Takes time to find its footing, but a promising start for a sure-to-be epic tale of combative worlds.

Demons & Angels

From the Walking Between Worlds series , Vol. 1

After surviving a serious injury, a man soon realizes that he not only sees and hears demons, but feels destined to hunt and kill them in this series-opening supernatural debut.

Paul Stone’s devastation at witnessing a van smash into his best friend, Kris Reed, is compounded when Paul himself, checking on his maimed bestie, is sideswiped by a second car. He wakes up from a three-day coma, but Kris unfortunately dies. So it’s perfectly natural that Paul assumes he’s hallucinating when he later sees Kris watching TV. Kris, however, is there, a Guide for Paul, who as it happens is a Walker. Paul can cross between worlds, retaining his human life while also destroying demons—little red, horned beasts invisible to humans and feeding off individuals’ fear and negativity. Paul has help from Guide Kris (mostly providing information) as well as a healing ability and a special pocket watch that counts down to impending demon encounters. But something bigger is at play: Walkers are turning up dead, the only capable killers being God or another Walker. Paul teams up with a moderately good devil (devil’s not synonymous with demon), seeking assistance from both heaven and hell. But who knows what will transpire if Paul’s really the Stone Walker, prophesied to wage war on all demons and devils. While much of the story focuses on Paul learning about tales of angels and demons in conflict, the new Walker does engage in fisticuffs with demons and a few other things. The mystery of murdered Walkers wraps up in a satisfying, rapid-paced final act with bloody battles and a surprise or two. Contrarily, multiple chapters devoted to a character named Mason, who was driving one of those vehicles at the beginning, seem disconnected. The plotlines are indisputably linked, with Mason having his own demon. But his story too often veers into lengthy, uneventful scenes, like discussing music/musicians with potential lover/band mate Sarah, while his coda is weirdly ambiguous. Some of the main plot elements Norry (Zombie Zero: The First Zombie, 2016, etc.) leaves dangling, including the idea of an Original Demon. But the blistering cliffhanger ending makes clear that the author’s setting the stage for subsequent series entries.

Takes time to find its footing, but a promising start for a sure-to-be epic tale of combative worlds.

Pub Date: Dec. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9907280-2-3

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Sudden Insight Publishing

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2016

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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