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on 6 May 2014
JF Penn has put together a taster to tempt you deeper into her books and introduces a new character, Blake ( he has appeared in the book ' Desecration' by Joanna Penn) He complements Morgan Sierra and I can see the two forming more than a working relationship.
This book whisks you around the Scottish Highlands and Islands. The author has a gift for describing and leading you into landscapes, close your eyes and you can visualise what she is describing.
Day of the Vikings introduces you to the world of Viking myths and legends,with all their rituals and practices - as scary as they were.
Altogether a great novella that I read straight off. The Vikings are a race that you don't read about very much and am hoping to see more from this author.
Very much enjoy the ARCANE series of books and the way that each one introduces a different historical/mythological scenario.
Keep writing Joanna and am sure your army of readers will continue to grow
Any new readers, don't hesitate to dive into the Arcane books, NONE of them disappoint!
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on 7 May 2014
J.F.Penn is one of my favourite authors because I always learn something interesting and new, want to visit a place she has described in the story (minus the gory bits) and makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable (the gory bits). The book is also full of fascinating history seamlessly woven into the story. What more can you ask for?

Day of the Vikings is a new novella covering a single day in the exciting life of Dr. Morgan Sierra, ARKANE agent. Not that her day is anything like the average day. Even a trip to the British Museum in London turns into a fast paced action epic, with J.F.Penn's signature supernatural twist.

In this case Neo-Viking terrorists need an ancient relic displayed at the British Museum. Morgan is unable to stop them taking the staff of Skara Brae but pursues them relentlessly before the staff, horrific sacrifice and the eye of Odin can be brought together to unleash an ancient Viking apocalypse. That’s a lot of action for a novella and I devoured it in one sitting.

I just don’t want to talk about the sawing of the ribs for wings. You just have to read that for yourself.
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on 8 May 2014
Another brilliant, well-researched thriller from J.F. Penn. I loved the element of Viking mythology, and also the inclusion of Blake Daniel from Penn's other series.

All in all it's exactly what I have come to expect from J.F. Penn's books: an action-packed thriller with a supernatural edge. If you haven't read any of the author's books, this one can stand alone...but to get the full benefit of the series, you should (and will probably want to) read them all!
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on 6 May 2014
Another great short story about ARKANE. This one has Morgan and a new sidekick pitting themselves against a modern day Valkarie and Neo Vikings bent on finding a mystical object that will bring about the end of times. Excellently researched and written this time whisking the reader around the British Isles. Thoroughly recommended and looking forward to the next instalment. Thank you Joanna.
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on 5 May 2014
Eagerly awaited return from j f penn and it didn't disappoint. If you havnt read this author before I recommend you read all the other books first. This story is break neck from the start. My only critsism it's too short ! More please soon !
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on 25 May 2014
Having read the other Arkane thrillers this short novella did not disappoint. I cannot wait until the next full Arkane book is released. In the meantime I think that I will have to read 'Desecration' to find out where the character of Blake goes from here.
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on 13 February 2016
Book 5, in the Arkane series

Although this novella may be the 5th of a series of thrillers it reads perfectly as a stand-alone and the adventure can be enjoyed if the topic interests you.

The story is fast paced and is one to leave us on the edge from page one as we follow the main characters Dr. Morgan Sierra and Blake Daniel on another thrilling ride. This time our heroes become trapped in a terrorist attack on the British Museum of London where they will witness ritualistic murder by Neo- Vikings.

This story is an exciting blend of fiction and facts although where the author’s imagination took over is really up to historian to say. The plot is gruesome, fast moving and exciting. The author’s magic touch brings to life ancient mysteries and turns folklore into an out of this world experience, although a tad of improbability is also chiseled into it to captivate us. The story is vividly described and is very visual a sure sign that Ms. Penn love her subject. We are also whisked across the British Isles with fine details and rich words.

Not being familiar with Neo-Vikings and their rituals did not hinder my enjoyment although I must say that this series as yet to win my heart but is slowly doing a good job in trying to.

The author has graciously provided this book for an honest review. My thoughts have not been influence by the offer. This is the way I see it.
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on 14 July 2014
J.F. Penn dazzles again in this rollicking thriller. Dr. Morgan Sierra teams with Blake Daniel to stop a group of Neo-Vikings determined to resurrect the power of the Norse gods and bring about a cataclysm. The action is full-tilt from the onset and the reader is left little breathing room as the theft of a mythical staff leads to a series of bloody encounters.

Penn’s prose is evocative as usual, drawing the reader in with a solid sense of setting and attention to detail. Her historical insight and well-laden research also shines through the narrative, providing additional substance to the frenetic pace. Day of the Vikings scores another hit in the ARKANE thriller series, and I look forward to more adventures with Morgan Sierra.
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on 10 October 2015
I am not sure why authors insist on putting the first four words of every chapter in capitals and I have never seen it done in any traditionally published book. The sky is also described as turning from jade to cerulean – green to dark blue; it doesn’t make sense and sounds like someone trying too hard to be clever. Apart from this the book is quite good, if a little bloodthirsty.

The bloodthirsty sacrifice at the beginning mirrors the sacrifice at the end and is the reason for the journey. I liked the fact that ARKANE was explained, even if it was a stretch to make the words fit the acronym. This is important in a continuing series, as not all readers start at the beginning and you can’t assume they have read the other books. There are references to the past and perhaps other books in the series, which gives a feeling of continuity and a roundness of character and experience. The explanation of the Ragnorak and the mythology surrounding it is very well done and a lot of time and research must have gone into this.

The mystical and supernatural element of this book comes from the visions Blake has and is the vehicle for telling the reader the historical background of the staff and how it was used in Viking ceremonies. Although Blake is a man tortured by nightmares we are not told how he copes with them. There is a suggestion that he is single and isolated due to his gift making him a very sympathetic character. Especially compared to the more physical and attacking Morgan whose training was with the military.

Blake’s vision takes them from the British Museum to Lindisfarne where the illuminated manuscripts held by the monks were produced. Finally visions from the manuscript lead them to Iona and the climax of the book.

Personally I found the supernatural elements a little odd, but the book is obviously well researched, logically sequenced with good characters and a satisfying ending.
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on 13 May 2016
It wasn’t until I started to read this novella that I realised it was the fifth part in J.F. Penn’s Arkane series. Not that this matters as it is a standalone story in its own right. I was attracted to it my the mix of Norse mythology, Vikings, and the present day, and it did not disapoint.

Day of the Vikings is a fast-paced, enjoyable romp (the author’s own confession) that made me with think of Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth if with more blood, guts, and gore. Some scenes are not for the faint-hearted, much like Game of Thrones, but none of it is gratuitous with it all having a place in the story.

If anything, my own criticism with Penn’s story is that, with its clever plot, sharp writing, and fast-pace, I actually wanted more … lots more. Ragnarok is a big event in the Viking calendar – the biggest you could say – and this could have an been an epic of a story to match that bigness. As it is, it remains a small, and perfectly – formed story.
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