Fantasy, Reality, Reviews and Drama Lessons from Gordon A. Long
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Are We Stupid? Blog admits "Why Canadians Fear Bernie Sanders"
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Why Are People So Stupid?

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A Sword Called…Kitten?

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Soft Cover: $14.95


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Things to Do in Denver When You're Undead
Mark Everett Stone
Camel Press
ISBN: 1603818596

A Review for TCM Reviews

   This is a standard, action-adventure novel in the comic book style, with all the characters larger (much!) than life, and all the action super-fast and super-gruesome. It is interesting to note the evolution of this genre. As America’s enemies change, successive legions of Japs, Jerries, Chinks, Gooks, and soon Arabs become non-PC antagonists. Fortunately vampires, ghouls, and zombies will probably be politically safe targets for some time to come. Expect a lot more of this sub-genre in the future.

   Things to Do in Denver is the story of a secret Agency assigned the task of protecting America from the denizens of the Underworld who burst out every once in a while to terrorize humanity. This small but ferocious cadre start with Navy SEAL as their basic training, and progress from there.

Kal is the typical hero, a six-foot four former college football player. The author has some fun with the stereotype, though. Instead of the hyperAmerican Midwestern boy, this hero is Finnish, with skin so white that his normal buddies comment on it, and his Native American teammate looooves to call him “White Boy.” Kal has an appropriate voice for the first person main character, full of rough irony. I have a friend who spent some time in the military, and he has the identical sense of humour. Kal spends the story dealing with the personal devils which make him what he is, and threaten to take everything away from him.

   A mysterious super-magician has appeared, threatening not only humankind, but Kal and his team as well. Backed by the usual team members and tech geeks, and aided by an almost-friendly Internet spook, he uses the power of his rage against all evil to battle back.

This is formula writing, but with enough creative twists to keep your attention. The main character is stereotypical, as is expected in this genre, but Stone give us enough insight into Kal’s psyche to allow us to empathize with him.

   A superfluous point-of-view change in the middle rather bothered me, and the constant flashbacks are a very risky practice, especially in the action section of the story. Done properly, the two action plots, past and present, should complement each other to create extra tension, but in practice the disorientation caused by the frequent time switching tends to lower the reader’s involvement in the story, thus reducing suspense. Stone has been moderately successful with the technique, and the overall excitement of the story carries through any rough spots.

   I found it a real pleasure to be sent one of those rare ebooks which are smoothly written and well edited. This is not a story for the faint of heart or stomach, nor for those wanting a plot with any connection to reality. Personally, I’m really looking forward to the promised sequel.

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