In a not too distant future, humanity is extinct. The world is now ruled by animals who wield swords, magic and technology to create and protect vast empires. As darkness grows on the horizon, an unlikely hero will be chosen to defend this new world.
Del Hatherhorne would rather stay inside and read about heroes than become one himself. But when it is discovered that he bears an ancient power with the ability to commune with and call on the elements, he is swept up into the Longtails, a mouse military force tasked with protecting the Mouselands and all of mouse-kind. From gun-wielding minks, to terrifying shrikes and even a pack of squirrel skyrates, Del will have to leave his comfy home and face the many dangers of the world if he hopes to learn to use his new-found powers and uncover a plot more nefarious than he ever thought possible.
From Jaysen Headley, author of A Love Story for Witches and A Home for Wizards, comes the first in an epic fantasy series about mice, magic, adventure and the power that comes when we choose to believe in ourselves.
Ready your sword, practice your spells, and answer the call of the LONGTAILS!
He grew up near Denver and became accustomed to writing and telling stories, releasing his first graphic novel, The Class, in 2010.
Since then he has published several short stories including The Chipmunk, as well as a second graphic novel, Jazu the Wanderer.
In 2012, Jaysen moved to New York City where he was inspired to write his first novel, A Love Story for Witches and second novel, A Home for Wizards. Jaysen now lives in Orlando, Florida with his husband, Carl, and his dog Izzy. They play board games while eating cookies and plan out how to have the most amazing adventures every single day.
Jaysen is also an avid Booktokker, Bookstagrammer and Booktuber!
Longtails: The Storms of Spring transports the reader to a distant future where talking animals (especially mice) have inherited the remains of the human world. This is more than just a furry post-apocalypse, however, it is also a pop-culture fuelled adventure, with more than a nod towards both Ready Player One (in the constant comic, movie, and gaming references) and a Steampunk sort or exuberance when it comes to technology — Longtails characters are just as likely to use a laser pistol as a sword and spell.
The Storms of Spring is the first in a series focussing on the young mouse Del Hatherhorne, a reluctant hero with a big destiny, and an even bigger case of self-doubt. Discovering that he has both unexpected powers, and dangerous enemies, Del joins the Longtails, which are a cross between a mouse military brigade, and an adventurers society. In the company of his fellow Longtail band, Del leaves his home in the mouse capital of Verden on a journey that puts him on a collision course with his enemies.
This is very much a coming of age story for Del. He must face his fears and doubts to save both himself and the friends he makes along the way from The Blight, an ancient evil born of the human's self destruction. As with all the best coming of age stories Del starts out helpless, and unsure of his place in the world, and only slowly comes to gain in confidence and soul. Along the way he does a good job of being both spoilt and whiny (a little like Harry Potter in the Order of the Phoenix), before he comes to his senses and starts acting like an actual hero.
Longtails is a book full of both action, and witty banter, and I enjoyed both. The action scenes are quick, and elegantly described, with a minimum of gore, and feature a satisfying mix of both magic and sword wielding. The banter reminds me of David Eddings classics like the Belgariad, with Del as Garion and Arthur the Scarlet mouse as Silk. It is far from frivolous, however, and after a slightly slower start builds to a very evocative and powerful finish that leaves you wanting more.
In short: if you liked both "Ready Player One" and "Redwall," you're going to love this one. I already can think of people I know who I'm going to recommend this book to, and I think there's a wealth of people out there who would chow down on this story. A fun little YA title.
I found the Longtails blog on accident, and I thought the idea of post-apocalyptic "Redwall" sounded amazing. While I found the beginning to be a little bit slow and somewhat too focused on spoonfeeding world information, the writing was very well done. For about 55-60 percent of the book, I would have given it a 3.5-or-so star rating because it reminded me too much of "Ready Player One" and the host of pop-culture references contained within. Not going to lie, I hated Ready Player One with a fiery passion, and every time there was a passage in Longtails with heavy pop-culture references, I groaned. Headley still wove in the references more smoothly than Cline did, and I actually found myself laughing at a couple (like when the main character tells himself, 'Use the force, Del!').
Once the plot picked up, it never looked back. The twists at the end (not going to spoil!) were all FANTASTIC. After the truth was revealed, I could see how the secrets had been set up with small bits of evidence, and that's always something I value in a mystery. Because the end was so good, I finished the back half really quickly. I think this is a self-published book, to boot, and yet it was very well edited and I only caught a tiny smattering of typos. There were a lot of good things about this book, and I do plan on reading the sequel. Even so, I wish Goodreads let you do half-stars, because I'd give it a 4.5 in the end, but I opted with 5 because real life isn't D&D where you always round down.
I have not finished reading this book, and having a hard time being caught into the illusion, or the atmosphere, that the book has setup. It is set in a very human future where humans are extinct but at the same time we have a world where magic exists. You have pop culture nerd references, and magical animals. Conceptually and how it unfolds in the book clashes with one another, and it continues to bother me as I try to progress through the book. Other than that, there are a number of instances where "show, don't tell" could have fleshed out certain characters and moments that would have made it more engaging and relatable. In the end, I am finding myself very critical with this book and is not a read intended for me.
I really enjoyed this story a lot! You can tell it's an early book by the author, but it's super charming, and the characters are all adorable. I loved Del right off the bat, and being a nerd myself I really loved all the pop culture references, and the twist at the ens I truly didn't expect! If you love fantasy novels, give this one a try!
I read this on a whim. I'm a fan of Redwall and Water ship down so figured I would give a post apocalyptic mouse world a chance. So very glad I did. The characters are charming and multi faceted. The story is engaging and exciting. Highly recommend.
The book is an original concept, about a world devoid of mankind now ruled by anthropomorphic animals, which is bogged down by endless references to other science fiction, fantasy and comic book material. If you're not a self-proclaimed nerd, you will become lost very easily.
I loved reading this! It took me way longer than I want to admit to finish this book because I am a very slow reader and I want to work on that, but this might be one of my new favorites! I wish there were more books like this and I'll definitely read the next volume.
I really enjoyed this book! I have been wanting to read this authors work (because I love him on TikTok) and decided to start off with this one. I was hooked by all of the nerd references and related so hard to Del. The story was incredibly interesting and the characters were so well written. I’m so excited to read the next book.