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My mind is a whirlwind of thoughts and imagination. A simple raindrop, the smell of a trash heap, or the touch of a bee's stinger is enough to immerse me into a new story idea. My passion is writing and my inspiration is everywhere. So far, my focus has been in short stories, however I have many novels floating around in my brain. Recently I have also been handed the opportunity to review the works of others and share them with everyone that reads my blog. Feel free to find me on facebook (facebook.com/esselprattwriting) the web (EsselPratt.com)or follow me on twitter (@EsselPratt).

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Review: Saving Kennedy by Francis Y. Barel

"Saving Kennedy", by Francis Y. Barel provides us with an intriguing look into a top secret government mission through the eyes of multiple outlets.  Told via diaries, news articles, notes, letters, reports, and more, we get both a behind the scenes look at the story as well as from the media.

When I opened the book, and saw that it was not a normal chapter book, but rather a collection of snippets from the viewpoints listed above, I was immediately drawn in to the dynamic story and was not disappointed at all.

"In 1945, when the first atomic bomb was dropped, Dr. Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project team made an incredible discovery: time travel was possible, under certain conditions. Operation Time Sleeper was born. Out of the ashes of the atomic clouds and dusts, the US government created a program to explore this “time tunnel” that sends objects, and human beings, back in time 50 years, to the day.
In the waning days of 2012, as 2013 is looming and the last possible moments to save President Kennedy are closing, Project Camelot launches 30 timesleepers back 50 years on a one-way trip through time to save Kennedy.

Gabriel Fox is one of these timesleepers: a Navy SEAL trained to survive under any situation, even Dallas, circa 1963. But why would he accept this mission? And how close will he get to saving Kennedy?
Mixing time travel and Cold War espionage, intrigue and high-stakes action, Saving Kennedy is pure genre-bending entertainment."

I will admit that I am a sucker for time travel, and the various ways in which it can be conducted.  Using the blast from an atomic bomb is something I had never thought of in relation to time travel, and Francis Y. Barel does a fantastic job of making the concept both plausible and believable.  If you are a fan of espionage, time travel, political figures, and originality, this is a must read.  Never, have I had so much fun reading such a mixed genre book as this "Saving Kennedy".

Available on Amazon.com (click picture to purchase)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: Evil Jester Presents

I originally shared "Evil Jester Presents" with everyone when they were still hoping to raise the funds to make this horror filled graphic novel a reality.  As I shared back then, the folks at Evil Jester Comics not only reached their goal, but exceeded it.

Today, after driving an hour and a half home from work due to slippery roads and snail paced traffic, I found that my copy of the ling awaited comic was sitting upon my laptop waiting for me to dig in.  Carefully, I opened the envelope and gasped at the beauty of the cover.  I have collected a lot of comics in my time, and never have I seen such a breathe taking front cover.  I had seen pictures on the internet, especially Facebook, but to have it in my hands was an experience all its own.

Inside, I found that the stories and art were just as astounding.  Leading with Jack Ketchum's "The Box" introduced us to the level of work that "Evil Jester Presents" has in store for us.  I was immediately intrigued and felt a lump in my throat when finished.  It was scary, yet carried a heavy dose of emotion to play upon my fears.  Joe McKinney's "Swallowed" was not only visually stunning, both in words and pictures, but left me wanting more, in a good way.  I would love to see an entire comic built around his story alone.  "Small World", by William F. Nolan is a heart wrenching post apocalyptic tale of one man's survival.  It also reminded me to fear my kids when the apocalypse rears its ugly head.  Finally, "Like Part of the Family", by Jonathan Mayberry, rounds out the four tales with a new spin on the classic monsters.

Although the four authors are the shining stars within the pages, we cannot forget those that are hidden within the credits.  Eduardo Alpuente (Art Consultant), Joseph Siglio (Designer), Felix Ruiz (Logo & Title Design), Richard P. Clark (Front Cover Art), Aric Sundquist (Staff Writer and Reader), Charles Day (Publisher), and Taylor Grant (Publisher and Deaditor-in-Chief, Art Director, and Staff Writer), were all just as essential to the debut issue of Evil Jester Presents, and earn an applause all the same. 

If you are a fan of Horror, Art, Comics, or just a good story, click the picture below to order your copy today!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Review: "Salomé" - A Fantasy/Science Fiction Novel by J. Valor & S. Pryce

"Salomé" - A Fantasy/Science Fiction Novel by J. Valor & S. Pryce is a fantastic read with with many layers weaved within its pages.  The story is well crafted and thought out, leaving the reader anticipating what will happen next.

"In a future world where technology co-exists with magic, an orphaned princess must discover the source of her own power to save the people from her tyrant uncle the Archlord.

Salomé is an epic tale of love, betrayal and redemption. Salomé, the new fantasy sci-fi novel from J. Valor & S. Pryce, takes the reader on adventure from the Middle East to all corners of the ten Domains of a dystopian future world.

Two Messengers from a world of Light come to Earth in human form and unwittingly become entangled in the web of an ancient Prophecy whose fulfillment could free humanity from oppression.

Awakened to her destiny, Salome must renounce life as a princess to challenge her tyrant uncle and the ten Magnates who threaten to subjugate not only this world, but also the mystical Homeworld from whence she and her Beloved have come.

What price must the Lovers pay for the freedom of both worlds?"

When I began reading, I will admit that I was a little apprehensive about how I would feel about it as a whole.  I started reading it believing it would be a Young Adult novel, and although it was meant to be, I think the tone lends it to a more mature audience at times. One of the lines in the first chapter dealt with nakedness and breasts, hinting at a sexual activity that was taking place.  After reading the first chapter, I felt that maybe I was not giving it a fair chance, so I reread the chapter from an adult perspective instead of a YA perspective.  The tone seemed appropriate and I was able to absorb myself into the pages.  

The book is split into four parts, Elijah: Birth and Death, Salomé: The awakening, The Journey, and Saba Rising.  Each part has its own individual chapters.  Within the book there is quite a bit of Hebrew text, which is translated within to help the reader understand what is being said.  I loved the layer that the additional language added, allowing the reader to think as he or she is reading through and experiencing the characters as though they are living and breathing beings.  

"Salomé" is an addicting read that should immediately be added to any sci-fi/fantasy must read list.  Be sure to visit the book's Amazon and Goodreads page to leave your review, to let J. Valor and S. Pryce know how much you enjoyed the book!