Best New Fantasy Novel 2012 – Book Review: The Galactic Mage

The Galactic Mage - or
The Galactic Mage - or | Source

The Galactic Mage is the debut novel by long-time satirist and humor writer John Daulton. Frankly, it is a triumph for fantasy fans and sci-fi lovers as it represents something new and interesting to read in genres that could use some fresh air. This is especially true in the wake of so many popular series coming to recent ends (like the Harry Potter series) and others being worn out from replay caused by the absence of enough new and good series to fill the void (like Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica). Readers in both genres looking for something new are in for a treat. The Galactic Mage is both a science fiction work and a fantasy work, and the author has blended the two genres in a way that is believable and compelling, which is why I believe it surely should make anyone’s list for best new fantasy novels in 2012.

Check out: The Galactic Mage video trailer

Avialable for paperback and Kindle at

The Galactic Mage (The Galactic Mage series)
The Galactic Mage (The Galactic Mage series)

Also available on Kindle for only $2.99


Before going further, however, I should, in the name of full disclosure, point out that John Daulton is actually me, and this review is mainly a function of my wish to help people find my fantasy novel from amongst the massive sea of books available on Amazon, Kindle and Nook. There is so much competition out there, one must take matters into one’s own hands these days, which is why I have no compunction about writing my own review—particularly in that I am confessing my sin so readily. That said, this is still a legitimate book review, and as such, it still stands as completely true, and, aside from anything that may be inadvertently bias, the real point is to help spread the word about the story and to do so in keeping with all the essential practices of a modern, search-engine driven selling universe in which brick-and-mortar publishing lies moribund in a roadside ditch waiting only for Amazon to decide it’s time to strike the killing blow.

Analyzing the Best New Fantasy Novel 2012

The basic plot (no worries, no spoiler coming… the video trailer tells this much), is two-fold: the first plot line—the main one, arguably—follows the journey of main character Altin Meade from a planet called Prosperion, while the second plot line follows Ensign Orli Pewter from planet Earth.

Altin Meade’s planet, Prosperion, operates on a parallel to present day Earth but substituting magic for electricity in a way that enables a reader to easily make comparisons. The world is believable and meant to be taken as a reality possible in the universe, underpinned by science that wont’ be disclosed until book three, and I took great care to render it that way. It doesn’t matter why it works if it’s believable. Each reader will have to decide how effective that is in the end, but I promise my effort is not slapdash.

Altin Meade has two primary problems in the story, the first being what is referred to as his being a “Six,” which is a function of the magic of Prosperion. I admit that for some, this concept may be confusing in the early stages of the story, and more than one of my test readers confessed that the illustration at the front titled “The Magic Schools of Prosperion” was useful in helping to figure this out. That said, I think that, even without the illustration, by the time the Six idea is vital to the story, readers will have perfect command of it. I will argue that the experience is made enjoyable by the story’s unwillingness to simply go into long litanies of how magic functions on Prosperion… the type of narrative explanation that is painful in other magic-based works I have read and the reason why I so carefully avoided perpetrating that on my readers.

Altin Meade’s second, and primary, problem is that he attempts to discover the magical techniques that will enable space travel. Frankly, The Galactic Mage has some formative roots in a movie from ten or so years back, October Skies, where a young Jake Gyllenhaal seeks to develop rocketry. While different on pretty much all fronts, there are some parallels that are both amusing and delightful—at least I think so, and I confess to possibly showing bias there, so take that last part for whatever it is worth.

The story’s other primary character, Ensign Orli Pewter of planet Earth, has another problem, and hers is that she’s been on her space ship for more than half her life, brought on board as a child of twelve. Her ship is under attack from aliens who seek to wipe out all of humanity, and who have, in fact, wiped out a race of humans on another world before the story began (you find that out immediately after Orli’s character is introduced, so I’m not spoiling anything… plus it’s in the video, as you may have already seen).

So, without going any further into the plot than to say that Altin’s problem with being a Six works out to something of a curse, because sorcerers with that Six-thing always die. He’s also got a problem because magicians who have tried traveling in space before always die too. Literally all of them, in all of history. All dead. So, there’s a great deal of dying looming for Altin Meade and his goal. For Orli Pewter, the fact that the Hostile aliens are trying to kill all the humans they meet is an equally deadly problem, especially given how good they are at it.

That’s where the story begins.

The Galactic Mage, which I like to think of as the best new fantasy novel of 2012, or that at very least could prove to be the best new fantasy novel of 2012 with some luck and support from fans who will share it on Facebook and do that sort of thing, is a fun mix of two genres that is written for people who like escapist fiction, who enjoy tales of adventure that live in a morally centered universe without being didactic, and who fancy books that have covers with really hot chicks and epic-looking dragons on them.

I hope nobody feels ill-used by this review, as it is honest, and it does have all the right keywords in it to help me on my way to ranking for terms like “The Galactic Mage review” and, of course, the highly valuable term “best new fantasy novel 2012” that I carefully placed in the url and title at the top to help me achieve victory over search engine spiders just as Sam did Shelob in another epic Fantasy tale, that everyone knows, The Lord of the Rings. I must admit to finding it nearly as amusing to put my book in the same context as that great work of fantasy, while, in truth, merely at this point working the SEO system entirely in this whole paragraph. My few friends who fancy that sort of enterprise are either laughing now or will scroll up a few lines and begin to. Yet, I, unlike most evil SEO manipulators, am not being deceitful at all. In fact, you see into my very heart as you read this, knowing well the implications of why I am doing this, and, hopefully, you can grin with me as I, the proverbial little guy, try to game the big-boys at Google and the rest, into raising this book review to the top of any search looking for fantasy and science fiction books to read.

Please go watch my book video if you haven’t yet. Buy my book if it sounds good. Write a review on Amazon if you like it.


The Galactic Mage (The Galactic Mage series)
The Galactic Mage (The Galactic Mage series)

Also available for Kindle e-book. Only $2.99


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Comments 28 comments

Shanna11 profile image

Shanna11 5 years ago from Utah

I ordered a copy and will enjoy it with a fiber one bar and a smoothie.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

COngratulation...I think many people will love to read this novel. Thanks for share with us. Success for you!


emichael profile image

emichael 5 years ago from New Orleans

Congratulations, shades. Quite an accomplishment. I'll be checking it out very soon. And the art is fantastic, by the way.

wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 5 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

Congratulations, Shadesbreath. I'm very proud of you. The book sounds thrilling. I read the other review at Girlie Geek Blog. Like the 'Geek' I don't usually read very much star-hopping science fiction or fantasy -- but the two genres blended together...! That may be something that can pull me in.

The fantasy part of the story keeps the story from getting dry and too minutely technical. And the 'science' fiction aspect might keep the story from getting too 'flighty,' if you will. Yes, a good combination!

Anyway, let me just wrap up by suggesting an additional resource for you, if I may and if you're not already familiar with it.

There is a weekly radio program you might enjoy. It's called 'Hour of the Wolf,' hosted by Jim Freund. The hour and a half weekly show is devoted to science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction. The show is all about writers and their work. Writers come on and talk about their projects and sometimes give readings of their work on the air: short stories and novel excerpts.

This week's show was especially interesting. The show featured a writer who read his short story called "Number 35," a historical fantasy/horror tale set in the late 1800s, at the height of the so-called 'Gold Rush,' in the western United State. The baddies are a pack of undeadish creatures who are either Zombies/vampires, or neither or both.... Anyway, one of the reviewers said it reminded her, a little, of Stephen King's Gunslinger's series.

Anyway, after he read his story, it was critiqued by a 'writers group,' calling themselves "Altered Fluid." They went around the table and gave their review (by the way, this was the author's first draft): criticisms, likes, dislikes, questions, concerns, suggestions for improvement, what worked and didn't work, etc.

The goal is to help the writer create a better piece of art.

Anyhoo.... the show, Hour of the Wolf, is on 99.5 FM, where I live, but I don't know what station it would be on where you are, or if it would even be on the radio there. Fear not. That's what the Internet's for, right?

Just go to and you can go to the show's archives to hear past episodes, etc.

Congratulations again, on the dazzling premiere, John.

Take it easy.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Shanna, I laughed twice at that comment: once when I saw it this morning but didn't have time to comment, and just now when I saw it again. Your wit is going to serve you well, and perhaps, should you make a career of it, may serve you a living.

Prasetio, thank you. I hope people will give it a chance. I appreciate your taking the time to read my hub on it and leave a comment. Peace.

Emichael, thanks. I have to admit, I'm pretty proud of the artwork. It didn't come cheap, but the artist (Cris Ortega) is f-ing fantastic, and worth every penny. I can't even find words for how pleased I was with the final product. And Mike at who made the video made hay with it too. Seems like it was a good investment. We'll see long term I guess. :)

Wingedcentaur, it's always so nice to see you. Your very presence always reminds me how much reading I have yet to do. I love that about you. That radio show sounds great. I'll have to go check out their website. I bet they stream on the net or at least have podcasts. Even if I'm not brave enough to subject myself to such things on a draft of book two, I'm sure I can learn from the criticism the featured guests receive. Thanks for the well wishes too. If you get around to the book, I think you, of all people, might see the seeds of what I'm doing with the series. :D

capricornrising profile image

capricornrising 5 years ago from Wilmington, NC

Hey SB - you didn't happen to put an excerpt somewhere online, didya? This is usually what hooks me - could be a good marketing tool.

How exciting to be published - I bet the novel is terrific (because you wrote it).

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

So far, it is terrific! I'm about a quarter of the way through. I wish I understood more about why Atlin needs to go into space. He lives in a perfectly good castle.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India

I'm halfway through - and all I have to say is - it's unputdownable!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

It's interesting you should ask that, Cat. I have been wondering what I would excerpt. How do you pick something without giving stuff away, but also that has the kind of compelling action in it people will like. You can't just start anywhere or people won't know what's happening. It's an interesting task that I've never had before, nor did anyone cover it over the course of two English degrees. Go figure.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

@ Austinstar: I expect even a cool castle like Calico would become old hat after living there long enough. Someday, I want one though, so I'm with you!

@ Shalini: - and all I have to say is - there's literally nothing a writer would rather hear than that. :D

Woody Marx profile image

Woody Marx 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Great to hear an author speak out for his/her own work and this looks like an appealing book for fantasy enthusiasts of all kinds.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi Woody. Thanks for saying so. Let's hope it works out that way long term.

capricornrising profile image

capricornrising 5 years ago from Wilmington, NC

You're absolutely right about the dilemma. I don't look for anything but how engaging the author's writing style is, so I read the very first page. If I turn the page, I know I'm hooked. Others will want more plot/action sort of elements in an excerpt.

By the way, I tweeted the hub. :-)

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Sweet, thank you for the tweet. And, I suppose I should find something stylish and excerpt it. Still, tough to pick. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, as they say.

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

excerpt the part about the dragon. It's always cool to talk about dragons!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

I love dragons too. lol. I thought about that. My editor told me after she went through it that she was going to name her next dog "Taot." :D

Underwater Jones 5 years ago

FYI, on Amazon, you can read the first page or three. As George Bush (ala Dana Carvey) said "Not Goin' ta do it" My copy(s) arrive today, and I am not going to spoil it.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

I hope you enjoy it. :)

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 5 years ago from California

Very cool write!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Thank you for stopping in, reading, and saying something nice at the end. :D

arusho profile image

arusho 4 years ago from University Place, Wa.

I love your SEO work in this hub. Your book looks really good, I will be ordering it for my Nook soon!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

Hey, see, my SEO is already working on you then! It's like magic. :)

Don Simkovich profile image

Don Simkovich 4 years ago from Pasadena, CA

This is great. A bit of self-promotion, but I like it! Sci-fi and related genres have never been to my liking. However, I've written some fiction -- under a different name, too -- and my thoughts for new stories seem to drift toward sci-fi/fantasy. I'll put this on my TBR list and glad to see you published. Congrats.

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

That's cool, Don. If you get to it, cool, if not, I get it. I have so much stuff I want to read; it's overwhelming just to think of it, so, you know. I get it. Thanks for reading this though, and commenting. And if you do get to my story, for what it's worth, it's my attempt to bring a different maturity and morality to it, more modern and contemporary. So, you might be pleasantly surprised. :)

Morgan F profile image

Morgan F 4 years ago from USA

Congratulations on your success Shadesbreath I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

I'll be honest, I can't wait till you get your hands on a copy either. :)

WritingPrompts profile image

WritingPrompts 4 years ago from The Garden of Eugene (Oregon)

Love the cover - and the concept. Got a kindle copy and shared it on Facebook. Hope it's as good as it looks!

Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California Author

I hope you like it too, WP. Thanks for picking it up, for the share, and for commenting here too. :)

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