June 16, 2012

Review: End of Days by Roland Yeomans

book preview
Series: Stand-alone
Format: Digital (a gift from Mr. Yeomans)
Excerpt here
Release Date: May 12, 2012
Purchase Links: Amazon

St. Marrok's. The most eerie high school in which you will ever die. Some call it the high school for the damned. The damned merely laugh.

Located in the lovely, Katrina devastated French Quarter, it stands as it has always stood since the sky chariot of the Queen of the Tuatha de Danann was shot down over Roswell, New Mexico in June 1947.

St. Marrok's is a school run by the Sidhe for all the preternatural children of America. A few mortal teenagers are invited for the amusement and education in the frailties of humans for the Sidhe.

Now, the celestial configurations are almost in allignment. The Nameless Ones are nearly through the frayed barrior between their dimensions and ours. The plan set into motion in 1947 by the Tuatha de Danann are finished.

Plots and counter-plots by Sidhe, revenants, and Olympian/Asgardian factions are all coming to a head. The End of Days is at hand.

And only Alice Wentworth, a Victorian ghoul, with a rag-tag group of misfit students and human teachers stand a chance at stopping it. All it will take is their lives and all they hold dear.
Roland Yeoman's novels are always exciting and packed with interesting characters and events either fictional or rooted in mythology. END OF DAYS is no different and I think it's even more special because it is in this novel where the different characters from the universe Mr. Yeoman's created "shook hands" and agreed to give us an exciting story set in Katrina devastated, French Quarter.
It is life that holds terror for me, General, not death. Death will be either an ending or a reunion. Both would be preferable to this existence.
The story opens with Alice grieving and missing Victor Standish. I myself missed Mr. Standish in this novel with his quick wit and constant teasing of Alice which earned him minor physical assault from my favorite Victorian Ghoul. Good thing St. Marrok's provided the necessary distraction to help Alice cope with Victor's absence and at the same time give her a little good time. By good time I mean fighting off various nefarious creatures with the help of two kick ass chicks, Becca and Trish. One of my favorites was when the hellhounds, Puppy and Medea, took a liking to each other. We all know hellhounds are far from cuddly and I find it both creepy and amusing that Puppy and Medea fell in love. But good prevailed in the end and Alice didn't disappoint because she ended up saving the day and rewriting history, setting things straight the way it's supposed to be.
original title and cover
Let me talk about the cover a bit, and I told Roland this, I loved the first cover and title but I think it didn't sit well for several people hence Roland changed it to the one you see above. But he sure made up for that by including various graphics to mark certain chapters. I applaud the artist because the art was really Gothic-cool!
Goth girls hate the world. Emo girls just hate themselves.
Going back to the story, I am a fan of Roland's characters, and as above mentioned, each of them have their own stories that you can pick out later on if one of them happens to have taken your fancy. The story was fast paced and I want to take this opportunity to suggest that maybe Roland should turn his books into graphic novels. The fight scenes, story, vivid characters and biting remarks fits the concept very well. And if the art will be similar to the original cover then I'm pretty sure it'll fly off the shelves and Victor will live on!

Now I want to share a little trivia with you, in the Victor Standish novels this hero has a very interesting expression, Sfumato. And I always wondered what it meant so I went to the source and asked him for some inside info about this:
Roland Yeomans:

When I was a child, my half-Lakota/half-Irish mother stressed that profanity limited your vocabulary. What did that hobbled the reach of your mind. And your mind was all you had between you and your enemies. When you were a single mother or a scrawny bookworm with glasses ... enemies were in no short supply!

I lived on some rough Detroit streets. The libraries were safe havens: warm, filled with interesting books, and devoid of street thugs. I learned to love the art of Leonardo di Vinci and there learned of one of his painting techniques: sfumato (sfoomaato), the gradual shading of colors into one another. Its similarity to the word cursed by the school bullies soon had me using it as a replacement. It struck Mother funny and she allowed me to use it ... sparingly.

Victor Standish is my Huck Finn, my Ulysses, surviving by his wits alone. I had him live on rough city streets for 7 years. His language when he got to New Orleans was peppered with R rated "colorful metaphors" as Victorian Alice would say. I wanted to suggest to my readers the same lesson Mother taught me.

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  1. Thanks, Braine. I truly appreciate the review. Did you know that you were kidnapped earlier today. I explain it on my blog. LOL, Roland

  2. Excellent review! I liked the original cover as well. Shame he had to change it.

  3. Thanks for dropping by guys, I hopped to your respective blogs and left a teeny message.

  4. Thanks for dropping by, Alex. I was beginning to think I was going to be the cause of a slump in Braine's comments. I think I might use that cover now for a collection of short stories spotlighting a different character each of The Sisters and company. Give it away for the first 5 days, then 99 cents from then on. What do you think?

  5. Great review! (:

    Love the background behind 'sfumato,' and I'm really looking forward to reading End of Days!!!!

  6. Wow - I can see why you would say something about the cover - it's not mass-pleasing and kind of puts the story into a B-movie type of category. However - I am all for B-movies, so I probably would have picked it up anyways. Love the quote about the difference between goth girls and emo girls and their hate, sigh. And I love stories that take place in New Orleans, pre or post Katrina - it's all the home I can get when I can't get back to visit. Great review!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

  7. Elise, I hope you enjoy the novel. So does Alice. Yes, sigh, my characters live with me. That's what I get for living in a French Quarter haunted jazz club!

    Jessica, New Orleans is its own character in most of my novels. How could it not be, right?

    I hope you give END OF DAYS a try, Roland

  8. Wow, what a description, that sure caught my attention. I enjoyed the review, which gave me a better understanding of just what to expect from this book. It sounds really interesting and I'm looking forward to reading it.


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