The Dark Messengers

Erift's Journeys

Young Adult - Fantasy - General
435 Pages
Reviewed on 03/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

J.T. Tenera will fully admit that he never wanted to become an author when he was a child. Born March 10th, 1987, his dreams consisted of one thing; making video games when he grew up. However, a project in the 8th grade changed his mind. His class was tasked with writing and illustrating their own children’s book. After receiving 110% on the project, and being told by his teacher that he was talented in story telling, he started down a more creative path. Especially since he later learned that making video games was a lot more complicated than he thought as a child.

Tenera originally published Erift’s Journeys when he was a senior in high school. It was a proud moment seeing the story he dreamed about finished as a real book. However, it was all just for fun. He wouldn’t realize his desire to take his writing to a professional level until 2019. Mostly self-taught, Tenera now works to bring his world to life for readers of all ages, all while doing his best to find time to game in between.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

The Dark Messengers is the second story in the Erift’s Journeys series by J.T. Tenera. The story of Joseph and Eric continues as the two protagonists return for a new adventure, with new characters, and new challenges. The dynamic duo is looking forward to going to college but those plans are held back when Professor Ben contacts them once again, and this time, things are a lot more serious. It all begins with strange shadows dogging their every step; however, things take a deadly turn when they get to the Murean Islands. With the authorities breathing down Professor Ben’s neck, Eric and Joseph have to be careful but when an old enemy strikes back, and new enemies make their presence known, the boys will need all the help they can get from friends and new acquaintances. Will the boys get a chance to live their personal lives or will they get lost once again?

Entertaining, action-packed, and filled with intense pace, The Dark Messengers has perfected every aspect of the story. Joseph and Eric are fierce protagonists and each brings something different to the table, making it possible to see two different sides of the same picture. While Eric believes in living his life up to his standards, Joseph wants something else. It seems like he has the burden of the world on his shoulders and he is carrying it all with grace. Joseph is something special and I was sure J.T. Tenera would reveal something surprising about him. I loved that none of the boys was telling a sob story of sorry means. They both had a pretty normal life and acted like teenagers, which is exactly what was needed of them. The dialogues were fun, the descriptions were transportive, and the ending was fantastic. I cannot wait for the next novel in the series!

Vincent Dublado

The Dark Messengers is J.T. Tenera’s second book in the Erift’s Journeys series. A year has passed since Joseph Erift and his best friend Eric Castis had a taste of adventure that put them in harm’s way. College life offers plenty of promise, but it will have to take a backseat after they receive another invitation from Professor Benjamin Thessit. They witness a tense confrontation between the professor and his friend and rival Martin Kass, who claimed that something concerning their research had gone rogue and that Ben had stepped out of line. A new threat looms as an old adversary returns. As Professor Ben comes close to caving in when faced with increasing pressure, Joseph and Eric notice a series of events that don’t just happen by chance. The first day of their return teems with omens that will once again put them on a new path of adventure where fantasy and reality blur.

The Dark Messengers is equally as mysterious and exciting as the first installment in the series, and there is plenty of darkness as the title would suggest. It’s not predictable. Joseph's and Eric’s return to the island provides a good storyline and a setting that is fitting for the dangers they face, such as lurking shadows. J.T. Tenera develops his characters through dialogue and much is revealed about their personalities in the way that they respond to situations. This does not mean that they are merely reactive. The presence of Joseph and Eric largely drives the action. The last chapter of the book whets your appetite for the possibilities that will emerge in the next installment. For now, Joseph is willing to face whatever will come at them, and he will do so with his friends at his side. It’s an entertaining read.

Liz Konkel

The Dark Messengers by J.T. Tenera is the second book in the Erift’s Journeys series. Joseph and Eric have had quite an extraordinary year since discovering the existence of magic, thanks to Professor Ben who unlocked their dormant abilities. Their lives have settled down since being home though Joseph can’t seem to shake the mysterious entities that keep appearing before him. The magic and adventure they discover maintain a presence in their everyday lives but when Professor Ben requests their return, they find themselves on a plane to the Murean Islands. They quickly learn that the SIA has made threats against Professor Ben and with mysterious entities appearing, Joseph and Eric embark on a new adventure that brings them to the Mirror Palace. Joseph has anxiety about putting aside college plans but his best friend seems more interested in trying to find stardom online.

The use of magic is threaded naturally throughout the story with the two using spells in several instances. Tenera's details are subtle in crafting lovely visuals such as a replica exploding into a puff of smoke with a haunting cry, the color of the water brightening, and brittle plants stirring back to life in a garden. The use of different entities creates an otherworldly presence that easily encompasses Joseph’s life such as the shadow things surrounding him on his bike, an obscure being waiting for him in the garage, and him having to deal with a mushroom-like monstrosity. The story delves into Joseph’s struggle between these two paths. He’s drawn into this epic adventure but he feels pulled toward the idea of college and seeing what else is out there.

The friendship between Eric and Joseph is genuine and adds fun to their adventures with the two of them there to balance each other through their opposite views. While Joseph is struggling, Eric is finding excitement and potential for fame which serves as a humorous dynamic between them. The Murean Islands are the catalyst for their adventures as the location is where they got their magical abilities and discovered these amazing secrets. A fun coming-of-age adventure, J.T. Tenera's The Dark Messengers blends magic, epic quests, and mysterious entities into a humorous and charming read.