• Behrg

A Review of Two Lands

Books and stories are the closest thing to teleportation we're likely to encounter. A paragraph into a new story and you're suddenly whisked away to some foreign land.


The books I've written so far have taken me to the Malibu coast and glazed hills of Hollywood in my novel Housebroken, to the Amazon rainforest in my Creation Series, and to a dystopian future in my novella Happiness is a Commodity. And my current work in progress has me both in a small Missouri town as well as a dimension where demons roam freely.


So it's with pleasure I can share that two of my recent reads lead me to amusement parks, albeit not the type with your typical Disney fairytale endings. I recently visited a theme park in Florida after a hurricane swept through the state, leaving its employees abandoned there for weeks, as well as an amusement park in Canada where ghosts were quite literally put on display. Both reads were fantastic and quite different from each other, but books I would highly recommend.


Michael Patrick Hicks at High Fever Books hosted both reviews, so rather than post them here, I'll refer you to his site where you can read them in their entirety. But I'll include a little snippet of both below as well as the links to finish checking them out, should they hold your interest.


Without further ado, a review of two lands:


FANTASTICLAND:

Welcome to Fantasticland, an amusement park that takes a turn for the worse when a hurricane leaves its employees (mostly college kids) stranded for weeks on end. Said kids end up joining factions and defend their resources from one another with an escalation of violence that makes Lord of the Flies look like a high school musical production. Think Hunger Games at Disneyland and you're getting close to the mark. Only plan to ramp up the violence. Knowing very little about the story when I started, I was surprised to find the novel is told through a series of interviews rather than in real time or your typical narrative prose. Unlike World War Z, which is similarly told through an interview style approach, I found it worked brilliantly for the construction of this novel, minus a few limitations inherent to the form. I think it's worth exploring why it worked and how it actually enhanced the story being told.


(To continue reading this review click here).


GHOSTLAND:

Ghostland by Duncan Ralston is as close to Scooby Doo on an acid trip as you're likely to find. It's also  a prime example of what indie authors should aspire to do--not just tell a good story, but do it in a completely innovative way


. . .

I've seen Ghostland compared to Jurassic Park but with ghosts, and it's a ripe comparison. A theme park whose creators have brought together every haunted house and cursed object they could find, yet set behind a "recurrence field" which keeps these spirits from doing more than being observed (with your special augmented reality goggles, of course). It's a killer idea that's expanded upon with just enough science to balance things out without ever losing its focus on entertaining the hell out of you.


(To continue reading this review click here).



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