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Leah and the Jackhammer (The Demon Ginktak's Folly Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Adam Ortyl
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
Kindle Price: $4.95
You Save: $7.04 (59%)

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Book Description

Ostracized for the unique magical abilities, Leah lives on the fringes of a harsh and cruel world. Her one friend is, Sir Ursa, the teddy bear she magically brought to life. 

But things get dangerous for Leah and Sir Ursa after she finds the legendary Jackhammer, a lost relic from a time when the world was new. A tool such as the Jackhammer cannot go unnoticed long, and with its awakening it draws the attention of dark forces. And when they kidnap Sir Ursa and drag him into the tunnels, it's up to Leah to use the Jackhammer and save her precious friend.

Editorial Reviews


"The clever introductions don't end, throughout the book the author shows an almost unique skill when it comes to the descriptions of his creatures, and each new one draws a vivid mental picture for the reader." (WhatCulture!)

"The book and author give a fantastic sense of scale, gradually building a map of the world for the reader as they progress through the story, showing the true size of the dimension that they've decided to delve into, it has the feeling of Alice in Wonderland for a modern audience, with some boogymen mixed in." (WhatCulture!)

"A good, original and enticing indie book. Cleverly written. Definitely recommended to fans of Sci-FI and fantasy." (Marco - BookReviewsGuru)

From the Back Cover

Something stirs deep within the old salt mines, but isn't content with staying there. It spills out to the town of Wayton, and right to Leah's front door. Leah's biggest concern in her life, up to this point, was making friends, but when she gets pulled into the conflict she will be in a fight for her life.

Many forces conspire against her; bullies, monsters, and something far more evil.

She'll need to use everything at her disposal just to survive:
Her gift of glamouring, the magic of control.
Sir Ursa, a living teddy bear and her best friend.
The Jackhammer, an ancient meckanical unearthed from the rocks it was designed to destroy.

Will Leah have the resolve to survive? Steel yourself for the adventures of Leah and the Jackhammer.

Product Details

  • File Size: 445 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AMR4LZ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,699 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leah and the Jackhammer - Good Reading! December 28, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let's get this straight from the start, I am not an e-book person. I need to feel the cover, paper and binding in order to enjoy a book as a whole. Yes, I am a through back. No, I couldn't care less what you think. That being said, when I read the sneak peak from the 'Look Inside' for this e-book. I had to break the vow and buy it immediately instead of waiting for the paper version to come around.
'Leah and the Jackhammer (The Demon Gintak's Folly)' is a wonderful fantasy story that will have you turning the pages long after you should be asleep or doing work while at work. It is a wonderful departure from the typical architecture of fantasy stories, creating a world that smoothly blends elements as natural as real life just outside your front door, with fantasy components. I look forward to the next book that continues this ongoing story. Leah and the Jackhammer (The Demon Ginktak's Folly)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Fantasy/Scifi Adventure July 12, 2013
My first impression of this book was that of the concept. It's an interesting story Ortyl devises here, and it easily captures your attention from the outset of the novel

My second impression of the book consisted of the target audience. Based on the book cover and the opening of the book, I had tagged it as a YA novel (albeit with a curse word added). But the deeper I read into the book the more I could see the audience was intended to be of a more mature disposition. This comes by way of some rather graphic scenes that probably aren't appropriate for younger readers. There was also an issue of language used throughout the book, a tone that seemed to speak to a younger readership. It almost clearly feels like a YA novel at times, and then like a much more adult novel at others. Unfortunately, this combination took me out of the story on multiple occasions as I tried to figure out the author's intention on that front.

My confusion on the matter of audience aside, I had an enjoyable time reading the book. One can empathize with Leah almost immediately (the bullied and ostracized child that is picked on because she's different). The magic system is inventive and curious, and gives life to a whole range of problem-solving abilities. I thought the idea of Sir Ursa (the stuffed bear) was well done as well. His connection to Leah was used to great effect in creating tension and emotion.

There were a few issues that, while not taking away from the enjoyment of the book, made the reading a bit of a chore in places. There were instances where the dialogue felt stilted and mechanical, breaking up the rhythm of some pages. And at certain points I thought that the heroes' escape from danger was achieved a little too quickly and easily.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well crafted October 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
the main character will grab you right off the bat and won't let go. very good story and a cast of complex characters. looking forward to the next one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Middle Grade Fantasy! August 4, 2013
From [...]

I have to say, I was very happily surprised with this book. The title, I am ashamed to admit, is what put me off at first. I knew that it was a fantasy (I'd read the synopsis before agreeing to do the review). Even though I knew basically what the book was about, the word 'Jackhammer' in a fantasy book just didn't sit right for me. In fact, I was somewhat dreading having to read this book for that one absolutely ridiculous reason.

I am so pleased to have had to opportunity to read this book - it took me back to some of the literary roots that inspired me to become legendary author you all know today. This is the kind of book that I would have read and then re-read as a child, in anticipation of the sequel coming out.

Adam Ortyl has created a storyline and world so splendidly rendered that, as a middle grade novel, it has the potential to rival some of the greats such a Piers Anthony's Xanth or the Dragonlance series.

This is a story about a young girl with a special ability that allows her to make inanimate objects come to life. Her teddy bear, Sir Ursa, is one such object that she has 'glamoured' and is her most steadfast and loyal friend, since the kids at school won't associate with her. They see her as a 'demon' because of what she can do with her ability.

Through a series of mishaps involving bullies from school, Leah loses her bear deep in the forbidden mines outside town and feels compelled to rescue him. The majority of the story takes place in those mines, where Leah finds herself on the adventure of her young life.

The ending is left wide open for a sequel, which I am very happy to say I am looking forward to!

If you enjoy adventure with a little bit of snarkiness thrown into the dialogue, or if your pre-teen or teen enjoys it, I would strongly recommend this fun and rollicking book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Every bit as cool as it looks July 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
A Trickster Eric Novels review

Adam Ortyl asked me to read his novel "Leah and the Jackhammer". It's about a girl who goes into an abandoned mine in a mini mecha because a monster stole her semi-sapient stuffed bear. It was darker than I thought it would be but more on that later. I will examine plot, characters, polish and then assign a grade.


Overall I have good things to say about the plot. It has character driven conflict, a well developed mystery, and a satisfying conclusion. However, I have issues with certain scenes that feel like padding and scenery description can be vague.

First of all it develops organically; Leah goes into the mine with an objective, she accomplishes it, and in the process starts on a second one. Always she is driven by her own desires. "Prove I'm not a demon" is a compelling emotional background and is backed up by her actions. This keeps the plot on track and believable.

While she travels into the mine's depths, she unravels the mystery of its abandonment. One hundred or so years ago, all the miners vanished without a trace and to this day no one knows what happened. Leah puts the pieces together as she pilots the Jack-hammer through lizard monsters (gnasher) and human monsters (Saggah). It unfolds bit by bit until the climax.

The Reveal isn't shocking and it shouldn't be. In my opinion, I'd rather read something along the lines of "I KNEW IT!" than "Where'd that come from?" I'm not a fan of Shocking Swerves for the sake of originality but that's for other posts. The bottom line is that this story does a good job of building up to the reveal instead of trying to keep the reader in the dark the whole time.

The darkness I mentioned earlier comes from the Saggah's society.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!
Needs some editing, but the story is great and original and I enjoyed reading it. Hope to see more from this author.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun little read
Leah and the Jackhammer is a fun little read suitable for middle grade readers. There is some mild language, but nothing your average sixth grader hasn't heard before. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Terri
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story. Very imaginative!
Exciting read. Cleverly done. Well written. Enjoyed its uniqueness and imagination of the story. Would recommend it for all ages.
Published 16 months ago by elise l vachon
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent first effort
Mr. Ortyl shows great promise for a new writer. I liked that the plot stays on key throughout, never running down dead ends or veering off point. Read more
Published 20 months ago by jack6666
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice book, definitely recommended
I had my share of fantasy and Sci-Fi novels and after reading so many of them it has become quite difficult to find something really original. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Thereadersentry
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read!
I really enjoyed this book, it was a fun read! There seems to be a lot of backstory to this world that's still not revealed, so there's plenty of room for sequels. Read more
Published 22 months ago by JustSomeGuy
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of Leah and the Jackhammer
For anyone who enjoys fantasy this is the book for you. The author's imagination and descriptions bring the story to life.
Published 22 months ago by evelyn decker
5.0 out of 5 stars Cannot wait for book 2!
I am not typically partial to fantasy novels, but after reading Leah and the Jackhammer (The Demon Gintak's Folly) I'm sold! Read more
Published 22 months ago by KristenG
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More About the Author

Adam has a young son and a dog. He plans to train one to ride the other into battle. (Fortunately they don't have any saddles that fit babies.) Look for them at the first light on the fifth day.

To find out more about Adam, please visit:

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