Google+ Reading Teen: Book Review and Author Interview: Nikolas and Company by Kevin McGill

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Review and Author Interview: Nikolas and Company by Kevin McGill

Paperback: 392 pages
CreateSpace (October 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1466430435
ISBN-13: 978-1466430433
Buy the book:
Visit the site: Nikolas & Company
Follow Kevin McGill on Twitter
“The Rones lie about their true intent. They enter the city of Huron at the peril of us all. Save me steward.” – The Voice of Huron Nick hears a woman’s cry for help. He soon discovers that every city has a voice, and this one calls him steward. Nick and company are transported from sometime in the near future to a mythic past when Earth is tethered to the fantastic world of Mon, or as we have come to call her, the Moon. He arrives at the city of Huron, where he encounters fire-breathing winged lions, volcano-born nymphs, automaton-legged mermaids, and so much magic you can smell it. As steward of Huron, Nick Lyons suddenly finds himself responsible over the cradle of all magical civilization. There’s only one problem. Nick Lyons. When Nick gets involved, things tend to go awry—burning down the neighbor’s greenhouse kind of awry. And so no one believes him when he claims that the Rones brought an evil to Huron, which now lurks under the cobblestone streets. To make matters worse, while aboard the Mottle Craw his best friend, Xanthus is infected by a mysterious creature. Pretty soon, Nick realizes that Xanthus' mysterious creature and the evil lurking through the streets of Huron are one and the same. Never one for responsibility, Nick is tasked with finding a cure for an infected Xanthus while protecting the city of Huron from the mysterious creature most foul.

Just a few of the words that come to mind when I think of Nikolas and Company: fun, creative, original, completely insane.

This book, on the outside, seems like a mixture of everything that I love in a book. Fantasy, mythical creatures, futuristic settings, medieval settings, space battles, sword battles, and a huge waffleload of other incredibly awesome things. And, once read, it is realized that it is all these things and so much more. Pure awesome in a cup. With some waffles. Which would make it a waffleload. Of stuff. Heck yeah.

The story kind of starts with a cliché-type fantasy book. Brave and misunderstood kid is taken and an incredible adventure with his friends by an old guy with a beard. We've all heard this before, right? Well yeah. But (There always is a but) past this, the rest of the plot takes you down many twists and turns that will certainly keep you reading.

Like I said above, this book is full interesting stuff. Any fans of fantasy and/or sci-fi books, this is definitely a book for you. It's a really good one.

5 out of 6

Kevin McGill
Austin: What inspired you to mix creatures from so many different tales and myths into one unique world as Mon?
McGill: Great question. Believe it or not, Tolkein did. Most of us read Lord of the Rings and think Tolkein took all of his creatures from an English mythology and dropped it into his book. In fact, most of his creatures came from Germany, Scandinavia, Ireland, so on. The writers that I respect the most such as J. K. Rowling, C. S. Lewis and Tolkein built their world on myths from many, many different countries and histories.

But, there was something else I wanted to do. I love my country, USA. Being half-black, half-white, I am aware of our ethnic diversity. I really wanted Nikolas and Co to be a story with American roots, so I tried to make the world of Mon as diverse in ethnicity and mythology as possible.

Austin: There are many different forms of battle described in Nikolas and Co. What would you say was your favorite to write about?
McGill: Funny thing, I actually enjoyed the shuttle scene the most. Don’t get me wrong. I love a great epic battle. But I love a good battle scene when you think the creature has been defeated, only to pop back up and attack you again.

Austin: Who is your favorite character in Nikolas and Co.?
McGill: Dang, that is a hard one. Nikolas is, to be honest. He puts his neck out there, willing to defend his friends and city without giving it a second thought. In fact, he just never really has a second thought, which can make for some insane experiences. My second favorite character to write was Caroline. There is something simple, but timeless about her. She’s the kind of friend we all need to have around. She reminds us what’s truly important = family.

Austin: If you could have a "jynn'us" as described in the book, what would it be?
McGill: My favorite comic book character is Superman, so flying of course. To fly is to be free.

Austin: What was your favorite mythical creature to write about?

McGill: Marrionids. My favorite was probably the creepiest one (imo). The marrionids were just a twisted, weird thing from the mind of Edgar Allen Poe or Tim Burton

Austin: What first got you started in writing?
McGill: You know, I just started, really. When I was a kid, my teacher, Mrs. McComb gave us a writing assignment. I believe it was supposed to include my home town, Merced. In perfect Kevin fashion, I wrote a story that Mt. St. Helen blew up…in Merced. Don’t ask how I managed to justify that a volcano over a thousand miles away erupted under our town, but I did. From that time on I enjoyed writing, especially fantastic plots.

Austin: What is your opinion on teens reading and writing? How would you further encourage this?
McGill: Some of the best writers today talk about writing when they were in High School. It was their time to try new things, hone their craft, and even come up with concepts they use later in their career. So, I’m a big fan.

Reading is the best thing you can do, period. I’d like to see more teens read, especially boys. Hey, I love a good couple of hour on my buddy’s XBOX 360, but it’s a book that lets me truly inhabit other characters. Through the hero, I have defeated Voldermort, won the Hunger Games, and been crowned King of middle earth.

Austin: What are some of your hobbies besides writing?
McGill: That’s tough cause when I am not writing, I am reading. Lately, I’ve been getting into making toy models. My goal is to make a Spanish galleon from scratch…but I’m a long way off from that.

Thank you Kevin for the awesome interview!!!



  1. Great review, Austin, and I really like the interview with Kevin McGill. I think it's really enlightening when we get to find out about the author behind the book. Personally, I also like to find out what makes my fellow authors tick.

    I'm a fan of books for male teenagers, as I don't think there are enough out there. Better books for teen boys = more readers, I believe.

    I'm also a fan of books with characters such as Nick, a brave and misunderstood kid, and characters like Caroline, who reminds us that family is truly important. I'll certainly have to put 'Nikolas & Company' on my list to read.

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