It’s been a long time since I wrote a feature on an author and all of their books. James Calbraith was the first one (and only one so far, but I’m going to change that!), and now Jeroen Steenbeeke is in the spotlight. Jeroen Steenbeeke is a Dutch fantasy author with two major series: the Unbound and Hunter in the Dark. Jeroen has a knack for storytelling. No doubt that his experience with table top gaming has helped. He shares some of his writing advice and methods on his blog, so definitely check it out if you’re interested.
I can’t give you a review of the books because I’m majorly biased and that wouldn’t be fair to you. While reviews are always subjective, we should let you know when we’re biased. I love his books and I hope you’ll give them a try.
Hunter in the Dark series
The Gift of the Destroyer, the first book in the Hunter in the Dark series, caught my eye when I was browsing through the ebook store. Jeroen’s name specifically, since it’s a Dutch name. I was curious how well a Dutch writer could write fantasy. My expectations weren’t very high, but I loved it. Jeroen’s writing is straightforward and fast paced. He didn’t use the standard undead tropes and his main character is a pregnant woman. I was impressed with how real she felt. I haven’t been pregnant, but what I know of pregnant women, this seemed to match. And seriously, how many writers would even dare to write a pregnant woman, especially as a main character?
Summary Gift of the Destroyer
The Revenant’s armies have swept aside all opposition. Entire nations have fallen, crops have withered, and those who have not fallen to the Revenant’s forces have starved instead. The resistance lies dead at his feet, and the last two of them are surrounded by his forces, when they find a way to travel back.
Thirty years earlier, the scarred warrior Brenor arrives at Lianna’s farm. He holds the key to defeating the Revenant before he becomes a threat, but to do so, he needs to cross the Forbidden Lands. And for that, he needs Lianna’s help.
Together, they are the only ones capable of preventing the future Brenor has already lived through. But to face the dangers of the Forbidden Lands, and the man who is hunting them both, Lianna must master the Gift of the Destroyer.
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
The Unbound series is close to my heart. Jeroen asked me as one of the first to read them. The version he sent me was already great and most of my comments were minor. What interested me most about this series is that the main characters are Dutch and the setting is (mostly) in the Netherlands. One of my story ideas was also set in the Netherlands and I wanted to know how he did it. It felt natural, like reading about an American city I’m not familiar with. I think most UK or US authors assume too much that we (international readers) know everything about the culture, but we don’t. Jeroen explains just enough to differentiate his world from ‘the norm’. He highlights cultural bits, like taking the bicycle to school, and partying in a barn.
I used to think I was a pretty normal teenager: I got up in the morning, went to school, did my homework, played videogames, and dreamed about Karen—one of the girls in my class. When I found out she liked me, too, I thought I was the luckiest guy alive. But everything changed when we kissed. Something awakened inside of us, and now we know that we’re not normal teenagers after all.
For a while I thought these powers were pretty amazing—I mean, who wouldn’t want superpowers? But it stopped being fun when Karen started hearing a voice in her head. A voice that told her I was her enemy. A voice that could take control of her. A voice that was only the first glimpse of a world we never knew existed.