At some point in my wonder years, I watched An American Werewolf in London, a 1981 horror movie so terrifying to me then, I don’t care to watch it now. The scene where a dead man nonchalantly jokes while his cheek dangles in bloody shreds is one I shall not forget, and when I looked up images from the movie to help write this review, I had a bit of apprehension. Some might see this as a call to censorship, but I beg to differ. Instead of censorship, it is a call for better filmmaking because if a movie made before the advent of CGI has the ability to chill me to the bone in 2020, then why is it very few past 1990 have the same effect?
This book review is not about movies nor zombies with a witty sense of humor, but it is about werewolves, wizards, and suspense in city life.
Wolf & Magic: An Undead P. I. Novella is the story of Esteban, a wizard from the Southwestern United States, who visits a city to help a friend in desperate need. No sooner does he arrive than he finds himself pursued by werewolves bent on fulfilling a plan to set in motion a life altering event. The chase begins as Esteban hurries along busy streets hunting the pack while he himself becomes the target of their aggression. Forced against the wall, he finds himself challenged and needing to prove the staff is a mighty weapon.
From the start, the story feels a bit like a comic book, and when I learned more about Esteban’s character, it became clear why. The story’s not long, easy to read, and only takes a few hours to complete. Fast readers are going to love how the story moves quickly and recognize the comic book feel. I really appreciate the fact it has no chapters. I sensed the chapters, but there’s no need for them because the action continues from page to page with no time bouncing. If you can’t stand stories that make you keep a notepad handy to follow the plot, this story is going to delight you because all you need to do is kickback and read. It’s one of those if you mark the spot, you just start where you stopped stories.
Another thing that intrigued me about this story is I thought I knew the ending, and then it surprised me when I didn’t. It left me with the feeling of getting a good solid read in. I didn’t feel cheated or coaxed. In fact, I sat back in my chair and chuckled for thinking I knew the ending. To me, that’s the sign of a good writer. They have the ability to guide you along, make you think you’re in control, but then you realize their story, much like real life, is not predictable.
Thoughts of you run in my mind.
Wondering where we stand.
I look at my phone, wanting, hoping,
for the call to come.
The phone rings, my heart stops,
my palms sweat and I answer.
I hear the voice I’ve been longing
You and I say what we must.
My soul is on fire.
As we speak of the past.
I realized how wrong I was to leave.
As we speak of the future.
I fear that ship has sailed.
I gather my strength and conviction.
I close my eyes and I ask the question.
I ask to be forgiven hoping the answer is true.
It hangs in the air like the
proverbial elephant in the room.
I can hear the smile on the other end, and
the answer comes in loud and clear.
Tears well up as the answer brings me to my knees,
and I thank God for letting us have this second chance.
Time passes as time does.
I now stand here in front of your name.
As I look down upon your resting place.
Tears well up and I smile and reminisce of the past,
and the second chance given to us.
I place a rose on the casket as it is lowered
in the last place, you’ll rest.
I look over to the fruit of our love and say that
“you’re in a better place, and one day we will be together again.
Know what one problem with the world today is? If not, don’t worry I’ll tell you. In this day and age most of the parents of the newest generation being born have raised an ungrateful, selfish, group of individuals that are being taught with no understanding of how the world really works. We give them trophies just for showing up. I believe the term used is “participation awards.” Why should kids be given an award just for participating? I mean if they want to join a sport, then they are showing us that because they want to participate. And no trophy or prize should be used to draw them into said activity. It’s always been the idea of being part of a team, a group that strives in being the best. To beat the other team to come in first in a competition or a tournament. Its the thrill of competing and winning that fuels us to be better and to strive to be the best. People say it’s not winning that matters but how you play the game. I agree, but I also believe that losing makes us want to be better. And, when prizes or trophies are given for coming in last, it gives our kids the idea that, “ why should I do better, I’m going to get a prize anyway, why should I work harder?” That’s the mentality that’s being taught to our kids. The mentality that as long as you show up. You’ll get praised and given a reward for doing just that.
So, we praise them because they get up in the morning and when they show us they can tie their own shoe laces we tell them “good job.” We don’t expect anything from them, we don’t expect them to work for what they need. They’re given the idea, I don’t know from where, but they’re given the idea that the world owes them something. And, that’s where we have made the mistake. Isn’t it the job of the parent as it was the job of the parents before them to raise their children with the passion, to do better than the parents who raised them?
In conclusion, I feel that it’s better to start teaching our children the values to which we were taught. That this world does not owe us anything. And that we need to express wholeheartedly that “there is no free lunch.” Working hard for something not only gives you self-worth, it builds character and that is something lacking in the new generation of people coming into this world.
In the world of fiction, there are many writers out there. And as there are many writers there are just as many different types of genres. One of these genres is the fantasy genre. It is an area of fiction that several authors can write well and some that I’m afraid to say cannot. Luckily I’ve had the pleasure of reading some good writers. And, unfortunately I’ve had the displeasure to have read some bad ones. Now, one that stands out has an uncanny grasp of the written word is D.P. Prior who is one of the good writers out there.
D.P. Prior is the author of the Nameless Dwarf series. And, he is one of the authors that can indeed write the fantasy genre very well. The type of fiction that the fantasy genre represents is filled with magic, creatures of mythic lore, and lands of immense description and imagery that can Make you weep in your mind’s eye.
I myself don’t like to spoil things for people. You see, ff someone spoils it for me I don’t really mind. But doing it to others I think is in bad taste. So no, I will not be giving out plot points to the story so don’t ask. What I’m going to do is my best on letting you know how well this book was written and how well the story flows with it’s rich characters, as well as it’s vivid landscapes. I also will do my best to explain to you how well written the battle scenes are done, giving you an explosive example of how fighting by dwarves is and should be done.
His way of creating worlds and characters is something that has made me look at fantasy writing in a different way. Prior has a way of creating battle scenes that make it look easy, something that not many can do. His way of writing makes you want to keep turning the page to see what comes next. Action scenes that come out from the page with their vivid detail and imagery give you the feeling of being there during the action.
All in all, his writing is something that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in the fantasy genre and I can state that they would not be disappointed with his style of story telling. I believe that if and when you decide to pick up his latest tome titled “Carnifex,” that you will enjoy it as much as I did.