Category Archives: typicalbooks

typicalbook – Reverence by Joshua A. Landeros

For fans of bloody, all-out war fought with technology that we can only dream of today, “Reverence” by Joshua Landeros has it, in spades. Even the most casual action fan will be caught up in the pace, so it’s not one to skip even if you feel out of place on the battlefield. From literature, humanity, religion and love – this future-Earth is only a few decades removed from the planet we know now.

Will and Luis are our main soldiers in this raging campaign of a debut novel. Having human names helps, as they are more properly referred to as Unit 21 and Unit 18 respectively. Being early builds of the United Nations Republic elite Super Soldiers, these cyborgs blur the line between man and machine readily. They blur it with blood, whip-crack wit, volleys of machine gun fire, raw emotion, strength and most of all; a succinct and perhaps higher evolved sense of right and wrong. Now, that is not entirely programming. This is where the line blurs in the best of ways.

Having held off past attacks from rebel armies looking to infiltrate and decimate the UNR, the cyborgs rally alongside the vast human army and make gory shrapnel of anyone in their way. While Luis, his counterpart, may come across as the more psychopathic of the two, he shows much turmoil when his close female companion, Bia, comes under fire. He will risk directives and his own safety for her, making him a near liability. Not as much of a liability as Will, however, as the reader will readily learn. Here is where the true nut of the story lies, aside from Luis’ apparent weakness for his lover, Will has his own all too human weaknesses and what could be seen as a glitch. Under the watchful eyes of Doctor Krenzler and Chancellor Venloran, his programming and physical systems have been assessed and reset after hibernation between battles. One thing is overlooked: his memories. Not only does the nature of these memories pose a risk to Will, but they feed a fixation on a past he can’t recall and could very well be an artefact of his cyborg mind. With the threat of mass slaughter with the upheaval of government, and his temper tested by his own doubt, he is named second in command; taking the weight of the world on his metal and synthetic shoulders.

Many will revel in the military jargon within “Reverence” and Landeros deftly peppers in more weapons and machinery that you could shake an assault rifle at, but it never feels exclusionary. Without patronizing the readers who have no knowledge or interest in armaments the conversation and montage surrounding the tools of the trade come across quite naturally, and woven into the story well. As with the life of a career soldier – something few can truly understand from the outside – it too is woven in, making the stories of the men and women we meet here very relatable.

Crossing into horror, as civil war tends to do, there are many scenes with explicit gore. Violence is never outside of the task at hand, nor would it be seen as gratuitous. Much of the fighting follows a cinematic fluidity too, as well-written action does at it’s best. As with talk of human emotion coming from a cyborg, the blood and bone is used as a result of the situations. These machines are thrust into some very human realities. Be it grappling with deep feelings, controlling emotion or how to best incapacitate a room of trained fighters who want their head on a platter – Luis and Will dole out philosophy as readily as pain. That they are designed and programmed killing machines comes as no surprise, but how much of them that comes across as painfully human is refreshing. It could be seen as a shortcut in a way, to keep from having to write in a machine mind, and use literary and plot tactics that are far more relatable… and it works. But then, are the stories we tell of machines can be seen as reflections of ourselves caught in the chrome mirror that makes their flesh at the worst of times. At their best, our better, faster, stronger progeny may offer an unclouded view.

Much of this could grind, rusted, to a halt on the page if it were not for an easy yet never too casual writing style. A highly digestible read, there were no overstayed forays into romance or comedy as too many action packed science fiction stories meander there. Nor is it all dry bureaucracy or blood soaked carnage page after page. One of many things the novel offers is balance.

With the precision of style, compelling relationships and very well crafted roles – of both human and machine – I’d rate this a very high four and a half stars of five. The only shortcoming is not an illness of the story at all, but it could have been longer. The last few chapters wrap up deceptively neatly. Not so neat as to belie the sequels, but for all of the truly careful storytelling up until a series of face-offs and revelations, a few could have done with a little more conversation perhaps. Something more to gnaw on would be nice, even after a veritable buffet where room after room becomes a smorgasbord of mangled meat. “Reverence” is a very strong, and highly enjoyable dark adventure that serves as a bridge between carnage and technology:  Something that readers of horror, war, fantasy, science fiction or westerns could enjoy.

 

Free and signed! Pray Lied Eve 2

Something special for readers in North America! I’ll send the winner one free signed copy of my latest collection, Pray Lied Eve 2. All you need to do is enter the Goodreads giveaway contest – which is super easy to do. A lot of people already have Goodreads accounts, and if not, it is free and there is no obligation at all to buy anything – even the shipping is covered. The site is linked to Amazon, so if you buy books there already, you can view and review even more.

Some authors, and family or friends have had reviews removed from Amazon. There are great reasons for this even though a lot of authors don’t agree. I agree, and also see the solution in people being able to review on Goodreads in good faith – even when their view could be taken as biased.

I’ve entered Goodreads giveaways and that’s likely why I like them so much! There is always a good and fair chance at winning, so enter and let others know. You can only enter once, but hey, you can also ask the person to your left and right to enter if you really want another chance!

Thank you and good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Pray Lied Eve 2 by Lydia Peever

Pray Lied Eve 2

by Lydia Peever

Giveaway ends March 10, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Pray Lied Eve 2 – Now Available!

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Thank you to all my readers, friends, family and fans for the support! There is more coming all too soon, so on the heels of the recent Memento Mori reprint of ‘Tapestry’ and now Pray Lied Eve 2, more dark fiction will be at your door soon enough.  I am awfully proud of this little book, which represents the short horror I have written this year.  Both the Kindle and paperback are there, and if you get the physical copy, you can then get the ebook free. That’s always been the way I’d like books to be so here you go.

If you have any input or questions, let me know, and do leave a review on goodreads, amazon or your blog or wherever you like.

You can find the listing here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NB0YCD7 and more on my author page http://amazon.com/author/lydia.

The Ringer was written for and read aloud at the Wicked Library’s Halloween special. You can download or listen to the episode read by author, friend, madman and the voice of The Librarian himself Nelson W. Pyles. Thank you to Nelson and Dan for being such tremendous support to not only me but countless other authors crawling from their basements. I’m proud to be in the Wicked Library Holding Pen among you all. Please give a listen.

Jack And The Box had bounced around in my head after seeing a prompt for carnival stories. It took a year to take shape and by then that submission call had come and gone. It likely would not have fit in that particular box anyhow.

Midway Park was written for a Halloween anthology, as was Hopscotch Halloween . Both have elements I will revisit someday-the child’s game and the park built over mass graves-as they are just too fun to pass up.

As Is, Where Is was written most recently. Most of the dead people’s things are still around the house somewhere.

Widow’s Wake was written the night before reading it at the first Rue Morgue Dark Carnival Sic Fic competition. While not entirely fictional, I wish it were. The story had written itself over and over in my mind for a decade and I am very pleased to have it out.

Short tales of confusion, fear, and hopelessness.

Horror, weird tales, quiet stories of the supernatural… call them what you will, these six stories serve as a following to the first three dark offerings of Pray Lied Eve. This second installment is longer and delves more deeply into realms perhaps best left undisturbed. Sadness, thoughts of revenge, scenes of torture; many people find themselves exploring these things alone so Pray Lied Eve will offer to be your guide.

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