Hellenic Immortal Review


Hellenic Immortal by Gene Doucette

Hellenic Immortal by Gene Doucette

Note: Be sure to check out GeekDad.com on 5/1 for “Another Interview by an Immortal.” [I’ll update with a link at that time.]

Last April, I hosted an excerpt to Gene Doucette’s Immortal to help out his blog tour. As I indicated, it is one of my favorites from recent memory. Naturally, when I heard that Doucette was coming out with its sequel, I jumped all over it. I wasn’t sure if Hellenic Immortal would be better than the original, but I knew it would have to really blow me away for that to happen. Well, let’s just say it happened.

Once again, Doucette gives the reader a fantastic voice to “listen” to in Adam. Oh, but I might mention that Adam isn’t always referred to as Adam. I mean, let’s face it … Wouldn’t you be bored if you had to retain the same name for 60,000 years? Plus, there’s the whole blending into society thing. How far would Adam get if he were to still introduce himself with a grunt or some other guttural sound?

Sorry, I got off track for a moment. What was I saying?

Ah yes …

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Forging Truth Blog Stops


Since its release, I haven’t really done too much PR work for Forging Truth. So, over the next month or so, I’m conducting a blog tour through the kindness of some of my fellow authors and bloggers. I’ll be doing several giveaways during this time, too. Of course, I still have 40 days or so left with my Kickstarter project, if anyone’s interested in donating there.

Here are the dates that I have so far. There are about 10 more that haven’t been finalized. That still leaves several, so if you are interested in hosting a stop that’s not filled in, I’d more than welcome it. I’m open to an excerpt, and interview, a giveaway, or a book review. I can also do a guest post if you give me an idea of what you’re looking for.

April 15: Kickoff post on raymondmasters.wordpress.com

April 16: Giveaway announcement on http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/24257-forging-truth (LINK UPDATED) (This actually went live on 4/17.)

April 17: Podcast interview about turning the geeky things I love into creative works at http://www.robf.com.au/ (It was recorded and should be up later this week, complete with uhs and ums.)

April 18: A book review by my nephew (Hey, I have no shame!) over at http://codyaray.com/2012/04/book-review-forging-truth#comment-10145 (Updated with correct link)

April 19: OPEN

April 20: OPEN

April 21: A guest post about Forging Truth http://christa-polkinhorn.blogspot.com/

April 22: OPEN

April 23: OPEN

April 24: OPEN

April 25: An interview, discussing what got me where I am today at http://marlenedotterer.wordpress.com

April 26: Author Interview at http://www.shannonmayer.com/ (Formerly scheduled for 4/20.)

April 27: A guest post about writing over at http://ericjguignard.blogspot.com/

April 28: OPEN

April 29: A guest post about Kickstarter, crowdsourcing, and the self-pub pros and cons http://paperlessreading.com/

April 30: OPEN

May 1: Book review here: http://swtft.com/blog

May 2: OPEN

May 3: Learn a little more about my book at http://bexbooknook.wordpress.com/

May 4: OPEN

May 5: OPEN

May 6: OPEN

May 7: OPEN

May 8: OPEN

May 9: A guest post with topic TBD at http://www.tktoppin.blogspot.com/

May 10: OPEN

May 11: OPEN

May 12: OPEN

May 13: OPEN

May 14: Interview, excerpt, and giveaway at http://offbeatvagabond.blogspot.com/

May 15: Wrap up post on raymondmasters.wordpress.com

Masters Masters Superheroes!


Website:  Amazon.com

Reviewed By:  Sean Hutchinson

Number of Stars:  5.0

Forging Truth

Forging Truth Cover

Forging Truth is excellent. Buy it. Read it.

That’s basically all you need to know, but I’ll elaborate further.

Forging Truth is really excellent.

Joking aside, you seriously need to pick up a copy of this book. Masters has written a great tale in and of itself, and also lain the groundwork for an even greater series.

Forging Truth hits a bunch of my favorite notes. Superheros? Check. Mysterious mysteries? Check. A healthy dose of humor? Another check. The real hook of the novel, what really grabbed my attention and made me love the book, is that even within these areas, Masters puts his own style and flourish on them.

Let’s look at superheros. I’m a comics fan. I like Marvel and DC, so I’ve read my fair share of stories involving the capes and tights crowd. With Kade Truth we get to see a fun power set with a pretty unique origin story. I’m excited to see if he’ll further develop some new abilities, or even just some creative uses of his current skills. You can tell that Masters is a fan of the genre as well, as he has a very strong command of the action scenes.

Onto the mystery angle. The main premise is pretty straightforward. Kade has amnesia and needs to find out who he is and what happened to him. The truth about Truth is doled out over the course of the story in carefully measured doses. One of the big twists hit me completely by surprise, and I’m eager to see if I can pick up any clues on a second reading.

Masters has a great ear for dialogue, and the back and forth banter between characters is pretty funny. There are some rather hilarious quips peppered throughout the book, but he also pens a few truly heartfelt scenes.

All in all, I can’t recommend this book enough. I really enjoyed it and I’ve got high expectations for where Masters takes the series next.

4-Star Review for Forging Truth


Website: Goodreads

Reviewed by: Cody Ray

Number of stars: 4.0

Forging Truth

Forging Truth Cover

This book was great! I was hooked from the end of Chapter 2. Although I expected a typical fantasy/sci-fi piece, it ended up being quite a mystery as well, from recovering memories to solving crimes against humanity. The book twisted and turned til the end, feeding you just enough information/back-story to keep you intrigued but not so much that the next pages were obvious and you’re bored.

Situated in present-day America, the novel was centered around subjects normally reserved for other contexts. This juxtaposition make for an interesting read. It had a bit of a harry-potter feel with a “light” approach to magic and easy language, but was a bit darker in nature. It was action-packed til the very end, and left me hanging for m[or]e! Can’t wait to read the second book!

Book Review: The Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt


A Quick Note of Apology:  Before I get into my review, I’d just like to apologize to Bryan and any of the fans/readers who have been awaiting the next leg on The Worker Prince blog tour.  I live out in the boonies, and have been on the phone with Verizon for 30 minutes after fussing and cussing my new MiFi and not being able to get an internet connection for more than a few minutes at a time for the past three hours!  Imagine my embarrassment when I got the coolest and nicest tech to walk me through all kinds of cool things to get it optimized for my rural area, and whatnot. So, it was bad enough I had to wait until after my day job to post it already.  All in all, this wasn’t professional and not “the way I roll” at all.  I’m sorry guys.  Hope you’re all still in the mood for a really good story by an insightful and creative writer.

This past week, or so, I’ve been reading Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt to be prepared for the author’s blog tour push.  I first volunteered for a spot in the tour a couple of months back.  At the time, I only did it because it sounded like a fun way to help out.  I really only knew Bryan from Twitter and his weekly chat sessions there.   I have really enjoyed the atmosphere on his #sffwrtchat author spotlights and chat sessions.  And the guy did help me come up with the term Slushpimp.  So, I had to help out, didn’t I?  The book blurb sounded solid, so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed at the very least.

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Immortal Excerpt


Last Christmas, Santa was cool enough to bring me a copy of Gene Doucette’s Immortal.  I have just recently been able to clean my reading schedule off again.  I announced to my wife quite quickly after picking up the book that this could possibly be my favorite book ever. Of course, I am prone to overreactions – well, embellishments, really – and this book doesn’t surpass, say, Stephen King novels.

It is, however, one of my favorites on my bookshelves.  That’s saying a lot for a virtually unknown author.

The writing is very conversational, which I’m a huge fan of.  Doucette is overflowing with voice, as they say.  The immortal in question, is the main character Adam the Immortal.  This is a masterfully written character, who you’ll swear you’ve met.  Heck, maybe you have.  I mean, the guy is 60,000 years old.

The author has been gracious enough to send me an excerpt from the book.  Before I get to it, however, I’d like to post the information/blurb from the back cover.

“I don’t know how old I am.  My earliest memory is something along the lines of fire good, ice bad, so I think I predate written history, but I don’t know by how much.  I like to brag that I’ve been there from the beginning, and while this may very well be true, I generally just say it to pick up girls.”

Surviving sixty thousand years takes cunning and more than a little luck.  But in the twenty-first century Adam confronts new dangers: someone has found out what he is, a demon is after him, and he has run out of places to hide.  Worst of all, he has had entirely too much to drink.

IMMORTAL is a first person confession, penned by a man who is immortal but not invincible.  In an artful blending of sci-fi, adventure, fantasy and humor, Immortal introduces us to a world with vampires, demons and other “magical” creatures, yet a world without actual magic.  It is a contemporary fantasy for non-fantasy readers and enthusiasts alike.

Based on this text and an excerpt on Gene Doucette’s website, I decided I really wanted to read Immortal, months prior to its release.  So, now that I have your minds watering for more of Adam the Immortal, why not check out the excerpt below.

While Adam is waiting for a pixie in a coffee shop, Adam has an unexpected conversation.

Note: There is some language that is NSFW.

***

As I sat there at my little, two-persons-max table, contemplating the passage and deciding whether I should wait until I’d heard from Iza before hopping aboard a transatlantic flight to someplace remote, someone sat down opposite me.

If you’ve ever hung out long enough in a Starbucks you know this isn’t a terribly uncommon experience, especially when all the other tables are taken. Usually people bother to ask first if the chair is being saved, but…Anyway, I tried to act nonchalant and flipped ahead to the crossword puzzle to look busy.

“Hello,” my table mate said. I looked up briefly. He was dressed in a sports coat and a white shirt, no tie. He had a couple of gold chains around his neck with symbols hanging from them that he probably couldn’t identify the meaning of at gunpoint. He was white-skinned, stocky in build, and looked to have some Norwegian ancestry in him. I was singularly disinterested in having a conversation, so I pretended to be a foreigner. Which I sort of am.

I don’t speak any English,” I said in German. Middle-high German, which nobody speaks any more. I didn’t feel like running the risk that he was fluent in the modern form. Most of the time when someone hears a foreign language they don’t probe. And they almost never ask what language it is, just so long as it sounds like an actual language. This doesn’t always work. I once spent a half hour trying to get rid of an inquisitive elderly wino in a bar in Ontario while speaking Sanskrit. Sometimes people just can’t take a hint.

This appeared to be one of those times. He smiled as if I had responded in the King’s English and said, “I’m fine, thanks.”

I nodded and tried to go back to my paper Five letter word for draining aid. Sieve? “How about this weather?” he added.

You are ugly and smell like pig dung,” I suggested helpfully. “Yeah, it looks like snow to me, too.” This would have been amusing if it weren’t so very annoying. “Look,” he whispered, leaning forward conspiratorially, “I know you speak English.  You’re reading the fucking paper. Okay?”

Your mother eats raw salmon,” I offered. Was this guy slow? He snatched the paper from my hand. Now we were past the “invasion of personal space” phase and fast approaching “punch you in the nose” phase.
He slapped the paper down on the table and pointed to the artistic rendition of my face, circa two days ago.

“I know who you are. Now let’s talk in the same language for a bit.”

For the first time, I noticed that the coffee shop was half empty. There were four other empty tables he could have chosen from. I should have been paying better attention.I snatched the paper off the table. “I am the god of cabbage,” I declared angrily. With any luck somebody would step up and ask him why he was bothering the foreign guy.

“All right, all right,” he said. “Do me a favor. Look under the table. I have a gun pointed at your balls right now.”

Well now that was obviously a trick, right? If I peek under the table I clearly understand English. And for all I know he’s got his penis out or something. The correct response was to ignore him. Except I knew as soon as he said it that he wasn’t kidding. So I peeked. He wasn’t kidding. I sat up again.

“What is that, a .22?” I asked.

“It’s a .38. Makes a little ‘pop’ when you pull the trigger, sounds like a wine bottle uncorking.”

“That’s nice. What do you want?” “I want you,” he said, smiling. “I’m charmed. Are you a policeman?” He laughed. “Hardly.”

“Well then. If you’re not a member of law enforcement, why should I go anywhere with you?”

“Because I’ve still got a gun pointed at your balls?”

“It would look terribly silly if I got up and we walked out together with you holding a gun to my groin, don’t you think? One almost never sees that sort of thing.”

“You could give me your word that you’ll leave quietly,” he suggested. “Supposing my word isn’t worth anything?” I asked. “I think it is.” “That’s mighty trusting of you.”

He leaned forward and grinned. “Here’s what I know. I know you’re old enough to remember a time when there were no words.”

He was wrong, I think. I don’t remember any fully preliterate societies. But close enough. Who the hell was this guy?

Dead: The Ugly Beginning by TW Brown


Wow.

Just finished reading Dead: The Ugly Beginning, and let me tell you, it was pretty damned twisted.  It was sick.  The word vile springs to mind, in fact.

So, naturally, I can’t wait to read the next installment.

I’ve seen some zombie stories that were either too campy (by which I mean the unintentionally campy), or too repetitive.  Let’s face it, the formula of “Zombies appear, kill people, and are dispatched through head shot after head shot until the story’s over” can get really tedious.  This is not the case with Dead.  TW Brown does an exceptional job of capturing not just the gory head shots, evisceration, and entrails, but the down beats, the story beats, and the larger world view through the aid of six sets of vignettes.

Brown chooses to open his zombified world with two core groups of characters.  The first group centers around Steve, who, in his own words, “ain’t no hero.”  Steve is a loner who quickly finds himself in charge of a growing band of survivors.  The second group is affectionately known as The Geeks . . . but, they’re cool geeks . . . like me and you.  Right.

There’s a lot of adventure as both teams search for refuge against the growing sea of undead.  There’s some disturbing imagery to be certain, but it’s not gratuitous.  It’s actually TW Brown forcing us to look deep into the gaping soul of a tortured mankind.  It’s not his fault we don’t necessarily like the ugly truth staring back at us.

If you’re in the mood to be entertained, and you’re a little bit twisted yourself why not check out the following links:

http://maydecemberpublications.com/

TW Brown on Amazon