First off, be sure to go grab a free copy of something black… over at Amazon (the promotion should run all day Halloween). I’d originally hoped to have Blood Angel Rising published by now, but the day job and working on the Blood Skies novels have both kept me from even starting the editing process on my second horror novel. (Which just means we can look forward to it next year, right?)
But that’s okay, because there’s a much better book out there that you should check out instead: The Storm of Northreach by Alan Edwards. Alan has graced my site before with his sarcasm and wit, but what you might not know is that Alan is a hell of a good horror author in addition to being one of the funniest bloggers on the planet. The Northreach Saga is a zombie apocalypse tale in a high-fantasy setting. That’s right, it’s zombies invading Lord of the Rings.
If you haven’t read the first book, DO IT! Seriously. Especially since Book 2 just came out and, I kid you not, I wish I’d written it. I even said so in my early review.
Alan writes some seriously cool shit. And he doesn’t know I’m doing this promo for him, so go buy his books and we’ll surprise him. =D
In the last of the Arcane Academies, the actions of a powerful and corrupted wizard sets into motion the events that will turn the mundane world against the practicioners of magic and mark the end of the Dreaming Tower. Shunned and cast out by his fellow mages, Troius curses them all and dedicates himself to creating a scourge that will sweep the world and earn him well-deserved vengeance.
North of the bustling port city of Anticus lies a tranquil backwater, populated by independent-minded rural folk making a living among the foothills of the Kronspine Mountains. In the centuries since the fall of the Dreaming Tower, these farmers and townsfolk are unaware of a lonely, isolated tower standing alone at the foot of a forgotten mountain.
When the tower is breached by power-hungry outsiders, the final curse of the wizard Troius is unleashed on a land unprepared for the stalking horror of undeath, one that grows with every bite of its shuffling horde.
Book 2: The Storm of Northreach
The storm is breaking, and the undead are loosed. The legacy of the insane necromancer Troius lives on. Now freed from his control, the scattered remnants of his undead horde stalk the isolated hamlets of Northreach. The survivors of the destruction of Daneswall seek shelter from the oncoming storm, while soldiers of Baron Northreach are sent to investigate the strange message sent by the Baron’s son. Meanwhile, the city of Anticus, proud and insular, ignores the troubles of the backwater region of Northreach, unaware of the torrent bearing down from the north.
Not convinced yet? Then check out this excerpt from Book 2…
The realization galvanized the lieutenant. Foot formerly rooted to the cobblestones now felt light and free, his lungs seemed able to draw air, and his mind felt lifted from a heavy fog. Quickly, he saw the villagers now slowly approaching the front of the spear-bristled formation. Worse, the lieutenant could see additional figures further down the street ahead of them, blurred shapes advancing through the ever-thickening rain. Thunder boomed as he shouted, “Spears ready! Bolts ready! On my order….”
The villagers were now a knotted mass in front of the soldiers, slowly shambling forward with their gleaming eyes and gorestreaked mouths. The rain would soon render their crossbows useless, but Villios was confident that the soldiers holding them had protected them until this point. At five paces, the volley would be devastating – the thick iron-headed bolts were designed for punching through armor and tearing through flesh with equal ease. Another moment’s pause to allow the soldiers to choose their targets, then Villios cried, “Fire!”
As one, the snapping of released tension from wood and gut sounded, and between the front rank of spearman the blurred movement of the bolts was visible. The mass of villagers shuddered and rocked as the bolts ripped through them, the thick quarrels exploding from backs to strike targets behind them. For a moment, the whole group stopped, staggered by the force of the volley.
Not a one dropped.
Inexorably, the villagers began moving forward once more as Villios cursed. The soldiers in the second rank were already reloading as Sergeant Gillen shouted at his front rank of raw recruits to stand firm. In a few steps, only the spears in the hands of farmboys would stand between the soldiers and the insane townsfolk.