair.
He has always been enthralled by cryptids, the paranormal, and all things mystic, and it is this fascination that fuels his stories. He possesses numerous tarot decks and has had at least one out-of-body experience...maybe two. When not travelling outside of his body he is either living in Austin, Texas or marveling at the Milky Way from his property in Big Bend, Texas.
We hope you have enjoyed this look into Ian Cadena's brilliant mind and hope you will take the time to have a look at his epic series The Nexus.