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Edge of the Breach (Rift Cycle Book 1) by [Halo Scot]

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Edge of the Breach (Rift Cycle Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 115 ratings

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B082MR74M1
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 752 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 382 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115 ratings

About the author

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NEWSLETTER: haloscot.com/news

WEBSITE: haloscot.com

SOCIAL: @halo_scot (Twitter/Instagram)

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Halo Scot is the author of the Rift Cycle: a grimdark, science-fantasy series with psychological horror, mental illness, and LGBTQ+ themes. As a murderer of characters and destroyer of (fantasy) worlds, Halo spends too much time scheming and not enough time adulting.

Halo has been featured in Publishers Weekly’s Indie Spotlight and, as a founding member of QueerIndie.com, in Pop Pride Week, an event hosted by ReedPop, BookCon, and New York Comic Con. Further antics are available on HaloScot.com.

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A LETTER FROM THE AUTHOR:

Hey there,

I’m Halo, a Renaissance soul. I bushwhack my way through life—no highways for me. I have been a student, a teacher, a musician, a photographer, a coder, and now, an author. It took some time to find my direction, but each experience enabled me and pushed me closer to the truth.

I write about the dark, about the taboo and the unorthodox. A few years back, when the urge to write became too desperate to ignore, I found the pen a lifeline and the words a lighthouse.

Writing is therapy for me, a pressure relief valve for emotions, for the inevitable existential crisis that comes with personal growth. Writing orders my thoughts as I explore my darkest fears, my deepest desires, through fantasy. Writing unveils truth. The stories are an outlet, a voice, for our subconscious. We admit to the page what we are not ready to admit to ourselves, and then the page becomes a mirror.

Thank you for reading, and welcome to the breach.

Halo Scot

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
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Top reviews from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 2 November 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is going to get intense. Buddy up and pick a safe word. Shall we?
By Riv Rains on 2 November 2021
Kyder is a psychopath. Did I dust that with enough sugar? I can thicken it a little; he's the vigilante of a broken world, bent on destroying weakness and himself. Better? Also, in Halo Scot's Edge Of The Breach—you're him. Ready for that? I probably wasn't.

"Progeny of rape. Heir to violence. Drunk with power. Forged from fire. The sun-made child. Sometimes, I wish to be ordinary. It would be easier if I was normal. Easier, but far less fun." – Kyder, Edge Of The Breach

Welcome to The Breach—a dystopian dark fantasy licking blood from the walls of humanity. Two main characters; two alternating first person points of view. Two very different coming of age stories and a narrative so thick with talent my jaw hurts from chewing it.

"I feel pain. Only pain. It washes away the rest — the depression and the anxiety, the tics and the obsessions, the dark and the light — until I am gray as the land baptized in moonlight." – Kyder, Edge Of The Breach

Kyder, Kyder, Kyder. He gives readers everything. Surging empathy, staggering up-chuck reflex, that sly smile we save in a secret box just for him when he’s charming. It’s all a dance to him. Life’s pains and pleasures—one and the same—literally. This is a great place to discuss trigger warnings, though to be honest, I can’t really think of one that ISN’T included. That might seem troubling, but Scot is the master of making the grimdark palatable—turning gore, gore-geous. Torture, self harm, fear, filthy sex. It’s all there in spades. Hell, don’t bring a spade, you’ll need a damn snow plough!

“The restraints I impose on myself are much more difficult to overcome than the restraints imposed on me by others.” – Rune, Edge Of The Breach

Rune, Rune, Rune! Our quivering heartache. The pure soul, beaten until it shines. This is our other point of view and essentially the essence of humanity so devoid from Kyder. Rune is the reason we can withstand his calculated malice, which Scot knows; switching from one to the other seamlessly, chapter for chapter. She measures just how much staggering brutality we can stomach, then throws open a window to let us breathe with Rune. This clever technique also happens to be the exact reason every reader struggles to set this book down. Each switch is a wrenching, pacing brilliance that left my pillow empty and tea cold. *Shakes fist at Scot*

There’s nothing socially acceptable here, but that’s precisely the point. Scot has written a purge on humanity. Every fear, desire, thirst, disgust—she’s flayed them all raw. Brutal, abrupt descriptions that hang your jaw in awe. As a writer myself, I was constantly stunned by her courage. Page after page of commentary reflecting our own flawed society, blindly determined to go to war with its own tail. She gives me hope; that this industry isn’t going to stamp out its own creative voice. That maybe, just maybe, indie authors of this caliber can save us all from the fetters. So we should all hope.

“Struggle is what makes us grow, but most of us don’t want to grow. We want to shrink back to when there were no questions, concerns, stakes, or responsibilities. We want to shrink back to when we couldn’t f*#k everything up.” – Kyder, Edge Of The Breach (Censored for Amazon by Riv Rains)

If you're not a writer? Edge Of The Breach gives so many a box to stand on. Normalising diversity in sexuality, in race, in torture—wait—let’s not normalise torture just yet! Poo then; she normalises poo. (Is it messed up that I found the poo references almost the hardest to read? Not the torture, the POO! What does that say about me?) She lays out mental illness like a red writhing carpet, takes charge of our perceptions of self harm, neurodiversity, abusive relationships, and our slow supplication to corruption. She sees it, she deals it. If she's feeling generous, she’ll spit on her hand first.

What does this all mean for a reader? One vicious book-hangover. Scenes displayed so vividly, they won’t leave you be. The sense that you have learned more about the depths of humanity than you ever signed up for. That everyone should lose their virginity like that. An irresistible urge to preorder the second book. Too much quivering anticipation to open said second book. The knowledge that you have inadvertently stumbled upon literary brilliance in the pages of a queer, poo filled, indie, torturous, dystopian horror, and that you cannot wait to subject your friends to.

“Oh, shut up, and allow me this morsel of sentimentality. I gave you your blood, your sex, and your poop jokes. Give me this one shred of optimism.” – Rune, Edge Of The Breach

We will, Rune. We will.

Until next time,

Riv ♡
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Reviewed in Australia on 8 March 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Darkness is this novel’s ally!
By A.J. Trevors on 8 March 2020
Rating: 5/5

Post-apocalyptic taken to the darkest and goriest heights imaginable. A dark fantasy nerds dream. A hellish nightmare in between the covers. At the time of writing, ‘Edge of the Breach’ by Halo Scot has scored a nearly perfect score of five out of five from fourteen seperate reviews. That number jumps to fifteen as I add my own five stars to this novel, a brilliant addition to the dark fantasy genre and one which I would highly recommend everyone who are fans of said genre.

** Spoilers Ahead! **

1. Dark Gets Even Darker

I’ve been a fan of dark fantasy ever since getting my first taste of it, reading the ‘Night Angel’ trilogy by Brent Weeks. There’s something about the genre that just feels very real, in terms of the roadblocks and personality issues faced by the characters, the protagonist arc which are usually bloody and heartbreaking (just like many of life’s own hurdles), and a villain who not only does not have the moral compunction not to kill you but their actions are motivated by goals that you, as a reader, could understand.

The gorier it is, the darker it gets, the more the novel mirrors the nature of real life, the more I love the novel.

The same could be said for ‘Edge of the Breach’, except that Halo takes the dark premise and scales it up by 100 levels. Both of the protagonists suffer through a combination of unfortunate events, fueled by their own uncontrollable and, sometimes morbid, passions which culminate in them wading through a pool of blood, as they head towards the edge of the breach (see what I did there?). This is the darkest novel, not just in terms of the gore but the way that Zawad society is depicted, the way people live and interact, ambitions, dreams, hopes and fears. It’s a novel that will get you at every turn and leaves you with just enough of a blood trail that you’ll sniff it all the way to the very satisfying conclusion.

2. Mythical Yet Rooted World

Dark fantasy is two words but it must always be about the ‘fantasy’ aspect first before the ‘dark’ can add just a little more spice to it.

To this end, Halo has done a spectacular job. The post-apocalyptic world, depicted by the sprawling city of Zawad, feels alive, full of dangers, dreams and dastardly plans to undermine everyone in the race to the top. It feels real, and even the introduction of magical powers does not dim this rooted realism. Magic systems, especially deep ones, are a difficult act to carry out but Halo has done a great job explaining the magic system, who can use what types of magics, how this is determine and the power levels of each character in a clear and concise way.

The powers are believable, the world is full of danger and the accompanying dark atmosphere on top of everything just adds a zing of tension and anticipation of the reader at every turn of the page.

3. Twisted Journey Through The Human Psyche

What I appreciated the most, however, was not the realistic magical world or how dark the novel started to become as you continued to turn the pages, but it was the tragic stories of the two young protagonists, Julian Kyder and Sira Rune. It was a fascinating study to find two people, who couldn’t have been born in more different circumstances and in different environments, to find themselves together and, essentially, being the mirrors to each other’s soul.

Kyder and Rune go through some tough times in this novel, parts of it making me pity and wary of them at the same time. Despite both having it rough, the way that it changes them are starkly different, which is similar to what happens in real life as everyone is different and everyone would respond differently to similar stimuli. For Kyder, the answer was violence whilst, for Rune, the answer was compassion. They were distinctly different and, yet, remained as the half to the other, much like heads and tails on the same spinning coin.

Their psyche warps, changes and solidifies as the novel wears on. The relationship between the two acts as a catalyst for that change, whilst events around them do shape who they are, it is their interactions with each other that really grabbed my attention and it will certainly grab yours as Halo develops their relationship to a believable and satisfying cliff hanger, one which leaves me gasping for air and excited to read the next book in the series.
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