Clint and Corbin are having a weird day. Best friends for life, things are getting a little strange around their town, and at school. When they're followed by a strange man looking for Clint and later attacked by an imp, it makes sense to retreat to the safety of home. But when strangers from another world, Banks and O'Neil, arrive with their medley of allies, things get even weirder. Why are they here? What do they want? And what is The Requiem that everyone keeps talking about? As Clint and his friends and family are drawn deeper into a thrilling adventure, only one thing is for sure. They may not be getting out alive. And class with Mrs Christenson will seem like a walk in the park after this.
RJ Parker was born in Bountiful, Utah. As his father was safety manager he had to move around until his senior year of high school when he came to Cache Valley, Utah to stay. He married the most wonderful woman in the world, and they are the parents of four fantastic kids, with one crazy dog. Russell played all kinds of sports and was an outdoorsman until an accident brought him to writing. A writer since high school, encouragement brought his stories to life.
Requiem, Changing Times by R. J. Parker is the first book in the series that revolves around two worlds, whose fate depends on Clint Holden. The story starts when someone plants a bomb at different locations. Then it switches to another world of magic. They were given a task to bring something precious within a week and a portal brought them to the present-day world.
Imagine that you're going to school with your best friend, and suddenly from nowhere a stranger attack you. You run to save your life, and try to figure out what has happened? Clint Holden and his friend Corbin had the worst day ever, but it is just starting. Things get weirder when Clint's parents left for a week.
People looking for Clint Holden for some odd reasons. The attack scared the hell out of him, but when a group of dwarves interrogates him, everything changed for him and his family. Clint's parents left Cody, Tamara, Kayla, and Grant under their elder sister Jamie's supervision. She is self-obsessed and doesn't care about anyone. When the attacks become frequent Banks, leader of dwarves aid them and tell the reason why they came to their world, and what they look for is called Requiem.
For siblings, it is hard to digest, but they all acquainted with Banks, O'Neil, Nix, and others. They trust them, but Banks told them only half-truth, which made the plot intriguing. With time Clint understands that there is so much he didn’t know and it cost him his kith and kin. But will Banks have got what he wants? What is the role of a teenager in all this?
The Spell Binder's role is cold and written well. The action sequences are detailed and hooked me from start to end. The narratives have some loose ends, which I think left for the next book. The end fights with trolls and everyone was magnificent.
The characters are funny, especially Corbin and O'Neil. I enjoyed their mumbo-jumbo. The change in Tamara is significant. Every high school has a queen bee, in this story, it was Amber, who wants Clint. While he’s love interest is Melanie, and their interaction with him makes the story relatable to young readers. Every character has their space and time to connect with readers.
R. J. Parker puts Clint and his family into a deadly adventurous journey. At some places, I felt it lacks thrill a little bit. But overall, this book is worth reading with all the supernatural beings in the picture. I am eagerly waiting for the next book, to know the answer to all my questions. I recommend this book to young adults and fantasy lovers.
Requiem, Changing Times by R J Parker is a young adult fantasy fiction novel set in the USA and an imaginary world. The premise of the book reminded me a lot about the TV show Stranger Things.
The author has put in a lot of effort to make the book appeal to the target audience. I liked the cold way in which the character of the Spell Binder has been written. O’Neil has a great sense of humour.
Even though Goodreads lists the title as a standalone book, it is the first part of a series.
This book was so much fun to read. Requiem, Changing Times is like a mystery novel set-up in a fantasy world meant for Young Adult readers or even younger readers. Throughout the book I was trying to figure out what The Requiem was in the back of my mind while not caring about it at all as so much kept happening. Different creatures kept coming into the lives of Clint Holden, a seventh grader who has plenty of things on his plate already especially the class with scary Mrs Christenson. The book contained two wonderful duos Clint and his best friend Corbin along with Banks (a knight) and O’Neil (a dwarf). But the latter aren’t the ones Clint needs to worry about the most, even though they are coming to get him and Requiem, which as a reader I spent so much time wondering about. There’s a swarm of supernatural creatures. Vampires, Imps, ogres – you name it and it is there. It kind of reminded me of the downworld from the Shadowhunter’s world but in this book, they are known as The Fury. The book was a big one but quite easy to read, especially because of our protagonist. Who knew it could be so much fun to read about a seventh-grader when in real life, they can be quite annoying? The merger of reality with supernatural world was done well so it did not seem completely absurd at any point. For Clint, it made his real life problems look easy in comparison. The writing, however, I think could have been a bit more refined. I liked the dialogues and the descriptions but it all felt very generic. Because the plot was complex and mysterious, it compensated for the lack of charm in the writing. It is an entertaining read but I must tell you that it can get quite intense especially with all the action.
Chaos. Adventures often start with chaos and that is exactly how REQUIEM CHANGING TIMES started for me, a little chaotic and I was just a little lost until suddenly, we are taken to the past and we get “the rest of the story,” which is definitely a younger reader’s dream! Fantasy, action, and strange beings from another dimension must depend on young Clint and his buddy, Corbin to save the day alongside two warriors, Banks and O’Neil, their otherworldly “counterparts.”
R.J. Parker’s inner child comes to life as Clint and Corbin deal with being seventh graders, discovering girls, school authority figures and not being the coolest kids in school, all while being thrown into that in-between age. I admit I laughed at some of the dialogue until it became too over the top, too disrespectful, and an open invitation for young readers to mimic it. Kind of like watching a family comedy where the little kid has all the funny one-liners until you realize you would choke your own kid if they EVER behaved or talked like that.
Once the real adventure begins, it’s full speed ahead! Magic, mayhem and the battle for the mysterious “Requiem” as two young teens and their friends get caught up in a deadly battle between realms against terrifying bad guys, all while they traverse the minefields of school dances, hormones and family.
A good read, solid action, references to needing alcohol (on the part of an adult), a bit too heavy on the negative comparisons, particularly with authority figures, but the rest, amazing!
I received a complimentary copy from R.J. Parker! This is my honest and voluntary review.
Publisher: Olympia Publishers (September 26, 2019) Publication Date: September 26, 2019 Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure Print Length: 450 pages Available from: Amazon For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
05-24: As you can see, I'm still struggling with this one. It's not because it's not written well, actually.. the author is a fine writer. Had to take a break from it though.. and try to reset.
05-18: This one's still slow going. It's gone from a military breach to orcs and dwarves. I can't stop hearing Bronzebeard when the dwarf talks. I'm going to have to just get through a bit a day, while reading other things.. at least until it picks up.
05-17: Reading this one is a bit slower, I think there's just quite a bit to set up. I'm not even to anything remotely resembling the synopsis yet. The writing is solid, I'm just waiting to be hooked.
05-15: Had a book take longer than it should have, but now I have a couple of days to focus on this one.. let's see how far we can get..
05-08: Need to get through some of this one today too. I feel like I've been waiting ages to read it..
05-06: This health crisis has shifted so many deadlines, it's playing havoc with my schedule. Been looking so forward to this read, cheers finally starting it!
Clint has no idea his life is about to change. When he goes to school, it seems like any other day where Mrs. Christenson targets him for the principal’s office. But two groups of fantasy creatures have crossed over into his world. Each of them searching for Clint and his ties to the mysterious Requiem. But which side will find him first? And in the end, will the Requiem be used for good or evil? Requiem, Changing Times takes familiar creatures from the fantasy genre and crosses them into the real world. Using a combination of mystery and humor, young readers will immerse themselves in a world of action and adventure.
R.J. Parker made sure to keep a steady stream of humor throughout his story. In particular, the dwarf O’Neil and his trusty sidekick Nuts the squirrel end up in a few situations that will make readers laugh. The witty banter and comical interactions are definitely intended for the younger side of the YA audience. Although with the number of insults used, I’m not sure it is appropriate for the age group. Clint is an opinionated young man, but he isn’t the kindest to people who are different than he is. Anyone who is overweight or older is scrutinized by him.
I also found that there was a large number of similes used. Instead of using descriptions, Clint was often compared to animals. “Clint felt like a cat keeping away from areas with a lot of noise…” “Clint felt like a dog jogging behind his master…” Make sure you like to read similes because as a style choice it held the story back for me. However, I think it would help the younger audience connect to what was occurring in the story.
I do think a younger audience will appreciate this book. Clint goes through many things they can relate to. He deals with the emotional rollercoaster of having a stepfather he hasn’t quite accepted yet. He and his best friend Corbin have innocent antics in school that land them in trouble. And the grand adventure of searching for the Requiem will certainly keep them reading! The only reason I took a star away was for the number of insults used, as I don’t think I would want my kids to repeat some of them.
This book just didn't deliver. We jump from scene to scene with barely any explanation and no reason as to why I should read this book compared to the thousand others. No character depth. No plot development. AND WHY DO WE MEET THE MAIN CHARACTERS A QUARTER OF THE WAY THROUGH THE BOOK??????! 100 pages through ....
**FTC DISCLOSURE** I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. This is my opinion, so please don't take it personally if something was offensive. Thanks! :)
Requiem, Changing Times by R.J. Parker is a fantastic new young adult fantasy adventure book that had everything you can expect from it. It was full of action, dramatic adventure, good characterisation, decent writing, a great concept, good story and supernatural beings! What else can you ask for!?
The best part, for me, was the friendship between Clint and Corbin and the focus on family relationships. This book had really good characterisation as I was able to relate to and connect with the protagonist while also liking and rooting for the secondary characters. The writing was mostly good and complimented the story.
This book hooked me right from the beginning right till the end and I'd recommend this book to all the readers who enjoy reading adventure fiction and young adult fantasy books.
I was approached by the author to see if I was interested in a digital copy in exchange for an honest review. The cover suggested fantasy so I said yes...
When I said yes, I actually didn't even read the summary or past reviews. I generally like fantasy books so I figured what the heck. I had no idea it was about teenagers and ogre's and what have you but I have to say it didn't take me long to get into it. I was a little lost at first because so many things were happening all at once but a soon as I learned the characters and their Worlds, I was able to settle in. :) Clint Holden is, for the most part, the main character of the book...along with his family and his friend Corbin. They are all just normal moody teenagers one day who are falling in love and rebelling against family when out of the blue, their entire lives are all changed. Once Clint and Corbin are attacked at school, they are joined by two men from another world who explain what is happening and why. Banks and O'Neil are with them throughout their thrilling yet dangerous adventure and help fight against their many many attackers, who are looking for the Requiem. Join them in their adventure and you will not be bored.
It’s always interesting when a book starts with a news report. You get to know about a huge event that’s happening in the world and then you get to see how it affects the characters in the book.
Two organizations called the Salvation Alliance and The Fury are after the Requiem. Because of the Reclamation, people who lie and commit other sinful things are changed to evil creatures. The Salvation is the opposite of The Fury and basically, the good guys of this world. They are fighting for freedom.
The story shifts to Clint Holden and Corbin, two young boys in school. Clint is trying to ask the girl he likes to the dance. They are going through normal teenage stuff. Clint is struggling to accept his step-father as part of his family. However, Clint is wary of his strange teacher who seems almost inhuman. A normal day for him turns to being attacked by a stranger.
The details about this world are not explained at the beginning of the book. At some points, I had no idea what was happening. There are creatures like orcs, trolls, and ogres. There are humanoids and creatures who look like animals but work and talk like humans. However, when the story turns to Clint’s perspective, it started to make sense from there.
There is a bit of dry humor in the book which I really enjoyed. The writing style and narration are good. The book is filled with action and is fast-paced. It doesn’t get boring at all. There is a lot of violence in some parts. When the thrilling scenes and the humorous scenes started switching up, I really started liking that.
The book has an intense, gloomy vibe with a touch of humor. The chapter titles are especially hilarious. In the beginning, new characters are introduced in every chapter
I found some scenes quite unnecessary. It was taking too long for all the sub-plots to come together. There wasn’t a proper balance between them. I would’ve preferred if Clint and Corbin’s perspective had come sooner in the book because I was getting to know these characters and following the story.
I didn’t like that the narrator was fat-shaming Corbin and there was no need to mention again and again that he was fat.
The collision between the regular world and the supernatural can be tricky to show in a book. In some books, the characters are barely shocked at finding that monsters are real, which seems unrealistic. The author did a great job of handling this element. It was balanced and believable. I also liked how new creatures were gradually introduced in the book. It kept the world-building going.
It was interesting to see that while the kids were held hostage in their homes, it wasn’t a typical hostage situation. It was nice to see the siblings bonding. I liked the dynamic between the otherworldly adults with the kids as well.
I like how most of the book is from the perspective of young kids, but the overall story is more than that. It was crazy that they were still going to school while all that stuff was happening in their life. The instances where they were making light of the situation were nice to read about. I loved how they became a part of the mission.
I didn’t love how the book ended but I did not see it coming either. It was action-packed and shocking nevertheless.
This was a very interesting title! I was hooked from the very first page and I have to say that this blend of science fiction and mystery was wonderful!! It was full of family drama, humor, and more. I felt the book come alive while I read the story. The author did a great job with the opening of the book as well as how things were dangerous and how it all came together.
This is one really intense story, from the cover you think your getting a fantasy but once you start reading you realize your not and that you are getting so much more. The action had me on the edge of my seat.
I loved the characters as well. Clint and Corbin were wonderful together and I can't wait to see what other characters this author comes up with. This one hit it out of the park for this reader!!
If you are looking for something that is going to break all the molds then check this one out!
*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Requiem, Changing Times packs a whole lot of story and action inside its pages.
The main story follows schoolboys Clint and Corbin, along with their siblings, friends and crushes, as they attempt to evade mysterious, shapeshifting assassins and avoid school detentions. However, we only meet the young heroes when we are quite a few chapters into the story. Instead we start with a 24-style thriller, as a pro-assassin breaks into a secure facility to steal information on some cutting-edge, world-changing DNA research. Then we suddenly skip to a Middle-Earth-esque setting and follow Banks and O’Neill as they run from unspecified chasers, fight trolls and orcs, and try to get their glowing secret packages to their quest destination, with a short detour to follow troll Vascoss as he is ordered to find them and retrieve ‘The Requiem’. Then we pop in on a farmer called Cooper as he is attacked by imps. Only after all of this action-packed, but disjointed, adventure do we finally meet the young protagonists.
From that point on, worlds collide, as the standard childhood struggles of the two friends are hijacked by a contingent of fantasy warriors, sepulchral sorcerors and other mythological beings. The juxtaposition between their world of homework and part-time jobs in the local petrol station, and the mystical Requiem quest is thrilling for young readers, but the focus on character points such as O’Neil’s alcohol enthusiasm seem to point to more mature readers.
As an adult reader, I found the characterisations a little too sparse to fully engage with the many characters we are introduced to (Corbin laughs uncontrollably, Cody shouts, Mel is sweet – everyone seems to have just one main character trait). However, I read some sections to Minishine (8) and she found the characters interesting and had no trouble distinguishing them, so perhaps I am simply not the right target audience for this story!
The main plot – the quest to find the Requiem – is still left open by the ending, as are many of the reasons and motivations behind the actions in the story, but this is clearly because the book is planned as the first in a series, so readers would need to continue to Requiem, Perception Rising to find out what it all means.
Overall, I enjoyed the humour and found the plot interesting, if a little uneven, but feel this is a book better suited to older middle-grade or younger teen readers in terms of tone and characters.
'“We are going to take back what was taken from us. We are going to kill all those who oppose us. You will come with us to retrieve that which will turn the tide in our favor, won’t you? We will rule all and never see anything that is not ours again.”
“What part of this be mine as those whom I was after be only two and long gone be they?” Voscass asked with more confidence in his voice. Now that it felt like his insides had come back, he lowered his swords, thinking that this was not the moment to show physical strength.
“Before long we will have it. We will have the Requiem.”'
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy from the Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Requiem, Changing Times by R.J. Parker is a different type of book than I thought it would be. It has the potential to be great. Can Clint and Corbin help Banks and O'Neil? Clint and Corbin Clint Holden is a twelve-year-old kid, trying to get through some interesting challenges at home. Corbin is Clint's best friend, and they are two peas in a pod. They are trying to deal with middle school, learning about their new teachers, and just generally trying to survive. Well, even more now that they have people from another world after them. These two are pretty interesting characters. I wouldn't have thought that these two would make a good pair of heroes, but then again, what do I know as they seemed to have done okay here. Banks and O'Neil Banks and O'Neil appear before Clint and Corbin did, and I wasn't too sure about them. These two are part of another world. I'm still unsure about them. Banks is the whole reason why O'Neil is in this mess apparently and that he doesn't seem to be very popular around some people. O'Neil likes his alcohol a bit too much, as he is always seen referencing it a lot. I'm unsure about these two being the other set of heroes as well. My Questions and Comments These two sets of heroes are just so different from each other that I don't know how they got anything done. Then there is the whole beginning with the assassin, and what happened to him? I would not consider this a middle school book even though Clint and Corbin are in middle school. The whole drunkenness of O'Neil seems to take it out of that entire genre. There are just too many supernatural creatures involved; I felt like the author needs to streamline the creatures by picking like three maybe. 3 Stars After everything that I have said up above, I am only giving Requiem, Changing Times by R.J. Parker, three stars for a rating. I did finish this book, but as I am writing this review, I am still trying to wrap my head around what I just read. Mr. Parker has a fantastic story, but there were some parts that I probably would have left out of the book. Perhaps a professional editor would be able to assist with some of these issues.
Thank you for dropping by! I hope you enjoyed this review of Requiem, Changing Times by R.J. Parker.
I received a paperback copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you to Mr Parker for sending me a copy.
This book centres around two kids, Clint and Corbin, whose lives change when they’re attacked by an imp on their way to school. When a band of strangers from another world arrive at Clint’s house, led by Banks and O’Neil, things become really weird. Clint’s family are drawn into the hunt for the mysterious Requiem putting their whole town in danger.
One thing this book is great at in really involving you in the action. From the first page, I felt like I was in the middle of these attacks and battles, fighting and at risk alongside the characters. I also really loved the juxtaposition between the school scenes and the fight scenes, a really funny combination that happened throughout.
The male characters were the focal point of this novel, and they were really well developed. Particularly Banks and O’Neil were very interesting characters. The villain as well was chilling, and his presence was very well-written in all the scenes he appeared it. Clint and Corbin’s friendship was fantastic as well, founded in mischief and humous!
The writing of the scenes set at the school was pretty good, with the kids fighting off all the usual things they face at school including at upcoming Halloween dance where they have to invite girls! The one thing here I found a little uncomfortable was that the two 7th grade main characters occasionally said certain things that were too over-the-top and a little disrespectful, something you wouldn't expect a character who’s meant to be 12/13 years old to be saying.
My other criticism would be that some of the female characters I felt were a little lacking, both in number and their role in the story. Often just acting as a catalyst for events, or to explain something to Clint or Corbin.
I also found this beginning of the book a little confusing. You’re thrown into Banks and O’Neil’s story before you’re introduced to Clint and Corbin, and there are lots of details mentioned here that make much more sense once you are further into the book. If I’m honest I found it hard to make it through this first part of the book.
I think this book just wasn’t quite my cup of tea, and there are definitely people who would enjoy this book more than I did. I would say this would be more enjoyed by a young adult around the ages of the main characters so probably 12/13 up to probably 16/17, and young adult fans of fantasy.
This is my honest and voluntary review. Thanks again to R.J. Parker for providing a complimentary copy of the book in return for an honest review. This review also posted to my blog 3lonelyclouds (https://3lonelyclouds.wordpress.com/?...).
“Victory meant life, and failure was for the frail.” This quote from Requiem, Changing Times sums up this Fantasy story. At the center is Clint Holden and his best friend, Corbin who lead normal lives of 7th-grade boys. Then they meet Banks and O’Neil, a pair of dwarves from a magical world and part of The Salvation. They are trying to save Clint and Corbin from the Fury, which is comprised of magical, dark creatures like orcs, vampires, and spellbinders. Everyone is after The Requiem and many battles are fought between The Fury and The Salvation. As this is the first in a series, many foundations had to be laid leading to a very long book that ended on a cliffhanger. I would give this story 3 out of 5 stars because it did not pull me in from beginning to end. I definitely enjoyed the friendship between Clint and Corbin, however, there is a large cast of characters to keep up with that I couldn’t savor the chemistry of it. There were many grammatical errors and one of Clint’s sisters named Kayla was called Kyla many times leading to further confusion. This is definitely a fantasy novel and that theme carries throughout the story and I would recommend to readers who love this genre. Overall, though, this story just wasn’t for me.
reviewer @theambitiousreader, KayBee's Bookshelf team member
The story revolves around the protagonist Clint Holden, a boy who tends to get into a lot of trouble at school. The story reflects his relationship with his friend and siblings while experiencing supernatural activities. Being the chosen boy for a mysterious life from a portal that helps shift between timelines is not an easy thing. But, Clint learns to devour the life of adventure and enjoy the exhilarating feeling that comes with it. At every turn and twist in the book he finds himself slipping away and the author has managed to place one cliff hanger after another that keeps the readers hooked. He tries to find that balance between his personal life and the challenging life that lies before him.But when a events strike her where it matters the most, he is left floundering. Now, he has no other choice but to face his power and risk it all or else he will lose everything he fought for.
Parker manages to keep his readers hooked and engaged throughout the book and shares funny and exciting banter that makes the book furthermore entertaining. The characters in this book are unique in its own way and is very well thought out. The characters, the twists and turns in the story, the plots and the conversational writing is truly spectacular. I’ll be interested in seeing where the series goes from here, and what Clint does win the sequel series. Great story, good drama, the characters are very well written. All in all a great book, not as action packed as I expected but the story makes up for this. I think we all read for some type of enjoyment. What evokes that enjoyment varies from reader to reader, but I still find excitement within these pages. To me, that is the mark of a fantastic book and I look forward to see what he has to bring to the table next.
Requiem, Changing Times is a young adult fantasy read.
You meet Clint and his friend Corbin. They are navigating school and life when it all changes one day. They’re attacked and being chased. Clint runs into a group of creatures who aren’t from this time or even of this world. An adventure begins!
The beginning threw me off a bit. There was lots of stuff going on and I had no idea what it had to do with the story. Don’t worry, it all ends up making sense. I enjoyed the playful banter of some of the characters and the innocence and friendship of the main characters. There’s action and fight scenes. The cover is pretty great as well.
All in all, this was a pretty interesting read. I look forward to reading more from this author. I give this 4 stars.
**Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official. For more information regarding our reviews please visit our Fansite: www.facebook.com/NerdGirl.ng**
In one world, O’Neil and Banks are running from pursuers as they make their way back to their home to begin a mission to save their world. In the same world, the Fury are on a similar mission to retrieve what O’Neil and Banks are seeking to retrieve to save their world, but definitely have no intention of saving the world. In our world, Clint and Corbin are two middle school kids looking forward to the upcoming Halloween dance, if Clint can ever get up the nerve to talk to his crush intelligibly. When a whole bevy of fantastical creatures tumble out of nowhere, they find their lives, and the lives of Clint’s siblings, irrevocably changed as O’Neil and Banks and their team seek to protect them wile finding the mysterious Requiem and the other, more sinister team only seems to want to kill them all and take Clint with them.
I’m honestly not even sure how to categorize this book as I’ve seen it listed as MG, YA, and simply as Fantasy. There are elements of all three, which was kind of mind boggling. I’m not a big reader of Middle Grade books, but do enjoy the charm of innocence, and am always on the lookout for books my kids might enjoy when they are older. I thought this book sounded like a lot of fun, and right up my alley as I love clashing worlds. I really liked the idea of a fantasy world coming into ours instead of people from our world heading into a fantasy world. A portal fantasy in reverse. I hoped for a fun, lighthearted read with lots of adventure, but I’m afraid I got something that felt a little too adult.
The Characters: What Lovely Siblings! The book description only mentions Clint, Corbin, O’Neil, and Banks, but the book itself has so many more characters. I found it difficult to remember who this book was supposed to be about, and often wondered if I was even right. From the description, it should be Clint and Corbin, at least, but it seemed to be more of a family affair. I did love that Clint has so many siblings, both blood siblings and stepsiblings. They were each a lot of fun and had quite a bit of character and spunk, as well as fun moments of being completely befuddled. At the same time, the story focused on them as a group though much of the story was told from Clint’s perspective. It was a little confusing to figure out who the story was supposed to be about. I suppose it’s the whole family, but then there were parts when Clint was clearly the focus and the whole story revolved around him. I suppose I just wish the POV had been nailed down a little better, but I really loved reading about the whole family.
I did so love the characters. They were probably my favorite part of this book. I thought Kayla was quite mature for her age, though, and Tamara’s change was so sudden it felt like it came from left field, but, really, the characters made the story fun and interesting. The only one that bothered me was Corbin because he honestly felt like a rubber ball pinging off every wall in the house. The only consistent thing about his character was that he was fun. Cody was probably my favorite. As the second oldest (I won’t even go into the oldest kid because she isn’t seen much and was really painted as being too self-absorbed for my tastes), he had quite a bit of responsibility on his shoulders, so his freak outs and wanting to be noble at the same time was so much fun.
I also really liked the characters from the other world. The bad ones were really bad and the good ones were typical good ones. They kept the Earth kids in the dark until they couldn’t anymore, but were really set on protecting them. It was kind of sweet, but also infuriating. Still, they were a lot of fun, especially O’Neil, though I was torn between thinking him lazy and dangerous.
The Setting: A Portal Fantasy in Reverse, So…Here Most of the book takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area. I haven’t spent much time in that area, so I don’t know it well, but I didn’t get a strong Northern California feel from the book. I couldn’t help but wonder where all the natural fog was. Though there was mention of a lot of hills. Still, I got more of a sense of a small city or even a large town more than I did San Francisco. Unless the city was named, I actually stopped thinking it was anything other than some unnamed city. There is a nearby farm that’s mentioned, along with the couple who run it, and I just completely failed to believe it could exist in the Bay Area. Though, I could be very wrong.
The fantasy world felt quite intriguing. The reader only gets a small slice of it as most of the book takes place in our reality, but it felt like it was more detailed and had a better sense of place. That doesn’t mean I know much about it from reading this one book, but it did sound intriguing and I liked that part of the world was comprised of completely ordinary inhabitants who changed because of the evil intent in their hearts. It was such a unique concept, I almost wish the story had taken place there rather than on Earth.
The Plot: A Lot More Dangerous Than Expected This is one area that really left me wanting. The book opens with quite a bit of action and excitement, but then it doesn’t really tie in with anything else in the book. I spent the entire thing wondering when we would get back to it. It felt like the first 10% or so was just a really long build-up to the real story and, at the end of the book, you realize it’s all actually just set up for a greater series. I felt like the whole purpose of this book was just to get a bunch of kids from one place to another under the guise of looking for something called the Requiem.
From the description, I expected a fun story of two middle school kids attempting to juggle school and trying to help two weird beings from another world find some kind of relic. Instead, it was a whole family of kids being roped into really dangerous missions that actually injured and nearly killed them all multiple times. This is actually where the idea of this book being MG completely lost me. Too much of the content is for an older audience and I think, if I were to let my kids read this when they’re in middle school, it would probably freak them out. It was so far from the fun book I envisioned. Instead, it’s full of death and destruction, as well as a whole bunch of opening scenes that didn’t really add much to the story and could have been left out.
I really wanted to like this book. I was really hoping it would be a fun read, especially as we now find ourselves being told to stay home. I find myself requiring fun, adventure, and excitement. Instead, this book kind of horrified me. It may read like a book for a younger audience in terms of the writing itself and how the story was laid out, having a really nice focus on family, and heavily involve a middle school kid, but I think I’d rather firmly shelve this on the adult shelves and wonder just why some people might call this MG, unless that genre has really shifted in recent years, in which case my kids will be stuck reading picture books until they’re 18.
Lastly, I’d like to point out that this book required a heavy dose of willing suspension of disbelief for me. There were bits and pieces strung all over the place that were never returned to or were seemingly forgotten. The details were lacking. There was more of a focus on all the action and driving the story forward than on putting the time and energy on really fleshing out the story so it made terrific sense, so I found myself having to ignore all these bits of pieces and suspend disbelief so I could believe it.
Overall: Great Characters, But the Story Left Me Wanting This book has some good points and some points that I wasn’t too keen on. I adored the characters and I loved their relationships. They were so much fun. But the story itself was anything but fun. It was full of death and destruction and, frankly, a lot of the content just horrified me. Some might label this MG, but, unless it’s really changed lately, I can’t see myself calling it that. Some have called it YA, which might be more appropriate, but I didn’t get many YA vibes from it. The teenage characters were painted through more childlike eyes, though there is a touch of romantic interest. But I really, really, really loved that this book brought fantasy characters into our world, though I was disappointed by how the end went. Overall, great if you enjoy daring missions involving children and can forgive a lot of the trauma these kids are likely to face.
Thank you to the author, R. J. Parker, for a free e-copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
Banks and O'Neil have found themselves in a very sticky situation is there anyways out. This book is action packed from the get go. Thw writing style is very detailed. If you want magical creature's, action packed and army this is the book for you. Banks is a very strong character whom you can imagine in charge of you. This book is full of action, consequences and challenges what a great read. Highly recommended. I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Instead of transporting humans into the world of strange creatures, Requiem, Changing Times by R. J. Parker brings them into our world -- more precisely, into the world of Clint Holden, his family, his best friend, Corbin, and the whole city. For the seventh-grader Clint, the list of problems consisted of quite a few issues: a scary teacher (Mrs. Christenson), his reluctance to accept his step-father as his father, and his inability to speak normally in front of his crush (Melanie). But, when an imp attacked him, these problems appeared to be a walk in the park on a beautiful sunny day.
In another world, Banks, the knight of the Salvation Alliance, and his second in command, a dwarf named O'Neil, were ordered to bring Clint Holden and Requiem. The lack of information about Requiem was the least of their worries since an army of imps, vampires, werewolves, ogres, orcs, and whatnot were also marching the same way as them. This other army, known as The Fury, did not play by the rules; if they gained access to Requiem, it would mean total chaos. So, Banks had to ensure that he would win this race to avoid the destruction. This task could have been much easier if anyone knew what Requiem looked like. He figured that after meeting Clint Holden, he would find a clear path to Requiem. However, to his dismay, Clint knew nothing about it, and the Fury was already attacking him. Read full review here.
The author does a brilliant job of blending several genres together in a cohesive way. A fusion of fantasy and horror with some elements of sci-fi, mystery and suspense in the YA genre umbrella so to speak make this novel really shine brightly.
Fans will get a fantastic cast of characters to root for and stand behind, not least of all protagonist Clint, a young boy suffering from a profound loss and getting into trouble at school and with his new family unit when he is suddenly thrust into life or death stakes and adventures, forcing him to reevaluate his priorities and the choices he had been making.
What really stuck out though was the author’s flipping of the script in the YA fantasy/horror genre. Most often young protagonists must venture directly into another realm in a fantasy setting, but here we see the fantasy realm coming to Clint first, showing what would happen if these fantastic creatures and horrifying threats entered the real world in the midst of global upheaval.
This lengthy read is the perfect new fantasy/sci-fi drama for anyone who loves the YA genre. A great pairing of mystery and suspense and larger than life characters all culminate in a shocking finale that will have readers on the edge of their seats and leaves the door open for future installments in this exciting new series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Requiem, Changing Times” by R.J. Parker today!
"Have you ever had a bad idea that you dismiss at once because it was a terrible idea?" Corbin asked Clint. "Well this was one of those ideas that I should have dismissed."
Up until the moment a very intense stranger stopped them, the only thing Clint "Staeli" Holden and Corbin Jenkins had to fear was their teacher, Mrs Christenson, and principle Miller's office. Oh, and Amber — who every boy wanted to date apart from Clint who had the misfortune of catching Amber's eye. But then Clint's mother and step-father went on an unexpected cruise, and now Clint and Corbin are being chased by Furies, Orcs, and Imps. Not to mention that Clint's house has been taken over by members of the Salvation Alliance. If that were not bad enough, Clint and Corbin have yet to decide who they are going to take to their school's Halloween dance!
Whoever said seventh-grade was fun, was clearly out of their mind.
With an elegant turn of phrase and a narrative that is as enthralling as it is addictive, Requiem, Changing Times by R. J. Parker is, in all ways, a Young Adult, Science Fiction / Dystopian triumph.
With an impressive sweep and brilliance, Parker has penned a book that is filled to bursting with cliff-hanger tension and characters that a reader can get behind. The protagonists are fun, refreshing, and very relatable for their intended audience. The antagonists are cruelly evil, determined in their goal, and seemingly unstoppable. The plot is tautly gripping — the non-stop excitement and the witty one-liners made this book compulsively readable and laugh-out-loud funny. This book has it all and then some.
One cannot help but be bewitched by the cinematic quality of this story. There is an essence of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes about this novel, especially in the opening chapters — Parker uses short sharp sentences to great effect. Likewise, the slowing down of the battle scenes by the use of long sentences enables the reader to experience the battles, rather than simply imagine. This approach to writing is incredibly hard to pull off, but Parker has seemingly mastered the art. Parker's innovative approach to his writing is refreshing, and it makes for a delightful read. This constant change in pace also makes a very long book seem somehow shorter.
This story is about two friends as their seemingly mundane life is torn asunder by the invasion of an alien mythological species which are determined to find the Requiem. The Requiem, an ancient relic, can either restore peace across the universe or cause chaos and suffering, so it mustn't fall into the wrong hands. Unfortunately for Clint, his name is somehow connected to the Requiem, and is, therefore, a target for those who want to use the Requiem for ill purposes. The friendship between Clint and Corbin is steadfast, and where one goes, the other is not far behind. Clint is the hero of this story — the invading army, is determined to kill him, but it was Corbin who really closed the deal on this book for me. Corbin is incredibly witty and provides much of the humour in this story, which for a dystopian novel is something that is, at times, desperately needed.
There are many mythical characters in this book — from the cold and wicked Spell Binder to the frightening Furies — that are determined to find the prize. Parker has crafted some genuinely frightful characters, whose intentions and vile threats are demonstrated through their actions rather than by long explanations. Like Clint, when his questions about these creatures are brushed aside and not answered, I felt frustrated. Clint is going into battle blind — he only knows that his life and that of his family and friends are in mortal danger, he really deserves to know whom he is fighting and why. However, the cleverly crafted use of word-building over the length of this novel conveys these monstrous characters in all their frightful depiction.
Clint also has to keep up a facade that nothing is going on — which seems to be a common theme in books such as this. The scenes at school are incredibly entertaining — especially as Clint desperately tries to hide from Amber, the prima-donna of his year. And his inability to form a sentence whenever Melanie, the girl he has feelings for, crosses his path is incredibly sweet. Clint may be trying to save the world, but he is a fumbling buffoon when it comes to romance!
Knights of the Salvation Alliance — Commander Banks and his second in command, O'Neil — are an alien species who are sent to earth to protect Clint and find the Requiem. These characters are introduced very early on in the story, and we are given a glimpse of the world in which these two inhabit. They are hardened warriors who are formidable opponents for the dangerous creatures who are now stalking the earth. I thought the portrayal of both Banks and O'Neil was sublime. Parker captured the very essence of these two characters remarkably well.
Fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson will find something endlessly fascinating about R. J. Parker's Requiem, Changing Times. I look forward to reading Book 2 of what promises to be a fabulous series.
I Highly Recommend.
Review by Mary Anne Yarde. The Coffee Pot Book Club.
What Made Me Read It I was sent a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The synopsis sent by the author sounded interesting: a normal 7th grader just starting junior high who suddenly finds himself in the middle of a conflict between magical beings, while trying to keep the appearance that things are normal to everyone around him.
The Plot Clint Holden is just a normal 7th grader at Holbrook school, getting in trouble with his best friend Corbin and with an uncanny inability to speak in front of his crush Melanie. Until the day he gets chased down by a scary size-shifting red creature determined to kill him. Clint thought the worst of his problems was dealing with a math teacher with an ax to grind and inviting Melanie to the Halloween dance... now Clint has a group of strange people from another world camping at his house, including a dwarf with a Scottish accent who loves Disney movies and gets high on Pepsi and an elf druid who insists on growing trees inside the toilet, while terrifying creatures commanded by a creepy stranger in a dark hood chase him around town.
Banks is a Knight of the Salvations Alliance, in a world where humans coexist peacefully with mythical beings, elves and dwarfs, pixies and fairies; a world threatened by the Fury, a coalition of dark creatures who wish to take away freedom of choice and impose their will on everyone. Together with his trusted second in command O'Neil and a small group of skilled warriors, Banks is sent through a magical portal on a secret mission to retrieve the Requiem, a sacred object that could save their world, bringing all who live together, or destroy it. His only lead is an old parchment with a list of names: Clint Holden and his family, whom they must protect from the imps, orcs and trolls sent by the Spell Binder to kill them.
The Good "Requiem, Changing Times" is the first book of a young adult fantasy series set in near future San Francisco. The world is in economic and political turmoil with brewing wars worldwide, forcing starving refugees to migrate. Clint Holden is a young boy just starting junior high, still reeling from his father's death and having trouble relating with his stepfather, a wealthy Nobel Prize scientist researching temporal anomalies and DNA mapping. The story takes place during the course of a single week at Halloween, as Clint's normal life is turned upside down when two different groups of strange beings appear in search of the Requiem, a mysterious object that could save or destroy a world thought to be in the possession of his stepfather; while one group is set on protecting Clint and his family, the other is just as determined to kill them all.
The plot is fast-paced and action-packed with thrilling chase sequences and skirmishes as the Fury army of dark creatures and the Salvations Alliance task force clash with one another, an ongoing mystery surrounding the search for the mysterious Requiem and plenty of quirky humor and brilliant one-liners that had me laughing all the way through. The worldbuilding is imaginative and complex: the Reclamation, a process through which a person who does bad deeds physically transforms into an evil creature, making it all but impossible for anyone to even lie in order to avoid such a terrible fate; bows that shoot arrows made of light; the size-shifting imps who look human but speak in animal sounds; the magical abilities of the Spell Binder capable of freezing a person from the inside out; the druids powers to control nature and heal...
The characters are for the most part 3-dimentional, with realistic behaviors and motivations, with the main character Clint being the most developed: a young boy with the normal mischievous nature of a junior high student but also dealing with feelings of anger and resentment towards his stepfather, who must grow beyond his years and learn to value his family when the world around him suddenly proves to be much bigger and dangerous than he thought possible.
The Not So Good There are way too many characters to keep track of. Even though each of Clint's 5 siblings is a unique character, with specific and distinguishable personalities, it took me several chapters before I could remember and differentiate them. Banks' special ops team on the other hand remained a mere list of 7 confusing names for the entire novel, with the exception of his second in command O'Neil.
One of the very early chapters feels completely irrelevant, introducing characters and events that have no part or meaning in the main story. There are also a few lose ends and events left unexplained, but since this is the 1st volume in the series it's possible the answers will be provided in future installments.
Final Rating 4 of 5 stars. "Requiem, Changing Times" is the first book of a young adult fantasy series set in near future San Francisco, with a fast-paced plot action-packed with thrilling chase sequences, an ongoing mystery and plenty of quirky humor and brilliant one-liners. Recommended for those who enjoy fantasy stories in school settings, with mythical beings (elves, dwarfs, orcs, ogres...) and magical powers.
Disclaimer: I received this book and ebook from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: Requiem, Changing Times
Author: RJ Parker
Book Series: Standalone
Recommended For...: fantasy lovers, ya readers
Publication Date: September 26, 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: can’t recommend, dnf-ed
Publisher: Olympia Publishers
Synopsis: Clint and Corbin are having a weird day. Best friends for life, things are getting a little strange around their town, and at school. When they're followed by a strange man looking for Clint and later attacked by an imp, it makes sense to retreat to the safety of home. But when strangers from another world, Banks and O'Neil, arrive with their medley of allies, things get even weirder. Why are they here? What do they want? And what is The Requiem that everyone keeps talking about? As Clint and his friends and family are drawn deeper into a thrilling adventure, only one thing is for sure. They may not be getting out alive. And class with Mrs Christenson will seem like a walk in the park after this.
Review: I had to DNF this book at 54%. I really tried to get into it, but the book constantly jumps around from scene to scene without any explanation and it gave me whiplash. The book also has really bad character development and story design considering we don’t meet the main characters until ¼ of the way through the book.
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. Requiem, Changing Times by R.J. Parker is a creative YA, Science Fiction / Dystopian fantasy adventure book.
Clint’s life is about to change, school seems like any other day where Mrs. Christenson targets him for the principal’s office. Something definitely is going on when, two groups of fantasy creatures have crossed over into his world. Each of them searching for Clint Holden, what could possibly tie him to the mysterious Requiem. Today is one very odd day for Clint and his very best friends, Corbin Jenkins. When suddenly from nowhere a stranger attacks, They try to investigate what is actually going on around their town.
Thats when they come to realize that two different groups of fanatical creatures have crossed over into their world. Each of them searching for Clint and his ties to the mysterious Requiem. Clint has to keep up apparence...even with his home dynamics being a little chaotic and he is always seems to be getting into trouble at school. This an exhilarating book faced paced with intriguing twists that keeps glued to the pages. Full of magical creatures action sequence drama. Parker’s exceptional dialogue is phenomenal, along with perfect comic timing makes for an enjoyable read. The writing was easy to follow and the author uses innovative narration in the way he allows the reader to be front and center. I don’t want to give to much away, if you are a inhaler of books, like I am you get my meaning right away. The world building is magical and captivating and vibrant characters are three dimensional. All in all it’s an riveting exceptional Young Adult book. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next installment.
Requiem, changing times, is a young adult novel written about Corbin and Clint. They are the best of friends and go to the same school. When Two strangers come into town from another world and bring aliens with them, things become a little chaotic. There is a race in reaching the Requiem first. Banks and O’Neil, two exceptional characters, add a delightful addition to the story, creating more drama, magic and laughter. Someone is planting bombs at various locations, and when total strangers attack Clint and his friend, Clint realizes that for some reason, they are after him. The book is filled with great urban fantasy material. Clint is coming of age and learning how to cope with the loss of his father and the new family he has. This journey not only makes him realize how important of a role he has but also allows him to understand the meaning and value of having a family. The literature was filled with witty remarks, a funny dwarf, aliens, imps, ogres and more. The pace was steady and enjoyable to read. I admired how the cover was beautifully designed. The book is first of its series, and so I believe it left a good foundation for ongoing other storylines. Clint Holden is a strong protagonist and is able to bring a steady platform to work well together. I look forward to reading more from this author. I would recommend this book to young adult fans.
I was very kindly sent a physical copy of this book by author R.J. Parker to read and review.
Unfortunately this book was just not for me at all, I have been reading it since 30th March on and off but I just couldn’t get into it. From the description provided I thought it would be something I’d really enjoy reading, however I just couldn’t personally escape into the world created, even though it was a very well thought out story and was written really well, it just wasn’t for me.
From the start we are met by the goings on in the world and the magical creatures that the story is about, we meet the protagonist a little further in the story. The author did depict a really creative story in which the magical fantasy world is combined into our world or rather into the world of Clint, his family and friends. Setting them off on a fantasy adventure.
I did personally stop reading this book even though I kept trying, however I know that for others this book would be one that they love, it does offer a lot of different elements, lots of interesting characters and a story that is different to a lot of other fantasy books. If you like fantasy, adventure, sci-fi and that type I really think you’d enjoy this.
I may give it another try in the future and see if I can complete this book but I’m not certain.
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This book was quite an adventure, truth be told. At first I had a hard time seeing where it would go since there is some jumping around in the beginning, but once it got going it was hilarious, witty, fun and felt like it had a little bit of everything. I enjoyed the dialogue between characters and for the most part enjoyed the descriptions though there were a few that I had to read a couple time to make sure I was understanding them right. There is a ton of action in this book and at point it can jump around a bit, but it was a really fun read. It was definitely quirky in a lot of ways and I feel there are a lot of people who would really enjoy the adventure of reading this book. It was a solid read and great for anyone looking for an adventure with a varied cast of characters and a roller coaster of a story!
“I know what you mean,” Cody said heaving a deep sigh “This has been one of those where I’m tired of saying ‘What the weird’.”
Like Cody, I probably said ‘What the weird’ a few times too whilst reading this book. It is absolutely insane, but do you know what? All the best books are.
It’s sort of reminded me of one of the more fun, light-hearted episodes of Doctor Who where the Doctor comes to save the day, and there’s a lot of running to and from aliens. There’s always some sort of bonkers way of getting out of whatever predicament he finds himself in, and the conversations are nothing short of insane. Well, instead of The Doctor we have the Salvation Alliance, and instead of aliens we have imps, orcs, ogres and a variety of other strange creatures.. but aside from that, they are essentially the same.
On the whole, I enjoyed it, it was a lot of fun. It did take me a while to get my head around things sometimes though, and it did take me a little while to get through because sometimes I had to double back to understand what was happening. It’s VERY fast-paced too, so that doesn’t help. The ending leads well into a second book, where we will hopefully explore new worlds, which all sounds very exciting. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, whacky, fantasy adventure.
*Thank you to RJ Parker for sending me a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review*
Adventurous ride for lovers of mystery and fantasy. Requiem, Changing Times is a compelling magical read written with descriptive writing to bring the story more vividly to the imagination of the readers. The author sets up the plot with lots of mystery and suspense to keep the reader hooked throughout. Parker embeds the story with amazing list of characters that are easy to connect with, making you root for them. Fast paced and thrilling, this YA fantasy is full of action, fun, and adrenaline rushing moments. RJ's style to connect everything together is skillful and done with talent. The book is a bit long but never dull making the reader feel glued to the book. I would give this book 5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and would definitely recommend it because it worths both your money and time. Cannot wait for the upcoming books by RJ Parker.