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Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite
Do you like fantasy stories with elves, dragons, Amazon warriors, evil hordes of vile creatures, and a pair of nefarious protagonists, and endless power for whoever knows how to use and control a certain crystal orb and special ring with magical powers? Then read Mystic Moon Warriors by S. A. Laughlin, Book 1 in the Mystic Moon Warrior Series. The story begins with a prologue that involves a terrorist with a nuclear bomb, whose apparently inept comrades set it off. Cursing his idiot fellow terrorists, Napoleon Mahamyd Smith is sucked up in the blast. But does he die, or does it open a portal to another dimension? After this event, we follow a typical patrol night for two police officers, Sergeant John “Mac” MacQuinn and his partner, Officer Kess Tammer. Kess began her day waking up from a dream where grotesque creatures were attacking a tiny band of warriors in a land like no other. This is significant as we find out later on. The two cops are weary from their job and both are looking forward to a long vacation. They keep getting calls from dispatch and their night seems to never end. The weather takes a decidedly strange turn with mysterious fog and lightning and soon our two cops and an old drunk called Doc that they pick up are swept into a magical world with two moons.
Mystic Moon Warriors is a cross between Lord of the Rings, the Wizard of Oz and several other fantasy works a fan of the genre will recognize. The characters of Mac and Kess are our connection to the real world and the beginning chapters where they handle dispatch calls are a good beginning before they inhabit the mystical new world called Mystovia. Soon, Mac and the newly sober Doc find themselves running with a band of Amazon warriors, while Kess finds herself with a band of elf warriors. The two groups must meet up to confer with the “Enlightened One” who will explain what happened that caused Mac, Kess, and Doc to enter their world. Our two heroes discover something about their pasts and a connection to Mystovia. The characters of Mac and Kess help tie the extensive storyline together. S.A. Laughlin introduces the reader to numerous creatures and characters in rapid fashion and the reader is engaged just keeping up with all the various mystical creatures in this magical world. The story has a good twist or two at the climax and it will be interesting to see where Laughlin wants to go with the story and the characters of Mystovia in future books.