Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Reading Clean Giveaway Hop - Songs of Magic by J. L. Bryan

Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic, #1)

Blurb (from Goodreads):
A rock & roll fairy tale.

Jason plays guitar in a teenage garage band called the Assorted Zebras, but they have no fans, no gigs, and they're going nowhere. Even worse, Jason has a crush on their lead singer, but she doesn't seem interested in him at all.

Then Jason steals instruments from the fairy world. Soon the band is enchanting crowds, and Jason is a step closer to the girl of his dreams, but the new gear is brimming with dangerous and destructive magic they can't control.

Their shortcut to success has cost a troupe of innocent fairies their livelihood and turned Jason and his band into enemies of the powerful Queen Mab, who sends supernatural bounty hunters to track them down, including one of the most dangerous horned creatures in Faerie...a small unicorn named Buttercake.

Fairy Metal Thunder by J.L. Bryan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to J. L. Bryan.)
All Jason wants to do is play guitar in his fairly mundane teenage band ‘The Assorted Zebras’, even if his parents would prefer he get a job or play his clarinet. But things are about to change for Jason and his band, when he catches a goblin stealing his mother’s earrings one night.

Following the goblin to the fairy realm, Jason notices some instruments that some fairy musicians have left unguarded, and taking his chances, he steals them and runs!
Back in the human world hours have passed, and Jason is in trouble for being out all night, but he soon comes to realise that it was worth it, when the fairy instruments turn out to be magical and enchanting.

With his entire band playing the magical fairy instruments The Assorted Zebras are a big hit, and suddenly they have thousands of fans and a big gig lined up. But the fairy queen knows that the instruments have been taken to the human realm and wants them back. Can Jason and his band really outwit the fae and keep the instruments for themselves?

I really enjoyed this book. It was just so light and fun and addictive! The story was nicely paced and easy to read, and flowed really well.
Jason was an average teen with the usual problems with parents and sisters and girls, and the rest of the band were also a fairly normal bunch. I loved the fairy instruments and how everyone responded to them, and there was just the right amount of magic and normality to make it believable. I also loved the assortment of fae in the book, including the gorgeous yellow and pink unicorn!
Some of the songs that the band performed where also pretty funny, including the one about ‘I stole a rhino for you’. I also thought the band name was pretty original!

Overall; a light, fun, enjoyable read.
7.5 out of 10.

Fairy Blues (Songs of Magic, #2)

Blurb (from Goodreads):

With their enchanted instruments charming the crowds, the Assorted Zebras attract interest from record producers, and soon they’re off to cut their first album and music video. Jason and his friends don’t know they’ve just become pawns in a sinister plot by a cabal of evil fairies...

Meanwhile, Aoide and her band pursue a new strategy for regaining their stolen instruments, one that will take them into the most haunted region in Faerie.

Fairy Blues by J.L. Bryan

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Fairy Blues (Songs of Magic, #2)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to J. L. Bryan.)
This is the second book in the ‘songs of magic’ series, and kicks off where the first book left off.
Assorted Zebras have played their first real concert, and defeated a unicorn/ dragon. Now they’re on to a bigger challenge – finding an agent and signing a record deal.
The fairies haven’t stopped trying to get the magical instruments back though, and now several different groups are trying to track down the Assorted Zebra’s, all with their own plans for getting the stolen instruments back – the queens guard, the guardian’s of the gates to fairy land, and the musicians themselves who find themselves in hot water since the loss of their instruments.

What will the world of rock and roll have in store for the Assorted Zebra’s though? What price will fame come at? And how long can they continue to hold onto their stolen instruments for?

This was an interesting second book and continues the story nicely from the first (Fairy Metal Blues). We get to learn a bit more about the band members, and what is going on in the fairy realm. Once again there’s a battle to be fought against the fairies, and there’s obviously more in store for the Assorted Zebra’s. I look forward to finding out what will happen in the next book Fairystruck.
6.5 out of 10.

Interview with the Author -

J. L. Bryan

When did you start writing?
I started writing stories when I was six or seven years old, and I started writing novels when I was twelve.

What was your inspiration for The ‘Songs of Magic’ series?
For a year or two, I kept reading off and on about fairy lore, because it just interested me for some reason.  One thing that kept standing out was the role of music in fairy lore--fairies are said to enchant humans with their music, often luring young people away for a night of dancing that could leave them sickly and pale in the morning.  The music could even lure people away into the fairy world forever!  

What three words would you use to best describe ‘Songs of Magic’?
Fun, light, and colorful!

What are your favourite things about Jason and Erin?
I like that Jason takes risks, even insanely bad risks - he has the sense of immortality common to teenage boys.  Erin is the member of the band who actually has some sense of artistic integrity, which puts her at odds with their producer and the record company.  I like both characters because they're kind of unpredictable to me, they're always surprising me with their choices. 

Can you tell us a bit about your other series – ‘The Paranormals’?

That series is darker and for an older audience, and also my more popular series.  It begins with Jenny Pox, the story of a girl who can't touch anyone with infecting them with a deadly supernatural plague.  She's lived her entire life without touching anyone and avoiding making friends or having any kind of social contact.  Then she meets a boy with a healing power who can touch her, and her life gets much more interesting.  Jenny Pox is free on Amazon Kindle (and so is Fairy Metal Thunder).


Can you tell us what you’re working on at the moment?
I'm adding another book to the Paranormals series, a sort of grand finale because so many fans kept asking for more stories about Jenny.  It should be out in October 2012.  The title is Jenny Plague-Bringer.
Other than your own, what are your favourite books?
I really have an affection for 19th-century writers, like Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, and Mark Twain. 
Random Questions
-          What’s your favourite treat?
-          Is that a dessert-related question?  My favorite dessert is pecan pie!
What’s your favourite place to read/write?
-          I like to read outdoors, almost anywhere.  I like to write outdoors, but I don't like laptops, so I don't do a lot of it.
If you won the lottery what would you most look forward to spending money on?
-         A vacation.  A long, long, long vacation involving lots of travel!
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I think my ideal place would be a small university town by the ocean, somewhere - I don't know a specific place, but that sounds ideal!  Other than that, I also really like historical Southern cities like Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans.  I would have to live somewhere hot because I really dislike cold weather!

Thanks for having me visit your blog, Sarah Elizabeth!

Find J. L. Bryan here:
Twitter: jlbryanbooks
Facebook: Facebook profile


Cover for 'Fairy Metal Thunder (Songs of Magic, Book 1)' 

To win a copy of the second book 'Fairy Blues',
enter the rafflecopter!
Good Luck! and thanks to the author J. L. Bryan for making this possible!
(If for any reason you are unable to download Fairy Metal Thunder for free from Smashwords, a copy of this will aso be provided to the winner)



  1. These books sound sooooo cool. Like a light, fun read. I could use that right now. I totally got the first book, hope I win the second.

    Thanks J.L. and Sarah.

  2. Thanks for the giveaway! I read the first book during a read along and would love the second book to continue the series! I have heard great things about Jenny Pox as well and silly me didn't even realize you wrote both!

  3. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. thanks for the great prize ^^ and for letting me get the first book for free.

  5. Cheers for the giveaway! Just downloaded the first book =D x

  6. Thanks for the wonderful books to read. :)

  7. Thanks for the international giveaway!!
    Rafflecopter name - Rosemarie D

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! I have the first book on my kindle and have been excited to check it out!

  9. Thanks for the giveaway. Been interested in reading this series for awhile.

  10. Grabbed the first book, cannot wait to get started!