Friday, May 26, 2017

Weston's The IX - Review by SE

The IX  (The IX #1)The IX by Andrew P. Weston
S.E. rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fresh Alien/Military/YA Adventure

Andrew P. Weston’s The IX is fun and genre-spanning for sure, being a mashup of military sci-fi and fantasy. Think of mixing Star Trek, John Carter of Mars, and Alien/Predator into a blender. However, it actually reads more like a Young-Adult mystery. Give the proverbial Hardy Boys some assault rifles and space suits, join them on a distant planet, and save all life from alien corruption--be part of the IXth! Without spoiling, the premise revolves on the sudden gathering of the below groups across time:
1. The IXth Lost, Roman Legion (~120 CE)
2. Abraham Lincoln’s US Calvary (1800 CE)
3. An anti-terrorist special forces group (~2052 CE)

The challenge/promise presented is that all these groups are related somehow…and an alien Horde threatens them all. There are tons of characters embroiled in time-travel & a bizarre fight for survival, but the characters do not carry the story. The mystery of the situation does.
- What is the belligerent Horde?
- Why are three pairs of warring groups selected throughout time and space to play a role battling the Horde?
- How are these pairs of earthly enemies going to work together?

The IX is lighthearted too, so as you go from control-room reporting and war-room planning to the alien fields of Arden, you’ll be tossed onto the front line with dose of humor. Hold onto your drawers! There are dozens of characters, but Lieutenant McDonald and Ayria emerge as central protagonists. “Mac” is an intelligent, special-forces operative, a contemporary smart-aleck (wait…I may have just described the author; see his BIO below) and Ayria is a physician with a splendid, weird ancestry. I adored Ayria and her story & chapters the most. She is paired with Stained With Blood, a Native American dream walker, and their experiences were the most meaningful to me.

All threads of this militaristic mystery are resolved, but it also sets up a sequel: Exordium of Tears. The author’s voice shines through. From his BIO sheet, we learn that he is a Royal Marine and Police Veteran with studies in astronomy and law. It’s clear he is drawing from his experience. I was drawn to this book after reading Hell Bound, a Heroes in Hell novel featuring Daemon Grim (aka Satan’s Hitman, of course). Daemon Grim is also developed with mysterious elements, but his character is more developed than any provided in IX. I’ll be reading more of Weston for sure, though I am more attracted to Hell than Space so I may prioritize the Hell series.

The IX (The IX #1) by Andrew P. Weston Exordium of Tears by Andrew P. Weston
Hell Bound (Heroes in Hell) by Andrew P. Weston Doctors in Hell (Heroes in Hell #18) by Janet E. Morris Pirates in Hell (Heroes in Hell #20) by Janet E. Morris

Author’s BIO: Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats. An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestselling IX Series and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, the British Science Fiction Association and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. When not writing, An drew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.

View all my reviews

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Hell Week 2017




Author Alexandria L. Butcher is hosting Hell Week 2017 on her blog. It's a series of interviews with the characters from Pirates in Hell (just released fantasy/historical-fiction from Perseid Press).

There are a lot of damned characters pooled together across time, as shown in The Heroes of Hell 2017 class photo. Now you can hear from them directly.

Quasimodo just started to lead the pack! Each day I'll update the links here, but you may just follow Alex's blog.

"My name, it is Quasimodo. In life, I was once crowned Pope of Fools, for I was and still I am the most ugly and misshapen cathedral bell ringer of them all. The Hunchback of Notre Dame . . . that is who I was and what I am now and forever more..."




    "I am Ernest Haeckel, renowned evolutionist, artist, and philosopher. You heard of my contemporary Charles Darwin, no doubt? I coined the term ecology and am famous for my beautiful drawings of lifeforms. My embryological montages unexpectedly drew anger from my fellow scientists.  They deemed I embellished too much. Yet, I stand by my depictions of embryos and the notion that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. You look confused, no doubt because of your retarded ancestry..."

My name is Captain Charles—Allweather—Vane. Born in 1680, I was a pirate operating out of the notorious base at New Providence in the Bahamas known as the “Pirates’ republic”, after the British abandoned the colony during the War of the Spanish Succession. What is the WORST thing about being in Hell?  The rum. It tastes like urine distilled through sweaty socks…on a good day. And the grog? I’ve sampled vomit that possesses more body and refinement




"I am William Lauder (1680–1771) and while alive was a Scottish literary forger, the second son of Dr William Lauder, one of the original 21 Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, by his spouse Catherine Brown. My success was short-lived. Several scholars, who had independently studied the alleged sources of Milton’s inspiration, showed that I had not only garbled most of my quotations, but had inserted amongst them extracts from a Latin version of Paradise Lost."


"My name is Bartholomew Roberts, although in your time you would be more likely to know me as ‘Black Bart’, a name which, I should point out, was attributed to me after my death.  I was third mate on a slaver ship in 1719 when we were captured by pirates while anchored off the Gold Coast.  I and two others were pressed into pirate service, and once the Captain discovered my skill as a navigator I became quite useful to him.  At first I was reluctant to fall in with such a lot, but it took very little time for me to realize the advantages of such a life far outweighed the disadvantages of being a British sailor, and I took to it, deciding that a life of low wages and harsh treatment were far less preferable to a short life and a merry one."

"I am Medea, daughter of the king of Colchis, niece of Circe, granddaughter of Helios the sun god, priestess of Hekate, who rules Erebos and judges the damned who come there. More to the point, I am the oldest witch in hell.  I met Jason when he came to Colchis to claim his inheritance and swore to claim his throne by bringing home the Golden Fleece. Like a fool, I fell in love with him. I helped him secure the Fleece, pass every test, on the condition that he would marry me should we succeed. Sailing in the Argos with his Argonauts, we did all of those, and more. Why am I in Hell? Jason and I killed my brother, who came chasing after us to grab the Fleece once we secured it. Then, later, when he spurned me for a daughter of Creon’s, did I turn upon fickle Jason, and killed both our children. Although I had a right to my revenge, one of those or both brought me to hell."

"I am Orpheus, son of the Thracian king Oeagros or perhaps even of Apollo, but most certainly sprung from the belly of the Muse Calliope, forever to hear the strains of her harmonies in all things. The strings of the lyre thrill to my touch as I to them and men and birds and fishes to the tides of all that is....I am in hell, as in life, to be taken amiss in perpetuity, to poetize, sing and play upon my instruments in accord with each unfolding moment and sway all souls about me to respond according to their nature and be reviled for doing so, for their differences cast them at odds."


 


"I, Henry Morgan, was born in Wales around the year 1635 but the opportunities for a Welshman in those days for adventure and wealth were scarce, so I set out for the West Indies for some excitement, and to try to make my fortune as a privateer. The governor of Jamaica gave me a letter of marque so that I could legally attack Spanish ships and seize their cargo. I was even able to attack many cities under Spanish rule, including Panama City, Porto Bello, and Maracaibo raiding them for their riches... I became Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica after retiring from privateering... After dying and ending up in hell, I suffered many lifetimes worth of years of drudgery and toil before I could acquire my own ship and begin plundering the riches of the ships on the seas of hell."


Pirates in Hell is now available!  Paperback  /  Kindle  / Nook


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Heroes in Hell - Class of 2017

Pirates in Hell is now available!  Paperback  /  Kindle  / Nook


See the Heroes in Hell, 2017 Class Picture? Imagine all those timeless characters stuck in Hell struggling with their pasts, presents, and futures. It's a crazy mashup of historical fiction and fantasy!

I'm officially aboard this ship. My first voyage is the 20th installment. Pirates in Hell has twelve tales spun by Janet Morris, Christopher Crosby Morris, Andrew Paul Weston, Nancy Asire, myself, Paul Freeman, Larry Atchley Jr, Jack William Finley, Michael H. Hanson, Rob Hinkle, and Joe Bonadonna. Honored to be apart of the crew.  Cool cover art by Roy Mauritsen too!

When should you jump in? 

Now! Perhaps you are a bit timid to jump into Hell so quickly; so why not have the tour guides explain your worries away?  Authors from the preceding Doctors in Hell anthology convened for a death panel to explain the series and why it's okay to  "go to Hell at any time! (link)"


Pirates in Hell Contents:



Bitter Business – Janet Morris and Chris Morris
Pieces of Hate – Andrew P. Weston
Evil Angel –  Janet Morris and Chris Morris
Who’s a Pirate Now? – Nancy Asire
Curse of the Pharaohs – S.E. Lindberg
Lir’s Children – Paul Freeman
Unholiest Grail – Larry Atchley, Jr.
The Bitter Taste of Hell’s Injustice – Jack William Finley
Serial Recall and Beautiful Tortures – Michael H. Hanson
Drink and the Devil – Rob Hinkle
The Pirates of Penance – Joe Bonadonna
Muse of Fire – Janet Morris and Chris Morris
Hell Hounds (excerpt) – Andrew P. Weston