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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Demon Queen and the Locksmith by Spencer Baum

In Turquoise, New Mexico, a small group of hippies believe that the mountain north of town emits a constant, resonant hum that is only audible to a chosen few. They call themselves the Hearers, and the fact that fourteen-year-old Kevin Brown has never trusted them makes it all the worse when his own ears begin to ring, and he comes to realize "The Turquoise Hum" may be much more than a sound.

common failing of self published books is a lack of editing and too much reliance on narration to move over parts of the story. None of these are a problem for author Spencer Baum in his novel The Demon Queen and the Locksmith.

With Great pace in his dialogue and a style reminiscent of early Stephen King I became enthralled. The story slowly unwinding itself in a complex origami of plots and subplots that came together in the final chapters to reveal an original tale filled with horror and suspense.

Kevin Brown is the young hero of the story who becomes transformed from a teary eyed victim of school yard bullies to a believable character who faces the horror of the turquoise mountain with companions Joseph and Jackie.

The story does take some time to establish a sense of direction, it was a good seventy six pages through the tome before I got a feeling for what this story was ultimately about. The opening chapters are still very interesting but don't expect an Indian jones style ride to the finish right from the start. This story is more subtle in it's build up. A few flash backs to earlier events adds dimension and flesh to the main villains bones. So while I did feel at times the story dragged a little, once the three teenagers got a call warning them of mortal danger the story was unstoppable and couldn't be put down.

Baum has a great narrative style with some of his florid descriptions very elegant. Most of the time you got a real sense of presence and at time I found myself listening for the cursed hum of the mountain.

Things did get a bit fanciful in the grand finale, maybe a choice between fluidity and completeness caused of a few 'glossed over' areas with expedient plot devices to creep in. Sticky yellow nano goo might have been one such example.

So definitely a story I recommend to my readers, fine narrative, believable dialogue and an original and unexpected ending.  Will definitely be a hit with the boys who like gritty and fun stories. Will undoubtably disappoint all this mushy romance loving sops who read vampire books. 5 stars from me.

Author: Spencer Baum
Word count: 61,000 words
Genre: horror fantasy
Price: Free download
Format: Ebook
Smashwords Download

1 comment:

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