Jack Thorn: A story of the Future: Chapter 1, Part 1

“They will look like us. They will work with us. They will even try to be us, but they are not us. In the future there will be robots.”

“For every generation there is one who shall answer to prophecy. They will be superior in combat and defence. You will know their name as the Maverick and preserving humanity is their calling.” – Lucius, a Warrior

 

Welcome to the Future

Chapter 1: Just a Soldier

Jack Thorn was entirely oblivious to the fact he stood so close to his own destiny. Only at that precise moment it faced him in disguise by way of a clunky metal air lock door. He shared the stale processed air with a regiment of other soldiers waiting for their dropship to land. Then the war would really begin.

How he got there would make a rich and far stretching story, but what followed after, well that is where this journey begins. A tale intertwined with destiny going back further than anyone could imagine just for this moment to exist. Sometimes Jack thought about everyday life just like that. One day can be made up of a series of chance meetings; unbeknown to you or anyone else that you may meet the love of your life or your archenemies and everyone in between. Maybe the soldiers behind him were just a cameo in his blockbuster life or maybe they would charge with him and lead the front line all the way to the enemy. He didn’t know at this precise moment that his thought process compared to others was different. His making was of prophecy laid out generations before. A prophecy saying he would fight and that he’ll be good at it.

“Damn turbulence,” Steve Franco grumbled. He glanced around nervously whilst trying to keep a rigid stance to the right of Jack.

Everyone bounced in slow-motion as the gravity adjusted. All of them bobbing up and down in clunky hard padded armouring, shoulder to shoulder in threes. They weren’t on solid ground just yet.

“Flying is so damn overrated right now,” Jack Thorn said with a tone of concern.

He eyed the mud encrusted metal grating they all stood upon.

“That’s just the battle anxiety in ya,” said the soldier stood on his other side. This older man thumped the chin strapped standard issue helmet he wore.

Franco’s round and rough shaven face briefly peered to this older soldier. The dim lights flickered for all but a moment and then Franco spoke with a Brooklyn tongue,

“Yeah, nothing like the fear of death to get the heart pumping. I just want you to know Connolly that both myself and Thorn are ever so grateful you volunteered us to the front.”

“I’ve always got you fellas in mind,” the soldier Connolly proudly said.

“At least in that way we get first dibs on cover and you gals need the experience. Unlike the senior cats on this boat. They didn’t appreciate the call up against these walking talking manikins”.

The entire dropship jolted with a rattling vibration.

“We attack this situation before it gets a chance. Guns up the ass of the enemy. Don’t give them an inch,” Connolly added.

“He’s right. We attack this situation Franco, so man up.” Jack thumped Franco’s worn out plastic shoulder pad.

“In the history of being told to man up, who actually has manned up?”  Franco asked with an air of protest.

“Anybody ever said you think too much?” Connolly asked while turning away.

Jack gripped Franco’s shoulder and pulled him in close,

“What do I always say?” His eyes looked into the worried stare of his oldest friend.

“We find a way, always,” Franco chanted softly.

“We find a way, always,” Jack repeated and took a breath.

There came commotion from the back and then a rumbling of hydraulics underneath.

“Landing gear. It’s time,” Jack said. He checked the auto rifle cradled in his plastic armour shrouded arms.

“This is where we are supposed to be man, trust me,” he added.

“You better be right man.”

They smiled to each other, not in an endearing or loving type of way but the way two mischievous best friends would when they had an assured cunning plan.

The caged red light above the air lock door began to flicker.

Soldier Connolly turned to face his comrades and pulled a slider on his auto rifle. It powered to life with a digital display below the scope.

“Cliffeville regiment. Check your ammo and stand strong!” He strengthened his footing as everything seemed to shudder.

Both Thorn and Franco checked their weapons and pulled the sliders. As they let go their whole world bounced to a heavy jolt. The drop ship landed and the airlock door hissed loudly. A deafening barrage of war sounds blasted them. Music of terror and chaos played. The light above changed to green. That only meant one thing. Next came the piercing and vibrating buzz, their signal to disembark.

“We find a way, always!” Jack barked over the loudness. He caught the image of Franco reciting those words just as another sight came into view.

Bright flashes and explosions played out on what was a murky and cloudy planet.

“Move, move, move…”

Jack marched forward and down the ramped airlock door. Franco followed behind with their boots gracing soft brown ground. Neither of them heard the droning whine resonating from above. The noise careened down from the sky and with it a damning bright light. Franco glanced up with a hand held to his helmet. His eyes widened to see the bright flaring light heading down towards him. He rushed forward alongside Jack and then a burning force knocked them both forward. Their boots lifted along with everything else. They crashed to the soggy sponge type ground of this planet. Their welcome, an explosive burning.

“Shit,” Jack said. He glanced back to smoke and flames

“They’re all gone!” Franco stared into mostly smoke and a mass of crumpled metal and burning.

“Connolly,” Jack shouted. He jumped up.

Franco grabbed his and Jack’s auto rifles and followed.

“We damn took a direct hit,” Connolly croaked.

“Welcome to X43 I guess,” he added.

“And this time the odds were with us,” Jack shouted over the loudness of war.

 He helped the older soldier to his feet while the orchestra of gun fire and explosive commotion crept in all around them. This was a sheer sight of pandemonium. Other drop ships were landing nearby, all of them filled with men and women ready to duel with doom.

“Come on. We have to move forward,” Jack shouted.

He grabbed his auto rifle back. With one free arm he helped with Franco in guiding Connolly forward.

“What do we do now? This shit has gone south quickly!”

“But we are still here no matter how south Franco,” Connolly shouted. He broke free from his aiding soldiers.

“Take it all robot scum!” He marched on his own and discharged the auto rifle. A spray of bright laser guided bullets charged forward to the nearby horizon. Standing on it, a line of approaching enemy, the robots.

“Come on man this is it,” Jack shouted to Franco.

They both lined up with Connolly, aimed and picked targets. With more bullets volleying to the horizon they met incoming movement, some fell to the ground whilst others persevered. A nearby cluster of soldiers watched the last three of Cliffeville regiment take a stand for losing their brethren, then they joined in. Still the robot offensive advanced with more and more numbers heading from the bullet hazed horizon

“We’re kinda outnumbered!” Franco shouted. He reached down to his leg side pocket for another ammunition magazine.

“Preserve your laser rounds, switch to metal jackets!” Connolly ordered. He twisted a dial on his auto rifle. After an electronic whine a burst of bullets spread out wide and he tried to hose incoming robots down.

“Hold the line Gunners!” Shouted a commanding voice. Jack turned to see a pair of stern eyes look him back. He focused on the rest of a tanned rugged and scarred face, the face of a woman.

“Not the time to be eyeing up the talent soldier, and I’m pretty much it,” this older woman said in a slight Hispanic tongue

Jack’s eyes flashed over her printed chest name and initial.

“Well ‘M. Garcia’. Watch this,” Jack said. Before bolting forward, he gave this ‘Garcia’ a daring look.

“That’s Major Garcia to you soldier,” she barked.

“We got a man in the line of fire. Hand to hand offensive. Move!” Connolly looked up to see Jack run in to battle.

Like always Jack Thorn faced situations like this in a unique kind of slow motion. It seemed weird to begin with, the sensation of racing heart beat and everything around slowing down. By the time he reached the age he was, Jack had learned to use it and that’s what he did.

A cluster of dark blue uniformed robots marched toward the front running Jack. Some with guns others with just their hands. They moved like humans and even had mannerisms like humans. But Jack knew they weren’t like him, he had a sixth sense for these things. He looked closer at them, there were scratches and burns bringing out their partially plastic faces. Some had uniforms burned or ripped away and this rag tag army didn’t stop at anything, Jack liked it that way.

He engaged target number one, a robot about take aim but instead received a sharp forceful jab. The robot blinked as the stunning flash of attack made him stop. Jack, already in mid jump, swung all the way around. His boot driving into the side of robot head before it could even realise. The force caused a spark instantly knocking the target down.

Everything sped up and Thorn landed before his first victim hit the ground.

“You’re fast. Wanna see how faster a robot can be?” Another enemy closed in, bigger than the last and charging.

“I’m not sure you’ll live to find out,” Jack said with deadpan emotion.

He side stepped and ducked to evade a wild swipe. This he followed into another jumping round house kick; not an easy feat in the clunky battle armour. The big robot grunted and stumbled forward after the force hit from behind. Before any words could be spoken the robot’s mouth was driven shut by a thundering uppercut by Thorn. Another spark and flash followed, the robot crashed to the ground where it remained motionless.

Jack skipped on further into combat. He scoped out another as it came charging and they collided. Thorn couldn’t even manoeuvre his auto rifle to aim as the robot wrestled it away with a smile. The enemy hovered one dirty finger over the trigger. Thorn smiled back and then swung out a high and wide kick colliding into auto rifle and mostly robot. Bullets fired upwards as the robot lost footing and fell. Jack rolled forward, closed in and reached out. With quick nimble hands, he took the rifle back and turned the weapon. A short burst of fire blew into plastic flesh and black oily liquid sprayed.

Jack sensed another robot close in behind and so he drove an elbow back. His padded arm buried straight into another face, there came the familiar spark and spray of liquid, but Thorn was nowhere near done. He only moved on with robots falling and leaving a trail of destruction.

“What’s he on and where can I get some?” Connolly asked. He and Franco struggled to wrestle a single robot. Together they worked in getting it to the ground.

“I don’t know… but take this you son of a, bitch,” Franco shouted. He drove a foot into the downed robot’s face. They both looked further ahead to the group of robots that had been dented by Thorn’s efforts.

“Remind me to apologize fully to Thorn,” Connolly said.

“What for?” Franco asked.

“Everything, just everything.”

He and Franco were passed by Major Garcia and a wide cluster soldiers following.

“Let’s not stand on ceremony. Help the soldier damn it or he’ll win the war on his own,” she ordered.

“Come on Connolly.” Franco marched forward.

In the clearing of downed enemies Jack looked all around, in his sights came a straggling robot. He focused on the target and took a double step forward swivelling his body side on into a stretching kick. In a flash he leant back and drove his right boot up and high, the sole driving into the chin of this unsuspecting target. Jack’s whole body seemed to follow in smashing through the robot’s chin. Again came the flash.

The sounds of war and explosions carried off in the distance where many more battles were taking place, but for now on this small rock surrounded hill Jack Thorn claimed it to be his own the moment the final robot fell. Major Garcia’s regiment closed in all around the scene of partial victory.

“Reel it in dog tags,” Garcia ordered.

Jack found his two fellow regiment mates and without breaking a sweat or any lost breath he stood beside them.

“That was some intensity Thorn, didn’t know you had that in ya,” Connolly said with an air of surrender in his tone.

“That was kind of showy, but in a necessary this is war kind of way,” Franco added with an approving nod and attitude of someone who had seen Thorn fight many times previous.

“Alright soldiers, break it up,” Major Garcia grumbled, she stepped in to face Thorn.

“I don’t do compliments much, but that was some fine work soldier. You wanna tell me your name?”  She asked. Her eyes looked at Jack’s nameless chest armour.

“It’s Thorn, Major,” he said and nodded.

“Thorn huh, I knew a Thorn once before, back in the day. Well it seems like you three are the remainder of an extinct regiment. That’s the brutal reality of this gig. For now, consider yourselves honorary Gunnery members.” She nodded to Jack as her regiment roared in approval.

“I’ve got just the mission for a quick fighter like you Thorn.” They started to walk back towards the wrecked dropship, now a smouldering pile of jagged metal.

“I’m guessing it’s the type of something you would rather not lose one of your own with?” Jack asked and Garcia eyed him firmly again.

“I’ve met your type before kid, young and full of ability but you’re attitude stinks.”

“That attitude keeps me and my friends alive Major. Sorry if that’s disappointing to the man,” Jack said.

Garcia stopped again and moved within spitting distance of Thorn. Her face full of commanding grimace,

“I don’t give two shits about the ‘man’. And the deal on this rock is all types of irrelevant. Just like you I happened to be in the army when this war got declared. Now I think it’s pretty damn obvious what you are capable of and I’m asking if you’ll answer to that. Hell, maybe we’ll get a name printed on that third hand armour of yours. Then perhaps you’ll be somebody, that’s why we are all here right?” she asked.

Jack cracked a half smile and replied, “This mission then? What did you have in mind?”

*                      *                      *

Jeremey Jones awkwardly shifted his large frame in the leather office style chair. No matter which position he tried or whatever lever he adjusted, nothing could be done to achieve any comfort. Jones was a big man approaching fifty and unless the seat had been custom made his body would protest. This was a pay by the hour conference room after all so the décor and contents were mostly items of the cheap plastic persuasion and to him, a place he looked down his nose at.

Jones wouldn’t let thoughts like that go any further. He spent a life convincing people the family he came from weren’t just some snooty upper-class types. So there he sat trying to keep a military drilled posture in an expensive suit at the head of a long oval table and the chair was a pain in the ass.

He glanced at the ‘commy’ around his left wrist. The future’s answer to the cell phone. It did just about everything a cell would, plus more. He tapped the glowing screen and checked the time. Still the same as a few seconds ago when he last checked.

“It’s been a long damn time,” a southern accent said out of the nearby shadows.

Jones looked to the outline of Joey Connors opposite. His tipped cowboy style hat leant forward into a spotlight with the rest of him. A roughly bearded and wrinkled face glanced up momentarily and nodded to Jones.

“You’re looking old Jones,” Connors added and smiled.

“None of us have as much hair as we used to but we aren’t exactly young anymore,” Jones said. He ran a large hand across his near grey slightly receding hair line.

“It’s not the greatest of turnouts,” another said closely beside Jones. He too leant out of the shadows. An African American; Axel Hendricks looked to the only two other occupants of the room and then clasped both hands together. One of them covered by a dark leather glove.

“Do ya blame them?” Connors asked, “hell I turned up so Kelly didn’t have to, plus he’s running the bar in a state that currently has a shutdown government. Anybody heard from Clark in recent times?”

“Not for a few years, but him no showing doesn’t surprise me one bit. I also tracked down Don Dedman,” Jones said.

“He’s still alive?” Connors laughed.

“Barely,” Hendricks said.

“Who else is around, that uh, survived that night?” Connors asked.

“Harish went back to India after Police Force shut the department down,” Hendricks explained.

“And Louis?”

“Blew out years ago, busy running the family restaurant,” Jones added with a deep sigh.

“Well fellas, good try and all but this reunion kind of stinks,” Connors said.

“Saying that, it’s good to see you both. Those years I spent up in the city were good times with good folks. Shame it went the way it did. You know if ya think about it deep, we caused that shitstorm in a way.”

The room fell silent for a moment. Connors felt the awkwardness before the other two and did his best to fill it with words. As he inhaled to speak Jones beat him to it,

“I’m going to bring back the World Force.”

Connors stared at Jones vacantly until he became conscious of the silence.

“What now?” He asked in that southern accent.

“Seeing as Police Force didn’t want to renew their deal it put us all out of job. Acting ‘Chief’ Martin Case made that decision personally. That means it goes back to before, where I fully own the rights to robot law enforcement in the eyes of the S.E.S. With Hendricks I am going to bring back the World Force,” Jones said.

“That is why we invited you here today. Just to connect after all this time and talk about it. Maybe you could have some involvement in training future World Forcer’s,” Hendricks added.

“Ownership in the eyes of ‘S.E.S’? I can’t believe this shit. You’re both serious about this? Serious about treadin’ on the lives of those folks we lost all those years ago on that damn night. I was there when it happened, and we lost those people. Clark lost everything man, and I wasn’t far from it either,” Connors barked.

He pulled back and lifted his leg up onto the table, he revealed it to be metal and prosthetic.

“This is what happened to me that night and I have to live with it for the rest of my days. I fled that city because those damn robots won. What gives you any damn idea you ‘own the rights’ to robot law enforcement?”

“We all have our scars from the past,” Hendricks said. He held out both hands momentarily.

Jones ran a hand along the prominent scar on his right cheek. He then slid a hand into the jacket he wore. From it he took a faded bronze badge.

“The Secret Earth Services presented me with this all those years ago. They never revoked it Connors. Even after Clark’s presumed breakdown he still has his. So, in my eyes our original deal still stands. What is it you have an issue with?” Jones asked.

Connors clambered to his feet and made for the door.

“After all these years, you’re still afraid of him aren’t you?” Jones asked making Connors stop. Again, silence ruled until he turned.

“You bet your ass I am. You weren’t there Jones. You didn’t see the way he drove that blade into…” He stopped himself before simmering over with even more anger and took a breath.

“She died that night and it changed all of our lives. For whatever you have planned I say bullshit and I want nothing to do with it. Let me be the only one who actually cares about defending our legacy without stepping on it.”

“A legacy of failure?” Jones replied. Again, Connors stopped.

“You would make a good politician ‘Sarge’. People still call you that right? Cliffevile could do with a mayor like you to ignore the people’s needs.”

Connors limped away to the door. He pulled it to and then came the loud angry slamming.

“I expected more resistance from the others,” Jones said.

“They didn’t show and probably for good reason,” Hendricks added.

“They don’t know what we and Clark know. This planet has a robot crime problem that we fought for so long. Just because our contract with that corrupt police force timed out doesn’t mean we have to stop. There’s a new generation of fighters out there and so is our maverick. He could be up there on that muddy rock,” Jones said.

“X43? You know he is, but what about the girl?”

“As far as I know, the Warrior is watching over her. Where they are right now, I don’t know…”

“Well Jones, we are going to need a Warrior if you want this to be a success…”

“I know Hendricks, I know. We need a whole bunch of them. The World Force worked because of the Warrior support we had. Right now, we need to get our Maverick, that’s if Lucius turned out to be right.”

*                      *                      *

“I’ll be brief soldier…” Major Garcia braced while a nearby thudding explosion shook the muddy ground of X43. Her Gunnery regiment stood huddled around in a covering cluster of rocks, this included their three new recruits.

Jack stood front and centre. He listened in over the distant sound of battle which seemed to close in around them.

“Now here’s our line.” Garcia turned and glanced at the upward slope leading to battle. Men and women soldiers struggled to push back attacking robots.

“Receding at every moment,” she mumbled and pulled out a long battle knife from her belt. In one motion she sliced a horizontal line in the brown clay type rock surface.

“Over that hill and across the way is another line.” Again, she sliced a parallel line above the first.

“The ‘supposed robot rebellion’ have a line of mobile artillery trucks. They move around and to wherever we drop troops.”

Jack watched her carving five crosses above the top line.

“They were responsible for taking out your regiment. Our job is to take them out before they move on…”

The whole area shook violently. Clumps of mud rained down on the group. An artillery shot landed dangerously near. The ground rumbled and dust rode the wind briefly thickening the air with a thick dusty haze.

“As you can see, they are still in town. If you want to make yourself a hero kid, then the job is yours to take them out. All you gotta do is run in there and place some explosive charges,” the Major explained.

A cluster of her troops turned towards the hill. More and more robots appeared.

“Bullet meat at twelve o clock,” Connolly shouted. He pushed through everyone and began to lead a group of soldiers. They began to fire up towards incoming robots.

“So this is a suicide mission, right?” Jack asked. He knew there probably wasn’t a choice in backing out now.

Garcia wiped the knife on her leg and holstered it.

“Right. As I said your more than capable of this Thorn. Maybe you’ll even earn yourself a star on that chest of yours,” she shouted over more gunfire.

“Like me.” She revealed a covering shroud just above her chest nameplate. It revealed two faded gold stars.

Thorn nodded. He slipped into his own mind momentarily and to a truth where he was a guy in his mid-twenties who never really amounted to anything. The calling he would come to realise faced him. Major Garcia’s words led him out of the brief trance.

“You wanna be someone in this world you gotta work for it. We’ll crush this offensive and then call in an airstrike of extraction gas. That stuff takes down anything that moves within a thousand-yard radius. You run in as the gas drops, place a charge at each gun and get your ass out of there. Jefferson?”

Garcia called to a soldier carrying an armoured rucksack. He looked up to her and Thorn through a set of goggle style glasses.

“Here are the charges. Five in total for five artillery placements.” Jefferson took out a pipe shaped oval ended device from the sack.

“You pull and twist. This red band will light up and indicate it being armed.” He shoved the bag into Thorn who shouldered it.

“Have you got comms?” Jefferson then asked. He gripped Thorn’s left wrist and took a closer look at his robust commy.

“We’re on battle channel ten. Sync your commy and we can talk. When you place the final charge call it in,” he said.

“What do I do then?” Jack asked. He tapped on the commy screen a few times as Jefferson began to usher him forward.

“You run the hell out of there,” Garcia shouted. She charged past him and joined in on the gun fire.

“Evasive forward movement!” She waved for everyone to move over the hill. They began to push back the incoming robots.

“You sure about this Jack?” Steve Franco asked giving Jack that all familiar mischievous look.

“Nope but that’s why we joined this damn war, to do something with our lives.”

Franco nodded and cracked a half smile. This wasn’t the first time their comradery got them through a situation.

“Hey, I enjoyed driving buses back home. If you weren’t gonna do this, I probably would. I guess I can’t always be that semi-coward friend who follows you into all types of shit,” Franco added with Thorn managing a momentary smile.

“Just cover me, you and Connolly are good shots, the others, I’m not so sure.” Jack marched forward.

“I guess that’s a compliment…” Franco waved him off.

Jack rushed out from the cluster of soldiers and up the hill. He looked out towards the next horizon. It stood closer than he realised, and this was happening sooner than he wanted.

“Spread out and cover our man Thorn,” Garcia ordered. She fired towards an unarmed robot.

The soldiers fanned out and took back the hill with Jack running out front. He saw the expanse of a now empty battlefield and in his ear came a crackling from his commy. The incoming audio travelled up his wrist and though the body using advanced frequency to sound like a clear phone call.

“Thorn, this is Jefferson testing comms do you hear me?”

“Yeah,” he said and looked to see Jefferson moving toward him.

“These explosives are inconvenient to carry,” he added.

“Ok that’s the communications link working. I’m gonna go ahead and call in for the air strike,” Jefferson said.

Thorn watched as Jefferson turned.

“…is Jefferson of the second gunnery requesting a strike of extraction gas. Our area code is ‘AOE, and position, silver’. I repeat our code is ‘AOE, and position silver’.”

“Affirmative, target has not moved,” he added. After a moment he faced Thorn and shouted to everyone.

“It’s coming in!” Jefferson signalled to his fellow soldiers who looked up to him waving.

“Make us proud Thorn,” Garcia shouted.

The next horizon seemed further away to Thorn this time and at the very edge were five blocks of grey. The artillery. He looked up to the thick clouds above. A droning whine flew overhead followed by a strike of what looked like lightning. It rained down on the horizon with a flash. A billowing array of smoke began to rise.

“That’s your queue Thorn, go!” Jefferson ordered.

Thorn began to sprint towards the smoke and towards the unknown…

End of Part 1 

Tune in Next week for another edition of Jack Thorn. Same Jack time, same Jack place… Remember if you enjoyed reading, tell a friend, leave a comment and share it around on social media…

READ PART 2 HERE

 

Copyright 2004 – 2019 ‘Jack Thorn’ and ‘The Thorn Legacy’ Written By Lee Hall 2019 All rights reserved.  

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Jack Thorn: A story of the Future: Chapter 2, Part 4

Jack again found himself sat at a bench in that familiar summer time scene. He tucked both hands underneath his legs while a figure approached along the wavy path. The man stood tall but slightly hunched. His wrinkled face smiled ear to ear when he saw Jack looking more like he did as a kid, very much how this man knew him.

“Grandad…” Jack said beginning to get up.

“Save your back son. I know I would, even in this crazy simulated thing,” Alan Robinson said. His west London accent sounded more prominent than his grandson’s mixed dialect. He offered a rough hand out, Jack shook it firmly and quickly. Both of their images flickered momentarily.

“Yeah, this system doesn’t like any contact. Apparently, it’s hard to simulate,” Jack said.

“This tech stuff passed me by years ago. I dare ask, but how’s that stupid war?” Alan eased himself down onto the bench. It would have been nice if the simulation simulated away the labouring years of working as a baggage handler, but they didn’t.

“It’s going ok for now. Where’s…”

“Your Grandmother? Arthritis is playing up so it’s just us fellas this time around which is nice. So you killing many robots?”

“I’ve done my fare share towards an Army of Earth victory sure,” Jack said and couldn’t help but smile at the man.

“Well it sounds like a hoot. You still hanging around with that Franco kid?”

“Yep.”

“I take it he followed you up onto that rock?”

“Uh huh.”

“Some things never change. Well it’s good to see you Jack. We’ve missed you out in the Sipson District,” Alan said, before Jack could respond he spoke again.

“I can see on your face this wasn’t just a usual catch up. Come on son, what’s on your mind? Your mother gave me the exact same look a thousand times.”

Alan had read his only grandson like a book.

“That’s what I want to know about. It seems I may have got myself involved in something that has given me questions about her. It’s called the World Force,” Jack said.

“Oh boy.” Alan sat forward and scratched his thin head of hair.

“That’s robot stuff, and there aint much I really know in terms of detail kid.”

“Well what do you know?” Jack asked.

“Ellen met your old man Clark over in New York. They had you in the wake of this World Force stuff, you know, a robot police force. You came to Sipson District to live with us and as far as I’m aware they did it to protect you,” Alan explained trying to cast his mind back to the past. A time and reminder of losing his only daughter.

“I’m sorry for bringing this up Grandad…”

“Everyone has a right to know their history Jack. Your mother, I always told you she was a doer. Never once did she ever give up on anything or anyone. She was also different from most people you know.”

“Now that I think about it, I have a feeling they were protecting me from something? I’ve only asked Clark once what happened,” Jack said.

“You’re calling him Clark these days, I’m guessing neither of you are on talking terms then?” Alan asked but deep down he already knew the answer.

“When I asked him what happened he was deliberately vague. I had just quit the academy and that chip on my shoulder back then was pretty damn big, so I acted out. I’ve got this feeling whatever they were protecting me from is what killed my Mother.”

“There’s probably some truth there. We were never given a real explanation, we were just given you. Ellen passing destroyed your father, it tore him up inside. It tore us all up.”

For some moments they sat in silence, apart from the odd chirping of artificial birds.

“Maybe flipping out on him all those years ago wasn’t a great choice. I can’t exactly call him and say ‘Hi Dad long time no see, I’m fighting in the war now and probably going to be in the World Force, what really happened to Mum?’”

“That’s a fence you’re gonna have to mend yourself son. But you needed to talk to someone and so you’ve come to ‘old man Al’ for some wise words. All the best do these days. If you really want answers, then your gonna have to reach out. You know, he had uncertainties way back when, just like you,” Alan said and placed a hand on Jack’s shoulder, again the whole world flickered. He slowly pulled away and sat back with a groan.

“Uncertainties? Like what?”

“He walked away from that World Force stuff early on. Got himself all bent up about chasing down the First, you know the robot?” Alan said and continued,

“He came to me and took some time out. Put himself back together, all I’m saying is that it’s ok to be unsure about stuff. There are always people out there to help, like me, always son.”

“What happened after he came to you?” Jack asked.

“He carried on like before. Then it happened with losing your mother and all. That’s what hit the man hard. He was just a kid at the time like you. He couldn’t carry on that robot crime stuff, but the other guy did. Big fella…”

“Sarge? Jones?” Jack asked.

“Yeah that’s the guy. He still sniffing around that robot crime stuff?”

“Sarge came to me with a plan on bringing the World Force back and is looking for a captain. He offered it to me and mentioned the past. I think I’m going to do it. This means a real job after the war, maybe a future instead of just surviving to feed my kids.”

“There it is then, your uncertainty answered. You’ll be following your parents’ footsteps, maybe even finish whatever they started. You’ve always been a bright kid Jack. Follow your heart son. Right now I gotta go, I’m taking your Grandmother out tonight and gonna try and get her mind of the arthritis,” Alan said and groaned upon standing.

Jack did the same and looked up to the man he just needed some clarity and advice from.

“Good to see you Grandad. You take care,” Jack said shaking Alan’s hand.

“You too kid, especially up on that rock. Get home safe, put things back together with your Dad and find the truth. Don’t be a stranger either, I’m just a call away.”

*                      *                      *

The low Cliffeville sun had disappeared nearly twenty minutes ago and now the sky sat between that still light phase just before dark. Rouge sat cross-legged atop of a blanket set down on the roof of her all silver trailer. Here she could see everything around. From the nearby Denny’s diner out front to the very distant background where the outskirts of Cliffeville city stood. At the opposite end on the other horizon lay the shadows of buildings that made up the universally famous factory district.  She sat between two places that were opposite in nature, one of work and industry, the other of nightlife and people. Both of them to her seemed further away than they actually were, even out of reach or perhaps lost like her.

“I was insistent to the others that you are indeed fine, but they sent me up here anyway,” the Freak said and placed himself down beside her.

“Mainly because I’m the lighter of the robots around here, and this roof, well,” he added.

Rouge continued her stare forward past the diner.

“I see the uniform fits well. As a pot washer I firmly believe camouflage is somewhat overkill in terms of kitchen attire so I had no problem giving it over to you,” the Freak said continuing to fill the silence.

“Thank you,” Rouge said softly. She looked down at the borrowed dark camo uniform she received from the robot who sat beside her. She picked at the frayed and torn lettering that was once prominently shown on the front in a bright red.

“What does R.W.H mean?” she asked and turned to the balaclava, sunglasses wearing robot. He himself had commandeered kitchen attire in the form of faded whites and a dirty apron.

“That is indeed a long story.”

“I would like to know your story. It would take my mind off stuff.” She moved closer and gently leant her head upon the Freak’s shoulder.

“Well my story does go back some many years Rouge. There used to be such things called Freaks. Robots who had found misfortune in their lives, misused or mistreated. They were disowned by society, cast out and abandoned. Like me,” the Freak explained.

“And me,” Rouge added.

“A large group of us lived underneath the city of New York. We were known as the Freaks and of course I was their leader once. That was until a Warrior known as the Keeper came to the city.”

“A Warrior, like my guardian?” Rouge asked and sat back up.

“You see Rouge, long before now there were two groups of Warriors. Some were good and others not so much. The Keeper particularly unsavoury and the original leader of all Warriors. He aligned with the First and together they convinced my Freaks to rise up and rebel for their mistreat and misfortune. I was overthrown and forced to leave. Instead of joining the rebellion I opposed it because back in those years there were many different robot groups. Some were good much like the Robots with Humans.”

“R.W.H,” Rouge said and settled her head back on to the Freak’s shoulder.

“Indeed, a group which I led to help the humans and good Warriors fight robot crime. We fought many battles and had numerous trials and tribulations. You could even say this time was an adventure for certain robots. It was indeed a war and war only ever has a single outcome. Loss of life and of course the inevitable rebellion. The Keeper was defeated and he left the First in capable hands to lead the rebellion, in which he did. Nearly every robot on this planet followed him out. Few stayed behind like myself and F.G.”

“What happened to the good Warriors?”

“They all perished but one, your guardian survived an attack instigated by the First and a new keeper which he created with the help of a surviving Warrior known as Sculptor.”

“Tell me more about these adventures for certain robots,” Rouge requested, her voice sounding somewhat dreamy as she closed her eyes.

“I handed myself in to what was the robot crimes department of the New York police force. My ambition was to help them and prove that not all robots are bad. I like to think some people were convinced even for a little while. Those were the days. I’ve been in all kinds of political and protest factions. Some violent, some shrouded by anger or even anarchy. The R.W.H was my proudest creation. We helped the World force. Maybe those days can return.”

Rouge gently moaned in agreement and steadily dozed away into a sleep. The Freak didn’t dare to move but continued his talk even if she wasn’t fully conscious,

“Maybe you can join us, with a little honing of those combat skills you possess. That may help a young Maverick who is yet to realize her calling.”

Rouge was already dreaming, for once her mind wasn’t clouded by the various sedatives and medical procedures from before. She could see and feel. Then came the alarming realisation that her mind was trying to tell her something, maybe it was a warning.

He’s coming. Ryan is coming.

 

End of Part 7

Tune in Next week for another edition of Jack Thorn. Same Jack time, same Jack place… Remember if you enjoyed reading, tell a friend, leave a comment and share it around on social media…

Copyright 2004 – 2019 ‘Jack Thorn’ and ‘The Thorn Legacy’ Written By Lee Hall 2019 All rights reserved.  

 

Book Review of The Teleporter By Elysia Lumen Strife

A huge tip of the cap to fellow wordsmith Elysia Lumen Strife for such an epic review if The Teleporter!

Elysia Lumen Strife

Book Review: The Teleporter By Lee Hall (4 Stars)

A humorously crass story of a drunkard turned superhero.

Hall has created a realistic world in which corporations hold the power and the common man has little control over his own life, until fate elects a portion and hands it over in the form of teleportation karma. The transformation of our main character, Kurt, is depicted with a perfect amount of stumbles, physical and emotional, and leaves us rooting for him as he finds his new place in society.

The voice isn’t hindered by formalities; it is free and true to character and, yes, littered with curses. But it fits so perfectly with Kurt’s sarcastic/apathetic personality that it is hard to be bothered by it.

The story picks up quickly and doesn’t linger too long in any one scene. Hall has done a great job at keeping a smooth pace and…

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Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance by Shiulie Ghosh – Review

“I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a Warrior now…”

kali

In the already established world of demons and Warriors we are reintroduced to the still very feisty and likeable ‘Kaz’ as the next chapter of her journey continues. The story picks up pretty much where the previous finished only now readers are taken further down the rabbit hole of magic, mythical creatures and gods in what is an epic sequel.

Much of what is suggested previously and skimmed the surface comes to light in ‘Unholy Alliance’ with ‘Kaz’s’ destiny taking center stage as she becomes a fully fledged Warrior alongside others who are apprenticed by the guild. This provides an opportunity to introduce new characters such as ‘Jack’ who plays a semi love interest and sometimes shoulder to cry on for our hero. Of course characters from the first story are back with many that still serve a purpose to the now evolving story (Em, Darius and Di come to mind).

Many of the themes seen in the previous adventure are back such as coming of age, prophecy and deception all of which cleverly ties in with Hindu and Indian heritage; a concept that carries much originality and scope for near enough unlimited intrigue. Also back is the voice that ‘Kaz’ hears in her head now known as ‘the other’ which is a force that comes to fruition in the latter stages. She must look to save her mother who is comatose after the end of the last story and this runs as one of the main arcs that spreads across the book’s entirety.

Destiny and prophecy is something hero ‘Kaz’ must face and nearer the end she journey’s alone on what seems like a pilgrimage of sorts in order to solve the worsening demon problems her guild faces and of course saving the world!

Overall ‘Daughter of Kali: Unholy Alliance’ is a great read and just as good as the first story. I found myself taking my time with this read as I enjoyed it so much while being sure to take in every detail. Not once did I think this book suffered from middle story syndrome (as it is part of a planned trilogy) and it may actually be stronger than the first in keeping the reader turning those pages. With many possibilities of where the story could go at the end, I look forward the next one!

5 Stars 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Thorn: A story of the Future: Chapter 2, Part 3

In the expansive ‘white room’ of the Secret Earth Services Cade Biggs used his muscular and wide frame to tackle one of the remaining robots to the floor.

“I don’t fight as pretty as the other guy,” he said and pinned the uniformed target down. His hand pressed against various chest mounted medals the robot wore.

“Watch the other hand Cade!” Jack shouted while Cade turned.

Before he could glance back down a swiping hand scratched out. It pulled on his bearded face and gripped onto hair. Streaks of red began to emerge.

“Dirty bastard!” He gripped the robot by the scruff and angrily heaved the robot up onto two feet.

“Screw this. Hey Thorn, you deal with this!” Cade swung and released his grip. The robot spun and careened towards Jack with a high boot at the ready.

After an immediate spark the robot clanged to the floor and all the commotion from before reached a pinnacle of calm silence. There lay a pile of wrecked robots with various stiff limbs stuck out in several directions. Uniforms had been ripped and ruffled.

Both Jack and Cade were out of breath when they realized victory was theirs;

“I used to play rugby and I’ve hung in with some big and also depraved fellas. Back in the day I bounced around some tough orphanages in downtown Jo-burg’, but you’ve gotta be the toughest, fight enjoying son of a bitch I have ever seen,” Cade said while wiping the blood from his face.

A drop of sweat dripped down Jack’s cheek and he dabbed it away.

“Thanks, most people, just get in the way, in a situation like this. You did good man,” Jack said.

“My guess is you passed fella…”

They watched a doorway appear and out of darkness came a troop of what looked like riot police.

“Step away from the robots!” One of them barked through the audio output of what looked like fully sealed armoured bio suits. Their visors were dark and Jack could only see his reflection back.

“Mercenaries,” he said.

“I don’t think those robots pose any harm son,” Cade said while a large transparent shield was held towards him.

“Get back until we can make the area safe! Can we get a medic to that man? He’s bleeding?” Another shouted, the group formed around most of the downed robots.

“It’s just a scratch I’m all good,” Cade insisted.

Next appeared Axel Hendricks rushing through the door way with Jermey Jones casually trailing behind.

“I can only apologise for the situation that this escalated into. This was never the plan…”

“Nonsense Hendricks, they both acted according to the situation. Now Commander Biggs I must thank you very much for participating and helping us realize the talent we have here with Thorn,” Jones said and offered a hand to Cade.

“All part of the greater plan Sarge.” He gripped the taller Jones’ hand and then faced Jack.

“Thorn, this was, interesting. I’m hoping we can collaborate again someday in the future,” he said and offered his hand to shake.

“What, you’re going? Won’t Cade be involved in this?” Jack asked and gripped hands with his make shift ally.

“I’m afraid not, you see Commander Biggs is a businessman as well as someone who’s interests lie with relaunching the World Force. I’m sure we will see more of him in the future. Come Thorn, there is much to talk about,” Jones said.

Jack watched Cade get escorted away by a medic as Jones and Hendricks subtly moved him into the open expanse of the white room.

“This was never meant to go this way Thorn. We did plant those robots to make this look like a competitive environment. They were just never supposed to turn against you and Commander Biggs,” Jones explained. Jack walked between him and Hendricks.

“So it was just a work? That’s some effort to protect my one and only ego,” Jack said.

“I’m guessing it’s still intact like the rest of you. We’ll have to let our robot supplier know of the faulty units they provided,” Hendricks said. He looked to Jones who was pulling a half smile.

“We believe, especially after that display you are the one to take the lead in modern robot crime fighting,” Jones said, he moved in closer to Thorn and faced him.

“Essentially without you knowing, this is your destiny. I mentioned before that your parents were linked with the World force and what happened to them is all linked to this. Your father Clark has kept much of the past under wraps for now and rightly so. If you are to embark on this journey you will find out what happened and you may not like it.”

Jones looked Jack square in the eyes, two eyes that were curious and ready.

“I want this. I want to know the truth,” Jack said.

“There are some instances of the past that are quite dark Thorn. Some of it still haunts us today,” Hendricks said whilst he held out one gloved hand.

Jones then gripped Jack’s shoulder;

“We will discuss the history of all this soon. Seeing as the war on X43 will be over probably sooner rather than later I would like to officially offer you the job as our Maverick-Captain of the relaunched world force.”

“Consider the offer accepted Sarge. When do we start?”

“You see, I am trying to put together a team of people much like yourself. They needn’t be as talented in combat as you but they have to be determined. For now I envision the war on X43 to be your priority. I expect to see you afterwards ready for this and perhaps with a few others who have experienced what you have.”

“I can think of a few people who would be interested. There may even be more after the war.”

And like that Jack Thorn went his own way, out of the mysterious world of the Secret Earth Services and towards the muddy murky planet of X43. His destiny stood on the not so far away horizon, first he would have to face war.

*                      *                      *

Anne-Marie revelled in wearing her waitress uniform; that being a white dress with red pinstripes and a waist high apron. For the first time she had fixed her hair into something more than just a hospital mop and even wore a name badge which she kept polished.

“Rouge. That’s a pretty name for these parts. French aint’ it?” The large bearded trucker man asked as she poured him another coffee. He sat in one of the many window adjacent booths that looked out onto the desert highway.

“Yes sir, French like my mother. What will it be?” She asked with smile.

It had only taken a few days to make Denny’s road stop diner her home. In fact she was the first smiling waitress they had seen come in since, well a while. The sole owner, a chain-smoking wrinkled woman by the name of Denise Appleby or ‘old lady Denny’ is what most of the regulars called her. She welcomed Rouge and the clan she came in with. Both F.G and the Freak made themselves useful in the kitchen where as the Warrior stayed out of the way and mostly hidden.

“I’ll go for the double stack burger and some fries honey,” the trucker said as Rouge swiped her finger on a clear credit card sized device.

“Coming right up,” she said and moved to the next booth with her coffee jug.

Instinctively she had given up asking if they wanted coffee, it was a truck stop so everybody normally did. She began to pour for the next gentlemen who sat with the sun shining in on him.

“What can I get for you?” she asked without looking at him.

“What range of pies do you serve dear?” He asked and leaned forward out of the sun. Two shaded lenses glanced up to her.

She recognised the voice but spoke anyway,

“We have blueberry today sir.”

His veiny cold hand grabbed hers with a strong grip. Then he removed the shades and two beady eyes looked into hers.

“You remember me don’t you, Anne-Marie?”

“Doctor Leecher,” she said under her breath and wobbled on her feet for a moment.

“I’ll take that. We don’t usually let patients handle hot liquids,” Leecher crooned and grabbed the coffee jug. He slid it away and pulled her in close.

“Now what have you got to say? Not one for words without that robotic friend of yours, are you?” He asked with a demented type of stare.

“I did some research about him and I dug into some old Police Force records. He’s known to them in the state of New York. They would very much like to talk with him…”

“No please Doctor, just take me,” Rouge said trying to contain herself.

“Oh I will be, seeing as he’s not around at the moment. I did come prepared,” Leecher said and gripped her chin with a cold hand. He forced her head towards the front door.

“You see the two rather smart chaps up front. They are with me, both robots and both quite strong. You’ll come with me and there will be no trouble. Then I won’t inform anybody about that ‘friend’ of yours. Let’s move ‘Rouge’.”

There was nothing she could do. The nice trucker man one booth over was back facing and everyone else seemed none the wiser. She bowed her head in shame and began to walk with the ever so close Doctor Leecher.

“No funny business. I am prepared,” he said and revealed a syringe to be sitting in his jacket pocket.

They moved towards the doors and came past the front counter. Old lady Denny frowned to see her star waitress leave with this older gentleman.

“Rouge honey, everything okay?” She asked.

“I’m sorry Mrs Appleby I have to go…”

“Don’t talk, just move,” Leecher said pushing her forward hastily.

“Hey what’s going on?” The old lady asked and stood from her fur lined stool.

The two taller suited gentlemen robots nodded to the doctor and then rose from their booth. They went outside into the blistering desert sun whilst holding the doors.

“Hey F.G, get out here!” Old lady Denny shouted.

Rouge stepped out into what felt like the gallows.

“That’s a good girl. No trouble. Either way that friend of yours will find a sorry end,” the doctor said and chuckled.

For some reason that creepy sinister laugh had struck a nerve. Just when a tear was about to fall from Rouge’s eye, she began to feel something she had never felt. Maybe the sedative drugs in her system had previously masked a furious anger which began to flow from her clenched fists. She started to tremble, not in fear but in pure rage. This life she had started was good, those robots in the kitchen were her friends and waiting by the trailers behind the diner was her guardian. He watched on and stood nearly ready to run in when it happened.

“Just so you know Doctor ‘creepazoid’, I’m friends with not only a Warrior but two robots also. Right now I don’t need them,” she said and drove an elbow into the soft stomach of Leecher. He yelped in pain and fell.

The two robot suits looked on in amazement before stepping forward. They charged clumsily as Rouge stood ready with a defensive grace. Her fist pulled in tight like she had been taught the next series of moves with precision.

In a flash she had swung her ankle up and high. It collided into the first heavy which stumbled to her. The waitress dress she wore ripped at the thigh and she drove her knee up whilst gripping her first target’s hair. The robot’s face sparked with an impressive explosion of black liquid. Rouge wasn’t done, from this point she would never be done.

The second robot cautiously moved in and tried to swipe from a distance. After a third attempt Rouge had gripped his hand and twisted the arm into an ungodly angle. There came a robotic crunch and she released her grip. Then came the final move and lunging kick of her heel into the chin of the robot. The bright spark and crash to the floor signalled for this brief onslaught to be finished.

“I’m never normally a violent person,” she said doing her best to neaten the now ripped dress she wore.

Her eyes looked down into the ever so fearful Leecher.

“I want you to leave Leecher. Now!”

“Okay okay I will. Please don’t hurt me anymore,” Leecher pleaded.

“Well go then!”

The doctor scrambled to his feet and past the two wrecked robots he had hired. Away he went and to a large dark car.

From the doors burst F.G with the Freak. They were both armed with a pot and large frying pan.

“We will have no trouble on the premises,” the Freak said then noticing the obvious wreckage on the floor.

“Rouge are you hurt?” F.G asked as old lady Denny appeared.

“Rouge dear, your uniform honey. People are looking,” she said and rushed to her. She took off her nicotine smelling shawl and wrapped it around her.

“Can you deal with this mess guys?” she added and began to lead Rouge away. They moved around the side of the diner.

“I’m so sorry Ms Appleby I don’t know what came over me…”

“Nonsense dear, you were defending yourself. Now come on. I’ll just tell the customers that guy was being a jerk. They’ll be none the wiser.” She looked up in the shadows. The dark figure that was the Warrior appeared.

“This one can really defend herself. I’ll get you a fresh uniform, but for now take the afternoon off,” Denny said, and she headed back to the diner.

“I, I don’t know what happened…” Rouge looked at her two scratched hands which were shaking. She whimpered as tears began to fall down her pale face.

“It’s alright. I am here,” the Warrior said. He gently wrapped two huge robotic arms around her.

“You needn’t cry my dear. You defended yourself well. Even if you couldn’t, we are with trustworthy people and robots here,” he added.

“It’s just what he said about you and being wanted in New York…”

“Now now Rouge, I am going nowhere. I will have to face New York again one day but it will be with you. I watched you defend yourself, the way you moved. Nobody taught you how to do that, you did that yourself, with instinct, from within. I’ve never seen a man run away so fast,” the Warrior said as he wiped her tears away. She smiled at the thought.

“Yeah he looked pretty spooked. I had been waiting to do that for a while.”

“Yes Rouge, but you also must appreciate your instinct makes you who you are. There is a reason why I am your guardian…”

“Because my uncle couldn’t look after me and there were robots who wanted me dead, yeah you’ve told me the story a thousand times,” Rouge said sounding like her teenage self.

“No Rouge that is only a portion of the story. Those doctors say you are special because you are. You just proved that.”

“I didn’t have any control I just did it.”

“That’s because you must learn to harness your power. Anne-Marie Thorn, you are a prophecy. Named a Maverick by the Warriors before me. They fought and died to make sure you would survive and answer your calling. Destiny has selected you for this.”

End of Part 6

Tune in Next week for another edition of Jack Thorn. Same Jack time, same Jack place… Remember if you enjoyed reading, tell a friend, leave a comment and share it around on social media…

Copyright 2004 – 2019 ‘Jack Thorn’ and ‘The Thorn Legacy’ Written By Lee Hall 2019 All rights reserved.  

Weekly Ramble #30

I find myself resisting the urge to react to a negative review of The Teleporter. I know the ‘rule’ is to ignore and move on but this format here is my yard and I’ll use it however I like. First of all I don’t wan’t to appear to ‘retaliate’ in anyway but everyone whom I have spoken to about this has deemed the situation a little unjust and that’s something The Teleporter fights for…

You can find the review on Goodreads and if you ask me; like others have pointed out, it’s contradictory. And should I even be doing this? Right now, yeah, as I’ve said this is my motherfu**ing yard’ll say what I like.

The main gripe focuses on the reviewer not appreciating name calling of a certain character. In fact this reviewer clocked up the precise amount of times this character was called a certain name or referred to it as that name, which tells me there was more counting going on than reading and delving into the words. I just feel as if this book reviewer has rushed through my work and not actually read it properly. Maybe we’re just looking to add another number to the goodreads list…

The focus on this name calling which I wont fully explain because I don’t need to, can be defined with this statement:

 If you don’t get it, you don’t get it, but the whole name calling thing of this character is a part of her journey. Plus this book is a comedy of the comic book persuasion, sometimes people and places are named quite literally. It’s never said in an abusive or bullying type of manner. Her journey which includes this name she is called comes to a culmination with her winning and then choosing to embrace the name everyone calls her, how can’t you see that? 

This reviewer has totally misinterpreted The Teleporter by basically concentrating on finding something that could be deemed as offensive. Maybe we were looking to slam a book because we haven’t given a bad review before… Unfortunately the world is full of name calling, sometimes it can be considered as banter or fun and sometimes it’s part of wider story that the reviewer didn’t quite grasp.

We live in a world where if one person gets offended by something arbitrary then all of a sudden everybody grabs a pitch fork and torch; this is my one fear in the outcome of this review. I’m not against anyone having an opinion, that’s allowed, but make sure you execute what you have to say in a less contradictory manner.

I don’t give shit if it got one star and it wasn’t somebodies cup of tea, try tequila instead and grow the fuck up.

 

Pet Sematary – Review

For the first time this year I have been to the cinema! Time flies when your busy, really busy, but finally I was able to go out with my significant other and we chose to see the latest Stephen King film adaptation Pet Sematary….

pet sem

Before we start, you must know Pet Semetary (which I read a few years ago) is in fact my favorite Stephen King novel, so as you expect there’s a lot riding on my expectations, this is a home game for me and I’m looking for a win. I have also seen the early 90’s adaptation which felt more like a TV film than anything remotely near cinema, so here we go…

For those who haven’t had the pleasure of reading my once in a blue moon movie reviews, I don’t give away major spoilers, I want readers to be persuaded to see a film that I came away liking, and I liked this a lot.

Pet Semetary does a fantastic job in probably being more of a remake than adaptation of the actual book although this time around we see more detail in some areas. Overall you’re never going to get the detail of the book, which is quite an extensive read and screenwriters can only cram in so much in a few hours.

Main character Louis Creed and his young family (all of which were perfectly cast) are moving into their new home in rural Maine. Both Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz fit perfectly as the Creeds and look like a real couple (no Hollywood glamour here) alongside their likeable and curious daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence, who may have stolen the show), of course there is the younger sibling and son Gage, who considering his young age did an awesome job. They have a cat, that’s not a major plot point or anything…

The story differs a little compared to both the earlier film and book, something which made for an unexpected turn of twists later on. The neighbor across the road Jud Crandall played by John Lithgow may have been the most perfect of castings since Robbie Coltrane became Hagrid and his relationship is a little different for the film but makes for events to happen quicker than they do in the book.

What I liked the most about Pet Semetary; book and this film is the level of darkness the story goes to, and there are a few moments in this film that capture the essence of what the book achieved. Death, no matter the circumstances, is a dark thing and those concepts in this film will make the characters spiral into madness. There is also a huge psychological element that preys on some character’s minds, making it as creepy as ‘IT’ in places, of course there are a few jump scares but I found in this film to be less action stuff and more of the deeper darker mind stuff.  It’s the ultimate ‘what if’ scenarios that play in the back of our deep conscience and this film was done very well.

Pet Semetary is probably never going to win any awards but the performances are strong, the cinematography is great and the overall production does the book justice. The locations and sets were awesome. I even loved the fact they have re made the Pet Semetary song which played after a different but good solid ending.

4 Stars

 

Where the Darkness Hides by Duncan Thompson – Review

A sequel and continuation into the shadows…

dark hides

I liked the fact this story didn’t try to copy or do exactly what the first one did. It goes to different places while also exploring concepts from the original in more detail. There are many sequels that get made just because the first was good or successful but they rarely deliver. Was ‘Where the Darkness Hides’ just as terrifying as ‘Within the Dark Places’? Probably not, and it doesn’t need to be because they are two completely different stories, and the differences is what makes this one just as good.

This time around the story begins with a slower build and instead of being a more on the scary side its more of a tension filled experience. We sort of know what’s coming, but it comes from the unexpected. The police begin to investigate the events of the previous story and while we know what has happened, they don’t and it becomes that old fashioned full proof horror scenario of readers saying out loud ‘don’t go in there!’ or in this case don’t got into the Druid Woods.

It’s ‘Aliens’ with shades of ‘Jeepers Creepers’, and I mean that as a compliment because this sequel see’s the story from the first one evolved. We see concepts that are explored further and elements that stretch to other genres such as the occult and psychological horror. There is a bigger cast of characters and overall the story delves further into the concepts of the original making it essential reading if you enjoyed the first one. Again the whole experience feels cinematic it never stays in the same place for long keeping readers constantly on edge.

4 Stars

 

 

 

 

Jack Thorn: A story of the Future: Chapter 2, Part 2

Jeremey Jones struggled to elevate his tall wide frame out of the control room chair and practically wrestled the tablet from Axel Hendricks.

“Wait Jones, wait. Something isn’t right. Look,” Axel demanded just when Jones took full hold of the tablet.

“What are they doing. Command, main view zoom in,” Jones ordered.

The large display screens locked on to Jack Thorn helping up Cade Biggs.

“Do something, those candidates  in there are real robots. They are real Jones,” Axel said.

“What can I do? We’re not in control, I guess that’s humanity’s problem. Always has been,” Jones said and looked to Axel with intrigue.

“Yeah sure, choose a time like now to get all philosophical. Say something to them,” Axel ordered, and Jones cleared his throat.

“Command, enable for announcement please,” Jones said and cleared his throat yet again.

Back in the white room Jack helped Cade to his feet.

“Look I don’t know if I triggered this. But we are surrounded by robot’s in this room,” Jack said.

Cade slowly broke away from his helping grip.

“No Thorn they’ve always been robots,” he said giving Jack a somewhat edgy look.

“Don’t say you’re…”

“No, keep your hands and feet to yourself son. I guarantee I am human, all the way to the bone,” Cade said and stood off from Thorn.

“That’s good then…”

“Attention candidates. There is an issue with the simulation software. Can I ask you return to your designated areas?” The loud voice of Jones announced.

In a circle surrounding Jack and Cade these ‘candidates’ continued to close in.

Jack looked up and all around,

“Uh, that didn’t work Sarge,” he said.

The first woman came closer. She wore a navy type uniform and headed straight to him. He lowered instinctively when she swung a wild club fist. Another uniform moved for Cade and he forcefully wrestled the robot away. They backed up until they were within touching distance of each other.

There was a loud screech of static and another voice barked to them,

“Thorn, Biggs, run! I am going to activate all the simulations. Hide until I can get you out…”

The sound of Hendricks voice clicked off and the simulation buildings all around rose up. The car which Cade had hit his head appeared. Jack jumped up on to it and then offered a him a hand.

“Come on man,” he shouted.

Soon enough the car became fully surrounded. Somehow Cade missed every wild swiping hand.

“Ok so I get being put in this thing with a bunch of robots. Was the malfunctioning thing resulting in them really trying to kill us supposed to happen?” Jack asked.

“As far as I’m aware the answer’s no mate.”

“Guess we better do what the man say’s then…” Jack took a short run up and flipped over the barrage of uniforms, all of them with that cagy unhinged way of hanging their head.

He landed on his feet and watched Cade do the complete opposite. With two legs, he stepped down firstly onto the bumper and then forcefully waded through any robot resistance with powerful kicks. Just as more robots came to him a bright spark flew past his vision making him cower away and duck.

Jack stood with the simulation gun stretched forward. The electrical discharge hit the nearest robot to Cade and brought a vital few seconds.

“I don’t think it does much,” Jack said, and the heavier Cade ran to him.

“Apart from probably piss them off more. Back to times square?” Cade added. They both headed away.

“I’m calling for a mercenary team,” Axel said from his seated control room position.

His hand waved over a desk mounted screen and he pushed at various displays.

“Wait Hendricks, they are getting away. Why don’t we re issue the holographic hostiles and make them tougher. That might give Thorn and Biggs a chance to get away,” Jones said.

“That’s suicide Jones. They have no armour and there are already twelve real life robots after them. No, I’m calling for the Mercenaries, they can clean this up. End the simulations Jones,” Axel ordered but Jones just watched the display. He cradled the glass tablet to his large chest.

“Jones, end it…”

“You call for the Mercenary team and your fired,” Jones said coldly.

“I’m f… You can’t fire me this is the S.E.S. Under what jurisdiction are you going to ‘fire’ me?”

“I’m the one who owns the rights to robot crime fighting, this is my ship. You call for back up and you’re fired,” Jones added firmly then he began to grin.

“Those robots in there wherever you got them from are malfunctioning on the highest level. Hold on a minute, this was your plan all along wasn’t it? You deliberately set up Davidson to antagonise Thorn. This is a damn simulation Jones with real people’s lives at stake. You put real lives inside the shark cage with not one shark, several malfunctioning sharks. What are the odds he even takes down a couple of those robots?” Axel protested.

“If what Lucius said is right then he is the Maverick. We have nothing to worry about.”

Axel dropped both his hands and flopped down into his seat,

“This is damn suicide. You’re sounding like Clark and do you remember how he ended up?”

“He had a minor breakdown Axel and as far as I know he’s fine now,” Jones said.

“You honestly believe that prophecy of one man against the robots saving us all?” Axel asked.

“Let’s find out.”

And so they did. Jack and Cade broke away from the group of candidates and they faced the holographic robots from their simulation.

“Soft-core closing in at your twelve,” Cade shouted.

Jack faced his first target.

“I’ll let you have the first hit,” Jack said.

The wild simulated holographic robot swiped and made full contact with Jack’s face.

“Oh shit,” he said reeling back into a car.

“Thorn?”

“That actually hurt,” Jack said throwing in a jab to the gut, he followed in with a sweeping roundhouse kick tripping the robot to the ground. The wild image of a grimaced robot faded to white.

From above came the voice of Jones,

“We have adjusted the difficulty of simulated robots just so they can push back the other candidates.”

“That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen,” Cade said. He followed Jack through several flickering cars.

“Is there any type of plan or are we just running?” he asked.

They crossed into another simulation.

“I was hoping for a troop of holograms to face off with the others,” Jack said and looked up to a high tower type structure.

“I know this, we are on the Brooklyn bridge,”

The could both see the various metal struts and cabling that made up the bridge. He continued his run forward with Cade in tow.

A flickering came from the distance. It slowly morphed into what looked like a line of robots. They were charging their way.

“I don’t think we are gonna stand much of a chance against that lot,” Cade said. They both spun around to see the twelve robot candidates trudging their way in formation, and then the ground began to shake.

“Run!” Jack shouted.

The calamity of holographic robots grew louder and closer. The candidates behind them closed in while Thorn and Cade sprinted.

With a violent rumble the flickering road surface gave way into a white abyss. Pixelated road rubble dropped several hundred feet just when Jack jumped and landed inches from the cascade.

“I remember hearing about this. The First, he did this, he blew up the damn bridge…”

“Thorn!” Cade shouted. He grasped crumbling bridge. His feet dangled over the white hole into the unknown.

Jack threw himself down and gripped the hand of Cade.

“Can you really fall down this in a simulation?” Jack asked out loud.

“I don’t know, just get me, out of here.”

Jack heaved and half watched holographic robots launch themselves across the gaping hole in the bridge. He pulled Cade up and they stood surrounded on both sides by simulated robots and real. The two groups stared at each other for a few tense moments.

Cade slowly backed away and led Jack. His hopes were quickly shattered.

“Kill the humans,” a purely robotic voice said. From the hologram group one robot pointed to them.

“Yeah kill the humans,” a candidate said and both groups charged.

“Guess we are jumping then,” Cade said, and he jumped a barrier. Jack gripped it and acrobatically followed leading to a ledge.

The two groups of robots collided and flocked their way.

“Do we just jump?” Jack asked.

Cade stepped off the side. With his eyes firmly shut he landed only three feet down.

“Ha-ha, son of a bitch, it’s not high man come on,” he shouted and looked up to Jack who became mobbed in robots.

“Thorn! No” Cade did his best to clamber back up onto the bridge framework with this mob charging into the centre of the bridge. He pulled himself up to see the first robot bounce away.

From the epicentre of this hologram and physical robot storm came an angry Jack Thorn. With his fist locked he launched an uppercut to a target that impressively launched back. He continued like a machine with high swinging kicks and powerful punches. His glare, firm and concentrated. The brain of such a man mapped every moving target with a primitive precision. Each robot smashed back with some taking others out. He made quick work of holograms where many faded to white before flopping to the ground.

Just as the numbers thinned and before Cade could get near, the simulation began to fold downwards and disappear. Still the remaining robots came, every one of them meeting a creatively impressive doom, all of them colliding into a fist or boot, all of them sparking out of life. The prophecy was true and this man that stood before them was capable of fulfilling his calling.

*                      *                      *

Beneath a bed of murky clouds robot leader the First stood upon the roof of his commandeered base of operations. The large flat building spanned wide and long, much of its slate coloured exterior hidden under the various brown horizons of the planet X43 that surrounded. His vision focused through a pair of binoculars.

“Well the low cloud base doesn’t give much indication of visibility,” he said looking up to the thick grey sky.

“Perhaps this will make artillery interference difficult,” the rough concealed voice of Robot-K said making his presence known.

“Ga… You certainly have a way of creeping up don’t you Robot-K?” The First asked and he turned to the vast all black wearing figure. His eyes focused on the shadow shrouded inside the dark red hood. If he looked close enough the outline of two hollow eyeholes could be seen.

“In case you were wondering I was talking to myself. But you are right. When those shiftmasters land, the pathetic Army of Earth won’t be any the wiser, hopefully,” the First added in his British accent.

“I never base any belief on hope,” Robot-K said.

“Indeed. That’s the humanity in me rearing its disgusting head.”

The First lowered his binoculars and turned again to the large dark shape of Robot-K. He watched the cloak and hood abruptly turn. Another robot sheepishly stood concealed by his mass.

“I was told, I would find you here First,” she said, her uniform in partial tatters and a face showing the signs of burning.

“Yes indeed they sent you to the right place,” the First said. He watched the robot nervously look up to Robot-K.

“You survived the recent joke of our lost artillery placement and you have some information for me yes?” The First asked.

“Yes First. I managed to escape the blast and then the Mercenary attack after. The remaining few of my squad took shelter nearby and viewed the incoming attack from afar.”

“And?” The First asked growing impatient with this beggar.

“I saw the soldiers who were responsible for the destruction of our artillery. They were just that, grunts with no rank. They were awarded with stars of honour by the mercenaries and I saw a name. A name you are perhaps familiar with,” the soldier said.

“A name. Well we are waiting.”

“It was, it was Thorn.”

The First momentarily stared vacantly at the woman’s message. His face grew into anger which boiled inside, and he snatched at the robot. Before he could talk the mass of Robot-K stepped in and a large gloved hand took her out of the First’s grasp.

“Speak?” He roughly barked.

“The soldier’s name was Thorn. He planted the explosives which took down the artillery, please I am just the messenger…”

“And you are the only scapegoat we have for that debacle. Indeed, that name I haven’t heard since, well, since Earth. Is my old acquaintance Clark Thorn of age young enough to enlist in the Army of Earth?” The First pondered almost to himself as he limped a small distance away.

“This was a young man, he could move and really fight…”

Robot-K shook the woman violently.

“The son,” he said, and his hood turned to the First.

“Maybe. Stand down Robot-K. Let the adults speak.”

“There’s a lot of talk going around,” the woman said upon being released.

“Yes well our speech software will allow that,” the First said and moved closer to her.

“That he is what the old Warrior’s before us said about being a Maverick,” she said.

“The prophecy,” Robot-K said.

“Fabricated to groom the solitary bug that humanity could do with fixing. Emotion. I’ve never heard any factual account of this so-called prophecy. There is a reason all those Warriors saw an end, so we could rise. If this Thorn…”

“Jack Thorn,” Robot-K said interrupting.

“If this ‘Jack Thorn’ finds his way to me then he shall perish much like everything else that tried to stop me in the past. Your message has been received and in return and for my inconvenience you will not live. Robot-K make the necessary arrangements,” The First coldly said and spun away from view. He looked into his binoculars again as the woman screamed for her life.

“Please First, spare me…” There came the sound of a long blade scraping its way out from a sheath.

Then came a fatal flame filled slice followed by silence.

*                      *                      *

“Spare me!” Anne-Marie shouted dreamily and then she jolted awake.

“I beg pardon?” A robot called the Freak asked. He sat in the back of the old pick-up truck watching Anne-Marie attempt to groggily sit up.

“Uh, where are we?” She asked and parted her now messy blood red hair. Bright sunlight was nearby but they were sat in the shadows.

“Underpass of a mass transit highway,” the Freak said.

“How many years was I out? That’s how it felt anyway?” She asked looking out into the rocky desert. Things chirped and a warm breeze blew.

“Just the one night. I was under strict instruction not to wake you unless you woke yourself. Well Anne-Marie, do you wish to share with me what visions that caused you to awaken so abruptly?”

“Call me Rouge. It was just a dream, with a mind like mine they mean nothing. Where is he?”

“Very well Rouge. Your tall and dark friend isn’t far, and neither is my large friend F.G. I believe they are looking for a base of operations or a safe haven for you to stay…” The Freak continued to explain as Rouge phased out.

They’ll find me no matter what, they always do. It doesn’t matter how many times my Warrior guardian takes me away, they always win. Them and their creep of a Doctor, Leecher.

“Now this mind of yours, what do you mean about such visions meaning nothing?” The Freak questioned, and she tuned in on the conversation.

“My mind is a damn curse, it always has been. They all say the same thing, ‘you’re gifted’ and ‘you’re special’. Right now if it would stop those bastards from chasing me, I would cut my own brain right out…”

“But you are special,” the commanding voice of the Warrior said.  He appeared beside the truck. F.G trailed behind with a large greasy take out bag.

“Warrior,” Rouge said and reached out a pale hand. He gently took it.

“You slept well?”

“Comatose since last night. We were just talking about finding somewhere safe to stay. I take it these guys’ place is compromised?” Rouge asked looking to the Freak.

“Right now you are sitting in our place young lady,” the Freak added.

“We found a place, looks promising but we got to approach it right,” F.G said and quickly noticed Rouge looking at his take-out bag.

“Oh and I hope you like burgers, I got you three, might be a lot for a small lady and it’s not like us three can eat so I didn’t want to raise suspicions.” He threw it her way and she dived straight into the bag. Without any words she had bitten into the first burger.

The three looked at her for a response.

“Oh, thanks. I, didn’t get your names,” she said quickly chewing and nearly completing the first burger.

“This is the Freak, and this is F.G. We can trust these two robots. They have seen a lot in their past, they have experience,” the Warrior explained.

“You guys are welcome to stick around as long as the burgers keep coming. Wasn’t there a robot rebellion a while back? Us ‘patients’ don’t get much news,” Rouge asked. The two robots looked to her already moving on to the second burger.

“We managed to avoid the rebellion. In fact, we went the complete opposite way, Cliffeville still offers opportunities for robots so this is where we came,” he said.

“So you guys broke me out and we got away. What’s next?” Rouge asked and looked directly to her guardian.

“We have found somewhere suitable to stay for now,” he said.

“It’s a diner not far from here. Hence the burgers. They are offering work for accommodation, well, a trailer out back. There’s a bunch of them,” F.G explained.

“Work?” Rouge asked as her eyes lit up. Never had she experienced anything other than confinement, maybe this would lead to a normal life.

“You mean I could get a job? Maybe have my own place, our own place? This is wonderful. Take that Doctor creepazoid Leecher,” she said and stood with half a burger in one hand. She looked up to the grey of underpass but to her it was blue skies.

“I believe creepazoid’ to be an absurdly inappropriate forename for a member of the medical profession,” the Freak said as Rouge smiled down to him.

She could see for the first time in her life possibilities of normality.

“This is all I have ever wanted, just to be a part of the world. I’m gonna get me a job and be good at jobbing or whatever it is,” she said.

“Waitressing in a diner,” F.G said.

“I’m going to waitress in a diner, serve customers pie and have a normal life. I could even go out on a date with a boy, go out on lots of dates with a boy. Maybe with someone who I am probably better than. This is great,” Rouge added.

“Now Rouge, we must remain focused on staying away from the people who want to take you away,” the Warrior said.

She held out a hand to the Freak and gently pulled him up.

“Will you be joining me Mr Freak?”

“Well if it is required. F.G is there a job for me? It’s barely robot crime fighting but it’s a start,” the Freak said.

“Pot wash or flipping burgers,” F.G said.

“And I will be nearby watching over you,” the Warrior added.

Both F.G and the Freak had seen more action than a roadside diner but they knew this girl called Rouge was more than just a potential waitress. The Warrior knew this also. For now they would let her realize what her real calling in life was because for the first time ever she felt something inside, human happiness. The days of medical research torture seemed far behind in the rear-view mirror.

End of Part 5

READ PART 6 HERE

Tune in Next week for another edition of Jack Thorn. Same Jack time, same Jack place… Remember if you enjoyed reading, tell a friend, leave a comment and share it around on social media…

Copyright 2004 – 2019 ‘Jack Thorn’ and ‘The Thorn Legacy’ Written By Lee Hall 2019 All rights reserved.  

A guide to Book Promotion in 2019

Finding the right advice for Authors to promote their work takes more than consulting ‘the Google’ these days. I also know by putting the year in the title of this post will make it pretty much instantly out dated, but for the same reasons scholars recorded stuff back in the day, I aim to do the same, pass on my knowledge and findings to simply learn for the future (where there will be robots…) and I’m not a scholar but a proud Indie Author…

So here is my guide to Book Promotion in 2019.

First of all, much of the stuff in this post is taken from a very recent book promotion I did for my 3rd novel ‘The Teleporter’ which I made free to download via Kindle Direct Publishing. Many author folks will know that having a book for free does help, but there are so many factors as to why I got the results I did.

These results were as follows: 

tp promo results

Over the 4 days I set ‘The Teleporter’ free to download 817 people grabbed a copy! It even went to #1 in one of it’s amazon charts! 

Now let’s explore ‘the factors’ which drove this book to so many downloads…

Factor 1: Book Promotion Sites. 

Book Promotion sites are essential for spreading the word about your words existing; in fact, I would argue that telling people your stuff actually is out there may indeed be the biggest challenge any smaller time author faces and product awareness/distribution is what we are trying to achieve here! 

So as well as setting my book to be free on the dates I decided (about a month previous) I then set out to find some book promo sites who will list my book and send the info about it out to mailing lists. Many of them have certain criteria and some even charge but most don’t ask for a lot in terms of what the results could potentially be.

Here is the list of promo sites, I used this time around. Some I paid for promotions, and some I didn’t. I also staggered the promos to run on most of the days my book was free.

tp 1 year

A few years ago I compiled this list from a Goodreads group called ‘Support for Indie Authors’ a 14,000 strong collective of Indie minds who band together and share results from all sorts of indie related book stuff. I don’t contribute much to the group, I kind of just lurk… but there is a great amount of info on promo sites.

As you can see I only spent $10 this time around, and it also included an interview with Itswritenow which you can read here and yes on my spreadsheet document the heading of anniversary is in french (I can be pretentious like that, being published gives someone such licence to be…)

Factor 2: Established Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads

tp reviews

This is relatively simple, and there is no real sure fire way to get reviews unless the reader wants to leave one. But the 5 reviews ‘The Teleporter’ had at the time of it being free is a huge factor that drove downloads. People seem to trust something that’s been out a while and has a few reviews. Upon release I put this book up for free and only 35 or so people downloaded it. Sometimes a book just needs to be out there for a while. So if you were one of the people who read and reviewed it before last week, you helped sell it!

Factor 3: An established following

At this current time my following has never been bigger, and that should always be the case for anyone who is an active blogger and writer on social media (and sort of obvious). I have also picked up a bunch of new followers whom are yet to read any of my novels. So with that and combined with the book being free, many of the followers I have had recent interaction with came out in force.

How I got that following is complex and simple all at once. Firstly it takes some time to gather a good following of genuine people. Secondly you have to invest by interacting, leaving constructive comments by being genuine and supportive to others in the writing and blogging community. Be there for others in the same boat on the same voyage as you. I have met some incredible writers and bloggers by just being present on the writing community scene.

My following continues to rise as I review indie books, all books I have read this year have been indie books. Many authors will feel inclined to return the favor but that is something I never aimed for, I’m reviewing books from indies because I am one and I have to support them, plus it’s reading and I love reading.

Factor 4: Chancer’s luck #indieapril

For those who are advocates of my stuff, they will know many of my characters are kind of chancer’s and tend to luck out. They look like they are better than they actually are; why do I say that? Because I am a chancer myself and I always have been.

I thought it would be nice to put ‘The Teleporter’ up for free because its a year since publication and the last promo I did was way back in September for Open Evening. This just so happened to coincide with April and then a trending hashtag started spreading around called #indieapril

#indieapril was some genius idea by some literal genius because people started tweeting about it and their support for indies. Then they started asking for indie book links whilst my book was free! Now I normally have the luck of the three blind basta**’s but holy sh** this was an open goal. For a very long while my tactics to sharing my own book link had changed to not talking sharing it at all. So I had a field day! And ‘The Teleporter’ kicked nearly every other book’s ass, and it went up against some pretty big competition…

This is an example of what I dropped in many folks comments of the Tweet machine…

tweet example

When you are really selling something, people just need to know the important details. As you can see it’s snappy and to the point and also the truth. ‘The Teleporter’ is all of those things, apart from being free right now. Boozy undertones; it’s not all serious folks.

Factor 5: Other smaller things I did…

As well as doing all the promo things above I also put up a big ‘ol Teleporter themed blog post, saying it was free and other stuff. It drove some traffic to the blog and many of the followers of the blogging persuasion are relatively new, plus it was free so people take notice.

I don’t like to mention Facebook because I personally think they are assholes mostly, they are one of those Robocop level corporations who are probably reading this while sharpening Zuckerbergs terminator liquid metal style axe for a hand, hey Mark (waves slowly). I did put up a less than £10 boosted post. It may have helped sell a few copies and definitely a paperback which was someone I personally know so the results are inconclusive. My following is pretty good on my page, you are more than welcome to like it, link to the side somewhere over there >>>>>

Bonus factor: A back Catalogue

I currently have 4 books available which I got published in 2 years, that’s some high revolutions, foot down on the gas type of sh**. I’ve worked my ass off to get those out there and now I have, people take it seriously. It’s true when they say the more books you release the better chance you have, trust me, you got to churn out them stories!

cropped-4.jpg

Results:

The main result is the amount of times the book got downloaded, but there are also longer term results which are still coming in. Kindle Direct Publishing also track page reads (a bit creepy I know) and these are the most recent figures of people reading:

PAGES READ

You can also see somebody has taken on ‘Darke Blood’ also, good on ya, I’m liking that book more and more these days…

There has also been a new review of ‘The Teleporter’ via Goodreads!

tp goodreads rev

Conclusion:

If you’re an indie looking to get more reads, I recommend going free to download for a little while, the first thing I will say is that you are not whoring your stuff out, you are giving it to the world to enjoy and discover. I don’t do this for a living, maybe some day I will, but until then people can read my stuff for free.

Prepare and take your time, spend a few pennies and do the research in finding promo sites and creative ways to get the word out. Take a leap and you’ll never know unless you try.

Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who downloaded ‘The Teleporter’. Rock and roll man!

 

Reviewing Darke Blood

Feed The Crime

So, today i’m reviewing Darke Blood by Lee Hall, now I know what you’re thinking, this is a crime fiction blog Blair, why are you reviewing a supernatural book? Well this is actually my first vampire novel, and boy am I glad I read this!

Let’s get started…

“There are more than shadows lurking in the darkness of those trees.”
Blake Malone is in search of a new start and arrives in the remote forest town of Darke Heath. The memory of his past mysteriously becomes a blur as he discovers this place isn’t what it seems.
Malone shares a romantic encounter with a woman named Caitlyn and she reveals herself to be a ‘creature of the night’.

He learns of her story which intertwines with the history of the ‘Heath’. Together they must face the evil forces of vampirism and witchcraft that await them in the Darke forest.
But…

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