The Author Hour: Your Guide to Fantastic Fiction hosted by Matthew Peterson


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Reviews and Awards Paraworld Zero has Received
Click to view larger image "It’s always a pleasure to find a new writer who is comfortable in that marvelous borderland between fantasy and science fiction. Even more of a pleasure to find one with flair and humour and a truly original imagination.

"What do you get when the effect that produces parallel worlds also creates the phenomenon that we loosely call magic power? You get a lot of really weird beings with slightly faulty technology bursting into the lives of…well…some really weird people. You also get murderous villains, mighty warriors, goddess-like women, impossible problems and some of the wildest chases since the Keystone Kops. More fun than a barrel of computer games.

"Read it. Trust me, you’ll have a terrific time on that borderland. Especially in the company of Matthew Peterson."

– Douglas Hill (bestselling author of nearly 70 books)

"The exciting action of Star Wars with the humor of Napoleon Dynamite. I think Paraworld Zero has strong potential to be popular among readers."

– Diana Pharaoh Francis (author of the Path and Crosspointe series)

"Flame throwing pigeons and demonic dumpsters. Funny and imaginative."

– Maria V. Snyder (NY Times bestselling author of Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study)

"Paraworld Zero doesn’t just take you to a parallel universe of strange beings and galactic battles where everything is ruled by magic; it takes you through a parallel journey of the heart. Matthew Peterson weaves a wonderful heartfelt story that any coming-of-age adolescent can relate. As Simon, Tonya, Thornapple and Har struggle with their own preconceived ideas and prejudices, they learn to trust, love and appreciate one another."

– T.L. Gray (author of the The Blood of Cain)

Read the full review   Flamingnet TOP CHOICE Award
"...I greatly enjoyed the story... a must read for anyone who loves fantasy and for anyone who loves a good adventure/coming-of-age novel."

Read the full review

Read the full review ( Review
"This book follows the Harry Potter template of wizards and magic, the discovery of great wizardly power, and likely a secret destiny to be fulfilled. It combines Star Wars aspects as well, as we see space ships, laser guns, and a group that wishes to bend the ‘paraverse’ to their worldview. These are definitely all elements that a young adult would find very exciting, along with the camaraderie among Simon and the new friends [he] makes, some teenage crushes, and some funny scenes within the story. It’s a [fast]-paced story with lots of action and character interaction among the kids. Tonya has hair that changes color with her moods, which is an element that I think can really draw in a child reader’s imagination. It has plenty to offer to make it an exciting page-turner for its young adult audience..."

Read the full review

"Its rollicking adventure style reminds this reader of a cross between Harry Potter's adventures and those of Artemis Fowl. Colorful characters, fast-paced adventure, and clever humor make this an interesting read."
– (ReadingJunky) read

"Fantasy lovers will devour Paraworld Zero... Matthew Peterson uses descriptive writing and likable characters to capture your attention. I was completely intrigued on the first chapter! The world he creates is incredibly unique and captivating."
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"Enticing and very entertaining... We'll be eagerly looking forward to the next in this funny, unique, and imaginative series."
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"Peterson deftly blends elements of fantasy and science fiction in this action packed romp."
– The Faerie Drink Review & Poised at the Edge read

"ParaWorld Zero is one of those rare young adult novels that all ages will enjoy ... funny, fast paced, and enough twist and turns to keep you reading all the way to the end. Don't miss this one!"
– (Note: this review came directly from the editor, Doyle Eldon Wilmoth, Jr)

"The characters are lively and the storyline is fast paced and exciting to read. It's got everything a kid would enjoy reading so you guys should definitely pick this book up..."
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"Amazing! Harry Potter step back, Simon Kent is a magic welder with a secret history.... fun adventures, cool characters, and laughable moments... Definitely a good read..."
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"For a first time novelist Peterson shows a good grasp of what makes a book exciting, injecting his novel with a cracking pace, endearing characters - and the story's breakneck climax is well worth the wait... I wouldn’t be surprised if the book wasn't optioned for a film sometime in the future... well worth buying..."
– Sci-fi Online read

"This sci-fi/fantasy adventure pulls the reader in from the first sentence and keeps the pages turning. Filled with humor, cool new gadgets and spells, and an extremely original premise, this is one book you do not want to miss out on... Two thumbs up."
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"...Harry Potter meets Star Wars... Paraworld Zero is a sharply written, highly entertaining young adult novel. It is accessible, fast paced, with enjoyable, realistic characters."
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"The story is a nice mix of SF and fantasy... The strongest part of Paraworld Zero is the ending. Peterson writes an excellent cliffhanger that made me excited about the next episode."
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"Saving the planet seems to be impossible. Only a concerted effort of all and Simon’s Magic has any chance of success."
– ConNotations, by Gary Swaty (page 19) read

"Paraworld Zero held me in my seat from the first page. An exciting fast-paced adventure, chock full of magic and humor... It is very rare that you don't guess the ending of the book until you get to the ending and that is what Paraworld Zero was like for me! Matthew Peterson delivered a formidable tale and followed through with amazing results. I for one am looking forward to the second book in this series. It cannot come out fast enough to satisfy my curiosity! While this book contains elements of Harry Potter and Star Wars it is still uniquely in a league of its own. Matthew Peterson has a delightful imagination and a wonderful sense of humor. I look forward to reading more of his books."
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"I really enjoyed Peterson's book. He obviously puts his vivid imagination to use in his writings... I highly recommend this novel to fantasy fans of every age."
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"Readers will delight in this first book in Matthew Peterson’s Parallel Worlds series... I look forward to the next in the adventures of Simon, Tonya, and their growing gang of friends. I am sure many young readers - and older ones as well - will, too."
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"...tale of magic, mayhem, and maturation... action packed... A reasonable blend of science fiction and fantasy, Simon's adventures should appeal to middle schoolers..."

"The author has mastered the formula for injecting a constantly increasing level of tension in his story... This series should become a bestselling set of stories. We rated it an almost perfect five hearts."
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" original, creative, and engaging story... I am utterly amazed at how engrossed I was by this book... This book makes you feel the magic and imagination of childhood all over again."
– read (Kelly Moran, Author and Reviewer,

"Lewis, Rowling, and Tolkien on steroids... an imaginative and creative coming of age adventure."
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"...if you like science fiction this would be a good read for you."
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"“Imaginative” is the best word for this book. The science fiction genre is overcrowded in today’s market, but Peterson’s Paraworld Zero is one of those novels that stands out among the rest... Paraworld Zero is an impressive novel: not only is its concept creative, but Peterson manages to explain everything and tie up any loose ends in the story line and still leave it open for future excitement."
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"I really enjoyed this book. It was totally outside my genre of books that I read but [I was] so happy to have read it. I can't wait to read the other books in this series and see how Simon evolves."
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  "Mr. Peterson has begun what looks like could become the next big young adult series. I was spellbound from the very beginning. I loved how someone [as] average as Simon turned out to be more than anyone could ever imagine . . . The descriptions of each new situation brought the scenes to life for the reader to become immersed and live through the characters themselves. I for one will be waiting to find out what adventures Tonya and Simon have lying in waiting for them. Thanks go to Mr. Peterson for what looks like the first book in an incredible series!"
– (Recommended Read) read

"PARAWORLD ZERO was the absolute best YA novel that I have ever read!"
– (Linda B. from Word of Mouth) read

"The story follows young Simon Kent, an orphan and a victim of bullies, as he is suddenly catapulted into a series of adventures by an encounter with a young student of magic. Tonya transports Simon to another "paraworld," one of many parallel universes. They have various adventures with Puds, ancient secrets, magic, space travel, etc."
– School Library Journal

"I am deeply impressed with this book. I am a huge Harry Potter fan and a honest Star Wars fan and this book combines what I love of both of them... I have a feeling I'm going to be re-reading this one quite a bit."
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"Peterson has definitely put a lot [of] imagination into this work. . . readers will find themselves drawn into the rollicking adventures of Simon and his friends. Plus, a few unanswered questions are sure to have them begging for a sequel."
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"...a well-written, well-narrated piece of literature... Paraworld Zero is for readers who enjoy stories of strange worlds, stranger creatures and some of the strangest (but good) characters to be ever audioed."
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"It has uniquely original concepts... Packed with Star Wars-like duels and terrifying creatures, it is a great cross between fantasy and sci-fi."
– Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont newspaper) read

"Over 100 unique character voices are present in this stirring audio adaptation that the whole family can enjoy, perfect for long car trips. Highly recommended."
– Midwest Book Review read

Mom's Choice Awards Jan 2010
Silver in the 2010 Mom's Choice Awards
Audio Book Category

National Best Books 2009 Awards Oct 2009
Finalist of the National Best Books 2009 Awards
sponsored by USA Book News
Audio Book: Fiction, Unabridged Category

Winner of the Indie Excellence Book Awards May 2009
Winner of the Indie Excellence Book Awards
DVD Fiction Category (included Audiobook and E-Book)

Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist May 2009
Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist
Audiobook Category

Finlaist in the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Awards March 2009
Finlaist in the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Awards
Audio Fiction Category

Preditors and Editors Best Novel Award January 2009
3rd place for the Preditors and Editors Best Novel Award
Science Fiction Novel Category

DIY Book Festival December 2008
1st Place (twice) in the DIY Book Festival
E-Book and Audiobook Categories

London Book Festival December 2008
1st Place in the London Book Festival
E-Book Category

New England Book Fesitval December 2008
Honorable Mention in the New England Book Fesitval
Audio Book Category

Moonbeam Childrens Book Awards October 2008
Silver Medal (2nd place) in the Moonbeam Childrens Book Awards
Audio Book Category

Hollywood Book Fesitval July 2008
Honorable Mention in the Hollywood Book Fesitval
Teenage Category

New York Book Fesitval June 2008
Honorable Mention in the New York Book Fesitval
Teenage Category

Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist May 2008
Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist
Science Fiction/Fantasy Category

  May 2008
Honorable Mention in the Beach Book Festival
Science Fiction Category

Short Story Contests

Nov 2007 (Note: there were over 19,000 submissions)
TWO Honorable Mentions in the 76th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition
Playing With Rings received an Honorable Mention in the Genre category
Letting Go received an Honorable Mention in the Inspirational category

Won 1st place in the 24-hour Short Story Contest

Honorable Mention in's
2005 Speculative Fiction contest

Placed in the Top Ten -- Ralan's 2005 Clincher Contest

2006 Quarter Finalist
2005 Quarter Finalist

Science Fiction Writers of Earth
"Snacking Between Meals" placed in the Top Ten 2004
CLICK HERE for more info

Essay contests I won in 1990: 1, 2, and 3.


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