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Posts Tagged ‘fallen angels’

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R.S. Belcher returns us to the fantasy-filled, steampunk wild West world of Golgatha. Golgatha is a strange little town where all is not quite as it seems and it is populated with strange, enigmatic, and in some cases, terrifying characters. In Shotgun Arcana, Belcher returns with some the old crew: Maude Stapleton (the female assassin/pirate), Jon Highfather (the sheriff that is seemingly unkillable), Mutt (the half-Indian/ half coyote … still trying to figure out that arrangement), Jim Negrey (the deputy with the strange jade eye) and Malachi Bich (the mysterious, charismatic fallen angel). Believe me, there is quite an intriguing roster of delightful characters I’d love to mention but that would make me a complete and proper tosser and it would deprive your curiosity. Translation: you’ve got to read this book … but don’t take my word for it. Oh alright then … please do be a good sport and take my word … just a wee bit.
It is the year 1870, and Golgatha had just endured a wee little Wurm problem a year ago (something about plunging the universe in darkness and chaos … yeah, small stuff … please see the first book). As the residents of Golgatha begin to pick up the pieces and life seems to return to normal (if there is ever such a thing as normal in the town of Golgatha), a new evil rears it head in the horizon. No, it is not a Bruce Jenner reality show chronicling his “changes”. The horror, the bloody horror. A mythical skull said to contain a vile force, that once released would turn the world into a murderous fury, is sought by a mysterious Ray Zeal (who apparently had a past with Malachi Bich). Even worse, a collection of some of the vilest beings, ever imagined, are all being summoned by a strange sinister force. How file are these wankers you say, let’s just say that they make those ISIS assholes look like a bunch of daisy-picking, little girls … dressed in pink tutus. Come to think of it ISIS backwards is SISI. I’ve detoured slightly. And guess where all these fine specimens of gene pool maladies converge on? Ah yes, the unwitting town of Golgatha. No rest for the wicked, yeah?
So as Golgatha gears up fo another cataclysmic showdown of apocalyptic proportions, some interesting are added to the Golgathan roster: a female Pinkerton agent, a Madame that could probably take down Rhonda Rousey very easily (Rhonda can, however, take me down ANYTIME), and a bouncer that is a well-read, teddy bear with the personality of glacier (wtf … you say … trust me). And that’s just the folks on the good side.
Shotgun Arcana is like a runway train, hopped up on meth, careening into blinding lightspeed as the suspense and action takes readers into an explosive conclusion that could only be measured in kilotons. And it will have most readers jonesing for the sequel. This IS, after all, trilogy, right Mr. Belcher?

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It is Memorial Day so I felt that this would be an appropriate book review. Back in the late 80s into the 90s there was a great show on the telly called Tour of Duty. You remember those days, when networks actually took the time to show great shows instead of the heavily scripted and possibly rigged bollocks that is now called “reality tv” … talk about a big, buggering oxymoron. Well, every Saturday night many of us ran home to curl up in front of the telly to watch Tour of Duty, a series that centered around a group of characters that were serving in the armed forces deployed in Vietnam. The show was gritty, though not so gory, and it probably mirrored what really happened to many servicemen and women that served in Viet Nam.

I came across Fallen Angels in the YA (young adult) stacks and I was drawn to the illustration the cover. I had to satiate my curiosity. And I was not disappointed. Fallen Angels is centered around Ritchie Perry, a young black man that is recently deployed into the scary mess that is Viet Nam. Enlisted in the hope of earning money to send back to his mother and brother, he hopes that a busted knee would exclude him from active duty. Unfortunately, someone did not get the memo and Ritchie got sent to a fiery vacation point in South East Asia.  As you read the book you come across his fears, apprehensions as encounters bumbling bureaucracy, bouts of racism, spurts of cowardice and insanity, the hint of a love that will never be (not going to spoil that one for you, mates), an unnerving amount of body bags, and an appreciation for God Almighty. It would be a far stretch to say that this was as good as sitting next to the blokes in Quonset huts during the this moment time, but I’ve got a really vivid imagination and I’ve seen tons of Viet Nam based war movies. Though I must safely and honestly add that, despite all of that, I would never be able to truly grasp what those brave souls that served truly went through over there. I would be foolish to think otherwise. Still it is delightful pieces such as Fallen Angels that give us a slight glimpse into what our servicemen and women endured. All the more reason to be more respectful and grateful of their service. Fallen Angels is a quick read, and though it is centered around the somberness of war, there is mixture of everything … even humour  (watch out for bloke named Peewee). Interesting fact about this book: it was on the ALA list of banned books for it was challenged in some schools, in 1990, for profane language. And if you meet a vet, be kind enough to say thanks or lend them an ear as they tell their stories. Thanks mates, for your service.

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