Books Reviews



Todd Durrant: Trigger

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Music Industry (Biographies & Memoirs, How To...)
Fiction (Historic, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Vampires)
 Edit (5277)
Jul 24 2009
image not
available
anymore
Author: Todd Durrant
Title: Trigger
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Rated: *****

BUY from  HERE
Trigger is the first complete novel by Todd Durrant, owner of A Different Drum record label. While A Different Drum is known for great modern Synthpop, Todd Durrant will quickly be known for great and philosophically thought provoking science-fiction. I was extremely impressed with this as a first work by him and anxiously look forward to more. The story was riveting and I couldn’t put it down! It is the type of story with many interesting layers of plot revelation that keeps the reader on edge waiting to see what will happen next. I loved that it was not overly predictable as I find many stories both written and filmed to often be. Instead, this just seemed to get more curious with every page turned.

The most difficult thing about writing this review is that I really don’t want to include too many, if any, spoilers as the greatest fun about reading it was the interesting turns the plot took as more information was revealed. Basically, the story takes place in two different timelines. In one, you have a group of human exiles from Earth who are trying to make their way in space after forcefully leaving the planet due to a an invasion by mechanical "lifeforms". In this timeline, there are divergent political perspectives revolving around either going back to retake Earth by force or expanding further into space and pioneering further development and growth. In the other timeline, which is pre-invasion, the focus revolves around a major corporation, scientific development, and a secret project to help prevent human annihilation by creating a device which is only activated after the calamity has occurred by using a trigger backwards in time to activate it.

The only criticism I have at all about this work is that I think more development could have been done on the desperation that humans faced in the future on these remote space colonies. However, in many ways the author did make it obvious and other readers may likely disagree with me on this one as much of the first part of the book does have quite a bit relating to this in it. However, I have to admit, character development is probably the most difficult aspect of writing a fiction novel and a marked improvement was shown as the story developed. Overall, I think Todd did a great job and I really liked the characters he created. They are all unique and interesting, no carbon copies, archetypical or stereotypes here except maybe where The Admiral is concerned but that is at it should be in my opinion. I also like that he has strong female characters and sensitive male characters. He also shows many situations where their actions are very human indeed, sometimes logical and sometimes purely emotional, but most often a combination of both as their plight is very unique and unusual. I also like the tech in this book and how he stuck to realistic descriptions regarding the physical dynamics of space, unlike the hollywood movies where you see and hear great explosions and flames in space.

Overall, the book has great technological ideas, interesting philosphical questions, multiple timelines, fairly well developed characters, mostly unpredictable plot lines and a very compelling story!
cover
Author: Samuel Morningstar (@)
Title: Shadow Kingdom
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Lulu
Distributor: Lulu
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)
Samuel Morningstar (rocker, mystic, author), has finally released a novel that has been highly anticipated by those who knew this was coming and what it might be about. Shadow Kingdom combines elements of a psychological thriller, crime investigation, horror, esoteric mysticism, and "sci-fi" to create the world which contains the events which unfold in his tale. The characters are humans, rock stars, soldiers, martial artists, cops, angels & demons, monsters, and extraterrestrials to name a few. The story begins with a private investigator hired to research the brutal ritual murder of an exotic dancer and takes us into a realm of wonders and nightmares beyond the realm of sanity and into conspiracies involving ancient immortals. Buth this sort of thing could never happen in "reality" as this is just a creative work of fiction right, or could it? Samuel created his dark fiction from the real life research of minds like David Icke, Whitley Strieber, and William Henry. I've never in my life read a fiction novel with so much truth and so many questions. I say truth because the esoteric principles conveyed within are the same as those taught in mystery schools the world over and throughout history. Samuel Morningstar is an intellect of unusual talent that makes great story tellers like Clive Barker look like child's play! He's also a talent in the music industry and member of the band Eternal Twilight and knows the rock scene well. This book will appeal to anyone interested in Ancient History, Mythology, Esoteric Mysticism, UFOlogy, Conspiracy Theories, Rock-n-Roll (including the Goth subcultrure), Martial Arts, Meditation, "Energy" Work, Dark Fiction, and Horror - a thinking person's fiction.

Anne Rice: Merrick

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Fiction (Historic, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Vampires)
 Edit (1075)
Feb 10 2004
cover
Author: Anne Rice
Title: Merrick
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)   or   BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)
In this episode of the Vampire Chronicles Anne Rice combines characters to create a collaboration with the Mayfair Witches. Merrick is a voodoo practitioner whose mother dies and leaves her in the custody of the Talamasca. From her exposure and education there she becomes intertwined with David Talbot and the vampires Louis and Lestat. One of the main elements of interest in this novel is the that Louis wants Merrick to summon the spirit of Claudia. The only inconsistency I found here was that when the 'spirit' finally appears Merrick first says this is most definitely Claudia and not a meddling ghost but later states the opposite. Unless I misread this it seems that we will never know if this was truly Claudia's ghost or not. Much of the story is told by David and his experiences with Merrick as told to Louis. The tale includes a tale of artifacts and ghosts and a mask that can be used to 'see' spirits. Also, in this episode Louis decides to take his depression a bit further than before and actually decides to commit suicide. The most interesting thing to me personally was the ending of this one. It seems that we will continue the adventures of The Vampire Lestat due to the associations of the vampires with Merrick has brought the wrath of the Talamasca down on Lestat and crew. Lestat, as usual, will not concede to other's wishes and thus we await to learn if this will turn into an all out war between vampires and Talamasca or will the vampire whom Lestat previously annoyed with his adventures in Queen of the Damned not come to his aide and leave him to his own devices?

Anne Rice: Blood and Gold

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Fiction (Historic, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Vampires)
 Edit (1074)
Feb 10 2004
cover
Author: Anne Rice
Title: Blood and Gold
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)   or   BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)
This particular chronicle details the life of the vampire Marius. Here we learn more about his love for painting and how he cared for Those Who Must Be Kept. It chronicles much in regards to his relationship with Amadeo (aka Armand), Pandora and Bianca as well as his enemies among the Satanic vampires. We learn of Marius' love for Rome and how like his great city he too was nearly destroyed by fire.

As this is a chronicle of Marius' life much like others this one, to me, is one of the best narrated tales of a life history in the Vampire Chronicles. The entire tale is told to a Norseman vampire who was made by Maharet and only this part of the tale and the events that follow after the telling are a bit odd. For the most part this is an excellent book in which one truly begins to understand the nature of the relationship of Marius' love for Akasha, The Queen of the Damned. It also does not spend too much time retelling things told in other books but instead goes over them briskly which makes it easier for those who are avid readers of the series like myself while not leaving out the information necessary for a logical chronology for those who are not.

The vampire Marius is one of the most intrigueing characters in the series and this book truly brings him to life. Oddly enough there is a song by Dead Can Dance called "The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove" which sounds like this could have been written by Marius in regards to his relationship to Akasha. I'm not sure if this is just a strange coincidence or if one artist influenced the other and if so who influenced who. See for yourself:

The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove

I thought that you knew it all
Well you've seen it ten times before.
I thought that you had it down
With both your feet on the ground.
I love slow...slow but deep.
Feigned affections wash over me.
Dream on my dear
And renounce temporal obligations.
Dream on my dear
It's a sleep from which you may not awaken.

You build me up then you knock me down.
You play the fool while I play the clown.
We keep time to the beat of an old slave drum.
You raise my hopes then you raise the odds
You tell me that I dream too much
Now I'm serving time in disillusionment.
I don't believe you anymore...I don't believe you.

I thought that I knew it all
I'd seen all the signs before.
I thought that you were the one
In darkness my heart was won.

You build me up then you knock me down.
You play the fool while I play the clown.
We keep time to the beat of an old slave drum.
You raise my hopes then you raise the odds
You tell me that I dream too much
Now I'm serving time in a domestic graveyard.
I don't believe you anymore...I don't believe you.

Never let it be said I was untrue
I never found a home inside of you.
Never let it be said I was untrue
I gave you all my time.


Odd huh! ;-)

Katherine Ramsland: Science of Vampires, The

 Posted by TG Mondalf (@)   Fiction (Historic, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Vampires)
 Edit (1073)
Feb 10 2004
cover
Author: Katherine Ramsland
Title: Science of Vampires, The
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Rated: *****

BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)   or   BUY from  BUY NOW from AMAZON (Amazon.com)
An outwardly 'curious' publication. I admit that I was intrigued by the content and yet at the same time hesitant to pick it up. My compulsion - in the end - won out. In what appears to compel the reader to mix science with myth/fiction, Ramsland gives us the actual 'physical' requirements for vampirism and how, if indeed, vampires are real, they could 'exist'. Answers to the most asked questions such as, how to they drink and ingest blood, how do they manifest themselves into other forms and can vampires really have sex are just a few of the passages that Ramsland attempts to tackle. Not trying to be too scientific and yet not trying to pawn itself off as a "Vampires for Dummies" edition, Ramsland attempts to give us possibly cold hard facts about the very real existence of vampires. There are tidbits of interesting lore that are delved into such a burial customs and 'soul' watching or the 'gestation' period that one's body may need to be watched to see if vampirism takes root but - it is an otherwise mundane attempt to unveil 'myth'. The biophysics behind the reality of vampirism does nothing to dispel what any reader may want to already believe. In this book she does at least allow us to understand that it is very possible for psychic vampirism to exist and parallels socities changing roles of male/female relationships and how this affected the more recent developments in vampire literature/film genre. As she herself explains and finally concludes, the Vampire is probably 'necessary' for our society - inasmuch as Bram Stoker found the parallels in his need to create a creature that violated the supposed strict Victorian moral code, she concludes that we must still draw our own conclusions. In other words, she indicates that if we 'want' to beleive in vampires, then we should just go ahead and believe in them because they fulfill some baser need in all of us. Thanks Katherine, I knew that before I picked up the book! Reviewed by John Guerra
[ Next ]

[1] [2]


Search All Reviews:
[ Advanced Search ]

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha