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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Blast From the Past

I don't know about you, but I enjoy delving into the odd blast from the past here and there, especially when it comes to treasured favorites.

Back in 1979, I read my first ever Terry Brooks novel, The Sword of Shannara, and was hooked. The sequels followed, as did a separate The Word and the Void trilogy.

Little did I know at the time how the two worlds would blend...especially as time and circumstance took me away from this particular writer for many years.

Long story short?
I recently got back into the Shannara series, and found it has expanded way beyond anything I ever realized from the 1970's. What's more, I was delighted to discover Terry had laid the seeds for the Shannara saga through The Word and the Void adventures.

Over the past few weeks, I completed the latest in a run-up to the original story I read all those years ago. Bearers of the Black Staff, and A Measure of Magic.

Here's what I thought.

I really enjoyed the way Terry Brooks wove the world as it is now into what it becomes in the far distant future. See what you think...there's plenty to keep you busy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pirates in Hell

Have you availed yourself of the bounty yet?

It’s all hands on deck in this swashbuckling extravaganza that leaves no bone unturned. And the great thing is, you don’t need a map to avail yourself of the treasure trove of tales inside...

Just look at the list of characters from myth & legend, history and the stuff nightmares are made of to keep you entertained:

Pirates in Hell Contents:

Bitter Business – Janet Morris and Chris Morris

Pieces of Hate – Andrew P. Weston

Evil Angel –  Janet Morris and Chris Morris

Who’s a Pirate Now? – Nancy Asire

Curse of the Pharaohs – S.E. Lindberg

Lir’s Children – Paul Freeman

Unholiest Grail – Larry Atchley, Jr.

The Bitter Taste of Hell’s Injustice – Jack William Finley

Serial Recall and Beautiful Tortures – Michael H. Hanson

Drink and the Devil – Rob Hinkle

The Pirates of Penance – Joe Bonadonna

Muse of Fire – Janet Morris and Chris Morris

Hell Hounds (excerpt) – Andrew P. Weston

See something you like?
Then don't scuttle your chances, click the link now:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Little Look into the World of Shannara

A skilful blending of two into one

I first read Terry Brook's Sword of Shannara back in 1980, and took to the series with relish. On the basis of that, I followed his other works too, and in particular, Running with the Demon detailing the exploits of John Ross, a Knight of the Word.
Boy, was I glad I did, for in Genesis of Shannara, we see a skilful introduction/evolution of the two series into one. (And I might add - a delightful surprise)
Genesis of Shannara takes place in a postapocalyptic world fifty years into our future, where the seeds of the Shannara world really begin to flourish. Civilization has fallen into darkness and stands little chance of surviving long. However, hope exists in the shape of two Knights of the Word, and the resilience of one of the Chosen, guardian of the Ellcrys who senses the fall of mankind also heralds the demise of the Elves - hidden as they are.
How the story develops - thereby weaving the two together - well, you'll have to find that out for yourselves. But it's skilfully and credibly done.
I look forward to the next in the series soon.
(Just a note to avid fans. Although this book/series stand alone, you can gain a great deal of insight and history by reading the Word & Void series first. Let's just say it will lay fine foundations for what's to come)

In “The Elves of Cintra” we continue the story of Logan Tom and Angel Perez, two knights of the word, intent on their own individual missions.
Logan seeks to recover an ancient talisman of wild magic – the gypsy morph – and icon that can prevent humanity’s destruction. In doing so, he inadvertently becomes the surrogate protector of a ragtag bunch of street kids fleeing south from Seattle in their search for a safer place to live.
Meanwhile, Angel Perez is heading north, escorting the ephemeral ambassador of the fey – the tatterdemalion – to the elves of Cintra. Though isolated from mankind’s affairs for centuries, the elves are also in danger and need to take drastic measures to ensure they are not also swept away in the coming destruction. But will they listen?
If their job wasn’t difficult enough, both knights are forced to contend with the dross of a ruined civilization, mutants, freaks, once-men and demons. They also have to battle their own shortcomings, proving once again that in the post apocalyptic world of the future, the streets are always paved with so many hidden traps and snares, you never know who to trust
…until it’s too late.
A thoroughly enjoyable romp through the seeds of the Shannara legend. I look forward to the next installment.

(And that will hopefully follow in about a week's time)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Dark Tales set in Dark Times

I recently enjoyed a spot of back-to-back TV/DVD watching of a rather outstanding serial – Penny Dreadful. (Series 1 - 3)

It took more than a month, but now it’s over, I’ve got to say, this is one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time, where a wonderful set of characters are brought together by time and circumstance to fight the forces of darkness. Despite their strengths, each of our heroes and heroines display a vulnerability that not only makes them more relatable, but bares their soul to scrutiny.

What adds credibility to the Penny Dreadful experience is the perseverance and fortitude each protagonist brings to the table, despite their obvious shortcomings. A great plot, edgy themes and superb acting.
When the going gets tough, the tough band together, determined to win at all costs.

But do they?

An absolutely outstanding series brought to a fitting conclusion. Try it - you'll see what I mean.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Writer's Roundup
2017 So Far

Hi there, in case you missed any of the recent goings-on in my life that kicked 2017 off to a great start, here's a brief roundup of what's been happening...

Just click on the links to catch up on the various interviews and guest posts, and who knows...

You might learn something about me you never knew?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Here's Something That Might Catch Your Fancy

I recently completed reading Mad Shadows II - 
Dorgo the Dowser and The Order of the Serpent.

Check out my review:

Murder, mystery, mishap and mayhem. You’ll find all this and more as Dorgo Mikawber returns in Joe Bonadonna’s latest fantasy adventure:
“Mad Shadows II – Dorgo the Dowser and the Order of the Serpent.”
Dorgo Mikawber is everybody’s favorite rogue; a finger in every pie, sailing close to the wind ex mercenary, who now spends his days eking out a living investigating the magical and macabre, thanks in the main to his marvelous dowsing rod, a tool capable of detecting most forms of odylic power.
The thing is, our supernatural sleuth seems to act as a lodestone for bad luck and spends most of his time falling afoul of the servants of evil.
In this latest adventure, it doesn’t take long for Dorgo to stumble upon a vicious spate of deathly double dealing that leaves a trail of dead bodies, hideously disfigured citizens and unanswered questions in its wake. And it all seems to center about a book that no one dare read, the “Book of Echoes” and someone called Ophidious Garloo.
But how might the two be connected? Who is the elusive Ophidious Garloo? And why would someone want to possess a book so determined to protect its secrets? Are these mysteries in any way connected to something called, “The Order of the Serpents?”
One thing’s for sure, whether he wants to or not, Dorgo’s going to be in the thick of it finding out. But will he survive this time?
Mad Shadows II: a most entertaining journey through the sinister streets of Valdar, and beyond, where familiar characters welcome you home, invite you in and encourage you to stay.
But dare you?
I can honestly say, I absolutely loved it
(I’ll see you down at the Hoof and Horn…)
See it on Amazon

Saturday, December 31, 2016

This Coming Week, I'll Mostly Be Enjoying

An absolutely superb serial on Netflix.

Set in the here and now, Travelers involves the ongoing fight of handpicked survivors from the future who are sent on a one-way journey back to the present day to alter certain occurrences. Their hope? To prevent a stellar catastrophe from setting off a chain of events that eventually ruin the earth and puts mankind on the brink of extinction.
With me so far?
The thing is, it’s not as easy as you might think.
For while there are other groups of travelers scattered across the planet – who can provide support should emergencies arise – each are intent upon their own missions. Additionally, our intrepid travelers arrive by taking control of the bodies of those recently deceased at the moment of death. Their consciousness is downloaded as it were, across spacetime, whereupon they adopt the lifestyles of their hosts…
In our case: an FBI agent – lucky guy; a single mother struggling to raise her baby whilst fending off the unwanted advances of an abusive father (who just so happens to be a cop); a young woman with special needs who is subject to welfare checks; a college boy prone to flout the rules; and finally, a heroin junkie.
Quite a mix, eh? And quite a story too, for Travelers is as slick and tightly woven together as it is powerfully poignant. You see, if our heroes succeed, then they risk their own lives, for the timeline from which they were sent might no longer exist.
If you haven’t seen Travelers yet, do make the effort. You’ll be glad you did.

American Gods

By: Neil Gaiman
I’m only three chapters in, and am enjoying this novel immensely.
(And from what I understand, this will soon be a major new TV series?)
I’m not surprised. It’s a marvelous dark fantasy that pulls you in the moment you start. Even better, I’m sure this is a character mentioned in “Trigger Warning” a short story collection by Gaiman I recently finished and reviewed on Amazon:

See my website for the review link

So I don’t give anything away, take a look at a the blurb:
Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and king of America.
Together they embark on a profoundly strange journey across the heart of the USA, whilst all around them a storm of preternatural and epic proportions threatens to break.
Scary, gripping and deeply unsettling, American Gods takes a long, hard look into the soul of America. You’ll be surprised by what – and who – it finds there…

I think I’ll be on this for some time. I’ll let you know what I think as soon as I’m finished.