Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review: Tomorrow Wendell by R.M. Ridley

Published: June 28, 2014 Xchyler Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

When predictions tell Wendell Courtney he’s going to die, he turns to the one man he hopes can help. Jonathan Alvey’s no stranger to the strange. But, unlike the private investigator’s run-of-the-mill zombie cases, he can find no trace of magic around Wendell, and no hint of an adversary. Alvey certainly has magic and wits enough to solve the mystery, but is his offering to the insatiable dragon black sufficient? Or is Wendell truly destined to die?

"And so, with this reassurance, I took a coin from my pocket. It cost only a nickel see, and I figured what the devil. Well, they do say you shouldn't tempt fate or the devil, don't they, Mr. Alvey?"

The Good

What interested me in Tomorrow Wendell was the private investigator mixed in with the magic story-line. The main character Jonathan Alvey is what you want in your PI. He's a bit rough around the edges with only a few friends to count on, and he drinks and smokes too much, but that's just to take off the edge that casting magic creates. I felt like I got to know him enough to understand him and why he sticks it out. Why he uses magic despite the cost and why he fights for the little guy when he's outgunned. I really liked how Ridley handled some of the magic casting and charms used in the story, the explanations he used and techniques he described. I liked that he didn't go with the usual magical creatures to fight as the book went on and went outside the box. I enjoyed the pace of the story as it didn't feel rushed, while at the same time I never felt bored and just wanted it to pick up.

The Bad

My only real complaint would be the abrupt end of the story. I felt like there were more than a few questions left unanswered, but I guess we'll call that a build up for the next book.

The Romance

Like any good private investigator, Jonathan does have a love interest. Their relationship felt a little cookie cutter for the situation. He has the dangerous job, but if he doesn't who will? She wants him to quit because she is afraid of what will happen to him, but he's stubborn. I like their relationship despite it being the common 'I wish you wouldn't but I have to' type deal.


Overall, Tomorrow Wendell was what I was hoping it would be. A brooding PI racking his brain while running down leads to try and save his client. When trouble shows up, he uses everything from his fists, to his gun, to magic, to varying ways to fight back for overcoming the bad guys. It's not cover to cover action so if you need that, it's not going to interest you. I recommend this to anyone looking for a change of pace magic creature wise. No vampires or werewolves here.


"Stop after this one? And what about the next client? What do I say to them, 'Sorry about the nightmares hiding behind your mind that have started eating at your soul?' Do I ignore their needs, their missing children, their possessed spouse, or cursed parent?"

"What would I do without you and your uncle, Quan?" 
"I suspect, get very hungry,"  the kid said and then, looking at all the alcohol on the desk, added, "and very,very drunk."

"Do you smoke?"
"The ad said it was a smoking environment. It was clear about that," the woman pointed out.
"Yes, because I smoke, but that wasn't the question."
"Yes, I smoke."
"Good. I can bum yours if I run out."

"People start out life believing in just about everything. But as we get older, we are taught that our imaginary friends are not only not real, but frowned on - discouraged. One 
by one, beliefs are stripped away. You are made fun of, or disciplined, for things that don't fit everyone's beliefs."


  1. Oh, I like P.I. stories! The way you describe Alvey made me think of The Dresdon Files (the one season TV show because I haven't started the book series yet). I like that he has vices to cope with what he sees and with the strain on his psyche to do what it takes to save the little guy. I don't think I'd mind a cookie cutter romance because a lot of times in detective stories we get nada for romance and that always makes me grumble. Not even a kiss? Come on! I'll have to check this one out for sure. I especially like "When trouble shows up, he uses everything from his fists, to his gun, to magic, to varying ways to fight back for overcoming the bad guys." Great review, Matt! You're on a roll of awesome books!

  2. Kristin@Blood, Sweat and BooksJuly 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    This sounds interesting. I haven't read many P.I. stories but this one could change my mind about that. Plus it's an Urban Fantasy so that means plenty of paranormal goodness. I might have to check this one out!

  3. Nice review! :) This looks interesting. I don't pick up a lot of zombie novels, but I might have to give this one a try.

  4. Love a good brooding PI. :) This one is new to me but I am interested already!.

  5. Well the Romance is more guy romance. :) I'm a bit weird here as I consider it romance as she Shows she cares about him by pointing out what he should't be doing (the drinking,the smoking, the magic as it always has a price,) and he keeps her at a safe distance because he knows sooner or later he'll go down and h thinks she deserve's better. Hopefully they delve into it more in the next book. there is only a few chapters in this one. But the action is great and the original monsters. make it interesting.

  6. The Writer did a good job with magic and actually uses spell components. It's not your normal wiggle your fingers for all your casting needs. You'll have to let me know if you read it.

  7. Well if it helps the zombies are minimal. But it does have some other interesting creatures I haven't come across before in it. Thank's for stopping by. :D

  8. He's an interesting character. I'm really looking forward to book 2 and a few more answers. The series has potential.

  9. Oh it's not that I'm against zombies or anything, just haven't found a lot of them that grab my attention. :)

  10. First off, let me say Thank You to Jaclyn for the blog itself, and to Matt for taking the time out of his life to read and review - it means a lot to me.
    Second -- Wow! Um...thanks for that review!
    Third, is a shameless plug - for all those that might honour me by picking up a copy of my novel and enjoying it, there is more of Alvey in - 'Shades and Shadows: A Paranormal Anthology' (also available on Amazon) and a new short story will be coming out this fall as well.
    I hope they meet the high praise Matt has given my first novel.
    Last, thank you all for your interest.

  11. You're very welcome! Thank you for the opportunity :D


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