In The Realm of the Wolf

Rated 4.20/5 based on 5 reviews
Bart returns to his home town to await an evil he can no longer avoid. As he waits, he questions the decisions he has made that have led him to this fate, and he wonders if perhaps he has sacrificed his own happiness and the happiness of those he loves for the sake of a higher cause that may prove to be beyond him. More
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Price: Free! USD
Words: 8,210
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301731510
About Walter Lazo

“Our free short stories are intended as a doorway to our more mature premium works. Their purpose is to showcase the author’s writing style and use of evocative imagery. Although these are his earlier works—he has gotten much better since—they serve as a nice introduction to his thematic concerns as well as to his belief that a story has to be believed in to be effective. Therefore, what he presents in these stories are situations and the reactions of characters within those situations.”

Walter Lazo was born in Cambridge, MA, and now lives in North Carolina. As a child he discovered his love of Weird Fiction and large, epic, heroic stories, as well as German and Greek mythology, devouring the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen King, the Grimm brothers, Bram Stoker, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Walter grew up reading the short stories of Richard Matheson, and later discovered the works of the great science fiction writers of the 20th century; namely, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov.

He enjoys writing horror and science fiction stories with an occasional martial arts story thrown in for good measure. He is currently obsessed with the short story form and hopes that it will make a comeback in popularity. As an adult he has tried to create his own mythos, writing about the Demon World and other creatures that torment men’s dreams.

He is a longtime fan of Stephen King and of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

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Reviews

Review by: Rob Wilkins on May 15, 2013 :
This is the first of Mr. Lazo's works that I've read, and I enjoyed it a lot. The tension built well and the presented philosophy felt strong and consistent. Philosophy often comes across as meandering and self-indulgent when presented in fiction this way, but I got no sense of that at all here. I didn't agree with it, but that's not the point; it's the character's philosophy, and their belief in it feels genuine, which is no small feat.

However, I did think that the philosophy interrupted the pacing. That doesn't reflect at all on the writing of it; while I enjoyed the opening of the story with its set-up, I also enjoyed the philosophical middle. They just didn't quite seem to gel here. In a longer tale, I think it would have been fine, as it could have been dropped in at a point of lesser tension. But in a story of this length, it intrudes on the action somewhat, and I think presenting small snippets of the philosophy, hints and flashes rather than the entirety of it, may have preserved the pacing and tension better.

There are some great things here -- the realm of Marduel was fantastic -- and there are a couple of issues, mostly to do with pacing, and an ending that fell a touch flat after all of the promising build-up. But th problems I have with the story are greatly outweighed by the things I liked, and as much as the changes in pace threw me a little during the reading, both the fast and slow sections were superbly written. What was good here was excellent, and I'm looking forward to reading more.
(review of free book)

Review by: Michael Carter on May 15, 2013 :
This is a highly imaginative self-contained and well-written story, that sets up a world and a mythology which could easily be explored in further stories or novels. I like the ideas in the story; it gives werewolf fiction a splash of the cosmic, and I can see hints of Clark Ashton Smith in the sheer imaginative vision of some sequences and some themes of Lovecraft in his sci-fi/fantasy guise.

The interesting story has a werewolf hunter attempting to stop some wolf-chaos which was brought about by him seeing a vision of the great Wolf God, Dread Marduel.

Walter Lazo is undoubtedly a clever guy, and there is much philosophy in here, much conversation on the nature of evil and the meaning of life. While this is intelligent, reasoned, and interesting, I do think there is too much of it in the story; I believe the story suffers in pace because of the philosophising. Certainly, I believe in getting a point or message across through fiction, but perhaps not in such large blocks as are here. The philosophising is deserving and well-articulated but I think a story that is ostensibly werewolf-fiction, is the wrong place for such detailed and sometimes over-my-head thinking, and it dulls the pace and tension.

I am a big fan of Walter Lazo and his work, and wish here to give an honest opinion for him. The imagination and cosmic vision in here is fabulous, but I'm afraid, for me, the philosophy got in the way a bit and I felt I had some sections of heavy reading to get through in order to get to the goods. A personal opinion would be to write the philosophy [or most of it] into a different story or perhaps some non-fiction, and cut down the word-length here by a couple of thousand, making the good story that is buried here, stand out more and snap at the reader.

I look forward to more of Walter Lazo's work.
(review of free book)

Review by: Jonathan Antony Strickland on May 09, 2013 :
Very good tale continuing the story of the werewolf hunter Bart. The flow of the story moves at a fast gripping pace as the hero contemplates the world and it's people that he is helping to save.

I sometimes felt that some of the conversations and philosophising where a touch too long and wordy as the action was about to take place, but this is a minor niggle to what is a deep involving, and at times even moving, tale.

I particularly liked the part where Bart through a vision trip finds himself entering into "Dread Marduel's kingdom" (a plane of hell) and the horrors he finds there.

Also he questions his task as he first asks himself if there is the slightest possibilty that the werewolves he fights may still possess some humanity and can yet be reasoned with. All this adds up to a thrilling read, and I will certainly be looking forward to more of Bart's adventure.
(review of free book)

Review by: Sam Mortimer on April 15, 2013 :
This is excellent werewolf literature and very well written.
(review of free book)

Review by: diane major on Jan. 23, 2013 :
Read the first short chapter and wasn't sure, but carried on to find an interesting little book. This is quite thought provoking and has some interesting characters that include Dread Marduel, Izani, Bart and Selena. Well worth a read, particularly as it's free!
(review of free book)

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