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4 Star IHIBRP Book Review: “The One Left Behind: Magic (Book 1)” by Shakyra Dunn

A Fast-Paced, Wild Adventure Any Thrill-Seeker With An Iron Stomach Will Enjoy!

“The desolate area, empty of all cries … even the heavens seemed to lament the fallen, retaining a shade of grey that sunshine could never reach.” Moments of brilliance pepper Author Shakyra Dunn’s fantasy adventure novel, “The One Left Behind: Magic”, about a time-traveler on a quest to save his best friend, and in the process, his world. But, which world? As any experienced time-traveler knows, there are countless variants of events that result in either grandiose or subtle changes when an altered timeline and History collide—think “The Butterfly Effect”—and Frayle Mathur, Dunn’s main protagonist, is responsible for many fluctuations as this story progresses.

Frayle is a savior in the dark about his true identity, and he’s rather slow at sighting clues as to his true purpose in life. When his best friend, Relek Paladere, is murdered, Frayle begins a quest to change the past and thereby bring Relek back from the dead. Every good savior needs a sidekick, and Nova Avery more than fits the bill. An experienced Time-Jumper, Nova is a dynamo in a tiny package; a petite heroine who happens to be an expert in archery and subterfuge. She acts as Frayle’s conscience and guides him through the past as they each fight their own demons, along with a race of supposedly superior beings known as the Guardians and the lowly Savages. Besides these enemies, there are a few other critical issues facing Frayle and Nova; no time that they enter is constant, and they can never return to their own time. Characters are constantly assuming new identities and purposes as Frayle and Nova try to work out the chain of events in each new reality they encounter.

As is often the case when a reader is confronted with alternate dimensions of time, changing scenarios, and characters that seem to morph into other beings at the drop of a hat, it can be quite confusing wading through this novel. The grammatical structure of the novel does show several inconsistencies. The author seemingly employs the use of adjectives and adverbs without understanding their true meaning. In many cases, it appears as though she extracted an incorrect term from a Thesaurus, rather than choosing a simpler, more appropriate word that would help the novel flow better. For example: in the midst of a blizzard, the author chooses to describe the cold, rushing wind as “sweltering”—a term better suited to a tropical jungle environment; a character is described as alleviating “suffrage” instead of “suffering”; and, in yet another sentence … “The boy rolled over on his side ‘blenching’, rather than ‘belching’. There are also a few sudden shifts between third-person past-tense and present-tense (“She says …” as opposed to “She said …”) that throw the reading off-kilter in a few spots. These issues caused me to drop one-star from the final rating of the novel.

All in all, the author provides plenty of action and adventure as the mind of the reader strives to keep up with the plot. But make no mistake … this is not a your standard fairy tale! Evil is true to its form in Dunn’s tale, and there is plenty of vivid imagery in the form of bloody one-on-one battles and gory scenes to go around, especially when the story shifts focus upon the beastly Savages as they consume everyone in their path—men, women, children, and even newborn babes! In the end, “The One Left Behind: Magic” is a fast-paced, wild adventure that any thrill-seeker with an iron stomach will enjoy!

Find “The One Left Behind: Magic” by Shakyra Dunn on Amazon at


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