ICY SEDGWICK is part film academic, part writer and part trainee supervillain. Icy dreams of Dickensian London and the Old West. She writes primarily gothic fiction, although she does love a good Western. Find her ebooks, free weekly fiction and other shenanigans at Icy’s Cabinet of Curiosities.
When the dread necromancer Eufame Delsenza sets her sights on talented but poverty-stricken student of magic Jyximus Faire for her new apprentice to help her prepare royal mummies for an all-important procession, he realises this might be a chance of a lifetime. But can a necromancer's apprentice really learn to raise the dead – and control them?
Fifteen previously published stories, collected together for the first time, spanning fantasy, horror, sci fi and speculative fiction. Among other things, Bleed Them Dry puts a new spin on vampires, talking corpses tell their side in The Dead Do Listen and and a devilish game of chess goes wrong in Checkmate. Perfect for Halloween.
The Vertigo City Resistance is pitted against the shadowy Weimar Corporation. Their stalemate is broken by the death of an infiltrator. The fiery Resistance Commander Liss Hunt and bewildered companion Philip Wiseman set off on a journey into both organisations to discover the truth behind who runs Vertigo. The First Tale is an action adventure featuring automatons, mad scientists and explosions!
on Nov. 01, 2010
If you enjoy lush, vivid description, inventive story telling and more than a dollop of 'weird', then I urge you to buy this book. Not only is David a lovely chap, he's also an extremely talented writer who will wrap you up in a cocoon of details and senses, before suckerpunching you with the virtuosity of his writing. My favourite story by far is Runaway Jack, the tale of an evil pumpkin, but Memor Mora is a close run second, as a sumptuous tale of longing and memory.
Action, imagination and intrigue abound in this well-presented e-book.
Blood Picnic and other stories
on June 27, 2011
Anthologies are sometimes accused of having a lack of focus, but not so here. Blood Picnic is divided into four "chapters" - Tales of the Heavens, which contains six fantasy stories; Tales of the Earth, which contains eight literary fiction stories; Tales of the Moon, which collects six horror stories; and Tales of the Sun, which includes eight magical realism stories. Indeed, a hallmark of Tony's style is his verstatility, although his "voice" comes through strongly to add coherence to the diversity on display.
My own personal favourites are the superhero tale, "Grey Ghost Gone"; "Straight and True, my arrow, Fly", in which a pair of lovers discover the difference between love and lust; "Aspirations", in which the extent of a young man's insecurities are laid bare; "Ridi, Pagliaccio", in which a fading star tells a chilling story; "Long Story", in which a desperate man tests the strength of duct tape; and "Reconciliation", in which a penitent man tries to rejoin his family. The themes are varied and the endings are both happy and sad, but the strength of storytelling is self-evident, and the stories are clearly the work of a talented writer.
I had the privilege of seeing this anthology in its original form, and it's my absolute pleasure to be able to review the finished article. I can't stress enough how enjoyable these stories are, with their intelligent plotting and deft wordplay. Tony has a vivid imagination and a true mastery of the written word, and I guarantee you'll find something to love in this collection.
on July 06, 2011
The Soulkeepers has a really interesting concept, and it's like nothing I've read before. Jacob seems to be your usual teenager struggling to fit into a new school in a new town after his mother disappears. He has trouble with the "popular crowd" and can't wait to get out of this dull new town that he hates so much. That might seem fairly run of the mill, but not many teenagers begin their books by coming back from the dead. Nor do they see their mothers fighting monsters. Most of all, they're not usually Soulkeepers - Jacob has a mystical bond with, and power over, the element of water. He encounters the local botanist, Dr Silva, who turns out to be a lot more than she appears, and she starts training him up to be able to fulfil his destiny. Along the way, he gets himself a girlfriend in the shape of Malini, a fellow social outcast.
If the word 'soul' gets you thinking that this is probably a bit deeper than your usual "teen with a superpower" fiction, then you'd be right. It's not just about teenagers throwing tantrums and pouting all over the place (are you listening, Bella?) In The Soulkeepers, Jacob encounters questions of faith, both in humanity and in a higher power, and the book really kicks things up a gear when we meet the villains of the piece - the fallen angels. They're a truly nasty bunch, which leads to an amazing setpiece between our hapless heroes and the demons in disguise, but I won't say much more because I don't want to spoil it.
Now, I've always been a sucker for angels but having had a fairly secular upbringing, I'm not overtly keen on religious fiction. However, GP has such a knack for storytelling that The Soulkeepers is a less a story about religion and more a story about finding faith - it doesn't necessarily have to be in a particular deity, even just faith in the universe itself will suffice. Jacob's quest for peace with the Almighty could be substituted for anything - hell, if Dr Silva was two feet tall and green, then Jacob could easily be the young Skywalker.
As far as characters go, GP has created a cool bunch here. Jacob is moody but with good cause, and Malini strikes me as being that quiet, shy kid at school who would actually be a really awesome friend if you bothered to say hi. The relationship between them feels very genuine and unfolds at just the right pace. Dr Silva is completely badass, and I actually found myself warming to her more and more as the book went on. However, favourite character has got to be Gideon - you'll see why.
All in all, I really enjoyed The Soulkeepers, and got so engrossed that I think I read the last quarter of the book in one sitting. I highly recommend it!
Just My Blood Type
on July 11, 2011
Just My Blood Type tells the story of an encounter between the moody Mr Marcelles and romance author Therése von Willegen. The story takes it in turns to leap back and forth between Nerine Dorman's Therése, and Carrie Clevenger's Xan, giving us a unique insight into our dual protagonists. The steady banter ups the sexual tension between the pair as they trade innuendo at the Pale Rider bar, in Pinecliffe, Colorado.
Just My Blood Type rattles along at a good pace, letting both characters (and their creators) share the limelight. Therése just takes Xan at face value, something I think our favourite vampire secretly enjoys, while Xan seems genuinely fascinated by this new woman in his life. It's a quick yet highly enjoyable read, and I've always been a fan of Xan so nice to see him in a new piece. At the same time, this is the first piece I've read by Nerine Dorman and based on this, I want to read more. A lot more.
Perfect for fans of Gothic romance, or hard rock vampire fiction, Just My Blood Type is a highly recommended read that serves as both a stellar introduction to two incredibly talented lady writers, and as a lesson in just how good collaborative writing can be.
The Witch Sisters
on March 05, 2013
This short story gives us a wonderful insight into the world of Adair, an immortal magician who finds himself in the fens late at night. Attended by a pair of mysterious sisters, Adair soon finds himself torn between his desire for the women, and his desire to guard magical knowledge from less advanced practitioners. It's a quick read, lushly realised through excellent description.
on Jan. 16, 2014
I absolutely loved book one, the first in a trilogy set in an imaginary pocket of Europe during the Renaissance, and managed to get my mitts on Cobweb Empire, its follow-up. I've had book two on my Kindle for some time, but I'll admit, the release of the final book, Cobweb Forest, gave me the kick up the bum that I needed to read it.
As with book one, Cobweb Empire tells the story of Percy Ayren, the ordinary village girl from northern Lethe, only now Percy isn't so ordinary. During book one, death stopped entirely while the Reaper searched for his Cobweb Bride, and the dead were forced to keep going in whatever state they were in at the point of 'death'. By book two, things are getting worse, and entire sections of the world are simply disappearing. After an audience with the Reaper, Percy's now been granted the ability to give the dead a final ending, reuniting their broken bodies with their souls. In a world where no one can die, such an ability is obviously highly prized, and many people see the value in having Percy in their custody. Trouble is, Percy needs to be elsewhere, still tasked with finding the Cobweb Bride, so off she goes, accompanied by handsome knight Sir Beltain Chidair, to find her.
While Percy's having adventures throughout both the Realm and the Domain, a host of other characters are also exploring the extensive world created by Nazarian, be they the terrifying Sovereign of the Domain, hell bent on conquering the Realm, or the dandyish duo, Lady Amaryllis and Lord Nathan, held captive in a northern dungeon. There is plenty going on to keep the narrative ticking along at a smart pace, and being book two, Cobweb Empire has the luxury of being able to hit the ground running. Having read the Kindle version, I think I read at least 20% of it in one go.
As ever, the characterisation is spot on (although I'm not sure that eyes need to be constantly described as being 'liquid'), and it's easy to root for Percy. Grial the witch makes more of an appearance in this book, and she's a wonderful character who reminds me a lot of Mrs Weasley from Harry Potter. I was pleased to get to know Lady Amaryllis more - she was a little stereotypical in book one but she shows real wit and ingenuity in book two, as does Nazarian herself. The world she has created is an extraordinary one, packed with inventive details. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
It won't make much sense if you haven't read book one, but I'd highly recommend that you buy both and read them back to back. It also baffles me why Hollywood keeps making remakes when it could be adapting something like this for the big screen. Hopefully HBO might take the hint!