In the Shadows by White and Di Bartolo – A Book Review

Believe it or not, I saw In the Shadows in a Scholastic book order and thought that it both looked and sounded very cool.  Several of my high school students did, too.  A few ordered it and I got a copy for my classroom, and we’re all very pleased with the read!

In the Shadows is unique in that it alternates between a prose chapter and then a wordless sequential art chapter.  Though the alternating story lines are clearly interconnected, it isn’t until the end of the book that the reader realizes exactly how so.

I’m a fairly well-read individual, and I must admit that the ending actually surprised me.  I wasn’t totally clear on the chronological ordering of the alternating chapters, but by the end of the book it all made sense.

Kiersten White handled the prose, which is about two brothers, one of whom is dying, that come to a little Maine town to get away from the city life.  Little do they know their father has actually set them up for sacrifice while there to a demonic cult.  At their boarding house, the daughters of the owner befriends the brothers, and they have their own history with a local witch.  The daughters have a guardian, Arthur, who may be their brother, perhaps a cousin, or maybe he isn’t related to them at all.  He watches over them, though, and when the brothers and sisters get themselves into trouble, Arthur must decide how far he’s willing to go to protect them.

The sequential art chapters are handled by Jim Di Bartolo, and they feature a young man with a scar under his eye both chasing and being hunted by what we presume is the same demonic cult.  We learn he is not just any man, though, as he displays characteristics resembling the very villains he pursues.  The art is edgy, dynamic, and does an excellent job clearly progressing the story.  And while it’s not immediately evident how it connects to the Maine story, it becomes more and more obvious the deeper you get into the book.

Though a fast read, In the Shadows is incredibly satisfying.  Furthermore, I wouldn’t say it presents a story that is entirely fresh, but even so, it struck me as both unique and imaginative – thanks in large part to the wordless sequential art.

Aimed at young adults, I think book lovers of any age would find In the Shadows an interesting read, especially if interested in horror, graphic novels, or the supernatural.

Dr. Nekros: The Realm Within (Volume III, Episode I) Is Live!

In this first installment of the final volume, Dr. Nekros finds himself in a strange land—the land of Xaphan! But all hope is not lost, for there are unexpected allies in the demon’s hellacious world, and with their aid Dr. Nekros may finally be rid of his greatest enemy.

Meanwhile, Anton Hall and Lillian Florence are about to engage in their climatic ghostly duel with Zetta, Joey, and the Vadenburghs caught in the crossfire!

This is the beginning of the end, and there’s no better time to join the saga than now!

Get your copy for the Kindle HERE!

Would you like to catch up on the previous twelve episodes? No problem!  Click HERE!

TheRealmWithin

 

Dr. Nekros: Peripeteia Is Live! (Volume II, Episode VI)

[per·i·pe·te·ia  n.  A sudden change of events or reversal of circumstances, especially in a literary work.]

In this final installment of the second volume, Dr. Nekros and his ex-wife, Zetta Southerland, must face the demon Xaphan once again in order to rescue Zetta’s youngest child, Matty. The last time they fought against the fiend, they both nearly died. Will they fare any better this time?

Expect old faces to return, new grudges to emerge, and an ending you could never predict as the stage is set for the third and final volume.

This ninety-nine cent story is exclusive to the Kindle, and you can read it here!

Peripeteia

Dr. Nekros: Phantasms and Chicanery Is Here!

Three months have passed since The Tragedian. Though Zetta has not heard from her ex-husband, Dr. Nekros, the recurring nightmare continues that she and her husband, Jason, believe foretells Dr. Nekros’ death by the demon Xaphan. They desperately want to save the charlatan from such a horrid fate, but he’s not making it easy. When Dr. Nekros finally calls upon Zetta for assistance with what he claims to be an authentic haunting, she and Jason seize the opportunity. Unfortunately, things go awry when Zetta awakens in Dr. Nekros’ arms after an all-night ghost watch and devastating truths are revealed that may prove too much for her to bear

Kindle users can read Dr. Nekros: Phantasms and Chicanery (Volume I, Episode II) by clicking on this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Nekros-Phantasms-Chicanery-ebook/dp/B0053GB7LM/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=books&qid=1306976281&sr=8-3

The Affinity Bridge by George Mann – A Book Review

George Mann has written an original novel utilizing two dynamic characters while blending science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres in Victorian England.  But, even as these elements add up to a highly entertaining work, it is not without faults.

The Affinity Bridge features Sir Maurice Newbury, an agent of Queen Victoria, and his newly hired assistant, Veronica Hobbes.  They are a fun duo, both formidable in their own right, and soon after the beginning of the novel they are thrust into three seemingly separate investigations.  London is besieged by a plague of revenants—zombies, a glowing policeman intent on killing, and a dirigible crash piloted by an automaton—a robot.

Newbury, while a capable investigator, also dabbles in the dark arts and has a few incorrigible habits that shall remain unmentioned.  Hobbes has a clairvoyant sister in the asylum and a secret she dares not reveal to Newbury.  Their relationship is wrought with sexual tension, mutual respect, and catchy dialogue.  Neither is afraid of action, and both employ behavior considered unusual for the time period.

The story comes to a satisfying conclusion, though the rising action is far more engrossing than the climax or the resolution.  Newbury and Hobbes, along with Mann’s surrealistic, gritty London, are primed for another tale, one I would not hesitate to read.  Mann’s story is firmly entrenched in reality, but a reality where anything is possible.

I do have one complaint, however—adverbs.  Mann indulges in adverbs so often that it becomes a distraction, one I couldn’t ignore for most of the novel.  It may sound petty, but most of them were unnecessary with as many as three per sentence in some cases.

With The Affinity Bridge, George Mann has created a city and cast of characters unrestricted by genre and exciting to follow.  Though his use of adverbs is distracting, Mann writes quick-paced, well-plotted prose and takes care to fully resolve all subplots.  If you are a fan of science fiction, secret agents, zombies, robots, unholy killers, and the Victorian Era, then I recommend The Affinity Bridge.