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Book Review: Midrealm

WOW! There, I always wanted to begin a review with “wow”, and Midrealm, by Garrett Robinson and Z.C. Bolger gave me the perfect opportunity.

At “500+ pages and almost a quarter of a million words” – to quote one of the authors, this is one huge book. It took me a while to read it, but I enjoyed every moment of it.

Midrealm features six main characters, and it does it with style. Each character has its own first person / point of view narrative. If you are a writer, then you know how darn difficult it is to pull this one off. Writer or not, you will have your mind blown away.

Perfection of style aside, this is a beautiful and compelling story. The characters simply jump out of the page, and the scenes blend as seamlessly as if this were a movie. Of course, one of the authors is a movie director, so that’s only to be expected.

Speaking of the characters, you will most likely find one to identify with. For me, it was Calvin, the D&D nerd. That’s not to say that if I were sixteen again I wouldn’t have a major crush for mysterious Tess.

I will not delve into the plot, for fear of unearthing too many spoilers. Suffice it to say that it is bullet proof, despite its many unexpected turns.

Though I enjoyed it immensely as an adult, my only regret is that I could not have read it as a teenager. I would have been a much better writer if I had Midrealm as one of my early influences.

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Interview: Garret Robinson (part 2)

Garret Robinson

Garret Robinson

Welcome to the second part my interview with Garret The Awesome Robinson.

If you missed the fist part, click here.

If you haven’t done so already, do check out his first book, Midrealm, which is on sale right now on Amazon. You can also pre-order the second book in the series at therealmkeepers.com

 

Sorin: Paperback, eBook, audiobook. What do you think is next in this industry?

Garrett: I tell you, if I knew the answer to that, I’d be trying to secure a patent on it. I have always considered myself an artist, not a techie, even though I’m pretty savvy with computers and stuff. In my opinion, there are artists and then there are the people who develop tools for the artist. Rarely do the twin meet (when they do, hellooo trillionaire).

Ebooks, audiobooks, all that—they’re just tools. They’re just ways and mediums for art. I am perfectly content to let other people develop new and better tools for distributing art to people, and then adapting what I do to work within those tools, those mediums. My viewpoint is this: it doesn’t take me very long to learn a new method of distribution or art, and it’s one more avenue. So why not do it? Why not experiment with new ways to get my stories out there, whether it’s the books I’m writing or the films I’m directing?

I really see a future in cross-platform storytelling. People have tried it over the years, but I think it’s gaining new ground now that Whedon is on board with the Avengers franchise, now in film and on TV. Where else could that story be told? Why couldn’t there be an online game set in the same universe, where the storyline would actually be swayed by what occurs in the films and TV show, and vice versa? Why not make the storytelling every bit in legit in every medium it’s told in?

It’s an exciting time. As I’ve often said, if you’re an artist, there’s never been a better time in human history for you to be alive.

 

Sorin: If you had a … for every time you … you would …?

Garrett: If I had a fan for every time I had someone download one of my free books, I’d be J.K. Rowling. (Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But while I recognize the value of free book deals, it does annoy me how many people download free books and never read them…)

 

Sorin: Kobolds or goblins?

Garrett: Goblins. Kobolds annoy me. I was brought up on Tolkien and Warhammer.

 

Sorin: What’s your favorite euphemism?

Garrett: I’ve always liked “mashing uglies,” for some reason.

 

Sorin: Would you care to share an excerpt from any of your books?

Garrett: One of my favorite scenes ever is the scene in Chapter Two of Midrealm when Greystone shows up. Here’s one of my favorite parts from that chapter:

 

I groaned and started to push myself up, but a funny thing happened. I felt the stone courtyard under my fingers, and it sort of…tickled. I ran my hands across the ground and felt the rough surface of the stone. It felt comforting. Warm somehow. Like…the thought seemed ridiculous, but like hugging a cousin that I hadn’t seen in years but had always been really good friends with. For some reason, the stone felt alive. I didn’t want to break contact. To my right I heard Calvin breathing deeply in and out, chuckling every time he did.

Then there was a POOF, and an old, gruff voice said, “Well, now that that’s over with.”

I leapt to my feet and whirled around. Just outside the circle of stone pillars, in the direction of the doors I’d been planning on making a run for, stood an old man. Not just old—this guy was ancient. His face had more wrinkles than a shirt after it had been slept in overnight, and his bushy white eyebrows jutted out like the wings of a bird. His crazy white hair stuck out in all directions, immediately making me think of Albert Einstein. He was wearing an old, faded grey robe and clutching a gnarled wooden walking stick that was a little taller than he was.

I jumped in front of Tess and Calvin, who were both climbing slowly to their feet. I felt Miles step in on my left and Blade on my right, the three of us forming a wall in front of the smaller kids. Raven stayed off to the side a bit, staring at the old man, unsure.

“Who are you?” I asked.

The old man scoffed. “Who am I? Listen, girl, I’m not the one with anything to prove. You’ve got big shoes to fill, child, and you look barely old enough to ride a horse, much less save the world.”

“Ride a…save the what?” I asked, utterly confused. I could understand what he was saying, but a part of me was aware that he wasn’t speaking English. Even understanding his words, though, he wasn’t making sense.

The old man sighed heavily. “Always with the new ones,” he grumbled. “It’s always ‘what are you talking about?’ and ‘who are you?’ and ‘why are these people trying to kill us?’”

“What?!” I shrieked.

“Hey man, where are we?” Miles asked. “What’s with those rocks?”

The old man sighed and peered at all of us instead of answering. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Miles and Blade look at me. Like I was supposed to know what to do. It looked like the old man saw them, because his eyes narrowed and focused on me.

“You,” he said. “What is your name?”

I glared at him. “Why?”

“Come now. You’ve asked me for my name, despite my being your elder, but you do not offer your own? Give me yours, and I will give you mine, and then I will hear from the rest of you.”

My brow wrinkled as I thought about it. All of this was so bizarre, I didn’t know what to think. But there was something about the man. Something in his eyes. He sure seemed to be a crotchety old guy, but I didn’t feel like he actually meant us any harm.

“I’m Sarah,” I told him finally. There was no way I was going to give him my last name. “Now, for the last time, who are you?”

He snorted. “‘For the last time.’ Such bravado.” He thrust his staff out to his side and bowed low, holding his hand over his middle. “I am Greystone the wizard, and I am, most unfortunately for all of us, at your service.”

“A wizard. Right,” said Blade sarcastically beside me.

“Cool!” cried Calvin. He pressed forward between me and Miles and stared at Greystone with a wide grin. “What can you do?”

Greystone looked at him with disdain. “Oh, you’re one of those.”

 

Don’t you dare forget to follow Garrett on Twitter and on his website 🙂


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