Hmm………..

I need some help/advice on crafting a magic system. Given the heavy influence and atmosphere of noir in the world, trying to create a magic system is a challenge. I have barely began to deal with the intricate nature of world, that has been merged by accident. Creating an pseudo-fantasy world, inside a world of tobacco smoke, crime, sex,  and gunpowder.   For the most part, I have tried to keep the world in a state of black and white. Using the magic to add a subtle shot of color, in a mostly colorless world. The beginning of the story can be found here. Any ideas, suggestions, or advice would be appreciated. Even someone to discuss ideas would also be appreciated. Thanks 🙂

 

Review of The Games by Ted Kosmatka

The GamesThe Games by Ted Kosmatka

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Interesting premise with the idea of using genetics to build, or create unique gladiators whose only purpose is to die in a public spectacle. Of course that happens much later, as this focused on only one of the gladiators creation. Which is one of the cons of this book, since I imagine getting a account of the individual gladiators creation would be interesting. The characters are a little cliché, and don’t get as much development as they should. Yet, in a sense that allows different viewpoints on the American gladiator, and its unique creation.

If you want a small, but interesting read I would suggest this book is for you.

Review of the Simarillion by J. R.R Tolkien

The Silmarillion (Middle-Earth Universe)The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Despite the relative shortness of the book, it is filled with history and great detail of how Middle-Earth came to be. Downside that makes reviewing it a challenge without revealing a lot of the details. However given the amount of history, it is an essential for anyone who loved the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. A large chunk of the book is about the creation of Middle Earth, and how the world was shaped. The last part ties in to some extent with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, as it tells how Sauraman, Gandalf and a few other wizards arrived in the world.

One year already…..

Hard to believe it has been a year on here. If you would have told me a year ago, I would have over 100 followers, plus over 1500 subscribers by email I would have either laughed, or stared at you. Still can’t believe in year, I have made/written 165 posts excluding this post. Just amazes, me it doesn’t seem that I have made that many, let alone it being one year since I started this.

Most people say its the journey not the destination. For me it has been a strange, frustrating, educational, and at times depressing journey on the unseen literary rode.  I may have yet to reach my final goal, but the past year has taught me a lot. Some lessons were simple, others I learned through research. Others I have learned through getting distracted, as I search for helpful pins about writing, editing, and publication.  I’m curious to see what another year will bring.

One more thing, before the time clock hits midnight. I would like to thank all my followers, and subscribers for taking the time to read my posts. Along with following me in general.  Hopefully your next  year will be as fantastic, as I hope mine is.

fantastic 10gif

 

Review of Amped by Daniel H Wilson

AmpedAmped by Daniel H. Wilson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While this book isn’t as good as I expected, since I enjoyed some of his previous work it still manages to be a decent read. There is some noticeable similarity in the plot to WWII era Germany, with the amps taking place of the Jewish people, and the Pure Priders standing in for the Nazis. Of course with the expectation, of taking place in a different era, with different technology. Yet the similarities are clear. While that may not be intentional, it is extremely apparent.

Downside to that, it makes some of the characters like Lyle and Senator Vaughn cliche and bland. Even the main character Owen is a little cliche, as he is forced to run from his life, after his father is killed in a explosion. Leaving his “normal” implanted life as a teacher behind he is thrust into a world of military conspiracies, cover ups, and political agendas.

Review of Revival by Stephan King

RevivalRevival by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a reason Stephen King is one the world’s best writers, and this book is no exception. While the book is may have a on and off pace, as the story churns between the relatively normal life of Jamie Morton, and the not so ordinary life he has at times. Combining classical elements of horror, occult, mysticism, and science this book is defiantly an up and down thrill ride, as Jamie grows up. You can see the influence of two notable classic writers of horror, Mary Shelly and H.P. Lovecraft, intertwined within the story.

Of course there are some humorous and tragic elements intertwined in the story, as Pastor Charlie Jacobs, and Jamie Morton have this yin-yang style relationship. Sometimes it is good, and other times it is complex and horrible. For the most part these two definitely make the book oddly interesting, as Charlie Jacobs explores his obsession with secret electricity.

Late night Thursday update

Okay, first off sorry for the slight lack of activity. I have been busy beyond words,between work, life, writing, doing reviews for graphic policy, and trying to figure out to get people for Christmas.  However I have managed to get an ending for short story that has been waiting for an ending for a couple months.  Oddly enough it is decently happy ending, compared to what I could have done.

I have started to look into getting an agent/publisher for Rise, and concluded something. Since most agents want publication credits in a query letter. I have decided to wait 6 months- a year to work on short stories for literary magazines and podcasts. Even one might say there are ulterior motives.  Since that will allow me to build/boost a following and readership which will bolster my chances of getting an agent. In addition to working on other stories, and ideas for novels as well.

However there is some good news to share. I have received an personal invite from Writer’s relief Inc to join there client list. Downside/upside I have to be board approved after I submit either a short story, or  novel.  Wish me luck, please.

thursday gif 2

That is all for now. I will post more once I hear back.

Reveiw of Jupiter’s Daughter by Tom Hymn

Jupiter's DaughterJupiter’s Daughter by Tom Hyman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For a book heavily dosed with genetics, this book is one interesting thrill ride. The concept of using genetic engineering to build a “superior,” child is interesting, despite the odd simplicity of the concept. For the most part the characters are like able, outside of Dalton Stewart, and the Baroness. Those two are two sides of the same coin, ruthless, money hungry business types. However, Dalton is a little more charismatic than the baroness.

Story wise, it sounds like something that would make a decent X-Files style show. Complete with complex characters, various locations, and the superior product child of the Jupiter project, Genny. I will admit I’m curious to see what she is like as an adult/teenager as compared to the three year old child she is in this novel. Given the unique situation of her creation, it would interesting to see what is stronger. Nurture, or nature.

Review of Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped BoxHeart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a similar vein to Stephan king’s Christine, this tale takes a simple buying of a dead man’s possession gone wrong. Honestly that may be the simplest way to describe this book.

While the main character is a slightly cliche, occult rocker with a taste for heavy music, and gothic, tattooed women. Oddly enough he has this slight redneck, gear head that is very southern to me. Even his lover/girlfriend has this oddly organic, natural vibe to her. That actually really helps making the world feel real. However there like every world in a horror atmosphere, there is something dark involved. Something that isn’t natural at all, and stands out. In this case it is a vindictive, vengeful ghost of father of one of Jude’s ex-lovers.

I could tell you the story, but that would spoil a lot that is best experienced first hand. Defiantly will be picking up more of Joe Hills work in the future.

A long overdue update, and a brief preview of Rise

As the title suggests, I’m massively behind between trying to balance work and my novel. Along with trying to post updates when I can. Outside of that, Everything is going relatively well. I have five chapters left to update and revise. Downside that is still about 60 pages. Even though I have realized two things as I do this. The first being I have underestimated the importance of coffee/caffeine in this process. While the second is much cheaper. I need to invest in large, heavy duty paperclips/binder clips. If only to keep what I have done, and what isn’t done separated.

First Chapter preview  below (ignore the indent problem, it is how WordPress set it up):

I saw my fallen comrades rise from their snow covered graves. Their bodies still clad in battle damaged armor, their weapons still held in place by in their dead hands. Snow clung to their bodies as they moved,seeming to have little effect on my proud fallen brothers. The few of us that remained alive after the battle with bandits, dealt with them as swiftly as we could still dealing with the surprise of our fallen rising. By the end my steel sword was clad with equal mix snow and dried blood. Something told me, deep in my bones that whatever was happening here, this was just the beginning.
That night we sat around a fire as the snow and night fell around us. My eyes scanned the area, ever vigilant for the dead. I pondered silently “How could Disoth do this? Why would a god of death raise the dead?” My eyes moved to the faces of my three remaining comrades, they seemed to be having the same thought. As the night wore on the cold intensified until I felt it in my bones, despite the warmth of the fire. I scanned the area as night dragged on, getting colder as the snow calmed to almost nothing. Something was walking through the snow, making it crunch heavily underfoot. The louder the crunch got the tighter the grip on the handle on my sword got. As the moon started to fall I spotted a solitary figure, standing in the snow. The figure was leaning on,what looked like a wooden staff at this distance. I watched the figure in silence pulling my sword from it’s leather sheath. The man slowly approached leaning on his staff to support himself as he struggled against the thick snow. Slowly and as silently as I could I made my men alert to the strangers presence. They all glared at me but spotted the solitary figured realizing why I woke them from their sleep. I made sure they kept their weapons sheathed, watching the solitary figure in silence. Within moments the figure noticed our state of alert,and approached faster. The tip of his his staff glowing a faint white in the process.
I shouted “Ready your swords now.”
They didn’t question my command, as they removed their swords ready to fight to the fast approaching stranger. The stranger noticed our weapons, pointing his staff towards us releasing what ever he was gathering. In a instant I felt bound by unseen forces, stronger than steel.
The stranger appeared to be grinning, under his white beard as he remarked “Better. If I wanted your group dead I would of done it from afar. Now tell me what are you doing here?”
Silently my eyes darted over this mysterious stranger. The man wore a dark blue robe, that must have been warmer then it looked. In his right hand he carried a staff, that was taller then he was. The staff was empty of color, outside of gemstones that seemed to run up the entirety of the staff. Whatever material contained the stones must have been transparent, and much stronger then it looked from where I was bound. Then it hit me, the man was a wizard. He was a far from Arcania. A hood that was attached to the robe covered his face, outside of a white beard that poked through.
I felt the gaze of my comrades on me, waiting for me to answer this strangers questions since the position of command, was thrust onto me after our leader’s demise. With a growl I answered “Chasing bandits, and burying our risen fallen. Now you answer my questions. Why did our fallen rise? Who are you?”
The stranger responded “My name is Aegis the Wise, Sorcerer of the Forgotten Kings. I may have a theory on why your fallen have risen, but it is grave news if it’s true. You killed them right?”
I nodded before asking “What is your theory Aegis?”
Aegis answered “I hope I’m wrong but, one of the sons of the Forgotten Kings was a skilled and powerful Necromancer. Which is why he and his family banished centuries ago. He vowed his family would get revenge before he left, in a swift, and violent revenge. If not by him, then by his line. His line is still going like some of the Forgotten Kings families. They have just been have been replaced by their sons, and their son’s sons, and the son’s of their son’s sons. Now introduce yourselves,” as I felt the unseen bonds on us release.
I looked at Aegis as I put away my blade back in its sheath. He seemed harmless enough for now, and partly because I was curious as to why he was out here. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw my men do the same following my lead. I spoke my name is “Nicholas Ironheart, leader of what remains of this group since the skirmish with a group of bandits killed our leader, breaking the unspoken peace. Now the anthropomorphic white wolf at my right, is named Arngir Lupaninan. Harm us and, he will rip out your throat,” as he flashed his fangs at Aegis. “The man beside Arngir is Lucas Ings, our groups bowmen and chief scout. His protege Ian Ophile is the young man on my left. We had a few others but, the bandits killed them. We were poorly informed as to the bandits numbers, causing the skirmish to become a slaughter. ”
Aegis’ gaze looked us all over. Noticing our black and red leather armor that we were all wearing, custom fitted for each of us. He studied Arngir more carefully than the rest of us as if he saw someone or something familiar within him. Arngir seemed unconcerned by Aegis’s lengthy gaze.
Aegis queried “You have come here from the mountain kingdom, of Raifare correct?”
Lucas answered “We did,” his fingers running over the cross-guard of the small curved dagger he kept at his waist. His unease was obvious to me.
Aegis smiled as he asked “Are the old dwarven ruins still buried deep inside the mountain? Still locked by a method long since forgotten?”
I answered with a question of my own, “They are, but why does that matter?”
Aegis responded “The dwarves built many powerful magical artifacts with help from the elves. Along with a vast library of scrolls and books holding the secrets of magics only remembered now by the elves and the Great Order of Magi. We should go see the bandits you killed. What is dead should stay dead.”
Arngir asked “Why should we care? Bandits are nothing more than criminals to broke or too stupid to live by the law. They deserve what cursed fate death deals them.”
Aegis seemed unphased by Arngir’s blunt statement before responding “You should care, all of you. The more recent the death the easier it is for a necromancer to raise them ,nd use them to augment their army of the dead. Now unless you burned them to ash ,they can still be brought back until their bodies are burned to ash.”
I restrained Arngir as he growled in his throat at Aegis.
With haste I commanded “Restrain yourself Arngir, we have seen our fallen comrades rise and fall again by our blades. Now keep your anger and grief in check. We have to work out what to do outside of informing our king about this problem.”
Arngir glared and growled at me, briefly flashing his fangs at me. He quickly regained his composure staring at Aegis.
I commanded “We should move once the snow lets up, it will more difficult to move now.”
Aegis remarked “I agree, if I wasn’t a sorcerer, I would of had difficulty spotting you in this falling snow. This blizzard hopefully will end soon, if I didn’t know any better someone is manipulating this blizzard, augmenting the storm’s raw power. We need to find a more permanent shelter I think. We can talk once more when we are out of the cold.”
Lucas said “I agree Nicholas, this storm doesn’t feel natural. I’m starting to feel the cold in my bones. There should be a Grayhok Clan outpost station nearby, we can take shelter there, until the storm dies away.”
Arngir sniffed at the air, as the snow around crunched with the sound of footsteps, rushing through the snow. Aegis scanned the area toward the sound. His staff glowing with arcane energies,using his staff he was able to project a pale blue light over the landscape. Watching some I placed my hand on the hilt of my sword, readying myself for a fight should it come to that. There had been strange things spotted of late from what I was told.
Arngir growled “Trolls. Their scent is heavy in the air, like rotting flesh. Large numbers, I think otherwise the odor would be less noticeable,” as he removed his twin curved, double edged blades from their sheaths.
I looked and saw Lucas, along with his squire Ian ready their long-bows. Arrows already knocked and ready to fire. Aegis turned and looked at the pitiful remains on the fire. Somehow he called the flame to his staff. Readying for a fight or preparing a plan it was difficult to tell. I glanced down at the handle of my sword, before quickly switching to my battle axe. It would have a sharp edge since, I hadn’t had the time to freshen the edge of the blade. The scent got heavier in the air as the footsteps increased in both volume and speed, as if they were running from something bigger. Aegis seemed to notice this as well and projected the flame in a large burst of heat towards the rapidly encroaching footsteps. Multiple deep, piercing scream like sounds started to emanate from the area. They blended into a murderous sound, that broke the still silence of the storm. The ground started to shake beneath our feet as the screams of pain increased in volume. Aegis cut the flame that was erupting from his staff, peering back at us. The screams fell silent, as the snow continued to fall around us. Lucas shivered his breath visible as his eyes moved upwards, close to the top of the treeline.
I demanded “Aegis can you cut a path from through the storm. I would rather not see what could get a large number of trolls from their cave hideaways.”
Aegis nodded in agreement and chanted in a language I didn’t understand filling the air with strange rune like symbols, each symbol glowing with energy as it was made. The symbols grew brighter and brighter before, fading.
Aegis commanded “We can navigate towards the outpost Lucas mentioned earlier. The spell won’t last long, we should move quickly.”
We all kept a constant vigil as Lucas led the way towards the outpost. With Aegis and the rest of us moving behind him quickly, doing our best to stay warm. The snow never let up. It felt like it was intensifying with each step.