Breaking Free

Fiction - Fantasy - General
232 Pages
Reviewed on 05/24/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

My name is Caleb Monroe, and I work as a high school science teacher, play bass and sing cover band, and love all things comic book related. I decided to write because I feel that many of the experiences I have been through in my life, many self inflicted, have given me a perspective on life that can speak to people. I am not going to be the next great american author with my writing style, but the simple fluidity to my stories will make them a great read for anyone. To sum it up, i simply want to write stories that people see themselves in and find entertaining from beginning to end.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

How far can a man be driven by fear? This seems to be one of the central questions driving the plot in this fascinating blend of fantasy and psychological novel by Caleb Monroe. Breaking Free deals with fear in its intoxicating, nauseating form. As a young person, Jacob witnessed the murder of his parents, a murder that was shocking and orchestrated by a monster. Many years after that, he is still haunted by the experience, suffering from repeated nightmares and bad premonitions. He’s shut himself away and lives as a recluse in utter fear, but how long can he continue to live this way? Read to discover how he found the reason to fight and what happens when one faces the very thing one fears.

This is a book written with simplicity, the prose flowing with rare fluidity. Caleb Monroe masterfully sprinkles excellent passages that are both rich with psychological intuition and insight with interesting dialogues throughout the book. Readers will find the exchanges between Jacob and Cecilia very entertaining and revealing. I enjoyed the presence of the creature the protagonist calls the Shadow in the story, and how it slowly draws Jacob out of his shell. I have never read a book as engrossing as this one; there is a disturbing darkness that runs through the lines of the story, dark images that justify the extreme fright of the protagonist. The story is told from the point of view of the protagonist, in the first person narrative, and the voice comes out powerfully and convincingly. Breaking Free is a story about fear and freedom, a story that readers will easily relate to. As the reader watches the protagonist driven to the edge of madness, they can feel waves of conflicting emotions surging within them. This book captures the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go for a single moment.

Arya Fomonyuy

Breaking Free by Caleb Monroe follows the life of Jacob, a man who is terribly frightened and who lives with nightmares that literally paralyze him. It is a story that succinctly depicts the anatomy of fear. Jacob’s parents were killed while he was a kid by a deadly creature — a creature he’d later learn is called the imago — and since then he’d grown up in fear, so afraid to the point that he orders “the same thing for the last five years every week.” He dreams every night of the echo that accompanied the fog around the creature that killed his parents. A winged creature finds itself in his home and things seem to look better, but it is not until he learns the real identity of the imago from Cecilia and faces it that he gains true freedom. Or does he, really?

This is a beautiful, paranormal story that explores the themes of fear and freedom. The reader is treated to a great cast of characters. It is interesting to see the connection Jacob creates with the Shadow. The reader keeps following the story, and the psychological state of the protagonist with the emotional depth of the story are elements that rub off on the reader in deep and subtle ways. The first person narrative is very effective for this story and it allows the reader to see the world through the eyes of the protagonist, through his fears. For instance, listen to how he captures the fear: “The echo that haunts nearly every night of my life is making its way towards us. The sound that signifies death has begun marching and it will soon be at our doorstep.” Caleb Monroe’s Breaking Free is a story about fear and freedom, a story that is well written with entertaining dialogues and powerful prose. You’ll see a fragment of you in the protagonist.

Jack Magnus

Breaking Free: Book One of The Wind's Cry is a paranormal fantasy novel written by Caleb Monroe. The nightmare seemed to come every night. There was the freezing fog that immobilized him and the clicking sound which got louder and louder as the monster approached. Sleep was both devoutly desired and feared as that dream never seemed to lose its ability to horrify and cause so much pain. He had awoken from the dream when he heard movements inside his house. He bolted out of his bed in panic, scuttling as far away from the sound as he could get within the confines of his bedroom, but the sounds persisted. Hearing the uncoordinated scrabble of paws on the slippery floor, Jacob began to wonder what sort of animal had found itself in his room. A bit of excitement began to master Jacob’s temerity at the thought of an animal. He wasn’t good at socializing with people or even leaving his home, but Jacob felt an intuitive kinship with creatures. He could hear a frantic fluttering of wings that he could see were the deepest black, and then he made out a face shaped like an eagle’s with a white-feathered crown and deep black eyes. What kind of creature could this be? Jacob marveled. He was just a little fellow, and he seemed to want to play. A few searches on the internet identified Jacob’s house guest as a griffin, a smallish one at that, but something about those lovely eyes and the chirp the little fellow made when presented with strips of bacon began a healing process in Jacob’s soul.

Caleb Monroe’s paranormal fantasy novel, Breaking Free: Book One of The Wind's Cry, is an action-packed, original and enthralling story about a man whose self-imposed imprisonment in his house for twenty years is shattered when an infant griffin tumbles into his life. I loved following the growing affection between man and griffin as Jacob learns to love his new friend, Shadow, and forgive himself for his helplessness in the face of the horror that killed his mom and dad all those years ago. Any Harry Potter fan will instantly recognize Shadow’s lineage from Monroe’s initial descriptions, and I found myself repeatedly visualizing, and hearing, Hagrid’s pet griffin, Buckbeak, as I read this remarkable tale. Breaking Free is a marvelous new adult coming of age tale which compassionately deals with the psychological issues of agoraphobia and obsessive compulsive disorder that make Jacob’s life so difficult. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in The Wind’s Cry series. Breaking Free is a grand read, and it’s most highly recommended.