Drada Koehn is a fearless, formidable fighter ensnared in a presaged war against the northern humans. When the Speaker foretells their victory upon discovery of the name of death, she sets out to unravel the mysterious prophecy. Now, bound by duty and honor, Drada faces untold horrors with her companions, searching for what may never be found. In a story of unexpected twists, she soon finds that her resolve to see the quest done will be the fortune or doom of her people.
"The Name of Death" is a short horror, sword and sorcery adventure by Joshua Robertson with Winter Bayne as Illustrator.
This Kindle e-book was approximately 40 printed pages and sold for free (normally $0.99) at the time of writing this review.
When two groups of questers, Drada and Wrylyc meet Seigfeld and Farthr by chance, they discover that although their goals are different their destination happens to be the same. So in an attempt to take advantage of the increased numbers, they decide to join forces in this world that is strange, foreboding and unpredictable. But little did they know...
Some thoughts on "The Name of Death"...
1.a) a short, well written short story, The quality of the prose is exceedingly good.
1.b) the tale has a near perfect sense of pace and timing.
2.) atmosphere... dark, spooky with danger around every corner and tree trunk.
3.) characters... despite the short story, there is a surprising amount of character development in these few pages.
A terrific short story that is long on atmosphere, tension and fear. Hard to put down once begun.
Author Joshua Robertson has penned a small gem in the horror-adventure genre with "The Name of Death".
As it is... 5 Stars
Other books in this genre:
Bruno runs to the platform between the train cars chasing Jack and smashes him across his face with the big pistol. Jack falls back against the rail separating the cars and slumps to the steel floor. The train lurches and Bruno stumbles backward against the door trying to keep his balance. He grabs the door to steady himself and charges back toward Jack. The train slows and then speeds up as it crests a hill. Bruno stumbles on the uneven steel plates of the platform. He is off balance again and comes toward Jack with his head down and his arms outstretched to catch his fall. Jack pulls his knees to his chest, his feet catch Bruno in the stomach. Using Bruno’s own momentum, Jack pushes his legs up and vaults Bruno’s helpless bulk over the rail. The scream abruptly stops as he plummets under the thundering steel wheels.
Maddy bursts through the door and helps Jack to his feet.
“I was sure he was going to shoot you Jack, he seemed to go over the railing in slow motion and then get sucked under the train. That was awful but I could not take my eyes away.”
Jack puts his arms around Maddy and hugs her to him tightly. “It’s ok now baby, we need to think about getting off this thing before we get to the next station. We can’t be far from the border now. We’re coming into another turn let me see if I can see what’s up ahead.”
As the train goes around the turn, Jack can see past the line of cars.
“We are going up another hill with a turn at the top of it. The train will be going pretty slow as it makes the turn. It looks like a hay field on the outside of the turn. That should make for a pretty soft landing. Make sure you clear the road bed.”
Maddy looks down as the countryside flashes by at what seems to her to be an impossible speed. She looks back at Jack with her eyes wide. “What, Jack? Do you think I am going to jump from this train?”
“We’re gonna have to jump off this thing. Don’t think about it, just jump when I tell you. Let’s go, Maddy. Roll when you hit the ground. Come on, get ready it’s slowing down. Jump!”
Angel’s house, Encino, Ca: April
“Nigga, you know I’m a thug!” Angel said without a smile on her face. “You need to quit trippin’ and get the fuck outta my face! I’m about through with yo’ ass anyway!” Angel snapped. “Bitch, who you think you talkin’ to?” Donta snapped. Angel kept her eyes glued to the TV screen, watching the college basketball national championship game between the USC Trojans and the Duke Blue Devils. “Angel! Bitch, you hear me! Who the fuck you talkin’ to?” Donta asked, on the verge of extreme agitation. He was now standing between Angel and the TV, blocking her view intentionally and pissing Angel off in the process.
“Move, Donta, I can’t see my fuckin’ TV!”
“Girl, my brother just got smoked a few days ago and you hollerin’ about some TV? Fuck that TV!”
Donta screamed at the top of his lungs. Angel could see Donta was wound up now. There were rumors Donta snorted heroin. Looking at the subtle brown flakes in the corner of his nose, Angel knew the rumors were true. Donta was the kind of dude grown ass men were afraid of and every other bitch would have been shaking in his presence, especially with him being upset, high and unpredictable—that is, everyone except Angel, who was a self-proclaimed thug and stood behind her claim with both feet. When it comes down to it, Angel was really not someone to mess with. Angel was sick and tired of Donta’s shit—from the verbal abuse, to the rumors of infidelity and drug abuse—so whether or not he had just lost his brother, she was done with him; and now seemed just as good a time as any to let him know she was through with him and ready for a change. She honestly didn’t care what he thought about it and surely didn’t give a damn about his feelings on the matter.
“I’m gonna tell yo’ bitch ass one more time to move away from in front of the TV. I can’t see my baby daddy!”
The fuck she say that for? Donta lost it then! He threw the nineteen inch TV across the room and in one motion he turned and faced Angel. He reared back and savagely backhanded her across the face with such force it caused her nose to bleed instantly. Donta had reacted instinctively, but through his heroin-induced high, he somehow had a moment of clarity: he realized his actions and became immediately apologetic.
“Baby, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it!” Donta had gone off on Angel in the past, but even through all of his rants and verbal abuse, this was the first time he had ever put his hands on her and he knew he had fucked up big time. When he saw Angel’s reaction, he knew this was a critical mistake. “Mothafucka!!! Nigga, have you lost your motherfuckin’ mind??!! No, Hallman, Koffi you didn’t just hit me! Nigga, you have until I count to ten. I’m getting my gun and if yo’ bitch ass is still here by then, I’m gonna put some holes in your mothafuckin’ ass!” Donta knew without a shadow of doubt, Angel was serious.
Angel stormed past Donta and headed upstairs, counting out loud. By the time Angel got to five, Donta was pulling down the street of their Encino home. Angel let off two shots from the second floor bedroom window. The first shot hit the sunroof, while the second shot hit the rear windshield of his Mercedes S500 as he floored the powerful German automobile down the street, around the corner and out of sight. Angel proceeded to take a towel and ice from the freezer to stop the bleeding of her nose. Afterwards, she went into the living room and turned on the seventy-inch plasma HDTV on the wall to continue watching the game. Placing the chrome .380 on the marble table, she picked up her cell phone and called her older brother, Adam Charles Evans, or ACE as everyone called him. He was a thug for real, who loved Angel with all his heart and since the death of their parents in a fatal car accident a year ago, the other was all each one had—and she was his heart! Ace picked up on the second ring and after seeing the caller ID, was very cheerful when he said, “Hello? What’s good, baby sis?”
“Hello… ACE?” Angel said, sounding nasal.
“What’s wrong, baby sis? You sound all funny ‘n shit—you got a cold or somethin’?” Ace said.
“Naw… ya fuckin’ boy… that crazy-ass nigga actually hit me!”
“You okay, girl? You hurt?” Ace said, now sounding genuinely concerned and inquisitive.
“I’m cool! I don’t even know why I told you…. I’m just mad I guess.”
“Where that nigga at now?” Ace demanded, now sounding serious and calculating, like the coldblooded killer he was.
“Oooh, calm down, brother, I put two slugs in his precious Benz, so he probably gonna come see you and try and get that shit fixed.” Pausing, Angel managed a little smile and a slight chuckle when she continued with, “Shit, I’ll bet he would have rather I put a slug in his ass instead of his other girlfriend; his precious little car!” She laughed again, a little harder this time and said, “Ace, promise me you won’t do anythin’! Don’t get me wrong: I’m through with his punk ass, but you know how you get when it comes to me and I don’t need you doin’ extras and gettin’ into trouble”
“Angel, you trippin’, girl… why y’all get into it?”
“Cuz I told him I’m leavin’ his punk ass for my baby daddy! Oooh, he is lightin’ Duke ass up!!”
“Yeah, I’m watchin’ the game now…. Oooh, so he your baby daddy now? Girl, you a trip!”
“Ace, I’m dead serious! We getting’ married! He already my man.
Don’t even trip on that, big brother, I got this! Nigga, you know I’m a thug!”
“Girl, you a trip! I’m headed over there after a while.”
“Ace, I’m so serious—don’t touch him! Promise me you won’t touch him!”
“All right, girl”
“I’m serious, Ace! Promise me!”
“Dang, girl, all right! I won’t lay a finger on that nigga, you got my word. I won’t touch him! Shit… you cookin’?” Ace asked, trying to change the subject.
“Nigga, you better make Terri’s ass get in the kitchen! I’m your sister, she’s ya bitch!”
“I bet if I was your baby daddy you would…,” Ace started to say, but never finished.
“Yeah, but you ain’t!” Angel said, cutting him off. “That’s nasty, boy…. Bye, brother!”
Angel quickly hung up the phone before Ace could respond. She was giggling to herself, thinking how pissed Ace must be as he hated to be hung up on. When he called back, she broke out into full laughter of the possible messages he would leave on her machine after she refused to answer the phone. Watching the second half of the game, Angel saw one of the greatest comebacks in NCAA history as the USC Trojans came from seventeen down at the half to winning by eleven, led by their All-American shooting guard, her “baby daddy” number twenty-one. He scored twenty-five second-half points for a game-high of thirty-five to go with fifteen assists, eleven rebounds and seven steals. He was given game and tournament MVP honors after leading the USC Trojans to back-to-back national titles, making himself all but a shoo-in to become the number one pick in the upcoming NBA draft lottery occurring in two months.
What most impressed Calder but also rankled the most was that these conspirators had chosen the weakest point in the electoral process. They were relying on the apathy and ignorance of normal citizens. At precisely the time when no one thought to look at what was going on—indeed when most thought the election was already settled—a small group had struck at the very heart of the process.
Fear ebbed slightly, as he was overwhelmed by indignation at the hubris of the criminals. Politics was a dirty pursuit, of course. Everyone knew that politicians twist the truth even when they’re not telling outright lies. But this wasn’t some cynical exchange of rhetoric and trumped up statistics to do with denying unemployment assistance in favor of funding something else; it wasn’t about gutting environmental law for private gain. Those debates, however full of trickery and spin, were nevertheless just that—debates—and they were more or less overt, carried out before the public and in the public’s name.
This plot, though, was covert, a nationally organized threat to the integrity of the office of the President. It was secret, precise in its economy, and deadly in pursuit of its goal. If the plot succeeded, the government would not legitimately derive its “just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Calder had spent more than twenty years studying and teaching about elections; and while his primary interest was academic, and despite his stated ambivalence about the “real world,” that theory and practice was underpinned by an abiding, visceral connection to what was it was all for—people: their rights, their lives and livelihoods; the just, lawful application and use of power. He found himself filled with outrage.
He wondered again about who the conspirators were. Calder couldn’t see the either party’s leadership doing something like this. It was too risky, far beyond the normal kinds of “dirty tricks” a party would be likely to countenance.
Did they know at the top level, like Watergate, and so would neither help nor hinder the conspirators? Or had some private, well-heeled and well-connected set of ideologues seen this dirty plot as a means to get their way, abetted by the confusion wealth in American politics affords?
Hours later, Calder was no nearer figuring out who was doing the killing and manipulation than when he sat down.
After her parents mysteriously disappeared at the age of thirteen, Evangeline Evans has been on her own. As a military pilot for Olympus, the most powerful and technologically progressive Citadel of the new world, she keeps her reasons for finding them a secret. Without warning a terrifying disease that could destroy civilization begins to infect citizens across the city.
Only the race known as Angels—who brought advanced technology to Earth—seem to be immune to its devastation. Evangeline and her husband Jack, an Artificial Intelligence designer, are swept into a secret war between the Dissidents in the Low Technology Zones and The Quorum of Zeus. The Human race is on the precipice of Extinction. Who will prevail? Angel or Human? High Tech Olympian or Low Tech Dissident? But the better question is… Who SHOULD prevail?
The First Star has been named and claimed. Answering the call of a quest, the Master Traveler has ventured far from home to a place called the Rims. In many ways it is much like the two systems of his people; the premise of Technology in competition with the Energies is debated on many levels, with neither side able to claim and hold higher ground. Still, it is the matter of the quest that beckons him – the Star Chaser – to engage this place and find not only the source of the rising plight of humanity, but the solution which will deliver the race of the Founders. It has been several years since he came to the Rims, and the time approaches for the Traveler to remove his veil and be seen.
It is an awesome task that awaits Dungias. The final picture is not yet in frame, only the pieces that may or may not contribute to the overall scheme.
In Pieces of the Dark Eight, factors that are still beyond the comprehension of the Master Traveler are found, forged, and finalized. Though the many eyes of the Rims do not see the Master Traveler, he has indeed introduced himself to this place and the ripples of that event are being felt. What part will they play in the matters to come? Will they even play at all?! Only time will tell. In this exclusive story bonus bridging the Prelude to Book One of the BEYOND THE OUTER RIM Series, these hidden pieces of the game are marked and recorded.
Captain Olly Johnson has twice used his stolen Bussard ram jet, the Longboat, to blackmail human colonies into giving him large amounts of gold. That makes him humanity's first interstellar pirate, even though his ship travels slower than light. One more profitable raid, and Johnson thinks he, his family, and his First Mate John Larsen can retire, and never have to worry about money again. Approaching a third star system after an eight-year (ship's time) journey, the pirates have found mysteries they cannot solve: an entire population of a human colony missing and an unknown, alien-looking ship in orbit. When the alien ship comes after them and they can't outrun its superior technology, they have to decide to fight or surrender. And Johnson isn't the type to surrender. Have they stumbled into a galactic war, or are they about to start one?
I stared after him for a few seconds before turning my eyes back to Geir. "Ever been struck by lightning?" I asked in an off-handed way, rubbing at my still tingly brow. Geir shook his head, his mouth working silently for a few long seconds. "I thought Queen Mara was wrong. I thought Liam was innocent. I never should have brought you here," he whispered so no one else would hear us. I shook my staticky head and winced. "He didn't mean to do it. I think I might have kind of forced him into it."
Dinorah Green was the exact opposite of me. There was not a single personality trait which was the same between us. She was the yin to my yang, the opposing side of me. I had done a paper on Chinese culture earlier that year. My research indicated that the dark and light weren’t good and evil but simply opposites. I was suddenly dark, living the life of light, ice in fire’s world.
That was not a comforting thought, though. I wanted back in my own world. I wanted to get out of Dinorah Green’s life. I wanted to be Dinorah Winthrop again. I was desperate to have my friends around me and my mom, who hugged me every morning before school. She had never given me the kind of look that Dinorah Green’s mom had given her . . . me, whatever.
The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of . . .
When private detective Rick Bailey is hired by the exotically beautiful and outrageously wealthy Princess Nora, he thinks it'll be easy money. Escaping from her rebellion-torn kingdom, the princess has lost her handmaiden, Lores: the only person who knows how to find the hidden royal jewels.
But when his search for the equally lovely Lores turns deadly, Bailey realizes that there is more to this case than it first seemed. When someone tries to kill him, he discovers that the roots of evil run deep.
With his own set of values and sense of honor, Bailey must keep one step ahead of murderous mobsters, secret government operatives, and a genetically enhanced Lores as he races across the galaxy in search of the truth. The only things he knows he can trust are his eight-foot-tall ladybug-like girl Friday and a powerful weapon that responds to his thoughts.
Will Bailey find the treasure of the black hole in time and will he survive long enough to discover why it is something worth killing for?
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