Beyond The Dark Gate (The Flow of Power: Book 2) by R.V. Johnson

Beyond The Dark Gate: Epic Fantasy Adventure (The Flow of Power Book 2)

Title: Beyond The Dark Gate

Author: R.V. Johnson

Publisher: Lost in The New World Publishing

Date of Publication: December 13th, 2016

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Number of pages: 532

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Flow of Power

Beyond the Sapphire Gate – Book 1 (review here)

Where you can find Beyond The Dark Gate: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads): 

The Flow of Power Rages On.

Faced with a choice that could save or destroy those Crystalyn loves, madness looms at the edge of her broken mind. Jade’s aura-reading ability develops, evolving beyond wholesome. Garn’s enslavement ends, something far worse taking its place.

Determined to destroy the foundation of power on Astura, the hooded man’s intrigues wreak havoc on the land.

A brilliant Dark robe executes a bold plan that, if successful, will unleash a great malevolence.

Enduring in the shadows for millennia, a new influence emerges. Gaining strength from others, its alien cunning has subjugated entire worlds with none the wiser.

With peril lurking everywhere, Crystalyn’s great and brittle strength becomes ever more imperative to her friends’ and families’ welfare…but only if she can hold up.

The epic saga continues in this action-packed second novel of The Flow of Power series.

My review:

There are times where I dread reading series, mainly series where I absolutely loved the first book. My expectations are usually too high and it’s a let down when the 2nd book isn’t as good as the first one. Fortunately for Beyond The Dark Gate, my expectations were beyond met and I was most definitely not let down.

Beyond The Dark Gate starts off almost immediately after Crystalyn, Jade and company returned to Astura through the gate in Ruena Day’s office. The reason why they decided to back to Astura, to find and defeat Darwin Darkwing, a powerful Dark User and one-time love interest of Crystalyn.

Jade seemed to get the short end of the stick in this book, again. Not only is she separated from Crystalyn fairly early in the book, but she is also taken over by the entity called The One Mind and is completely under its power. It takes over people by inhabiting their minds and forcing them to do its will. Jade is able to keep a part of her mind separate from The One Mind but she is aware of everything that it is doing. For some reason, it reminded me of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the old cult classic). Luckily, for her, before she got possessed, she actually met up with Garn. I say luckily because It listens to him.

Crystalyn, however, keeps getting sucked into battle after battle….on top of trying to locate her missing sister. I don’t know how she did it because I would have been overcome with exhaustion. Plus, she kept getting injured and bouncing back. I couldn’t believe it when she was up and walking after getting her head split open by Brother Craven. I did like seeing how she was a very strong female leader who didn’t take anything from anyone. Her anger issue was still there, from the last book, but she seemed to be better at controlling it and channeling it into her symbols.

The secondary characters were what made the book. From Broth, Crystalyn’s bondmate, to 8 foot tall Lore Rayna who was half tree and had a dress that was made out of leaves to Atoi, the Dark Child who has allied herself with Crystalyn for reason’s only known to herself to Hastel, the one-eyed warrior, and many others. They wove a rich backdrop and played vital roles in the story for both Jade and Crystalyn.

I think I was very surprised when Sureen, Garn’s wife and Jade’s and Crystalyn’s mother, showed up not only alive but as a User. There were hints in the first book but I wasn’t ready for her appearance in this book. Neither was Crystalyn. The talk that they had about her disappearance was exactly the one I would have had if my mother had disappeared on me years ago.

There were some unexpected deaths’ in the book that made me very sad and a bit surprised. I was not ready for this character’s death and I think I might have let a few curse words slip out.

The end of the book was fantastic and oh my, what an epic battle.

How many stars will I give Beyond the Sapphire Gate: 4

Why: 3 Dimensional characters and a plotline that kept my attention.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Older teen

Why: Violence and talk of sexual situations (just talk, nothing is described)

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Beyond the Sapphire Gate (The Flow of Power: Book 1) by R.V. Johnson

Beyond the Sapphire Gate (The Flow of Power, #1)

Title: Beyond The Sapphire Gate

Author: R.V. Johnson

Publisher: Lost in New World Publishing

Date of publication: March 8th, 2015

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Number of pages: 438

POV: 3rd person

Series: The Flow of Power

Beyond the Sapphire Gate – Book 1

Beyond Terra – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Raw power. Dark betrayal. A family shattered.

On a world where a frothing river of magic underlies the land, Crystalyn may become Astura’s greatest power if she can master her ability of using symbols though she seeks no glory. She wants only to find the dear sister she raised; the sibling she lost on another planet by her own doing. Dark Users of magic, political Light Users, and a horde of deadly creatures stand in her way. But when had it ever been easy for one afflicted with an unbalanced, broken mind?

The epic first book in the thrilling Flow Of Power fantasy saga!

My review:

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a welcome change from the books that I have read. A change that was definitely needed.

The world-building in this book was beyond fantastic. This was not a one-dimensional word. It was a three-dimensional world.  It was like an onion. When one layer was peeled back, another aspect of the world was revealed. Which is what made is such a good read. You never knew what was going to be revealed and that, along with other things, kept me glued to the book. I did like small twist towards the end of the book about what Astura was. The way the author explained it was fantastic!!

Crystalyn had to be my favorite character in the book. From the beginning, when she was studying the book with symbols to her journey to Surbo, where the Circle of Light is, she was spunky and wanted to do things her way. When it was decided that she would go to Surbo with Lore Mother, Lore Rayne, Cudgel, Hastel, and Atoi, she started to find out that she could use her symbols in new ways….from healing to defense to attacking. But using them came with a price. I also loved her fascination with Darwin Darkwind. He was a bad boy (I think). Also, I loved Broth. Just saying to have a bond mate who could talk to you in your head is pretty sweet.

Jade was my other favorite character. She was unfortunate enough to end up in the Dark Citidal. Actually in an armory, of all places. She meets Cameo shortly afterward and he decides that he would help her escape after she told him what images she could see in his aura. I think Jade might have had it a bit rougher than Crystalyn about how bad her journey was. Jade had to crawl through a sewer to escape…..yucky. Cameo wasn’t a joy to travel with either. He was so distrusting of her and Burl it wasn’t even funny. It was only when Burl saved both of their hides, that he was coming around.

I wish Garn was featured more in the book and that he was reunited with his daughters at some point. But, I can see why the author chose not to do it and I do hope that he is reunited with his girls in the next book.

The fantasy/sci-fi element was very well written. The magic usage in the book was either very subtle or in your face, depending on who was using symbols. Crystalyn’s magic was in your face while Jade’s was more subtle. It was those differences that kept me glued to the book. I also liked that while there were deadly magical creatures, they weren’t all over the book. The wraiths and spiderbees were really the only ones that were detailed. To be honest, the spiderbees scared me.

The end of the book was a bit of a shocker. I was not expecting certain things and when they were revealed it did throw me for a loop. I do have some questions and I hope that they will be answered in the next book!!

How many stars will I give Beyond the Sapphire Gate: 4

Why: This is a very well written fantasy that I got really into reading. While I did put the book down, I really didn’t want to. I needed to know what would happen with Crystalyn, Jade and everyone else.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Young Teen

Why: Violence. Otherwise, it is a very clean book. There is one kissing scene and a couple of scenes where Crystalyn is very aware of Darwin but nothing that would hold me back from allowing a 13-year-old to read.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**