"Welcome to Count Gore De Vol's Tomb of Dark Delights. I'm J. L. Comeau, horror writer and resident Tomb Keeper. I have been charged with the daunting task of sorting and cataloging the Count's vast library of horror, science fiction and fantasy. Take a torch from the wall and follow me down the stone stairway into the darkness deep beneath the Dungeon. It's cold and damp down here--perfect for the kind of reading we're going to do. Never mind the shambling figures in the shadows, they're probably just some friends of ours looking for a good book. If you click on the cover, you'll be taken to a wonderful place where you can buy the book.
Now, let's reach into the musty stacks and see what we can find..."
(Clicking on the covers gives you more information and prices from Amazon.com and other outlets.)
This week, TombRats, I offer two volumes of genre fiction, both written by towering talents in their respective fields—one is a tale of diamond-hard science fiction, the other is an epic dark fantasy. Enjoy!
SOULS by Terry Goodkind
This s a huge (and I mean HUGE at558 pages) by one of the fantasy genre’s most beloved authors, who concluded his celebrated Sword of Truth series in 2007. Fans of the series besieged the author for more stories about the characters from the series, and here is the third novel in the further adventures of Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell, set in their Sword of Truth world. Readers familiar with this magical setting will be thrilled by the epic sweep of this book, which can be considered Sword of Truth #14. In this installment, a strange sickness has struck Richard and Kahlan, weakening their magic that will kill them if not cured. As they are dealing with this situation, Bishop Hannis Arc and the Emperor Sulachan are raising an army of the living dead to conquer the world of the living. They are driving their hordes into the deepest reaches of the Empire to establish their evil powers and consolidate their reign. Suffering and sick, Richard and Kahlan wage war to save their people from threats that arise at every turn, and will give their lives to stop the oncoming darkness if necessary. Filled with dark magic and all of the good versus evil themes that Terry Goodkind is known for, SEVERED SOULS is non-stop action for fans of this brand of high fantasy. You’ll need a dump-truck full of Cheetos for this one, TombRats! Have fun! For more about the author and his gigantic canon of fantasy fiction, head on over to www.terrygoodkind.com.
ECHOPRAXIA by Peter Watts
This novel is far more than an enjoyable reading experience, it is a brilliant melding of scientific fields and the paranormal that turns the science fiction genre completely on its head. Coming up on the twenty-second century, the world is almost unrecognizable. Genetically engineered vampires have been created with such brilliance that they are the only beings capable of solving intricate problems. Heaven has become an explored scientific reality, and the dead are able to send messages to the living, while evangelical scientists make discoveries by the use of speaking in tongues. Warfare has been charged to soldiers that are equipped with switches that shut off self-awareness during battle, making them living zombies. In is this world that field biologist Daniel Bruks has fled in order to continue his obsolete profession. Losing himself in the Oregon desert, he has become a hermit who shuns the biological world he studies. But the world has been under surveillance, and Bruks finds onboard a ship with an emotionally shattered soldier, a pilot searching for a man she’s sworn to kill, an engineered vampire and his zombie posse, and a group of monks who will take all of those passengers for a meeting with what they term “The Angels of the Asteroids.” Dan Bruks, old-style fossil hunter, is about to encounter a leap of evolution no one could possibly imagine. This is a thoroughly researched and soundly plotted novel of a first contact unlike any I have ever read. Staggering in its concept and masterfully crafted, ECHOPRAXIA is an adventure for the mind. For more about the author, visit www.rifters.com.
This week, TombRats, we’re going to take a look at two series novels from
author/publisher Barry Hoffman. First, we’re reading the final novel in his
very adult “Eyes” series and, second, we’re entering a land enchantment for
young adults with his first “Shamra” book. Enjoy!
BLIND VENGEANCE by Barry Hoffman
I cannot say how many novels written by men from the point of view of a woman I’ve read, but I can say that I’ve tossed dozens aside after reading the first chapter due to the silly, unrealistic or sometimes downright insulting ways women are portrayed. One representative of the Y chromosome who nails the female POV every time: Barry Hoffman. His “Eyes” series is written from the female point of view and, if I didn’t know better, I would think the author was female. I have eagerly followed his unforgettable protagonist, Shara Farris, through five suspenseful Eyes novels. In BLIND VENGEANCE, Shara is a bounty hunter in search of the crazed man who has kidnapped a young woman who happens to be under Shara’s legal guardianship. Bad mistake. And that’s not the only mistake kidnapper Norman Flowers has made—the girl he has kidnapped is not the daughter of Lamar Briggs, the homicide detective against whom Norman carries a grudge, and the mistaken girl, Renee, is one smart, tough cookie, just like her guardian, Shara. Renee plays the part of Alexis Briggs to placate her deranged kidnapper, but his mental and physical torture of the girl is escalating by the hour. How long can Renee fend off her own certain impending death at the hand of Norman Flowers? Shara Farris is searching for Renee, but will she find the girl before Flowers goes full berserk? BLIND VENGEANCE is a killer of a thriller told in tense, minimalist prose that squeezes the suspense factor into the scream zone in this excellent novel featuring believable, memorable female characters.
CURSE OF THE SHAMRA by Barry Hoffman
Here's a young adult dark fantasy novel with plenty of adult appeal from the author of BLIND VENGEANCE. When the peaceful and isolated land of the Shamra is invaded and its people enslaved, a young Shamra girl named Dara must form a resistance to defeat the Shamra's conquerors. Dara's quest is further complicated by the Shamra's cultural opposition to women in leadership roles, and she must not only overcome her own self-doubts, but those of her followers. This is a rousing adventure novel that addresses the nature of personal responsibility and cultural prejudices while entertaining the reader from first page to last. Get a copy for that special young person in your life and, while you're about it, get a copy for yourself! Barry Hoffman has donated to national elementary schools 10,000 copies of the THE CURSE OF THE SHAMRA, which has become an exciting trilogy that addresses young women's self-esteem issues, with the second and third installments of Dara's fantasy-adventure now available.
get even more information about these titles, including some of the best prices
on the Internet, just click on each of the book covers and you'll be connected
To visit the individual writer's website, just click on any underlined name. J. L. (Judy) Comeau is an award winning short story writer whose work has appeared internationally in major horror and dark fantasy anthologies such as the Borderlands series, Best New Horror, The Years' Best Horror, the Hot Blood series, and the Dark Voices series in the UK. She is an active member of the Horror Writer's Association, and she lives in the Washington, DC area where she also teaches short story writing. Click on
FIREBIRD to read one of her most anthologized stories. To learn more about the Horror Writer's Association, just click on their logo!
About the Tomb Keeper (Or, who is this person of mystery)
To visit the individual writer's website, just click on any underlined name.
J. L. (Judy) Comeau is an award winning short story writer whose work has appeared internationally in major horror and dark fantasy anthologies such as the Borderlands series, Best New Horror, The Years' Best Horror, the Hot Blood series, and the Dark Voices series in the UK. She is an active member of the Horror Writer's Association, and she lives in the Washington, DC area where she also teaches short story writing. Click on FIREBIRD to read one of her most anthologized stories.
To learn more about the Horror Writer's Association, just click on their logo!