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5++ stars for Crystal Moth Conspiracy (Ash Born Book One) by Konn Lavery #darkfantasy #bookreview



Title: Crystal Moth Conspiracy (Ash Born Book One)

Author: Konn Lavery

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Thriller


Book Blurb:


● GOLD Medal in Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards 2023 Fantasy/Contemporary Category ● BRONZE Medal in The Global Book Awards 2023 Magical Realism Category ● FINALIST in the Readers' Favorite 2023 Supernatural Category


Fugitive Lola Cabello is hellbent on avenging her mother's death.

She descends into an escalating scheme of reptilian drug lords, led by the fallen angel Mastema, after withholding evidence from the police. The notorious Crystal Moths are responsible for murdering her loved ones. She needs retribution and allies with the last nymph, Synarion, who is responsible for balancing Mother Nature. Their allegiance is tested due to their differences, is he friend or foe? Lead Detective Iglesias closes in on Lola. His case is jeopardized for he may be the last clean cop all while attempting to be a good single father. Lola’s vigilante methods unravel the secrets of the Crystal Moth’s new drug, ash. This forces the gangsters to send their fiercest assassin, Scalebane, to silence her. The power of ash endangers Lola’s wellbeing and threatens to expose the last of a forgotten world filled with demons, vampires, talking plants, and the fantastic. They control the media. Detective Iglesias is closing in. Lola is not prepared for this rabbit hole. Praise for Crystal Moth Conspiracy The Crystal Moth Conspiracy is a tight, quick-paced, and deeply developed tale with plenty of twists to keep you guessing.” ★★★★★ Author Chris Patrick Carolan, Goodreads “…unique world building, fast pace, and a flawed-yet-captivating protagonist, prepare to be engrossed.” ★★★★★ Author Taija Morgan, BookBub "Loving it so far and how it sucks me away from reality. Also love how it takes place in Canada." ★★★★★ Reader Natasha Quantz, Goodreads


My Review:


Crystal Moth Conspiracy by Konn Lavery is the first book in the Ash Born series. I absolutely loved this paranormal page-turner. I was glued to my Kindle because I had to know what happened next to the colorful cast of characters. Reading this book is like binging Narcos on Netflix, mixed with the vibes of The 5th Element movie and dusted with paranormal creatures. There is something to love for everyone.


The construction of this book is a three-thread plot with three distinct heroes, separated into acts (designated with foreshadowing artwork.) One of the underlying themes of this book is the disparagement between what happens and what the public is led to believe, which is masterfully shown by the television broadcast’s slant of the events at the start of each act. The way the three threads are woven together into the ‘big showdown’ at the end is unpredictable and a delight for those who love action flicks or thrillers.


We are first introduced to Lola Cabello, the journalism student and our heroine. She’s a plucky upstart like most females in film noir movies of the 1950s but then she witnesses a drug distribution gone bad within the sewer system. Lola’s life has fallen apart, so she lives to avenge her mother, best friend, and mentor. What happened to them and Lola’s journey from good girl to vigilante is slowly revealed as we navigate the world of drugs, gangs, and paranormal politics. I must warn readers that she does take the Ash drug and struggles with addiction, side effects, and withdrawal symptoms within the book. Despite this, I loved Lola’s dedication to finding an honorable way to bring down the drug cartel and her realistic choices. She doesn’t become a superhuman overnight but relies on snippets of help and luck to survive.


Our second hero was my favorite character in the book, Detective Iglesias. I loved his interactions with the rest of the police force, his snarky banter with his partner, and the loving way he parents his son. The single dad is trying his best to juggle taking down the biggest drug ring in Canada with raising a teenager. His commentary on becoming an empty nester, regretting the fallout of his marriage, and how fast his son grew up broke my heart. He’s the kind of cop who does his job to make the world a better place—not just for the thrill of the chase.


Our final hero doesn’t show she’s a hero until the very end of the book. Scalebane is as mysterious as the mask she wears. She gives us a look into the production of Ash and its paranormal origins. I loved how we see the inside of the drug cartel as it is dismantled by our heroes. Her chapters are filled with lore, paranormal politics, and magic. I loved this twist and meeting the creatures who live among us. What Scalebane is and how she is related to the rest of the characters is the best plot twist, so I will leave it to the readers to discover.


Overall, I absolutely loved Crystal Moth Conspiracy and highly recommend it to lovers of police procedurals, urban fantasy, or thrillers. This book can be enjoyed by everyone without triggers to blood, violence, drug addiction, or mild sexual content with paranormal beings.


My Rating: 5++ stars


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Author Biography:


My name is Konn Lavery, a writer and graphic designer, my parents were Star Trek fans and were inspired by the villainous character, Kahn, by his superhuman abilities. So, they named me after him with their own twist on the wording.


It makes sense that I write evil things.


I also have an obsession with transmedia storytelling. The words, the music, and the art I create make one super story.


The Macrocosm Story Timeline


All of my novels connect into The Macrocosm, which is an on-going large-scale story expansion.


The Ash Born series brings all the unusual, horrific, and fantastic themes into view through the creatures, characters, worlds, lore, and tech.


Some of the novels have clear relations to one another while other books are self-contained. Connections can be found within Cultivate: Seed Me Relapse Edition, YEGman, Rave, and the dark fantasy series Mental Damnation.


The short story collections Into the Macrocosm and Beyond the Macrocosm elaborate further on the obscure cosmos.


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Reviewed by: Patty

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