The story of Jager, a 16 year old hunter from the town of Derry, who discovers a dead titanboar in the forest. Compelled to touch the beast, Jager is transformed into the Bright One, the mystical, magical savior for the race of majestic titanboars. Jager is ill-equipped to handle the magical abilities or responsibility. He’s only a boy.
He is a good boy, though, with a good heart. Aided by the beautiful and feisty Rolinda, and three wizards, Wazdan, Wazilla and Wazatoni, and their contingent of magical cats, horses, birds and vipers, and guided by his new relationship with the titanboars, Jager learns how to use his magical gifts. It’s a strange magic, though, and it catches the attention of the evil emperor, Dragene. Dragene has been corrupted by dark magic and now his survival depends upon devouring the essence of the good and virtuous. No creature is more good or virtuous than the titanboars. The only thing standing between Dragene and the extinction of the titanboar race is one uncertain, and unreliable 16-year-old boy.
Author Acheson claims he is not a “real” writer. I didn’t have high expectations for this self-published novel. I did find some flaws and unevenness in the writing, but the story sucked me in anyway and I found myself utterly charmed by the titanboars, the talking cats, the haughty queen of horses and a wise old viper. The wizards are amusing. Rolinda is a strong female lead. Jager is an interesting young man with a good heart, but a teenager brain that often leads him astray.
Young readers will enjoy this story since it’s filled with action and adventure and some funny bits, too. The titanboars are a wonderful creation. Parents of young readers will appreciate the healthy messages about responsibility and the nature of good versus evil. Not this is a preachy novel. It’s not. It does have strong themes about doing the right thing even when it’s hard and accepting loss and not being too quick to judge based on prejudices and fear.
Purchased: December 30, 2011 from Amazon. FREE. Special deal. (regular price $.99)
Discovered: The Passive Voice blog.
I read the first book in Jeff Strand’s Andrew Mayhem series this weekend. Laugh, cringe, laugh, cringe, laugh some more, cringe some more. In other words, lots of fun. As soon as I finished, I wanted more, so I popped over to Amazon to buy #2 and #3 in the series. And as soon as Download Complete appeared on my Kindle, I’m like, What is the hell is wrong with you? Just how many ebooks do you need in the queue? Have you no self-control whatsoever?
So then, this morning I got an email from Lawrence Block informing me that all his Open Road ebooks are on sale for today only. One day? Oh crap. So of course I had to pop right over to Amazon. Three minutes later, seven titles are off my wish list and loaded on my Kindle.
I am such a slut.
But wait just a minute. For less than the cost of dinner and a movie, I have nine new books to read. Unlike dinner and a movie which will be over and done with in about four hours and mostly forgotten within a day or two (Unless the movies were either Seven or Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, both of which I bitched about for weeks and can still get riled up about years later for offending me so greatly with such stupid plots).
Here’s the thing about books, especially genre fiction. The vast majority are temporary entertainment. I can enjoy a few hours lost in somebody else’s world and maybe learn a thing or two along the way. There are a few that stick. A few that matter for whatever reason. I have some books, now tattered and soft, the spines a mass of crinkles and broken paper, because I’ve read them over and over. Those books offer more than pleasure or information. They speak to me. They feel like old friends and we have a connection.
Since I was old enough to speak, I’ve been a story addict. I’ve had lots of interests in my life and a few passions and one or two obsessions (or to hear the old man tell it, “Your OCD acting up again?”) Those come and go. Except for stories. My passion, even my obsession for stories has never died.
Give me a book and a few hours of quiet and I am happy. Tell me a story and I am happy. I’m convinced that if a tornado roared through the neighborhood and flattened my house and swept away all I own, the only possessions I would truly miss would be my books. Even then I wouldn’t be too depressed because even if the books are gone, the stories remain and I can find them again.
They say money can’t buy happiness. Oh yeah? Well $25 just added another page and a half to my Kindle home page. That makes me very happy.
I just had a birthday. As gifts (thank you thank you thank you, Marina and Abby) I got Kindle bucks. I spent hours browsing Amazon, picking and choosing, adding to my wish list. One of the nicest things about shopping for ebooks (compared to shopping for print books) is knowing that even if I don’t pick up a desired title this time around, I can put it on my wish list and when I go back I’ll be able to buy a copy. As much as I love bookstores, they are very much catch as catch can.
Anyway, thought I’d share with you some of my birthday treasures.
(click here to check out A Bomb Built In Hell on Amazon)
A Bomb Built In Hell, by Andrew Vachss. This is a strange one. According to the author’s notes, this was his very first novel and he couldn’t sell it. I can understand. It’s less a novel and more an indictment of how the Creators in a society create their own Destroyers. The main character Wesley is a tragic figure in the purest sense of the word. He has no hope, no redemption, no chance. If you’ve never read Vachss, I wouldn’t recommend you begin with this one. If you’re a fan of his Burke novels and his stand-alones (especially Two Trains Running, my fave) you’ll find the insights into the author as fascinating as the story of Wesley himself.
(click here to check out the story on Amazon)
Rose In Winter, by Marie M. Loughin. I met Marie online through blogs and Twitter. When she mentioned her short story, I had to see for myself. Only .99 cents! This is a fairy tale. A real fairy tale as opposed to Disney fairy tales with their guaranteed happily ever afters. The story first appeared in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress XXI, edited by Diana Paxton. I hope Marie writes and publishes more, because I could easily become a fan.
(click here to check out Shotgun Gravy on Amazon)
Shotgun Gravy, by Chuck Wendig. I’m a big fan of Chuck’s blog, terrible minds. Last month I got my first taste of his fiction when I read his short story collection, Irregular Creatures. I couldn’t resist this novella about Atlanta Burns, a young girl with a big past. Chuck calls it YA noir. I personally don’t think he should try so hard to pigeonhole it. It’s a story about bullying, and all ages can relate to that.
(click here to check out the book on Amazon)
Here Be Monsters, short stories by Samantha Anderson, India Drummond, M. T. Murphy, Jeremy C. Shipp, S. M. Reine, Sara Reinke and Anabel Portillo. A fun collection about, you guessed it, monsters. Vampires, werewolves, demons, ghosts, aliens and even spiders. I enjoyed all the stories, but I’m not going to name a favorite (okay, hint, spider monsters are cool). My only gripe with the collection is that it includes some beautiful dark fantasy art by Jose Manuel Portillo Barientos and Alissa Rindels. I really want to see them in color. Which means I’m going to have get a Kindle Fire. The illustrations are gorgeous in gray scale, but I bet they’re poster worthy in color.
Doesn’t this make you wish your friends and family loved you enough to give you gift certificates for Kindle books? I haven’t even read all my purchases or spent all my Kindle bucks. Go on, admit it. You’re all green with envy right about now. Heh.