Tag Archives: Witch-hunters

Halstead, Jason: Dark Earth (Dark Earth I) (2011)

 

In my opinion Dark Earth seems aimed at a younger Young Adult audience.

Jason Halstead starts off the story in modern US and then takes us to a parallel world set to a pre-industrial age. He describes this Dark Earth as meaner and greedier than our own. Perhaps that is due to the younger audience he is writing for and possibly a need to create a good and a bad world. I certainly know of plenty of people who are as mean and greedy on our side of the gates. Places that are more or less pre-industrial are in existence although these are becoming fewer by the decade.

Our heroes are Eric, who lost his wife 13 years ago, and his 13-year-old daughter Jessica. Eric is still caught in the grief of his wife being killed while in her 8th month of pregnancy. When a guy turns up at his house attempting to murder his daughter, Eric is understandably frustrated, angry, afraid and reminded of his previous loss. Then Eric and Jessica discover that they are part of a 2000-year-old legacy that reaches across to parallel world. Now the two will also have to deal with Jessica being kidnapped and Eric being bitten by a strange wolf.

I read Dark Earth a long time ago but had forgotten to write a review for it. That meant I had to read it again. Jason Halstead certainly writes well enough for me to also enjoy the second reading. Although Jessica was the person of interest to the various parties, Eric was the character that I saw the most of. He was the one that showed growth and development.

There was plenty of action and some violence. Only one short bit might be considered by some parents as too much for the youngest children. Other than that, Dark Earth must be one of the safer stories out there for a Young adult audience. There was no swearing, very little violence, some sadness and no romance (except in the memory of Eric and his late wife).


Reviews:


Dark Earth on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Smashwords

Pratchett, Terry and Gaiman, Neil: Good Omens (1990)

First off, I have to say that there is so much incredible artwork out there dealing with Pratchett and Gaiman. I wish I could include all of it. For most other authors I end up with the cover art, but with these two guys I’m in heaven. I recommend that you google “Good Omens”, go to images and sit back and enjoy yourselves. Below are three examples of what you’ll find.

“Good Omens – Armageddon” by himlayan

Good Omens starts off with a prologue placed in the Garden of Eden. You see, there was this serpent, Crawly, who was sent there to do his best to make trouble. He did. In the meantime the angel with the flaming sword, Aziraphale, gave his sword to the humans as protection because he felt sorry for them.

6000 years later Crowley meets up with fellow demons and gets handed a basket with a baby in it. This is the baby presaging the End Of The World. He is told to deliver it at a certain hospital making certain that it gets exchanged with the chosen baby. Something goes wrong, and the baby ends up with the wrong family – unbeknownst to the minions of Hell.

“Good Omens: Humans” by Julie Dillon

In Lower Tadfield, young Adam and his gang run around being the kind of nuisance only a gang of 11 year olds can manage to be. They are happy in their lack of knowledge about the future and the imminence of the end of the world.

Crowley and Aziraphale discover that something is wrong with the child they thought was the son of the Devil when a promised delivery from Hell does not arrive at its appointed place. Ooops.

good omens riders

“Apocalyptic quartette” by Aviv Or

The four horsemen are gathering to fulfill their destiny, but no one knows quite where to go. Where is the promised son of the Devil?

You just know that when you pick up a book by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman that you are not going to get anything even remotely resembling normality. Good Omens is filled with interesting characters and a strange sense of logic. Whenever I read their books, I get into this weird thought-mode where I go – yeah, that could happen. I did it this time as well. Maybe that’s what I like best about both of them, their ability to fool me into believing them. Kind of cool, that ability.

My favorite characters were Crowley and Aziraphale, both rebels in their own right. After 6000 years neither is wholly good or wholly evil. They are still stuck in the mold they were created for, but little bits of them are able to crack that mold just a little.

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  • World Fantasy Award nominee for Best Novel, 1991
  • Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, 1991