Stone and a Hard Place

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A viral Kindle Stone and a Hard Place published It s hard enough for Alastair Stone to keep his two lives powerful mage and mundane Occult Studies professor separate without an old friend asking

A viral Kindle Stone and a Hard Place published 2020 It s hard enough for Alastair Stone to keep his two lives powerful mage and mundane Occult Studies professor separate without an old friend asking him to take on a new apprentice Especially after a university colleague wants him to investigate a massive old house for things that go bump in the night Still, Stone figures it s an easy job just turn up, put on a little shoIt s hard enough for Alastair Stone to keep his two lives powerful mage and mundane Occult Studies professor separate without an old friend asking him to take on a new apprentice Especially after a university colleague wants him to investigate a massive old house for things that go bump in the night Still, Stone figures it s an easy job just turn up, put on a little show, and announce that the house is clean.Only it isn t A malevolent spirit is reawakening in the basement, imprisoned between dimensions and intent on escape If it succeeds, countless people will die Worse, a trio of dark mages want to help it break free so they can control it for their own sinister purposes They ll do whatever it takes including seducing Stone s young apprentice and using him against his master to get what they re after.With time running out, Stone has to stay alive long enough to uncover the spirit s secrets But even if he does, he fears that his own power won t be enough to send it back.. The best Books Stone and a Hard Place Professor Alistair Stone is a powerful mage, teaching occult studies to mundane (non magical folk) students. When he takes on Ethan, a young mage, as a favour to one of his mage colleagues and friends, Dr Stone embarks on a journey of self discovery as much as Ethan. The character of Alistair Stone was reasonable, I liked his personality and methodical approach to teaching. He was suitably eccentric enough to keep things interesting, but stable enough to appear reliable.Ethan is a completely different matter. Ethan is meant to be 18, but the way he conducts himself, especially in relation to women is more fitting for a 15 or 16 year old boy. Bordering on TSTL (Too Stupid To Live), his character was so flimsy he almost doubled as a tool the real characters used to advance the plot. All his internal debating with himself over what to tell Dr Stone and what not to was quite boring and rather immature and annoying.The start of the story spent a lot time introducing the world and magic rules. It was done by way of educating Ethan, but it allowed for the reader to get a solid understanding. It felt a little longer and a little slower than I'd have liked, but I could see it served a purpose. The ending of the story was a completely different matter all together. The story was like rolling a giant boulder up a slight incline, only to have it reach the apex of the hill and then have it leave you behind as it roared down the decline on the otherside. The ending scenes were fast, almost too fast, and considering the light style of writing, quite dark and sinister. The ending left me feeling like it was more of an anti-climax than a climax. The unanswered plot threads left to dangle in the smoke and haze, intending to lure you onto reading the next book. While the main story plot was completed, these smaller threads were left unanswered, almost like a tiny little hook. Daring the reader to take a bite out of book #2. The story was interesting and engaging, the writing style mostly light and extremely easy to read. R.L. has a solid grasp on good English and uses those skills to keep the reader interested in the story. If you'd like to try an urban fantasy story with some sinister dark elements, give this book a try. I will be reading book #2 at some point in the future for sure.**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of the book in return for an honest review**

About Author

  • R.L.King Post author

    R L King is the author of the bestselling urban fantasy series The Alastair Stone Chronicles When not doing her best to make life difficult for her characters, she works as a software technical writer for a large Silicon Valley database company.She also freelances for Catalyst Game Labs, publisher of the popular roleplaying game Shadowrun, where she s contributed fiction and game material to numerous sourcebooks and one full length adventure, On the Run, which was included as part of the 2012 Origins Award winning Runners Toolkit Her first novel in the Shadowrun universe, Borrowed Time, was published in Spring 2015 She s working on her second Shadowrun novel, Veiled Extraction, which will be released in late 2016 or early 2017.When not writing or working, she enjoys hanging out with her very understanding spouse and her small herd of cats, and watching way too much Doctor Who.

One thought on “Stone and a Hard Place

  • Professor Alistair Stone is a powerful mage, teaching occult studies to mundane non magical folk students When he takes on Ethan, a young mage, as a favour to one of his mage colleagues and friends, Dr Stone embarks on a journey of self discovery as much as Ethan The character of Alistair Stone was reasonable, I liked his personality and methodical approach to teaching He was suitably eccentric enough to keep things interesting, but stable enough to appear reliable.Ethan is a completely differen [...]


  • This book is awful I bought it because it was only 2 on and I want a refund If you re looking for a cool new urban fantasy world to explore with an intriguing magic system then you won t find it here The magic is bland and vague, Imagine this complex symbol i drew on a chalkboard then put your will into it You ll need to practice to build up your magic strength, is about as indepth as it goes, despite the main character taking on an apprentice, a trope that is generally used to explain how magic [...]



  • King has written a quality book here, one worthy of any publisher, and it deserves to do well Those who like urban fantasy will probably enjoy it because it delivers everything one comes to expect from the genre.Dr Alastair Stone is an Occult Studies professor and, unknown to the mundane world, also a powerful mage He s a little out of practice with combat skills as one rarely needs them in modern times, but when he discovers an unknown demonic force trapped in the basement of an old woman s man [...]


  • Rounding up from 2.5 stars somewhere between was ok and liked it Harry Dresden was my intro to Urban Fantasy and this was no Dresden Lately have been looking for filler until the next Dresden novel so I gave this a try The main character, Alastair Stone, was an interesting character who I hope develops in future books His apprentice, Ethan, I really disliked Too dependent and just did not fit into the story well The story itself was a good intro to a new series and I am starting the next right [...]


  • Stone and a Hard Place Alastair Stone Chronicles, Book One by R.L KingFirst, let me say that I received this book free for my Kindle, not from , but from the author through a service called, I think BookFunnel It seemed an interesting idea, and the author was also offering a novella in the series free with it Never one to turn down a deal, I jumped at both the opportunity to get a free book and novella and the opportunity to learn a new way to load books onto my Kindle I will admit to having som [...]


  • Finishing this book was drudgery than enjoyment Ethan was just too stupid and weak of a character Stone isn t much better driven by his tentative addiction to puzzle solving and fondness for little old ladies I didn t like the ending If only someone in this story was competent, strong or insightful it would have been better for me Still, others might like this story , unless you ve read Jim Butcher, whose Dresden character totally rocks unlike Stone.


  • A fun Harry Dresdenesque first An engaging urban fantasy hero in the making Try to ignore the repeated use of the contraction p raps , which I assume is there to remind us the character is British a mage Mary Poppins P raps guv.


  • Very difficult to finish It was a struggle and aggravating.I stuck with it, hoping it would get better I will not be getting any of the others in the series.The characters were annoying and weak and predictable Wasn t impressed


  • Alternate Title Hormonal Teenager Fucks Everything UpOk, to be fair, this book is not bad It hits all the right notes of your typical Urban Fantasy book and what it does, it accomplishes okay There s nothing overly creative about the universe R.L King is trying to create, although I have to wonder if the magic system was cribbed wholesale from Star Wars Seriously, White Magic Black Magic is described almost word for word like Light Dark side force powers work.The story itself is your typical hau [...]


  • Not actually finished the book yet and my review will likely go up The story is giving me such a strong feeling at the moment that I need to share it.Oooooh my fucking god if Ethan doesn t die my rating probably won t go up much I m not a bully Got picked on plenty myself But I HATE this character Thank you I just had to share that.Edit Alright I ve finished the book And honestly I would have rated it a solid three stars Where I put most of the books I enjoy But i truly did hate the Ethan charac [...]


  • I had the same problem with this book as some other reviewers had The magic action is mediocre and the magic description is pathetic The premise of the magic as white and black and gray and defensive and offensive pertaining to how the mages gather and use energy to make magic is a plot device that limits the good guys magic but not the bad guys Also, because the books were published in recent years I don t understand why none of the characters used modern technology such as cell phones except t [...]


  • I downloaded this book about a year ago on the recommendations of a friend I was reading other books at the time, so did not get to it right away Actually, it was about 9 10 months later When I did finally pick it up started reading, I was immediately hooked I loved the characters, the story, and how the author pulls you down the paths in search of answers This first book has to do with Alastair taking on his first apprentice, though it was not something he was thrilled about doing, and about a [...]


  • I m not sure if this was King s first novel but am sure it was very early in her career It was a decent enough book for being one of, it not, her first But that shows in rather one dimensional characters and a simplistic story with a rather canned urban fantasy type story I did enjoy it and the story was reasonable if not wonderful Some of the things that troubled me were the characterizations and how Stone was a very experienced mage yet had trouble with much less experienced mages He just seem [...]


  • I bought this on a whim because I do miss Dresden and I love Potter, two book series this was compared to First off, there is no Potter here so move along if you are looking for that Second, not really any Dresden either There is a Prof of Occult studies who is a mage and a young apprentice, read young man, not Harry s age when he started Slow moving, not high caliber writing but it held my interest Ends abruptly I feel that the characters could have been special if they were developed Another [...]


  • DNF 2 3 through, I realized that I didn t care much about the characters The main character Stone is a Stanford prof in occult studies as well as a practicing magician He is convinced to take on an apprentice, who starts to fall in with the same group of 3 mages who are giving Stone trouble in his investigations of a haunted mansion.This is pretty standard urban fantasy, Stone s mental dialogue is simple and repetitive, and in the middle of what should have been a tense and climactic scene, I wa [...]


  • I bought this book based on ad ad I saw on Facebook stating that if you liked the Dresden Files, you would like this book while it is not quite up to par with the Desden files, it is a fun and entertaining book In this first book, you start to get to know the main character Alastair Stone, but the rest of the supporting characters don t really develop until the next book It is a great series for some light and entertaining reading.


  • I was looking for easy reading and entertainment, and that s what I got from this book I ve started the second one, and I m hoping the characters and writing will develop as we go along This is somewhere between YA and adult fiction, and the characters are pretty one dimensional Even though it s mentioned several times that Stone is British, nothing in his dialogue makes me believe that.


  • I will admit to be pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book Dr Stone is a fine character and the mechanics of magic, as explained, are well done without being trite or overdone in anyway.


  • Now that is a wonderful, awesome, exciting book Judge for yourself Not everyone likes hates the same books, and I like this one bunches You re not going to read this to learn magic or even theory It Is a Fun read I, for one, can t wait for the next one to hit audio






  • 3.5 stars Very slow pacing and I still don t feel like I know enough to emotionally invest in these characters, but I m willing to at least give the next book a try.One note Stone is alarmingly defenseless for a modern mage.Edit 11 13 2017 I tried the second book, THE FORGOTTEN Pacing s still painfully slow for me.


  • Stone and a Hard Place by R L King Narrated by Kevin R Czarnecki Not bad but mostly predictable Alastair Stone is an Occult studies professor and Mage As the book opens he s asked by a fellow mage to take on a young mage named Ethan as an apprentice, which of course he s reluctant to do, already struggling to keep his magic life and his professor life separate, but of course he does it anyway Overall, I d say this book is a C plus, or maybe even a low B Stone s character while a bit shallow driv [...]


  • Author does not mess aroundI m a sucker for rough around the edges wizards and mages I enjoyed this book I wasn t expecting that plot twist I was just like wow so we re gonna do that first book I d definetly suggest this book to a friend The story and world was built up enough that I m definetly curious to see where this goes.


  • This book really fell flat It had a lot of potential, but it really didn t flush out a full and rich story The characters are poorly described, nearly no descriptions of anyone beyond short fat sexual That s the kind of stuff you expect to find in first year creative writing classes, not novels I wasn t impressed.The reason I gave it 3 stars, is because it was intriguing enough of a premise, that I followed through and finished it If you can get this book on a 99 cent shelf or in the dollar bin, [...]


  • Stone and a Hard Place is a story of magic, academia, and a demon for good measure Alastair Stone has a quiet job teaching Occult Studies, to classes mostly composed of would be horror authors Unlike his colleagues, Alastair actually knows what he s talking about he s a mage It s a fact he goes to some lengths to keep hidden, and he s got pretty good at his cover However, a late night call from an old friend lands him with something he d never seriously contemplated having an apprentice After th [...]


  • I ve made it a third of the way through, and I just give up Nothing has happened, the characters are bland, and the only indication that there s a plot is that there s an amorphous evil something somewhere Good guys have used magic to levitate a coin Bad guys have used magic to break a water pipe and flood an apartment for no reason The Big Bad has made an elderly lady uneasy and one guy momentarily dizzy That s about it Which would be fine if there were indications of bigger things coming but t [...]


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