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MageSign Paperback – April 23, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 2 of 2 in the Balance Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"if you are after a well written, enthralling read, that doesn't let up with the surprises and impact, then look no further. Alan Baxter once again delivers an excellent novel, full recommendation on this one." - Scary Minds

"The descriptive phrasing is chilling and graphic.


MageSign is a thriller, a mystery, a love story and a thought-provoking examination of the relationship between religion and humanity in all its glory and shame. Alan Baxter takes the reader right to the edge and then pushes us over. And I thank him for it." - Bitten By Books

"...difficult to pin to any particular genre ... fantastic qualities ... horrific at times. "MageSign" is a great addition by Alan Baxter, and I highly recommend it." - William Estep, clubreading.com

"MageSign by Alan Baxter is the second volume in a duology that began with Baxter's RealmShift... MageSign is a fast paced ride through the depths of darkness a human soul can hold. It builds in intensity with a mystery involving a dark and twisted cult that leaves you longing for more, while building a deeper sense of dread that leaves you nearly afraid to turn the pages." --Midwest Book Review

"...a gritty tale of blood rituals, mystery, and mysticism... grabs hold of the reader and doesn't let go." --David Wood, author of Cibola

Review

"a fast paced supernatural adventure that will leave readers rethinking how they view the Cosmos." --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Gryphonwood Press; Revised edition (April 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982508751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982508756
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,344,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You know how sometimes you read a book and predict the twist at the end? Or you're trying to work it out as you go through,so it's always occupying a part of your mind as you read? I got so sucked in to this book that I completely forgot to think about it, so when we got there, I was literally shocked. If you have read it, you'll probably be going "derr, that was obvious!", and you are probably right. But for me, the fact that I wasn't even contemplating it - I was too busy just soaking up what was happening- is a good sign that this book is a winner.
Baxter builds on his protagonist from RealmShift, but you don't need to have read it to enjoy MageSign. The relationships that are built, both natural and supernatural, are really intriguing, and I found myself totally satisfied at the last page - even despite a reference to a shopping centre local to me as a "mall" rather than it's rightful "plaza" ;-)
I can't help thinking that the world Baxter creates here would sit nicely alongside Gaiman's American Gods. And I can't wait to read his next book. If you haven't read MageSign, and you don't mind having your ideas about religion and faith challenged, sink your teeth into this. You won't regret it.
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Format: Paperback
After 3 years it would good to catch up with Isiah again. 3 years to a guy who is centuries old is an afternoon nap but there's still been enough time in between for him to shake off his last big battle and resume the search for the ultimate root of all evil.

The thing that taunts Isiah though is he knows its not a battle that requires the annihilation of all that is evil as thats just not how `The Balance' works. I love the concept of The Balance. Essentially there is a place for everything and everyone, good, evil or neutral and as long as there is an overall balance of those concepts, humanity is able to survive and thrive - Upset the balance and you tip the scales in favour of one side and that side can then take advantage, rise up and take `free will' away from the world. THIS is what drives Isiah more than anything - Well, its what drives `The Balance' he is their personal soldier in the war on keeping things in check.

An essential point that RealmShift made still rings very true in Magesign and that is that everyone has the choice to believe in what they wish and if enough people believe in something, it will come true. So the eternal conundrum is that if Humanity really is in charge of its own fate then it's completely up to us to do what we believe is right since we create everything ourselves.

With that in mind, everything gets amplified in Magesign. The Balance shift is bigger, the baddies are badder, Isiah even more pissed at the Balance for making him do its dirty work and the events are colossal. A few new concepts are introduced, namely the use of Magic and the fact that Isiah may not necessarily be alone in his quest to bring things back from the brink.

The character development is very strong as the book progresses.
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Format: Paperback
MageSign by Alan Baxter, is a fast-paced ride through a visceral reality which holds a mirror up to today's apathetic society.

This is the sequel to RealmShift, which I enjoyed reading, but had enough issues with to mark it a 3/5 on the Amazon scale of reviews. MageSign scores an easy 4/5 on that same scale. Although Baxter drops enough background story to make this more-or-less stand on its own, I recommend you read RealmShift first - it will add to the overall experience.

Again the story revolves around Isiah, the central character for both books, but this time he's not working for the mysterious entity known as The Balance, he's doing a little project of his own. In the first book, we were introduced to Samuel Harrigan, a particularly nasty piece of work, and we learn of his ability with blood magic. In MageSign, Isiah has decided the world could do without more Harrigans and sets out to destroy The Sorcerer, Harrigan's teacher of the black arts. In the second book, Baxter gives us enough information to know who Harrigan was, but to gain a true understanding of how bad this guy really was - read the first book.

But three years has passed between the books. The reader is led to believe Isiah has been kept busy maintaining the balance of all things, while the Sorcerer has been far from idle. Now his organization is truly global and fast-tracked toward reaching an horrific goal, a goal hidden to everyone and everything - including the Balance.

Stepping in and out of countries ranging from Australia, England, the USA, and even Tibet, Baxter creates an intricate plot, laced with wonderful scenic descriptions.
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Format: Paperback
A double edged sword

One of the nice things about social networking is being able to interact with authors, talk about their work, or indeed just chat about life in general. The downside to building a connection(however superficial) with a writer, is that when you come to review their work, it can make your job as a reviewer much harder.

I was not really a fan of Alan Baxter's first novel RealmShift and I had concerns that I might have similar issues with MageSign.

I am happy to report that I found MageSign to be a far better reading experience and in my humble opinion a far better constructed tale.

The Tale Continues...

MageSign picks up three years after the events in RealmShift. Isiah our all powerful immortal protagonist is tracking down the sorcerer who trained the despicable Samuel Harrigan in RealmShift.

Usually backed up by the mysterious entity called `The Balance', Isiah is left to go it alone in MageSign. Neither helped nor hindered, Isiah sets out to track down the sorcerer and discovers a deadly cult set on world domination through the use of blood magic. He finds love, danger and death along the way.

A slow start

Initially I had misgivings, while I felt the writing was a little more engaging, the prose was still too florid for my tastes. The language was evocative and I could see that Baxter was trying to establish a certain mood but it felt to me that he was laying on the atmosphere too heavily - to the detriment of pacing.

MageSign is a sequel and like a lot of authors there's some exposition used to bring those readers who haven't read RealmShift up to date.
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