Star Song
Shadowpaw Press / 9 November 2021

Star Songby Edward WillettPublished by Shadowpaw PressReview by Amanda Zimmerman$24.95 ISBN 978-1-989398-03-6 In the same vein as his Worldshapers series, Regina author Edward Willett weaves a standalone sci-fi fantasy tale for young adult readers that is sure to captivate from the very first chapter. Worldhugger Kriss Lemarc has never fit in on the planet he’s grown up on, his appearance setting him apart from the native born villagers. His precarious place in the community is further unsettled when his caretaker and only family is brutally attacked and her house burned. Kriss has only a strange kind of emotion-expressing instrument called a touchlyre to his name- a musical oddity gifted from his father that he promised never to reveal. What secrets from the past does it hold? Summoning his courage, Kriss walks the days-long journey to report Mella’s murder in the city. Upon his arrival and through a few misadventures, the teen begins to realize just how impossible his dream of leaving the planet for the stars really is. There are only two ways to travel and both are closed to him based on his funds, education, and connections. He’s desperate though, so he breaks his promise and uses the touchlyre…

Right to Know
Shadowpaw Press / 2 September 2021

Right to Knowby Edward WillettPublished by Shadowpaw PressReview by Allison Kydd$19.95 ISBN 9781989398227 If some associate prolific Saskatchewan author Edward Willett, also creator of The Worldshapers podcast, primarily with his award-winning young adult fantasy, Right to Know*proves that he also understands adult audiences. His characters have an appealing complexity, and readers can’t help but be drawn into the moral dilemma that faces the protagonist in this exciting tale. Thirty-two-year-old Art Stoddard is part of the aristocracy on the starship Mayflower II. Born and raised on board, he’s a media personality and an “approved reproduction partner.” Therefore, he has been spoiled by women as well as by the glory that comes from his father’s status as a Councillor and one of the Originals. They were the ones who escaped from Earth and established a new world in space, the only world Stoddard the younger has ever known. Art Stoddard, however, is floating through life as well as well as through space. He’s still living with his parents, working at a prestigious job that asks very little of him, drinking and carousing too much, but getting away with it. Yet things are about to change, and he may just discover powers he…

Blue Fire
Shadowpaw Press / 2 June 2021

Blue Fireby E.C. BlakePublished by Shadowpaw PressReview by Marlin Legare$C24.95 ISBN 9781989398197 Blue Fire by E.C. Blake is a Young Adult fantasy adventure that is not only sure to impress the young literature fans in your household but also a fun read for all ages. Published by ShadowPaw Press, Blue Fire follows the escapes of Petra, a young Priest-Apprentice; Amelinn, a Free-Folk youth and dancer; and Jin, a young scholar of the Nightkin people. The factions of these teenagers in Blake’s impressively crafted world have been at odds for centuries over a divine battle of warring gods known as the War of the Twelve Gods, a great battle that took place in the land of Nevyana in which twelve gods fought for glory and territory. Only three of these gods survived: Vekrin, Errica, and Ell. These gods agreed to cease interference in the lives of mortals, opting to instead bestow upon their respective followers divine gifts. Vekrin of the Earth and Errica of the Sun gave to their followers the titular gift of Blue Fire, a powerful force for humans to wield as a means of weaponry and defence. Meanwhile, the followers of Ell of the Moon received the ability…

Paddling Northern Saskatchewan

Paddling Northern Saskatchewan: A Guide to 80 Canoe Routesby Ric DriedigerPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Toby A. Welch$34.95 ISBN 9781988783581 Oh, how I wish I had this book when I bought my first canoe back in 1995! At that time, there was nowhere to find such a comprehensive all-in-one resource for paddling destinations. Canoeists who pick up a copy of Paddling Northern Saskatchewan will find it invaluable.  This book contains the ‘characters’ of 80 different rivers, canoe routes, and areas in Northern Saskatchewan. In this instance, ‘character’ means the experience of canoeing the route. This is a departure from most guidebooks that just share route details. The downside of the latter approach is that those details can be altered drastically with one swoop from Mother Nature. Before the book delves into the 80 canoe routes, Driediger covers the geological regions of Northern Saskatchewan, each of which offers a unique paddling experience. We also get a list of the canoe routes in the nine regions: Southern Boreal, Athabasca Basin, Cree Lake, Clearwater River, Precambrian Shield, Fond du Lac, Northern Shield, Athabasca Sand Dunes, and North of Lake Athabasca. As Driediger explains the characters of the routes, he lists the…

One Lucky Devil
Shadowpaw Press / 9 January 2019

One Lucky Devil: The First World War Memoirs of Sampson J. Goodfellow Edited by Edward Willett Published by Shadowpaw Press Review by Keith Foster $19.95 ISBN 978-1-9993827-6-6 One Lucky Devil: The First World War Memoirs of Sampson J. Goodfellow, edited by Edward Willett, details the incredible wartime experiences of a remarkable man. Sampson Goodfellow seemed to have nine lives, but there was more than just blind luck involved. Born in Scotland, he immigrated to Toronto, then moved to Regina in 1911, working as a machinist. The next year he witnessed a cyclone barrelling through the city. “I watched it coming from the south,” he wrote, “and saw the houses on Cornwall Street tumbling down, one after the other.” Goodfellow enlisted in the Canadian Army when World War I broke out and, because of his mechanical skill, was assigned as a driver. At Passchendaele, German planes bombed troops unloading shells from his truck. Shrapnel smashed through the back seat where he’d been sitting just moments before. Goodfellow transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, renamed the Royal Air Force in April 1918, as a navigator. Understanding aviation concepts better than his instructors, he wound up teaching a course. He survived several crashes…

Paths to the Stars
Shadowpaw Press / 19 October 2018

Paths to the Stars: Twenty-Two Fantastical Tales of Imagination by Edward Willett Published by Shadowpaw Press Reviewed by Toby A. Welch $19.95 ISBN 978-1-9993827-0-4 In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve read Willett’s work before. I’ve enjoyed every novel of his that I’ve consumed and hoped that his latest work would reach the same high bar. It didn’t – it hurdled right over that bar and left it hanging. This collection of twenty-two short stories spans Regina-based Willett’s career. Some of the stories were written as far back as the 1980s while others are from this century. I assumed I’d be able to detect which tales are his earlier works but I was wrong; all of the stories are expertly written. The only indicator of when Willett penned the stories was the blurb at the start of each one. It’s a requirement of mine for science fiction works to push the boundaries of imagination. And Willett didn’t disappoint. Who else would’ve thought to create a slug that sings (“A Little Space Music”) or a hibernation induction trigger that can put a human to sleep for seventy-two hours (“The Strange One”)? The readers are the ones who benefit from Willett’s willingness…