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Sci-fi fantasy author Margaret McGaffey Fisk gave Calico Kids an extremely in-depth, thoughtful, and positive review on her blog, Tales to Tide You Over.

Airship Daedalus is a fantastic throwback to the days of high-action pulp fiction and weekly comic strips filled with intriguing plots, sharp heroes, and mysterious villains.”

– Matt Forbeck,
Author, Mutant Chronicles, Brave New World, The Avengers Encyclopedia, and Halo: New Blood

“If you’re looking for a good adventure story with all the best elements of classic pulp, along with dashing heroes, women with agency, a little romance, and a whole lot of suspense then this is the book for you! Couldn’t stop until I’d read the last page, and you won’t be able to either.”

– Trish Heinrich,
Author, The Vigilantes Superhero Universe

“The world of Airship Daedalus feels rich with history, and I thoroughly enjoyed becoming immersed in the supernatural occult magic and mysteries as the story unfolded. Every turn revealed an interesting new dynamic to the world in a way that never felt like an info dump. The action was fast paced, the locations are larger than life, and the story was jampacked with every kind of classic, retro adventure moment you could hope for in this kind of book.” [5 stars]

– Brina Williamson,
Author, Merona Grant and the Lost Tomb of Golgotha

“I love this modern throwback! Exciting, fun, and full of pulpy goodness.”

– Martin Shannon,
Author, Tales of Weird Florida series

“I couldn’t have written Assassins of the Lost Kingdom if Todd Downing hadn’t built a rip-roaring pulp world full of vivid characters. And A Shield Against the Darkness has got it all: square-jawed heroes, sharp-witted dames with guns, airships and pirates, and some of the most villainous villains you’ll ever come across. The novel fills out bits of the world and the story that didn’t fit into the comic, and I found myself reliving the adventure all over again and seeing some new sides of my old friends. If you know the comic story, read this book. If you don’t know it, you’re in for a treat. Either way, read the book!”

– E.J. Blaine,
Author, Assassins of the Lost Kingdom

“The fifth installment of this action packed, knuckle-biting saga of retro pulp fiction doesn’t disappoint! Heroism, derring do, smart women and men engaging in death-defying efforts to save humanity continue to propel this series.” [5 stars]

– R.L. Pace,
Author, Rising Son

“Action-Packed Pulp With Strong Female Leads, Witty Banter & Magic!!! Gimme a grand, pulpy adventure with lots of witty banter between a well-developed cast of heroes, a couple of magic-wielding baddies, and plenty of historic references woven into the narrative and I’m a happy gal!” [5 stars]

– Caerley Hill,
Author, Dark Angel, The Census, & Ogenus: Earth

“Fans of the series, who have come to know and love the characters and fictional world that has been created, will be highly satisfied with this final chapter. When the action starts, as a reader, you are fully immersed in the thick of it. Shot by shot description plays like a movie in your head, and one can’t help but be feel like your watching an Indiana Jones movie that just hasn’t been made yet. If you haven’t read the other books, I suggest you start at the beginning. It will be a great escape, and a rollicking good time.” [5 stars]

– Ginger Howard,
Author, The Douglas Town Chronicles supernatural adventure series

“Indiana Jones meets The Rocketeer!”
“A ridiculously fun book… vivid, swift, no words wasted.”
“Wonderful and wildly entertaining!”
“A brisk piece of retro adventure well worth the price of the popcorn.”
“Fast moving, exciting adventure with great characters…The whole Airship Daedalus series combines classic swashbuckling adventure with characters you come to know in the best tradition of serial storytelling. Looking forward to seeing where Captain Stratosphere & crew go next to fight the evil Silver Star!”
“I love these books because they’re easy to read and action-packed. They make me feel like I’m personally experiencing a classic adventure movie, like Indiana Jones…”
“Delightful characters, suspense, boat loads of action, and a little romance to sweeten the pot!”
“Vast world, themes, humanity and spirit! All the characters rock!”
“Great fun and a great story!”
“The book kept me hurrying to turn the pages to see what would happen next. Indiana Jones would have trouble keeping up.”
“Great pulp adventure – flowed well, great characters.”
“A solid adventure, packed full of pulpy fun!”
“High adventure at it’s finest.”

– Reader reviews

Calico Kids is a sweet, nostalgic, sci-fi coming-of-age story told with innocent, straightforward prose. The author Todd Downing has captured the detail and nuance in a way that recalls and transports us back to the early eighties. A diverse gang of kids: the nerds, the bullies, the jocks, and those in-between, the first awareness of each of boys and girls in their early teens, saddle up on their bikes and venture out on their own to solve a small-town summer mystery that weaves childhood fantasies with local history, science-fiction, and the supernatural. Calico Kids is an exciting, sweet read for kids and a throwback for adults to the days and wonder of E.T. and the camaraderie of the basement arcade. An easy, fun read!” [5 stars]

William Kely McClung
Author, Loop and Black Fire

Had a lot of fun reading this. I enjoyed the nostalgic trip into the 80’s, as well as the mystery solving epic-ness (it’s the best word I could come up with) that ensues. Others have compared it to Stranger Things, perhaps because that is the most recent 80’s era paranormal show to grab hold of, but it isn’t like that at all. I was reminded of the movie The Last Starfighter, because it does have a sci-fi element. It’s not true horror, more spooky action adventure. Well worth the read, and would be a great movie to watch with a tub of popcorn. [5 stars]

– Ginger Howard,
Author, The Douglas Town Chronicles supernatural adventure series

Calico Kids is a wholesome, nostalgic adventure that combines some of the best parts of stories like E.T. and Stranger Things: relatable characters who tackle fantastic situations with humor and bravery, and a series of experiences that bonds a group of friends for life. Highly recommended!” [5 stars]

– Ralph Fontaine,
Director, Producer, The Edge of Tomorrow, Causality

“[Calico Kids] is a great summer read and a wonderful nostalgia trip for those of us who grew up in the early to mid-1980s. If you are a person who is bummed out that there is no new Stranger Things season happening soon, then this is a wonderful distraction. The characters are very accurate for early teens, with challenges like bullies and what to do about Trick or Treat when you’re supposed to be cool, the references to 80s music and movies is spot on, and the various X-Files/Scooby Doo adventures that these kids go on reminded me of Super 8, ET, Last Starfighter, and Close Encounters. Highly recommend. This is the book that wish I had when I have read other similar genre titles.” [5 stars]

– Goodreads reader review

“Fun read! [Calico Kids] captured some of my favorite memories and threw in some supernatural adventure to boot! I love that there is an accompanying playlist on Spotify and listen to it on the regular.” [5 stars]

– Goodreads reader review

“I spent the evening reading The Parish. I was immediately drawn in and could not put it down. Well done!! It is a tight crafted story with many dimensions.” [5 stars]

– Reader review

“Classic cyberpunk. In a grey world, some people still see black and white. These are the heroes of [Sakuru] The Circle. An excellent, interwoven story.” [5 stars]

– Reader review

“Wonderful collection of stories [Primordial Soup Kitchen]. I love the author’s work and hearing it in his own voice really makes a difference I think in any audio book. The stories are wonderfully written to create elegant images in your head. I am going to recommend this book to friends now who ask “What should I read next?” Mr.Downing has a very special style and creative voice in his work. He should be better known than he probably is.” [5 stars]

– Reader review