The Journeyman, by Michael Alan Peck (40:00)

IOD-TheJourneymanToday we see another distance-goer, with a decidedly quirky bent.

What I gleaned about the story: To Paul Reid, the life of a homeless teen looks pretty bleak. But just wait until he tries death. After an untimely accident takes him out of the world, Paul finds himself locked in a battle between the forces of light and dark – a battle that dark appears to be winning. And light seems too apathetic to care.

Find this book on Amazon.

Note: Neither the title nor the cover really gave me any sense of what this book was about, or even the genre, and I’d have probably passed it by without even slowing down if I’d seen it on a book shelf or browsing online. And that would have been a shame.

WTF #1: Declarative sentence parade.

Analysis: The writing is strong and the characters seem real, but there were a few places where I bogged down a bit, with the sense of plodding that comes from frequent sequential use of declarative sentences. I eventually numbed to that effect, however, and was able to enjoy the rest of the ride.

Note: There was one minor point at which the POV seemed to switch from one character to another within a scene, contrary to the limited POV that was employed everywhere else, but it was brief, and did not happen again, so I was able to stay in the world.

Kudos #1: Scene selection 

Analysis: This is something I haven’t had the chance to talk about before, but I was quite taken by Peck’s choice of which scenes to show us and which things to leave off stage. It’s a definite art. Many indie authors neglect the power of leaving some scenes to the reader’s imagination by allowing them to happen off stage. But Peck has sketched his characters quickly, and with an economy of scenes, that allow the set-up of the story to unfold quickly, but without leaving us feeling cheated, or under-informed along the way. By the end of the fourth scene, I felt I knew all the players and had a sense of their personalities. Many books don’t manage to do that over the entire 300 pages.

Note: I quite enjoyed this one, and have put it on the top of my “to read in full” pile.

Addendum: Upon reading the entire book, I found it a gripping experience and was thoroughly entertained, so The Journeyman was chosen as one of the 8 books to represent ImmerseOrDie in the first IOD StoryBundle collection.

Games of Chance, by William L. Hahn (20:51)
Leap of Space, by Sharon T. Rose (6:04)

About the author

Jefferson Smith is a Canadian fantasy author, as well as the founder, chief editor and resident proctologist of ImmerseOrDie. With a PhD in Computer Science and Creativity Systems compounded by a life spent exploring most art forms for fun and profit, he is underqualified in just about everything. That's why he writes.