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Blood Skies (Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Steven Montano , Syd Gill
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)

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Book Description


In a world where nightmares stalk the earth and the few survivors must battle the vampire legions of the Ebon Cities, a team of soldiers races to save mankind when a traitor threatens to destroy the future of humanity.
Southern Claw warlock Eric Cross is a member of Viper Squad, and his mission is to pursue the witch called Red across the wastelands. His hunt takes him through haunted forests and blighted tundra, into war-torn cities and to the edge of a twisted necropolis. And before the journey is done Cross will uncover the dark origins of magic, and learn the true meaning of sacrifice...

Editorial Reviews


"This book was epic! THIS is dark fantasy done right! The writing was evocative and disturbing and beautifully descriptive, down to the creepiest detail. I read this book cover to cover in the course of 2 nights and am anxious to start the next asap!" (5 stars). 
-- Jhonni Parker; Goodreads
"I started this book with the Hollywood idea about vampires. This story captured me straight from the off, the way the characters and story line progress builds this book up into an amazing tale of a brothers love for his sister and the ultimate sacrifice. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series!!"
-- James Gronenstein; Goodreads

From the Author

Check out other books by Steven Montano!
The Blood Skies Series:
The Skullborn Trilogy
Other Novels
COLDER (Coming Soon)

Product Details

  • File Size: 3238 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Darker Sunset Press (December 31, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0054GQHIY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,498 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vampires As They Should Be July 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Blood Skies is a grim and gritty tale set in a bleak and hopeless world. Combining elements of apocalyptic horror, urban fantasy, and military fantasy in the vein of Glen Cook and the like, it tells the story of one of the human soldiers fighting a losing war against the vampires and undead bent on ruling the shattered remnants of our world.

The action is fast and deadly. The vampires of Blood Skies aren't high schoolers who sparkle in the sunlight or who try to blend in among human society. They are ferocious animalistic killers who feel no more empathy to Man than Man does to a Big Mac. Against them are the elite forces the humans have put together to stem the tide, using the newly discovered magicks that awoke after the world changed. The protagonist is a human warlock who uses the power of the spirit he is bonded with to defend himself and his fellow soldiers against their enemies as they track one of their own, whose betrayal to the enemy threatens the precarious stalemate they've managed.

The treatment of magic in the story is a unique take on the often cliched wizards and witches in other stories. Every warlock is bonded to an otherwordly spirit and can channel their power for various uses, but the toll it takes on their bodies ensures a shortened and painful life. Steven Montano does an excellent job bringing together all of the disparate elements in a cohesive storyline that moves forward relentlessly, and at times tragically. The writing style is staccato and terse, helping to emphasize the oftentimes brutal events.

All in all, it's a train ride through a hellish landscape filled with nasty, unpleasant things. Right up my alley.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Want to Like This Book More July 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
When I started reading this book I enjoyed it, the author threw me right in a high fantasy world complete with magic, bestial vampires, and all other manner of fun fantastical things. But as I read on and on it became harder and harder for me to really stay interested. What I feel could have been a most excellent story turned into somewhat of a trial to read due to several glaring issues with the book, some of them legitimate problems, others more based in opinion.

The TL;DR :

There is a great fantasy world and an enjoyable story hidden beneath lots of poor / unrevised and unedited writing. If dark fantasy worlds are your thing, and you think you can get past the sea of adjectives, bad editing, and the occasional bit of clumsy writing the book is worth a read. Otherwise, I'd probably just stay away from it.

The Bad (facts):

1. I'd be willing to bet a valuable body part (my right lung for instance, remember that's the bigger one) that this book was not edited by anyone other than the author. The book is plagued with editorial mistakes. With self published work I generally try to look these things over a bit, but this book went just a bit over the top for me. There were missing commas that resulted in confusing sentences, a few sentences had left over words that I assume were meant to be replaced (the specific example that comes to mind is a sentence talking about magical bullets that "burrowed perforated their way into x creatures flesh").

2. Mr. Montano uses adjectives like they are the cure for cancer. The adjectives are so plentiful in this book that I actually considered them a hindrance to the reading experience in multiple places. Additionally the author used many words and adjectives incorrectly, or in a very awkward manner.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressed June 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
I had the privilege of reading Blood Skies before it was released and was pretty impressed. Steven Montano has taken an old, tired vampire genre and tossed it on its head -- then handed it a machine gun and a bag of grenades. I am particularly impressed with Montano's ability to build worlds. His post-apocalyptic Earth is fresh, deep, and loaded with new ideas that don't bore. His battles are creative. His characters are hilariously sarcastic, especially when the chips are down. I had no idea how attached I had become to the main character, Cross, until the story began to take turns that were impossible to foresee. I was never bored while reading this book. Definitely recommend.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Machetes and Purple Prose April 5, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have been on a bit of a kick lately where I'm primarily interested in reading dystopian stories, and as this book has four stars and a reasonable price, I figured I would go ahead and give it a shot. I kinda wish I hadn't.

From the pro-prologue (if that's what you can call the three and a half page blurb before the actual prologue,) I couldn't stop myself from wincing and rolling my eyes. It OOZES purple prose, and reminds me strongly of poetry I wrote in the third grade. I suppose to be fair, said poetry did win (little kid) contests, so the book is at least as good as GOOD third grade poetry...but as you may assume that is not sufficient for a published novel you would expect people to pay for.

Like many of my fellow reviewers have stated, it feels as though you have to whip out a freshly-sharpened machete to hack through the jungle of purple prose and similes. It's a nightmare. I really really WANTED to feel the tension Knight must have been feeling when the vampires were coming through the door, but all I could think was "If I see another simile, or if this guy uses the word 'ancient' one more time, I'm breaking my Kindle over my knee."

At any rate, two stars for the premise, zero for the execution. If you liked the book, I'm happy for you, and not even in a sarcastic, snotty way. Loving a book is an awesome feeling. I personally didn't care for this one at all. Just my $0.02.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood Skies is definitely a unique and entertaining Science Fiction...
Blood Skies is definitely a unique and entertaining Science Fiction thriller! If you are tired of the standard plot and backdrop this will keep you engaged!
Published 23 days ago by Gloria Schmidt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The story line kept me up long past my bed time!
Published 23 days ago by Kathy J Armada
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing
I could not sustain any interest in this book. I gave up after about 7% . The very long and boring descriptions interrupted my concentration . Read more
Published 26 days ago by Juneann Isaacs
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
good read
Published 1 month ago by Shawnofthedead
3.0 out of 5 stars so-so
Not so great. Slow start and tends to drag in spots.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Doom and gloom. No fresh breathing space. No ...
Doom and gloom. No fresh breathing space. No let up. Not for me.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow.
It was very slow. Descriptions of landscapes dominate the story. Will not read book two.
Published 1 month ago by Nancy Perkins
3.0 out of 5 stars nicely written.
A complex Storyline, nicely written.
Published 1 month ago by Gavin Segal
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood Skies (Book 1)
3 Stars or 4 Stars. I am giving this author the benefit of doubt. This author is in love with his own prose. It is hard to get a handle on what this story is about because of it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nana
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, didn't hit it for me
I'm sorry to have to say that I had to take this off my reader after the first three chapters. There was way too much retrospection going on with the characters. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jim Tomasello
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More About the Author

Steven Montano is an author, accountant, and blogger, part human and part...well, we're not entirely sure, but we're trying to figure it out. Steven is the author of the Skullborn novels (City of Scars, Path of Bones), the Blood Skies series (Blood Skies, Black Scars, Soulrazor, Crown of Ash, The Witch's Eye, Chain of Shadows and Vampire Down), Tales of a Blood Earth 1 and 2, Crucifix Point, and something black.... He's currently hard at work on Blood Angel Rising, a paranormal action/horror/thriller; Colder, a mystery/thriller; an untitled pulp sci-fi action/adventure series; and The Black Tower, the conclusion to The Skullborn trilogy. He lives in Michigan, where even zombies fear to tread. Visit Steven's official website at

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