Young Adult - Fantasy - General
238 Pages
Reviewed on 02/05/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Kacey once had a normal life, a normal best friend, a normal crush. Or so she had thought. In the blink of an eye, or more accurately within the final gift left to her by her mother, everything changed. This final gift had been kept from her, sealed away until her eighteenth birthday, and it contained her true heritage, one bound until this day. The inheritance from her mother went beyond material possessions; it was magic itself. A magic she had recognised and sealed within her own child. Kacey's first glimpse of this world was through her mother's journal, its pages detailing monsters and how to kill them. Kacey's mother had been renowned, working for a hidden organisation known as The Sentinels. Now, with a bounty on her head, Kacey must quickly learn to utilise her new found powers whilst trying to protect her mother's journal, a prized and powerful tool to anyone, be they good or evil. But there is more than one part to this journal, and rumours say the two halves are a Kingmaker. Kacey has the first half and both sides wish to use her for their own gain.

If Grimm, Supernatural, and Buffy had a love child, it would be something like this. A hidden world of monsters and hunters, with a little comedy thrown in, makes Dauntless by Thomas G. Atwood Jr. an enjoyable feast for those wanting an action-packed, quick-paced read. I found some of the descriptions wonderful, the narrative and imagery from the first chapter alone had me hooked. It's written perfectly for the young adult genre, but will also hold a similar appeal for the adult market.

Jack Magnus

Dauntless is a young adult urban sword and sorcery fantasy novel written by Thomas G. Atwood Jr. Kacey Alexander had a relatively perfect life, perfect that is, except for the fact that her mother had died four years ago while saving her from drowning in the frozen waters of a lake. It was hard not to feel guilty over that sacrifice. Kacey couldn’t get past the fact that if she had only listened to her parents' warnings and avoided the center of the lake where there was often thin ice, her mother would still be alive. Her father had taken her to therapists whose efforts to help her deal with her feelings of loss and guilt were met with little success -- she just couldn’t forget that look in her mother's eyes as she sank back into the water. Aside from that old and familiar grief, Kacey loved the city of Woodland Falls where she lived, and her two friends, Laurie and Aidan, were the best companions anyone could ask for. Her eighteenth birthday would be the best yet, she figured, but being woken up at six in the morning by her mom's lawyer was not an auspicious beginning. Aidan had gone along with her to pick up the large rosewood chest that was her inheritance. It was huge, heavy and locked, but Kacey's mom had taught her how to pick locks, and Kacey had the box open in a matter of minutes.

Thomas G. Atwood Jr.'s young adult urban fantasy novel, Dauntless, is an enthralling blend of the high tech, sword and sorcery, and coming of age genres as Kacey Alexander turns eighteen and discovers that the reality she had taken for granted all her life was simply a cover for the vastly more dangerous world she now inhabited. Even Aidan is not what she had always believed him to be, nor, for that matter, was she. Atwood's characters are well-defined, and I appreciated how smoothly he develops Kacey, Aidan, and the other people in her world into a functioning and powerful team. Readers who enjoyed Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series will be delighted to recognize some elements of his urban fantasy world in this story, and most likely enjoy those influences as much as I did. Atwood's plot is fast-paced, action-packed, and filled with epic struggles between good and evil. His story is an intriguing mix of urban fantasy, sword and sorcery, and high fantasy that works quite well on each level. Dauntless is most highly recommended.

Rabia Tanveer

Dauntless by Thomas G. Atwood Jr. is one of those novels that you have no idea how it will pan out. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of Dauntless and I am really glad that I did. This novel is all about bravery and finding the courage inside you. The story follows Kacey Alexander, just your regular 18-year-old, who completed her education and now dreams of a better and brighter future. She has no idea that her life is about to change and not in a small way.

She discovers that her mother was a Sentinel and now, because of that, Kacey is a Sentinel too. She has powers that she had no idea she possessed and now the future of innocent lives rests solely on her. She needs to protect her city from the evil clutches of Pyrus and the man behind him. However, she cannot do it alone. She needs help and she finds it with two very unlikely people, a woman who can control the weather and an older man who is a Dark Fey warrior. With the help of these two, Kacey will find the inner strength to become the hero she was born to be. But can she do it? Does she have it in her to rein in her powers and become the greatest ever?

Dauntless by Thomas G. Atwood Jr. was brilliant. I love a good YA novel and this is the best I have read so far this year. I loved the way that this novel was an amalgamation of humor, thriller, mystery and action. The fantasy elements of the story were very well constructed and well conceived. It was so believable! I loved this novel and I cannot wait for the next novel in the series. This is definitely a 5 star read!