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Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Sepulchral Earth: The Long Road" by Tim Marquitz (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Order Sepulchral Earth via Damnation Books here
Read a short excerpt here


AUTHOR INFORMATION: Tim Marquitz is the author of the previously released Armageddon Bound, the 1st book in the Demon Squad series. He is also an editor and a heavy metal fan. He lives in Texas and is currently finishing up the third book in the Demon Squad series.

PLOT SUMMARY:
Two years after the dead rose up to murder the living, the remnants of humanity face a brutal extinction. They are hunted day in and out with nowhere to turn to. The survivors have learnt to suffer under the inevitable shadow of death and survive at any cost. In such a brutal reality Harlan Cole wages a continuous war against the vast and destructive forces of the undead, aided by friendly spirits he tries his best to remain humane and yet survive. Driven to bring peace to the souls of his wife and daughter, Harlan vows to return the dead to the ground once again, or join them in the process!


FORMAT/INFO: The e-novella consists of about 50 pages which runs like a singular chapter. Narration is via Third person, and features Harlan Cole as the protagonist. This is episode one of a possible 3-4 episode story. March 1, 2010 marked the e-book release via Damnation Books. Cover art is provided by Jessica Lucero.

ANALYSIS:
Tim Marquitz had really surprised me with his 1st book Armageddon Bound, the twisted action and humourous monologues of the protagonist made it a refreshing change in the field of Urban Fantasy. When he told me about Sepulchral Earth, I was wondering as to what type of tale this would be and what the title heralds? As I read the blurb, I realized this was going to be a post-apocalyptic tale and I was very eager to see what Tim’s twisted mind came up with next.


To begin with Sepulchral Earth – The long Road is a novella/novelette (depending on how much you define the word count to be) based in a world wherein a gargantuan tragedy has occurred, nearly 2-3 years ago an event called as the Breach happened and the world as we have known ended! The dead didn’t stay dead much to Harlan Cole’s dismay. He lost his wife and child to the undead and since then has resolved to reconfigure the Breach and try to make world normal again.

When the story opens, the reader is dropped into this world and sees Harlan being pursued by something. Later on we find out about Harlan’s capabilities and his thoughts as he saves a trio of folks unlucky enough to be caught up with him. Through Harlan’s inner thoughts and discussions with the trio we come to find out about the world and the state which it is currently. The tale then takes Harlan as he tries to find his way towards his destination and then receives another shock when his train of thought collides with something else.

The story is very paced and action-filled. The reader though might be a bit disoriented in the start when they start reading as the characters converse and mention things which do not make sense, however as the story progresses, clues and snippets of conversation reveal the state of the world Harlan Cole survives in! The ending to this tale is momentous as there is a revelation of sorts. The story ends fittingly with Harlan wondering about his next move.


This is episode one of the entire story and hopefully should be complete in about 3-4 episodes, while Harlan Cole is no Frank Trigg (main character in Armageddon Bound). His struggles are no less grim. I thoroughly enjoyed this short story and Tim Marquitz continues to surprise by pulling out another worthy tale from his dark repertoire that he calls his imagination.

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