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Most days, David Michael is a software developer and a writer. Some days, he’s a writer and a software developer. Other days, he’s an amateur photographer. Because, really, who is the same person every day?
David is the designer and developer of The Journal, personal journaling software for Windows. He has also designed and developed video games, and has written two nonfiction books and numerous articles about video game development.
David lives with his wife and kids in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
on Jan. 20, 2011 :
What a great book!
The inventiveness, the humanity and cruetly of the characters, the non-linear nature of the story. It was all just so good - like a diabolical rug that was being woven from the centre to the edges.
Some story elements I was thinking I would be criticising while I was still reading; the small story of the witch and the Piper spring to mind. However, it became a little like the literary version of the movie Vantage Point with different perspectives helping to add more detail to the story.
I was wondering at the point of giving the Summoned a perspective at all, but it ended up being integral.
A few random scenes thrown in to give the Summoned some rampaging - true to form for a horror book.
Now I'm wondering when the next book from this author is going to be released.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Nov. 12, 2010 :
I really enjoy a good horror book; not much gets me freaked out when it comes to horror. Add in the fact that Hell has, literally, exploded upon the Earth and this book really kept me interested. The opening to this book is absolutely wonderful and I really wanted to know what in Hell was going on. It kept me guessing quite a bit. The start and end of this book keep you completely riveted.
I absolutely loved the premise of Hell on Earth erupting and it becoming a type of tourist attraction of a sort. The writing itself was really well done, I was lulled in by parts of the story. The author does a bang up job setting the stage and bringing this world into existence for us. Absolutely excellent.
I've read plenty of books with a similar format, the switching back and forth of time lines. I'm not sure that this format completely worked for this particular book, I got lost in the time line a few times and had to backtrack. I think this could have been better handled with more of a flashback or just straight time line. There were also some scenes that I thought could have been cut, they were a little over the top as far as brutality for what this book was.
Having said that, it's worth a read for true horror fans who are looking for something different in this genre.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Oct. 08, 2010 :
We've all heard the phrase "Hell on Earth," but did you know it's an actual place, and it's located in Missouri? David Michael has created a fantastical world in which Hell has recently exploded upwards to create Hell on Earth, a place where Hellish creatures mix with a very human population. It also does a booming tourist trade as the residents of the Suburbs flock over to experience this exotic location. They can meet with demons, the undead, and even the Old Man himself, but they can only hope to make it back home to tell their friends.
When I first started this book, I wasn't really into it. I do enjoy horror, but I realize I like thriller horror much more than straight horror. Some of the scenes were grotesque and made me cringe, and others were just horrible and made me very uncomfortable. I didn't feel the immediate draw I usually do towards stories I enjoy. It took me several chapters to get into the story, but once I did, I was hooked.
We start off in a pivotal scene, and it makes us wonder "how did we get to this point?" Subsequent chapters vary between what happened before that scene to what happens after. To help us, the chapters all had headings that included either "Before the Fire" or "After the Fire." I quickly caught on and found I really enjoyed the jumping back and forth. I find that plot device to sometimes be a hindrance to a story, if for no other reason than it makes the reader work harder. In this story, however, it fits. It's like you're given the filling of the sandwich, and you gradually build up what's surrounding that filling on both sides. It added a lot to the story to have this unfolding of key pieces of information as you're putting together the plot in your head. It was a device well-suited to this story, and it was used perfectly.
Overall, I think this is a really well put-together book. The writing flows nicely, in spite of the presence of several incomplete sentences. Somehow, it works with the characters and the plot. The chapters give us the information we need at just the right times, and the characters are memorable. I think I really got into the story once the Summoned was introduced. It was quite intriguing, to "feel" the thoughts of this "being" and get to experience the story from this different perspective. Although I wasn't as fond of some of the scenes described and I didn't find myself really connected to any one character, I was still engaged in, and enjoyed, this story. I think I'd really enjoy this author's works in other genres as well.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)