Scott M. Sandridge

A Work in Progress

SpecMusicMuse Review: The Storm Guardians (Rising Dawn, Book 2) – Stephen Zimmer

The second book in Stephen Zimmer’s Rising Dawn saga, The Storm Guardians, starts out strong and stays that way. Where the first book, The Exodus Gate, primarily set the saga up, it’s in the second book where it picks up the pace.

The setting is like a paralell modern day world. A very familiar world where mostly the names have changed: the UCAS=USA, Grand Charter=Constitution, Yorvik–you get the picture. Although I’m not exactly sure about the small town Godwinton…. (Godwin’s Law?)

The shapeshifting An-Ki are now divided into three clans and despite crossing time and space to escape the global flood and find themselves in a time period they know nothing about, they still find themselves pursued by their ancient Nephilim enemy that managed to cross the Gate as well. Fortunately, they now have help, in the form of a new order of Avatars known as the Watchers.

However, in the spirit world, Beleth leads an army of nasties out of the Abyss and invades Purgatarion in what is quite possibly the most epic and imaginative battle I have ever read in any fantasy novel. Heck, you even get to root for spiders (for once).

All this while Dagian Underwood, Jovan, and the rest of the conspirators (a mixed bag of human and Dark Avatars) continue their march toward a one world government with the revealing of Living ID, along with a federal assault on a home in Godwinton reminiscent of real world events such as Waco and the Brown residence.

The second book reveals many mysteries as Benedict Darwin and the gang continues to find themselves caught up in a conflict so big that no single world can contain it. It contains a large cast of characters, yet Zimmer manages to keep the pace going while still giving each chracter’s proper time in the spotlight. If anything, The Storm Guardians, is a promising continuation to the saga.

Best to read while listening to: Anything from Rob Zombie (no joke). Also, there’s a new band called the Sons of Liberty….

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October 8, 2011 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SpecMusicMuse Review: The Exodus Gate by Stephen Zimmer

Nephilim, a One World Government, events of apocalyptic proportions. Just another “Christian End Times” fiction, you say? Well, not exactly.

In The Exodus Gate, Stephen Zimmer begins a seven-book epic (and secular) saga that combines the myths of Judeao-Christian, Babylonian/Sumerian, and Assyrian apocalyptic texts with an added dash of his own epic dark fantasy twist (and possibly an esoteric sprinkle or two of gnosticism), and weaves a tale that rivals The Lord of the Rings in its scope and The Stand in its characterization depth.

Being the first in the Rising Dawn Saga, this book’s primary purpose is to set up the overall world and introduce the large cast of characters (with the main character being Benedict Darwin), each with their own agendas and sometimes even secrets (I, personally, am already rooting for Erishkegal, but that’s just me). But there is still plenty of well-paced action and plot to keep you reading. The main downside I had was the sheer size of the book. It’s only half the size of The Stand, and I wanted More! Dammit! More!

Some readers might be put off by the size of the book, and if you don’t know it’s basically a large chapter in a grand sweeping saga then you also might feel lost near the end. But the characters will grow on you, especially the An-Ki–Zimmer’s unique take on the werewolf myth–loyal and honorable servants of Adonai.

Overall, it’s a fine start to what promises to be an awesome saga that will keep you reading for days (in between a nap or two, of course).

And besides, Erishkegal is awesome!

Best read while listening to: Epica, Megadeth, Enya, pretty much anything epic or mythological in sound.

September 4, 2010 Posted by | SpecMusicMuse | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment