Tag Archives: Lee Carlon

Carlon, Lee: A God-Blasted Land (The Bastard Cadre I) (2016)

AGBL_Cover-Low-Res
Cover design by Lee Carlon

The Bastard Cadre, episodes 1-14 is the first book of this ongoing serial written by Lee Carlon. I am not used to continually changing stories, but find the concept fascinating. Carlon describes the way he works:

… one thing to note about this serialization is that unlike traditional serializations where the author is bound to the words that have been committed to the page, publishing online allows me to treat The Bastard Cadre as a continuous work in progress. Each episode is complete at the time of publication, but I do update the text from time to time. (peakcity)

Change can be daunting when you are an aspie. Part of that has to do with the accompanying anxiety. I have to go through mental gymnastics to keep anxiety’s influence on my opinion as limited as possible while reviewing The Bastard Cadre.

Newterra is on a world with two suns. Its geography is loosely based on Australia’s. Some of the inhabitants on Newterra might be descended from Earth humans. Others, not so much. Dragons, dualists, descendants and gods are in the last category, although, I’m arguing with myself about the gods. Newterra’s gods are not very old, they fight each other, hold separate territories and 20 years ago they Cleansed the world with a type of fire. The Cleansing took biological lives but not electrical ones. There are still plenty of AIs around. Vehicles can be picked up in almost any city and cleaning bots are still doing their jobs in the larger cities. We enter the world 20 years after the Cleansing and meet a world that has lost numbers and a great deal of understanding of technology.

Our main characters, Avril Ethanson, Ethan Godkind and Ranora fi’Intar, all seem to be human. Avril and Ranora are both young and have unusual abilities. Avril can affect electrical impulses. Ranora can read people and cards. Ethan is Avril’s foster-father and has held that role since soon after Avril was born. These three characters give us insight into how Newterra works and what its people are like. Clues to their importance and backgrounds are doled out during the telling of this story. This way of learning about places and people in a story is my preferred one.

Avril and Ethan are scavengers who salvage old tech and barter it for essentials. When we meet them, the past is about to catch up with Ethan. Life has a tendency to mess up our plans and put our procrastinations to shame. There was so much Ethan had planned on telling Avril to prepare him for what might happen. When they meet Beads, the finder, it is almost too late and Avril is in for some gigantic surprises that involve his heritage and potential future.

We learn little about Ranora’s background. She is a talented painter who brings the past to life. Bringing the past to life in her art is probably connected to her ability to read people and objects to uncover “secrets”. Ranora seems to be on her own when we meet her. Being alone in Newterra tends to shorten your life-expectancy. When a bounty-hunter gang shows up, Ranora uses her ability to claim a spot in it. We all make choices in our lives. Some mess life up for us while others bring unexpected gifts our way. Joining the gang was a choice that brought both mess and gift to Ranora, such as bringing her into contact with both Ethan and Avril.

The Bastard Cadre’s intended audience is young adult and older. From the get go we get an action-filled story about fate, betrayal, family and different ways of handling the world. The Bastard Cadre was given to me to review. Recommended.


Reviews:

  • Benjamin Spurlock
  • Leachim
  • N.E. White
  • N.N.
  • Rosie Writes

A God-Blasted Land can be found on Amazon

Carlon, Lee: The Lord of Frake’s Peak (The Bastard Cadre IV) (2014)

Lord of Frake's Peak

You could probably start reading The Bastard Cadre series with The Lord of Frake’s Peak. That is because it goes back to the story of the early days of the reign of Lord Obdurin. As long as you don’t mind the spoilers as the beginning of the novel you should be fine. The only problem with doing this is that you would be reading the best first because Lee Carlon‘s writing has gone from one bastion to the next during these four novels.

I am fairly certain the gods aren’t gods. After I finished reading The Lord of Frake’s Peak I knew that the “whatever they are – not gods” had done all they could to keep humans in ignorance. The Cleansing that had occurred three years before the beginning of The Lord of Frake’s Peak seems like something they would do to keep their secret safe because they felt some person had come too close to the truth. I’m still not clear on whether there are any female gods or if there are genders at all. Whatever the case is there, these so-called gods seem to be amoral beings playing the world and humans for what they can. People like that stink. That is my completely unbiased (snort) opinion.

Lord Obdurin is only one of the many chosen running about doing the gods’ deeds. His god is Rhysin. To become a chosen Lord Obdurin had to get the heart of Rhysin from his predecessor, Lord Benshi. Something terrible seems to happen over time to all of the Chosen. Part of the amorality of the gods seems to enter them and they go from being whatever type of person they used to be to taking on part of the nature of the god. If that is the case, Rhysin must be a brute. Lord Benshi became one and his sons paid a terrible price for it.

Vincent d’Rhyne is the only surviving son of Lord Benshi. He wants nothing to do with Rhysin but is not able to tear himself from the place he grew up. Lord Obdurin spared Vincent for some reason only Obdurin knows when Lord Benshi died. Vincent feels only relief at having his father out of his life. Of the two, Vincent feels that Lord Obdurin is the best alternative. Having read all four installments of The Bastard Cadre I find myself unable to give a clear answer as to whether Vincent trusts in vain.

Trust might be the wrong word, but it seems pretty close to how Vincent feels toward Lord Obdurin. It is as if Vincent trusts that Obdurin will keep him from reaching for the gods. But the reach of the gods might be longer than any of the inhabitants of Carlon’s world might know. Perhaps they are all just part of a huge video game.

Life sometimes feels like that. The joke has been on Vincent so many times that it is becoming more and more difficult for him to remember that life is just a big joke. His ability to stay in the present fluctuates. Considering how traumatized Vincent it is a wonder that he manages to stay there at all.


Reviews:


  • File Size: 304 KB
  • Print Length: 157 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Clockwork Samurai (March 2, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IRAVL1M

My review of:

  1. A God-Blasted Land
  2. The Godslayer’s Legacy
  3. The Dead God’s Shadow

Mr. Carlon sent me a copy of Frake’s Peak – no strings attached.

Carlon, Lee: The Dead God’s Shadow (The Bastard Cadre III) (2013)

The Dead God's Shadow1
Cover artist Lee Carlon

The Bastard Cadre serial just gets better and better. I think I am a sucker for the traditional Hero. I have to admit that I am a sucker for just about any type of character as long as they are well written.

One example of a well written character in The Dead God’s Shadow is the Death priest Avril has his gentle encounter with. Crazy or what? That is one dedicated priest. I don’t know if it is more fun to write about the “bad guys”, but in my head it must be. I cannot even say that the Death priest was a well-rounded character because he was utterly and completely boinkers. No more than some people out there, but still …

Obduron’s dad isn’t exactly a sweetheart either. I guess that in a world left as harsh as the one Avril lives in the term “survival of the strongest” does not necessarily mean that the strong are going to be nice. Probably quite the opposite in fact. Maybe it comes from holding power for as long as Valan has.

You must know by now that The Bastard Cadre is a post-apocalyptic tale. The land is  decimated and people struggle to hold on to life. Desertification seems to be huge in the area Avril travels through. Avril is one tough dude. He is like the Energizer bunny – just keeps on going and going and going. He retains a certain kind of innocence about him in spite of the many opportunities to turn into a cynic. I think he is the kind of person I would like to be.

I keep on wondering about those gods. Who exactly are they? They aren’t immortal and they certainly do not agree on matters. In fact they war against each other using humans to fight many of their battles. Right there we can tell that they aren’t very nice nor do they care about people. I feel like throwing a hissy-fit demanding to know right now what the rest of the story is. But authors are cruel people who like to keep their fans waiting and it seems Lee Carlon is no exception to that rule.

The Dead God’s Shadow is definitely dark and so is the humor. There is something so refreshing about dark humor that cannot be found anywhere else. Carlon is subtle about his points as well. They sort of sneak up on you (well, me).


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 297 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Clockwork Samurai; 1 edition (30 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU  S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E96LAMI

I was given a reviewer’s copy by Carlon. The only preferential treatment I am aware of giving is to read the novel ahead of others on my general to-read list.

Carlon, Lee: The Godslayers’ Legacy (The Bastard Cadre II) (2013)

Cover design by Lee Carlon

First of all I want to say thank you to Lee Carlon for sending me a reviewer’s copy of The Godslayers’ Legacy.

I liked book no. 1 of the series: A God-Blasted Land and had hopes for the rest of the series. I wonder what it must be like to be an author writing a series/serial??? I imagine the pressure you put on yourself to perform well the second time around must add to the stress whenever you feel lost in your own work. The excellent writer is like any excellent performer out there. We as a public aren’t supposed to guess how much work goes into their art. They get the tears. We get the pleasure.

Lee Carlon is turning out to be such a writer. To me he writes in minor key and plays those black tangents on his keyboard like an expert.

When Avril Ethanson decided he would fight Lord Obdurin’s bond, he did not know it would be so difficult. His reins are not as tight as those of the other cadres living up on Frake’s Peak, but they are nevertheless reins. Ronara enjoys being able to live there but she does not have to fight the bond that Lord Obdurin has tied between himself and Avril.

Not only Ronara and Obdurin add to Avril’s conflicted feelings. He is first sworn of his cadre and feels the need to seek out his other cadre members. For some reason Lord Obdurin wanted a semi-independent cadre to play his games with, and Avril’s is it.

We get to meet four of the other cadre members in this novel. Telling all of their names would only be a spoiler, but one of them is safe to share. Dune d’Turintar is on a mission to kill Lord Obdurin. Doing so is bound to bring her within reach of Avril.

Newterra is a bleak place. The world has been left in ruins by the Gods and the Gods pretty much rule the world. Who and what the gods are will probably be revealed later on, but I’m guessing Gods aren’t it.