Author: M. J. Kobernus
Book: Blood in the Sand (The Guardian Book #1)
Published: March 2016
Publisher: Nordland Publishing
Philip Entwhistle, PhD., is in over his head. The cutthroat competition for an academic position has taken a new twist. He is literally up against a witch, Elizabeth Sandwell. In his efforts to get better placed, he is a writing biography on Sir James Franics. Sir James went missing on a trek through the North African desert. Yet something belonging to Sir James made it back to England. Something that could answer key questions.
Yet who would believe the truths Philip is about to uncover. Sir James found himself involved with a djinn form Arabian mythology. Now the djinn is in England, and it needs Philip’s help. Otherwise, Elizabeth Sandwell will sacrifice it to gain power.
M. J. Kobernus has written an Urban Fantasy set in the cutthroat world of academia. The protagonist is a candidate for a professorship in history in an English University. Set against him is a witch who is also a candidate for this one spot. However, Elizabeth Sandwell is playing of a bigger prize than a professorship. She wants the power to become a goddess. Philip Entwhistle’s research into the disappearance of Sir James Francis could lead Dr. Sandwell to what she needs. The character’s in the book are compelling, though it doesn’t quite make its way to a page turner. The author used an old technique of starting the book at the final crisis, then going back in time. I have rarely found this to be an effective way to start a story, and it detracts from an otherwise good story. That said, fans of urban fantasy will find the book enjoyable.