Dire Symbols by W.A. Rowland

Series: The Core Stone, Book 1

Released: October 31, 2019

Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Mythological & Folklore


Liam Douglass is an office drone. Working paycheck to paycheck, until one day, he finds a strange gem hidden in the desk of his deceased boss. When he picks up the stone, he is pulled into the astral plane, where he’s told that he is now a demigod. He gains a ghostly companion named Lily who is supposed to guide him and help him develop his abilities, but there’s a catch. Nobody knows how Lily is supposed to do that.

He soon finds that he is being hunted by supernatural forces, including cultists, and a bloodthirsty, immortal werewolf name Julian. He manages to evade their grasp thanks to a demigoddess named Bast and her enclave of powerful beings. He learns that he has some unique talents during his rescue. It’s also discovered that the cultists are trying to harness the power of an interplanar anchor, and Bast’s enclave must stop them. Liam is forced into a showdown with the cultists but it’s interrupted by Julian, who kills the cult leader and takes the power for himself, vowing to kill all demis.

Liam is forced to figure out how to unlock his own power through the anchor or face destruction.


There is no greater loss, than to lose what might have been.

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Cindy responded and then popped away. Liam still wasn’t sure if he’d ever get used to that. He’d also had absolutely no idea how to even begin to define his relationship with Cindy anymore. Most of the time, it felt like he was taking care of a younger sister, but they’d kissed in the hallway, and their sleeping arrangement was beyond odd in either case. “I’d go with non-platonic, co-worker romance with a side of daddy issues,” Lily chirped as Liam changed into his clothes for the day. Liam felt like he was getting used to her add-ins to his thoughts, even though he still reacted physically to her saying things most of the time, despite not needing anything physical to hear her.

So, what is it about someone else being in your head guiding or leading you to your destiny…this is really COOL? Hopefully, it’s a good person or they were a good person before sharing your head space…if not, that could get dicey. Well, unless you were telepathic and could hear what everyone was thinking…including the other voice in your head. In Dire Symbols, Rowland shifts the reader to a more platonic demigod and guide relationship that takes place not only on earth, but also on an astral plane…think limbo. COOL right?! If you are into the paranormal with an underlying mythological background, you’ll be hooked by the first mention of demigods.

Liam comes into work every day as an office assistant instead of what he went through college for, but he always finds himself at odds with the other office assistant who is clearly doing anything to escalate her career in this male-dominated law firm. After the mysterious death of Liam’s boss, another law partner begins issuing lay-offs and of course—Liam makes the cut. Not knowing where to go next and now out of a job, his packing is interrupted by a pull coming from his deceased boss’s office. Under cover of looking for his borrowed phone charger, Liam tries to wrap his mind around a large-sized rock of some sort that is wedged in a locked drawer in his boss’s desk. Only when he manages to pick the lock and hold this stone does he realize the ramifications of his actions. After a blast into the astral plane to speak to the guardian and another god, the stone seems to have sunk into his skin and also issued a permanent resident guide, named Lily. As if that wasn’t enough to make you, crazy…at least he now has some pretty interesting powers? All too soon does Liam finds out that there are others, dangerous monsters and demigods alike, who are also after the core stone that is now embedded into his hand…and will kill to obtain it back. What has he gotten himself into…and what must he do now?

Rowland’s story is entertaining and very fast-paced. The characters are fun and creative; however, they could have undergone better development to offer the reader with a sense of familiarity. As is, the characters may not be very relatable to readers because there isn’t much of a background for them to understand some of the heavy hitters in this story. The originality and creativity are on par and the book cover is absolutely sensational. The author will most likely not have a problem luring readers in with this artwork. There are a few spelling and grammatical errors, but this should not hinder enjoyment of the novel. With this being the first installment of the Core Stone Series and Rowland’s debut novel, he is well on his way to having a successful writing career and captivating series under his belt. If you are a reader of paranormal fantasy, and mythology genres, you may be interested in finding out how Liam and Lily fair against werewolves, succubus, or bigger and meaner demigods on his quest to save himself and his friends.

An electronic copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by Reedsy Discovery and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a four-star rating to Dire Symbols by W.A. Rowland.


I’m an independent writer in Fairbanks, Alaska. I write primarily Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction books. I write for my own enjoyment and stick to stories that I think I would want to read myself. If someone else also enjoys the story, then that’s just a bonus for me.

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