A winning and complex fantasy tale.

BLUE DHARMA

: THE STORY OF ANAIYAILLA

In this epic spiritual fantasy, the forces of good and evil battle for control of a distant planet much like our own.

Ancient scripture foretells that the Demon Lord will return to lay claim to the Earth. That dark hour has come, and Lord Vlockor’s legions of demons, orcs and other beasts are quickly routing the cities and villages of humans and elves in search of the ninth and final Hellfire gem–the possession of which would allow Vlockor, the Demon Lord of the Nine Hells, to dissolve the barrier between Hell and Earth. Some of Vlockor’s demons had succeeded in finding the gem, but while bringing it to their master, they were ripped to shreds by a dragon. This pivotal incident is witnessed by a human named Krell. Though he fears it will bring danger to his people, he recovers the gem and gives it to his clan chief, but his trepidation proves correct, as an army of orcs soon descends upon his village. Krell and his men arrive just as the orcs are laying waste to the town, and they, with the aid of a band of elves, inflict a fair amount of damage upon the demon forces. Unfortunately, that’s not before the demons find the gems and take several prisoners, including Krell’s sister Anaiyailla. After battle wounds are somewhat healed, Krell and the elves team up to rescue the captives and prevent the Hellfire gem from reaching Lord Vlockor. This enthralling tale, the first of a four-part series, bears much similarity to The Lord of the Rings trilogy; fans of fantasy fiction who aren’t drawn to the tale’s spiritual aspects will still find a great deal to enjoy. Noteworthy is the fact that the two authors are incarcerated for murder–Hunt of the notorious “Billionaire Boys Club,” and Adams, his cellmate. The duo plans to publish the second installment of this saga next year.

A winning and complex fantasy tale.

Pub Date: June 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-9798349-0-5

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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THE COLDEST WINTER EVER

Debut novel by hip-hop rap artist Sister Souljah, whose No Disrespect (1994), which mixes sexual history with political diatribe, is popular in schools country-wide. In its way, this is a tour de force of black English and underworld slang, as finely tuned to its heroine’s voice as Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. The subject matter, though, has a certain flashiness, like a black Godfather family saga, and the heroine’s eventual fall develops only glancingly from her character. Born to a 14-year-old mother during one of New York’s worst snowstorms, Winter Santiaga is the teenaged daughter of Ricky Santiaga, Brooklyn’s top drug dealer, who lives like an Arab prince and treats his wife and four daughters like a queen and her princesses. Winter lost her virginity at 12 and now focuses unwaveringly on varieties of adolescent self-indulgence: sex and sugar-daddies, clothes, and getting her own way. She uses school only as a stepping-stone for getting out of the house—after all, nobody’s paying her to go there. But if there’s no money in it, why go? Meanwhile, Daddy decides it’s time to move out of Brooklyn to truly fancy digs on Long Island, though this places him in the discomfiting position of not being absolutely hands-on with his dealers; and sure enough the rise of some young Turks leads to his arrest. Then he does something really stupid: he murders his wife’s two weak brothers in jail with him on Riker’s Island and gets two consecutive life sentences. Winter’s then on her own, especially with Bullet, who may have replaced her dad as top hood, though when she selfishly fails to help her pregnant buddy Simone, there’s worse—much worse—to come. Thinness aside: riveting stuff, with language so frank it curls your hair. (Author tour)

Pub Date: April 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-671-02578-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Pocket

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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