“The Empire”: Sci-Fi Thriller Extraordinaire from JRD

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This complex sci-fi thriller is loaded with twists, turns, and entanglements between worlds, cultures, and religions. Dizon has created a fascinating universe full of convincing conflicts which reflect those facing the world today, but elevated to spacefaring civilizations. While hard science fiction focuses on advanced technology and its applications, political science fiction looks at a future based on extrapolating Earth’s vices into a dystopian nightmare that encompasses entire planets as opposed to countries.  If there were ever a case against space colonization, that is certainly it. If we can’t even get along with our fellow earthlings, what business do we have venturing out into space? Allegedly, the ETs are against us attaining the ability for interstellar travel for that very reason and this novel certainly provides a case in point.

To sum things up, Styrena Stone, daughter of the president of what is an interstellar remnant of the USA, has been kidnapped by terrorists who have a devious political agenda. They want her mother to sign a non-aggression treaty so they can proceed unencumbered with their intent to conquer other worlds. There are two individuals determined to rescue Styrena, Von Kilgore, former member of the Global Intelligence Agency, and Grav Drachna, rogue starship captain and general bad boy. As you would expect, these two aren’t exactly on friendly terms. Intricate schemes are made by both sides, along with a host of political schemes and conspiracies which come together in a nail-biting climax that holds plenty of context for a sequel.

Dizon’s subtle humor had me in stitches from time to time, largely related to his character naming convention, which I won’t spoil by revealing. His writing style is crisp and moves at lightspeed. I would love for him to include a dramatis personae to help keep everyone straight, since there are so many characters involved, each with his or her own agenda, both political and personal. The author’s ability to create vivid characters, each with a strong personality and motivation is what adds depth and suspense to Dizon’s stories, adding the potential for plenty of surprises.

Setting all this intrigue against a futuristic interstellar backdrop will draw in science fiction fans as well as those who are already hooked on Dizon’s ability to create unforgettable characters immersed in suspenseful situations. I can’t wait to see where this potentially epic story goes next.

You can pickup a paperback on Amazon here or an ebook at Barnes & Noble here. The electronic version is also available on Smashwords and most online retailers.

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Describing a Sci-Fi story as “Unbelievable” is NOT a Good Thing

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** Review of “Return of the Sagan” by Neil Patrick O’Donnell

I don’t enjoy giving a book a bad review. As an author myself, I know it hurts, unless someone has such an iron-clad ego that they don’t believe it and thus fail to heed what it’s saying. Thus, when I do so, I try to stick to the facts of what a book’s deficiencies are so the author knows what to fix. Of course any review will always have a high level of subjectivity, but I try to judge a book as fairly as possible, based on its merits.

This story got off to a good start and has tremendous potential to become an epic saga of a starship gone for 300 years and now returning to Earth, only to find the human population extinct. That’s a big story. The main character, anthropologist, Francis Burns (no relation to Frank Burns of M*A*S*H fame), is believable and endearing with his OCD and quirky obsession with Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was a nice affirmation for gender equality that men and women shared high military rank in the story. The names of the vessels were well-chosen and credible. Authors are always advised to “write what you know” and O’Donnell did a great job with OCD and the geography of the Niagara region as well as military jargon and protocol. Generally, I believe that the world of “fandom” would particularly enjoy this story and would make a good target audience.

However, there are numerous things that need to be fixed before this story can be taken seriously by true science fiction fans. It’s important to note that “fandom” comprises individuals who are very well-versed on details and to earn their loyalty and respect you’d better get the particulars right. Unfortunately, I would give an “F-“ to some elements in this story, which I’ll explain farther down.

I must say that I truly hope the author can take my comments as constructive criticism as opposed to bashing, which is not my intent. I believe this story deserves serious editing at the line, copy and content levels so it can become the great saga for which it holds promise. If I were its editor, here are some of the things I would suggest to bring it to its potential glory.

1. It’s best to open a story with the main character, not someone who will largely disappear or be absorbed. Furthermore, there were too many characters, especially in the beginning. They weren’t all faceless, but most didn’t have a distinct personality. Due to the scope of the story, several characters are justified, but they need to be humanized and developed to hold the reader’s interest.

2. The author’s writing style is reasonably good, almost to the point of what I would call “strong.” However, there are few relatively easy to fix stylistic issues that would result in considerable improvement. Probably the most noticeable would be to eliminate the repeated use of the POV character’s name. Interestingly enough, this didn’t occur until later in the story. It’s distracting for a name to be repeated a half-dozen times or more in a single paragraph, especially in places where the person in question is the only one involved. That’s why we have pronouns. If there are two people of the same gender involved in a scene, a reminder of who’s talking or doing what from time to time is useful, but effective pronoun use is essential to readability. You don’t want the reader thinking, “Yeah, yeah, I know it’s him already!” or, conversely, having to stop and reread a section to figure out who’s speaking or prevailing in a fight scene.

3. Typos are almost inevitable in any novel, my personal favorite in this tome being “zero-gravy” which would probably slip past a spell-checker, but some were grating such as the consistent use of the wrong homonym. One or two I can handle, but this was excessive. I’ve never seen so many. I suspect a good grammar checker would catch these since in most cases they represent an entirely different part of speech. For example:

solar flares, not flairs

waver in the limited light, not waiver

reigned in magnificence, not reined

soul was allowed to leave his care, not sole

waved Francis to take his seat, not waived

pour out of the satchel, not poor

higher branches, not hire branches

fell from the satchel right past Francis, not passed

4. The military jargon and procedures were convincing and came across with an air of authenticity. Good job there. However, the technical aspects were so far beyond feasible that it detracted from the rest of the story. One minor example is the use of paper onboard a starcruiser, which is beyond doubtful.

5. And speaking of a starcruiser, no matter how much of a conspiracy buff you might be with regard to UFOs, it would be more credible for the ET’s from Zeta-Reticuli to provide Earth with a ship with interstellar capability with the volume of three aircraft carriers than for us to suddenly acquire one, much less populate it with F-15E Strike Eagles. I would think that most people, particularly sci-fi fans, would know that these aircraft could not possibly fly in space. Just out of curiosity and as a detail-oriented person myself, I asked a friend who’s a former pilot about that. Here is what he said:

“The F-15 could not be controlled outside the atmosphere as the airplane’s control surfaces depend on air flow to cause changes in roll, pitch, and yaw.  Thrusters are required to maneuver in space.  If it had thrusters, I suspect that the structure would overheat and breakup during reentry.  Initial reentry mach is far higher and would generate far more heat than the F-15 materials could withstand.  The engines are air breathers and can’t burn the kerosene without oxygen.  Then there’s the little issue of gravity.  The fuel tanks, lubricating oil tanks, and hydraulic reservoirs depend on gravity to operate.  The pickup points are in the bottom of the tanks.  The fuel tanks have baffles to keep a small amount of fuel available for negative-G use.  The engines are okay with the oil on them for a short time and there is pressurized hydraulic fluid in the system. 

“The fighters and trainers that I flew were limited to 30 seconds negative-G or inverted flight.  Zero-G is not negative-G, I’m not sure if there would be any difference.  The F-15 cabin is pressurized to 5 psi above ambient at altitude.  (It is unpressurized to 8,000 feet, maintains 8,000 feet until it requires 5 psi, then maintains 5 psid.)  There should not be any issues with DCS if the pressurization were functioning but it won’t be because it uses bleed air off the jets and the jets won’t work in a vacuum.  Therefore, the crew is exposed to vacuum with probable deleterious results. Another issue: the generators are driven by the engines and if the engines aren’t turning you are down to battery power which will only power essential systems for a short duration.  The longer I think about this the more reasons I come with as to why the F-15 isn’t a spacecraft.”

 

Yes, there are readers who are acutely aware of such facts and inaccuracies of this magnitude detract from the story as a whole. It would be more credible to make up an entirely new craft (think X-wing or Tie fighters) than use one inappropriately. Even a mention of the aircraft being retrofitted would have helped, even though that would be extremely unlikely due to what it would entail.

6. Some plot angles, such as the potential for a conspiracy on the part of political figures, were dropped. If this will be developed in a sequel then that should be implied more clearly.

If I were to deduct one star for each of the above points, the book book have a negative rating. Of course all the work the author put into it is worth something and it did have some redeeming value, even though reading much of this book was downright painful. Nonetheless, I persisted to see how it would end, which was handled reasonably well and provided fertile ground for a sequel.

As noted earlier, the premise is interesting and has tremendous potential, but the execution left far too many shortcomings if you’re picky about the science being accurate and expect proper grammar and style that doesn’t keep tossing you out of the story, shaking your head. These issues require attention to pass muster with the ranks of true science fiction fans. Besides some good editing, a cadre of good beta readers are a valuable asset that I highly recommend.

If you’re so inclined, you can pick up a copy on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Return-Sagan-Neil-Patrick-ODonnell-ebook/dp/B00SP4BOZS/

Chimera: A Dark, Suspenseful Tale Set Within an Original Sci-Fi Scenario

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“Chimera” is a well-written science fiction tale wrought with tension, suspense and believable characters. Its scenario is original and captivating, i.e. that of a habitable moon elsewhere in the galaxy which serves as a debtors’ prison for Earthlings unable to meet their obligations. These prisoner/colonists are provided with their basic needs via automated exchange ships which bring food and other necessities, then return to Earth with ecomire, a valuable mineral which colonists either mine or retrieve from “the rim.” As the seventh generation of colonists reach adolescence, their debt is considered paid. However, their release from bondage is complicated by the fact that no exchange ships have arrived for a long time, not only jeopardizing the colony’s survival but begging the question regarding what is going on back on Earth?

The richness of this story derives from a variety of original elements. For one thing, the ship which brought them there in the first place, the Chimera, is being renovated in the hopes of returning to Earth but this is complicated by the fact that she has an element of intelligence that no one so far has been able to access. Then there’s the matter of its original navigator, “Stephen,” who had connected with her and ultimately went insane while at the same time spawning some sort of weird religion with him at the core. These details bring the story to life by defining the culture which these exiled individuals developed and demonstrate a deep understanding of human nature on the part of its author, which is actually three individuals who collaborated in a very effective manner to bring this fascinating story to life. It definitely illustrates the concept that “two heads are better than one” when it comes to conceiving and developing a rich, compelling tale.

The adolescent characters come to life within this carefully fabricated world in a convincing and engaging manner. Each has a story of his or her own, an intriguing background that has contributed to who and what they are. In preparation for the return to Earth, “the selection” is in the process of choosing which members of this seventh generation of colonists will be chosen to be the Chimera’s crew, including someone who can awaken her. Personality conflicts, differing motivations and abilities, as well as dealing with a drill sergeant from hell are skillfully embedded in the overall tension of the story’s premise.

While the primary protagonist is a young man named Theo, the other characters’ importance is clear. Among other things, this episode is a coming of age story for Theo and the others as well, particularly Marcus whose seemingly sociopathic tendencies are ultimately at least partially explained and Selena, who has spent her life in a mining ship “on the rim” with her alcoholic father. The only one whom I didn’t connect with was Meghan who was superficial by comparison, perhaps because her background was not sufficiently challenging which left her bland and judgmental.

This is the first volume of an intended series which definitely drags you into the characters and plot with just enough questions left unanswered to make you anxious to get your hands on the next episode which is due sometime in the summer of 2015. The characters have strong, distinct personalities which have already established the promise of conflict when they crew the Chimera. I was provided a copy of this story in return for an honest review and was thoroughly enchanted by this well-crafted tale which holds tremendous promise.

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SXOLP40/

More about Chimera & the team that comprises N.J. Tanger:

http://www.uebooks.com/

A Glimpse into the Science Fiction/Techno-Thriller World of Author, Ceri London

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As a science fiction fan and author myself I absolutely love Ceri London’s work. Her characters are convincing, exciting and charismatic which, combined with her ability to create a complex mix of science, technology, government intrigue, the military mindset and esoteric subjects, results in a masterful blend of high-powered science fiction. Her “Shimmer in the Dark” series possesses all the suspense and intrigue of my old-time favorite author, Michael Crighton, clearly the stuff that best sellers are made of.

Ceri has recently released “Destiny Nexus,” the sequel to “Rogue Genesis.” I am grateful to have had the privilege of interviewing this up and coming author whose well-thought-out responses provide a glimpse into the mind behind these outstanding novels.

* * *

MF: The “Shimmer in the Dark” series is a masterful blend of high tech, esoteric knowledge, paranormal phenomena, and government conspiracies along with a generous dose of Erich von Däniken’s “ancient alien” theory. What originally inspired you to tie these together into a novel?

CL: A crazy blend of various ideas collected over many years! Shimmer in the Dark dates back at least twelve years to a story I wrote where the antagonist crossed timeflows to his advantage. I thought how amazing it would be to live an entire fantastical life in a blink of an eye where that split moment is part of a more normal life in a slower timeflow. Around the same time I read a book by Francis Hitching called The World Atlas of Mysteries detailing curious, unexplained or connected events over the course of Earth’s history and researching some of these ideas led me to the Sedona magnetic anomalies.

A vortex of energy sounded fun and I came across an article discussing the brain’s EM output and how that magnetic output increased over the central nervous system, and I then researched the medical use of SQUID magnetometers for measuring the body’s bio-magnetic energy field. I also love all the Star**** films and TV serials, anything where huge distances can be shortcut stargates, wormholes, portals crossing space-time, or jumping to alternate dimensions and universes. So when I picked up this research again years later, I incorporated all these different aspects into the ideas I’d explored in my practice writing. The result was the first draft of Rogue Genesis, a story I originally called The Boat People in reference to the Vietnamese refugees being taken in by countries across the world.

I wanted to write a fantastical story but to let it evolve from a scientific foundation of electro-magnetic forces, dark energy, and the exploration of how the geomagnetic field can interact with the human body. I’m convinced much of “paranormal activity” is due to the human brain interacting with and interpreting its surroundings the best way it can, whether that means tapping into realms beyond the physical, or simply reacting to physical forces we can’t explain from the senses we know and understand. I love hearing from readers who tell me the story felt so real they quite happily swallowed the more speculative and fantastical aspects of Rogue Genesis.

Some of my inspiration stems from Celtic history, druids and legends. Merlin! Uathach, Miach, Niall, Etlinn, Kean, Succellos, and Macha are all names chosen for a reason that I intend to incorporate into the later sequels, if my brain can pull it off. In the end, once I started writing, all these ideas and previous stories drove the characters forward. The characters get to influence the path there they have a habit of taking over but they are still headed in the general direction.

coversRG-DNMF: Your protagonist in “Rogue Genesis” and “Destiny Nexus,” Niall Kearey, is a badass Special Forces type who possesses tremendous abilities. It seems the majority of super heroes hail from more ordinary professions. Was there a specific reason that you chose a warrior as opposed to some other government employee such as an IRS agent or Post Office worker?

CL: I have a passion for a good old fashioned kick-ass hero willing to put their life at risk for others. Niall does develop some outrageous abilities, but he’s not invincible and he’s resistant to his unique heritage. His emerging powers don’t confer on him an ability to cope with difficult and dangerous situations; instead they complement a pre-existing skillset. However, his commission as a US Air Force officer constrains his freedom to do what he pleases and I wanted him to feel at home in the military so it’s all the more of a wrench when he has to fight the restrictions and expectations of his chain of command.

By making him Special Forces specialising in rescue Niall has the training and mind-set to deal with the enemy when he needs to, plus he possesses an innate and human competence for e.g. medical situations, weapons, helicopters, rappelling, and skydiving. Rescue has been his life’s purpose for many years, but the urgency of his mission often falls in conflict with his unquestioning love for his wife and children. Time and time again, he’s torn between duty and family. Niall would say his family comes first, and yet, once more in Destiny Nexus, he’s out there putting his duty first, and although the two aren’t mutually exclusive, it can feel that way. Niall is a natural hero and his need to rescue people influences the decisions he takes, first in his career and later on as he discovers his capabilities.

MF: Your stories incorporate a wide variety of plots and subplots which touch upon several genres outside of science fiction such as suspense, techno-thriller, fantasy, and military action. Have you written any stories in other genres?

DNtitleonlyCL: I enjoy the convoluted plot so the bulk of my work falls in to the Sci-Fi / Fantasy Thriller sub genre. I haven’t written anything pure fantasy, nor would I write a strictly military action novel (as I simply don’t have the background). All my stories tend to involve suspense, thriller, and action, even my more romantic stories. I’ve had a number of reviews from Shimmer readers who reveal they don’t normally read science-fiction. I think the drama and suspense carries them along and the sci-fi becomes this interesting backdrop.

MF: Was there a specific moment when you decided you wanted to be a novelist or was it something you always knew you wanted to do?

CL: I did a creative writing course in my twenties and I’ve written on and off for many years, usually focused on sci-fi suspense. Some fan-fiction ten years ago provided me with the practice I needed. Then after I finished a long stint of voluntary work, I picked up writing again with another writing course and set to on Shimmer in the Dark, pulling together all those ideas from previous stories. That’s when I decided to test the water with Rogue Genesis.

MF: There’s a tremendous amount of research involved in your stories. About how much time do you spend gathering information versus the actual writing?

CL: I think for Rogue Genesis it was 30% research, 70% writing and editing. Researching a scene often takes considerably longer than writing it, but I then spend months and months editing the story, which skews the breakdown. Once I’d established the rules in my Shimmer world the need for research reduced considerably. I tend to research as I need the information, and I often read a paragraph many months later and wonder, how did I know that, is that correct? Then I do the research again.

MF: Keeping track of research data is a job in itself. Does your IT background help you keep it organized electronically or do you maintain paper files? Do you have any advice for others for maintaining an efficient filing system?

CL: I’m terrible for filing, but I do bookmark websites. I definitely need to retain my research in a more coherent manner. I can take a while to hunt down an original source of information and have taken to popping references on an Inspiration page on my website. I bought Scrivener to help me with this and hope to use it properly for the next novel.

MF: Do you work from an outline when you’re writing a novel or does it come to you along the way?

CL: To date, I have the outline in my head, and I write towards that. It’s written down in that the premise for the whole series is already written but with totally different characters. So the plot is fairly well laid out in my mind, but these new characters evolve and develop the plot as I write.

MF: What do you think is the best part about writing a novel?

CL: Writing that big scene you’ve been steadily working towards. In Rogue Genesis, that first scene was a meeting at the Pentagon when Niall’s world drops out from under him. The next big scene was when Niall creates a full bridge from Earth to Astereal for the first time and it goes very badly for him. Another was a fight with his best friend. It’s best to just let go and enjoy the writing. Edit it to death later. I also love those moments when a new twist pops into your head and you can’t get it down fast enough, or when a theme threading through the book links together and introduces an exciting nuance you hadn’t planned for beforehand.

MF: What do you think is the most difficult part?

CL: Marketing the book afterwards. The initial feedback after the first draft is hard-going, too. I’m bouncing. It’s amazing. Everyone’s bound to love it. Then the first feedback arrives. I’m lucky. My closest critique partners do enjoy my work, but they also want my book to be the best it can and they jump on any aspect that doesn’t ring true and never let me off the hook. That’s when I realise how much work there is still to be done. A writer needs to be ruthless ripping out work it took hours to create, but once it’s gone there’s a sense of relief. What’s left is cleaner, better paced, and truer to the characters. You let go of where the story was, because now you love what it’s become. I believe you have to love what you write or it would be the most pointless, thankless task in the world.

MF: Have you started working on the sequel to “Destiny Nexus” yet or can readers expect something new in the “Shimmer in the Dark” series?

CL: I have an outline building! Everything will be new for Niall in Galacticus Elecion. There will be a host of new characters and he can throw off old constraints although he will discover new ones. Niall has outgrown Earth in many ways, but as his playground gets bigger, the fight gets tougher. The villains in the first two books have nothing on the baddies in the next two. The Formorri are cruel, ruthless, vicious and very alien. Niall needs to make some friends fast or he won’t survive. There is no easy route back to where readers of this series will want him to go. He needs to makes some hard decisions and he will discover the hell predicted for him in Destiny Nexus. This series needs to get considerably darker before any light appears, but there will be a lot of uplifting excitement along the way to balance some of the lows.

I’m also writing a spin off story set in the future with links to the main Shimmer series and characters. It’s dark, tragic, and inspiring.

Book Blurbs & Synopses of “Destiny Nexus” and “Rogue Genesis”

DNbigcoverTitle: Destiny Nexus

Series: Shimmer In The Dark

Volume: 2

Author: Ceri London

Genre: Science Fiction / Fantasy

Publisher: Self Published

1st Edition: eBook

“This man isn’t the exclusive property of the US any longer. He is answerable to the world.”

Major Niall Kearey is the only man capable of bridging space-time to create portals across the known universe. His government and the US military exploit his abilities, a secret society incites global unease in a bid to control him, and the alien refugees he smuggled to Earth revere him as the fulfillment of ancient prophecy.

Under threat of exposure, a potential one-man weapon of mass destruction, Niall and his family are forced back into hiding. Struggling to protect his wife and children, honor his oath to God and country, Kearey discovers he’s attracted the attention of a devourer of worlds – the legendary Balor – an enemy so powerful it enslaves or destroys everyone in its path.

The world needs Niall Kearey and his abilities, but the shady politics and dirty maneuverings of Earth’s power-brokers have tied his hands. Shackled by the unceasing suspicion and assaults on his liberty, Niall desperately seeks a means to protect planet Earth against the ancient predator hunting him down. Whether Balor’s purpose is Apocalypse or invasion, the threat escalates as Niall realizes the answer to the future lies in the past—his past.

How far can one man travel to preserve a world that has turned on him? Niall must accept his destiny as the nexus – a magnet for destructive forces and possibly mankind’s last hope for salvation.

An exploration of love and betrayal with the high-octane pace of military thriller, Destiny Nexus stretches a man’s moral fiber to breaking point and changes him forever. This action-packed sequel continues the epic space opera saga introduced in Rogue Genesis.

Book Links

Amazon

Smashwords

RGbigcoverDestiny Nexus is the sequel to Rogue GenesisRogue Genesis is the first book in Ceri London’s Shimmer In The Dark series and can be read as a standalone novel.

“I’ve loved developing the characters from Rogue Genesis and have introduced a few more as Niall discovers his heritage and unravels the threat of an alien predator hunting him across the cosmos. I’m now looking forward to developing a cast of new alien characters in Galacticus Elecion, the third book in the series.” Ceri London.

Rogue Genesis Blurb/Synopsis:

One man. Two worlds separated by a universe. Space-time warped by black holes. In the passing of seconds on Earth, Major Niall Kearey has witnessed the birth and death of generations on Astereal. His mind shortcuts light years to visit a fantastical world of floating sky cities populated by telepaths.

Astereal is in decline, the dueling forces of black holes threaten extinction. Ancient prophecy predicts their interstellar visitor brings salvation. As Niall faces the staggering truth – that his alien dream world is real – he and his family are targeted by secret societies, scheming politicians, and the US military.

Time is running out as Astereal races towards annihilation and temporal alignment with Earth. Power brokers vie for control of his capabilities. Niall must act, balancing the needs of Earth, his family, and the alien civilization he has come to know and love. The fate of two worlds rests on Niall Kearey’s shoulders.

Available at Amazon

About Ceri London

Ceri London (pen name) is an author of science fiction / fantasy who has just published the second volume in her Shimmer In The Dark series. She is a member of ASMSG, a league of international writers.

Back on Earth, life is very normal. Ceri lives in the UK, is married, a mother of two girls, and a piano tutor following a fifteen year career in IT within the international financial industry. She holds a BSc Honours degree in Chemistry & Computer Science, but acknowledges that in no way provides her any authority with regards to the science in her fiction writing, relying on research and drawing on the experience of others far more qualified.

Looking forward, Ceri is committed to completing her Shimmer In The Dark series and developing a range of related short stories and spin off novels.

Author Links

 Amazon Author Page

Smashwords Author Page

Website

Facebook Page

Goodreads

Google+

Twitter

Author Email: cerlondon@yahoo.com

 

5-Star Review of M. Pax’s “The Backworlds” Book 1

Craze is a Verkinn, a stocky race which can control their ear holes and have living hair that can braid itself.  He’s a big guy with a good heart who wears life-support overalls which help keep him out of hibernation when he gets in low oxygen environments.  His family has betrayed him and undeservedly labeled him a leecher so he’s on the run, determined to live out the old adage “The best revenge is to live well.”  During his quest he encounters a variety of other characters and they share numerous adventures along the way.

The author did an absolutely tremendous job describing alien races and different worlds in this well-written and entertaining story.  I found Craze endearing; for some reason he reminded me of Shrek without the green skin.  The imagery is vivid, the characters original as well as convincing, and the worlds fascinating.  If you’re looking for an entertaining escape into a scifi-fantasy world this is a great place to start with numerous sequels available so you won’t have to look anywhere besides Elstwhere, a place in the Backworlds, anytime soon.  What better place to visit than a world that reveres chocolate as one of the most valuable substances around?

http://www.amazon.com/Backworlds-M-Pax-ebook/dp/B007Y6LHAA/