Book Reviews

Alcatraz! (Repeating History 4) by Dakota Chase at Harmony Ink Press

Genre Gay / Fantasy / Time Travel / Magic / Young Adult / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 15-May-2019

Book Blurb

When Ash and Grant set fire to Merlin’s office, lots of items of historical significance burned up—all of which Merlin tasks the boys to replace. This time, they’ll visit the 1930s and one of the most dangerous places of the period: Alcatraz Prison.


Grant and Ash have always worked together, but this time, they’re literally on opposing sides, with Ash posing as a prisoner while Grant is a guard. Their objective is to retrieve a piece of jewelry belonging to one of the Rock’s most notorious residents—mobster Al Capone. The criminal sees potential in Ash and strikes up a friendship with him. But will it help the two prevent a jailbreak, expose a corrupt guard, and get the item that will activate the magic to take them home?


Book Review

Two young men find out what life was like in Alcatraz in the 1930s while attempting to retrieve a mysterious locket that Al Capone is rumored to always have carried with him. It’s another adventure in this exciting series where two juvenile delinquents get punished by their history teacher for burning down his office. Serious as that may have been, their punishment seems much harsher than necessary. Partly that may be due to the fact that their history teacher is Merlin of Arthurian fame, and the guy turns out to be more than a little cruel. And partly the harshness does lead to a series of rather entertaining adventures. Ash and Grant have already survived a trip to Ancient Egypt, an episode with witch hunters in medieval Germany, and they have traveled to prehistoric times, ten thousand years ago. None of the previous situations compare with their visit to Alcatraz though – it is scary, dangerous, and both Ash and Grant have a very hard time.

As in the other volumes of this series, the environment really comes to life as Ash and Grant experience a very harsh awakening to what prison life is like when they are magically transported to Alcatraz. Ash ends up as a prisoner, and in many ways that is a lot more difficult than Grant’s role as prison guard. But neither part is easy to deal with and each has its own challenges, as Ash and Grant quickly discover. Retrieving a locket that is well-hidden by a master criminal who is none other than Al Capone is no picnic! Learning the rules of survival is a harsh but potentially useful experience for two young men who are used to freedom and the conveniences of the twenty-first century.

Maneuvering their way through prison politics, with guards on one side and prisoners on the other is only one of the many obstacles Ash and Grant encounter. Some of the guards are as rough as the prisoners, but they hold a considerable amount of power over the inmates. There is subterfuge, a few surprises make the story twist and turn more than once, and there is lots of suspense around the pendant that Ash and Grant need to somehow get away from Al Capone before they can escape. Rougher than the first three books, this volume is still a mostly entertaining look at the past.

If you like stories about time travel as an educational proposition, if you think two modern-day teenagers are able to survive Alcatraz and its dangerous inmates in the 1930s, and if you’re looking for an adventurous episode in Ash and Grant’s growing relationship, then you will probably like this novel. I definitely look forward to their next escapade!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Harmony Ink Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novella, 172 pages/47348 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-May-2019
Price $5.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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