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"Horror used to terrify me. Some of that Asian stuff still does. I’ll never watch The Ring again…"
Ever the non conformist…his first book, Absolom Rex, he decided to publish as an e-book and see if he could market it himself. So on top of being a writer, he is also an entrepreneur and marketing professional. It makes for a confusing description when people ask him what he does. In addition to his horror novels, K.L. also writes the Darkwater Adventures Guild series for young readers.
Some of his favorite authors from growing up are John Bellairs, Mark Twain, Washington Irving and R.A. Salvatore.
"The first book I ever read cover to cover was Spell of the Sorcerers Skull by John Bellairs in JR High."
From a small Texas town, K.L. spent some time living in Los Angeles. His welcome, a white knuckle 19 hour ride through deserted deserts and twisting mountain roads ending in a 4 am slash and burn through traffic on the 10 with cars everywhere.
While in L.A. he braved the Devil’s Punchbowl with stalwarts mates, drove out to the middle of nowhere to watch the stars fall from the sky, relearned to drive stick (yeah, in the middle of L.A., so now you know he is insane…) and resumed training in the martial arts. A surfer, he has felt the zen that comes from hanging ten all day and he has played the part of the pesky reporter when he wrote for a local Halloween haunt blog called, CreepyLA.com. He currently contributes short stories for Darkmediacity.com's #Fridayfrights and flashfriday.org's #fridayflash.
"I really missed the old gothic story telling and I want to bring it back. I would describe my writing style as a cross between Mark Twain and Edgar Allen Poe…"
He has since moved back to Texas with his dog Sid (at least for the time being). He’s an 80's movie and music lover and the thing that he likes most about a woman is her voice… When not banging away on a keyboard he’s scheming of ways to get himself to a new campsite for the weekend, hiking with friends and his dog, contributing to darkmediacity.com,or getting thrown around in a dojo by people in black suits.
Oh, and a large telescope just arrived in the mail, bigger is better...
on June 19, 2013 :
In Absolom Rex, Coones deftly blends the palettes of historical fiction and fantasy to create a story the reader may find difficult to put on hold. With calculated brush strokes, he paints vivid scenery of a familiar tale that evolves into something unexpected.
The story begins in ancient Rome, where the author recounts the time around Pontius Pilate's encounter with Jesus Christ in precise detail. In the the midst of the evocative imagery, Coones reveals the mind of the man some hold responsible for Christ's suffering and death. By the end of the book, the reader will have seen Pilate and his wife transformed from a human, loving couple into two characters barely recognizable -- even to each other. As the story turns from history to fantasy, the author continues to provide the visual backdrop for his storyline.
If this tale has a moral, it might be that Pilate bears the blame for the choices he made.
Coones' well-crafted story is a harbinger of more dark tales readers should expect from this author's imagination.
Absolom Rex would leave an audience gasping for breath should the author unleash this tale on the big screen.
(reviewed 11 months after purchase)
on Sep. 03, 2012 :
Overall: I was completely prepared for this story to get a mediocre rating up until about 70% read. The middle of this book really suffers from an identity crisis as the book shifts from a historical fiction to a paranormal novel. The ending, however, was nothing short of awesome. I’m so thrilled that I pushed through and finished this novel, because it ended up being very entertaining and dark. But, was it really necessary to hurt the poor kitty cats? PETA does not approve of this novel!
Characters: Pontius didn’t begin as an evil man and I liked how complex he was. Even as he committed the most inhumane acts, you couldn’t help but pity him and his predicament. He has a very human reaction to his encounter with Jesus and though it might appear blasphemous to Christians, I think the author’s creative freedom with the historical events involving Jesus was done respectfully. I believe that all the words Jesus spoke were taken directly from the bible. Pontius’s relationship with his wife is very touching and genuine. He is so devoted to her and its very Romeo and Juliet at times. Not what you’d expect from a monster. Surprisingly, Claudia was Pontius’s complete opposite in personality and if anyone had morals in this novel, it would be her. I also liked Anticus, who had more common sense than anyone else.
Plot: It begins as a retelling involving the crucifixion of Jesus from Pontius Pilate’s POV. After Jesus dies, Pontius ends up losing everything of value to him. This is where the novel really lags and as a reader I’m really confused to what the plot is. The characters feel in limbo for couple chapters. There are a few characters that do things that don’t make much sense at the time. Pontius is on a downward spiral and everything he does only makes his situation worse.
I wish that the first part of the novel was shorter or at least had more hint of the paranormal. By the time Jesus died (spoiler?), I was bored. It took pages for the story to get my attention again. The novel becomes pretty amazing after the word “Absolom” makes an appearance. Lots of dead bodies. I liked the romantic twist at the end. I haven’t been this in love with an evil vampire since Lestat.
Ending: If you love dark vampires and Romeo and Juliet romances, then you will love this ending. I only wish the entire story was this captivating. This is a 3 1/2 star book, but for sites that don’t allow half stars I’ll give it a 4.
(reviewed 51 days after purchase)
on Aug. 25, 2012 :
Review by Chris Phillips
Coones has taken historical fiction and paranormal fiction, and combined them both into a twist on the life story of Pontius Pilate. Only lightly skimming over the history known from Biblical stories and myths, Coones dives into the other reasons for Pontius’s actions. Taking Pontius's life from his appointment as governor of Judea through the time of the end of this life cycle for Pontius, Coones provides a very different picture of this historic figure.
It seems that although fate drags Pontius through the epic drama that is the crucifixion of Jesus, there is another element not seen as clearly from the Gospel accounts. Coones shows how fear can drive a man to take actions he knows will only bring misfortune.
Pontius is the main character, but his wife Claudia, the Lady Agrippina as the major protagonist and the captain of Pontius' guard, Actius, are integral to this tale.
Thoroughly developed as living, breathing people, the turns of plot bring to light a deeper side of these characters. While Pontius goes through life afraid, always afraid of making the wrong choice, he does well with Claudia and Actius acting as trusted advisors. The story does not go into details about those parts already known through the Biblical accounts; in fact, Coones glosses over much of that to get to the underlying and formerly hidden situations.
As the governor of Judea, Pontius makes many decisions that result in life-or-death consequences. These decisions become the root cause for him to return to Rome and face a nearly insane Caligula and answer impossible questions about some of Pontius's poor decisions. Time after time, Pontius chooses fear over rational thought and continues the downward slide in his fortunes and his life's meaning and purpose.
The paranormal element is slowly revealed as Pontius moves about his life. Finally as he returns to Rome, his wife who is mostly frail and ill throughout his stay in Judea, succumbs finally to death. Pontius is still unaware, although the astute reader has hints, as to what really happens. Through the intervention of his mentor, Titus, he is sentenced to exile over death. Now the real strangeness begins.
Coones stays consistent with his characters and plot; however, he ends up failing with the tension and the ending seems premature and simply cutting short the tale of Pontius. When Pontius reaches the end of this life cycle, he realizes the primary difference between those who fear and are possibly evil and those that live.
“... The righteous move on from this world and do not cling to it in fear ...”
Most historical fiction and many paranormal readers will find this fascinating. It does require an adult mind for several situations, violence and language. From the cliff-hanger ending there will be a sequel and possibly even a third or more books in this series.
Published by author as e-book, (http://klcoones.com/), ($2.95 USD SRP/Amazon-Kindle $2.99 USD) Reviewer received the e-book from author via Smashwords. (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/31787).
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on June 20, 2012 :
As a huge fan of historical and dark fiction, I was delighted to find them so perfectly blended in Absolom Rex. The detailed descriptions and captivating characters had me immersed in ancient Rome from the very first chapter and throughout the rest of the book. Well-placed tension and twists make this a great page turner and will leave you eager to read more from K.L. Coones.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on June 08, 2012 :
I am a fan of mystery, horror, and science fiction. This book did not disappoint. I look forward to reading more from K.L. Coones.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)
on May 24, 2012 :
I must say that this book is truly an amazing work of art. K.L. Coones captures your attention by the first sentence and from there you're hooked and can’t set the book down. I loved every single page of it and was deeply saddened to see the end of this novel because by the end I was in love with the book and I forgot that this was not in fact Rome and I am not in this story and must continue on with my own life.
5 stars from me and if you aren't sure you should read it I'll answer it for you.
Yes Yes you should.
Bravo Coones on a great work of art :)
(reviewed 19 days after purchase)
on May 08, 2011 :
The premise of this book intrigued me, as a fan of dark fiction AND lover of almost all things pertaining to ancient Rome. As a Christian, I also privately held the notion that Pontius Pilate had a bad rap and was the victim of both Roman politics and religious hypocrisy. This book and the characterization of Pontius shares a similar, and very plausible (imo) viewpoint of Pontius as a human being. The mood of the story starts off seemingly as a historical drama with subtle pretenses into horror. Jesus puts in an appearance, but the biblical reference and political subterfuge do not crowd the tale - the viewpoint is totally Pontius' - it did however, add to great atmosphere when Jesus is crucified. This is when the real portents of doom start to rumble, and it is through the Pontius' wife Claudia; that a sense of menace begins to hover over the reader. In-between this of course, are nice references to what it was like living in such a time period. By Chapter 10 - I was in the story and didn't stop until I finished. I can't say "I couldn't put it down" as I read this on a well formatted e-reader but the writing is good, some I want to quote! " -- as only the mad or the deluded smile when death comes to claim them."
Pontius, in this story -finds himself moving from the victim of Roman politics and religion to the victim of a sinister circumstance and THEN we meet another creep. I always found Caligula, in non-fiction lore to be a very distasteful figure in history - Mr. Coones captures that effectively in this story. Those who don't take an inkling to Roman history or religion even, won't be lost as to what's going on ;-) You can be a fan of horror, historical fiction, dark literature - and you'll probably still enjoy the book. I know I did. I read it in 2 hours. One of the few books in my e-reader that I'll get around to reading again in a couple of months - to re-acquaint myself for the next book Coones will have for this character, Absolom Rex.
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)