At least that was what I understood of Vines—An Urban Legend. Since the story, itself, is written in a similar format to the ancient Greek Tragedies, it was a bit difficult for my non-Classically trained mind to stay focused. While such a format can work great in shorter works, when it reaches novella or even novel length, it becomes a major chore to read. And you never want a story to feel like something you were forced to read in high school (unless it was from Hawthorne or Poe, ‘cause they rawked).
Fortunately, not all of it reads that way. Some chapters are a more modern format, as in early twentieth century—and there’s nothing I hate more than being reminded of The Great Gatsby. But don’t worry, Williams’s tale is nowhere near as bad as that worthless literary drivel. Williams, at least, knows that a good story requires a protagonist who acts (no pun intended).
So while it wasn’t my cup of tea, and would likely throw off the casual reader, those who have a love for the Classical and experimental will find this story to be an enjoyable twist. His prose is solid, and having attempted (and failed at) such experiments myself, I can certainly appreciate his attempt and the difficulties in crafting a tale in such a way.
But I will admit those mischievous Muses turned me on.
But, then again, mischievous Muses always turn me on.
Best to read while listening to: anything Classical, perhaps with a dash of Contemporary.
And now for that damned annoying disclaimer (Down with the FTC!!):
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review fromFirst Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
So hop to it!
I’ll admit, at first I cringed when I saw the pretty-boy angel on the front cover. I’m not usually a fan of angel stories. More often than not they tend to be stereotyped as innocent do-gooders who could never harm a fly, and anyone who’s actually read the Bible knows they’re anything but.
Landon, the main protagonist, finds himself, his neighbors, and his family under threat from demons as a terrible storm rages through his small town. Beset by supernatural foes, their only ally is the town’s guardian angel, Chrysanthium, who one minute seems to be a paragon of virtue but the next come off as a sociopath. Can the angel be trusted, or is he a greater threat than even the monstrous demons?
The novel starts off suspenseful and tense and never lets up. The tension and suspense just builds and builds with never a break. While that form of storytelling works great for short stories and novelettes, it can get downright fatiguing when it comes to longer works. At least one brief pause in the tension would have been nice.
Also, there’s a certain point in the story where all these refugees were inside a church, but at the moment of the story’s climactic point, the refugees are no longer even mentioned as if they’re suddenly no longer there. So while the story’s ending was spectacular, and the resolution satisfying, I was sill left with that one nagging question: “What happened to all those refugees?”
Aside from those two nagging problems, the story overall was excellent. Kokoski provides depth and complexity to even supporting characters, created one of the most memorable angel characters since Gabriel from The Prophecy, and handles dialogue like an expert craftsman.
And besides, anything that has demon-possessed gorillas in it is a must read.
Best read while listening to: anything from AC/DC (the Satan worshipper with a certain shirt on automatically had me thinking of “Highway to Hell”), Megadeth (“Prince of Darkness” anyone?), and Midnight Syndicate (for those instrumental moments).
And now for that damn disclaimer (I hate you, FTC!):
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from First Rule Publicity from the author as part of a virtual book tour. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Blackwyrm is having an open house on Amazon today, with several authors including the three touring ones with free books.
Today through Wednesday (Dec 3-5), all the following are free on Kindle:
Georgia L Jones: http://www.amazon.com/Remnants-Life-Legends-Darkness-ebook/dp/B007K9WIXQ
Michael Williams: http://www.amazon.com/Vine-An-Urban-Legend-ebook/dp/B008G5WHHA
Christopher Kokoski: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Halo-ebook/dp/B008G5WF2W
Full List (all free on Kindle through Wednesday from Blackwyrm Publishing):
* Burning the Middle Ground (religious thriller): http://www.amazon.com/Burning-the-Middle-Ground-ebook/dp/B00AFHHT7K
* The Man in the Box (fantasy): http://www.amazon.com/The-Man-Box-ebook/dp/B00AFHHZN8
* Seasons of Death (mystery): http://www.amazon.com/Seasons-Death-Mountain-Murders-ebook/dp/B008TC1WAS
* Deadly Pose (mystery): http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Pose-ebook/dp/B00A81XKBC
* Vine, An Urban Legend (mythic): http://www.amazon.com/Vine-An-Urban-Legend-ebook/dp/B008G5WHHA
* The Thieves of Genesis (fantasy): http://www.amazon.com/The-Thieves-of-Genesis-ebook/dp/B00A81XIKU
* Legends of Darkness (fantasy) http://www.amazon.com/Remnants-Life-Legends-Darkness-ebook/dp/B007K9WIXQ
* Dark Halo (horror): http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Halo-ebook/dp/B008G5WF2W
* Silent Voices (romance): http://www.amazon.com/Silent-Voices-ebook/dp/B007WNZ814
* Iron Fist Velvet Glove (thriller): http://www.amazon.com/Iron-Fist-Velvet-Glove-ebook/dp/B007WNZ7JM
* The Official 2012 Survivalist Handbook (humor): http://www.amazon.com/Official-2012-Survivalist-Handbook-ebook/dp/B00A80PUAC
* The Wisdom of Weng Shu (humor): http://www.amazon.com/The-Wisdom-Weng-Shu-ebook/dp/B00A80ZYBW