Review: Plastic Jesus by Wayne Simmons

plasticjesusBelfast born, and now Cardiff incomer, Wayne Simmons is an author best known for his string of excellent zombie novels: Drop Dead Gorgeous, Flu, Fever, and Doll Parts, which have been published in the UK, Austria, Germany, Spain, Turkey and North America.

With Plastic Jesus he has turned his hand to a near future, dystopian science fiction treat of a thriller which brings us the twisted love child of Blade Runner, Lawnmower Man and Judge Dredd. This novel could easily have been a gritty and dirty crime novel, with a seedy underbelly of a broken city cleverly shown within each and every page. From crime lords to junkies, to corrupt police and corrupting big business, this novel had every making of a noir special …but Wayne wasn’t satisfied with `just’ a great crime book, oh no. This book shows us what just may happen when religion and capitalism collide in unholy matrimony and the world `ends’ as a result. Well, when I say ends I mean society pretty much collapses: drugs, prostitution, and virtual reality technology hold sway in a future where religion is forgotten, disparaged, or is a dirty word.

As with his other books Wayne jumps right into things and keeps a pretty frenetic pace all the way through. Disparate characters are introduced at break neck speed and only near the end do they all started to come together, strands of a very large web that Wayne deftly weaves in his story. There isn’t really a `good’ guy amongst the bunch. Johnny Lyons is a widower who is drowning in his own grief. Garcon, his boss, is willing to go to any lengths to give his company the success that it needs. Harold Shephard, the last preacher in a city without religion, has lost his faith. Rudlow, the chief of police, is desperate to bring the ruling crime lord to justice. McBride, the said crime lord, is all-powerful and, rightly, feared by everyone …other than Kitty, his daughter, how lives in a permanent drug-fuelled high, paid for by prostitution.

It is Simmons’ characters that steal the show in Plastic Jesus. I mean this as a compliment entirely but Wayne doesn’t waste time writing complex plot around storylines that you need a PhD in `wtf’ to understand. He writes about the zombie apocalypse, he writes about situations that people can grasp and, mostly, he writes about people in those situations. He makes you despise who you should despise, he makes you root for who you should root for, but he never makes his heroes wear white, or his villains wear black … he makes every character flawed, broken, detailed, and, above all, real.
In a story where an Island off the coast of America is falling apart at the seams, where a virtual reality Jesus may be the thing that saves or damns humanity, where families come together and are torn apart, and where everyone seems to succumb to despair and hit rock bottom, reality is the thing that stood out the most. Wayne writes about the fantastical with the ability to keep the reader firmly entranced within the story and with the characters.

Is this book perfect? No. I think that perhaps it is sometimes too dark, too unrelenting in terms of despair and humanity’s failings. No one comes out of the book unscathed and, perhaps, that will be too dark for some. There are elements of light and humour in it, of course, and depending on your perspective there may even be a form of happy ending for some. Also, speaking of endings, the resolution for the book is the only time that the pace lets itself down; there are a lot of characters, with individual stories that tie into the overarching narrative of the book and while they are all handled nicely it feels like the pace speeds up just a little too much near the end. I think that this story could easily have spanned a couple, maybe even three, books, and by doing so there would have been more space to not only breathe but to discover the characters in more detail …and to experience the fear/horror of virtual reality gone wrong.

That is a minor niggle, and Wayne may have plans to bring back some (not all …not everyone comes out alive in a Wayne Simmons book, after all) of the characters that we met. For me I’d love to find out more about Charles 7!

To sum things up Plastic Jesus gives us an uncomfortable look at ourselves, and what we could become …what some of us are already… in a world filled with avarice and addiction, to money, to drugs, and to technology. It could be described as cyberpunk, or sci-fi thriller, but whatever it is it is undoubtedly very good indeed.

About the author

wsimmonsBelfast born, Wayne Simmons, has loitered with intent around the horror genre for some years. He penned reviews and interviews for several online zines before publication of his debut novel in 2008.

Wayne’s work has since been published in the UK, Austria, Germany, Spain, Turkey and North America. His bestselling zombie novel, FLU, was serialised by Sirius XM’s Book Radio.

He continues to write reviews and features for various magazines as well as his own website and The Lair of Filth blog. He’s the co-host of extreme metal show, Doom N’ Gloom and has his own podcast, HACK. He co-produces the Scardiff Horror Expo.

Wayne currently lives in Wales with his ghoulfiend and a Jack Russel terrier called Dita.

Look out for Wayne at various genre, music and tattoo events.

Princess Madeline and the Dragon by Kirstin Pulioff

Princess Madeline and the Dragon - Tour Button - 3 Kirstin Pulioff

About the Book

Title: Princess Madeline and the Dragon (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #3)

Author: Kirstin Pulioff

Publication Date: November 26, 2013

Publisher: Caliburn Books

Number of pages: 135

Recommended age: 10+

 

Summary

After a season of battle and rebuilding, the Kingdom of Soron is exhausted. With the return of the exiled wizards, the Spring Faire, and her upcoming wedding, Princess Madeline is looking forward to a peaceful season of celebration. When the mysterious green dragon reappears, threatening the kingdom and the king, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden won’t rest for long. Faced with this incredible new danger, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden must find a way to lead their kingdom and secure their future. Can they find the answers hidden within their mother’s cryptic messages from the past, or will the dragon destroy everything they hold dear? Follow Princess Madeline as she embarks on a dangerous new adventure to save her kingdom and her family.

 

* Insert Review/Interview/Guest Post HERE *

 

More Buzz About The Book

“The story is engaging on many levels, as is Pulioff’s writing, but on this occasion I was mostly drawn into the action and the mystery as how to prevent the worst from happening. This is great entertainment and should do well across a wider age range.” ~ 5 Star Review,ChristophFischerBooks, Amazon

“Kirstin Pulioff has saved the best for last. ‘Princess Madeline and the Dragon’ is the final instalment in the ‘Princess Madeline Trilogy’. I thought the first two books were finely wrought stories, but this novel surpasses its predecessors. Prophesies, family tragedies, magic and – of course – dragons, combine to produce a tale that is an instant classic. Written with a great deal of charm, ‘Princess Madeline and the Dragon’ will not disappoint Ms Pulioff’s young fans. I look forward to seeing where next her imagination will take this natural storyteller. ” ~ 5 Star Review, Diogenes, Amazon

“Princess Madeline and the Dragon is an exciting and thoroughly satisfying final chapter in this fantasy/adventure series. As she did with books one and two, the author has created a fantasy world in a rich medieval setting that we can believe in–and want to visit, over and over…Along with adventure, a sweet romance, and a theme that centers on the power of love, you may find a surprise or two! If your tween or teen loves princesses, brave heroes and fairytales of daring-do, they shouldn’t miss this one!” ~ 5 Star Review, Ally S., Goodreads

 

Purchase

Princess Madeline and the Dragon by Kirstin Pulioff

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About the Author: Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in Oregon, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing, she is busy with her kids and church.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 

 

Princess Madeline and the Dragon Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

January 13

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

January 14

Victoria Simcox’s Blog (Author Interview)

JoJo’s Corner (Review)

January 15

Musings by Jay Faulkner (Guest Post)

Mel’s Shelves (Review)

January 16

Bound 4 Escape (Review)

Dawn’s Disaster (Guest Post)

January 17

Cassandra Lost in Books (Review)

WS Momma Readers Nook (Review)

January 18

A TiffyFit’s Reading Corner (Review)

Jemima Pett, Author (Review)

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Books Direct (Author Interview)

My Devotional Thoughts (Review)

January 20

Amanda’s Books and More (Review)

For the Love of Books (Review)

January 21

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

When I Grow Up I Wanna Write a Kids Book (Review)

January 22

Stitch Says (Author Interview)

Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog (Review)

January 23

Fiona Ingram (Review and Author Interview)

Brooke Blogs (Review)

January 24

We are the DinoFamily (Review)

Sher A Hart: Written Art (Review)

January 25

Becki Gylberte, children’s author (Review)

Reading and Sharing (Review and Guest Post)

January 26

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

Dalene’s Book Reviews (Review)

 

* $25 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: January 13th to January 31st, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Kirstin Pulioff and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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