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The Life Siphon

(The Life Siphon #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The kingdom of Runon has created the impossible: a magical energy source that siphons life from the nearby lands and feeds it back into Runon itself. On the edge of the forest lives a quiet ranger named Tatsu who is watching the drain grow closer to his home country of Chayd.

Arrested for crimes against the crown, Tatsu is taken to the capital’s prison, where the queen off
Kindle Edition, 343 pages
Published March 10th 2017 by Kindle Direct Publishing
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  81 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This caught my eye and made me reach for the request button on NetGalley. It is my first book by Kathryn Sommerlot and I was really enchanted by everything about it. I found it very compelling which is what kept me flipping the pages late into the night and into the early morning!

The Life Siphon is well written, features great characters and is dramatic in parts. The characters were rather unlikeable and there were times I called into question their motives. Despite this I still connected with
E.M. Swift-Hook
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Fantasy Road Trip to Save the World From a Blight.

'During their journey, he had been so focused on Runon as the enemy that he forgot to think of Runon as its people."

Tatsu lives in the woods and off the land beyond the outskirts of the city of Dradela, his racial origins make it hard for him to fit in with his community even if he wanted to. Since his father's death he has lived there alone. Alesh is a thief and her sister Ral was affected by an illness and left less than fully capable of deal
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, own
Before I requested this book on NetGalley, I had never heard of it. Not even an inkling. I was a bit hesitant to put off my monster of a TBR pile to dive into something that was a year old and hadn’t hit my radar, but the synopsis was compelling, so I went for it.

The Life Siphon follows Tatsu from his lone existence living in his deceased father’s cabin in the woods through a journey across neighboring countries to stop a terrible force from taking over and killing the world around him. What he
Bruce Perrin
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Reluctant Hero, Battling Evil Magic…and Himself

The Life Siphon is the first book of a duology. It tells the story of Tatsu, a reclusive woodsman who is reluctantly drawn into a conflict with a neighboring kingdom. To save the day, he must stop a magical energy that siphons the life force from every living thing it encounters.

Overall, the story flows well. With the book’s length – 363 pages – and a tendency by the author to repeat some thoughts for emphasis, I wasn’t necessarily expecting that.
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure, arc
In the vast woods of Chayd, Tatsu is enjoying the comforts of the forest around him--the quiet, nature--when Alesh and her little sister come banging on his door, looking to seek shelter. Tatsu doesn't think twice about letting them in, but little does he realize that the two girls will pull him into lots of danger. Soldiers come a few days later and bring the trio to the royal palace, where Tatsu is offered a choice, a full life of prison, or a dangerous quest across the land against a politica ...more
Luchia Houghton
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 2.5 stars

I really wanted to love this story based off the synopsis, the idea of a heroic quest to save the world being carried out by a criminal (hence giving me Suicide Squad ideas for what the story would be like) was too interesting to turn down.

However, the first way in which this fell flat for me is the way that the story itself isn't that believable, everything is down to mere chance. Tatsu himself is a simple guy who keeps to himself in the forest, he isn't by any means a
Chrys Cymri
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more like 3.5 stars, rounded up.

The story is an intriguing tale, part mystery (what is causing the countryside to die?), part travelling adventure, part coming of age. The characters are well drawn, and there is an unusual inclusion of a woman who operates on a child like level. The background details mostly emerge naturally, during the course of the tale, and there is a refreshing lack of the type of infodump which mars many a good fantasy. POV is solid and remains with the main charact
Jan 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time putting this book down. The story just flows perfectly and slowly draws you into the world until you are completely immersed. If you are not new to the fantasy genre, then you will find several moments to be a little predictable. I also found it a little annoying how little information was given about pretty much all of the female characters. I understand that the two main characters are male...but we don't even get much information on them either. Many characters came off as u ...more
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fandom, friends
This is a really fun and engaging read. I don't often read fantasy because a lot of the heavy-hitters have the kind of intensely detailed plodding pace that I don't have the stamina for, but The Life Siphon is both detailed and fast-paced with engaging characters and relationships that reveal themselves in greater complexity over time. Great adventure! ...more
Shari Sakurai
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*

When circumstances and rash decisions uproot Tatsu from his self-imposed isolation he finds himself with a choice; agree to the terms of the Queen and save the Kingdom or face life imprisonment for his crime. All chosen for their different skillsets, friends and strangers must work together to travel through dangerous lands in order to steal the Life Siphon that is threatening their world.

The Life Siphon is the first novel of the d
Lauren Kastermans
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the first instalment of a duo-logy, Sommerlot offers a enchanting and well composed novel which contains great characters, and dramatically composed plot-lines. By offering MC's that are not infallible, the reader is able to question the content they're reading and therefore engages a lot better with the story. ...more
DNF at 25%
Things I liked: The pleasant and fairly likable main character. His complicated history with the other main character and her mysterious background. Good writing skills as far as technical correctness.
Other things: I could barely get through the first chapter/prologue. Ug. The MC was so unlikeable and it was just such a trope of every dissatisfied/misunderstood teenaged royal ever. I almost gave up on the book then and there. After reading some reviews I realized that this character wa
Scott Spotson
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is well-written, with soaring prose when occasion calls, and some of the special effects were chilling (look out for an extraordinary tree in one of the chapters) yet some of the book felt a little off for me, a feeling I can't quite put my finger on.

The magic was compelling throughout this book, and is what kept me glued to the story, although it is sometimes sparingly used (probably wisely so) so I had to be patient during the "road trip" which takes place during medieval fantasy tim
Dieter Moitzi
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-book-reviews
More accurately, it's 4.1 stars.
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This review has been originally posted at Gay Book Reviews (which you might want to check out), and the star-notation system I refer to is that if the Gay Book Reviews-site.

Kathryn Sommerlot—with a name like that, how can one not write good fantasy fiction? This novel makes us enter a world where smallish, neighbouring kingdoms that remind of fiefdom-riddled Europe in the very early Middle Ages see
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an eARC free via NetGalley.

I was really intrigued by the blurb of The Life Siphon, and I really enjoyed reading it. I found that it did take me a little while to get in to the flow of the book. I am not sure if it was because of the format, I tend to enjoy reading more when I am reading an actual book rather than an eBook or if it was Tatsu I had issues with at the beginning of the book. 

I am really sad to say that I didn't like Tatsu to begin with, maybe because I have been reading
Jordann (thebookbloglife)
Read more reviews -

I have been on such a good run with my Netgalley requests this month. The Life Siphon was a brilliant read, I really enjoyed the character development and the magic system. I did think there were parts of the story that were definitely underplayed and seemed to have a lot of potential that wasn’t really tapped into. I would have really liked to have given this story 5 stars but this really hindered the way the story flowed. I think the way the plot ends
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Actual rating 2.5 stars

Thoughts and Plot

Poor Tatsu is really just a guy who mostly keeps to himself in the forest. His friend, Alesh, just so happens to be a criminal who comes to him rather severely injured for aid. In doing this she gets them both arrested by the guards and dragged in front of the Queen. The Queen gives them a quest, go to the neighboring country and steal whatever is leeching the earth of its energy and all will be forgiven.

Now already I had some grievances. Tatsu is arrest
J.P. Jackson
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, bisexual, gay, 2019
4.5 Stars
Full review to come.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tatsu has been spent his life in the forest and on the outskirts of Chayd. As an outsider, it’s where he has become most comfortable. It all starts when his childhood friend Alesh winds up on his doorstep, bloodied and exhausted from an illegal venture to earn money. It doesn’t take long before the crown finds her at Tatsu’s house and they both end up imprisoned. The queen offers them a deal in order to retain their freedom: steal the siphon that’s killing the environment and bring it back to Ch ...more
Daniel Mitton
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Originally reviewed for Love Bytes Reviews.)

When we first meet the main character of the story, Tatsu, he is a man living on his own in a deep forest. He avoids human contact and ventures into the capital city very rarely. Suddenly a knock comes on his front door, and Alesh, a friend from the past, shows up needing him to watch her sister Ral while she goes and does something. Ral is portrayed as a simple minded woman, whose brain was affected by some sort of fever as a child.

While Alesh is gon
Alistair Potter
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An engaging and immersive fantasy adventure story, told well!

Though packed with action and threat, this is a novel that takes its time unfolding, and on the way, immerses the reader in the central character Tatsu’s internal struggles. Hiding away in the woods, Tatsu is gifted with an extraordinary talent that allows him to sense the energies of the creatures and landscape around him. He is only comfortable in these pastoral settings, seldom journeying to the busy streets of Dradela, the capital
For me the cover looks really inviting and magical. I like the roots of the trees and also the writing of the title. The small palace on the top is also a nice detail.

The writing style was fluent and simple. The book is written from the third-person-perspective, but manly focused on the main character Tatsu.

Unfortunatly, I had great issues at the beginning of the book. I was not getting warm with the characters and the story. Somehow, I didn't see the red thread in the story and was a little con
Joyfully Jay
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elizabeth
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.75 stars

The mountains are dying. Tatsu can see the clear demarcation between the green grass and lush trees of his forest to the blight beyond, but he can’t understand why. When asked by his ex-lover, Alesh, to watch her sister Ral, Tatsu can’t find it in himself to refuse. And if it weren’t for Ral wandering into the woods one afternoon, Tatsu wouldn’t have seen the horrible devastation beyond his forest, the same woodlands he’d lived in all his life. Things only get wo
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Interesting concept, but I found that parts of the book dragged on. I think this book could have benefited from a different editor.

Parts of the plot dragged on or were just plain strange. Why introduce the mage character and have (view spoiler)
Leeza Robertson
This was a nice quick read, mainly due to the steady pace of this book. I was engaged and hooked from the first few pages and got swept up in the story quickly, which meant it was over before I even had time to think about it. The world building in this book is very good and I really enjoyed the detailed sensory experience of the drained forest scenes. I could almost feel the energy coming off of the trees through the pages. There were some very good elements to this book. Obviously, there is mo ...more
Tristen Kozinski
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The life siphon is a good story, and well written, but it took a while to really hook me into the story. This is largely because I never really connected with the initial group of protagonists, besides one member. Even the main character failed to spark my interest at first as he lacked backbone for a while. It only at about the half-way point where I became honestly invested in the characters, because the story shifted to focus on a small group of character I found compelling and the main chara ...more
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished reading this book after receiving a copy from NetGalley for my review. I like all kinds of books but especially fantasy. This book features an interesting premise in which one kingdom, Runon, has a life siphon and is literally draining the life from another kingdom, Chayd. The story involves some interesting characters from Chayd, who travel to Runon to try and obtain " the life siphon". I really enjoyed the concept and the story was well written with characters that I found believ ...more
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly, when I started the book I felt like I walked in the middle of an episode of something that I should wait and watch from the beginning, but I was quickly immersed into a new world with new concepts and political systems. One of the characters was a little too much of a Deux ex Machina for me in the beginning but not too distracting to the storyline. I don't want to spoil anything but I definitely DESIRED the second book and loved the world-building. (Note to the author, I have reviewe ...more
Eliza Cross
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
(3.5) I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Copy of this book. I really enjoyed the plot of this book and I thought that it was a unique concept. I loved the characters and really became invested in their lives. The only thing that I had a problem with was the writing style. The author didn’t do a very good job of showing and not telling and it sometimes really detracted from the imagery. I would definitely recommend this book! I have so many unanswered questions and am excited to read the second o ...more
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Kathryn didn't major in creative writing, but never stopped believing. She survives on books, strong coffee, craft beer, puppies, and the Oxford comma. She also comma splices like it's going out of style. She spent six years living and working in Japan, and it's influenced her fictional works greatly. Her idea of heaven is being surrounded by 60 Yorkshire Terrier puppies, but requests to her husba ...more

Other books in the series

The Life Siphon (3 books)
  • The Mage Heir (The Life Siphon #2)
  • The Loyal Whispers (The Life Siphon #3)

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